1 Timothy 6:8, "Having food and clothing, with these we shall be content."
Reading through Proverbs recently I noticed that it mentions five things that destroy the home. I prefer not to write about negative things, but, on the other hand, we can't wipe any of God's Word under the mat. And God's negatives always turn to positives. When we read His warning signs which mean, ROAD BLOCK, WRONG WAY-GO BACK or DEAD END we know that it is not the road to take, even though it looks beautiful and such an easy road. We must swerve back on the road God has planned for us from the beginning of time. God has never changed his plans. His ways are still the only ones that work effectively. Jeremiah 6:16 says, "Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls."
Let's look at some of these WRONG WAY signs.
Proverbs 15:27, "He that is greedy of gain troubles his own house."
No wonder one of the Ten Commandments is "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house... thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife... nor any thing that is thy neighbor's." (Exodus 20: 17) When we see friends with things that we don't have it is easy to hanker after them too. Most people like to be like everyone else and have everything that their associates have.
How can this negatively affect the home?
a) By becoming despondent and full of self-pity because we can't afford what we want. This takes away our joy of living and being "content with such things as we have." (Hebrews 3:5-6)
b) As we crave a better house and more things to put in the house we start to plan how we can get these things. Ideas take shape. That's it! I could do what everyone else is doing who has more things. I could go out and get a job! Yes, that's the answer. But is it? To go out and get a job you have to leave the home behind. You have to vacate the very place where God wants you to be--in the heart of the home. (Psalm 1228:3) You have to put your children in daycare or leave them with someone else. God didn't give your children to you to give them to someone else to look after! He gives the responsibility to you. You are the only one who can truly nurture and nourish your baby and children.
c) The home becomes a show piece of material riches rather than filling it with the true riches of children. When you get your eyes on material riches, children become a nuisance.
May God save us from a greedy spirit.
"Father, I pray that you will take every spirit of greediness from me. Give me a contented spirit. Help me to enjoy the riches you have given me - my precious children and the (little) house you have provided for me. I thank you for the blessing of food and clothing. Amen"
Content in my home, that's for me,
With coveting gone, I'm now free!
Jeremiah 4:22 RSV, "For my people are foolish, they know me not; they are stupid children, they have no understanding."
Proverbs 14:1, "Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish plucks it down with her hands."
What does it mean to be foolish? Simply, it means to do it my way rather than God's way. God's way, although different to my way always ends in blessing. My way, although it may look good, always ends in destruction.
If we are not building our home, we are pulling it down. How do we pull it down?
We pull it down by vacating the home. God wants the mother in the home--nurturing, nourishing and training her children. We can't do everything successfully. We either build up a business (usually someone else's business) or we build up our home. God has given us a full time job to tend our little flock. God gives a warning to the mother shepherdess when He says in Zechariah 11:17, "Woe to the worthless shepherd, who leaves the flock!" Notice that this Scripture has an exclamation mark!
We pull it down by our words. Negative words. Critical words. Reactive words. Spiteful words. Angry words. And on it goes.
We build our home with words or
we destroy our home with words!
When God allowed Satan to get at his servant Job, he smote him with terrible boils from the top of his head to the sole of his feet Job was in agony and pain. Instead of encouraging him, Job's wife said, "Do you still hold on to your integrity? Curse God, and die." Job replied, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" (Job 2:9-10)
Do you speak as one of the foolish women, or one of the wise?
Sometimes it may not be negative words. It may be wasteful words. Proverbs 15:2 says, "The mouth of fools pours forth foolishness." Often we speak unnecessary words when we should keep out mouths shut. I am always challenged by Proverbs 10:19, "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise." The more we blab on about anything and everything, the more opportunity there is to sin with our mouth. The NLT makes it clearer, "Don't talk too much, for it fosters sin. Be sensible and turn off the flow!"
We pull it down by spending frivolously and unwisely. The foolish woman buys according to her whims and what takes her fancy. She buys groceries without thought for nutrition or without reading the ingredients. She fills her cupboards with devitalized packaged foods instead of cooking from scratch. She purchases unnecessary "things" to fill her home which could be used for wiser needs.
Proverbs 21:20 says, "There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man (or woman) spendeth it up." The foolish woman spends more than her husband can afford. The wise woman lives frugally within her means. I often have to remind my new adopted daughters that we don't have to eat what we want whenever we want. We must learn to live thriftily rather than extravagantly.
We pull it down by wasting. Many women not only waste time but waste products. They throw out everything. It is not wise to be a hoarder and clutter up your home, but there are many things that can be re-used to save re-spending.
