Category Archives: Healthy Relationships
Matthew 12: 7-8
“But f you had known (known in your heart–which is far more valuable, than head knowledge, in my opinion) What this means, I will have mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless.”
Happy joyful people are those who understand mercy–it has been extended to them, and they have understood and appropriated it, not just once, but on an ongoing basis. It has become part of them–mercy lives in their spirit and soul, so they are able to extend mercy to others. They don’t go around judging, gossiping, condemning other people. Understanding mercy makes a happy, joyful soul, and helps to solve a lot of problems that might other wise make a person miserable. Better by far to be Christ focused, instead of problem focused.
Sometimes people can become bitter and miserable because the mercy they extend has been misunderstood–the person they showed mercy to either takes advantage of them because they don’t understand mercy and perceives it as weakness, or the person is suspicious and goes on the defensive and launches a passive-aggressive attack.
That can make a person bitter, and turn them into one of those other two types, but it doesn’t have to be that way–it is a series of choices. If they are Christ centered, and continue to choose to stay that way, instead of being problem centered, it won’t happen–they won’t become bitter, suspicious and defensive. This doesn’t mean you will never get your feelings hurt, just don’t let it change your center, and your focus. If you don’t stay Christ centered, those problem circumstances WILL erode your faith and make you bitter, and cause you to turn to something other than Christ for answers.
Jesus’ words are simple, and yet full of wisdom. Simple, so that everyone could understand them. He never wasted words, and he never wasted any opportunity to teach. He was, and is, Master and Shepard. He did not come as a Scholar, though His was the greatest human mind in all of human history. He was the King of Kings, but he appeared as a carpenter’s Son, but in reality he was and is The Son of God. Jesus was a quiet mature person (Mt 12:20) but as a man, he was fully human, and had personal preferences like everyone else–he preferred certain of his disciples though He chose them all, and he was closest to John.
For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
This was written by David, about the betrayal of Ahithophel, one of his closest advisors, and his wife Bathsheba’s grandfather. This passage also describes Judas’ betrayal of Christ. Have you ever been betrayed like this? By someone close to you–a person you thought was a friend? I have. It is only when we are down and out that we truly know who our friends are. Job also found this out.
Throughout the book of Job, you can read about the “encouragement” of these high and mighty (in their opinion) so called friends. Even though Job found out the true nature of these three men who he thought were his friends, God never let him down; God was shown to be consistent in His nature toward Job–He showed Job just as much grace when he was destitute as when he had been wealthy. God’s nature does not change–one of the many lessons in the book of Job
Now most of us–had this happened to us–would have wanted to see those friends dealt with severely by God. They weren’t–but they were chastised and told to offer sacrifice. Do you know what that tells me? These men were saved–they knew the Lord in a very real way, but their hearts were far from him, and so they condemned a man whom God had justified.
For the Lord disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son He receives.
Furthermore, God required Job to forgive these friends, and not only to forgive them, but to intercede for them for forgiveness for the very sin they had committed against him.
And Job did.
I believe that Job truly forgave them because God would not have accepted the sacrifice he offered for them, other wise.
Update: happy and blessed in the Lord. Settling in here in Kentucky. We left Baton Rouge about three weeks ago. I’ve really seen the Lord provide amazing ways like to be able to go into but I want to protect other people’s privacy so I can’t go into detail. But we are very blessed the Lord has met all of our needs according to His riches in glory. I have started posting brief audio clips to the Wilderness Well page on Facebook. My husband and I have been reading “My Utmost For His Highest” by Oswald Chambers, and it has inspired me to record the audio clips.
I’m learning a lot from the devotionals, such as being thankful in all circumstances. I’m also trying to be consistent, and finish things I start, like the series of Proverbs posts, on this blog….And….Drum roll….The ebook I am writing, called The Well in the Wilderness. More details about that to follow.
Thank you for reading. Please pray for me that I will be able to stay consistent with the important things, and not always be distracted by the seemingly urgent.
Here is what is currently inspiring me:
My Utmost For His Highest
Seven Habits of Highly Successful People
“Freedom in the Home” by Frances Allen
Have you read any of these? I would enjoy reading your thoughts in the comments.
Continuing with this series of posts studying the book of Proverbs, let’s move on to chapter two. In this chapter, King Solomon continues to extol the virtues of wisdom, and specifically, to keep a man from committing adultery.
I apologize that I wasn’t able to find a version of this song without commercials, I could have used one with just the lyrics, but I felt it was important to see the video that goes with this song:
“Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns
Recently I have been reading “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey. My fiancé had been telling me how he read this book years ago, and it changed his life. This intrigued me, so I downloaded it on Kindle. It has also changed my outlook. I was a little skeptical at first, wondering if he would incorporate phycology, and try to change the way I look at the Lord. He didn’t. As I read, it became clear that Covey was a Christian, and his faith and knowledge of the bible were behind his principles, for the most part. The book has not changed my perspective on the Lord, but it has changed my perception of myself.
