Thursday, May 3, 2007

A Devotional written by...God and Me*

Last summer, I was asked to do a devotional for a baby shower. This is what I wrote:

The King’s daughter is glorious within…
Psalm 45:13

Ladies, have you ever wondered what the fascination is with fairy tales? Why do little girls dream of being princesses, and living in castles? The answer lies in the scriptures. We long to be princesses, because in truth, we are princesses. We are the King’s daughters. Not one woman here today was meant to be a prince, knight, page or squire. God made you, without mistake, a woman. You are His daughter. You are a princess.

We are God’s daughters. Have you ever stopped to consider that fact? Of course we know that the opposite is true. He is our Father. We just don’t tend to think of it the other way. But, if He is indeed our Father, then we are truly His daughters. If God truly is a King, then we must truly be a princess.

Looking at our lives this way gives us a whole new perspective! As children of God, we are called to a purpose. We have been studying Wayne Grudem’s Bible Doctrine on Sunday evenings. We have learned that God created man in His image. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them.” We have also learned that men and women, while equal in person and importance, have been created with very different roles or purposes. These distinctions were made before the fall, and are not a result of the fall. As Grudem says, “ The curse brought a distortion of previous roles, not the introduction of new ones.” Thus, Adam would still have the primary responsibility for tilling the ground and raising crops, and Eve would have the responsibility to bear and raise children. Eve was created to be Adam’s helpmate. She was designed to be his comfort.

So, what is a princess called to do? It certainly does not mean sitting around and being waited on, but instead, we are called to extend our Father’s kingdom. While princes should be about the business of providing sustenance, shelter, and protection for all of those in the castle, the princesses should happily devote their time, interests, and energies to home activities. The princess’s virtue, dignity, honor, and happiness are not safe anywhere but under the protection of the King’s Word. A princess should guard against outside interests that will cause her to be away from home too much, as this may taint her purity and disturb her peace.

The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Neither prince, nor princess should do anything out of selfish ambition, but they should both strive to glorify their King by fulfilling the duties He has given to them. Just as a prince has a list of duties to perform, so do we princesses. Our list is not of any less importance than that of the prince, but it is entirely different. We need only to search the King’s royal decree, or scripture to find a complete docket of the princess activities that we should be about. “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4

Titus 2:3-5 states, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”

We will briefly look at each of these points. First, as a princess, we are to be reverent in behavior. We are to be respectful first of our Father, the King, to our husbands, children, and all of the other citizens of the land. A good King would never allow His daughter to show disrespect to Himself, or any of his subjects. Her demeanor should be pleasant. Her manner of life should express her inner character. Proverbs 31:26 says, “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”

Secondly, we should not be slanderers, which literally translated means “devils”, or slaves to much wine. Our reverent behavior should be displayed at all times. We should be holy as our King is holy.

Thirdly, we should be teachers. This is a huge responsibility for a princess. We have much to teach the next generation so that the King will be honored. We must always be studying the King’s Word so that we are prepared to exhort our charges. We need to be role models in the Christian community. Many eyes are upon the daughter of the King. We are not to be preaching publicly, for that is forbidden, but we are to be teaching doctrine in our homes to our children, and instructing other women.

Princess, if the King has blessed you with children you have an awesome responsibility as a teacher, but do not fear, for He has equipped you for it. Philippians 1:6, tells us , “ And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” You must teach your children how to love the King with all of their hearts and souls. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says, “ You shall love the LORD your God with all of your heart, and with all your soul and with all of your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house, and on your gates.” We must take the King’s royal decree as truth. He really does expect us to fulfill these tasks. Do not dismiss your charge by placing the King’s descendants into the hands of another. He trusted YOU with their little souls! No other human being is equipped as you are to carry out this task, for it is you who carried them in your womb, and you who gazed into their eyes as they nursed at your breast. No one besides the King Himself could love them as much as you, or care more about their eternal estate. Imagine! You haven been given charge over souls that will last for all eternity! Dare you take that lightly by passing your duty over to someone else?

Fourth, we need to be role models, displaying to all the fair maidens in the kingdom how to love their husbands and children. But what is love? Love is a dying of self, and esteeming another. I mentioned earlier that God, our King, designed men and women with different purposes or roles. Because of the fall, these roles have been distorted but not changed. While God still intends for women to bear and raise children, women desire to be like the men, and work in the field. Proverbs14:1 states, “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.”