Many mothers allow their children to pick at their food and leave it on their plate without teaching them to eat what is in front of them. Good food is thrown in the trash. This is wasteful.
May God deliver us from being in the "foolish women category" that pulls down their home.
"Father, please touch my lips with coals from off the altar. I don't want to speak negative words. Fill my mouth with encouraging and life-giving words that will build up my husband and my children. Amen."
Building up my home with uplifting words,
To do anything else is utterly absurd!
Proverbs 13:18, "Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honored."
We pull it down by not preparing for the future. As you read through Proverbs 31 again you will notice that the virtuous woman did not live just for the day, but prepared her home and household for whatever lay ahead.
Proverbs 31:27 says, "She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the read of idleness." The words "looks well" are translated from the Hebrew word tsaphah. It has two meanings--
a) To watch. It is the same word that is used for a watchman who watches to protect the city, e.g. Ezekiel 33:7. The wise woman is a watchwoman. She guards her home and her children's lives. She does not leave her post. She guards over what they see, hear and read. She watches over her home to keep everything in order. She does not let things get out of control.
b) To lean forward, to peer into the distance. The wise woman does not think only about today, but about the future. She has food and necessities prepared in case of emergency. She has made strategies with her family so that they know what to do in a crisis. She is ready for whatever may happen.
Proverbs 31:18 says that "her lamp goes not out by night." No, don't feel guilty. she is not working all night! Back in Bible days, they did not have electricity. Therefore, they kept a lamp burning, ready for any emergency. The dogs may bark at some intrusion or the baby wakes. They need to have the lamp ready to investigate or to minister to the needs of the baby or children. It could be catastrophic for a family to run out of oil for the lamp. The wise woman always made sure she had enough oil to keep the lamp burning continually.
Jesus told a story about this in Matthew 25:1-13. The wise virgins took not only their lamps but extra oil with them. The foolish didn't think of anything but the moment, and of course they ran out of oil! And they missed the coming of the bridegroom! What did Jesus call these women? Yes, we know. Foolish!
We pull it down by being stubborn. Proverbs 1:7 says, "Fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:22) The foolish woman thinks she knows it all and she does not like to be corrected. The wise woman knows that she constantly needs correction from the Lord. Even from her husband and others in order to keep learning and walking in the ways of the Lord. I don't always like it when my husband corrects me but I know it keeps me on the right track. I want to receive correction and wisdom from others because I don't want to stay the same. I still have so much changing and learning to do. I want to have a soft heart to hear what God tells me.
The Scriptures tell us over and over again that it is the wise who will receive instruction and correction. The word that is used continually is "hear". Hear instruction. Hear counsel. Listen to rebuke. The word "hear" is shama in the Hebrew. It means "to hear with attention or obedience, to give undivided listening attention." This should be our attitude toward correction and advice, rather than being reactionary. I notice that the word heart is a t added to hear. To have a heart that is soft and pliable, we have to have to hear what God wants to say to us, not only through His Word, but through others.
Much of what we do and think is conditioned by our deceived humanistic society. It is so much part of everything around us that we think it is normal. But the world's normal does not always match the Word of God. We must continually seek God and His Word for His truth. We must constantly check to seek if we are lining up with His plan for motherhood and family life.
I have had to change and repent about so many things over the years and I know that God has still so much to teach me. We must always be open to God's truth. Read the beautiful family Psalms (Psalm 127 and 128) every week. They keep you in line with God's heart rather than the humanistic thinking of this world.
Sometimes we have to humble our ears to hear counsel. Proverbs 22:17 says, "Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge."
We need to take notice of Proverbs 8:33, "Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not." Also Proverbs 15:32, "He that refuses instruction despises his own soul: but he that hears reproof gets understanding."
MORE SCRIPTURES ABOUT RECEIVING INSTRUCTION:
These Scriptures will be a blessing to you but also to your children. Many of them make great memory learning Scriptures too.
Proverbs 1:5, "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels."
Proverbs 1:8, "My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother."
Proverbs 4:1, "Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding."
Proverbs 8:33, "Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not."
Proverbs 12:15, "He that hearkens unto counsel is wise."
Proverbs 13:1, "A wise son hears his father's instruction: but a scorner hearth not rebuke."
Proverbs 15:31-32, "The ear that hears the reproof of life abides among the wise. He that refuses instruction despises his own soul: but he that hears reproof gets understanding."
Proverbs 19:20, "Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end." (Proverbs 29:15)
Proverbs 22:17, "Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge."
