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Posts Tagged ‘Women’

Health Lessons Men Can Learn From Women

Read more: http://www.webmd.com/men/ss/slideshow-men-learn-women?ecd=wnl_men_041516&ctr=wnl-men-041516_nsl-prmd_title&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

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Single women

Gabriel was sent “to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. Luke 1:27 (NKJV)

 

According to Christian pollster George Barna[i], teenage and young adult women are learning to prepare themselves for a changing social structure.  For teen girls, this means focusing on career now and not expecting to be married until the late twenties, at least.

Barna concluded that young women are more likely than ever to feel they must get educated, find a job, and be ready for life – with or without marriage. More than ever before, young women are preparing themselves to live independently.  One of the interesting findings was the fact that teen girls aspire to most of the same careers as teen-aged boys.  Some young women exhibit traditional preferences for teaching, fashion, interior design, and nursing, but teen females are more likely than teen males to aspire to work in journalism, business, and law. At the same time, teen girls are equally likely to be interested in the military, arts and music, public safety including law enforcement and firefighting, and government.

Most of the women surveyed by Barna still expect to raise families; they just anticipate doing so later in life.  According to this report, in total, more than 70 million adults in this nation feel as though their past decisions and life events have limited their current prospects.

The decisions that young women make today will have repercussions, for good or for bad, for the rest of their lives.  Some of those decisions will make them single parents increasing their responsibilities and challenges.  Having an education and a career can provide a single woman, and a single parent, with the ability to support themselves and their children.

Be careful with the decisions you make today; you and probably your children may pay a heavy price for them for a lifetime.

 

Father God, as singles we have the same opportunities and responsibilities.  Help us to make good, wise decisions so we may avoid the adverse results of bad, poor ones.

[i] https://www.barna.org/teens-next-gen-articles/548-top-trends-of-2011-women-making-it-alone(accessed 1-10-15)

 

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Scripture: (Judg 19:1-3 NKJV)  And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite staying in the remote mountains of Ephraim. He took for himself a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. {2} But his concubine played the harlot against him, and went away from him to her father’s house at Bethlehem in Judah, and was there four whole months. {3} Then her husband arose and went after her, to speak kindly to her and bring her back, having his servant and a couple of donkeys with him. So she brought him into her father’s house; and when the father of the young woman saw him, he was glad to meet him.

Observation: This is one of the strangest stories in the entire Bible.  A Levite set out to win back the love of a woman, but when the men of the city wanted to have sex with the Levite, instead he gave them his woman for then to do with her as they wished.  After an entire night of abuse, the woman died, the Levite took her home, cut her in pieces, and sent the pieces throughout Israel seeking justice.
When sin controls people, they will stop at nothing until their sinful desires are met.  Not only were they trying to do what God calls unnatural (Romans 1) by having homosexual relations, but also by abusing this  woman to the point of death.
On the other hand, if we can look for something positive in this story, it is the Levite’s actions and words to win this woman back related at the beginning of the story.

Application: Even though the woman played the harlot and left him the Levite went to look for her, to speak kindly to her, and to bring her back.  These three steps can also be critically important to win your wife back after you have caused harm any kind of pain – like speaking harshly to her, being unkind to her, betraying her trust in you.  Let’s look at the three steps:
1. He went after her.  He took the initiative.  In the same way, if you have done or said anything that hurt your spouse, don’t ignore it as if it would go away on its own, or don’t expect the other to forget it as if nothing had happened.  Take the initiative to go to your spouse and make things right with them.  Apologize, ask their forgiveness, make every effort to make things better in the future.
2. He spoke kindly to her.  Don’t make things worse by denying what happened or by becoming defensive.  A recognition of what you did and kind words can go a lot farther in the healing process.
3. He brought her back.  It’s not enough to just get back to normal but to establish a new, better normal I your relationship with your spouse.
We can make our relationships better and win back our spouse, if we are sincere in our desire and honest with our feelings, and if our attitude and actions show them we indeed love them and want the best for them.

Prayer: Father, we praise You and thank You for your gift of our spouse; may we treat them accordingly.

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Scripture: (Judg 4:4-5 NKJV)  Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. {5} And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.

Observation: Deborah, a prophetess, was also the leader of Israel at the time.  He called Barak to pursue Sisera, one of Israel’s enemies.  At the end, Deborah and Jael, who killed Sisera in her tent, turned out to be the courageous heroines of this story

Application: This is one of those amazing stories of courage displayed not just by one but by two women of the Bible.  There are homes where men are weak and easily led by others or by sins or habits that threaten to destroy their marriage, their family, their finances, and even the very men practicing them.  It is at those times when a courageous woman has to take the reins of their home lest everyone and everything they have be consumed.
Every home has a clearly defined leader, even if the relationship between spouses is egalitarian.  The bible’s ideal is that the man should have that headship since that is a reflection of the order in God’s universe and he serves as a reflection of God and the relationship of Christ as the husband and the church as His bride.  Today’s reality is that some men are not that type of reflection and don’t demonstrate the correct pattern established by Christ.  In addition, some women are raising a family with the absence of a husband or father of her children.  In these cases, women can and must serve the role of headship in their homes in order to maintain it intact and thrive even under less than ideal circumstances.

Prayer: Father, bless the women who under difficult circumstances labor to keep their families intact and healthy.  May they reflect faithfully the image of Christ in their lives.

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Scripture: (Josh 10:12-13 NKJV)  Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” {13} So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.

