Carol City church of Christ
A Beautiful Woman
by Geneva Brown Smith
The Bible uses this phrase “beautiful woman” in Genesis 12:11. These words referred to Sarah, Abraham’s wife. They literally mean “a woman of beautiful appearance.” Even though Sarah was a great beauty physically, she was jealous of her maid. We can conclude from this that physical beauty does not provide one with self-esteem, nor does it give one a sense of security.
In order to help us understand God’s beautiful woman, let’s first look at some of the things she is not:
God’s beautiful woman is not selfish. Have you ever met someone who just cannot seem to see beyond her own personal needs and wants? Someone might suggest helping a needy member of the church. The selfish one can always think of a dozen different criteria (her own) which the needy person must meet before being helped.
God’s beautiful woman is not envious. Some are made unhappy by the accomplishments and good fortune of others. They want everything for themselves and their families. Envy is an admission of a feeling of inferiority usually directed at one’s equals. It will condemn the soul (Galatians 5:21).
God’s beautiful woman is not stubborn. This evil springs from a refusal to recognize any authority but one’s own will, and results in much strife both in the home and in the church. This sin was punishable by death under the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 21:18-19).
God’s beautiful woman is not proud. Those who exalt themselves are flying high, and will surely fall (Luke 14:11). In Proverbs 6, pride is listed as one of the things God hates.
God’s beautiful woman is not domineering. Jezebel in the Old Testament plotted and schemed to have her own way regardless of the consequences to others. Se thought she knew everything. She gave orders, and heaven help anyone who violated them. Modern Jezebels do the same today. They aren’t satisfied with programs of the church. They plot and scheme either through their husbands or by talking to others in a domineering fashion to get what they want. Every program must be tailored to their needs. A woman of this disposition will cause many problems in the church and in the home
God’s beautiful woman has a meek and quiet spirit. Sarah, in spite of her problems with jealousy of her maid, and disbelief (when God said she would have a son) redeemed herself in that she adorned herself with a meek and quiet spirit. She “obeyed Abraham calling him Lord.” In I Peter 3:3-5 “whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands.”
God’s beautiful woman is chaste, having pure moral character. She is careful in the way that she dresses, as well as the way she behaves in the presence of others.
God’s beautiful woman is deferring. Logically, she cannot always have her own way if she is to get along with others. Her influence for good is lost if she is not willing to defer to others often.
God’s beautiful woman is disciplined, gracious, controlled, happy, and “together.” She may have all kinds of personalities and still be beautiful. She may be shy, colorful, vivacious, a leader, or a follower. She may be a full-time housewife or a businesswoman. When she possesses a “meek and quiet spirit,” she is not threatening to those around her. She does not demand her “rights.” She does not insist on planning every activity that is entered into. She can gracefully follow as well as lead. Meekness is not to be confused with weakness. Meekness is strength under control. Are you a beautiful woman??
What About Women Preachers?
by Carrol R. Sutton
The number of women "preachers" is increasing yearly. Many people think they are really "broadminded" if they accept and promote the modern idea of "equality" of the sexes. It seems to never enter the minds of some people that God's will should be considered when the subject of "the role of men" and "the role of women" are considered. What about "women preachers"? Should we have them? Is God pleased with them? What is God's will relative to "women preachers"? Can a woman be a preacher of the gospel by faith? (Rom. l0:17) Let us consider the following facts and principles.
1. 1 Cor. 11:3 says: "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." This shows that in a general way women should be in subjection to men. We also learn from 1 Cor. 11:7-9 that the woman is the glory of man, was created for man and is of the man.
2. Ephesians 5:22-24 says: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." This indicates that each wife should be in subjection to her husband as her head. In Col. 3:18 Paul said: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord." It is certainly proper, fitting and right for wives to be in submission to their husbands!
3. I Cor. 14:34-35 says: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: For it is a shame for women (ASV says "a woman" - CRS) to speak in the church.” Paul teaches (by inspiration) in this passage that women should keep silence in the assemblies because it is a shame for women to speak in the church (assembly).
Women preachers do not keep silence in the assemblies. Women preachers do speak. Women preachers are not under obedience as also saith the law. It is a shame for women preachers to speak in the church! There is no way that women can follow the instructions of the Lord in 1 Cor. 14:34-35 and be a preacher!
4. 1 Tim. 2:11-12 says: "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." This passage shows that women should have a quiet disposition and a spirit of subjection. It also teaches that a woman has no right to teach nor have dominion over the man.
A woman can not respect these restrictions and be a preacher. No, women preachers are not authorized in the Word of God!
Maturity & Marriage
by Bill Walton
When we talk about "maturity" there are different ways in which people can be mature and different ways in which they can be immature. It is possible for a physical giant to be an emotional dwarf. It is possible for a grown man to be as immature as a 13-year-old boy. It is possible for a beautiful woman to be an emotional child.
The connection this has with marriage is simply this: (1) marriage requires maturity, and (2) immaturity in marriage is the reason many marriages fail.
