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

KINGDOM LOOK BOOK: Fashion Sense and Cents

FASHION SENSE AND CENTS

You know how you eye doctor asks you “One” or “Two” during your annual eye exam? They want to know which set of letters you think is the better choice. Well today we have a similar opportunity. Take a few minutes to examine the 7 rows of pictures labeled “A” or “B”. Record “A” or “B” for the outfit out of the pair you would wear and then check out your Fashion Sense and Cents results. Have fun!

1&2
Row 1: Bracelets
Row 2: Summer Chic

3&4
Row 3: Holiday Party
Row 4: Night on the Town

5 & 6
Row 5: Dinner Party
Row 6: Spring Casual

7
Row 7: Happy New Year!

YOUR RESULTS:

Your adornment must not be merely external braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. – 1 Peter 3:3-5

Proverbs 31 Leaning (A, B, A, B, B, A, B – answered by descending rows):
Congratulations! You fit the image of a Proverbs 31 woman: modest. You have great fashion sense and it costs you nothing. You will receive the free gift of eternal life for your modest savvy choices. Until then do not be surprised when you catch the glances of a spirit led and surrendered man of God who will honor and love you and only you as Jesus Christ loves the Church. Amen

Proverbs 7 Leaning (B, A, B, A, A, B, A – answered by descending rows):
Hey girlie! Your style is on FIRE! Cutting edge, plunging “Vs”, and highly hemmed is your look. You have mastered Proverbs 7 style. Your look gets you noticed and has/will snare a few if not many men but it will cost you. The Proverbs 7 style you enlist entices many to desire you and your flesh. Peek-a-boo waist, thigh high skirts and dresses, plunging necklines, skin tight apparel, and blinged out wrists all worn in the name of the demonic art of passion AKA lust. The cost? An eternity separated from the creator of the universe and an earthly life time of unrewarding relationships with religious men who call you sexy, calls themselves Christian yet are unsurrendered to God and in turn are not capable of honoring and loving you as Jesus Christ loves the Church.

THOUGHTS FROM MODERN “CHRISTIAN” WOMEN ON MODESTY:

“God doesn’t mind a little bit of my skin. I’m following the fashion blogs. What’s the big deal?”

“I respect and love my brothers in Christ including their pursuit of purity. My dress has nothing to do with their ability to keep their eyes to themselves. If they are the men of God they call themselves to be, they won’t look.”

“I respect and love my fellow sisters in Christ who are the wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters of my brothers in Christ. They haven’t said anything, so obviously they don’t mind my figure hugging dress, low cut top, thigh high skirt, and tshirt and leggings outfit in our ministry meetings.”

“I want to be a hot Pastor’s wife.”

APPLICATION:

Contrary to worldly opinion, Proverbs 7 style reflects a path of passion, sensuality, and a demonic desire to be pursued in a flirty or sexual way. It is far from the call of the Father to be modest, shame faced (1 Peter 3:3-5), and without lust in our eyes or flesh (1 John 2:15-16). This path ultimately leads us away from the eternal Kingdom and into eternal death (Proverbs 7:27). Our Father is asking each of us to choose today to turn, confess, and repent of this lifestyle. Are you on the Proverbs 7 path? Are you ready to turn? If so, repeat the following prayer.

I (-insert name-) confess and repent of my sin of immodesty, sensuality, lust, and all other forms of sexual immorality in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I cancel satan’s access to me. Holy Spirit come into my heart and take control of me. Fill me with your spiritual fruit and make me a new creation in Christ Jesus of Nazareth. Amen

Photo Credits: Bing, Google
Related Post: A Proverbs 7 Woman – Is she Marriage Worthy?

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

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

Marriage & Family: Hope

morelHe does know how to cook more than pizza! It took almost a decade to witness this awesome miracle. Hang in there ladies, there’s hope for you too yet. To my darling’s credit he is an awesome grill master of pizzas and steaks.

The Menu: Cracker Crusted Morel Mushrooms (handpicked) + Egg Noodles

Bon Appetit

Dating & Marriage 101: A Proverbs 7 Woman – Is She Marriage Worthy?

Proverbs 7Have you ever thought about the girl you would want your son or nephew to marry? Marriage is a lifelong covenant and the choice of one’s spouse is a decision one cannot take lightly. So you want to know if the young lady your son or nephew is interested in dating or marrying is in God’s Will. Or maybe you are a young lady who wants to know if you are dating or marriage worthy by God’s standards. Though it is not possible to know God’s decretive will or the hidden things of God that will come to pass, we do know God’s preceptive will or revealed commands in His published Word the Bible.

