Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 18 Number 8 August 2016
Page 4

Biblical Principles for Married Life

Clarence Lavender

It was reported on a segment of the CBS News that an unbelievable amount of wife beating occurred. Every 15 seconds in America, a wife is beaten by her husband. Friend, any man who would strike a woman is a coward!

The January 18, 1994 edition of Time magazine had an article entitled, “Till Death Do Us Part.” It was about women who, after years of abuse, kill their husbands.

Take for instance, Rita Collins, whose husband was a military recruiter. She reported he said to her, “You are old, fat, crazy and have no friends, and I will take care of you.” His care included “threats with a knife, punches, a kick to the stomach that caused a hemorrhage.” She said, “He’d slam me up against doors. He gave me a black eye, bruises. Winter and summer, I’d go to work like a Puritan, with long sleeves.”

Mr. Collins must have hated himself very much to have treated his wife with such brutality. The articles says, “She tried to get out. She filed for divorce, got a restraining order, filed an assault and battery charge against him, forced him from the house they had bought with a large chunk of her money when they retired to Florida. Yet still, she says, he came night after night banging on doors trying to break the locks."

She says she remembers her husband’s face, the glassy eyes and a knife in his hands. “To this day I don’t remember pulling the trigger.”

Rita Collins is in a Florida prison. Personally, I know that the taking of anyone’s life is wrong, but I hope that she will receive clemency on the grounds of self-defense and be released.

Brethren, are you aware of the fact that more women in America are injured by men in their lives than by car accidents, muggings and rape combined? In addition, 22 to 35 percent of all visits by females to emergency rooms are for injuries from domestic assaults?

In 1991, some four million women were beaten and 1,320 murdered in domestic attacks, and 622 women killed their husbands or boyfriends. The women have become the lightning rods for debate since their circumstances and their responses were most extreme.

Talk about injustice in the system, The Battered Women’s Justice Center has found that the average sentence for a woman who kills her husband is 15 to 20 years while for a man it is 2 to 6 years.

There is a “hot line” in our country for about everything, but there is no number, no national resource for people seeking information about domestic violence. Who said that this is the year of the woman?

The article in Time asks, “What about shelter facilities? They are inadequate. New York has about 1,300 beds for a state of 18 million people. In 1990, the Baltimore Zoo spent twice as much money to care for animals as the state of Maryland spent on shelters for victims of domestic violence.”

[Editor’s Note: Aside from the biblical source and God Who through the Holy Spirit is its Author, Ephesians 5:22-33 is a logical and a practical resource for the best possible married life for either Christians or non-Christians. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]

In Covenant with God

Robert Johnson

Robert JohnsonBy definition, the word “covenant” means an agreement or promise, usually under seal between two or more parties, especially for the performance of some action. In times past, one could attend a marriage ceremony and hear how the couple had “covenanted” together. It refers to their coming together as husband and as wife, and being faithful to keep the promises made to each other as such. The concept of “covenant” is prevalent in the pages of Scripture as well. There are covenants where God is solely responsible for the conditions of the covenant, as in His covenant with Noah not to destroy the world with a flood anymore. The Law of Moses, however, carried conditions on both parties, where God promised to bless the Israelites as His people if they were faithful in keeping the conditions of the covenant. It is expressed in the phrase, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be My people” (Leviticus 26:12).

When we come in obedience to the Gospel, we enter a covenant relationship with God through the blood of Christ. Christ’s covenant is far better than that of the Law (Hebrews 12:24). The terms of this covenant contain God’s promises to us as His people. “In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you’” (Luke 22:20). “By His own choice, He gave us a new birth by the message of truth so that we would be the first fruits of His creatures” (James 1:18). “By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires” (2 Peter 1:4).

The terms of this covenant bring us into a relationship of commitment and faithfulness to God. “But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘Be holy, because I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16). “Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me’” (Luke 9:23). “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

There are no blessings the world can offer that compare with being in a covenant relationship with God through Christ! Access to the Father and the cleansing of the blood of Christ bring forgiveness, grace, love, mercy, hope and more. However, what if one decides to live for self instead? What if one wants God to keep His part of the covenant, but not live as one in covenant with Him should? The Hebrew writer, in speaking to those who were engaged in deliberate sin (10:26) reminded them, “How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29). Paul also said, “Therefore, consider God’s kindness and severity: severity toward those who have fallen but God’s kindness toward you – if you remain in His kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off” (Romans 11:22).

There is no reason one should know the severity of God’s judgment except by one’s own choice. Why forsake the covenant when living in it offers the best? In this day and age, it’s too easy to blame anything and everyone for one’s behavior, or to simply deny one is doing what displeases God. Such is a denial of the covenant we committed ourselves by which to live, to obey and to give ourselves completely. May we be renewed in the covenant God offers us in Christ, of all that God promises and delivers, and of all we can and should be in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

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