Christmas Trees, More Trees and Wives

Some Christians argue that the Christmas tree is a Pagan symbol of worship, and we should not put up a Christmas tree. (Image~tripwiremagazine.com)

As we trace history, the Pagans are known to take Christian truths and distort them. Take a glimpse of the religions and customs of the pagan world, and you will find Bible truths that are re-packaged in lies and distortion. For example, Hindus believe this lie about their false god, Krishna: he was miraculously conceived by a virgin, his family had to travel to pay yearly tax, his birth was attended by angels, wise men and shepherds who brought gifts and so on. Does that story sound familiar?  Who is behind these distortions of truth? The devil is the father of lies. “for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44

Listen to what God said about trees. “The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary…” (Isaiah 60:13) God’s glory was revealed as the Creator of the evergreen trees and His house was made beautiful by them.

Where did the tradition of Christmas tree lights come from? In the 1500’s, Martin Luther, turned the world upside down by teaching the Bible truth that salvation is not earned by good deeds but received only as a free gift of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. Martin Luther is also credited as being the first person to put candles on a Christmas tree to represent “Jesus is the light of the world.” Traditionally, many times the Christmas tree is topped with a star or an angel to symbolize the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

There are two other very important trees mentioned in the Bible. These two trees represent God’s redemptive plan.

  1. The first tree brought separation.
  2. The second tree brought reconciliation.*

Can you guess what trees these are?

Once upon a time in the beautiful garden of Eden there lived the very first husband and wife. God gave Adam and Eve everything they needed and they had the freedom to take freely of the land, but God had one limitation; Adam and Eve were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”  (Genesis 2:16,17)

Satan meets Eve by that tree and asks the first question designed to cast doubt on God’s love, plan, care and grace, “hath God said?  By the way, Satan, to this day, uses this same method to put doubt in our minds as to the truth of God’s Word. God’s Word is true, no matter what circumstances are going on in our lives.

When something bad happens, have you ever had the thought, “God, don’t you care?” I asked that question when I was in my second trimester and experienced my seventh miscarriage. Guess who whispered that question to you and to me to cause us to doubt God and His Word? The father of lies, Satan. His plan is to create doubt, discourage, and depress. The truth is that God said in His Word that He loves you and me with an everlasting love. God tenderly cares for you and me with compassion and mercy.

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Genesis 3:6

Did you notice Adam was with Eve in verse 6?  You probably won’t miss it, because I put those words in bold. Adam was also not deceived according to 1 Timothy 2:14. He was with his wife, but did not protect or lead as the husband of his household. Husband means house-band. The husband is the band that keeps the household together. Notice, the division that occurred as Adam blames his wife and God for his sinful action. “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:12)

When Eve looked at the forbidden fruit, she followed her feelings rather than the command of God. The devil will tempt wives to follow their emotions. Let us keep our feelings in control with the Truth of God’s Word. I desire to be Spirit-led, not emotionally-led. Because a wife has a huge influence on her husband’s decisions, she needs to ask the Lord for wisdom. I don’t want to influence the love of my life to make a poor decision for our family. So, I must spend time in the Word of God everyday. On the other hand, it is the wise husband who listens to the counsel of his Spirit-led wife.  God gives discernment to the wife when she seeks God’s will for her family.

Confession of Heaven bound Homemaker: There were many times I influenced my husband for good, but there was one time my emotion-led influence makes  he read, "How to be a gentleman."me shudder to think about what could have happened.  Let me just say that a suave debonaire young man who had read a book on “How to be a Gentleman” came for our daughter, and I was completely taken in by his charm. My husband knew the truth about the young man and thank the Lord, God worked things out for good for our family.

