“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. But the tax collect stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven but beat his breast and said, ‘God have mercy on me, a sinner.’ Luke 18:10-13
We are all guilty of it. An assumed sense of INNOCENCE…even before God who in actual fact knows more than we are willing to give or acknowledge. It all started in the Garden of Eden. Adam was so over the moon when God brought him the most beautiful thing he had ever seen – Eve, his wife. For the first time in his existence, he had found someone who truly resembled and complimented him in many ways. His appreciation of her is fully seen in his words:
“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man.” Genenis 2:23
But its not long after those words are declared do we see a sudden change of heart. Eve is not all she seems to be, Adam tries his best to convince God. Of course, she is quilty and he can only be GUILTY OF INNOCENCE …. “This woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Gen 3:12
Just like Adam, it is so easy to full into that trap of the guilt of innocence. We look at ourselves with a less critical eye but we are quick to judge others and pass on a deadly sentence. We are the first to pick the stone of condemnation … yet in reality we are guilt of a greater sin than the guilt one. As Jesus reminds us in the above parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, it is always safe to stand before God as the GUILTY ONE and find mercy than play safe with the GUILT OF INNOCENCE and find only condemnation.
Matthew 5:27 ‘You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman LUSTFULLY has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Let me start here with a true story. Many years ago, when I was a baby Christian, there was a couple who I really admired and looked up to. From outside, their marriage looked so beautiful and genuine and of course, naturally I wanted to have what they had; A marriage built on love, tenderness and a quiet respect. Then one day, my innocence was brutally violated when I found out that he, the husband was having an affair with his wife’s best friend. For days and weeks, I pondered as my heart ached if to tell her what I knew or not. Without the courage to face her, I cut and ran. Oh…you have to forgive me…but that’s what I did! Hoping against hope, I prayed privately for their marriage to find a common ground for healing and restoration but it was never to be. Many years down the road, the marriage came to an END, a very painful end!
And while I still have no answer to the question if I should have intervened then or not, I know that Jesus did intervene in the issue of INFIDELITY. No…he did not give us a foundation for divorce or how we should deal with others infidelity…but rather, when He spoke about adultery, He was addressing the married couples. You see, until you are married…or you are single dealing with a married person, you might not think much about infidelity. INFIDELITY in marriage as Jesus puts it, starts not as we know it…that is, the actual bed act…but rather with A LOOK….yes, THAT LOOK!Continue reading →
Ecclesiastes 9:8-9 Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. ENJOY LIFE WITH YOUR WIFE WHOM YOU LOVE, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun_ all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.
Do you love? Are you in love? Are you planning to love? Then this is for you. I loved this quote as soon as I first set my eyes on it.
WE COME TO LOVE Not by finding a perfect person, BUT BY LEARNING TO SEE an imperfect person perfectly
HAVE A LOVELY, LOVING SUNDAY with the ONE YOU LOVE!!!!
Genesis 29:30-31 Jacob lay with Rachel also, and HE LOVED RACHEL MORE THAN LEAH. And he worked for Laban another seven years. When the Lord saw the Leah was NOT LOVED, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.
LEAH in Hebrew means WEARY, TIRED, TENDER or WEAK.
A simple question for the single person. At what state are you approaching the idea of marriage?
For the married person. At what state did you enter into your marriage? Let’s put some substance into the above questions from the example of Leah’s love story in Genesis 29
Here is Leah, daughter of Laban. Leah had WEAK EYES and most probably unattractive, unlike her younger sister, Rachel who was lovely in form and beautiful. According to their custom, the younger sister could not get married before her elder sister. So here we see a problem. Even through the bible does not mention it, it is most probable that Rachel had many suitors. But NO, none of them were interested in her sister Leah. Hence, right from the start, Leah was always DISADVANTAGED. Not only because she was physically unattractive, but she was seen as Continue reading →
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 What I mean, brothers, is that TIME IS SHORT. From now on those WHO HAVE WIVES SHOULD LIVE AS IF THEY HAD NONE; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of this world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
The honeymoon was over. As a young wife of just a little over a year after our marriage and with a four month old baby to take care of, I felt abandonment. A friend of mine had called a month early and by the sound of my voice, she stated this in concern. ‘Gladwell, you sound so tired and depressed.’ Of course, I quickly reassured her that things were fine. But were they really? That I can’t answer for Continue reading →
Numbers 6:24 ‘THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU: The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord turn His face towards you and give you PEACE.
