Friday, August 10, 2012

Model Family, Model Bride

(Author's Note:  This is the devotional I brought forward at this month's men's breakfast.  Though it is written specifically towards men, I believe that women will find it of interest as well.  God bless you all!)

Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying], many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all.  ~Proverbs 31:28-29 (AMP)

Most people know this as the "Virtuous Woman" passage.  It also offers instruction to husbands, children and encouragement to the Bride of Christ.  We'll look at this here today.

Note first that the children bless her.  We all have mothers, and if they still live, we need to bless them; whether we feel they deserve it or not.  "Her children rise up" - They take an active role in doing this.  They do not just sit on the sidelines and ask for blessings to fall upon her; rather, they speak those blessings forth into existence.

Now, look at what her husband says to her.  He is expressing his satisfaction in her; his joy with her; and his fidelity to her.  How many times have we heard the women in our lives speak about feeling as though they don't measure up to other women?  The virtuous husband builds his wife up by assuring her that the only reason she does not is because she stands head and shoulders above them all.  He is telling her that his eyes see only her, and she is a precious treasure.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 - 
"Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil." (NLT)  
This passage tells husbands to live in joy with his wife all of his days.  This passage gives us an example of this in action.  Song of Solomon 8:7 -
"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man would offer all the goods of his house for love, he would be utterly scorned and despised." (AMP)  
Read that carefully, for it tells us that nothing in this world can buy the love a husband and wife share- It should be treasured, not despised or taken for granted.

These two verses in Proverbs also speak to the joy of the family as a whole.  When we are operating in full alignment with the Word of God, there is joy and assurance within the family that no one can take away.  Indeed, we see this in Micah 4:4 -
"Instead, each person will sit under his vine and fig tree, with no one to upset him, for the mouth of Adonai-Tzva’ot has spoken." (CJB)

This passage also gives encouragement to the Church, for as Matthew Henry said, "God by His grace has formed from sinful men a church of true believers, to possess all the excellence here described" in Proverbs 31:10-31.  Verses 28 and 29, then, show us a picture of what we are to strive for in our daily walk.  A makes the point that we ought to live in such a way that we are held by those who know us best in high esteem; that those who see us at our lowest and our worst can nonetheless speak only blessings upon us, so well we serve the example of Christ.

Moreover, when we as Christians are living in the will of God; surrendered to His Word and doing nothing except by His strength; we serve as an example for the next generation.  They look back on us, as we look back on others, and bless us, as we bless those before us for their excellent example, instruction and encouragement.

Finally, Christ, our Bridegroom, praises us in the same manner when we live according to His Word.  He encourages us and builds us up- Reminding us of our future joy, and telling us not to compare ourselves with others.  His love is for us, and we surpass all others in His eyes.

So, in conclusion my friends- Be men of God.  Let us bless our mothers; build up our wives; provide the right example for the next generation; and be the Church that Yehshua earnestly awaits to rapture and bring away to Himself.  In His grace and mercy, we do not have to be perfect; in His strength, though, we can do all things.

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