My advice to all wives out there: Because he is a man, our husband knows men better than we do, so we need to heed his counsel when the young men come to court our daughters. A husband can do a better job of sizing the young men up. Daddy should prepare his daughter ahead of time to be on guard of the deceptive young man. A wife can size young ladies up best. Mother should prepare her son ahead of time about the deceptive young woman. God warns about “her” in Proverbs. We are thankful to God for a godly daughter-in-law and godly sons-in-law for our three children! Blessed! Also, ladies, let us not be a matchmaker. We may be treading on dangerous ground. It is alright to introduce two people without having any ulterior motives; then allow God to do the rest.

Notice, Eve also blamed “another” for her sin. She blamed the devil for her actions. “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:12) No, Eve, the devil did not make you do it.

blameBlaming someone else is a lame excuse for sinning. What are we blaming our sin on? Our past, someone else, our circumstances etc? What is our excuse for sinning? Do we realize pride is at the root of blaming others and making excuses for our sins? Have we taught our children that they are accountable for their sin before God and there is no excuse?

Adam and Eve both failed at that first tree, because Eve doubted God’s Word and Adam defied God’s Word. Sin and death entered into the world because of that first tree. First sin fascinates, then sin assassinates.

Because Adam and Eve sinned by eating of the forbidden tree, we are all born sinners. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12)

The good news is what God told the devil in Genesis 3:15; “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This Scripture is our hope. This Scripture is about the 2nd tree; the tree of Calvary.

Satan will first bruise Christ’s heel, his human nature. But, Christ will crush Satan’s head, Satan’s strategy. How? By dying for our sins on the tree at Calvary and by conquering the grave.  This is a Christmas verse as to why Jesus was born of a woman, the virgin Mary. The seed of the virgin woman is Jesus Christ who will deliver the death blow to Satan by conquering sin and death .

A woman was the instrument that brought sin into the world, but God used a woman to bring the Saviour into the world.

Fast forward to Luke 2~ Once upon a time, there was a godly teenage virgin, named Mary.  What a lesson for young ladies to stay pure! God still wants to use the unmarried godly virgin girl to impact the world for Him. I know TV and movies depict it as “normal” to lose one’s virginity before marriage, but that is not God’s design.  Liberal minds and those who do not have morals write those Scripts. Making the choice to remain a virgin until marriage… what better wedding gift to give one’s spouse on the wedding night! Purity was my wedding gift to my husband and purity was his wedding gift to me. Our children and their spouses gave this wedding gift to one another. Purity is powerful!

Mary was gentle, and humble, so God chose her for a great honor. God uses the woman who is tender and submissive. God said, “Be ye holy for I am holy.” God will use the woman who has yielded all. Whether single or married, to find favor with God, a woman must be a clean vessel for His use.

The angel, Gabriel announced to the virgin Mary, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast Mary ~ Gabrielfound favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” Luke 1:30,31

Notice, Scripture says about Mary, “thou are highly favored.” (Luke 1:28) Mary is not lifted above women, Mary lifted womanhood.

Just as we all, born sinners need a Saviour, Mary needed a Saviour too, as she said these words, “My Spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” Luke 1:47

Jesus Christ was coming to earth to die on a tree. He would make his arrival, born of a virgin, in a stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes and he would lay in a manger.  The question at Christmas is not that Jesus is born, but why was Jesus born?

We cannot get saved by the birth of Jesus. As Jesus grew up, He could not save in His healing power or by His incredible teaching. There was only one way Jesus could save us. “without shedding of blood is no remission (forgiveness).” (Hebrews 9:22)

Jesus, the innocent had to die for the guilty!  Jesus was born of a virgin. Had Jesus Christ been born like we were born, He would have been a son of Adam. Had He been the son of Adam, He would have been a sinner. Had He been a sinner, He could not have been innocent. What was His ultimate purpose for coming? Jesus Christ, the last Adam, came, born of a virgin, to undo what the first Adam did. Jesus Christ was born so that He could die! Jesus would hang on a tree, having become cursed for our sake, to bear the penalty of our sin. He would hang on a tree so that we could be freed from the curse of sin and have communion with God restored and spend all eternity with Him!

