Monthly Archives: April 2016

Wimps, Women, and Children

Wimps, Women, and Children

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.  I Timothy 5:8

The Lord has given and set in order His own design for the home.  The first example is Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  They loved and nurtured each other in the presence of the Lord.  When sin entered into their world, it caused grief, guilt, discord and death.

After original sin, the husband and wife would struggle to live and would both endure a curse on the ground and on their bodies.  Marriage is tough.  Being a married couple for any amount of time is a big deal.  Leaving father and mother and cleaving to your spouse as the Lord ordered the home, is important.

The context of this verse is caring for others.  In particular a widow must be cared for by her immediate family.  A son should take the lead to ensure his mom has what she needs after the husband has passed away.  Other relationships in context include: sisters, nieces, nephews, and fathers.  Think about the immediate family: Husband – wife – children.  Let’s make application in this context.

The man is to take the lead and provide for the household the Lord has entrusted to him.  There are several ways in which the man can lead.  At first I called this article: “The Providing Man” then realized that a much better title that describes many Christian men today would be “Wimps, Women, and Children.”  I along with others have struggled with this.  Men, we can be wimps.  “Wimp” is defined by Encarta as “an offensive term that deliberately insults somebody regarded as weak, timid, unassertive, or ineffectual.”  I don’t want to be a wimp, and neither do you.  Men seeking excellence as a man do not want to be ineffectual or unassertive.  When the temptation to not provide the leadership God has called you provide to knocks on your door, remember these following truths.

The man should provide for physical needs.  If a child is hungry, he should be fed.  The father is working a job in order to provide the basic physical needs.  Food, shelter, and clothing, are the basics every person needs.  An infant, toddler, primary, elementary student or even a teenager are not charged with the responsibility to care for their own physical necessities.  It is the husband or father.  This verse is written in a way emphasizing the masculine to demonstrate the calling of God on the man to provide.  All men are called to work some kind of job to earn a living.  The wife can work if she likes, but the man should be treating her like royalty in the manner he provides.  The Proverbs 31 woman is a good example for the lady of the home. She must also have initiative and minister to those in her care.

The man should provide for emotional needs.  Relational needs go right along with this.  The wife needs to know she is cherished.  Also the sons and daughters needs to know they are valued by the father.  This must be communicated in word and in action.  Quality time spent together, deep conversations enjoyed, playful moments, playing a game, teaching moments, prayerful moments must be shared.  The man is instructed to dwell with his wife “according to knowledge.”  Some men know “What buttons to push” to make others react and become angry.  This is not right.  The man should know what emotional encouragement his wife and children have and then meet it.  The family should feel safe and secure in relational and emotional ways with the husband and father.  The man of the home should not play games with the emotions of his wife or children.  He needs to be a steady leader.  Avoid the “roller coaster” affect some strive for in manipulating emotions.

The man should provide for spiritual needs.  Called to provide leadership, the man should take the spiritual initiative in the home.  Like the Dodge truck slogan “Grab Life by the Horns” a man should grab hold of his spiritual responsibility.  Many times a mother brings the kids to church and the father is reluctant to attend.  Men in that frame of mind are not the spiritual leaders God wants for them to be.  Men who are afraid to pray, afraid to participate in the life of the church, or afraid to talk of spiritual things need to “grow up” and mature in these areas.  The husband should say “Let’s go to church – be sure to bring your Bible.”  The man should foster a love for God in his children by the example of his spiritual leadership.

As you read this do you get the idea that the leader is the servant?  Jesus in Luke 22:26 said, “He that is greatest among you… let him be as he that doth serve”  Men – lead by serving. Instead of “Wimps, Women and Children” with consistent work and the help of the Lord, you could change the title of your life to “The Providing Man.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Real Fools of April

The Real Fools of April

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.  Proverbs 28:26

Playing a joke on someone or being a good sport when a joke is played on you is one thing; living a life that is based on a joke is another.  The tragedy of many living today is that they have bought into the lies Satan propagates through this world.  Walking in our own, worldly wisdom is a foolish thing to do.

Several years ago, a wonderful Christian couple gave my wife and I a Chevy Impala.  At the time, it was the best vehicle we ever had.  We were blessed and are still thankful for it.  Hundreds of homes have been visited in that vehicle in the course of pastoral ministry.

