Will Animals talk in Heaven? #Nottheology

I have this idea that not only will animals be in Heaven, but they’ll be able to talk. Don’t take this as sound doctrine or theology. I wouldn’t teach this to my Sunday School kids or anything, but I find it intriguing, and that’s what blogs are for, right? Writing down fun ideas.

Here’s why. I think when the Earth was cursed at the fall, all creatures suffered the loss of greater physical and mental abilities that they enjoyed before the fall. If mankind had communication with and access to God, is it really so far fetched to believe that maybe animals had communication with and access to mankind?

On top of that, Eve did not seem the least bit surprised when a Serpent spoke to her in the garden. The Genesis account is pretty straight forward. I would imagine that the story would have said something about Eve having responded in surprise or bewilderment. But it doesn’t. She simply responds to the Serpent as if talking to a snake in the garden were the most natural thing in the world.

God gave Balaam’s donkey the temporary ability to talk. I wonder why.

I would certainly not make this rather obscure idea central to my theology or anything, but it is interesting to think of it as a possibility. And, dare I say it, I believe C.S Lewis would have agreed.




Emotional Health

It is to the disadvantage of many Christians that they believe therapists and counselors have no place in the Christian’s life. They believe reading or praying or going to speak to their pastors will give them everything they need.

I was once one of those people. It wasn’t until I faced the very real possibility of my marriage crumbling that, in desperation, I sought the help of a therapist.

Her name is Loie. After my first meeting with Loie, I felt something I had not felt in a very long time: hope. Hope that I could change. That I could feel okay again.

You see, I learned a very important thing from Loie. I learned that I was in fact deeply entrenched in a co-dependent marriage- one that was riddled with controlling and enabling behaviors. It was not until my husband and I both admitted this that we were able to get on the path of healing rather than destroying each other emotionally.

We are very close with our pastors. They are loving and wise people. It is not in opposition to them that I say this. Pastors do not always have the training it takes to help people who are deeply emotionally wounded.

My therapist, who is herself a believer, understands the way the brain works on a scientific level. She understands emotions and how experiences and memories are tied to emotions, where they are stored in the brain and why we react in certain ways. She understands relationships and communication.

She has devoted her life to understanding God’s design of the human mind. Just like medical doctors have devoted their lives to God’s design of the human body (they may not acknowledge that it is God’s design but that is neither here nor there), therapists have studied the mind, the brain, and emotions.

If you would go to a medical doctor when you break your leg, so should you seek an emotional doctor when your heart has been broken.

I am in no way saying that God does not have a place in healing. He absolutely does. He is the Great Healer. The Great Physician. However, I am saying that in refusing to see a Christian therapist when you are emotionally wounded, it is much like refusing to see a doctor when you are physically wounded.

There is no shame in seeking emotionally healing. There is no shame in admitting the need to ramp up our brain health. There is no shame in admitting that we have been emotionally wounded and need emotional healing. Unfortunately, Christians have been among some who discourage people from seeing therapists and counselors, pressing them to see pastors and read their Bibles instead. Pastoral counsel and reading the Word of God are of utmost importance, and certainly have the power to bring healing. But God has also gifted people who have devoted their lives to the study of His design for our emotions. And there should be no shame in seeking out help and healing from those experts.

If you find yourself in a difficult marriage or struggling with your emotions, anxiety, depression, thoughts of self-harm, know that you are not less Christian for seeking emotional help. In fact, God may use your story of healing to inspire and encourage others. I know He has used what my husband and I have gone through to speak truth into the lives of others. I do not regret what we have been through. I am thankful that it brought us to a place of humility in which we were able to seek the help of a Christian therapist and get on the path of healing in Jesus.

If any of you out there are reading this and wanting to start your healing journey, please pick up the book, Becoming a Family that Heals by Drs. Tom and Beverly Rodgers. It will give you hope.

Empowering Moms

Moms….fellow believers. I have to say that I am so tired of the blogs, videos, and memes that essentially make moms feel like they are helpless to take control in their homes. I get it. I hate the “mom-shaming” too. And no, I would not condemn the woman in Target whose toddler is having the tantrum of his life. We’ve all been there. I get it, trust me. But this anti-mom-shaming movement gives me the sense that moms are simply supposed to succumb to this idea that we are totally helpless in controlling our homes. We are just supposed to take the good with the bad and say, “Well, that’s how motherhood goes. It’s a trade off.” I’m calling B.S on that. Really, mothers, you are not helpless! You have the power to create a peaceful environment in your homes. You have the power to love and to discipline in a way that will make your children bring joy to you. The Bible promises that! Proverbs 31:28.