At age 33, Jesus was publicly brutally crucified. The pain of crucifixion on the tree is excruciating. Did you know the word, “excruciating” came from the Latin language and literally means, “out of the cross”. This cruel form of death created its own vocabulary word for pain; excruciating.

As He hung on the tree, Jesus ministered to the dying thief who ended up trusting Jesus to save him. Jesus showed honor to His mother and told John to take care of her.  Jesus spoke His final words, “It is finished” which means, Paid in full! (John 19:30)

The first tree was in Eden. It revealed the pride of man.

The second tree was on Calvary. It revealed the pardon of man.

The top of the cross pointed toward the heavens to point the way there. The arms on the cross outstretched “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)  God loves me this much with his arms outstretched on that tree! Thank You, Lord!

I am enjoying looking at my sparkly Christmas tree with wrapped presents underneath it. As I sit here, sipping on my coffee, Bible in hand, taking in my  surroundings, I am reminded that the Greatest Gift was not placed under the tree; the Greatest Gift was hung on a tree… for you and for me.

The million dollar question is: What are we to do about the Free Gift?
“But as many as received him (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe (trust) on his name.” John 1:12

Unwrap the free gift of salvation, by confessing to Jesus you have sinned and ask  Jesus to save you. Receive Him into your heart today! For more on “how to be 100% sure you are going to heaven,” visit the post on my website:

https://www.heavenboundhomemaker.com/how-to-be-100-sure-youre-going-to-heaven/

You are cherished with an everlasting love! That truth makes me smile with JOY.

Merry CHRISTmas to all!

*Many statements in this post are from a sermon, by Pastor Stephen Davey.

Jump into your Husband’s Holiday World

We love our husbands, but do we show them we like them and enjoy spending time with them by doing what they like to do?  Does our husband know that he is priority? Do we set aside what we want to do and jump into his world? Or, do we expect him to jump into our world and go along with what we like to do? I admit it! I sometimes have a plan and then I expect him to jump into my world! I do!

We need to make “time” with our husband a high priority during the holiday season (and all seasons for that matter). Finding out what our husband likes is saying to him, “You are important to me.”

How many of your husbands can’t wait to put up the Christmas tree and decorate it? Some?  But not most. Instead of singing to him, “Mr. Grinch” or making “Bah humbug” jokes when he does not want to take part, it is good to find out what he likes to do. He may not like decorating the tree. Let us not insist he help. If he likes to watch you and the children decorate the tree, then fix him his favorite snack where he can have a front row seat watching his family decorate the tree. He may want to invest in an artificial lit tree to make things simpler. Have you asked him his preference?

What does your husband dread at Christmas?  Find out, and make plans to drop what he dreads or work it out, so it is pleasant for him.

Have we asked our husband what he likes to do at Christmas and on New Years? I just asked my husband for the first time this year.  Yes, I am ashamed to say.  It was the first time. I found out he does like helping to decorate the Christmas tree! Yay!!! I always thought so!!

My husband enjoys buying a fresh Christmas tree too.  Every year, he enjoys picking out the most perfectly shaped tree on the lot. I think fresh trees make the house smell like Christmas, whatever that means. My husband wants me to string the lights on the tree, which I do.  He does not like doing that part.  After that, we all enjoy decorating the tree together hanging the ornaments. Background Christmas music is playing and egg nog is being served. I buy a special ornament for our marriage almost every year and one for each of our children.  I ended up giving our children their ornaments after they got married. :( I loved their little special ornaments, and it was hard to part with them.

My husband likes for me and the children to unwrap the pieces of the nativity scene and put it in a prominent place in the home. He likes being a spectator. Barry then enjoys reading the Christmas story from Luke 2 about that first Christmas. He reads by candlelight. “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12

I asked my husband, “What are your favorite things to do at Christmas?  He gave me his two top answers:

1. Spending time getting together with family.

2. Eating good food.

He is such a family man! I am blessed!

