WOL Newsletter 161: Who Am I? (Get On Wit' Yo Bad Self)
October 11, 2015
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Edited by Stacie Thomas

“The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved."  - Matthew Henry
It’s this quote that I want to shout from the rooftops. There are so many people that put down Christianity because it’s against feminism. So many female so-called fellow Christians even. I am dumb-founded at that stance. I love how Candace Cameron Bure explained in one of her interviews when she was attacked because she admitted to ‘submitting’ to her husband. This blows my mind. "In the biblical sense, submitting to my husband just means allowing my husband to lead his family because he loves our family and [is] making the best decisions for our family that he can," she explained further. Her so-called "submission," she said, is really just a choice "to respect those decisions and to encourage him to be the best man and father that he can possibly be to our family…It is meekness, it is not weakness," she explained. "It is strength under control, it is bridled strength." Hallelujah! If I’m going to be honest, I want my husband to lead our family. I don’t want that responsibility. Why is it viewed so negatively? The same women (including young women) that spout feminism, war on women, etc. are the same ones that talk about how they can’t find a man to cherish them, and treat them well. Am I the only one who sees the irony or disconnect here? Why would a man treat me as his equal, or even be tolerable of me when I am constantly trying to be argumentative and condescending? Men aren’t perfect (*news flash!*) We can’t hold them on the pedestal that only has room for Jesus; because they will fall.
I’ll be even more honest—I think most women bring a war on themselves by the way they dress, act, talk, etc. What happened to femininity? What happened to class? (Go ahead and argue over my shallow-mindedness—I’ll wait.) (I’ll also take it a little further and state that need to be help more accountable for our actions—men and women.) Obviously not all men, when treated respectfully will reciprocate, however, it is amazing how the ‘do unto others…’ really plays out. (Matthew 7:12) (If you think that’s amazing, try reading the rest of the Bible… it’s so instructional and filled with wisdom… almost like it was authored Supernaturally…)
**I can tell you first hand, when you change the way you treat your spouse, he changes the way he treats you. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. I’m living proof. And I will gladly share my testimony in private if you need some encouragement. We can meet for a cup of coffee…

Properly Focused Marriages (Battle Buddies)

