Monday, April 26, 2010

Finding A Wife

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”  Proverbs 18:22
Good Counsel
 Allow me to offer  some advice to those men contemplating marriage. As it relates to finding a wife, some men find temporary companionship. Others find casual sex. Subsequently, we also find unexpected fatherhood and the responsibilities that it brings. With the exception of accepting Jesus Christ as one’s savior, finding a wife is the most important decision in a man’s life. And there is a specific process to find the right woman. 

Finders Keepers

To start, the man who is looking for a wife must initially find himself. He must find himself mature, morally disciplined, trustworthy, and financially stable. With these things in tact, he is ready to begin.  First, it is interesting that the scripture uses the word “find” which means to locate, attain or obtain by search or effort. Find also means to ascertain by study or calculation. Hence, finding a wife involves a process by which one must look and investigate. In fact, the purpose for man’s search to find a wife goes back to the second chapter of Genesis when God observes that man needs a help mate. From that point onward the search began.

The scripture goes on to say in Genesis 2:21-22 “that God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man made he a woman and brought her unto the man.” Hence, our ultimate goal as men is to locate our missing rib- your future wife. Therefore, every man must have a criteria for the specific woman for which he seeks. Besides the obvious things like attraction which consist of her looks, her build, and the way she carries herself, there are a number of other qualities to consider.

Musical artists bring a unique perspective to the topic of love. Tina Turner asks the question in a song- “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” The Beatles on the other hand assert that “All you need is love.” Actually love is a key ingredient. In fact, the Bible says in Ephesians 5:22 “that husbands should love their wives even as Christ love the church and gave himself for her.” Nevertheless, when looking for a wife, love is not the only thing that one should consider.

Attributes such as attitude, friendliness, personality, trustworthiness, honesty, character, intelligence and integrity are extremely important. In addition, religion (Is she a Christian and does she believe the way I do), culture and health status are also significant items to consider. Attitudes toward having children, cooking, and managing a home should also be discussed.

Um Um Good
Secondly, notice that the passage says that he finds a “good thing.” The right woman brings a lot of good to the man she marries. She’s a partner, co-pilot, teammate and builder together with her husband. I am reminded how my life improved for the better when I married my wife Hope. I ate better. I dressed better; I slept better. I was simply better off as a result of adding her to my life. The Bible validates this in Proverbs 31:12 which says “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Allow me to briefly address three areas of good that a wife should bring.

The woman you marry needs to be good To you. She should be an encouragement, a helper and an overall blessing in your life. The impact should be immediate and long lasting. Not only that, but the woman you marry needs to be good For you. She should complement you and enhance your destiny. Truth be told, you should be better off as a result of adding her to your life. In fact, she should upgrade your life.

Last but not least, this person (your rib) should be good With you. Together, the two of you should make a great combination. And you should also enhance and improve her life as well. In fact, the good that a wife brings to her husband goes back to the creation of man as reflected in Genesis 2:18 as the scripture says, “. . . It is not good that man should be alone. I will be make him an help meet for him.” Hence the main purpose of one’s search is not just for a pretty face, but for someone who is going to bring good to the man in his search.

Highly Favored
The scripture also says that God will grant favor to the man who finds a wife. So beyond the goodness that comes with having a wife, God will render increased blessings to a man as a result of the union of marriage. No wander the Word of God says, “What God has joined together let no man put asunder.” God has his mind set on delivering favor to the married man. In conclusion, one should not enter into a marriage lightly. Only after personal examination and diligent searching for the perspective wife, should a man move forward. This will enable one to see with clarity. 

Yes, beneath the pretty clothes and the make up, beneath the ear rings, the eye lash, and lipstick, under the beautiful eyes, soft skin, and wavy hair, far beyond the alluring appearance of her breast, hips, and buttocks, is something more meaningful than great career, will take you further than a fancy car, bring more comfort than a luxury home, and add more value than great riches; Incidentally, the right woman can help you achieve all of these things. If you are indeed blessed to make a wise decision not altered by the lust of your loins, you will have received the greatest earthly gift God gave to man: A wife

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Father Forgive Them

As we reflect upon the passion of Christ and celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, I am reminded of the gracious act of Jesus in forgiving his enemies while on the cross. In doing so- Jesus demonstrated not only grace but great power.

And after having been betrayed, denied, lied upon, beaten, scourged, spat upon, mocked, blasphemed and made to carry a rugged cross, he was then nailed to a cross to die between two thieves. And while they parted his raiment and cast lost, we see the power of forgiveness when Jesus uttered these words, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do . . .” (Luke 23:34)

It is important to know that the forgiveness of Christ extended beyond the soldiers at the cross, beyond Pontius Pilate, beyond his disciples who left him, and beyond the multitude who shouted crucify him. It extends to you and me.
Jesus could have had a legion of angels to rescue him but he choose to be a sacrificial lamb.

No longer could His hands minister to the sick, for they were nailed to a tree. No longer could His feet walk to preach the gospel, for they were fastened to the wood. No longer could He instruct His disciples, for they had forsaken Him and fled. But one thing He could do, and did — He prays!

Five Reasons Jesus Forgave his enemies
Here are five reasons why Jesus forgave his enemies. First, Jesus taught forgiveness: He was carrying out what he taught when he outlined in the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:11 –“Give us this day our daily bread and forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

Second, Jesus was merciful beyond measure. This is confirmed in Matthew 9:13 which says “but go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Third, Jesus was the example in the area of forgiveness: While Jesus did not need forgiveness because he never sinned. Nevertheless Jesus is still our example. Matthew 6:14 says “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you.”

Fourth, Jesus has power to forgive sins. Matthew 9:6 “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.”

Finally, the fifth reason Jesus forgave them was because it was a forgivable sin: Despite this horrific act, it was a forgivable sin. Jesus said in Mark 3:28 “Verily I say unto you, all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith so ever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.”

Therefore, because our Lord is gracious in mercy, he continues to forgive us of our sins. But we must ask for his forgiveness as I John 1:9 states “ if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. No matter how bad we fall; God will forgive us. Even as David said in Psalms 51, “create in me a clean heart oh Lord and renew a right spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence and take not your holy spirit from me.”

A Forgiving Heart
Not only must we seek forgiveness, but we must forgive others. Some situations are very difficult to forgive: Personal hurts such as brutality, betrayal, being lied on, and criminal acts. But we need a heart that forgives. The first step is to acknowledge the hurt. The second step is to surrender the will to get even. And finally, we must forgive as the third step in the process.

Indeed we need a heart that forgives. I’m not suggesting that you should become a floor mat and allow people to walk all over you. Neither am I recommending that there should not be consequences to the wrongdoing. In fact the words of the Bible are true in Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived God is not mocked whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.”

Nevertheless, we ought to be like Jesus and exercise forgiveness. Very often in life after a terrible harm has been done, we can not move on with our lives because we will not forgive. Sometimes we hold onto the bitterness of un forgiveness like it’s a member of our family. But don’t allow the thing that hurt you to have a double negative on your life. The first negative was the hurt you experienced from the wrong. The second negative is the bitterness and malice you allowed to develop as a result of un forgiveness

Role Models of Forgiveness
So as I prepare to bring this writing to a close, I am reminded of the countless examples in the scripture that demonstrate forgiveness: Esau forgave Jacob and embraced him despite being robbed of his birthright (Genesis 33). Consider how Joseph forgave his brothers and eventually saved their lives, despite being robbed of his coat of many colors, thrown in a pit and sold into slavery and later imprisoned (Genesis 45, 50).

Another shining example of forgiveness is seen in how Moses forgave Miriam and Aaron after Miriam complained about Moses and criticized his leadership. Even after God gave Miriam leprosy because of her acts, Moses not only forgave her but pleaded to God to heal her of her leprosy (Numbers 12). Let’s not forget how David forgave King Saul after Saul attempted three times to kill David. David had opportunities to kill Saul but instead spared his life. David would later honor Saul in his death (I Samuel 24-26, II Samuel 1)

Even in the church among fellow Christians, we must show forgiveness. The same way the disciples forgave Saul of Tarsus who formerly persecuted the Saints of God and was active in the stoning of Stephen. But Barnabus brought him unto the disciples who accepted him. And of course the ultimate act of forgiveness was displayed in Christ death on the Cross. There is power in forgiveness.