Why am I not surprised at his second favorite thing! Yes, food is the way to a man’s heart. My next question should be, “What would you like for me to cook?”  Yes, that should be my next question, and I should happily cook his favorite Christmas and New Years dishes. Yes, I should! The other day Barry said he wanted shrimp for Christmas! I quickly responded, “Shrimp, that is weird for Christmas!” Alright, that was what I was not supposed to say.  I later told him if he wants shrimp, I will gladly make him shrimp. Shrimp is a good idea to me now. :)

Speaking of food, what fruit are you and I feeding our husband this holiday season?

“the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance (self-control).”  Galatians 5:22,23

We should not be feeding our husband the rotten fruit of a critical spirit, dismay, impatience, unkindness, anger, rudeness, gossip and so on.  Love is not a mood or emotion. It is a command. I have the job as a wife to encourage my husband. He needs me. I desire to have a radical love for my husband. I do this by laying down my wants. I complete him by doing him good everyday. “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12

We married our husband because we love him. Now, we love our husband because we married him.  Where is our husband on the Christmas list?  Is he even on the Christmas list? Remind him he is priority by jumping into his world. Enjoy him and learn to enjoy doing what he likes to do.

How many of your husbands like to watch football? Mine does! I am not a sports fan. Even if you are not a sports fan, jump in with a positive attitude to enjoy a football game with him. Again, make his favorite finger food.  My husband and I have a fun tradition of kissing when his favorite team makes a touchdown.  Kissing is better than high fiving any day! Yes, watching sports with hubby can be fun after all.

We sold what I termed an “Archie Bunker chair” and opted for a love seat, so we could sit next to one another.  Sitting next to Barry, enjoying his favorite team has become pleasurable to me now. I am learning to like his world. When my husband is happy, I am happy.

Spending time with extended family is what my husband enjoys too.  We have the neatest extended families.  On his side, his mother is an excellent cook. When we were first married, I was so frustrated and said, “I will never cook as good as your mom!” Well, I decided to solve that problem. I spent a week with Barry’s mother and had cooking lessons. His mom does not measure the ingredients…she just tosses them in, but I learned just the same.

At Christmas, his mother also wraps many presents for us to open.  We all laugh when we each unwrap a box of cereal.  His mother even remembers all our favorite cereal brands.  I asked my son what he thought his children wanted from us for Christmas, and he said, “I liked unwrapping cereal at Mamaw’s house. They will like that too.” So funny! This Grandma and Papa will pass on the wrapped cereal tradition. Fun Memories.

On my side, we have a huge family who homeschooled.  Two of my sisters have seven children and my other sister has five children. We all invested in music lessons for our children. Before the big day, my daughters made a program after talking to each cousin about what they were going to do for the family music fest.

On the day, my Dad led the Christmas music and announced which grandchild would be next. We ended by singing Christmas carols together. What special memories of a special family time!!!! The photo is of my parents and three sisters. This was the last Christmas our mother enjoyed with us before she went to be with the Lord this past May of 2012. Mom is celebrating in heaven with my brother and sister. I pray for all those readers who are missing loved ones this Christmas to be comforted, and may you know the Lord’s tender compassion for you. “Jesus wept.” John 11:35

This Christmas Holiday, let us show our husband that he is tops on our list by putting his wants ahead of our own. A happy husband makes for a happy wife and a happy holiday season.

By the way, holiday means Holy Day.  Who is the Holy One? Jesus Christ. And when they write Xmas? X is Greek for Christ! They can try, but they can never take Christ out of Christmas.

My all time favorite Christmas Scripture:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Do you have any other suggestions for Jumping Into Hubby’s World this Christmas and New Years?  How do you work this out for your family?

ABC’s of Marriage (Part 2)

Parenting class The photo to the right is of our daughter and her husband on their romantic honeymoon.

