Jane Flack, a member of a team of South African women whose lives and homes have changed for the better because they changed themselves with the help of practical Bible-based teaching, shares about the journey of grace that led to the development of the Love Renewed course
We are living in rapidly-changing times and the Covid pandemic has certainly exacerbated this. Sometimes things seem relatively smooth only to turn upside down a day later. For some people they have been living in that upside down state for as long as they can remember and relatively smooth has been forgotten.
My heart has always been for women coping with really difficult lives and I confess I am greatly challenged in even thinking that I can write this article as what I have experienced is mild in comparison to what many younger women experience today. And so, sharing my testimony is not to point out the difficulties that I have experienced but rather to share the answer to dealing with them.
I also believe that we cannot afford to close our eyes to the breakdown of “normal” family life taking place at an ever-increasing pace, not only because we are surrounded by the consequences but because this muddled, dysfunctional way of life dishonours God. Family breakdowns manifest in so many different ways – ill-disciplined, damaged youngsters, drug addiction and alcohol abuse, abuse of women and children, lost hurting people, not to mention the issue of gender confusion. People of all ages have lost a sense of purpose and meaning in life. Both men and women.
We need only look at the number of counsellors and psychologists that are kept busy as they try to help sort out life problems. From marriage guidance, career guidance, financial guidance to trauma counselling and more. Children are desperate for help just as many adults are crying out for some kind of peace and joy in their lives. This was so poignantly described in the two articles written last week in Gateway News, one by Marian Fitz-Gibbon and the other titled Parents urged to pay heed to teens’ mental health struggles. They were both disturbing, making me so aware that we need answers and encouragement to see a way forward. We cannot go on as we are, there is a demand for change.
There is a way forward
There is a way forward and I quote Jeremiah who wept at the condition of his beloved nation but he offered a way of rest.
Jeremiah 6:16 — This is what the Lord says, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest.”
Personally, I had to find that good way and it was a journey. I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour when I was 31. I came out of what I thought was a pretty normal home. My parents were good to us as kids and I was brought up to know what was right and what was wrong. Later alcohol became quite a feature in our family but it could have been much worse. However, I never went to church, never read the Bible or understood God’s ways. That was all foreign territory to me and quite honestly, it did not seem to be a problem at the time.
It was later when I married and had children of my own that I really struggled. We did not have much money but that was not the real problem. I felt so inadequate and dissatisfied as a mother. My self esteem plummeted as I tried unsuccessfully to make things work. I was a qualified nursing sister and found running a busy surgical ward a picnic in comparison to managing our home with two healthy, happy, naughty children, plus my husband who was working all hours to provide for us. I resented him going to work and leaving me at home with this unruly pair and my attitude was pretty miserable. I felt the victim. I felt I was expected to cope on my own and allowed frustration and anger to build up inside. Not conducive to a happy, stable home in which marriage and children can flourish.
And this is what I really want to share. God has a plan, a really good one, an original design for our lives that often, in all the busyness and angst of life, we have lost or perhaps never learned. We have found a way of living and surviving that often bears no resemblance to what He intended. My story is I know just one variation of many. The Lord led me step by step back to His ancient paths and turned my life the right side up.
I read Fascinating Womanhood (BH Andelin), attended Philosophy of Christian Womanhood courses (Tri- Ministries) and, finally found Renewing Love by Jo Anderson. These amazing lessons changed my way of thinking and, as a result, transformed our home. As Victor Frankel said when he spoke about changing our attitudes: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Fortunately, when we recognise our thoughts and behaviour are so out of kilter with the ways of God, we have the Holy Spirit to help us change. But first we need to know God’s ways and, although they are quite clear, they are often not taught in a practical sense. They are written in the Scriptures and, when searched, understood and applied to our lives, the result is change, Godly change, as His word penetrates our thoughts and directs our way. The word becomes that lamp unto our feet and a light to our path. (Ps 119)
Knowing the Scriptures was one thing but allowing them to change my thinking and behaviour was another. These lessons mentioned earlier were practical and put the Word into action, teaching you how. I know there are so many women out there who will fully understand what I say and agree with me. In the 1980s, 1990s they were so popular and classes were run at least three times a year in many churches and homes. Many marriages were saved and women were empowered to live fruitful, happy and godly lives. The principles taught laid a solid foundation for family life, exemplifying God’s extraordinary plan for men and for women. How, despite being different, they were complementary. One sex was not less valuable or not unequal to the other. When God’s word is taken as a practical directive, not as a legalistic list of do’s and don’ts, but rather with practical application, the result is extraordinary.
Love Renewed is birthed
The courses I attended were great in their time but today they are old fashioned in their presentation and the young women cannot relate. We realised that somehow, we had to preserve the principles that had so changed our lives and share them in a more modern way. We prayed much and experimented and finally Love Renewed was birthed.
It is short, easy to listen to, packed with scriptures and time has shown that women’s lives are being radically changed through it. Its aim is to help you discover your God given purpose and significance in life that will bring confidence, joy and peace even in the busyness and storms of everyday life.
And the good news is that it is available in a down loadable format for free. On the website www.love-renewed.com you will see that several women have written short testimonies on how their lives have changed and been enriched by this series. We are thrilled to see that it has spread through many parts of South Africa, courses have run in the UK, California and Australia.
There are seven lessons.
- Truth Established. Start with what you’ve got.
- Clearing Offences. A heart change from the inside out.
- Eternal Values. A solid foundation.
- Made in His Image. How we see ourselves and the power of the tongue.
- True Intimacy. The giving of self.
- Our True Design. Not a doormat, nor a control freak.
- Joy and Peace in the Home. Preparing children for life God’s way. Joy in the home.
- A Manual. Full of Scriptures, tips, recommended books and summary of each lesson.
We are a team of women who have prayed much over this ministry and continue to pray for all who embark on this course, whether you run it as a group or do it on your own.
There is so much written today about operating in the supernatural, wonderful sermons about who we are in Christ but sadly, I believe we have neglected some important foundation teachings that can help, especially now as we face the challenges of redefining marriage, childrens’ education and all that comes under the umbrella of being politically correct. WOKE. These teachings lay a foundation.
God’s word remains the same, it has not changed. It is alive and, as it gains entrance to our hearts and minds it does not return to the Lord void but accomplishes that for which it was sent. The Holy Spirit is able to work in hearts changing situations that seem impossible to man but to God, they are an opportunity to reveal His supernatural resurrection power as He brings life and hope to those who seek Him.
Love Renewed: These principles are for women. Young, old, married, divorced, single, they apply to us all.
Freely available at: www.love-renewed.com. Go to the website, look on the right and you will see: Free download available and click on this.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to stay up to date with God stories of Africa and beyond
DONATE — your financial support enables us to keep on reaching people with uplifting news that glorifies God
You are welcome to engage with our articles by making comments [in the Comments area below] that add value to a topic or to engage in thoughtful, constructive discussion with fellow readers. Comments that contain vulgar language will be removed. Hostile, demeaning, disrespectful, propagandistic comments may also be moved. This is a Christian website and if you wish to vent against Christian beliefs you have probably come to the wrong place and your comments may be removed. Ongoing debates and repetitiveness will not be tolerated. You will also disqualify yourself from commenting if you engage in trolling.