Fifth, as daughters of the King, we must practice self-control, die to self, and put others ahead of ourselves. Being a princess is not always glamorous. Ephesians 4:1-2 says, “I, therefore, a prisoner for the LORD, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” Instead of wearing ball gowns, and attending great parties, we must rock cranky babies, and wipe runny noses. We must wipe up muddy footprints, and do mountains of laundry. We need to control our urges to go into the world to do other work under the guise of “ doing something worthwhile.” The princess does not work for the local blacksmith, tax collector, or even in the town bakery. Imagine ladies, would the daughter of the King work for a commoner? Certainly not! The King would forbid this! She works for her Father, the King, and her husband. Remember, you do not have the duties of a prince, and the King is not fooled. Luke 16:15, “ And he said to them, You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

Sixth, as daughters of the king, we must be pure in our words, thoughts, and deeds. Philippians 4:8 states, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Seventh, we need to be working at home, and showing kindness while we do it. 1 Timothy 5:14 tells us that younger women should marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. While this passage is speaking of a young widow, can we not see that a married princess should be carrying out these same tasks? The King’s daughter needs to make the castle a home. I often tell my two daughters that we are not housekeepers. Anyone can be hired to keep a house clean. We are homemakers. We want our home to be a sanctuary for Daddy. Some knights dread returning home from work, and seek opportunities for recreation away from home in the form of jousting, fencing, playing with catapults and the like. My Prince Charming loves to come home to be greeted in a tidy castle where his princess is waiting at the door to kiss him hello, and good smells are coming from the kitchen to welcome him.

Proverbs 27:23 tells us, “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds.” Caring for our children is our primary duty after tending to our husbands. Proverbs 31:11-12 says,“ The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not harm all the days of her life.” Your husband trusts you to nurture his children and to help them form their character. Being diligent to this task, as the verse calls us to do, takes much time. Do you know the spiritual state of each member of your flock? Do not think that as your children become teenagers they no longer need you at home.

We must be hospitable to others in our homes as well. 1 Peter 4:9 tells us to “ Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” Do you have the time to entertain others, dear princess, or are you too busy outside your home?

Finally, as princesses, we are to be submissive to our own husbands that the word of God may not be reviled. Again we need to die to self, showing love and preference to our husbands so that our King’s royal decree will not be discredited. Pray for your husband, ask him how you may help him, care for his children and his home in a way that makes his heart safely trust in you. Ephesians 5:22 tells, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the LORD.”

Our lives as daughters of the King should never disgrace the Word of God. Do not put aside what our heavenly Father wills in order to please the world. We are to be about the business of the King. Do not live for the world, or yourself, but for the King, your Father. Put off the old self with its practices and put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator. Be content in your role as a princess for 1 Timothy 6:6 says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”

ETA: I changed the title of this post. I didn't want to give the impression that I could write this alone. It is only by His grace...

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:1-7

What do you have that you did not receive? And . . . why do you boast . . . ?

1 Corinthians 4:7


Anonymous said...

The Lord has gifted you sweetly with being an excellent bible teacher, Tracy.

Going back to read it yet again...lots to glean!

Diane said...

Well thought out and presented. Thank you for sharing "our position in Christ!" Blessings, Diane

Sheri said...

Thank you for this "princess reminder" today! Excellent devotional!

I have been thinking about God's version of a princess a lot lately, while planning our little Savannah's birthday party coming up Saturday. She has requested a "princess party" and I'm excited to see what the Lord has for each sweet girl who attends.

Tracy, could you share with me some more ideas you may have to share with 4 year olds the "princess message?"

Anna S said...

I loved reading this. It's so uplifting and so very true! I wish young girls could hear things like that more often.

Kelli said...

That was wonderful, Tracy!! I agree with Sheri, it's an excellent devotional!

Jennifer said...

Tracy, thank you so much for posting this devo. You may never know how many times in a day that I believe the Lord brings me to your blog at just the right time ~ today being one of them. Getting discouraged by my job hunt, your devo has been a great reminder of my current purpose in our home, to be a 'homemaker' and do this with a loving joyful heart. Thank you so much for this reminder. How wonderful it is to be a PRINCESS of the King of the World!!

Trella said...

What an excellent devotional! I love the "princess reminder".

Becky said...

That was beautiful Tracy. And what a wonderful thought ... to be a princess.

Tracy said...

Sherry, What a lovely compliment. Thank you.

If you are going to talk to the girls, I would emphasize that they should not expect to be waited on, but rather to ask how they may serve the KING. Give examples. And have fun. I love little girl parties!

You have touched my heart. I think that each person is an instrument in God's hands. Thanks for letting me know that He used me today!

Diane, Anna, Kelli, Trella and Becky, Thank you for your words of encouragement!

Lori B said...

Tracy this post was wonderful.
You are very talented and are a great writer and teacher. You are a great inspiration to me.
I love all of these thoughts on us being princesses: being teachers,role models, homemakers and etc.
I especially liked the part where you said:
We are God's daughters and He is our Father. God is the King and we are his princesses.
You left me with much to think about today.

Elise said...

Beautiful, Tracy! Being "glorious within" - such a trait to aspire to!

Momma Roar said...

This was great - I'm glad I made the trip back to read it. It is such a challenging devotional - I'm glad you shared it with us.

Emily said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this with us Tracy. Isn't it incredible that we are actually daughters of God?! The Lord has blessed us beyond our imagination.

In His care, Emily