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Interview with Dr. Lisa Tatlock


Interviewer: Donna Morley

 

 

You will be delighted to meet Dr. Lisa Tatlock as she shares with us some new and insightful ways of pleasing God. Lisa is an associate professor of Home Economics at The Master's College in Santa Clarita. Her main joy and priority is being Mark Tatlock’s wife and the mother of two young boys.

Donna: Lisa, we’ve heard from Dr. Ennis, who told us some wonderful things about your book, Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God. Of course, the interview wouldn’t be complete without gaining your insights as well. Please share with us the importance of the book, and what makes it so unique.

 

Lisa: Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God is so vitally important today, as we live in a day and age that dishonors God’s Word. How easily the world could influence us, if we’re not careful! As Christian women, we want to live and think differently from that of the world. If we’re not strong in the Word, there could be a struggle. This book encourages and helps women to live out a godly life; and help her stay far from any criticism of the Word of God. Just imagine if we were to claim that we believe God and His Word, but then lived a disobedient life....surely we would be dishonoring the Word! I’m sure we can all say in our hearts...“may this never be!”

 

        In answer the second part of your question, this book is unique because it focuses on the character we should have as Christian women. It also provides practical skills to implement the Titus 2 mandate.

 

Donna: Explain why “leaving and cleaving” is so important to the marriage relationship, as well as, what threatens our ability to “leave and cleave?”

 

Lisa: We’re all familiar with the beginning of the marriage institution when God said that “a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). But, many of us don’t think about what this really means.

 

        The “leaving” is the first part of God’s plan for marriage. Leaving means “loosen, relinquish, or forsake. The first step in establishing “oneness” in marriage is to leave.

 

        “Cleaving” is the second part of God’s plan for marriage. Cleaving means “to cling, to adhere, to hold fast”, like glue. One husband clings to one wife, one marriage unit is established. The “one flesh” implies unity.

 

        There are a few threats to God’s admonition of “leaving and cleaving. One is simple ignorance. Some women simply have a lack of knowledge of God’s Word. There is indecision. Some women fail to leave the original family unit, unable to transfer authority from dad to husband. Influence also plays a factor—there are personal fears, secular agendas, some things can have control or power over us, and more.

 

Donna: Along with dealing with the above threats you just mentioned, what else can a woman do to protect her marriage?

 

Lisa: She can learn, really, we can all learn, to practice a more mature love. That involves communication and commitment. It also involves touch—the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual.

 

Donna: You have so many more wise things to say about marriage, such as the primary and secondary purposes in marriage. I highly recommend our readers to take a look at what Lisa has to say. But, for now, let’s switch gears to the topic of contentment. Dr. Ennis shared with us some of her thoughts about it, what would you like to add....how can a woman develop a heart of contentment in the midst of difficult life circumstances?

 

Lisa: I first think of the apostle Paul when it comes to contentment. He tells us that he had to learn to be content in any and every circumstance (Philippians 4:11-12). What an encouragement! I can learn to be content!

 

        Contentment is having “ease of mind or satisfaction.” We can each ask ourselves, “Do I have ‘ease of mind or satisfaction’ in all areas of my life? If we aren’t living a life of contentment right now, there are three truths found in scripture that can help us.

 

        The first is God’s sovereignty, “…having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11). Sovereignty means that God is the supreme authority who ordains/allows all life circumstances to accomplish His divine purpose/will. God allows what I define as good and bad to accomplish His divine purpose in my life.

 

        Secondly, there is God’s goodness, “How great is thy goodness, which thou has stored up for those who fear Thee” (Psalm 31:19). Goodness is a part of God’s character, not our circumstances---this gives us permanent hope. I can always have hope, joy, peace, despite my circumstances because God’s goodness is a part of His character, not based on my life circumstances.

 

        Lastly, we can look to God’s work, “who can speak of the mighty deeds of the Lord, or can show forth all His praise?” (Psalm 106:2) The Lord is at work – intentionally, lovingly completing a unique work to fulfill His purpose and His plan for our lives. He’s literally conforming our character to His. This is why we need to refuse to compare ourselves or life circumstances with others – God’s work is indeed a unique work.

 

Donna: What are some ways we can put contentment into practice?

