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Wives are Called to be Strong and Affirming

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. – Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)

 

Being a godly wife begins with the right priorities — nourishing your personal relationship to God (Matt. 6:33), ministering to your husband (Prov. 18:22; 19:14), nurturing your children (2 Tim. 1:5), keeping your home (Titus 2:5), then adding whatever other activities time and energy permit (Prov. 31:10–31).

This passage praises a “virtuous wife” (lit. “woman of strength”) in the form of an acrostic, with each successive verse beginning with one of the twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet. This divinely inspired portrait of an ideal wife includes: pleasant appearance (v. 22, giving her husband a sense of pride), godly character (vv. 10–12, 17, 25, 30, 31, without a materialistic mindset), efficiency in homemaking (vv. 13–15, 21, 27, seeing value in the mundane household tasks), helpfulness to her husband (vv. 11, 23, 28, especially when he is emotionally and spiritually drained), attentiveness to her children (v. 28, understanding the awesome task of producing the next generation), interest in her community (vv. 20, 26), willingness to use energies and creativity (vv. 16, 18, 19, 24), and determination to be worthy of honor and commendation (vv. 28–31).

These very positive qualities are contrasted with the “contentious” wife (Prov. 19:13; 21:9, 19) and “immoral” (in some translations “strange”) woman elsewhere (Prov. 5:3–14, 20; 6:24–32; 7:6–27).

A wife also has unique needs that are best met by her own husband:

  1. Spiritual leadership, including family worship of prayer and Bible study (1 Pet. 3:7)
  2. Personal affirmation (Eph. 5:25)
  3. Tender loving care, including touching, courtesies, and loving words (Prov. 5:19)
  4. Intimate, sensitive, and understanding communication (Song 2:16)
  5. Integrity worthy of respect and transparency so that nothing is hidden (Gen. 2:25)
  6. Provision and sustenance as well as protection (Gen. 2:15)
  7. Commitment of loyal devotion (Eccl. 9:9)

 

Scripture describes the creation of woman with the word “made” (Heb. banah, lit. “build”). God planned and supervised this “building” of the woman with the intent that she would be a “helper comparable to the man” (Heb. ’ezer kenegdo). Unlike the animals, the woman was of the same nature as the man (Gen. 2:23). The word “helper” is also used to describe God (Ps. 33:20). It is a term of function rather than worth. A woman does not lose value as a person by humbly assuming the role of a helper. The wife then has the assignment of being her husband’s helper: (1) as a spiritual partner, assisting him in obeying the Word of God and in doing spiritual ministries, (2) as a counterpart in linking hands with the Creator to continue the generations, (3) as a confidant to offer comfort and fellowship (Gen. 2:23, 24), and (4) as a companion to provide encouragement and inspiration.

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This was a short excerpt from Thomas Nelson’s Woman’s Study Bible. 

A perennial best-seller, The Woman’s Study Bible is relied on by women of all ages as the go-to source for Bible study needs. Now beautifully redesigned – and the only full color study Bible for women – its timeless content speaks God’s life-giving truth to women today.

For additional articles from the Woman’s Study Bible, check out the following:

The Virtuous Wife of Proverbs

Motherhood: A Noble Ministry

 

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Help Each Other Grow Up in Faith

Apr 18, 2019 | |Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Co-Founders of FamilyLife

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. – Colossians 3:14

 

Do you want to grow up in your faith? Do you and your spouse desire to the know the deep joy that comes from maturing in your relationship with God?If so, I have an insider’s secret that will help.

For centuries followers of Jesus have recognized the critical importance of discipline. While I have no interest in a lifeless list of legalistic tasks that will turn the Christian life into a graceless, joyless religion based on works, I know that certain basic exercises will change a flabby, weak faith into a strong one.

Consider a few of the most important:

 

  1. Prayer: Prayer is the way we communicate with God. Pray both as individuals and as a couple. Perhaps the two of you can pray together briefly before you go to sleep at night.husband and wife kissing in sunset
  2. Bible study: In God’s Word we learn everything we need to know about God, His promises, and what He wants from us. Make use of commute or an exercise session by carrying a pocket-sized Bible or listening to the Bible on CD or your MP3 player.
  3. Worship: If you are not worshipping God, you are probably worshipping something else. Find a vibrant, Christ-worshipping, Bible-believing church, and commit to regular worship there.
  4. Giving: We own nothing; we are simply stewards of resources, on loan from God. Regular tithing (giving 10 percent of your income to your local church and generous giving to other Christian causes is a great way to strengthen your heart for God’s work See Matt. 6:21).
  5. Fellowship: We need others and they need us to accomplish the work of the kingdom. How about building relationships with others by joining or offering to lead a small group Bible study at your church?
  6. Service: In every local church, this is a need for people to use their spiritual gifts and natural abilities to serve others. And there are ministries in every community that need volunteers to feed the hungry and help the poor. Seek one out!
  7. Witness: Jesus has entrusted to us the task of reconciling men and women to God. Cultivate friendships with neighbors, plant seeds by sharing your testimony along with insights from God’s Word, and extend an invitation for them to receive Christ. Let the light of Jesus shine out of your life.

The apostle Paul instructed Timothy to exercise himself for godliness. When you practice these important spiritual disciplines, you’ll be getting the kind of workout that makes you spiritually strong.

