“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22). One of the advantages of being a stay-at-home wife/mom is the opportunity to attend weekly Bible studies. And, if a woman prioritizes her time correctly she can make time for a regular intake of God’s Word. (It might look different in content and depth from season to season but should be a part of your routine.) Sadly, the influence of extra bible studies and regular quiet times does not always translate to how we live each day with our husband and children. I once heard John Piper say that when he sinned against his wife he was particularly distraught over it because he spent far more time studying the Word than she did.
Oftentimes, I hear women complain that their husbands are not in a small group, do not have accountability, or do not have regular devotionals (or devotionals they consider deep enough). While all of these may be legitimate concerns, how is your time in the Word impacting you? Have you considered how your husband might be more motivated to be in the Word if he saw the difference it was making in your life? Titus 2:3-5 tells us that we are to love our husbands, children and keep our homes so that the Word of God is not maligned. In other words, the gospel should not be hindered on account of our inconsistent lifestyles, especially in our homes. True religion produces the virtues of a godly wife and mother; when it does not it will be seen as having no value.
Is your time in the Word a way to “check off” your religious duties or is it how you draw closer to the Living God in order to changed by Him? How can you know if you are changing? Is the fruit of the Spirit growing in your heart and life? Is there more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control today than last week, month or year? Are you more characterized by love as a result of your time in the Word? “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
My friend, if your time in the Word is not yielding good fruit (obedience to God) you are deceived. You are betraying yourself by false-reasoning, a reasoning not based on Truth. James goes on to say, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:23-25). It’s God Word and obedience to His Word that gives freedom. When you reason according to your past, your feelings, or your own carnal thinking, you will remain in bondage. The deception is to believe your way will give you freedom, it simply ain’t so. How long will you remain a slave to sin and take the beating from the slave master? Jesus offers freedom through obedience to His Word.
Where are you deceiving yourself? Jesus said, "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?”(Luke 6:46). If you are unwilling to surrender areas of sin in your life to the Lord or if you are characterized by disobedience to the Word, do you really know Him? Where are you disobedient to the Word? Do you continue to sin against your child in anger? Are you unsubmissive or disrespectful to your husband? Do you abuse your time, money, or resources spending them on personal pleasure with no thought of Christ and His Kingdom? Are you discontent with the circumstances God has ordained for you? Are you holding a grudge or being vindictive? Are you being willful, stubborn, or rebellious in even one area of your life?
How can you change, do what the Word says! Quit making excuses. You have everything you need to be obedient to God’s Word: His Spirit, His Word and the Church. You are without excuse before your Maker and Redeemer. Quit believing your own false reasoning. Pray and ask the Lord to help you with your unbelief and to help you take your thoughts captive-comparing your own faulty reasoning to His Truth. My friend, only when you lay down your pride and selfishness and begin to listen and do God’s Word (forsaking your own foolishness) will you experience the peace and favor of the Lord. "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24). May God in His great mercy give us ears to hear Him and Him alone and to walk in faith and obedience to all He has commanded-and all for His glory!