Marriage, Virtue, and Discipleship in Christ

"Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord." (Proverbs 18:22 KJV)

THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN

"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.  The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.  She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.  She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."  (Proverbs 31:10-31 KJV)

THE WISE AND THE FOOLISH

"Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." (Proverbs 14:1 KJV)


NOW CONCERNING MARRIAGE

"Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.  Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God. Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away. But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God."  (1 Corinthians 7:1-40 KJV)

THE CALL OF GOD

"And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life." (Matthew 19:29 KJV)

DOES NOT CALL FOR NEGLECT

"But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."  (1 Timothy 5:8 KJV)

SUBMISSION AND LOVE

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."  (Ephesians 5:22-33 KJV)

WHAT JESUS TAUGHT ABOUT MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE
The proud religious law-keepers came to Jesus. They tried to trap Him by saying, “Does the Law say a man can divorce his wife for any reason?” He said to them, “Have you not read that He Who made them in the first place made them man and woman? It says, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will live with his wife. The two will become one.’ So they are no longer two but one. Let no man divide what God has put together.” The proud religious law-keepers said to Jesus, “Then why did the Law of Moses allow a man to divorce his wife if he put it down in writing and gave it to her?” Jesus said to them, “Because of your hard hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives. It was not like that from the beginning. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sex sins, and marries another, is guilty of sex sins in marriage. Whoever marries her that is divorced is guilty of sex sins in marriage.” His followers said to Him, “If that is the way of a man with his wife, it is better not to be married.” But Jesus said to them, “Not all men are able to do this, but only those to whom it has been given.  For there are some men who from birth will never be able to have children. There are some men who have been made so by men. There are some men who have had themselves made that way because of the holy nation of heaven. The one who is able to do this, let him do it.” (Matthew 19:3-12 NLV)
WERE ANY OF THE APOSTLES MARRIED?

According to gotquestions.org"We know for certain that Peter was married because he had a mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14). The apostle Paul, who was not married, asked the Corinthians whether he also did not have the right to take a believing wife (1 Corinthians 9:5), as did “the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas [Peter].” From this, we can assume that Peter was not the only one to have a wife."

GREAT EXAMPLES OF MARRIED COUPLES IN THE BIBLE

1) See article from timewarpwife.com: Top 6 Couples of the Bible
          a) Jacob and Rachel (Genesis 29)
          b) Hannah and Elkanah (1 Samuel 1)
          c) Esther and King Ahasuerus (Esther 1)
          d) Joseph and Mary (Luke 1)
          e) Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18)
          f) Ruth and Boaz (Ruth 1)
2) More to come...


BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF MARRIAGE GONE VERY WRONG

1) Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11 KJV)
2) Sampson and Delilah (Judges 13)
3) Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kings 16)

"LET US HEAR THE CONCLUSION OF THIS WHOLE MATTER:

Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 KJV)

Photo credit:  wallpapers13

Being Rich in Mercy

In many of the Epistles, the Apostles began with the wonderful phrase: “Grace and mercy.” (1 Timothy 1:2)  If God began writing many of His holy Letters to us in this manner, then we should do also in our own correspondence with others in the body of Christ. In the beginning of the Book of Jude we read, “Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” (Jude 1:2) Do we find it easy to wish mercy on others in abundance or are we quick to condemn? One that finds it easy to judge others has lost the perspective that he was shown much mercy from God. For it is by grace and mercy we have been saved by the blood of God’s Son.
James 2:13

In the Book of Titus it says: “Not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.” (Titus 3:5) When we start to look at another’s problems more than our own, we are in a dangerous place in our walk with the Lord. Our Lord Jesus taught a wonderful parable on mercy in Matthew 18. Sadly, it ends with the judging of the wicked servant who did not show mercy but rather had a ministry of choking others: “Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?" (Matthew 18:33) Do we demand of others what we do not accomplish ourselves?

As Jesus told the Pharisees, God considered justice, mercy and faithfulness much more important than tithing, sacrificing and being right before others. We need to get a revelation from the Lord on how important and crucial mercy is to Him. Thus, we will see it as a precious gift to share with others: “You have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” (Matthew 23:23) When we are seeking to be closer to God we must covet His wisdom and the fruit of His Spirit. Yet even these very attributes are full of mercy, bathed in mercy. Jesus taught us to love our enemies. (Matthew 5:44) We should seek to ensure there is no division by first showing great mercy to others. May our testimony be that we are as full of mercy as is our God.  (James 3:17)

We should constantly remind ourselves that we were forgiven much and therefore should show mercy to all other believers. If we do not and begin to judge and accuse others the Lord will allow us to be in a prison on this earth in our hearts: “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.” (Matthew 18:32-34)

“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement.” ( James 2:12-13)

May God fill His body with a powerful unity as we look to Christ our chief Shepherd and emulate His love, care and mercy toward others. Though we can be radical, fervent and know the Bible better than anyone near us, let us not deceive ourselves but prove our Christianity in action by exhibiting great love and mercy for all sinners and the body of Christ, our sisters and brothers.
God bless you!

REALITY OF AND PROTOCOL FOR HANDLING SIN - Including RUMORS and the SPREADING OF RUMORS ... GOSSIP and SLANDER ...

"Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:15-22 KJV)

"These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." (Proverbs 6:16-19 KJV)

"He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends." (Proverbs 17:9 KJV)

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward." (Matthew 10:34-42 KJV)

"Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause." (John 15:20-25 KJV)

"Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." (Luke 6:26-38 KJV)

God bless you in the MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS CHRIST!