Recently as I was driving down the interstate in my over decade old Impala, a beautiful, brand new Chevy Corvette sped buy.  I had been watching it in the rearview mirror for a while, and it was a terrific looking car.  The retail value on a brand new Corvette is over $80,000.  Some of us reading this article live in houses that are valued less than that!  The car I was driving is possibly valued at $2,400 and it works just fine.

While I generally prefer the Chevy Camaro from any decade, this Corvette was very nice to see zooming past.  I have driven by the Corvette Museum in Kentucky and have driven Corvettes on several occasions.  One time, my wife and I were late to an appointment while driving one.  I am not sure how we could be late in a car that fast!   Corvettes are nice.  I like them.  The owner and driver of this Corvette liked his Corvette too.

The license plate was special ordered to say: “LUVINIT.”  This driver was proud to show others his crazy fast car and let them know that he had “arrived” and that he was “loving it.”  While we may enjoy, like, and even love our rides, we are instructed to not love the material things of this life.  1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Perhaps all of us have had this sort of “love” at one time or another.  After all, we need “stuff” in order to stay alive.  However, when we choose to “love stuff,” then our desires and dreams will be impacted by that love.  Our love for God is then squeezed out of the top position of our life.  Stuff is nice for a while, but even restored cars will rot away given enough time and neglect.

Easier said than done is a life of contentment.  Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:8 “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”  Contentment can only be realized in the Christian who actively loves God first, others second, and who decides to not love stuff.  “Some people love stuff and use people, but we are to use stuff to love people.”

Below are 3 wise truths about loving money and stuff…

Prosperity Does Not Equal Peace.  Rich men still have relationship problems.  Wealthy people may have a lot of stuff, but many times that stuff controls them.  Have you read this before: “The more stuff you have, the more your stuff controls you.”  How many well intentioned people have bought a new house far from church and eventually stop coming to church?  How many get that shiny boat or golf course membership only to justify doing those things and are no longer investing in spiritual things such as prayer meeting?

The next big ticket item for the rich man, or the next cigarette or checkout counter candy for the poor person results in the same thing – temporary satisfaction.  Worldly things may give an impression of no more needs, but there is more to life than the tangible things.

Peace with self has nothing to do with financial status.  Once a person “arrives” to a 6 or 7 figure salary their income does not result in real happiness.  Perhaps a false sense of security is found, but money has never lasted for anyone, and we can’t take it with us.

Peace with others is not something that riches ensure.  Sometimes the husband and wife individually devoted to the next personal paycheck end up fighting over finances and purchases.

Peace with God is not something wealth can buy.  Wealth does not mean a person is right with God.  Peace with God is something enjoyed by faith when trusting Jesus alone for salvation.  Jesus can make peace with God the Father for you.  Sin is what makes us at odds with God, not our financial status.

Money Cannot Buy Real Love.  “Will you love me if I buy you a gift?”  “When I give you this box of chocolate, or purchase a diamond studded ring for you, will you love me?”  Many couples are falsely committing love to another when in reality; they love the things that the other can buy.  “As long as you give me a big house, new car, and vacations – then I will love you.”  True love, motivated by selfless giving, not taking, is something that cannot be bought.

When a person is hired for a job, they do not need to love the job, the boss, or the position, to complete the job.  All they have to do is fulfill the expectations and then they receive their pay check.  Money- that is the result of the work is what most people love.  This is a poor way to live in relationships.  God loves us – even though we could never give Him anything.  This is the model our love to others should demonstrate.  Love is real when it is about what I can do for the other person, not what the other person can do for me.

Riches Are Unable to Bring About Eternal Life.   There is no real estate for sale in Heaven.  ReMax, Century 21, or Keller Williams have no offices or agents in Heaven.  The parcels of land, mansions, streets, fields, rivers, places in Heaven have already been purchased.  Nothing there is for sale.  Jesus paid the only price that God the Father would accept – the blood of His perfect Son, Jesus.

Notice how I Peter 1:18-19 says it:  “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold…But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 

Rich men still get sick, grow old, and die.  All of us have an appointment with death.  It may not be a pleasant thought to you, but if you have Jesus in your heart, He has already bought and paid for your place in Heaven.  He is the only One Who can give to you enteral life.  You can’t buy it.  Trust the Gospel of Jesus for eternal life today.

The real fools of April.  Who are they?  It is not the people that have the best jokes played on them.  The real fools of April are the people who continue to reject Bible truth and remain trusting in their worldly wisdom instead of trusting in Jesus.

I may or may never own a sports car; either way, my life as a Christian is not about accumulating more stuff.  Loving and living for things are a foolish way to live.