I took the photo below of the young mothers who attend a Bible Study on parenting and marriage. In this photo, they are getting ready to hear the Bible Study lecture. The lady to the far right on the front row got saved recently at this Bible Study, praise the Lord! How exciting is that!!!! (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

 

Titus 2:3-5 teachers

 

 

 

 

Once a month, the Titus 2:3-5 leaders have lunch together. Gwen Brodd, who started the Women’s Bible Study is seated next to me.

Betsy Watkins, (standing to the right) gave the following excellent lecture at our Women’s Bible Study. Betsy and her husband also counsel married couples.

 

ABC’s of Marriage Part 2 (continued from ABC’s of Marriage Part 1)

1. A – ADMIT when you’re wrong and APOLOGIZE.  ASK for forgiveness.

2. B – BE an Initiator. (See Part 1)

3. C – Be your husband’s greatest Cheerleader!

Cheer
LSU fans~Let’s be our husband’s #1 cheerleader!

I think one of the most appreciated actions we can take toward our husbands is to encourage them.  If we are not doing so, then who is?  Encourage him in his leadership role.  Show/express appreciation to him when you see his leadership in your home. Verbally express to him (even in front of others) what you notice about his character strengths.  Yes, brag on him in front of the children!

Now, when we all think of cheerleading, I’m sure we probably think of shouts and noise.  But have you ever heard of a silent cheer?  I learned this about 38 years ago in AWANA.  We had a “silent night” where much of the evening was spent in silence, or at least limited vocal input.

Sometimes silent cheers are in order with our husbands.  Take a listen to this verse from Ephesians 4:29.  “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”  I know we all want to have the last word, but sometimes no words are the best!  Silent cheers!  Let’s practice!

4. D is for DATE!

I cannot encourage you enough to continue to date your husband.  It will help you remain connected and healthy even during the years of child rearing.  Your husband and your marriage need to be your first priority after your relationship with God.  I cannot stress that enough!  As in any relationship, you must work on your marriage in order for it to continue to thrive and grow.  Remember back to your pre-marital dating days?  You probably spent hours getting ready and Dateanticipated your date nights with your boyfriend who has now become your husband.

I know you don’t have hours to get ready for anything these days, but dates are such a good thing.  My husband has told me it means a lot to him for me to initiate dates and plan the evening.  I would say he does it most of the time, but reverse courtesy is much appreciated.  Be creative.  I often hear (and have heard this for years) that couples cannot afford dates, cannot afford a babysitter and on and on.  I just have to say that I don’t buy that.  We make a way to do many, many things, so pray, ask God, brainstorm with your husband and with friends to make dates happen!

5.  E is for EXAMPLE!!!!

My encouragement to you today is to give your children the best example of a Godly marriage.  I know we are all imperfect people trying to give an example of God’s perfect plan in his relationship with his people.  We cannot do this on our own.  We must run to Jesus; run to the cross for cleansing and forgiveness when we make mistakes.  We run to the cross for motivation, for a model of sacrificial love.  John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he GAVE his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have Faitheverlasting life.”  Although we are imperfect, may we be cross-centered parents who attract our children to the gospel!

I want to close out our morning with this scripture passage, and I encourage you to read it during the next week as well.

Colossians 3:12-17.

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye beroses otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

ABC’s of Marriage (Part 1)

Gwen and her grandbaby~
Gwen and her grand-baby

Gwen Brodd is married to Jeff Brodd, mother of four grown sons and grandmother to two grandchildren. Gwen uses her many talents to the glory of God and  started a Women’s Bible Study at our church. She asked Titus 2:3-5 ladies to be mentors. 100 young ladies signed up for Biblical parenting and marriage classes on Wednesday mornings.

At 9:00 A.M., the leaders pray together for the Bible Study time. Arriving at 9:30, the ladies meet for an hour of Bible Study in their small group. Afterward, we all gather in the big room to enjoy brunch and a lecture.

Parenting Bible Study Class 001

The photo is of the beautiful ladies in my small group. They remind me of my grown married daughters. I love meeting with this fantastic group of sweet ladies. We have the best discussions on what the Bible teaches about parenting and marriage. I am always blessed by their desire to do the will of God.