Proverbs 23:19, "Hear thou, my son, and be wise."
Proverbs 23:22, "Hearken unto (hear) thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old."
Ecclesiastes 5:1, "Be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools."
Ecclesiastes 7:5, "It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools."
Isaiah 43:9, "Let them hear, and say, It is truth."
Jeremiah 5:21, "Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not."
Ezekiel 40:4, "Behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall show thee."
Revelation 2:7, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
Proverbs 1:7, "Fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Proverbs 6 :23, "Reproofs of instruction are the way of life to keep thee from the evil woman..."
Proverbs 9:8-9, "Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser teach just man, and he will increase in learning."
Proverbs 10:8, "The wise in heart will receive commandments."
Proverbs 10:17, "He that refuseth reproof erreth."
Proverbs 12:1, "Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish."
Proverbs 13:18, "Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honored."
Proverbs 15:5, "A fool desipseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent."
Proverbs 15:10, "He that hateth reproof shall die."
Proverbs 17:10, "A reproof entereth more into a wise man than a hundred stripes into a fool."
Proverbs 19:25, "Reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge."
Proverbs 21:11, "When the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge."
Proverbs 23:12, "Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge."
Jeremiah 5:3-4, "They have refused to receive correction... Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the Lord, nor the judgment of their God."
Jeremiah 17:23, "But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction." (22:33; 35:13)
"Lord, please give me a hearing heart that is open to correction. I know that as I am open to correction, my children will be more open to correction too. Thank you, Lord. Amen."
I'm a watchman in my home,
I will not vacate my post!
I'm open to wise correction
And filled with the Holy Ghost!
Proverbs 14:3, "In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride."
Proverbs 15:25, "The Lord will destroy the house of the proud."
God hates pride. It is always destructive. Yet how easily we succumb to this sin. Sometimes women feel ashamed if their house is poorer than their friends' homes. They want to keep up with the Joneses. They want their children to wear designer clothes. They want them to go to the best schools and best colleges. They want them to have degrees after their names. How are they going to do this?
Maybe they will be lured into the workforce to gain these aspirations. But the root of it all is pride. Instead of bringing blessing, it weakens home life. Children can enjoy a richer life and receive more blessings by having a contented mother in the home than wearing designer clothes and living in a fancier home. Learning to be content is not easy but it is one of the godliest lessons we can teach our children. 1 Timothy 6:6 reminds us that "Godliness with contentment is great gain." Of course, the only way we can teach it is by example.
We definitely don't need all the things we think we need. We can live on a tenth of the stuff we think we need! Nor do our children need all the things they think they want. I am always challenged by the words of Nehemiah, "You gave your good Spirit to instruct them, and did not withhold your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst. Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing." (Nehemiah 9:20-21, Deuteronomy 8:3-4 and 29:5)
What did they have in the wilderness? God faithfully provided food and water and miraculously kept their clothes and shoes from wearing out. But they lived in temporary tents. They had none of the modern conveniences that fill our homes today. They had to TVs. No décor. No running water or instant electricity. And yet God said they lacked nothing.
Proverbs 17:19 says, "He that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction." Matthew Henry comments on this Scripture: "He that exalts his gate, builds a stately house, at least a fine frontispiece, that he may outshine his neighbors, seeks his own destruction."
We know how Satan's pride wrought havoc and destruction in God's heavenly home. When we read about this in Isaiah 14:12-15 we notice that this pride not only caused Satan to be cast out of heaven but he became the one to "weaken the nations." Pride does not build up a home. It weakens a home. It tears it down.
May God help us to remember that each time we put on a proud look, speak prideful words and hold on to our stubbornness, we tear down our home a little more. Eventually we will destroy relationships altogether.
Proverbs 16:18-19 says, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud." Through divorce, many wives and husbands divide the spoil of their homes as their home folds up. The marriage is destroyed and consequently the children's lives are negatively affected--all because of pride! Too proud to say sorry. Too proud to ask for forgiveness. Too proud to take the humble attitude. Too proud to change.
Pride is a bitter pill.
Pride is all about self! Humility is all about serving. Are we building up our home or tearing it down?
WHAT IS GOD'S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE PRIDEFUL PERSON?
God will cut off the tongue that speaks proud things.
"The Lord shall cut off the tongue that speaks proud things: who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?" (Psalm 12:3)
God cannot tolerate the proud.
"Him that hath a high look and a proud heart will not I suffer." (Psalm 101:5) Also Isaiah 2:11.
God resists the proud.
