|Volume 21 Number 4 April 2019||
“Love your wives and be not bitter against them” (Colossians 3:19). It will take time for wives to grow in submission, but husbands need to remember that the command to obey is for the wife to submit and not for the husband to force her to submit.
Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it and to love their wives as their own bodies (Ephesians 5:25-28). Putting yourself, your work or anything else ahead of her is not consistent with this command. The goal is to encourage (not demand) the wife to grow to be holy and without blemish (spiritually). This love requires time, attention and a sincere concern for her physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
The wisdom that is from above is gentle, peaceable and easy to be entreated (James 3:17). God told Abraham to listen to Sarah. Changing one’s mind is not a sign of weakness (Genesis 21:12).
Obey your husbands as it is fit in the Lord (Colossians 3:18). What is “fit” is for wives to be subject to their husbands “in everything” as the church is to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-24). The only exception would be if he commanded her to disobey God (Acts 5:29). The husband’s authority is in matters of judgment. Submitting only when you agree with him or think he knows what he’s talking about is not submission. A woman merely having short hair is a dishonor to her husband (1 Corinthians 11:5). How serious, then, are rebellious words and deeds towards him? “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that makes ashamed is as rottenness in his bones” (Proverbs 12:4).
Train your children; don’t discourage them. “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Colossians 3:21). “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
God puts the responsibility on the fathers for how the children are raised. Fathers need to be actively involved in the rearing (training) of their children. Providing for them physically is important, but the main job is to train them (Proverbs 22:6).
Mothers have a responsibility to train children, too. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it“ (Proverbs 22:6). Love your children and be keepers at home (Titus 2:4-5). “Keepers at home” literally means, “house guard,” not just guarding their bodies, but most importantly, their souls.
Mothers have to learn from older Christian women how to have God’s love towards their children: this means they have to learn how to train the children the right way. “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed“ (Titus 2:3-5).
Timothy 5:14 tells mothers they are literally to be the “house despots.” However, there should be one law (one set of rules) in the house, which flows from God, through the father, through the mother and to the children (Proverbs 6:20). This requires much advance planning, discussion and praying by husbands and wives. The mother is the enforcer of the family laws while the head of the house is away. Mothers who leave their children to themselves will be brought to shame (Proverbs 29:15).
“Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:20). Compare with “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1). Obeying parents lasts for a few years; honoring them lasts a lifetime (1 Timothy 5:4, 8, 16).
[Editor’s Note: What a fine, concise devotional for the home from a sister who is a sage. For a home to be everything that God wants it to be, cooperation must occur in biblically prescribed ways between husband, father, wife, mother and children. Ideally, each family member accepts his or her respective, God-ordained role and voluntarily subjects himself or herself to Almighty God. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]
Sad, but True
Martha Lynn Rushmore
If we did a survey of 100 people, probably all would say they are going to Heaven. Often, people have the wrong perception about the Bible. To the world, it does not matter if one attends worship or if one follows God’s Word. Many people think that it does not matter the kind of life a person lives, just as long as he believes in God. To many in the world, God is perceived to be a loving God Who will not send anyone to Hell. Yes, God is a loving God and will not send anyone to Hell arbitrarily. Hell is a punishment earned by those who will spend eternity there. A heavenly reward cannot be earned, but by God’s grace, we can receive our heavenly home as a gift!
I was listening to some group singing, “When We All Get to Heaven.” It made me think of many people who are so sincere about their Christianity, and yet, some of them are so sincerely wrong. We all want to go to Heaven, but not everyone wants to follow God’s instruction Book, the Bible. Even religious people like to pick and choose out of the Bible what they want, not what God commands. If it were just that easy to get to Heaven, there would be a lot more gaining a home in Heaven. Unfortunately, sincerity alone will not work.
How many of our friends are sincere in their false doctrines? How many people do we see every day who are good people and would do anything to help those in need? Yes, there are good people in denominations as well as among others who do not claim any Christianity. However, most believe they will go to Heaven anyway.
Have you ever attended the calling hours preceding a funeral of a friend or loved one who was not a faithful Christian or someone who does not proclaim to have anything to do with religion? How many times do we hear, “At least they are out of pain now. They are in Heaven with God”? We hear this all the time for Christians and non-Christians alike.
In 2 Timothy 2:15, we are told to study for ourselves so we can rightly divide the Word of God. We are not told to listen to others and not study for ourselves. Unfortunately, this is what we hear a lot. “Let me ask my preacher what the Bible says about this or that.” Often, sincere people go to the wrong source—man instead of God. I am not saying it is wrong to go to others for help, but after we are told an answer to our question, we must go to the Scriptures to make sure we were given the right answer.
Matthew 7:21 says, “not everyone who say unto me Lord, Lord will enter Heaven.” We must be sure to follow God’s commandments. Also, in Matthew 25:31-46, the “goats” who were lost were sincere. They asked Jesus when did they see Him to give Him a drink, to feed Him, to give Him clothing or visited Him in prison. These people wanted to know what they had done wrong. Jesus told them they did not do these things to those around them that needed these things. If they had done for others, they would have done this to Jesus.
Then, in this same passage, the “sheep” did for others what was needed. They did not do this for praise. Their good deeds were done because it was what they knew should be done. They also asked Jesus when they did these things to Him. He told them by doing for others they did them for Him.
So, let us all study God’s Word and make sure we are following it. We all want to go to Heaven, but there is only one way—through Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 14:6-7, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Therefore, we must do the full will of God.