 

Betsy Watkins, a Titus 2:3-5 leader gave the following excellent lecture at our Bible Study. She and her husband also counsel married couples.

ABC’s of Marriage

Betsy Watkins and hubby
Betsy and her husband~

I asked my husband, Eddie if he thought there are areas in my life where I resist submitting to him.

He quickly responded, “Yes, when you dash out in front of me when we are running and refuse to allow me to catch up!”

Well, we both had a good laugh about that one, and I decided to RUN with his response.  I didn’t ask it again! 🙂

We have learned together this week about the first principle of parenting….our example in marriage.  What our children see in our lives as their parents is what preaches the Gospel to them.  They learn so much more by what they see than by what we say.  Yes, actions do speak louder than words.  And as my husband often says, “Talk is cheap!”

  • What am I modeling to my children in my marriage?
  • Is it attractive?
  • Is it something they would want to emulate?
  • Do my husband and I live before our children in such a manner that they are attracted to our faith, or do our lives tend to repel them from the Gospel?

These are not just rhetorical questions.  Instead, they are ones that deserve careful thought and scrutiny as we honestly answer them.  What kind of example is my marriage giving to my children?

Isn’t it so interesting that marriage preaches the gospel?  Marriage is the very comparison that God uses to convey the relationship between Christ and the church.  Christ’s relationship to the church (to all believers) is wrapped in perfection.  Our earthly marriages often seem to be far from that!

TristonWe learned that the first audience to whom our marriages preach is God and his angels.  The second audience is not our non-Christian neighbors.  Our second audience is our children!   Do they see our marriage telling them about Christ and His bride?

 

Again, are our children attracted to or repelled from the Gospel?

Eddie and I recently celebrated 40 years of marriage.  I think overall we have a good marriage.  I will also tell you that at about year 18, we hit a wall.  It seems that personal issues we brought in to marriage (our stuff) as well as our own marriage issues collided.  We were at a point of “stuckness.”

Thankfully, God brought another couple into our lives, who imparted life to us through counseling. They gave us a number of tips and tools that I believe will carry us into the sunset!  Let me share with you a few of these.

1. A is for: ADMIT when you are wrong and APOLOGIZE.  ASK for forgiveness.

MarriageHave you ever considered this?  When you hurt your husband, he is not the only one hurt.  God is hurt.  It is not only a sin against your husband, but also God.  It is this sin that Jesus died for.

So what needs to happen when you hurt your husband?

Confession:

First, confession to God.  I John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteous.”

Second, confession to our husbands.  James 5:16 says “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. ”  Confessing to God and your husband is admitting that you are wrong….that you have sinned….that you have hurt God and your husband.

Then, apologize.

What is a proper apology?  “Honey, I was wrong when I spoke so disrespectfully to you in front of the children.  Will you forgive me?”  Using the words “I was wrong” rather than “I’m sorry” means so much more.  It means we have taken ownership of our wrongdoing. 

And if we hurt our husband in front of the children, we need to apologize to them as well.  That is parenting by example!

2. B is for: BE an Initiator.

We all have or have had young children.  They come into the world needing many things.  They need food, clothing, care, love, touch, attention, affection, security….. just to name a few.  Do you think children outgrow needs.  I think not!  Our husbands were once boys, now grown up into men.  They have needs.Kiss and make up  That’s how God made people.  Although God can meet people’s needs directly, He often uses people to meet needs in the lives of other people.  We are our husband’s unique help meet.  Perhaps God gave me to my husband to help meet his needs.  I challenge each of you to really study and learn your husband.  What are his needs?  What is important to him?  How can you enter his world?  And yes, do initiate intimate encounters with your husband!

The greatest account of one entering another’s world is found in Philippians 2:1-11.

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

FaithAnd being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What humility!  What a servant!  What an example of leaving your world to enter another’s world!  May this be our model!