"God resisteth the proud." (James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5)
God keeps the proud at arm's length.
"Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off." (Psalm 138:6)
God hates pride.
"These things doth the Lord hate: a proud look..." (Proverbs 6:16-17)
God sees pride as an abomination.
"Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished."(Proverbs 16:5)
God sees pride as sin.
"A high look, and a proud heart is sin." (Proverbs 21:4)
God brings down the proud.
"The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down... For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low... And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low..." (Isaiah 2:11-17) Read also Isaiah 3:16-24; 5:15; 10:33 and Proverbs 16:18.
WHAT IS GOD'S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE HUMBLE?
God exalts the humble (in due time).
"He that shall humble himself shall be exalted." (Matthew 23:12; Luke 14:11; 18:14;1 Peter 5:6)
God gives grace to the humble.
"He giveth grace unto the lowly." (Proverbs 3:34) Also 1 Peter 5:5.
God lifts up the humble.
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." (James 4:10) Also Psalm 147:6;
God saves the humble.
"He shall save the humble person." (Job 22:29) Also Psalm 34:18; 76:9 and 149:4.
God gives joy to the humble.
"The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord." (Isaiah 28:19)
God hears the cry of the humble.
"Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble." (Psalm 10:17) Also Psalm 9:12.
God dwells with the humble.
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."(Isaiah 57:15)
God revives the humble.
"To revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isaiah 57:15 b)
God rewards the humble.
Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:4)
God turns away his wrath from the humble.
"Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the prid4 of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah." (2 Chronicles 32: 26) Read also 1 Kings 21:29; 2 Chronicles 12:6-7, 12; 33:12-13)
God respects the humble.
"Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly." (Psalm 138:6)
God looks to the humble.
"But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66:2)
God guides the humble.
"The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way." (Psalm 25:9)
God will cause the meek to inherit the earth.
"The meek shall inherit the earth." (Psalm 37:11) Also Matthew 5:5.
"Oh God, please show me the hideousness of pride in my life. Save me from tearing down my home because of my stubbornness and pride. Amen."
I've decided to take the humble road,
It's the "blessing way" for my abode.
Philippians 2:14-15, "Do all things without murmurings and disputing: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke,in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."
Psalm 106:25, "They murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord." Read the story in Numbers chapter 14, especially verses 2 and 27.
Where were the people complaining? In their tents, which were their dwelling places in the wilderness. Where does most complaining happen? In the home. But what does it do? It tears down the home, whether we complain about our circumstances, the work we have to do, or our husband. Not only do the walls of our home hear it, but our children hear it--and God hears it!
The children of Israel murmured and complained against Moses and Aaron, but when God heard it, He said they were complaining against Him. God says in Numbers 14:27, "How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against Me? I have heard the murmuring of the children of Israel, which they murmur against Me." Stop press! Help! When we murmur and complain about all our problems, God hears it as murmuring against Him.
The ten spies had returned from spying out the land of Canaan. It was a land flowing with milk and honey, but they complained about the fortified cities and the giants they would have to fight. It looked impossible! Even after all the miracles of coming out of Egypt and provision in the wilderness, they did not believe God could help them. They blamed Moses for bringing them out of Egypt. They complained that all their children would be taken as salves.
What happened? God told them, "Get back into the wilderness..." He told them that they would all die in the wilderness and their children who they complained would be taken as slaves would be the ones who would go into this magnificent land. Where do we end up when we complain? In the wilderness.
Wives and mothers,
we take our families into
a wilderness journey
when we complain!
The root of complaining is unbelief. "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" The Israelites cried out in unbelief. (Psalm 78:19). "How could we ever have another baby?" you cry out in unbelief. "We can hardly make ends meet now!" "How can we afford to educate our children?" "How can I put up with this little house any longer? I need more room" And so it goes on.
Here's a good habit to start. Change every sigh into a Hallelujah! Every time you are tempted to complain, turn your heart to the Lord and acknowledge His power and His presence. "Thank you, Lord, I trust you. I know that you are ordering my footsteps. I thank you that you are with me in these circumstances." It will take time to establish this new habit, but keep at it.
It doesn't mean that your circumstances will necessarily change, but you will change. God promises in Isaiah 43:1-3 that when you pass through the waters, that "I will be with you. They will not overflow you." God says that when you go through the fire that "You will not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon you."
What is our confession? "I'm going through a fiery trial. I don't know how I can make it." Or, "Thank you, Lord, no matter how hot it gets, I will not be burned because you are with me!"
