Rachel or Leah

leah rachel“And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moved upon the earth.” Genesis 1:28

How many of us know single (never been married or divorced) women and think?

• “Poor girl. She will never be happy until she finds Mr. Right”.
• “Who can I match her up with? That biological clock is ticking.”

How many of us know married women without children and think?

• “What a waste.”
• “What a selfish couple.”
• “Poor couple. We better start praying for the flood gates of children to pour on them.”

How many of us know married women with children and think?

• “Wow. How wonderful!”
• “When’s my turn?”
• “I’ll never be happy until I get there.”

In the book of Genesis (Chapter 29 to 30) we have the story of two sisters, Rachel and Leah, who for different reasons were married to a fellow named Jacob. As the story unfolds you get a picture of two women married to “The Ideal Man” but still missing something. Rachel the younger of the two sisters is loved incredibly by her husband. She was loved so much that her husband waited and worked fourteen years for her at her father’s estate. Despite this incredible love between the two, Rachel’s heart yearned for something more that she did not have with her husband: a child.

Then there was Leah the older sister who loved her husband dearly but whose love was not equally returned. She bore with her husband not one, not two but six sons and one daughter but still did not have receive the returned love she had hoped for from her husband. Leah was fruitful and yet her heart was broken and still did not receive what she desired the most: the love of her husband.

Often when we hear the story of Rachel and Leah, we hear the story of the barren woman whose heart was tormented by not having children. We are reminded of Rachel’s cry to God to receive the gift of children and the answered prayers. Married women without children are charged to cry out to God as Rachel did and ask for our wombs to be filled. On the other hand, we don’t often hear the story of Leah who was not barren but was VERY fruitful and yet still not happy. Seven children later and her heart still hurt. Both women had something that many of us aspire to attain: a spouse and children. Yet in each woman’s story we see that despite having the husband and/or children, neither was completely fulfilled and ended up turning to the only source of life and fulfillment the universe can provide: God the Father.

APPLICATION QUESTION:
Who do you think is most fulfilled?

• The married woman with children who is unloved by her husband.
• The married woman without children who is loved by her husband.
• The single woman with children.
• The single woman without children.
• The married woman with children who is loved by her husband.

ANSWER:
The woman (married or single) with or without children who has the love of the Lord.

“I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” Philippians 4:12

A happy single woman is a happy married woman.
A happy childless woman is a happy mother.

God the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I (-insert your name-) confess and repent of my heart of discontentment and idolatry of a husband and/or child. I confess and repent of my seeking life in your creation (husband and/or child) and not seeking life in you the creator. Holy Spirit fill me with your fruits of the spirit, heal me, and fill the holes that only you can fill. In your name and blood I pray Christ Jesus of Nazareth. Amen

Photo Credit: Google

The Challenge: A Personal Story

woman in shadowOnce upon a time,
there lived a young brown girl, captivated by the world of beautiful faces and things. Mirrors, magazines, and friends were a constant reminder of “beauty”. Oh how she loved them.

Then entered FB, the queen of “beauty”. Close up…applause…long shot…applause…side shot…applause.

“I like FB” she thought.

Daughter?” He called.

No answer.

“Daughter?” He called again.

“Yes” she answered.

“What are you doing?” He asked.

“What do you mean?” she answered.

“Do you remember this? ‘Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.’” He asked.

“Hmmm” she sighed.

“I challenge you Daughter to die.” He said.

“Die!” She yelled.

“Yes, I challenge you to die to your world of beauty and replace each personal ‘beauty’ shot with a Kingdom shot of Godly content. I further challenge you to truly die to yourself and become nameless.” He declared.

“This is a major sacrifice? What will my friends and family think? They won’t know it’s me. Will they still ‘like’ me?” she thought.

Delete…”what’s going on?”…Delete…”are you okay?”…Delete…no applause.

Weeks Later

“I’m a little sad. This was a huge sacrifice and I get nothing. It’s so quiet around here.“ she thought.

Still Later

“I guess the quiet is not so bad, time to dig in and spend time with the Lord.”