Instead of taking control of our home environments, implementing consistent and loving discipline, I am seeing even Christian mothers succumb to this idea that angry toddlers are going to run their lives and it is simply a part of motherhood, and no one better dare suggest they make an effort to get their children and homes under control because…you know….mom shaming. Guys, I hate mom shaming, too. I really do. And I am not saying this to shame you, but to give you hope and to empower you. You really can create a totally different atmosphere in your home. I am not saying that you will never again have the occasional meltdown in the grocery store. We will all have those moments. But I am saying that 90% of your time with your kids should not and does not have to consist of meltdowns and bad behaviors.

You and your children will be so much happier when you realize that you are powerful enough to change your home life! You have what it takes to direct, instruct, love, and discipline. You have been given everything you need to be set apart from the moms of the world. You have all of the tools you need to raise kids who will be different from the children of the world. You can make a change, and you do not have to succumb to this idea that you just need to roll with the punches and take the good with the bad. No, you can take control and run your house the way you want it run, and instruct your children to be the kind of human beings you want them to be. Yes, it takes work, but when you implement these habits, your life with your kids will be so much more peaceful and full of love and grace. You will not be run by your children. Rather, you will run your home according to godly principals.

A great place to start is with Paul David Tripp. His book on Parenting can be found on Audible.

Press on, sisters! Motherhood is the most difficult job you will ever do, but through Jesus, you have the power to take control of your home. So let’s stop buying into the world’s lie that you are helpless to create a peaceful environment. You are not helpless. You are full of the love and power of Jesus Christ.

Godly Submission or Enabling Behavior?

What is Godly Submission?

One of the greatest disservices Christianity today has done society is to display an inaccurate understanding of godly, biblical submission. The type of submission I am talking about is empowering, not belittling to women. If that seems paradoxical, it is only because we have greatly mistook the meaning of the word. When you hear the word “submission” what you are probably thinking about is not the biblical definition of submission at all. Instead, the thoughts that run through your mind are most likely those of enabling behavior, which is not godly submission at all. When women enable disrespectful, belligerent, or even abusive men, it is not godly submission, and it is certainly not what God has called us to. In fact, the Christian woman should be the strongest among women because we know that we are not defined by what men think of us. We are not defined by our beauty, intelligence, or marital status. We are defined by God and Him alone. We know that creation was good, but not perfect until God graced the earth with a woman. Only then, did He say that the World was perfect. Only then did He rest. Women of God know that we are not only lovable, but that we are unendingly adored, that we are the crown of creation, and that nothing on this earth can take that value away from us. Therefore, women of God ought to be the strongest women on earth.


So how does that coincide with the Bible’s definition of submission? There should be no trouble understanding that at all, if only we will take the time to understand what godly submission truly is, rather than assuming that it is to be a doormat for men, to enable selfish and condescending attitudes toward women, or to go through life miserably accepting a status that is lower than that of our male counterparts.

Godly submission is empowering to women. In fact, it gives us great sway and influence not only in the lives of the males around us, but in our families, our communities, and our societies.

This is why God commands wives to godly submission- that we may honor and bless him, support and influence our husbands, raise our sons to be kinder and our daughters stronger than the generation before them.

The reason the Christian women can and should be that much stronger than the average woman is because we don’t have to deny our inner need for love and affirmation. We don’t have to pretend that we can do it on our own. We don’t have to pretend that we don’t need someone to be enthralled with us. We know that we do. But we also know that because of our Heavenly Father, we don’t need anything from any other human being to live a joyful and fulfilled life.

Author and Theologian Gary Thomas explains it remarkably well in his book, The Sacred Influence. “Men can be very cruel with their cutting comments; if you aren’t receiving affirmation and affection from your heavenly Father, you’re going to feel emotionally empty and perhaps even worthless-and will feed that into your husband’s response and tempt you to become even more of a doormat” (Thomas 137).