Let's put things into perspective with a look at the reality of Christian Marriage that we all seem to disregard. Why do we make such a stir about the redefining of marriage between a man and a woman, yet, explain away our complete redefining of God's Word concerning when it is acceptable to give up on your partner and leave marriages, or enter into new marriages? This is just as realistically, "redefining marriage?" Why fight for the definition of marriage when we won't fight for keeping it alive as it is already? Why are we so quick to condemn homosexual practice (not people), as we should be, according to God's Word, but, so unconcerned with premarital sex, living together, disrespecting and ignoring our spouses, leaving without a cause, adultery, remarrying without God's blessings? We are right to proclaim that homosexuality is not OK before our God; but we, as a church, should be just as adamant and as passionate about all of the other sins against God's sanctity of marriage! It is always easier to recognize, and fight against the problems that you don't personally relate to, instead of your own struggles! But our struggle against Satan for marriage and family, started much further back than the Supreme Court's decision for same-sex marriage. With Christian and secular studies showing Christians and atheists/agnostics at the same rate of divorce and remarriage today; some studies (from both sides) even showing a slight increase in divorce in Christian circles. Even many of us that do stay together, show that the world has crept into our relationships, by the unhappy condition in which we live together. Even for those of us trying to follow Scriptures from the heart, we have placed the worlds, "slant" on what they actually teach; down to the most basic concept of why we are together in marriage and what our focus should be in that marriage. Genesis 2:18, 21-23: Eve was taken from Adam’s ribs, from the beginning to be from his side, to stand by his side (not behind, not in front). “The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved."  - Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Volume I (Genesis to Deuteronomy) Christianity has never been the cause of making women inferior. From the very beginning verses, Scriptures have given worth and value to women, equal to men, regardless of the culture in which it was being written. What a beautiful illustration that God's plan was for a woman (not a man) to be joined with man to complete him; that her very creation began with a literal part of him, to always be a part of him, as one. (Side note: the rib is the only bone in the human body that re-grows when removed). She was flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone. We are a throw away generation, and unfortunately that is exactly what we do in relationships as well; when things get hard, we have no commitment to see them through.
There are three Biblical reasons for getting out of a marriage. 1 Corinthians 7:39: death. Matthew 19:9: adultery (sexually cheated: not flirter, lusted after, etc.). It’s not God’s command to leave, only gives you permission. 1 Corinthians 7:15: they are an unbeliever that chose to leave you, against your will? If you leave for any other reason, you are to remain unmarried (because you are still married to them in God’s eyes) or reconcile to them. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11; Luke16:18: marriage is for life; you don’t have special circumstances. If you choose to do what you want anyway, then you either don’t have real faith in God’s plan, or you don’t care what God wants. The truest test of faith and courage you will ever face is, "The battle between the Truth you have in your head, and the feelings you have in your heart!"
Genesis 2:18: ‘helper’: H5828: ezer: meaning help, aid. This word has been used even to de-emphasize women, saying they are to be man’s assistant—servant. Most of the times the word is used in the OT is in a military fashion, describing standing alongside another in protection, defense, uplifting, strengthening, and fighting the battles with them. Psalm 33:20, Deuteronomy 33:26, Psalm 70:5. We have been joined together in marriage because we have found someone we want to devote ourselves to; before God and because of God; serving, protecting and growing each other for a lifetime. It’s similar to the Army today where each soldier is assigned a partner soldier called a ‘Battle Buddy’. They go everywhere together, watch over each other continually, look for signs of stress and depression, help each other understand and follow directions, boost each other’s moral, encourage and motivate one another, guard each other in dangerous situations, assist each other in communication; they are assigned to one other person to be totally responsible for their welfare and protection as they serve in the mission. They are literally ‘Brothers in Arms’. God has called us to all of the intimacy, romance and passion of a fairytale couple (proven in Song of Solomon and other Scriptures), but the deeper, sweeter, more important part of marriage is that we are called to be each other’s ‘ezer’. Do you learn your spouse better than anyone, pay attention to their needs, wants, dreams, shortcomings; do you support them when they fail (that means loving and standing by them when their failures involve how you are treated or how you feel); do you encourage them when they are weary; love them when they are undeserving; work to meet their needs physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually and spiritually (praying for and with them, defending them from other’s attacks, knowing and supporting their fears and weaknesses, enthusiastically being everything they need sexually), because you are not just called to be pampered and happy, you are called to fight alongside your ‘Battle Buddy’.
We place our happiness, success, worth, and identity into our spouse; therefore, our marriage must be successful and happy all the time, or our life is miserable; and our focus becomes more and more introverted on the marriage; and a spouse that will never be able to give us total happiness until we give up, and hope someone else can do what they couldn't. Nowhere in Scriptures are we told to put our spouses before serving God. Luke 14:25-26. Our marriage should be in proper perspective with God and His Kingdom. If the love, faith and desire to serve God and His Kingdom loses first place, what does the marriage have to hold it together? Our marriage is supposed to be a way of becoming one in God’s eyes so we can be about the task of serving others and Christ. Our job is to support each other as we always place the mission first. We start serving God together, so we can develop a really good relationship with our spouse. In the process of supporting and strengthening each other, you gain trust, admiration, loyalty and care for one another.
We’ve decided that our marriages are supposed to be our all in all, but they were designed by God to be a way for us to love, support and defend one another as we serve our All-in-All. If you are having issues in your marriage, the first step to healing is to decide once and for all that you will trust God and never give up on your marriage partner. Then realize that even when their problems and faults are hurting you, your calling is to put the mission first, by standing by them and helping them. Realize that reaching out to other people, literally working and giving for God together is what you were designed to do, and is one of the most healing things you could ever experience for a troubled marriage. It’s time to see your marriage as God intended and commit yourselves to one another as keepers, not competitors.

Upcoming Events:

October 21: Nursery Training, 6pm- see Brenda Doss or Shari Hardwick
October 25: Baptism
October 28: FLOCK Trick or Treat for canned goods- see Jay Baisden
November 1: Nativity Practice
November 1: FLOCK trip to Pumpkin House 5:30, $5- see Jay Baisden
November 15: OCC Shoeboxes due
December 3-5, & 23: Live Nativity at Valley Park, Hurricane- see Doug Doss
December 20: Christmas Party at John Henson Building
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