Five years ago, on 7th December 2004 I left my birth country, Kenya and headed to Poland. In the plane, I got myself comfortable and got out my newly bought marriage book titled INTIMATE ALLIES by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III. Before I began to flip the first page, I noticed something familiar: MY MOTHER’S IMMACULATE HANDWRITING. My heart skipped with joy while unshed tears hang loosely in my eyes. With simplicity, she had written these words as her silent farewell to me, her daughter. Continue reading →
Song of Songs 2:14-15 My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding-places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; FOR YOUR VOICE IS SWEET, and YOUR FACE IS LOVELY. Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes, that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.
Like good wine, a great marriage doesn’t just HAPPEN. And of course, there is an amount of truth in the saying that no marriage comes with a manual. However, there are two things that make each marriage work or fail the world over…THE VOICE AND THE FACE. When we first meet the person we eventually fall in love with…we are fascinated by their person. We find ourselves captivated by each gesture or word spoken. Their world seems for us mysterious yet unfrightening. Suddenly, we become adventurers in the journey of love. And as the journey begins, our true faces and voices begin emerging…either to work against us or for us.
After two years of courtship, I never once had a quarrel or at least a heated one with my fiance, not until we got married. Of course, when the first one happened, I wasn’t prepared. Words were spoken…the voice that I had come to love was now different. You see, like many other things in life…A GOOD MARRIAGE IS BUILD with WORDS. After being married for awhile, it is easy to become careless with our words…a little nagging wouldn’t hurt or sulking or the silent treatment. For the husband, a few more hours at work can’t hurt, after all I have to provide for my family, he reasons. Isn’t it amazing then to know that the very things that brought you together are the very things that are now driving you apart?
But the Songwriter says it well, ‘Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin our vineyard.’ And my question is: Which little foxes have you allowed into your VINEYARD? What are going to do about them? For you as a Christian realize that God wants your vineyard, i.e your marriage to bloom.
THE FORMULA FOR A GOOD MARRIAGE
Keep the VOICE OF YOUR MARRIAGE SWEET and PLACE THE LOVELY FACE OF YOUR MARRIAGE UNDER THE HOLY SPIRIT’S ANOINTING.
Malachi 2:15 Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are HIS. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
A smile crossed through my lips the other day when I remembered a TV commercial back at home which said ‘when the rubber meets the road.’ This advert about the strength of the rubber tyres on the tarmac got me thinking. For one, with so many new inventions happening in our world, I was amazed at this one…after so many years since the car was invented, the rubber tyres still keep our cars running. Can’t someone else think of something better than RUBBER TYRES? I wondered. Then, I realized there is an invention that has OUTLIVED all other inventions. It first happened at a garden…THE FIRST GARDEN WEDDING OF ALL TIMES.
When God brought Eve to Adam…an everlasting proclamation was made, one which we hear at every CHRISTIAN wedding ceremony, over and over again:
FOR THIS REASON A MAN WILL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE UNITED TO HIS WIFE, AND THEY WILL BE ONE FLESH. Genesis 2:24.
Of course, our world is changing…and some are trying hard to change that ONE FOR ALL TIMES INVENTION. The Christian marriage is under attack. The TWO shall become ONE FLESH equation still adds up to A GODLY OFFSPRING. The question goes out to you…are your mathematics in line with GOD’S. Remember…GOD IS STILL IN THE MIX. Change in His mathematics equals death to a GODLY GENERATION.
Song of Songs 8:6-7 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for LOVE IS AS STRONG AS DEATH, its jealously unyielding as the grave. It burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.
A couple of years ago, before I left my native country, Kenya to come and marry my husband in his country, Poland…there was only one driving force behind my decision…LOVE. Some friends asked…”Aren’t you afraid?” What if things turn out differently, others feared. Your family and friends will not be there for you. Despite all the logic in their arguments…no, not once did I fret nor doubt about what the future holds for me. In fact, I had reason, all the more for undeterred confidence…LOVE. My husband in waiting loved me…that I understood. And even much more, the LOVE OF GOD which had kept me waiting for all those years, was the same that would accompany me to Poland and beyond.
And to crown it all, my friends, Christine and Mary gave me an amazing and priceless wedding gift…a maroon velvet wall hanging with these words inscripted on it;
THE STRENGTH OF LOVE Though Love may seem so fragile
Like a petal on wind
Our Love is rooted on the ROCK Whose strength is endless
For years now, I have been going back for some more…LOVE is what you and I need to keep us strong!