Tag Archives: honor

For the Men in My Daughters’ Lives

The world we live in suggests, no, demands, that we conduct our marriages as though they are a perpetual power struggle. 50/50 and egalitarian marriages would have us counting beans and tallying scorecards the livelong day.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Real traditional marriage, not the caricature bandied about by its detractors, calls us to a higher place, and a better one. Love does not keep its eye on the balances to make sure my side of the scale isn’t heavier than yours. The Biblical model is one in which I stop defending my own interests and care more about my spouse’s; and care most about the sacred trust we’ve got called Our Marriage.

We are called to care for each other to a counterintuitive and astonishing degree. Self-sacrifice on both sides is the way of life called for in marriage.

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.  “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25

Lest you think this language is hyperbole, and that you probably won’t be called upon to put it into action unless you’re aboard the Titanic II, letting your wife get on the lifeboat while you remain on deck, let me assure you that you are living this every day. Or you’re not.

You are called to lay down your life for her, and she for you, every day.

As a wife I might do this by simply being kind and engaged with my husband when life is distracting and irritating. Or I might pour my effort into creating a warm and comfortable home, managing resources economically, doing my part in raising self-directed and wise children to adulthood, or promoting kind and considerate behavior. If you’re wondering why I call this “laying down your life”, you probably haven’t tried it.

As the man in the equation, one of the ways you can lay down your life is by taking care of your wife. Protect her, defend her. Speak up when she is disrespected. Your wife (or fiancé) is probably tough and tenacious, nevertheless, you ought to take care of her like she’s a fragile and precious treasure.

Protection is not based on the weakness or inability of the protected. We protect what we value. We protect our loved ones because they are ours; unique and irreplaceable.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. I Peter 3:7

If someday you have children together, she will have the minute-by-minute responsibility to oversee your children.  She will be making decisions constantly on the minutiae of managing a household and X number of people all at various stages of development. At the same time, she must keep her reactions to the stress to herself, which requires wisdom, patience, perseverance, energy, selflessness. In practical terms she must think about them rather than herself throughout every day.

That last one is where you come in. Your responsibility is to think about her when she doesn’t have the luxury.  Guard her needs, her dignity, her health. You will look out for her while she looks out for the kids. Keep in mind that you must take this responsibility because she may not. Don’t wait for her to ask for help.

Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33

You say she’s the strong one? The one with the ideas? A driven career woman? Your job description doesn’t change.

Let’s not join in with the world’s nonsense thinking. Don’t ask her to do your job and hers.  Did you think managing and physically maintaining a home, and nurturing and raising children was not a full time job? Did she have lots of free time on her hands with nothing to do? Was she not pulling her weight? Or was that job not meaningful enough?

Each couple’s response to economic reality is personal, and I won’t second-guess a working wife’s wisdom.  But neither of you should buy into the new paradigm that leaves unquestioned the premise that women’s lives are only meaningful when they contribute their share to the world of work.

Please don’t ask her to do her job, and expect her to earn her half of the economic partnership. One career added to a 24/7/365 task is more burden than you can carry; why do you expect it of the one God calls the weaker vessel?

Remember in what way Jesus Christ “gave up his life for her”, the church. The Church is us, all of us who believe in Jesus as the Son of God, the Redeemer who died on the cross as a substitute for us sinners who deserve the punishment. He who was without sin willingly became the sin-bearer:

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.

He made himself utterly vulnerable; he did not protect or reserve himself.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7

He gave his life for her even when she didn’t understand or appreciate it. He did it because he had created her with infinite value and he had a claim on her; she was his. This was no selfish motive…her true home was with him, and to wander from home would be tragic and destructive for her.

He had created Her, yet he died to make her his own forever.

He gave to the uttermost; he gave everything for His Church, his Bride. What does this look like for a guy in his everyday life? How will you lay down your life for your bride?

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The End of the Honeymoon?

I have a complaint about this concept of the “end of the honeymoon.” I hear from all parts that inevitable disappointment awaits every bride after she has been married awhile. That all women feel it after the newness has worn off. When we are advised to adjust our unrealistic expectations. When we are advised to resign ourselves to his shortcomings.

