It is not good for man to be alone.
Genesis 2:18, God makes this clear just barely into chapter 2 of Genesis.
His socks were all over the Garden. Dirty dishes were everywhere, and all man did was sit around watching ball games on TV telling knock knock jokes.. to himself.
So it was clear then and is now it was not good for man to be alone.. UNLESS his only choice is a NAG Proverbs 21:19.. then God advises..
get a room on the second floor of a one story home. The view is spectacular and the quiet is so welcome. :)
Of course there is much more to be said about God's Gender odd couple by design (man and wife). Both common sense and God's word make this abundantly clear.
One of my favorite verses to take out of context is Ephesians 5:22 Wives SUBMIT to your husbands.
This is a very annoying verse to my wife when I take too long to pause and ponder this 'great' scripture without continuing to read the next 11 verses. I even try to convince her that there are only 22 verses in Ephesians 5. She is not amused.
But when I get serious and take time to read Ephesians 5:21-33 in a modern translation like The Message (MSG) my smirky bell-ringing stereotype of 5:22 goes silent.
21 Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.
22-24 Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The Husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.
25-28 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.
29-33 No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.
There you have it, just like when Jesus taught us how to pray in 5 short verses (Mt 6:9-13), now Paul shares how to have a happy marriage in 13 short verses (Eph 5:21-33). side note: I wonder if Matthew offers any advice tax advice.
This beautiful summary of a good marriage does inspire me to love, cherish and appreciate my wife, BUT I also do see in verse 32 Paul writes.. This is a huge mystery and I don't pretend to understand. Ok, I have been told Paul was talking about Christ love for his church, but.. 'A Huge Mystery' does describe marriage too.
Finally, know marriage is a mystery but it is beautiful thoug it is often complicated by the simple 'wiring' differences between man and wife.
You can count on your share of misunderstandings, hurt feelings, disagreements, a few tears, and if looks could kill.. I WOULD BE DEAD!
In the end most days while you love your spouse to death you will be scratching your head wondering what planet your spouse is from.
May God bless each of you that are married with spouses that are described in Eph 5:21-33, and not Proverbs 21:19.
The author of the book of Hebrews does not mince words when he wrote
.. it is hard to get it across to you since you’ve picked up this bad habit of NOT LISTENING! ... You ought to be teachers by now, yet here you are needing someone to go over the basics on God.. AGAIN! You need MILK, and Milk is for BABIES! Hebrews 5:11-14 (MSG).
BUT then again.. there are plenty of meaningful scriptures exhorting us to have the the faith of a child.
Mt 9:14 (LIV) Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me! Never send them away! For the Kingdom of God belongs to men who have hearts as trusting as these little children’s.
and how about...
Mt 18:2-4 (lIV) Jesus said, “Unless you turn to God from your sins and become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. and then Jesus continues.. Therefore anyone who humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
even Max Lucado chimes in when he wrote in one of his books.. "Play hard, laugh loud and leave the worries to the Father."
Ok God so which is it? Be like a child or grow up? Drink Milk and eat my Wonder Bread, or grill me a T-Bone Steak?
Before God answers that burning question let me take time for some Introspection..
All smirking aside (ok, some of the smirking aside) I know
1. God wants me to trust and love Him like a trusted my own mom & dad.. AND
2. God wants me to grow up.. don't stay a spiritual baby or a lazy teen who years later is still living in his Heavenly dad's basement without a job.. RENT FREE.
"C'mon at least mow the lawn once in a while. And good grief put on your belt of truth before you lose your pants". - Thus saith your Heavenly Father
Ok, now I am officially done being smirky.
My God is good, and I trust Him like as a boy I trusted my own father, because He loves me.
My God is good, and I desire to grow in love and knowledge of Him.
My God is good, and I pray that my words and actions are sincere loving service to my Heavenly Father.
My God is so good.
Life is good. Really. God is good, my wife loves me, I like my job so everything.. good. Yep, I am living a charmed life. Life is so GOOOOD.
Then I get a visit from Mr. Bad Attitude that is far worse than a visit by some loved but not liked relative and his/her 4 kids showing up announced to spend the evening with you.. OR MAYBE LONGER. I can even sense a disturbance in the force that Mr. B.A. is heading over tonight after a long day at work which is compounding by rush hour traffic, and.. my faithful sidekick bad back pain is flaring up.
On such days I arrive home seriously tired with a growing headache, then greeted at home by my wife's dog Cooper (a rescue dog) that loves Mary but often barks at me. Mr. B.A. may not be in my house yet, but I can see him looking in my front window sitting in his car.. smiling.
So like I said I am tired.. so I just want to relax for a few moments but the next mistake I make is.. I turn on the news where the top stories are a terrorist attack, hate crimes, and that rogue 'nut job' with a Nuke in North Korea Kim Jong Loonietunes is launching missles again. Congress continues of course playing partisan politics, and there is another 'snowflake' protest in Berkeley by those so afraid of Donald Trump so they burn flags and destroy property (They call it stress relief via anarchy?). All this and OBTW.. everything good or bad in EVERY story is tied to .. DONALD TRUMP. hmm.. I thought only God was omnipresent.
So I turn off the news ready for dinner and notice Mr. Bad Attitude now has his face pressed against my front window pointing to my door to let him in, but for the moment I look away. Dinner is good as always my wife Mary takes good care of me and after dinner we nightly watch Wheel of Fortune. It is our momentary reprieve from this big ol' bad world,... but then from 7pm CST to bedtime there is usually nothing to watch! So I browse the web, and being on Facebook is just a poke the bear experience for me via social media. How many cat pictures and political posts can one man take?
Now it is 7:30pm, my clouded mind has NO silver linings and Mr. Bad Attitude has let himself in and is sitting in my chair eating Cheetos and wiping his orange greasy fingers on my chair while grinning. I am tired, irritated, my dog is growling at me because I spoke to my wife without asking his permission. And I am sorry to say but even a little irritating for me is my wife is peaceful reading a book with no bad attitude. Doesn't she know my back, head, world, and tonight's TV lineup are all sorely hurting? <pause> Well, of course she does because I either mumble/moan about all things bad, or go silent while sulking (loudly). Yes I silently sulk loudly.
Ok, this post is long and rambling.. and a bit pathetic but it is more than somewhat true. Circumstances affect me, I become discouraged, and a bit lost in a bit of rogue introspection where nothing seems good, all while spinning in my mind from this broken day in this broken world to reflecting on my past and present regrets and failures. It is not a pretty sight... but just how Mr. Bad Attitude likes it.
Bad news is.. my back does hurt sometimes badly, and I am not so young anymore so I sometimes am really bushed after work.. and so sulking silently OUT LOUD comes easy.
GOOD NEWS.. we need some good news. Here it is and it is no empty cliche'. There is power in the name of Jesus as I was reminded recently by a friend.
To pray in Jesus name when I hurt, or when I am sad or my introspection gets me in trouble I pray in Jesus name. AND I get practical.. how about turn off the TV instead of spending an evening scrolling through one ba-zillion channels of sameness. Maybe instead I should follow my wife's example (but don't tell her I said so) of reading and praying.. instead of moaning and sulking.
One last note is I know my pain and my circumstances are trivial compared to others, but they are real to me. Your circumstances may be less or far worse than mine, but God does not trivialize you thoughts, emotions, pain, or limitations.. and he cares.
I would like to say Mr. Bad Attitude will not come to visit again, but I know better. But my prayer is not to be so inviting since I really don't like his company.
May God bless each of you with joy and purpose that goes beyond your circumstances. May our attitudes be good and our hearts thankful for a life that can be so good.
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson
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