Immaturity In Children
I want you to ponder some examples of immaturity in children. Children often show their immaturity by:
Selfish attitudes and behavior:
Some children are so wrapped up in themselves that they care very little about others’ needs. For example, a child may be more concerned about his broken toy than his neighbor’s burned house.
Immature children often take for granted the things that others do for them. Ingratitude is an ugly, disgusting thing to see. But we’ve all seen children and teenagers who show no appreciation or gratitude for all the sacrifices and actions of their parents. They act like they fully deserve everything they get, that their parents owe it to them.
Demanding to have their own way:
Many children have the attitude, "If you don’t play my way, I’ll just pick up my marbles and go home."
No sense of responsibility and obligation:
Children often feel no obligation to take on any part of the work around the house. A child may feel it is his right to make any kind of mess he wants to, and let someone else clean it up.
Wrong reactions to conflicts and problems:
We have all seen children who are happy and contented until something goes wrong, and then they react with anger, temper, and frustration.
Children often lack the judgment to appreciate the true worth of things. They may treasure worthless things and despise priceless things.
Thinking that happiness comes without giving:
Children sometimes act like they are only interested in themselves, and care very little about the feelings and needs of others.
Immaturity In Marriage
Some adults never outgrow childhood immaturity, and they demonstrate it in their marriage.
It is possible for a husband to be so self-centered that he doesn’t care about the feelings of his wife (and that can be true of wives as well). It’s sad that many young women (when they’re dating) don’t realize that a young man who doesn’t care about anyone’s feelings but his own probably won’t care about her feelings either once they’re married.
It is possible for married adults to be as ungrateful as a small child. Many husbands and wives hardly know what it is to say, "Thank you." Often the words are absent because the feeling is absent.
It is possible for husbands and wives to be locked in a constant battle to see who gets his way. Such marriages usually have a constant cycle: manipulative tricks, dramatic actions and reactions, sulking, shouting, as each one maneuvers to get his way.
It is possible for married adults to have no sense of responsibility or obligation. A wife may be financially irresponsible. A husband may act like his only responsibility is to "make a living."
It is possible for married adults to react immaturely and irrationally to problems and conflicts that arise.
It is possible for husbands and wives to be characterized by childish standards of judgment. Husbands may be infatuated by what the world calls "glamour." Wives may be obsessed with the desire for their husbands to make more money.
It is possible for married adults to think that real happiness is found in getting more and more things.
It doesn’t take much insight to see that when one or both of the marriage partners behave with such immaturity, problems in the marriage are inevitable. The problems that are inevitably brought on by such immaturity will eventually come, no matter how handsome, beautiful, or sexy the man and/or woman may be.
Biblical Marks of Maturity
I want to turn to the positive side and talk about some of the marks of maturity that the Bible connects with a good marriage relationship.
The Bible teaches that when a man marries he is to leave his parents and cleave to his wife (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-5; Ephesians 5:31). Rebekah is a good example of independence from parents for women - "And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go" (Genesis 24:58).
Some young married men and women are still psychologically dependent upon their parents - husbands who are still "Mama’s boys" who can’t cut the apron strings, and wives who are still "Daddy’s girls" who won’t build their own homes with their husbands. Some parents encourage this kind of dependence instead of preparing their children for independence and insisting that they be mature and independent. Some parents interfere in their children’s marriages, and young married couples sometimes allow their parents to interfere. This doesn’t mean that it’s wrong for young couples to respect their parents, or seek advice from their parents or from others. Grown children ought to love and respect their parents, and parents ought to live in such a way so they can be respected. It is wise to seek advice from those who are more experienced. But people shouldn’t enter into marriage when they can’t be independent, and they shouldn’t enter into marriage with the idea that their parents are still going to make their decisions for them. If a man is not mature enough to make decisions and assume responsibility and leadership, he is not emotionally mature enough for marriage. If a woman is not mature enough to "cut the apron strings" and build a new life with her husband wherever he leads, she is not emotionally ready for marriage.
Mature attitude toward sex:
The Bible teaches that God intends sex to be an enjoyable, satisfying part of marriage (I Corinthians 7:2-5; Proverbs 5:15-19). Instead of having mature, Bible-based attitudes toward sex in marriage, some have very immature attitudes.
Some think of sex merely as something to "get," instead of shared affection, mutual enjoyment and satisfaction. Some use sex in the marriage as a weapon to coerce the marriage partner, or as a manipulative tool to get their way about something. Some think that sex, even in marriage, is dirty and sordid.
In contrast to such immature attitudes, people with mature, Bible-based attitudes realize that sex in marriage is a part of expressing, building, and maintaining love (Hebrews 13:4).
The ability to seek your companion’s happiness as diligently as you seek your own:
I’m not just talking about the infatuation that typically exists before marriage but often doesn’t survive marriage. Some immature people can be considerate for a short time in order to get what they want, but they have never developed the capacity for real, sustained consideration that is a part of real love and real maturity. Marriage ought to a be relationship in which the husband is concerned for his wife’s happiness as much as his own happiness, and vice-versa. An old story is told about a young man who sold his pocket-watch to buy an expensive brush for his girl friend who had beautiful hair, not knowing that she had cut her hair and sold it in order to buy him a gold chain for his pocket-watch. That story illustrates the kind of attitude the Bible teaches husbands and wives should have in marriage. Ephesians 5:25, 28-29, 33 teaches husbands to love like that. Titus 2:4 and I Corinthians 13:5 teaches wives to love like that. One reason this kind of love is not demonstrated in many marriages is because many of the young men and women who enter into marriage have never developed the maturity that makes lasting love possible.
Capacity to live up to commitments:
We are living in a society that makes it easy not to develop this kind of maturity. The popular concept is: "If you make a commitment but you find out that something is not the way you thought it was, or something is not to your liking, or it’s too hard to fulfill your commitment, then get out of it." We frequently see famous athletes who renegotiate their contracts, refusing to live up to the contract they already have. Many children are seldom required to honor their commitments when fulfilling the commitment is found to be unexpectedly difficult.
In contrast to this modern attitude, God teaches us to keep our word even when keeping our word is causing us to hurt (Psalms 15:4). Marriage is a covenant that involves vows and requires a commitment between the husband, the wife, and God (Malachi 2:14; Matthew 19:6). The fact that a marriage often encounters unexpected difficulties and requires unforeseen sacrifices doesn’t nullify the commitment. What is needed for marriage is the kind of maturity that enables a person to fulfill his commitments until the hardship is over, or even if it is never over (Psalms 15:4).
Ability to understand and accept authority:
There is a special need for this today because there is growing stress in many marriages over authority in the husband/wife relationship. Instead of having a mature attitude toward authority, some husbands think authority is a weapon to use on their wives. Instead of having a mature attitude toward authority, some wives think accepting authority and living under authority makes them inferior. Some young women are even omitting the bride’s traditional promise to "obey" from their wedding vows. What is needed is a maturity that is capable of understanding and accepting the true nature of authority. That means husbands who are mature enough to understand that having God-given responsibility is a solemn responsibility, not an ego trip. That means wives who are secure enough about their own worth to realize that accepting authority doesn’t make one inferior. So if someone is not emotionally mature enough to understand and accept authority, they really are not mature enough for marriage.
I want to explain some reasons why I have said all this:
1) To stress the fact that marriage is a relationship for the mature, and maturity means more than the desire to get married, and more than the ability to conceive children, and more than the ability to earn enough money to live on;
2) Although some have entered marriage without this maturity and the marriage somehow survived until maturity was developed, the best time to develop the maturity needed for marriage is before marriage, not after marriage;
3) The best guide for developing the kind of maturity needed for marriage is God’s word. If you are unmarried, and you want to be mature when you marry, make the Bible your guidebook. If you are already married, and you realize you still need to develop maturity, make the Bible the guide for your life.
Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD
by Sally Anne Perz
Next to God, the most important person in a wife’s life is her husband. Often wives are guilty of holding their husbands to their own expectations and standards or comparing them to other men. Learn what kind of a man you are married to—and remember that you were created to be HIS help meet. Be content with him! Discontent is the main ingredient in an unhappy marriage.
Knowing our own husband’s hobbies, likes, dislikes, personality traits, strengths and weaknesses will help us to love him in a way that pleases him—and ultimately pleases God. Consider some of these practical ways a wife can love her husband and pave the way for a ‘Song of Solomon’ kind of love in your relationship.
Be a loyal wife to your husband. Do not speak ill of him or ridicule him for any reason. A wise wife builds her husband up rather than tearing him down. Be discreet. A wife who is ill-mannered, course, vulgar and whiny brings shame upon her husband (and herself!).
Have a clear understanding of what your husband is able to contribute in the home—particularly when it comes to duties typically taken care of by a wife. Understand that his job is primarily to provide financially and to be the spiritual leader of the home. Let him determine his level of involvement in your realm. Do not try to make him do more—he will not morph into a more helpful man as a result of your nagging, but he will certainly morph into a more annoyed man!
Let your husband know how much you love and appreciate him daily, not only by your words, but by your actions. Be a happy, loving mother to your children. Do not undermine his authority with the children. Unified parenting is critical and your support will firmly establish this in your family.
Fulfill all of your husband’s needs all of the time as best as you are able!! Treat him like a king and your King will bless you. Provide healthy meals, clean clothing, a listening ear, a helpful hand, and most of all, freely give of yourself fully when it comes to your intimate relationship. Desire him and be desirable for him.
Keep within your budget so that you do not cause stress upon him as the sole provider. Plan well enough in advance so that he is aware of what funds are needed for any special purchases that may not be included in the budget. If you are in charge of the budget, be a good steward so that he can trust in you to make the best decisions possible.
Do the best you can to be a good homemaker and to provide a clean, organized and comfortable home. Do not expect your husband to keep the home for you. This is your job. If he lends a hand, be thankful, but don’t expect him to fulfill your role as homemaker.
There is much written in God’s word specifically to wives. Set aside time to study and search for these scriptures. They’ve purposely been left out to encourage you to seek them on your own. Start with Proverbs—how many times are contentious wives mentioned? What wisdom is written specifically for wives? When you search and dig in God’s word yourself, you will find pearls of great price and make them your own. Dig deep!