PROTECTING OUR PURITY

In the Holy Scriptures, not one story of sexual relations outside of marriage has a happy ending. Shame is heaped upon the parties that willfully participated in fornication. Lot’s daughters chose wrongfully—to their shame and thus brought about two nations who were perpetually at odds with Israel (Gen. 19:30-38). Sarah encouraged Abraham to take a second wife, and it brought about strife within the family and brought about another nation that would trouble God’s chosen people later (Gen.16). Shechem fell in love with Dinah, the daughter of Jacob. He took her and had relations with her before marrying her. This act brought about his death and that of his father and all of the men of his city (Gen. 34). One widely known story is the one of King David with Bathsheba. He saw her, he wanted her, and he took her. The result was a man murdered and a child destined to die (2 Sam. 11–12:23). I could go on and on. God makes it clear from the beginning that the sexual relationship is a special one that should be treated as such.

Read Deuteronomy 22:13-21.

  1. Were the woman and her parents to be prepared to defend her claim of purity (Deut. 22:15-17)?
  2. Once false charges were proven as false, was the husband allowed to do this to her again at some time in the future (Deut. 22:18-19)?
  3. If the charges were proven to be true, what would happen to the woman (Deut. 22:20-21)?

Why?

What did this accomplish?

Read Deuteronomy 22:22-30.

  1. What would happen to a man and a married woman found having relations together (Deut. 22:22)?

What did this accomplish?

  1. If a man finds a betroth (engaged) girl in the city and lies with her what is to be done with them (Deut. 22:23-24)?

Why?

What does this accomplish?

  1. If a man finds a girl who is engaged outside or away from the city, forces her and lies with her, what will happen to them (Deut. 22:25-27)?

What is this compared to in verse 26?

Was there any sin in her in this instance?

  1. Does God make a distinction between the woman who tries to stop such a thing but is unable to find help and the woman who could have found help and did not seek it?
  2. If a man finds a virgin girl, who is not engaged, and lies with her, what should happen to them (Deut. 22:28-29)?

Having started their relationship this way, can he ever put her away?

There are protections given to the woman who does NOT choose to have relations outside of marriage. When the woman makes the choice to violate that purity, she is condemned to death. There’s no distinction for how many times she has done such a thing for her to be said to have “played the harlot.” One time, by choice outside the bonds of marriage, is the same as many times and results in her being a harlot. God puts a high value on our purity. He condemns men who will take it forcefully away, and He condemns the woman who willingly gives it away. purity_ring_

The Shulamite woman in Song of Solomon called herself a “wall” (Song of Solomon 8:10). Her brothers said “We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: What shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? 9 If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: And if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar” (Song of Solomon 8:8-9).

Until she’s of age, they will build up her defenses. If she’s already a sturdy wall, they will supplement that. But if she’s a door, then they will board her up with strong boards. When she was older (“my breasts were like towers”) she called herself a wall. She protected herself. Her breasts were not welcome signs; they were towers. Towers on buildings are designed to keep people out and make it hard to get to the top. She protected herself after it was no longer her brothers’ responsibility.

King David’s daughter, Tamar, kept her head when in a frightening and distressing circumstance (2 Sam. 13:1-23). She did everything she could to prevent what her brother Amnon intended. She knew that no matter how much he said he loved her (2 Sam 13:1) if he did such a deed before making her his wife, he was disgracing them both (2 Sam. 13:11-13). His true desires were shown after he violated her. According to the Law of Moses, he still could have married her, but he threw her away without any care. Leaving her after he had defiled her was an even greater disgrace and misuse of Tamar (2 Sam. 13:15-16). She valued her purity; he did not.

There are many places to study this topic—Proverbs 5 is all about avoiding the pitfalls of fornication/adultery. Just because it’s written to a male does not mean that the same principles do not apply to a female!

Proverbs 6:20-27 is much the same as chapter 5. Wise King Solomon apparently saw the dangers of the flesh as something to drive home to his student! The one committing adultery is compared to a thief. If you know it’s wrong to steal a candy bar from a store, then you should also know that it’s wrong to take away from a married woman what is rightfully hers – her husband’s attention (1 Cor. 7), or what rightfully belongs to the husband.

Remember Philippians 4:8-9: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

And James 3:16-18, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

Temptations stay furthest away when one is too busy doing good to give the lure any time to fester in the heart.

  • “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18).
  • “Flee also youthful lusts; but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Tim. 2:22).
  • “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

“FINANCIAL INFIDELITY”

Not long ago I was involved in a conversation with another woman regarding her buying habits.  During the conversation, she relayed to me her habit of continual shopping.  She told me she was keeping secrets from her husband.  She buys all manner of clothing, purses, accessories, jewelry, and then hides the purchases in her closet, behind other items so her husband won’t see.  The items still have the tags on them.  When she wears some of the clothing, and her husband mentions it being new, she tells him she has had the item for a long time, and he just forgot about it.  Deception and lies—time will eventually discover the truth.

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WHERE MY HOPE LIES

Where My Hope LiesKARA GLOTT

There is too much to do today to spend very long writing, but I went to bed thinking some things I needed to be “preached at” about, and thought I might take a moment to write them down as a reminder when I need it later.