Let us leave our world and jump into our husband’s world!

Part 2~ next post!

When a Man Loves a Woman

Years ago, at a grocery store in Louisiana, Percy Sledge was checking out in front of me. Percy Sledge sang the 1966 hit song, “When a Man Loves a Woman.” He was smiling and very friendly, chatting with those around him. I wished I had asked Percy Sledge to sing a few lines from his #1 hit song, but I didn’t think of that at the time. I bet he would have done it.

The first few lines of the song goes like this:

When a man loves a woman
recordCan’t keep his mind on nothing else
He’ll trade the world
For the good thing he’s found
If she’s bad he can’t see it
She can do no wrong…

 

Pastor Warren Johnson preached a good sermon on the Bible story of Jacob and his love for Rachel. I got the idea for this post from his sermon.

The Bible story of Jacob and Rachel is what I would term, “romantic.” When Jacob saw Rachel, it was love at first sight. No one can deny that! Jacob was smitten with that first encounter. He immediately jumped into action. Even though Jacob was a homebody, Jacob was no wimp. He sheepremoved the heavy, great stone off the well and watered all Rachel’s sheep. Could Jacob have been showing off a little to impress Rachel?

“And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep: for she kept them. And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.” Genesis 29:9-11

The Hebrew meaning of “saw” is “to gaze upon.” Jacob literally could not Rachel and Jacobtake his eyes off of Rachel.

Just like the song, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” Jacob could not keep his mind on anything else. Notice Jacob’s reaction. He kissed Rachel and then wept loudly. Now, that is an unusual reaction when meeting a lady, wouldn’t you say? Why all the weeping?

Jacob’s family had sent him to find a wife amongst their relatives. In the preceding chapter, Jacob had just got right with God. Right after his experience with God, Jacob met beautiful Rachel. I think Jacob wept, because he was so overcome with joy at how God rewarded him with Rachel. He seemed to know that Rachel would be his future bride.

Our Engagement Photo 1978
Our Engagement Photo 1978

Last week, my husband shared with our Sunday School class how he and I met. Barry and I met at a Bible Study in college. I could tell Barry was interested in me, when I approached him to ask if the empty chair next to him was taken. Barry tells others, “In college, God rewarded me, when I got right with Him, by sending Linda into my life.” Aww!  Every time Barry says those words, I am humbled, because I know there have been times when I have not acted very much like a reward.

Pastor Warren wisely said that publicly acknowledging your love for your spouse is one way to safeguard your marriage from others.

It was quite clear to all the people that Jacob was head over heals about Rachel. We are to portray our love and attraction for our spouse to others, so they will say, “After all these years, those two are still crazy about each other.”

roses
Jacob was smitten with Rachel. He talked to her father about marrying Rachel. Rachel’s father wanted Jacob to work for him for 7 years. Jacob labored for love. Jacob was willing to wait 7 years in order to marry the love of his life. Wow! Seven years is 2556.7 days!  This is the most beautiful part of their love story: “And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.” Genesis 29:20

Those are some of the most romantic words ever penned.

Love~Something to think about: How do we talk about our spouse in front of others? Do others know we are still madly in love with our spouse? If we desire for our spouse to speak well of us in public, what changes in our marriage do we need to make?  “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” Proverbs 18:22

As we continue to read the Scriptures, we see that Rachel had Jacob’s love. Nevertheless, she was discontent and spiritually insensitive. How easy it is to become discontent when we are not walking close with the Lord!

  • Learn to get wisdom from daily reading God’s Word. Cry out to Him for His wisdom in your marriage.
  • Learn to bask in the living Presence of God. We can’t read the Bible all day, but our constant Companion is with us each step of the way.

marriage~Today, let us look around and count our blessings. After salvation, I hope we all list our husband as the #1 blessing from the Lord. Let us consider treating our husband as #1 blessing~ a priceless pursuit.

After all, your husband chose you out of all the others to be his bride.