Dating & Marriage 101: Single Christian Men Speak on What they Want from You

weddedImmediately, my heart filled with the desire to meet their fathers. If the daughters of God proved married or otherwise espoused, I would inquire about sisters. In these dark days when immorality runs rampant in the Church, we Christian men who are inclined toward marriage and mindful of the importance of choosing the best mothers for our future children look for ladies of virtue, for true daughters of the Most High.” – On Modesty & Servant Leaders

I think many people feel that it lessens a woman’s credibility because she’s sending the wrong signals. Respect me, but I don’t respect myself.” – On Immodesty

As a man who strives to be godly, I deliberately avoided considering the ladies who did not dress modestly. Ladies who did dress modestly — especially those who wore headcoverings — immediately seemed to surpass all other ladies, so much that everyone else in the room became invisible.” – On Modesty

I think some women have no idea how much influence they can hold. I find them captivating.” – On Servant Leaders

Male readers of the Dating & Marriage 101 series have submitted some pretty telling hints regarding what they as single Godly aka Biblical* men, look for in single Godly, Biblical* women. The verdict? “Past performance is a good indicator of future success.” Single Godly men use what they see in you now to measure what you will be like in the future as a wife and mother. Management uses this model in hiring top candidates and men use this model in choosing wives. Let’s take a look at the Occupation of Wife using the “Past Performance” model. Your future husband is the hiring manager and you the woman of God is the candidate. *Reader note: While Godly, Biblical individuals are Christians not all Christians are Godly, Biblical (ie professed, worshipers or believer in Jesus Christ but inconsistent or disobedient in one or more of His commands). All Dating & Marriage 101 series references are of Biblically based women and men.

OCCUPATION: Wife – Helpmate
KEY SKILL SET: Service, Modesty
PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Service – Must be willing to live amongst and serve others including children, men, parents, homeless, impoverished inner city, rural, third world, and/or reservation communities. Must be willing to work long hours without salary and take on unexpected projects weekly if not daily. Must be willing to teach and chauffeur children and parents. Must be willing to clean, garden, sew, and any other tasks required to keep the office (home) in order. Must be willing to entertain passersby not excluding the homeless and abused. Must be willing to put aside all other jobs (ie work, friendships, hobbies) aside to focus on the primary occupation (wife). Must be a helper. For additional details reference Proverbs 31, Matthew 20:28, and Genesis 2:18.

Modesty – Must demonstrate sober mindedness and honor towards her leadership (God, husband) and office (home) she manages. Must wear professional attire (modest) inside and outside of the office representive of the office values (Biblical). Professional attire includes knee length dresses, opaque print (non see through), scarves, shawls, or sweaters to conceal, and comfortable shoes. Figure hugging, low cut tops, high rising dresses, shorts, or skirts, and excessively ornate (bejeweled) styling not allowed. For additional details reference Proverbs 31 and 1 Peter 3:3-4.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE:
Local &/or International Missions – Servant leader, serving/served in third world, inner city, rural, and/or reservation communities; serving/served in Church kids/youth group and/or hospitality ministries

Personal Reference from at least one wise, Godly married woman – Reference indicates the candidate consistently seeks Godly counsel on Biblical womanhood pre marriage (ceremony), consistently seeks and accepts opportunities to serve others (kids, men, parents, impoverished), consistently demonstrates helpmate characteristics by working well with others and not independent minded

APPLICANTS THAT NEED NOT APPLY:
Spectators (unwilling to seek out or accept opportunities to serve others especially the poor; see Proverbs 31 for additional details); Hollywood inspired fashionistas (flesh driven style of dress; see Proverbs 7 for additional details); Ms. Independents (unwilling to be a helpmate; see Genesis 2:18 and Proverbs 31 for additional details).

Tall order? Maybe…maybe not. If you have missed out on previous openings for the Occupation of Wife, no worries opportunities are now available. If you need to build your resume, prayerfully ask God and Godly married women with preferably over five years of fruitful marriage how to become the future wife – helpmate God may be calling you to be. AMEN

Photo Credit: Bing
Related Resources: Fashion Look Book: Modesty Survey; Dating & Marriage 101 Series

Dating & Marriage 101: The Husband Quest

questQuestion: “Where’s my husband?”

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:10-20

Many of my single friends are on the Husband Quest. They spend a tremendous amount of thought and personal time devoted to finding their husband. Much like many if not most young women in the premarriage season there is a pursuit of various methods to attract their husband’s attention…in the FLESH. Cute dresses, manicures, haircuts, lipstick, batting eyes, attending “Christian” gatherings not in the name of reverence or honor of the Lord but in a personal quest to fulfill their hearts desire to be married.

Here are a few reasons God keeps His single women of God single.
• God purely wants you to be single and devoted to His works
• We ignore the Christian man who is pursuing us because he does not match all the points on “The Checklist”
• We ignore the Christian man who is pursuing us because he does not match personal flesh driven requirements aka looks
• We are unwilling to obey God’s simple but critical command required to be married: serve

Proverbs 31 spends an extensive amount of time describing this honorable woman. The most notable traits are willingness to serve. She serves her husband, serves her family, serves at work, and serves the poor. This woman is not idly sitting at home watching the grass grow or gathering with her girlfriends to chit chat about who’s cute or “define your relationship”. No, this woman is out being busy doing the Lord’s work which is to serve.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

God created Eve and all her descendants to be helpers or helpmates. Helpers are servants. These are the supportive, go to gals who make their husbands’ shine. God requires all Believers including single women to be servants. If you are not willing serve your fellow brother or sister, your Church, your parents, or the poor (which God repeatedly demands), what makes you think you would be willing to serve a husband? Servanthood is one area women on the Husband Quest need to consider. Besides, how’s your Biblical husband going to find you if he never sees you serving? AMEN

He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the LORD. Proverbs 18:22

Photo Credit: Bing

Prayer: Agreement – Do You Have It?