Godly submission never calls a woman to be a doormat. God never calls one of his daughters to be trampled over by her husband, or any man in her life. Instead, God gives us submission as a powerful weapon. It is a weapon not to be used against men, but to be used to influence them for good. Rather than explain how it works, I will attempt to demonstrate using common situations in which the husband is clearly not loving his wife as Christ loves the church, but in which the wife is still called to godly submission. For each situation, I will provide three types of responses.

The first will be enabling behavior. Well meaning Christian women often practice enabling behavior under the guise of submission. Do not be fooled. Enablement and submission are far from the same thing. Enabling behavior makes a doormat out of the woman and often a monster out of her husband, whereas submission makes a woman strong and a man malleable in her hands (and I am referring to positive influence, not manipulation).

The second reaction will be one of pride. While the prideful woman refuses to be trampled on, she also forfeits her power of influence.

The third reaction will be one of godly submission. It empowers the woman, encourages the man, and creates a stronger and more peaceful relationship.


Situation 1

Joe is critical and often mean to Lisa. He speaks harshly to her, and is always finding something to complain about. He comes home after a long day of work and asks, “Why does the house look like this?”


Enabling behavior: Lisa responds with, “I am so sorry. I will try to get it cleaned up.” She may then even proceed to berate herself in her mind. She defines herself based on her husband’s evaluation of her. She will continue to spiral downward, and her husband’s critical attitude will continue to get worse.


Prideful response: “Don’t you dare speak to me like that! I have worked just as hard if not harder than you did today. If you want it done, do it yourself!” If Lisa responds this way, she does not allow herself to be a doormat, and for that I commend her. But, she has also given up her God-given ability to influence Joe for good. She has responded harshly, which will only make Joe dig his heels in and continue in his stubbornness. It will also put strain on the relationship.


Godly Submission: “Joe, I realize you had a long day at work, and I want you to know that I really do value how hard you work for this family. But I need you to understand that I work very hard, too, and it is just not acceptable to talk to me like that. If you would like the house to be cleaner, I would gladly help you with it after work if you could work on asking me for help in a respectful way”. Now, Lisa has challenged Joe to step up to the plate in helping around the house, but she has not belittled him. Instead, she has shown appreciation for his hard work, and offered to help him in maintaining a cleaner house. In this way, Lisa has not allowed him to trample her. She sees her value as a person, but she also has not given up her power of influence in Joe’s life. And both will be better for it. Even if Joe does not respond well to Lisa the first time, consistency in standing up for herself with a gentle and even grateful response will allow her continued power of influence in his life.


Situation 2

Mark has a terrible spending habit. He and his wife, Emily both work full time jobs but barely make ends meet because Mark likes to have every +new thing he wants. He buys a boat, the newest car, and all the latest technology. He seems obsessed with upgrading to the next best thing. He is thereby driving his family into financial ruin.


Enabling behavior: Emily works overtime to support Mark’s spending. She continuously gives up more and more time with the children so that Mark can spend the family money however he sees fit. She never says a word when he goes into more debt or purchases something he cannot afford.


Prideful response: Emily tells Mark that he is a worthless husband, that he is driving the family into poverty, and that she would be better off without him. She refuses to take another shift of overtime and threatens to open her own bank account where he will not have access to the money.


Godly submission: Emily calmly explains to Mark that he may need to seek some help controlling his spending habits. She expresses thankfulness for all of Mark’s strong points such as spending time with the kids and being a kind and gentle husband. But she gently tells him that she can no longer support his spending habits, that she cannot take any more shifts which take her away from the kids, and that if he cannot find help in managing his spending, she will have no choice but to open an account to which he does not have access. She affirms him, tells him that he is a good man, a better man than this, and assures him that she will be there for him every step of the way as he seeks help in his spending habits.


Situation 3

Matthew spends most of his free time in the bars. He is uncomfortable in situations where it is not socially appropriate to have a drink in his hand. He begins to miss work more and more, claiming illnesses. He is no longer showing up to church or family gatherings. People begin to notice something is wrong. His wife, Martha, is working many hours to keep the family’s head above water, while Matthew continues to drink.


Enabling Behavior: Martha makes up excuses for Mark every time he doesn’t show up to a family reunion or birthday party. She often says he is sick or has migraines. She does not want the family to know that he was out drinking the night before. She has even called into work for him and made up an excuse as to why he could not make it into work yet again that week. She often believes these excuses herself.


Prideful Response: Martha tells Matthew he is a worthless scumbag, and tells him that he will not have a penny more from her.


Godly Submission: Martha approaches Matthew in love to tell him that she is concerned that his love of drinking has turned into alcoholism. She tells him that she will not be allowing him access to any more of the money she makes, not because she doesn’t love him but because she does love him and she knows that he needs help.


In any of these situations, the woman does not necessarily have control over how her husband will respond. In fact, he may blow up. He may not respond in a godly way. Separation may be needed. But separation does not always lead to divorce. Sometimes, it can even be a step toward healing in the marriage. Even so, I am convinced that the godly submission in each situation is the action that will most likely result in healing. To continue in enabling behavior will never benefit the marriage. It will destroy both partners. To respond in pride will often hasten the deterioration of the relationship. But godly submission is the response that will promote healing and peace.


After reading through these situations, I hope that the difference between godly submission and enabling behavior has become quite clear. It is unfortunate that many Christian women have practiced enabling behavior and labeled it submission. This has caused much confusion about the word.

The Bible clearly states that we are to submit to one another out of reverence for God (Ephesians 5:21). But immediately after, in verse 22,  wives are specifically called to submit to their husbands, not because men know better, but because godly submission is a great force for good.  I do not believe for a moment that this command is to make women less than men or even to give men control over women. On the contrary, I believe the command is actually to give women influence in a man’s heart. A woman practicing godly submission values herself as a child of God, and seeks to help her husband through admiring him, affirming him, building him up, and challenging him in his areas of weakness.

When a woman responds to a man’s weakness in pride, she may well hold her head up high and refuse to be trampled on, but she also forfeits her opportunity to influence him for good in his life, in her family, and in this world.




I would like to note that in any of the previous situations listed, the woman may practice godly submission but may be met with harshness and in extreme cases, even violence. In marriages in which the wife has practiced enabling behavior, and the husband believes that behavior to be submission, there may be conflict when first applying these biblical principles of submission. In such cases, it may very well be necessary to seek help from the godly authority figures in your life. Namely, your pastors. Godly submission never asks a woman to endure emotional, mental, or physical abuse. In such cases as these, it will likely be necessary to involve an authority. Women who have lived under this kind of behavior may find it difficult to tell if they are being emotionally or mentally abused. Richard Massman, founder of Recovery in Christ ministries and substance abuse counselor of over 40 years suggests that if you are unsure if you are experiencing abuse, ask yourself this question. “Is my husband using anger, fear, shame, manipulation, or physical force to get me to comply with his demands?” If the answer is “yes” for any of those, then it is likely you are living in an abusive situation. In this case, it is highly probable you will need to involve your spiritual authorities and possibly even outside authorities. While you are considering this question, you will do well to examine your own heart. Are you using fear, anger, or manipulation to move your husband, to change his mind, or to get something you want from him? If so, you are likely practicing emotional or mental abuse as well. God can heal you from this, and He wants to teach you to use godly submission as a tool for positive influence instead.

Godly counseling from your pastors and from professional Christian therapists and counselors can help to turn these habits around by pointing you and your husband toward godly, biblical principles to break the habits of controlling and enabling behavior and start walking the path of healing and godly submission and biblical leadership.


Godly Submission is Empowering


There is a reason that God said Adam needed a companion. God created women to have the things that men so often do not have. He created women in His own image to reflect the beautiful feminine attributes of God. He created women to have incredible influence in the lives of men. Men can be so much better because of the influence of a woman. That is why God commanded women to godly submission to their husbands. Not to undermine or belittle them, but to empower them and to give them the opportunity to influence the men in their lives for good. Think about the kind of place the world would be if all men were under the gentle, kind, yet strong influence of a godly woman.

That is what God calls us to as women. He calls us to strength, dignity, and godly submission. And yes, these go hand in hand.

Godly submission is empowering. It is a mighty force for good. It empowers women. It moves men.

A woman practicing godly submission does not seek affirmation from a man. For she knows she is deeply loved and cared for. She is the crown of creation. She is made in the image of God. She submits out of reverence for God, knowing that God has given her the power to have positive influence for change in this world.