Oh, I didn’t realize he was a human being. Why didn’t anyone tell me? It’s never supposed to occur to me that he might be noticing my shortcomings now too.

Christian sources tell us to make the best of our now permanently lowered expectations. Elisabeth Elliot, I suspect charitably attempting to meet women where they are, offered this advice:

A wife at that stage of marriage realizes this is not exactly the man she envisioned before the wedding ceremony. This person whom she thought was a prize package has turned out to be a surprise package. But the more you can offset the differences in your personalities and the way you respond to each other, the more you can learn to enjoy this man.

My husband once made the statement: “If a woman conceded the fact that her husband was perhaps up to 80 percent of her expectations, she ought to consider herself very lucky.” Still, what’s she going to do with the other 20 percent?

You can pick away at that 20 percent for the rest of your life, but you’re not going to reduce it by very much. One of the secrets of a good marriage is learning to accept with gladness the 80 percent you’ve got.

I have been married to my husband for 31 years and I seem to have missed the Disappointment Memo.

I am no idiot, I’m no marriage genius, and I’m just as human as anybody else. There are no rose-colored glasses. He is not perfect. He’s human.

We have been through the same sorts of challenges which are common to most marriages, as well as our own particular troubles. Undiagnosed chronic illness which included nine months in bed and all the attendant emotions and turmoil. We’ve raised six extraordinary and sometimes emotionally difficult people. (Sorry kids.) We’ve experienced extended unemployment, financial stress, depressions, sorrows, disappointments, and cosmic bewilderment.

We’ve seen each other at our worst. In marriage, this is absolutely inevitable. When you get married, you make a choice to face a future containing the most stressful, emotionally difficult times you will ever experience. You will work side-by-side at a life full of responsibilities that will be as much as you can bear. More than you bear; you will be overwhelmed. You will see the worst of each other.

How did we do this without becoming disappointed? You’ll have to ask him for his answer; I guarantee it will reflect well on him. How have I avoided disappointment?

It’s very simple. I never wanted to go there.  I did not WANT to be disappointed. I did not want to believe negatives about him.  I didn’t give myself the opportunity.  It was intuitive and automatic.  I didn’t think about it—I just did not do it.

WHY would I want to think that my companion for life was a disappointment? It sounds self-defeating to me.

I did not want to believe that I was better than him.

For a short-term feeling of superiority, we will plant seeds of discontent in our own gardens. God gives us the person he created to be our spouse from the foundation of the world, moves heaven and earth to help us find each other, and we choose to be disappointed.

Ah, but that little thing we can feel superior about…we can replay it over and over in our minds. We can relish that feeling of outrage and self-righteousness again and again.  It’s really worth it, right?

Meanwhile, we can ever-so-slightly pull away from him, allowing that self-interested item to build a little wall between us. We can feel OK about not respecting him, on this issue at least.  We’re justified. We’re being realistic. Because it would be foolish not to see it, right?

Foolish it is. Don’t I acknowledge that I have become ONE with my husband? I chose him. We two have become one, at once both a hardly-comprehensible mystical union formed by the hand of God, and a practical, functional team toiling about the real business of daily life on Earth.

How do I believe that, live it, and yet step aside and pull for myself, against him? It’s one way or the other.

 

 

In Marriage, Set the Bar High

Here’s how it works:
If you set the bar low on your relationship, you will both live down to expectations.
If you set the bar high, you will probably both live up to expectations.

And you set the bar.

Remember that after you’re married, you are a union.

But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

That union is stronger than you, or him, and even stronger than you + him if this were any other kind of relationship. You will have become one, two individuals with souls and spirits joined together into truly one flesh, one being. The strength comes from things that we can only feebly understand because it is a mystical equation worked out at the beginning of Creation by a Supreme Mathematician whose very being is love. He adds to our 1+1 so that it equals infinitely more than 2. He adds love to the mix, love so crazy selfless that we cannot comprehend.

What does that really mean? All of your being will be joined to all of his being like two droplets of water joined to one, like two branches of the same vine intertwining again so closely that the two can no longer be distinguished from one another.

You can open up to partaking of that vast unconditional love; or you can DIY and hope you don’t run your relationship into the ground. Your choice.

How many marriages have you seen in which the two partners still seem to see themselves as individuals promoting their own self-interest in opposition to their spouse? They actually seem to believe that they can hurt their spouse and improve their own position.

This should never be the way with you, my friend; not for one second.
What you sow into the marriage, you will both reap. If you add your bit of poison to the relationship, you poison it for yourself. What you do to him, you do to yourself.

And you do to that sacred relationship that has been handed to you from God in heaven. Sometimes I feel like this is a secret known to very few. We always understood, somehow, that our love was a gift, an entity separate from me or him, always to be highly esteemed and valued. We would never think of trespassing against that sacred gift; it didn’t entirely belong to us. We would have to answer to the Giver for how well we honored that gift.

This is one reason why 50-50 relationships don’t work. They are built on a false premise which understands marriage as only a mechanical arrangement between two de facto competing individuals. 50% + 50% never equals 100%, even if the parties could explain exactly what 100% would look like in their marriage. Another reason is that those two are alone in that marriage, without that Supreme Mathematician; 1 + 1 = 2.

Setting the bar high means truly living out the “Love Chapter”, I Corinthians 13.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

Have you ever known someone who thought so well of you, loved you so affectionately, that you wanted to be just the way they thought of you? Setting the bar high means choosing to be inspired like that by your husband.  If you admire him, let that compel you to respond with a faithful reach to be better than you are. Be who he thinks you are when he loves you best.

Set the bar so high that you may never reach it. That way you keep improving.

The Waning of Desire: Thoughts on Modesty and Its Opposite

In our media culture, sex is portrayed as explosive, all-consuming, and irresistible.
Sex is everywhere. Or at least a caricature of it is.

Dancing now consists of real physical contact with only minimal clothing to separate partners. Young couples post “exercise” videos in which they mimic sexual positions with, again, only a layer of clothing to keep it unconsummated. I’ve seen beautiful young couples lying in a park on top of one another in skimpy bathing suits.
And then they laugh, get up, and walk away.

I am aghast. Not at their boldness, but at their impotence.

Because contact such as this is supposed to result in a particular response, and it doesn’t. They are doing things which ought to rev them up, but it does not seem to. The most powerful impulse known to mankind has lost its power over them.

As a culture, we have managed to desensitize ourselves to sex.

Do you remember gloves? It used to be that proper attire for a lady included gloves. Not winter gloves for warmth, but thin little white gloves with your daytime dress, thin long black gloves to the upper arm with your evening gown, gloves to wear to a prom or a dance.
A generation earlier, and women wore gloves and hats with their dresses anywhere but at home.

Why gloves? Because everyone understood that even the touch of hands could be potent.

In a potentially romantic setting such as a dance or a ball, romance was the object. But outright sexual provocation was not. Sex was understood as having a proper context; an ideal place, time and circumstance was expected to be achieved for intimacy to happen.

Brides often wear gloves still. And veils. What could that mean?

When I see someone who is dressed modestly on purpose, I see someone who might understand how powerful sex is. This is a person who respects sex enough to give it its own place. This is a person who has the potential to experience sexual intimacy full-strength later in life.

And I fear that the person with no modesty is a person who has little understanding of his or her own power, and who might pass over an ocean looking for a series of little glasses of water.

When sexually explicit messages and images are calling for your attention everywhere, what is being reflected is not sexual satisfaction but sexual emptiness. If you’re accustomed to eating satisfying home-cooked meals, do you constantly cruise the fast-food joints? If your bank account is in the millions, do you go on a search for pennies on the ground?

If you can count on a satisfying sexual experience of your own within a faithful and emotionally supportive relationship, you will not be interested in thinly veiled soft porn, no matter how relentlessly it is offered.

And since sex fills not only physical desires, other kinds of hunger are unfulfilled as well. People in our culture are thirsting greatly for emotional connection, true fidelity, and a unique oneness with one person. These things are not found in the crass caricature of sex that we see in our world.

People hunger for something sublime and special. And we teach everyone everywhere, even children, to seek the distorted echo of something real. There are hints of this in chick flicks, Disney romances and popular vampire lore. But the fulfillment offered is less than satisfying: impotent and gender-vague at its best and soft porn at its worst. What is sad is that this popular version of sex cannot deliver what it promises. Computer altered media stars and airbrushed almost naked ads cannot satisfy.

I think those modest people are on to something.

 

The User: A Primer

Have you ever been used? Can you spot a user?

The user is a clever creature who uses your good nature in order to get you to do what he wants when you might choose not to do the same if asked honestly.

It is beyond my expertise to attribute these behaviors to mental conditions or to personality types. This person could be acting on the impulse of any of several pathologies, or none. Our purpose is, first, to recognize the user; and second, to avoid being a user.

You thought I was going to tell you how to avoid being used.

As a follower of Christ, I probably ought to be ashamed of my perspective about this.  I’ll be transparent with you:  I haven’t figured out how to deal with people like this yet. But I do believe that in order to intentionally love all people as we are called to do, we must begin with realistic assessment.

Here is my handy Red Flags and Characteristics of the User Guide:

He imposes his will on other people.

While imposing, he seems all the while like an innocent snowflake.  Seeming not to impose is essential to his method. He wants what he wants, and will get it.

She expects you to conform to her plans. She may lie or manipulate to get you to go along.

The user may have several different personas handy. He dons and discards personalities intuitively and seamlessly according to situation.

The user will drop your name if he thinks the connection is to his advantage. Your name is used as an endorsement of his character or social standing. Accept the compliment but beware.

To some users, the victim card is indispensable. Beware: this is a desperate user.

The user seems to lack an adequate amount of respect for other human beings.

While he seeks to have control over the situation, the important factor is not the control itself, but to get what he wants. Well, some users like the control too.

How to Get Used

How do you get used? Some of us, the saying goes, have signs on our backs. We tend to find ourselves in this situation over and over. This person is able to value other human beings based on how well they serve his desires. Most people expect others to relate to them at face value.

You, the used, do not recognize what’s happening until it’s too late. This is because the situation looks so innocuous at first…who could object? But after you’ve made the commitment, the conditions change.
You agree to do X and after third parties are included you find that by agreeing to X, you must also do Y, Z, A, B, and C. You agree to drive someone to a party and find out as you go out the door that you’re picking up three people on the way who can’t go if you don’t. You must host the party with the flu because several guests have nowhere else to go on a holiday.  It’s inconvenient for the user to do it. You’ve been supportive and friendly only to find you’ve been drafted onto one side of a family war.

And here is the real genius of the user. This person will anticipate your attempts to do as you had planned, and even your attempts to resist her control. You will be unwilling to anticipate her manipulation as too cynical. She is way ahead of you. You will find that, before you suspect anything, you have been maneuvered into a position, and the only escape open to you is to be a big fat jerk.

In order to not be used, you will have to make a big fuss and insist on not giving an old man Christmas dinner, or some such awful thing. You want to stand your ground. But here’s your choice at that point: be petty, or be used.

She will be cool as a cucumber and ask what you’re excited about.

So, unwilling to be petty, you retreat, and get used. The real pro user will use you even while you know you’re being used, and they know you know you’re being used, and you can’t do a thing about it. No matter your defenses, you will end up playing  on his terms.

And it’s a real pro who will manage to make you feel used even while you are doing a good thing which you would gladly have done anyway.

 

Don’t Be a User

At this point, I ought to say that many users don’t know they’re users. They’ve been living this way all their lives. It’s as natural to them as breathing and it works. They just think they’re unusually charming.

Here’s the bad news. You might have creeping userism. Don’t be a user. Here’s why.

1. It is un-Christlike to be a user. If you are a professing Christian of any kind, this should matter.

Phil 2: 3-8: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[b] being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Matthew 20:28:…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

John 6: 38: For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.

John 12:49: For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak.

2. The people you love will not be able to trust you. This is important. The people you love may be guarded with you because they are looking out for the next time you try to take advantage. It will create distance in your relationships.

3. You are training yourself to be selfish. The longer you go along with your user habits, the harder it will be to change. Start fighting it now!

4. You will never really be happy this way. You are designing a life defined by dissatisfaction. Otherwise why would you be trying to change things? Instead, decide to live a life marked by contentment. It takes a lot of energy to control other people; it’s stressful. Go easy on yourself.

 

How Not to Be a User

1. Have respect for other human beings. Everyone’s time is as valuable as yours. Everyone’s efforts are as costly as yours are to you. Value other people’s time, energy and hospitality.

2. Don’t impose your will on others. Don’t include someone in your plans without his prior consent.

3. Ask for the help that you want or need. Understand that you are asking and not demanding. Understand that the askee is entirely free to say “no.” There should be no negative repercussions for his choice to opt out; he is a human with free will and self-determination.

4. Ask for what you honestly want. The askee has the right to know all details that pertain to her participation, so that she can make a truly informed decision. There must be no surprises.

5. Neither emotional manipulation or social pressure should ever be used in order to get another person to do as you wish. This includes hinting, pouting and stories of victimhood.

6. Live honestly. Portray yourself as best you can as you really are.

7. Respect relationship statuses. A breakup is a breakup. You lose all rights to your ex. Call someone else for a ride, emotionally lean on someone else.
Also, honor your family as your family; don’t invent new parents/brothers/sisters out of friends and acquaintances because your real ones have been used up.

8. Learn to be humble. In humility you will appreciate the value of other people.

9. Be selfless. Look for ways to do things for other people in ways that don’t benefit you.

10. Develop an appreciation for the kindness of other people. It feels good when you understand that others have been helpful and caring to you out of the kindness of their hearts.

 

How to Avoid Being Used

Alas. Don’t be useful. Let me know if you figure it out.

Prove All Things Part 3

Please see Prove All Things Part 1 and Prove All Things Part 2

     The Word of God says that Christians have been given all the tools and the abilities necessary to think more clearly than anyone, to see the truth absolutely clearly, to discern wrong from right, to be able to discern in all matters.  Abundant power is at our disposal to act on those judgments.

We’re expected to study, search, think and mediate on His word, and  trust that we will find the answers to our questions.  God can speak!

 Ps 119:97-101:Oh how I love your law! I meditate on it day and night

Your commands make me wiser than my enemies.I have more insight than all my teachers

I have more understanding than all the elders, for I obey your precepts

I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I may obey your word

You have the mind of Christ. We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor 10:5

How about this verse for clarity?

Evil people don’t understand justice,

but those who seek Adonai understand everything. Proverbs 28: 5

     We never need to consult the wisdom of the world on any important matter. It offers us no reliable or true guide in the making of decisions.

What happens when we don’t use the standard?

     ‘Error, superstition, bigotry, and fanaticism attempt to repress free discussion, by saying that there are certain things which are too sacred in their nature, or which have been too long held, or which are sanctioned by too many great and holy names, to permit their being subjected to the scrutiny of common eyes, or to be handled by common hands. In opposition to all this, Christianity requires us to examine everything – no matter by whom held; by what councils ordained; by what venerableness of antiquity sustained; or by what sacredness it may be invested. We are to receive no opinion until we are convinced that it is true; we are to be subjected to no pains or penalties for not believing what we do not perceive to be true; we are to be prohibited from examining no opinion which our fellow-men regard as true, and which they seek to make others believe. No popular current in favor of any doctrine; no influence which name and rank and learning can give it, is to commend it to us as certainly worthy of our belief. By whomsoever held, we are to examine it freely before we embrace it; but when we are convinced that it is true, it is to be held, no matter what current of popular opinion or prejudice maybe against it; no matter what ridicule may be poured upon it; and no matter though the belief of it may require us to die a martyr’s death.” -Barnes

     We are fully equipped to be leaders in this culture. What’s more, we have a lot of freedom in this particular culture to exercise that leadership.  I think we squander that opportunity. We have conformed to the culture of this world.

