THE ROLE OF THE WIFE

Two institutions on earth that are to personify God and His relationship with us are found in the Christian congregation and the institution of marriage. All that is good and pure are to be contained therein. Yesterday I spoke about the husband in marriage and today we look at the wife’s relationships with her husband. It is important to note here again that God’s Word does not affirm this same relationship between two men or two women no matter what a ‘politically correct’ society or ‘constitutional guarantee’ a human court may decide.

The relationship between a husband and wife from the time before Christ was to be exclusive. Solomon in all his wisdom used very vivid language in speaking  of this mutual faithfulness in Proverbs 5:15-20. In this exclusive relationship their is to be not only emotional and spiritual satisfaction but fulfillment of a physical relationship as well. Marriage is blessed when this complete relationship is in place and through marriage we can then better understand what it is to be in a complete relationship with our Lord and Savior.

As stated before this relationship is to be mutually exclusive. Again between one man and one woman as we see recorded in the words of Paul found in 1 Corinthians 7:1-5. Paul here speaks of celibacy during prayer and fasting. It should be noted there is no provision for celibacy at all  times as it leads to a great many problems. Only those times when devotion to the Lord is in place is it acceptable in a marriage.

Finally, it should be noted the Bible encourages sexual fulfillment but it is to be an undefiled relationship (Hebrews 13:4). The Bible does not condone promiscuity which we sadly see 24/7 on television and in the news. It is today more difficult yet evermore necessary we understand THE ROLE OF THE WIFE.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Wives should welcome husbands according to the will of God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 “wife relationship to husband is to be mutually agreeable”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord speak to the hearts of Christian women and men to give them understanding.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  How do you understand the role of a wife?
  2.  What does it mean to be in a complete relationship with our Lord and Savior?
  3.  What does it mean to be in a complete relationship with your husband or wife?
  4.  How can we protect Christian homes from a society without a moral foundation?

THE ROLE OF A HUSBAND

The more I look into Scripture the less politically correct I find myself to be. Not only that but this world grows more distant as I understand God’s plan for our eternal home. I say this because of how this world looks at marriage (among many other matters) and the role of the husband and wife.

Today we will look at the duties of a husband toward his wife. Duties that many men have in one way or another given up performing.

First and foremost is the husband is to love his wife with the same intimacy as Christ loves His church (Ephesians 5:28). Christ gave His all for the church and so should a husband for his wife. Sadly, oftentimes that is not how men and women understand the marital relationship.

A husband is also to honor his wife (1 Peter 3:7) uplifting her before others. To speak well of her when others may speak ill of their wives and mothers of their children. An honorable and loving marriage is a marriage made in Heaven.

Traditionally a man is also the provider for his wife and children if any. In today’s society that role is often minimized or turned around with the end result sacrifices being made by children and even the marriage itself not being fully functional as God intended.

One role of the husband I will always believe is uppermost in a marriage is to be the spiritual head and advisor. Sadly this is where most husbands and fathers fail and we see the effect of it across the entire spectrum of our society. As the world grows ever more secular and self-centered husbands, save for those coming from Christian homes, have been visibly absent in the role God intended for them. All this and more is THE ROLE OF A HUSBAND.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: A wise husband will live in marriage the way God intended.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Ephesians 5:25 “husbands love your wives”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord strengthen me to be the husband or wife you desire of me.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How does Christ’s love for the church compare to a husband’s love for His wife?
  2. Why is the role of mother and wife no longer honored as a vocation such as it once was?
  3. How have other institutions taken over the role of motherhood?
  4. How have husbands given up their spiritual responsibilities in a marriage or family setting?

ALL CONSEQUENCES ARE ETERNAL!

Trying to understand the ‘modern’ mind is truly difficult. For those who choose to live life guided by self-will rather than God’s will it can become really muddled. An excellent example is the recent declaration by the State of California that there are 3 genders (sexes) in contrast to God who created two (male and female) as recorded in Genesis 1:27.

The creation of two, not three or more as some universities would argue, was for four primary reasons. The first shown in Genesis 2:24-25 was for purposes of union. To create a sense of oneness that builds on a person’s physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional make up. In doing so the male and female are to be helpers to one another (Genesis 2:18).

Marriage between male and female was also intended for procreation purposes (Genesis 4:1) within the bonds of matrimony. Procreation in any other fashion despite the ‘modernization’ of society always to me seems contrary to God’s plan. Despite this mankind looks at ideas of surrogacy, cloning and other methods.