AgreementQuestion: Do you agree? To take the job, to get hitched, to have kids, to join a particular congregation, to vacation overseas, to commit to missions, to start a new project, etc with the loved ones in your life or branch of the Body.

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 18:19

If you do not have agreement with your loved one(s) and/or branch of the Body in taking that job, getting hitched, having kids, picking a congregation, taking that overseas vacation, doing missions, or any other life decisions, you do not have an essential component referenced in Matthew 18:19 to operate in God’s fullness. If you do not agree, get on the same page or wait before moving forward until you do. God is the God of agreement and unity. Your job, your marriage, your children, and all other pursuits will be richly Blessed in your seeking agreement in all areas of life. The prince of darkness is the king of strife and disharmony. If you do not have agreement, stop moving and wait on the Lord. Amen

‘Many times people have come to me, quoting Scripture, such as Matthew 18:19-20. They say, “Brother Hagin, will you agree with me about this?” I agree with them, have a word of prayer, and then ask, “Do you agree?” They say, “Yes, yes I do.” I say, “It’s done then, isn’t it?” “Yes, it is done,” they say, as they go their way. In the process, in conversation with these same people, I ask them about it. They say, “Well Brother Hagin, I didn’t much expect it to happen, anyhow.” There was no agreement. I did expect it to happen. They had quoted Jesus’ promise regarding the use of His Name in the prayer of agreement – but they’d said it out of their head. It did not work because they did not agree from their heart, from their spirit. They were not in the spiritual realm. They were not in the biblical realm. They were in the natural, human realm – in the mental realm.’ – Kenneth E. Hagin, excerpt from The Name of Jesus.

Related Posts: The Power of Agreement

Marriage & Family: Love, Barbed Wire, and Chains

Gift“Look sweetie! I brought you a present.” Mr. says.

“Oh, great! Barbed wire and chains. Just what I always wanted.” Mrs. says (with confused look).

Okay, many married and single ladies would have done one of three things: gone ballistic, run to your friends and complain, or have a long conversation with God about your compatibility and if he was really the one God created for you. On the other hand, a few would have genuinely appreciated the kind gesture and/or turned to God for wisdom as to how to make use of the new presents. They aren’t diamonds but the heart of it is still the same: love.

The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6

“Oh, dear God. Please give me eyes to see and ears to hear you clearly. Show me how to make use of this gift. I have no idea Lord, but I know you do.” Prays the Mrs.

Later, “I have an idea. Look what I found on Pinterest? I think we can make this ourselves. Let’s try it.” Mrs. says.

“Okay. Let me get my pliers. I knew we could use this for a project.” Mr. says.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

The finished product…
Wired-Gift
…and a very happy Mr. and Mrs.

Be encouaged my friends. You and your Mr. do not have to have everything in common and sometimes you will receive surprise presents like Barbed Wire and Chains (seriously). God made us uniquely different and as your husband's helpmate, you can create a wonderful atmosphere that grows you together. Just think of the great stories you can share with your friends, children, and grandchildren about the Barbed Wire Chandelier you created together. On the other hand, if you choose to go ballistic, complain to your friends, or doubt your marriage altogether, you have given his darkness an open invitation to tear down your home.

Be Blessed My Friends on your Kingdom journies!

What’s next? Horse shoes!
Cross

Why Cohabitation Distorts the Gospel and Fails to Deliver

The Entire Gospel

Cohabitation – defined as people who live with a sexual partner of the opposite sex – has exploded in the United States. While thirty years ago the number of cohabitating couples was less than a million, census data in 2007 reported the number had reached 6.4 million. USA Today published in 2005 that two-thirds of married couples claimed to have lived together before getting married. Cohabitation is rapidly becoming not an exception, but the norm for American romantic relationships. The story of boy meets girl, boy dates girl, boy marries girl, boy and girl live together and have children is being replaced. The new story is boy meets girl, boy hooks up with girl, boy and girl live together, boy and girl get married and have pets (maybe children after career goals are achieved).

This presents a challenge for the church which is called to a biblical standard that seems…

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