Archive | January 2011

Adam’s Rib

We’ve all seen weddings either in person or on screen. The bride, adorned in white and a touch of blue hidden, stands before her husband as she repeats after the minister the traditional marriage vow: “…for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.” That seriously can’t be all that marriage is. I did a little digging. Apparently there are a few other versions of the traditional vow, such as, “…I promise to… support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live,” which is kind of along the same lines I’m getting to.
There is more to the role of a wife than is found in those vows. Truthfully we should love everyone for better or for worse, wealth or lack thereof, sickness or health. It’s common human decency to show concern for all people no matter what their station is in life or their access to health insurance. You would think the man a woman chooses to spend the rest of her life with, the one she chose from the other 3.5 billion men in the world would receive a more personal, unique promise tailored to him. 
Let’s start from the beginning. In Genesis 2:21-22 is written, “So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman form the rib he had taken out of man, and brought her to the man.”
God created Eve because Adam did not have a suitable helper in the garden (Genesis 2:20). He plucked a rib from Adam’s chest, formed woman and presented her to Adam. It was Eve’s job to act as Adam’s helper. Merriam-Webster defines helper as an “unskilled worker who assists a skilled worker”. We can assume that Adam was well-versed in the duties of the garden and Eve, being a newbie, would act as his assistant.
Literally, Eve was Adam’s rib. The duties of a wife go beyond that of companionship, just as ribs provide more than physical structure to the body. Once married, the wife no longer has just her own life to care for. She takes her position at her husband’s side as his rib. What is the purpose of a rib, more specifically, the ribcage? The ribcage protects the organs in the thoracic cavity, such as, the lungs and heart. All of which perform important functions of the body.
 The purpose of the lungs is to take in air and oxygenate our blood. Breath is symbolic of the spirit of man. The spirit is the life source and breath of the physical man – without the spirit the body dies. In saying that it is important that a wife not suffocate the spirit of her husband, but like the ribcage, expand, allowing him room to grow and live to his full potential. A wife that is rigid and restrictive, risks crushing her husband’s spirit, halting his rise to become the man that God created him to be.
The heart works continuously, 24 hours a day. Just as a man’s dreams never cease to seek fulfillment. In scripture, the heart is symbolic of the seat of a person’s desires, emotions, and dreams. The spirit (lungs) of man breathes life into the desires and dreams (heart) of a man.  The heart is situated almost in the center of the chest, carefully enclosed by the ribcage protecting it from blows from outside. The role of a wife is to encourage and nurture her husband’s aspirations; deflecting negativity. She should not be a dream killer. A man without a vision (dream) is undisciplined and unfocused (Proverbs 29:18). Without purpose, a man wanders aimlessly and unfulfilled through life.
On the other hand, ribs can also cause more damage than good. If a rib pierces a lung or heart, it can cause irreparable damage. A wife lashing out in anger can injure more than a marriage, but the man she took a vow to protect. Be angry and do not sin (Psalm 4:4). Sin in this instance can also mean “a breakdown in a personal relationship” (NIV Key Word Study Bible).
In conclusion, being a wife is more than just being her husband’s best friend in good and bad times and bedside nurse in times of sickness, but stand beside him when doubt threatens to overcome his faith and encourage him when his dreams hit an obstacle. He needs more than chicken noodle soup but someone who will always be in his corner, allow his spirit to grow, and shield him when he lacks the strength to do so for himself.

What becomes of a man with a broken spirit? What is a man with unfulfilled dreams? To the men, I say, choose your wife carefully. The wrong decision may result in spiritual collapse (respiratory distress) along with blurred vision and delayed success (cardiac arrest).

~ Tyson N. Taylor~ 
Randomnessofpurposefulart

This was passed on to me and I found it so intriguing that I had to post it. I am in agreement with it.

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Life is Precious

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14
 

Why does a mom—even a dad travel hundreds of miles to be at the bedside of their daughter or daughter-in-law, as they deliver their grandbaby? When an infant enters the room in it’s mother’s arms, why do people stop, stare and adore the little one? Because life means something—it is a gift of God that reminds humans of His glory and goodness.

When we look at a newborn’s feet, we see the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father. When we hold their hand and count their fingers, we feel the comfort of the Holy Spirit. And when we look deep into their innocent eyes, we see the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, reminding us of His infinite existence. God’s glory glows through His divine handiwork.
 
Almighty God’s creation begins at conception where He instructs in wisdom and faithfulness. The Lord’s school of salvation is in session through nine prayerful months. The mother’s baby knows he or she is loved and cared for by Christ. And sin is aware of this holy force of faith in God, even as the life of the baby takes shape in the warm womb.

“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place” (Psalm 51:5-6).

Therefore—life is precious—because God says it is precious. It is precious at conception. It is precious through all three trimesters and birth. It is precious as a child learns to walk and talk. Life is precious when they go off to pre-school, learn how to read, ride a bicycle and drive a car. It is precious through dating, college and marriage. Life is precious in middle age, the golden years and death. Praise God, life is precious in the eyes of eternity.

So, as a child of God, praise Him for the grandeur of His glorious creation—formed in the womb and birthed with glad tidings. A spiritual life honors physical life. It’s when the spiritual life is neglected that physical life is neglected and marginalized. God-fearing people fight for the life of the unborn, the born, the handicapped, the orphaned, the diseased and the terminal. Life is precious for those who love Jesus and who are wise to His ways.

“Before I was born the LORD called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name” (Isaiah 49:1b).

Do I value life, as the Lord values life? How can I humbly and prayerfully protect life?

Related Readings: Psalm 71:6; Isaiah 49:4-6; Jeremiah 1:5; Galatians 1:14-16

Truth Tellers

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“I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.” Amos 7:14-15
 
Surround yourself with truth tellers—those who define reality for you. They are not intimidated to speak the truth with grace and directness. Their only fear is God. Pray for gifted truth tellers who have a God-given innateness to discern situations, people, and a wise course of action. Sometimes their counsel will not be what you want to hear.
 
However, if you are wise you will listen anyway. Do not allow your ego or pride to run rough shod over a truth teller. Do not marginalize them because what they have to say makes you uncomfortable or even upset. Make sure you value and even celebrate truth tellers in your life. They are few and far between, so latch on to the one the Lord sends.

Even when the spirit of a truth teller is not stellar, still listen. Get beyond your hurt feelings and learn from the truth. “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” (Proverbs 27: 6). It is better to receive a slight injury from the truth early on than to be bludgeoned by it later. Receive truth tellers into your life and you will be better positioned to receive the blessings of God.

Moreover, make sure you hear truth from someone steeped in the word of God, as it’s penetrating and life changing. You cannot be confronted with God’s word and stay the same. You will either recoil in apathy or respond in humility and growth. Do not be satisfied to stay the same. Hold the plumb line of God’s standards over your morals and ethics. Then conform your behavior into those eternal patterns of living.
 
Pitiful is the man or woman who is surrounded by only those who tell them what they want to hear, instead of wisely surrounding themselves with those who will tell them what they need to hear. Take an inventory of your close personal advisors. Have you created an environment of openness and confrontation by giving them permission to hold you accountable? Is there fear of reprisal or are they rewarded for challenging your thinking and/or behavior? Truth tellers are a gift from God, so cherish and value them.

Look for ways to enhance their abilities even more. Maybe there is a need to engage a personal coach who has no agenda other than God’s best for you. Someone who can help you define your God given priorities and hold you accountable to execute them in a wise and systematic way. Receiving truth leads to liberty, so enjoy your freedom in obedience!

“Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31b-32).

Who do I need to listen to and learn from who is telling me the truth?