Observation: One of the most powerful miracles ever had just taken place after Joshua prayed that the sun would stand still; it is recorded that the sun indeed stood still for about a day.  Then the kings that had joined to try to defeat Israel were captured and executed, and later buried.  These wholesale destructions of entire cities is what has caused some to question God and even to come to be afraid of or bitter toward Him.  We need to consider several things:
1. Israel had no home, and God wanted to provide them with a home of their own where they could live in peace and worship Him and become a witness to the whole world.
2. These nations had become so depraved by sin that their corrupting influence was not only spreading, but it could, and in some cases did, become a hindrance, a temptation, and a stumbling block to God’s people.
3. The way these people dealt with their own was dehumanizing and deadly.  They had temple prostitutes, the women were treated as objects to abuse and mistreat, children were abused and at times offered to idols; God could not permit this abuse on the innocent to go on forever – or until they’d destroy themselves, but in the mean time generations of innocent people would suffer.
4. Without the presence of Israel as a nation, the world was rapidly becoming like the world before the flood, and even though Israel was not always faithful to God, its presence gave the rest of the world an opportunity to know God and gave them a lease on life.
In reality, these destructions were more an act of mercy than an act of anger on the part of God.  Yes, He was angry with those nations and peoples, but yet they were also His children and by putting an end to their wickedness God was saving countless others yet unborn.

Application: In thinking about the sun standing still, I just recently I received an e-mail with a story (whether it is true or not, I don’t know), about the time when NASA scientists were working on plans for future launches when they ran into a problem.  They entered all the information into the computer, but the computer could not compute correctly, it gave an error message, and the NASA people could not find out what the problem was, all they knew was that there was one day and about forty minutes missing that they could not account for.  Apparently a Christian among them told them about this event, they changed their calculations and sure enough, they were only missing about forty minutes.  Then the Christian told them of the time when King Hezekiah asked for a sign that he would be healed, and the sun went back what would be the equivalent of . . . forty minutes.  Once that time was also accounted for, their calculations matched perfectly.
These stories remind me that God’s miraculous power on our behalf is still available to us as families and as couples.  We may not get the sun to stand still, but maybe he will make the time that we have more manageable so we can spend time learning about Him and worshiping Him, time together as families, time with our children, time for work, time for leisure, time to evangelize, time to rest.  And all along, God also helps us to deal with those things that are destroying our families – negative influences on our children, not spending enough time together, not spending enough time with God in prayer and for God in praise, not spending enough time to study His word, not spending enough time working for the salvation of others.  We don’t need the miracle of more time; what we need is the miracle of learning how to manage properly the time that God already gives us every day.  Much like we don’t understand how when we return God’s tithe we seem to have more than before, so when we dedicate our time to Him, He can help us accomplish more in the time we have than if we tried to manage it ourselves, without Him in it.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the time You give us.  Help us to manage it wisely for You and others.

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Scripture: There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, with the women, the little ones, and the strangers who were living among them.  (Joshua 8:35 NKJV)

Observation: After the defeat at Ai, Joshua discovered and had to deal with Achan’s sin lest all of Israel would hear about it and learn to disregard God’s specific instructions concerning the people and the nations they were supposed to conquer and destroy.
In order to have a new beginning, Joshua read again the covenant God established with Israel.  Today’s text makes it clear that these words were read before all, but it specifically mentions women, children (little ones) and foreigners.  Passages like these should show us that God intended equal treatment to all.

Application: One of my favorite short stories, which eventually was made into a movie with Barbara Streisand, is Yentl, The yeshiva Boy, originally written by Issac Bashevis Singer.  The story centers on a young girl who defies tradition by discussing and debating Jewish law and theology with her rabbi father. When he dies, she cuts her hair, dresses as a young man, and sets out to find a yeshiva where she can continue to study Talmud and live secretly as a male named Anshel.   She has such hunger for learning that she sacrifices her female role, and even her love for her study partner, just so she can learn all she can from the wisdom of bible and other Jewish scholars.
I’m glad we have come such a long way from the days when women were relegated to a second place, some even farther back.  I have had the privilege of meeting and learning from some very bright women and feel my life has been enriched by their knowledge, their wisdom, and their experience.  Without those interactions, my life, my ministry, my future would have been cheated of many valuables treasures.  I count  my wife as one of the brightest, most talented, women and have seen how so many others, including me, have benefitted from her keen insights and talented guidance.  I have worked with and known lady pastors whose ministry and learning has proved to be a great blessing to their husbands ministry and to their churches.  I have sat in classrooms where lady teachers have shared true pearls of wisdom I have then shared with many others.  What a shame, if all these ladies had had to be relegated to the role of servants, quietly going about  menial tasks, never allowed to express their opinions or to teach or lead others, simply because society or culture dictated they had to or they couldn’t be as smart or learned as men!
Joshua taught the Bible (Moses’ words) to women, children, and foreigners, because before God we all are equal and must be treated thus.  I pray for the day, soon I hope, when we will all learn to treat each other and give each other equal opportunities to learn and teach, follow and lead, listen and preach, serve and be served, as God intended; we all be the ones to be benefitted and blessed as a result.

Prayer: Father, You are the God of equality and fairness, righteousness and justice.  Father, may we set aside the societal and cultural barriers that keep us from enjoying Your gifts through men and women for the benefit of Your people.  And may we achieve, with your help, the equality with which You created us as male and female for it will ultimately be for our benefit and for Your honor and glory.

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