Why don’t we lead?  Why do we follow the blind?

     How much have we conformed? We have bought the premises  that we Christians are a marginal sub-culture; that we are nearly powerless to influence the world around us; that it is too uncomfortable to move out of step  with the world around us. We act out of the fear of man when we look to our peers for reassurance in making major life decisions.  We put ourselves under the influence of peer pressure. And worst of all, we don’t even question those other sources; we don’t apply discernment or wise counsel from an unquestionable source which is freely available to us. We don’t test all things.

We want our families to look like everyone else’s. We don’t want our kids to feel different, and to be left out.

And we certainly don’t want to be identified with those Christians who … fill in the blank.

Be careful. Perhaps those Christians with whom we are so uncomfortable are doing exactly what God is telling them to do. He may even be trying to tell you something similar.

We have conformed to the world’s thinking when we believe we have a right to maintain a standard of living like our neighbors, a standard which is comparable to royalty at any other time or place. We have completely bought the world’s under-evaluation of women and mothers in the home.  We act as though we ought to seek the world’s good opinion in the court of popular culture.  We have an aversion to extremes, when truth is truth, no matter where it leads.  We have adopted the world’s definition of relationships, and the world’s standard for conducting relationships.  We willingly share cynicism and pessimism with a hopeless world. We assert that we have the right to make decisions to suit ourselves which would impact His kingdom!

In our women’s Bible study last week, we were looking at David facing Goliath. He was the only man among all the men in the nation of Israel who wanted to challenge the giant.  He was a man after God’s own heart.

But what made him different?  You could name a lot of things about David that made him special, things that end up making him a magical kind of person who could do what he did.  But I think it comes down to one thing.  Those other soldiers who weren’t willing were no cowards in battle. But they were all thinking with the group, responding to peer pressure. David was the only one who was willing to step out of the crowd and act on the behalf of God’s name and reputation.

We have to be willing to do the same.  God wanted all of the Israelites to be like David—and they could have been.  There was nothing magical about David.

David also knew that God would give the victory—it wasn’t up to David.  He could step forward out of that crowd because he trusted God to do as He had said.

We act as though everything is up to us to orchestrate and make happen.  But God is there! God has a special place and task for you if you step forward out of the crowd, and listen to Him instead of the voices in the world.

Now all of us, if we’re believers, have already stepped out in a major way!  We already have declared that we’re different from the rest of the world.  We believe we are willing to suffer for our beliefs. But are we willing to suffer for being different?

Here’s the application to Titus 2:3:

The decisions that women make…all women, married, single with families or without….define the culture.

2 Timothy 1:7: For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

     We must step out from the crowd.  We must wade against the relentless current. Our culture is not to be trusted for sound advice for walking a Christian’s path. We must recognize that we are necessarily, positionally living lives which are in opposition to the world’s purposes. We have to expect to be different!

     How much do we impact the culture by our distinctiveness…and how much can we…if we become people who really prove all things, and who live every bit of our lives acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus Christ?

Who is the person who fears Adonai?

He will teach him the way to choose.

He will remain prosperous,

and his descendants will inherit the land. Psalm 25: 12-13

 

 

 

Men Who Fear

My prayer is that the men in my family, my husband, my three sons and my three daughters’ future husbands would be men who fear God.

Men who fear?  I do not want them to be fearful men. My prayer is really this:  that they would not fear people, but would fear God.   That they would not be influenced and driven by what others might think, or timid because they may upset someone. Proverbs 29:25 says, ”Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Fear is contrasted with trust in God.

I pray that they would be men who care what God thinks; that is what is meant by “fear of God.” That they would be influenced by how God sees a matter, and that they would put what God thinks above what anyone else may think about it. That they would do right because it is right, confident that it is right, because they care what God thinks is right more than they fear how others may react.

There, by the way, is peace. There is confidence and real strength. There is nobility.