 

Lisa: Practicing contentment isn’t always easy. Remember, Paul himself had to learn contentment. We too can learn, in practical ways. First, we can wait with joy—choose to rejoice. Secondly, we can maximize the time we have and develop our skills. Thirdly, we can pursue the interest of others—we can invest our life in the life of others. We can also, study God’s Word to renew our mind. Lastly, we can pursue a discipleship/mentor relationship for accountability and encouragement.

 

Donna: Please share with us why women need to be trained in order to manage their homes with excellence?

 

Lisa: As Christian women, our primary domain for influence is in the home. We set the tone in our homes for orderliness and organization. If we take a look at the woman in Proverbs 31, we see a very skilled worker in a variety of areas. She worked hard to meet, as well as, anticipate the needs of her family. To be successful in our management, we might need to receive training. Taking a look at Titus 2:3-5, we see those three words, “worker at home.” This is actually a two part word in the Greek. Oikos means “a dwelling, a home, or a household.” Ergon means “to work or be employed. This literally means “employed at home.” We are shown in 1 Timothy 5:14 that we are to “manage the house.” This means ALL aspects of family and home life, not just raising the children. Women need training because home management is just as much about your sills as it is about your character.

 

Donna: Share with us some principles of planning and organization.

 

Lisa: Let me start by saying to each and every woman---your family will only be as organized as you are! I encourage all women to take time to plan; to organize yourself before your family; anticipate family needs; plan realistically; develop a personal planning style and organize—use a calendar to help you organize meals, your finances, and household cleaning.

 

Donna: In Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God, you discuss stewardship. You make some great points. Please explain why it’s important for women to practice stewardship.

 

Lisa: Stewardship is important because it means we are managing for for God. We certainly want to be found faithful before Him. Those of us who are believers, are literally stewards of every area in our lives. This includes our time and energy, our material possessions, relationships, abilities and education.

  

Donna: Share with us why it’s so important that we view our children as our disciples.

 

Lisa: Discipleship, as we know, is being salt and light—it’s impacting the world around us. This obviously includes our children. Because parents are the primarily influence in their child’s life, we should take seriously our responsibility to train and disciple our children. We need to train and teach them both morally and physically. The best way to train them is to model godly character. I strive to shape my child’s will without crushing his/her spirit. Deal with heart issues, not just the behavior. The goal is to teach your child how to be in but not of the world. We need to raise our children to manifest God’s love to the world. There are many things we can do to expose our children to the needs of the world, one of which, is to help them understand it is Not all about them. It is about loving others.

 

Donna: In chapter nine, I read about your experience with infertility. I am sure there are women reading this, who have many of the same struggles you have had. Please share some words of encouragement to those women, who are unable to have children at this time.

 

Lisa: To those of you who are experiencing some form of infertility, I would like to stress the fact that you are not an incomplete woman, nor do you have an incomplete family because you are without children. Our primary focus is to love God with all our hearts, soul, and mind, as we are reminded in Matt 22:37-39. I encourage you to refuse self-pity that leads to anger and bitterness. Refuse the idol of motherhood. While it is the primary calling for most women, it should not be our source of joy or contentment. Thank God for your blessings daily. Maximize your time and develop your skills. Be gracious to those who lack understanding. Remember, a gracious woman retains honor (Proverbs 11:16). Don’t presume on God’s will for your life. You do not know what the future holds.

 

Donna: Let me end by asking a question that’s vital for all of us women. How can we respond rather than react to the demands in our lives?

 

Lisa: In the book, I give a lot of scriptural help, but let me just sum it up with these key points. First, believe—really believe–that the Lord will give you strength, and bless you with peace. And, as He strengthens you, deal with any sin issues that may still be remaining in your life. Commune with God, meditate upon the Person of God, the Works of God, and the Words of God. Seek godly counsel, as well, list and prioritize all demands–the goal is to seek God’s wisdom in our decision making. Recognize the superwoman syndrom. God did not intent for women to do it all, as the world would suggest! Develop management strategies. Consider the needs of others, and just as important, take care of yourself physically. Most of all, acknowledge God’s sovereignty.

 

Donna: Thanks Lisa for giving us not only your time, but your wisdom. May God continue to bless not only your ministry to your family, but also to the many women who will benefit from your writing ministry.