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For additional articles on marriage, check out the following:
Five Guidelines for Building a Strong Marriage
The Virtuous Wife of Proverbs

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The Bride’s Bible is the perfect way to start marriage off right–with God’s Word at the center. Bound in classic white Leathersoft™, this Bible will take its place as a treasured family heirloom in the years to come. With a presentation page, gilded page edges, and a satin ribbon marker, this Bible is the perfect gift for engagement celebrations and bridal showers.

Available in both the New King James Version or King James Version with words of Christ in red.

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The Virtuous Wife of Proverbs

Who can find a virtuous wife?

For her worth is far above rubies.

The heart of her husband safely trusts her

Proverbs 31:10-11 (NKJV)

 

Many outstanding godly women appear throughout the Bible, but the virtuous wife described here merits special praise (Prov. 31:29). This woman is not an actual woman, but rather an ideal to be realized, a paradigm for any wife or mother. For centuries women have been amazed and challenged by her example (v. 31). She does not just represent a challenge, but rather a series of possibilities: she displays the many qualities and astonishing array of activities and accomplishments available to those seeking godly womanhood.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears 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 31:30-31 (NKJV)

 

The passage describes what kind of wife a woman should be and what kind of woman a man should choose to marry. An acrostic poem, each of the twenty-two verses begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, encouraging the memorization of this literary masterpiece. Through the poem, the woman of strength comes alive.

woman smiling with long brown hairThis rare woman was a paragon of virtue: trustworthy, industrious, organized, and loving. Yet amazingly she was able to order the priorities of her world. Her husband totally trusted her, her children voluntarily praised her, and her home was a model of efficiency. She reached out to her community, helped the poor, and increased her family’s resources through wise investments and productive management. Her beauty was not merely outward. She embodied true wisdom.

The portrait of the virtuous wife closes with the key to her success (v. 30). Illustrating the theme of wisdom found throughout Proverbs, this woman first feared and reverenced God. Therefore, relationships and responsibilities were wisely balanced. She exemplifies the truth spoken by Jesus Christ: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). A close look at this woman can prove invaluable in helping every woman set her own priorities in managing the time, resources, and giftedness God has given.

 

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This was a short excerpt from Thomas Nelson’s Woman’s Study Bible. 

A perennial best-seller, The Woman’s Study Bible is relied on by women of all ages as the go-to source for Bible study needs. Now beautifully redesigned – and the only full color study Bible for women – its timeless content speaks God’s life-giving truth to women today.

< Back to Christian Living

Five Guidelines for Building a Strong Marriage

Apr 12, 2019 | |Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Co-Founders of FamilyLife

As Jesus recalls the melodrama of God’s presentation of Eve to Adam, He says, “But from the Beginning of creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh” (Mark 10:6-8). This passage presents five guidelines for building a strong and godly marriage, which I find myself returning to again and again.

There are principles in Scripture that are the biblical basics. This is one of those mandates that must use the rabbinical method of teaching: repetition!

Guideline 1: Leave

The Hebrew word for leave quoted by Jesus here literally means “forsake dependence on.” Many married couples have never stopped depending on their parents or on those who raised them. To leave doesn’t mean to cut all ties, but to establish your independence from your households of origin. You have formed a new family unit; you’re not merely an extension of someone else’s family.

Guideline 2: Cleave

To cleave means that you make a commitment to your spouse that you will always stick together, until death or until the Lord’s coming separates you. Such a commitment is the missing ingredient in many of today’s marriages. In God’s original plan, there were no escape hatches, no prenuptial agreements, no bailout clauses. Cleaving means you burn your bridges and make a lifelong commitment to love your spouse. No matter what.

Guideline 3: Be Physically Intimate

Notice the progression: leave, cleave, and then one flesh. There is no room in God’s plan for couples to try one another out before the marriage to see whether they are sexually compatible. That is a lie of this world, not the truth of God’s Word. God designed sex to seal the deal between a husband and wife.

Guideline 4: Become Transparent

The Genesis account says Adam and Eve were “both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Gen 2:25). They felt no fear or rejection, but instead felt total acceptance from each other. Barbara knows that I accept and love her, just as she accepts and loves me. This enables both of us to be transparent, be ourselves with each other fully without fear.

Guideline 5: Fulfill Your Responsibilities

The final part of God’s plan calls for fulfilling your responsibilities. I believe that because we have been deceived in to making some incorrect assumptions about what God intended, the discussion of roles in marriage has produced a lot of heat and very little light.

The dictionary says a role is “the part played by an actor”. In marriage, however we don’t act. According to the Bible, husbands have clear responsibilities to sacrificially love and lead their wives, while wives have clear responsibilities to respect and support their husbands. When we fulfill those responsibilities, it makes for oneness and intimacy in marriage.

When a couple learns how to practice these five biblical blueprints on a daily basis, they begin to experience marriage as God intended it.

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The Bride’s Bible is the perfect way to start marriage off right–with God’s Word at the center. Bound in classic white Leathersoft™, this Bible will take its place as a treasured family heirloom in the years to come. With a presentation page, gilded page edges, and a satin ribbon marker, this Bible is the perfect gift for engagement celebrations and bridal showers.

Available in both the New King James Version or King James Version with words of Christ in red.