I remember when complaining as a young child that my mother would immediately direct me to think about those who were poor and suffering in the world and didn't have all the blessings that I had. It's not a bad idea. There are millions in the world who live in abject poverty, without running water, adequate food, shelter or any of the basic amenities of life which we are used to. My husband, who has ministered in the slums of India and many third world countries, often says, "Just to live in a tent in America makes you a millionaire!"
I think about the Karen people, the displaced people of Burma who have been fighting a genocidal war against them from the Burmese government for over 50 years. We complain about keeping up with homeschooling. The Karen try to school their children while they live in hiding. We complain when things are not just as we want them when we give birth. Many Karen mothers give birth while running from the enemy. No time for recovery. No time for relaxing with their baby. No gifts. No excited calls from family and friends.
The wife the founder of the "Free Burma Rangers" shares about the love, forgiveness and generosity of the Karen, even in the midst of suffering and hardship. She says, "The gifts they gave were of themselves--their time, energy and love. In my experience in the West it is easier to go to the store and buy a trinket as a gift. For this reason I have chosen to raise my children in this war. The influence of these people is something I have never experienced anywhere else."
"Oh Lord, I find it so easy to complain. Please give me strength to create a new habit of praising instead of protesting, gladdening others instead of grumbling and being content instead of complaining. Amen."
"Not for the lip of praise alone,
Nor e'en the praising heart
I ask, but for a life made up
Of praise in every part!"
Proverbs 14:17 "He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly." Read also Ecclesiastes 7.9.
Proverbs 19:13, "The contentions of a wife are a continual dropping." This is repeated again in Proverbs 27:15. In fact Proverbs 27:16 continues, "He who would restrain her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand."
Proverbs 21:19, "It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman." This is also repeated again in Proverbs 19:9 and 25:24.
Other versions of the Bible translate this contentious woman as 'crabby, complaining, nagging, quarrelsome, ill-tempered, cross and petulant, scolding and irritable.' The actual Hebrew word is madown which means 'to quarrel, to cause discord or strife.' Not a very nice description, is it?
It's easy to nag. It's easy to pick a quarrel. But it is destructive, so why do we do it?
Does this mean that we cannot tell our husband something that we are concerned about? No. We are workers togetherin building our family. Share your concern with your husband-- in a spirit of meekness. Ask him how he thinks the situation could be remedied. Men love to give answers.
Once you have shared your concerns, keep quiet. But here's the secret. You don't keep quiet on your knees. Cry out to God and ask Him to deal with your husband. Don't give up praying until you see the answers.
The opposite of contention is harmony and unity. May God help us to work on another habit in our lives. What can you do next time you feel contentious? Say No to your fleshly feelings and by faith speaks harmonious words. You won't feel like it. You'd much rather nag or start a quarrel. But that is your old nature which you are so used to. Instead, remember that the Holy Spirit indwells you. Turn to Him and ask Him to reveal His Spirit of harmony and peace-making through you.
"Oh God, please save me from being cranky and contentious. Please convict me when I become irritable or quarrelsome. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and help me establish unity in the home. Amen."
I'm changing from crabby to happy!
Proverbs 2:18, "To deliver you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words, who forsakes the companion of her youth, and forgets the covenant of her God. For her house leads down to death, and her paths to the dead." Read also Proverbs 7:27.
Adultery not only destroys a marriage and the home but hurts the children. When God talks about the breaking up of the covenant of marriage in Malachi 2:13-16 he uses the words "violence" and "treacherously". In fact, in this short passage he repeats the word "treacherously" three times! God sees the breaking up of the marriage through adultery astreacherous! The Hebrew word is bagad and means 'traitorous, unfaithful, deceitful and also implies pillage.' Read Jeremiah 3:20.
How can it be that adultery is prevalent in the church today? I remember growing up in a little town in New Zealand. If a husband or wife went off with someone else it was the disgust of the town. And that was the attitude of non-Christians! And yet now it is prevalent for Christians to show tolerance for something God calls treacherous!
7. RENDERING EVIL FOR GOOD
Proverbs 17:13, "Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house."
How important it is to show a grateful heart to those who have blessed us in our lives. We can take things for granted so easily, can't we? It is easy to carry on with life and forget the goodness of others. There are times when people will speak evil about those who have blessed them. We have experienced this many times in our lives. But we dare not get bitter. We must keep on blessing them and trust God to work in their lives. And God does not forget. God does His own avenging in His own time and in His own way. We can leave it totally with God.
Romans 12:19-21 says, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves... 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." (Proverbs 25:21-22; Romans 10:30)
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL