Marriage was begun by God. “Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:22-23 NKJV). Before the Flood in Noah’s day, Jesus said, “they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark” (Matthew 24:38 NKJV). “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage” (Luke 20:34 NKJV). In every age, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4 NKJV). Why aren’t you married?
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
According to commentators who are better versed in the Old Testament than I, Proverbs 31:10 is an acrostic poem with an interesting question as an introduction.
Who can find a virtuous woman? Who can find a wife of noble character, one translation says. The question implies the search is either impossible or very difficult, which is probably one reason why preachers begin wedding ceremonies by saying that marriage “should not be entered into unadvisedly or lightly.”
The passage has two basic components. One is how the inspired word of God characterizes a good wife, and the other is how she is praised for her good works and fear of the Lord.
A wife of noble character is of more value than jewels. She constantly works and produces good things for her husband, her family and the poor. Her skill is known by many. Since she is never idle, she reaps the praise of her family and her grateful husband.
Her reverent respect for God is a hallmark of her noble character. Everything she does is rooted in her love for God. Her works are a reflection of her loving and obedient heart.
Why do her children rise and call her blessed? They so call her because all her life has been an example of holiness and purity. Her life has been an example of sacrificial love. Her children learn from this example and attain good, happy lives. They have come to learn lessons of God and obedience from her.
Not only is she to be praised, but her entire life has been an offering of praise to God. She is indeed more valuable than many jewels.
Certainly these words are inadequate to describe my blessed wife. For Judy.
In my first experience as a full-time preacher, I served in Cairo, Illinois. In case you do not know, Cairo has gone from a thriving town to a shell of its former self. Welfare and empty buildings [the ones that aren’t torn down] are the norm.
We met a simple woman from the community who was very poor. She came to worship and asked us for financial help. We took her to the grocery store and helped her learn some more efficient ways to eat than just buying meat in bulk. She was a sweet lady who faced enormous challenges in life.
She kept coming to worship and paid back the money she had been given. Considering how little money she had, that was an amazing feat. In fact, that I know of in sixteen years of preaching, she is the only person from the community who has ever done that.
In time, she became a Christian and she was so thrilled. She was trying to teach her children, with her limited abilities, and would talk to her neighbors about the Lord.
We would go and pick her up for worship. She also was hired to clean the building. Often, she would walk 20 blocks to the Church building and 20 blocks back home. She was an amazing testament to going the extra mile.
Despite her being nearly destitute, she gave what she could in contribution and was a great example to everyone.
Years later, she was still faithful. The congregation I hear has closed and that brings sadness to my heart because of the brethren there. But most of all for this courageous and giving Sister in Christ with a heart as big as the city.
What stands out about the Samaritan woman?
1) She was an observant woman (John 4:9).
2) She was a logical woman (John 4:11-12).
3) She was a receptive woman (John 4:13-15, 21-25).
4) She was an honest woman (John 4:16-18).
5) She was a perceptive woman (John 4:19).
6) She was an evangelistic woman (John 4:28-29, 39).
My Forthright article today is one that I spent a lot of time on. It was my sermon on Sunday and it was well-received. I would appreciate your reading and I hope, if it is of value, you will share it with others. It discusses the reason why women of our day do not wish to be called, “Ladies.” Read about God’s Lady.
My mother was a woman of integrity – a woman with the same qualities as Abigail in 1 Samuel 25: http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2006/01/07/abigail-a-woman-of-integrity/
The question that made the biggest difference to me? “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?”