Finally marriage between male and female is to meet the sexual needs human nature has put upon us through God’s creation (Proverbs 5:17-19). This to be between husband and wife and not in any adulteress relationship.

Scripture goes on to lay out other requirements for a proper relationship between male and female regarding issues of clothing, authority and equality as well as the different functions each sex has. Society would have us be confused on these matters. God through His Word would give us a clear understanding. Each of us have a free will to choose our path but understand ALL CONSEQUENCES ARE ETERNAL.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The sexes are created for service to self and more importantly to God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Genesis 1:27 “the two sexes are a creation of God”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord may I always respect Your plan for humanity.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How can two people build on a person’s physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual makeup?
  2. Is there a Scriptural view on bringing children into the world other than by male/female sexual relations?
  3. How does surrogacy work out in Scripture?
  4. What are the Scriptural references regarding distinctive clothing to be worn by men and women?

PARENTING IS A BIG RESPONSIBILITY!

My having shared thoughts on being a mother and father it is equally important to understand what the Bible has to say on parenting. Numerous books and magazines have been published on this topic but only one matters which is the Bible.

Parents today continue to seem confused about their roles. They can be arrogant, distressed, indulgent and the list goes on nearly forever. The Bible is clear on their responsibility. They are to protect such as Moses parents did (Hebrews 11:23). That requires being careful of ALL that your child is exposed to as they develop. Being a very hands on parent.

Children are also to be taught most especially about the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:6-8). This requires being informed yourself through study and taking (not dropping off) children at church and its many ancillary activities. Furthermore the wisdom of the elders as it is passed down (Deuteronomy 4:9) and added to through a parents own life experience is to be shared with children in order that they can learn from the mistakes and experiences of others.

Correction is also a part of being a good parent. If a child is not corrected for bad behavior it may well open the door for such additional behavior and even worse. A wild horse may be beautiful to watch but unless it is broken and trained it is of little value to others. There is indeed truth in the old saying that to “spare the rod is to spoil the child”.

Finally parents are to provide for their children and not vice versa (2 Corinthians 12:14). In a world where things change so fast that the younger are needed to help the older understand is one thing but ultimately parents need to provide for their offspring. Indeed PARENTING IS A BIG RESPONSIBILITY.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Parents are to protect and provide perpetually.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “Train a child in the Lord”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord give me grace to always be a good parent.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What did you learn from your parent?
  2. To what extent should ‘the stick’ still be used?
  3. What wisdom can you share with a child?
  4. How do parents provide in a fast paced world?

HOW WE COME BEFORE HIM

One topic I have yet to address that is very evident throughout Scripture and evident in so many ways in our society is that of nakedness. As Christians that which causes us discomfort or unease we like to ignore yet it (nudity) affects us in so many ways. Daily we read stories of incest, adultery, pornography and more. We observe nudity on the street, television, theater and art museums. It is even a part of the necessity for care and healing in a medical setting. So what should we think?

God cannot by His nature create that which is sinful. I believe all God’s creation is beautiful including our very physical presence. Adam and Eve understood this (Genesis 2:25) when living in a righteous state. The problem as it is with everything is when sin came into the picture. Nakedness is a natural state until we fall into sin (Genesis 3:10-11). We are born as a special creation of God without clothing, yet original sin requires that our life in all its aspects (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) must come to God fully clothed in righteousness (Isaiah 61:10-11 and Revelations 19:8). What God cares about is HOW WE COME BEFORE HIM.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Nakedness was natural until sin found a necessity for clothing.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Genesis 2:25 “the original state of mankind”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord may I fully understand Your plan for me.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What sinful acts make clothing necessary?
  2. Is seeing the unclothed human frame acceptable in any situation (ex. museums, hospitals, care facilities, etc.)?
  3. Is there any spiritual significance to our being born naked?
  4. What is necessary to grow in righteousness?

LEAD THE WAY

Recently I wrote about womanhood so it is only appropriate to write what Scripture shares regarding masculinity and its characteristics. Society and academia have tried to convince us that we need to be more gender neutral. Not as God would have us be defined but as a few ‘elite’ believe a man and woman should be. When mankind removes God’s Word as the source of all truth and place themselves in the position of God this is what happens.