Question: Is the young lady my son or nephew dating in God’s Will for marriage?

God paints two pictures of women: the Proverbs 31 Woman and the Proverbs 7 Woman. One is a Woman to Pursue and the other is a Woman to Avoid. Let’s examine God’s Truths about these women.

The Woman to Pursue:

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. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31:10-31

Characteristics of a Proverbs 31 Woman:

• Trustworthy – Proverbs 31:11-12
• Diligent – Proverbs 31:13-14, 18-19, 27
• Worker – Proverbs 31: 15-16
• Physically active – Proverbs 31:17
• Cares for the underserved – Proverbs 31:20, 2 Corinthians 9:6
• Fearless – Proverbs 31:21
• Crafty (domestic) – Proverbs 31:22, 24
• Strong, dignified, and optimistic – Proverbs 31: 25
• Wise with her tongue – Proverbs 31:26, Ephesians 4:20
• Kind with her tongue – Proverbs 31:26
• Praiseworthy – Proverbs 31:28
• Fears the Lord – Proverbs 31:30, John 14:15
• Observes the Sabbath – Deuteronomy 5:12
• Tithes – Malachi 3
• Honors her parents – Ephesians 6:2, Exodus 20:12
• Avoids sexual sin – 1 Corinthians 6:13
• Keeps her eyes from sin – Psalm 101:3
• Humble – Romans 12:16
• Forgiving – Romans 12:17-20
• Fruitful (Fruits of the Spirit) – Galatians 5:22-23
• Godly in love – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

The Woman to Avoid:

My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and to insight, “You are my relative.” They will keep you from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words. For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice, And I saw among the naive, And discerned among the youths a young man lacking sense, Passing through the street near her corner; And he takes the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, In the middle of the night and in the darkness. And behold, a woman comes to meet him, Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart. She is boisterous and rebellious, her feet do not remain at home; She is now in the streets, now in the squares, And lurks by every corner. So she seizes him and kisses him and with a brazen face she says to him: I was due to offer peace offerings; Today I have paid my vows. “Therefore I have come out to meet you, to seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you. “I have spread my couch with coverings, with colored linens of Egypt. “I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. “Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with caresses. “For my husband is not at home, He has gone on a long journey; He has taken a bag of money with him, At the full moon he will come home.” With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, Until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life. Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths. For many are the victims she has cast down, and numerous are all her slain. Her house is the way to Sheol, descending to the chambers of death. Proverbs 7:1-27

Characteristics of a Proverbs 7 Woman:

• Sexual (adulteress, wayward, seductive in words) – Proverbs 7:5, Proverbs 5:3, 1 Corinthians 6:13
• Provocative and seductive (in dress) – Proverbs 7:10, 21, Psalm 101:3
• Cunning – Proverbs 7:10
• Boisterous or loud – Proverbs 7:11
• Rebellious – Proverbs 7:11
• Busy body – Proverbs 7:11-12
• Predator (pursuing him) – Proverbs 7:12-13, 26
• Enticing – Proverbs 7:21
• Haughty eyes – Proverbs 6:17
• Lengthy history – Proverbs 7:26
• Argumentative, contentious, nagging – Proverbs 21:9, 21:19, Proverbs 25:24
• Unstable and unaware – Proverbs 5:6
• Not in fellowship with Believers – Hebrews 10:25
• Deadly (eternal) – Proverbs 7:27, Proverbs 5:5

Though God’s hidden or decretive will has not been revealed as to whom your son or nephew will marry, God has made it very clear in his preceptive will the characteristics the man of God should pursue in a woman of God. If the young lady your son or nephew is dating authentically loves the Lord and exhibits the character of God, CONGRATULATIONS! You have a fantastic Kingdom opportunity and possible new daughter (or niece) in law in the near future.

However, if the characteristics of the young lady your son or nephew is dating or considering dating lean towards the woman he should avoid, prayerfully ask God and your husband or other Godly men for an appropriate time to have an open discussion with your son or nephew about choosing healthy, Godly relationships in Christ Jesus. God is not the author of confusion and wants the absolute best for His children. Any relationship filled with strife, sexual sin, or confusion is not of Him and should be avoided. If you are a young woman who finds herself in the category of The Woman to Avoid, prayerfully ask God through Christ Jesus to come into your heart and change you into the woman He has purposed you to be. Then seek Godly accountability to help ensure that the changes you desire in your heart are realized.

Abba, thank you for showing us your revelations and for helping us to live in obedience to your Word. – Amen

Related Posts: Is He Marriage Worthy?
Resources: Finding Your Spouse in God’s Will ; Taking the Mystery Out of Knowing God’s Will
Photo Credit: Bing