As a young girl I liked the idea of a hope chest – a place to collect valuable things I’d want for when I was grown with a home of my own one day. I never actually found an actual box to collect things in, perhaps because my “hopes” were images and ideals as much as tangible items, but I loved to daydream about the things I’d fill it with: Continue reading

TRAINING OUR CHILDREN TO BE WORKERS, NOT SHIRKERS

Uselessness. Instinctively, we know it is a liability. Every thing has a purpose to fulfill; otherwise it is unneeded (Isaiah 30:5). If a refrigerator stops cooling, we get rid of it. If a car cannot be made to run, it ends up as scrap metal. We get that.

Actually, our Father is the one who has revealed this principle in greater wisdom to us. The account of the barren fig tree in Luke 13:6-9 points out that not only is an unfruitful tree useless to its owner, it is also cumbering the ground, taking up space and nutrients that might otherwise be devoted to a profitable tree. It makes perfect sense, then, that every stubbornly unproductive “tree” (servant of the Lord) is doomed to be removed and burned (John 15:2, Matthew 3:10, Hebrews 6:7-8, Matthew 25:30). After all, that is one of God’s stated reasons for creating us, that we should walk in good works (Ephesians 2:10).

As loving mothers, we want our children to thrive, to grow to become productive and capable adults; however, this doesn’t just magically occur at age 18 or 21. Something has to happen during their childhood that brings them to the point of being responsible grownups. We have to “aim” arrows before we let them go, right? (Psalms 127:4, Proverbs 22:6). To this end, we try to get our children to do chores, and gradually take on more responsibilities with age and ability. Yet often our children are not enthusiastic or willing workers; my own children often surprise me with their brilliantly creative excuses. Many children simply have to be forced to do any chores they do, and approach it with such an unpleasant attitude that parents shy away from the conflict whenever possible by asking less and less of them.

As children mature into teens they are technically able to do many of the tasks of an adult; yet many remain stuck in juvenile roles in the home, or even rebelliously regress to the point they are doing very little for others. Our society laughingly accepts and almost condones this as “normal teenage” behavior. But these attitudes may linger for years, damaging the lives and potential of our young people well into their adult years. The Millennial Generation is known for being lazy, dependent, self-indulgent, and generally difficult for employers to manage. That is surely not what we hope for our own children.

How can we, as Christian mothers, nurture good attitudes and work ethic in our children that will cause them to be willing workers and diligent servants of the Lord? What are my own attitudes toward work? Am I faithful and diligent even in tasks I don’t care for? Do I find joy in the small jobs and do them heartily as unto the Lord? How are my children doing as workers so far? Could they (and even I) use some improvement in some areas? Mercifully, God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, revealed through the knowledge of the One who has called us (2 Peter 1:3). Let’s get digging in the scriptures to find the answers we need, both for this life and the life to come!

(Lord willing, more to come….)

BE NOT WEARY: Dealing with Temptations In Marriage Relationships

In an article by Mark Peters, from Behind the Dictionary, October 29, 2013, we learn that our dictionaries now have another new word.  It is called “mansplaining.”  Mansplaining is defined as a fella explaining something, unnecessarily and often incorrectly, with oodles of condescension.  This attitude is as old as the hills. The word itself has been around since about 2009, but it’s blossomed since, providing a potent weapon in worldly women’s arsenal against overbearing dudes.

Who has not been the victim of such ignorant condescension?  Does this attitude only come from the male gender?  Even if males were the only one to behave this way, would that change a woman’s position in the home or in the church?

God’s direction about women’s subjection is not about the value or intelligence of the genders; it is simply about function.  The chain of command in 1 Corinthians 11:3 reads, But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God, gives nothing that even indicates man is more valuable than woman.”

How should one answer the sisters who like to complain about the faults of their men folk? First, ask, “Are all men like that?”  Even if they were, would that give ladies a right to disobey the command for women to honor their men as head?  Admittedly, some men have faults and can be difficult to get along with, but do all women behave perfectly every time?  Does poor behavior on the man’s part change the woman’s position in any way?  What can she do?  What should she do? How can she overcome her temptation to sin when she is faced with such a situation?

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).

What traits in husbands tend to make wives grow weary in a marriage, and how can these things be overcome by hope?  Marriage isn’t easy. Husbands aren’t flawless, and neither are wives.  A wife can’t “fix” (correct) a husband, but she can sure work on herself.  No matter what the earthly “result” of a marriage might be, wives can have great hope for reaping eternal good, if they follow God’s commands for the marriage. Her relationship to her husband can give her experience to be: faithful, obedient, temperate, selfless, etc.  Look at some things that tend to make wives grow weary in their marriages—especially when relationships are not easy. Sometimes the only comfort a wife may find in these passages is the comfort of knowing she is doing the right thing even if he is not.

Is your husband not loving you (his wife) as his own body?

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church (Eph. 5:28-29).

Does your husband not forgive your mistakes?

So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses (Matt. 18:35).

Does your husband carry a grudge?

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath (Eph. 4:26).

Does your husband take vengeance or get even for wrongs he believes you have done?

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto  wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:19-21).

Is your husband using threats and hatred to control?

Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock (1 Pet. 5:3).

What if your husband is being an untoward (wicked) master?

And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him (Eph. 6:9).