Women of Worship: A Reflection along with Pope Benedict on the Psalms

If God doesn’t build the house, the builders labor in vain. (Psalm 127: 1)

We must recognize that we are builders in our own families.  We make plans, hold together the household, and so much more! Today let us allow these words of the Psalmist to penetrate our hearts in two ways:

I.  Building Our Desires:

Many of us are anxiously making plans for Thanksgiving.  If we have not already, we are deciding what is on the menu, where the table will be, whose house we will visit, which clothes the kids should wear, etc…

As women, we too often become self-righteous, believing that we are indeed the best judges and decision makers in our daily lives.  With this self-righteousness comes pride, criticism of others’ actions, and eventually anxiety and stress (because everything depends on us).  We may even eloquently cover our self-righteousness with a false humility by telling ourselves we are “praying” about things while truly we are simply worrying, weighing, and moving on our own judgement and desires.

Beneath all our worry, stress, and anxiety is a need for control that is based on a fear that things won’t go well enough to fulfill our desires.

The Scriptures tell us to let God build the house and to cast our anxieties on HIM (1 Peter 5:7). Today, take a moment to think about everything your are trying to make decisions about and say this simple prayer to the Lord:

Lord Jesus, you are my Savior.  Through you the universe was made.  I submit my desires to you, I give you my fears that things wont be good enough, I give you my fear of disappointment.  I reject any spirit of indecision, fear, anxiety, control, or pride.  I trust you as the builder and I turn to you to receive your building plan for these decisions: (list them here).  Send your Holy Spirit to be my guide. 

After taking a moment in prayer (preferably with your spouse), sit down, decide and plan, then commit it to God and don’t go back and forth on it anymore!  Don’t worry anymore! Satan will try to cause you trouble with a spirit of “double-minedness” that makes you feel that anxiety of the ‘other’ option being ‘better.’  When you feel that, reject that voice in Jesus’ name.  The Holy Spirit guides gently and lovingly, not through doubt, anxiety, or distress.  Don’t be upset or anxious if (and when) He changes the plan as you go: just loving pray “Jesus, I trust you and this is not what I thought it ‘should’ be but you are building this house, not me!”

II. Building our Relationships 

As women, we desire relationship with the ones we love.  Too often we don’t let God build these relationships.  Here are some “red flags” that show us when we are following our own blueprint for relationships instead of God’s perfect plan:

Do my relationships with my spouse, children, friends, brothers, sisters, co-workers, parents, or others have these traits/characteristics present?

Accusation/Scorn

Judgmental/Condemning

Competition

Mockery

Stubbornness

Gossip

Boastful

Sarcasm

Criticism

Impatience/Frustration

Rejection/Self-rejection

Despair/Hopelessness

Bitterness/Negativity

Fear

Murmuring/Complaining

Selfishness

Control/Manipulation

Revenge/Retaliation

Suspicion

Anger/Rage

Loneliness/Isolation

Take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the relationships that you are trying to “build” with His plan.  Use the list above to bring to mind anyone with whom you have these characteristics in the relationship.  Offer each relationship to Jesus praying:  Lord Jesus, I give you my relationship with (person) and I ask in your Holy Name that you bind any ungodly spirit of (insert trait from the list above or another).  In the Name of Jesus, I consecrate this relationship to you for your glory.

Now that you have made God that builder of your house again, you might find a deep peace. Thank Him for being the Perfect Builder. Take a moment to do a personal inventory and make sure there is nothing else the Holy Spirit is asking you to hand over to Jesus.  The exercise of offering God our plans and relationships is a good one, and may be worth repeating occasionally as you feel called.

Remember, the words of the prophet Jeremiah (29):

I know well the plan I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your good… if you would but seek me with your whole heart. 

About the author: Dorothy J Wagner, 26 years old and mother of a two.  Dorothy and her husband were married in 2007, traveled as missionaries to Central America in 2008 and returned to start their family.  Currently, the couple serve in youth ministry at a local Florida Catholic church and Dorothy’s husband runs a free Catholic clinic.  She loves our Lord Jesus, His holy Church, our wonderful holy father, and being a stay at home mom while she works on a Masters in Theology. 

Copyright 2011 Dorothy J Wagner

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