Saturday, March 8, 2008

Wives teach each other in ministry

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

The words are there in the Bible, 'Wives, be submissive to your husbands.'
The idea is discussed at length at several points in Ephesians, 1 Peter, Corinthians and a couple of psalms.
Just like anything else, some people like it and some people don't.
'Not everybody understands the idea,' said Debbie Browder of Temple.
Paula Meyer agreed.
'Too many people get caught up in what they think the word means,' Ms. Meyer said. 'And they lose the meaning of what God's trying to teach.'
Mrs. Browder and Mrs. Meyer are mentors to younger wives at Temple Bible Church via a program called 'Apples of Gold.'
'We want them to get the benefit of the lessons we learned the hard way,' said Mary Jezek, another of the mentors. The mentors offer advice not only on marital behavior but also on budgeting, cooking and parenting.
'It's a tight-knit group,' Mrs. Meyer said. 'The most girls we get is about 15.'
Apples of Gold meets twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring for a period of six weeks. The weekly meetings consist of group discussion, a kitchen demonstration and a luncheon. The only cost to the students is the $20 for the discussion workbooks.
'At the luncheon, the girls are guests of honor,' Mrs. Browder said. 'So at least once a week, somebody cooks and waits on them.'
The younger women who participated in this spring's Apples of Gold said they found value in the program's lessons.
Newlywed Dawn Reagan of Temple said her mentors helped her to learn how to manage her kitchen and how to 'deal with becoming an instant mom.'
'All of the sudden, overnight I was mother to my husband's two children,' Mrs. Reagan said. 'And that can be a frustrating transition. I found myself wanting them to be one way or the other, but I can't. I have to love as they are. It's about changing the way you think.'
Mrs. Jezek and Mrs. Browder nodded.
'So much of the conflict in the family and between husbands and wives is because nobody wants to give up their will,' Mrs. Jezek said. 'I've been married 37 years, and I learned that the hard way. He was authoritarian, and I kept secrets. How could there not have been struggle?'
Letting God into their marriage is what Mrs. Jezek said showed the couple a new way to live.
'It's not about our wills. It's about His will,' Mrs. Jezek said. 'His will is for us to love and be happy, not fight over everything.'
An example she shared was her husband's purchase of an orange couch she found to be ugly.
'You smile and nod,' Mrs. Browder said. 'Let him pick out the couch. And then he knows you love him enough to let him say that. And that makes him care about what you want.'
And that, the ladies said, can lead to a joint purchase both parties can be happy about.

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