My truth is God’s Word and God defines for me what it means to be a man. First of which is self-control as recorded in 1 Corinthians 9:25-27. Sadly, many  men fail big time here loosing control seen in various levels of anger. Often doing harm to members of their own families.

A man is also someone with mature understanding (1 Corinthians 14:20). This requires getting rid of all childish ways and for me that only comes with a growing knowledge of God’s Word. Despite this we see fewer men bringing their families to Houses of Worship and staying for adult Sunday School or Bible classes.

Third men are to be the ones who show courage. Abisha addressed this when defeating the Ammonites as told in 2 Samuel 11:12. Courage in battle was once the sole purview of men, at least at the front lines of conflicts. Today social engineers are trying to redefine that Scriptural viewpoint. At least as they would understand life apart from God.

Finally we receive instruction in 2 Timothy 2:3-5. Here we see that mankind is meant to endure hardship. We are to live life by the rules and whatever hardships come along persevere for ourselves and as an example for our families. A great many men in the Bible showed us the way in these areas such as Joshua, Daniel and others. Now it is our turn to LEAD THE WAY.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Manliness manifests itself best in a marriage where the Lord is the Master.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 “Manliness begins with self control”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord may I be the man You want me to be.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What are childish ways that prevent mature understanding?
  2. How is society trying to redefine manliness?
  3. What is the danger of the gender neutral movement?
  4. What additional masculine characteristics are there?

 

MOTHERHOOD IS INDEED SPECIAL!

It is always awkward for a man to write or speak out on any matter related to women. Yet Scripture does not have a volume control depending on who is reading what verse. The Bible speaks loud and clear to all people at all times. This is especially so on the issue of motherhood.

Let me begin by saying that in the framework of faith there were women in leadership and valued beyond the boundaries of the home. Three of those were Lydia, Priscilla and Phoebe. That being said I believe the Bible is clear that God’s purpose for women is motherhood. In fact God’s plan was made perfectly clear in Genesis 1:28 telling mankind to “be fruitful and multiply”. When a woman brings forth and/or raises a child she is fulfilling divine law and no greater fulfillment exists than that no matter what present day society  asserts.

Two additional aspects of motherhood are first of all it should be joyful (Psalm 113:9). Joy being one of the graces of God that we are blessed with. Many  in society today have put under attack (motherhood) what God meant to be a blessing and sadly many wrapped up in themselves have fallen for what I believe is this demonic lie.

The second aspect of motherhood is that within this act of love lies salvation as 1 Timothy 2:15 tells us. Through the act of childbirth God sends us packages of love and in our love and trust of God we raise another precious soul for His Kingdom. MOTHERHOOD IS INDEED SPECIAL.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Motherhood is like unto divine music sung to our Master from the mountaintop.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Genesis 1:28 “motherhood fulfills divine law”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for mothers.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What were the roles of Lydia, Priscilla and Phoebe?
  2. How can a woman without a natural born child fulfill the role of motherhood?
  3. What does it mean to bring forth and/or raise a child?
  4. How has society put motherhood under attack?

MARRIAGE MODELS THE MANIFESTATION OF ETERNAL BLISS

Marriage though not commanded by Scripture is certainly encouraged. The key as with all matters of life is to understand it properly. The cornerstone of marriage is for one man and one woman to unite themselves in the holy bonds of matrimony and create the integrity of one flesh. This to be emblematic of Christ, the Lamb of God, and His bride the church (Revelation 19:7).

In this marriage the husband must love the wife as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). That requires an understanding that all things have order (1 Corinthians 11:3) and that in that order submission comes out of the love already in place and not demanded before the love is given.

Important in marriage is that we know any form of sexual immorality is considered an abomination to God (Hebrews 13:4). Numerous passages throughout the Old and New Testament affirm this and list these abominations. If caught up in one of these practices we must turn from the sin and what is necessary for it to no longer be a problem. Christ shares His Words with us on that as one example in Matthew 5:27-30. There is forgiveness but repentance and correction is necessary.

There is a great deal more that can be said about matters such as the physical relationship aspect of marriage and how marriage should be handled between a believer and non-believer which should be avoided. For today it is important to understand that MARRIAGE MODELS THE MANIFESTATION OF ETERNAL BLISS.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Marriage manifests the Master’s Eternal plan.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: Genesis 2:18-24 “God’s design for marriage”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord may I always honor Your gift of marriage.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What is sexual immorality?
  2. How does God want us to understand the physical relationship in marriage?
  3. How does a believer and non-believer marriage need to be handled?
  4. What is the message the church needs to convey to the world today?