I have started to see that I have held a very negative perception of myself, but not in the way that psychology would have me think. I know I have a sin nature, and I’m not all that good, at heart. But that is beside the point. I am still a daughter of the king, and that knowledge, joined with the knowledge that apart from Christ, I’m just a vile sinner, led me to this–the truth of the knowledge that I am a daughter of The King, reveals how much He values me, and in His opinion, the only opinion that matters, I have worth, and I am a joint-heir with Christ, and all that is His, is mine. If Christ be for me (and He is) who can be against me? No one. People’s opinions cease to matter. Nevertheless, the knowledge that I am merely a vile sinner, apart from Christ, keeps me from the pride that might accompany the knowledge that I am a child of the King, and all that goes with that.
Reading Seven Habits made me realize one glaring fact–I have let people’s perception of me define me. The Holy Spirit said to me once, many years ago–“You are not who others say you are–you are who I say you are.” Old patterns take a long time to break at times, and I have been slow to learn this in my heart. When I read Seven Habits, it brought this back to my memory. I am who the Lord says I am, and I don’t need to let people’s opinions have power over me anymore. I realized that I have been letting other people have too much power over me. Also, I can rise above storms and evil circumstances, because I am a child of the King. And if you are a Christian, if you know Jesus in a personal way, than so can you, because you are a child of the King also.
Song of Solomon 9:8-10
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.
10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.
The “older brothers” in these verses are not speaking well of the “little sister” the words are intended to be insulting, to convey the idea that she is immature and not much to look at (no breasts) and useless as neither a wall or a door. A wall keeps things out, and a door admits things. So they may be saying she doesn’t have the sense to know good from evil?
But the “little sister” rejects their opinions, and chooses to see herself as the bridegroom sees her. “I in His eyes as one that found favour.” And his opinion is the only one that matters.
Another thing that the book talks about was having a personal mission statement, that reflects your revealed purpose, that the Lord alone can reveal to you. Writing it down serves as a reminder of your purpose here on earth, and how the Lord wants to fulfill it. I will share mine in the next post. In the meantime, here is a song that I feel fits the mood of this post:
Since we are still being perfected, we still have flaws ourselves, so we ought to be patient with other people’s flaws, the same way that Christ is continually patient with our flaws and shortcomings. Proverbs says a man who would have friends must show himself friendly. In every relationship we ought to have the heart of a servant, and treat other people with the same love and patience that Christ has when He deals with us. Other relationships, such as those between employers and employees, we are to work for them as if we are working for the Lord himself, whether they are believers or not.
Colossians 3:22 – 3:25
Forgiveness—root of bitterness
Lack of forgiveness can cause a root of bitterness to spring up that affects every area of your life, and all your other relationships. Lack of forgiveness doesn’t harm the person you won’t forgive, but it can harm you, and worse, it can harm your relationship with the Lord, as the bible says, if we won’t forgive, we will not be forgiven either, and that puts a barrier between us and the Lord. If we see that person we won’t forgive, being blessed by the Lord, that may even cause us to grow angry and bitter towards the Lord. We have all been forgiven much by the Lord, so He expects us to forgive others.
What does this mean? It doesn’t mean doing everything the other person tells us, without question, like some kind of automaton. It means putting the other persons needs ahead of your own, it means being a servant. The bible tells us how to do this. In marriage, it means that the husband is to love his wife the way Christ loves the church.
Husband and wife
Christ loved the church enough to die to set His people free from their sins. A husband should love his wife enough that he would die for her, if necessary. The wife should love her husband just as much. Ideally, a marriage is two yoked together as one. When farmers used to use oxen to plow their fields, back before modern machinery was invented, how do you think the oxen were yoked together? One behind the other? No, it would be pretty difficult to pull a plow that way. They were side by side. One was the lead ox, the one who determined the direction that the team was to go. But what if the other ox, for some reason, decides it doesn’t want to go that way, and just stops. Not matter how much the other ox pulls, because one is standing still, the team is not going to move forward.
The lead ox is usually the stronger one, physically, and therefore sets the course, also, it is harder to start, when you are pulling a load, than it is to keep moving once you start, so the stronger ox takes the lead. But what if the lead ox refuses to lead? What if it suddenly falls to the ox who is used to following, to suddenly be forced to take the lead, and to do what it is not designed to do. It may work, but it is going to be clumsy, because neither ox is doing what they are designed to do, and soon or later, one of them is going to stumble, and because they are yoked, when one goes down, the other is going down too.
Marriages work the same way. When two people become one in the bond of marriage, they each have a role that they are designed to fulfill. The husband is the head of the household, and takes the heavier burden of setting the course according to the will of the Master. The wife’s role is to shoulder her part of the burden, and follow the course set by her husband, and ultimately, the Master. If the husband is fulfilling his role properly, he will do the will of the Master, and follow the course that the Master sets. So by following his lead, the wife is following the lead of the Master as well. If she tries to lead, it throws everything out of balance, and sooner or later, the team is going down. If she does not follow, than the team is going nowhere, and neither can follow the will of the Master. This requires a day by day, and moment by moment, submission to the Master, by both the husband and the wife, in order to make this work. No marriage is perfect, because no believer is perfect, but we are being perfected.