The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Help Meet Ch. 6

The Beginning of Wisdom
"We live under a law of sowing and reaping that is as certain and unrelenting as disease and death."

Debi begins this chapter by stating that wisdom is the child of fear and that modern Christianity often waters down the need to fear the Lord. How true I have found that to be! Yes, I definitely believe that God will punish sin, including MY sin, but ... I must ask myself, do I really live out that belief??? If I truly believed God WILL punish sin, would I fight the same battles and so easily give in to the same temptations? As Debi declares, "If our actions were without consequence, or if consequences were never painful or permanent, then fear would be foolish." I am afraid that all too often, my life says that I really do not have the fear of the Lord that I must realistically have. I may think, "I know this isn't the best decision, but it won't hurt that much." Who am I kidding?!? Once more quoting Debi, "But our actions and reactions do indeed reap painful results in this present life as well as in eternity. We live under a law of sowing and reaping that is as certain and unrelenting as disease and death." My day of payment might be delayed, but it cannot be evaded.

"...if our choices can bring us to miserable ends, then fear is the healthiest deterrent we can have. It is the beginning of wisdom. ... What physical pain is to the preservation of the human body, fear is to the preservation of the soul. A Christian life without fear is a religious life without a living God." Ouch! I want a vibrant, living relationship with my God, not a cold, unfeeling profession of religion.

My life's happiness is directly related to my fear of the Lord, for I cannot be truly happy outside of the will of God. Any sin in my life is a direct violation of God's will, for it is never His will for me to engage in sin. One sin that I can so easily practice is the sin of failing to be my husband's helpmeet as designed by God. "No woman has ever been happy and fulfilled who neglected to obey God in regard to her role as a help meet." I have found that I am happiest when I am cheerfully working toward the goal of helping Mr. Incredible in every way possible. When I get wrapped up in my selfish desires and attitudes, I find that I become most unhappy. As always, the focus on self is the most narrow and the least happy of any focus I can have.

I can also fall into the trap of thinking that I need to take the lead in spiritual matters because "I am more spiritual than my husband". (BTW, that is a conclusion that is easy to draw because he, being a man, tends not to verbalize his convictions and/or spiritual growth while, as a woman, I tend to talk about what I believe or have learned. Over time, I have learned that my husband's convictions, once formed, are carved in bedrock and are virtually unchangeable and that he can be growing spiritually without once saying a word about it.) When I attempt to lead in spiritual matters because I am dissatisfied with the apparent lack of spirituality on his part, I have stepped outside the bounds of my God-given role. "When a woman attempts to live for God contrary to His Word, her 'spirituality' is equal to witchcraft because she is attempting to 'divine' the will of God in total disregard of His clear written words. ... A woman who thinks she can walk her own way because she believes herself spiritually gifted has no fear of Almighty God." A later chapter delves more deeply into the reasons God has ordained that the man be the spiritual leader. My responsibility is to give input when asked, follow where my husband leads, and pray for him at all times but particularly when a decision has been made that I feel is incorrect. I can tell you from personal experience that God honors this approach. Recently, we were in a situation where Mr. Incredible asked my input, which I gave, but he ultimately decided to go in a direction with which I really was not comfortable. Instead of nagging or getting bent out of shape because things didn't end up the way I thought they should, I determined that I would honor his decision and back him up with my whole heart and a cheerful attitude. I did, and the Lord worked so that in a single month circumstances changed to the point that Robert decided (on his own *big grin*) that we needed to go a different way. Praise the Lord, this situation has worked out beautifully, and we never had any arguments or unpleasantness over it. It pays to let the man lead and then pray when he leads where you are not comfortable following. NOTE: I am not talking about his leading us into sin. That is a whole different issue.

What I put into practice now is what I will perform for the rest of my life. "As practice enables the pianist to find the right keys without effort or thought, so a woman who practices discontentment will, without thought, hit the notes of bitterness and discontentment. She has practiced her bitterness until it comes naturally, and she does not even recognize it. She will usually define herself as one who stands against pride and evil. She will 'do what is right, even if no one else will.' " I personally know an extreme example of this. This old woman is the person everyone dreads to see and be around. She NEVER has anything good to say about anyone or anything and is always complaining. Her face is permanently etched with the drooping lines of discontent. In contrast, I also know an old woman who is the sweetest person I know. She, too, has lines in her face, but they reflect a life of happiness and laughter. She doesn't even have to be smiling to appear pleasant, and she can always find the good in a less-than-perfect situation. Guess which lady I want to resemble when I am old? The foundation for the end is laid in my actions, reactions, and attitudes that I practice every day.

In closing:
"The fruit of the Spirit is not a party to tension, stress, nervousness, uptightness, or bitterness." " time, practice makes perfect."