CHILDBIRTH

I begin today’s thoughts with a disclaimer. As a man speaking about childbirth it seems somehow out of place yet the Scripture has much to say on the subject which I now share with you.

Motherhood is certainly in harmony with God’s plan. Trusting and loving God and living a Holy life Scripture tells us will remove some of the pain (1 Timothy 2:15) that came with Genesis 3:16 and original sin. For many these verses are difficult to accept or understand as we want to be in charge rather than live under God’s authority. Yet when we accept the truth of Scripture we see the beauty of childbirth which is symbolic of the restoration of life. Symbolic of our return to the Garden of Eden. Symbolic of Christ’s and our own resurrection some day. Childbirth truly is the best symbol of the new birth we experience as Christians.

Most all understand the fear, pain and hazards that can accompany childbirth but remaining focused on the joy afterwords get us through. Two thoughts go along with this. The first is a traditional Jewish view that as God added pain to childbirth in Genesis 3:16 so also the cries of pain at child birth will reach the Lord Who will open the womb. I do not know how many mothers who at that exact moment of delivery consider it a love gift from God but that is exactly what that newborn is.

A second thought is how mankind in its ignorance chooses to interfere with childbirth (God’s promise). We have not only abused this promise with acts of abortion but also by means of surrogacy, test tubes and more. Galatians 4:22-23  shares the story of Abraham who had one child come by promise and one by other means. Not placing trust in the miracle working power of God has resulted in many of the difficulties we are facing today.

The Jewish Talmud writes that God gave His Son Jesus Christ 3 keys that He alone could open the doors to. They were rain, resurrection of the dead and childbirth. Mankind today seems obsessed with controlling in some fashion each of these though that will never happen to the extent they believe they can. Today we give thanks to our Lord and Savior for His part in CHILDBIRTH.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Childbirth in the name of Christ has eternal consequences.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Galatians 4:22-23 “Abraham’s poor decision”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for the gift of childbirth.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Options to consider when unable or choosing not to have children of one’s own?
  2. Explain all the symbolism in childbirth?
  3. In what ways is abortion the antithesis of childbirth?
  4. How has Abraham’s decisions impacted today’s world?

 

HAPPIER HOMES AND A BETTER WORLD!

There was a time when the worst behavior of our youth defined them as ‘juvenile delinquents’. To be labeled as such was an embarrassment almost beyond recovery especially by the parents. Today being embarrassed is seldom seen and behavior continues to get worse while rules and laws protect the truly guilty often more than the innocent.

Juvenile delinquency has been around since long before the time of Christ. The sons of Eli were such in their disrespect for honoring the Lord (1 Samuel 2:12-17). Only the day before I write this I saw youth wandering the streets on a Sabbath morning in my nearby community. For my  family the Sabbath was a day of worship of God and time with family and not focusing on self.

Samuel’s sons (1 Samuel 8:1-5) likewise were juvenile delinquents. Placed in authority there favor was able to be bought. That same scenario exists today where ‘truth’ is sold to the highest bidder. What many do not realize is God’s truth can never be compromised. God as ultimate judge will see to that. Numerous other examples of juvenile delinquency exist in Scripture but the real question is how do you provide safeguards against this reprehensible behavior.

First it is necessary to have parents who pray. One of the best examples is Hannah (1 Samuel 1:9-28). Her faithful  prayers for a child who would be dedicated to the Lord were heard. Today parents need again to return to prayer.

In addition to prayer there needs to be strict discipline. The old adage of “spare the rod (you) spoil the child” is still true. In fact it is Scriptural found in Proverbs 13:24. Not only should discipline be used when bad behavior occurs but as vs. 24 tells us it should be done promptly.

Finally juvenile delinquency would be less of an issue if early training on proper behavior occurred (Proverbs 22:6). There may be some truth in the adage that “it is never to late” but proper training from conception on using the Bible alone as your guide will make for HAPPIER HOMES AND A BETTER WORLD.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Juvenile delinquency happens when human judgment replaces divine judgment.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY:  Proverbs 22:6 “early training is a safeguard against juvenile delinquency”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord keep my family in Your truth.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How are today’s rules and laws affecting juvenile delinquency?
  2. What factors reinforce juvenile delinquency?
  3. How do people try to compromise truth?
  4. How does the Bible understand discipline?