Ladies Meeting in Ukraine
(2 Kings 19:30) And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.
It has been said that this verse, 2 Kings 19:30, is the key to a successful Christian life. Today we are going to take a look at trees and see what secrets they hold for us as women.
The title of my message is "Our Family Tree."
As I was reading in my Bible I came across the following verses. Turn with me to Isaiah 41:19-20, "I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it."
Isaiah names seven different trees here. If you know anything about Bible numerology you know that specific numbers have specific meanings. Numerology in the Bible is a study in itself and I don't have the time to go into it in detail here. Let me give you just two examples.
The number six represents man. Revelation 13:18 says, "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." We all recognize "666" as the mark of the beast. But the Bible says it is the number of a man. In the Bible man's number is six.
The number seven represents completeness or perfection. Seven is God's number. God created everything in six days and on the seventh day He rested because creation was complete and perfect.
This started me thinking about the completeness or perfection of trees and how they relate to the Christian's life and in particular to our lives as women and specifically to our role in the family.
There are many components to trees but we are going to look at the four major parts: the roots, the trunk, the branches and the fruit, and see what spiritual principles God has to teach us from them.
The most important part of our tree remains underground. It is hidden. This is the root system. The roots are what ground, or hold, or the tree in place. Without roots there would be no tree.
The root system of our family should be God and the things of God. While God cannot be seen in us the results of Jesus Christ living in us should be obvious to those around us. What do I mean by this? I cannot see Jesus Christ in you. You cannot see Him in me. But I should be able to see the evidence of Christ in your life just like you should be able to see it in mine.
The Bible talks about the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
When Christ comes into your life and you surrender to God and allow the Holy Spirit to work on you then:
- Where there was once hatred now there will be love.
- Sorrow will be replaced by joy.
- Where turmoil and chaos reigned now there will be peace.
- A quick temper and a short fuse will be replaced by longsuffering and patience.
- Hardness and resentment will give way to gentleness and forgiveness.
- Selfishness will no longer be dominant but goodness will shine forth.
- Faith will replace doubt and fear.
- Pride will disappear and meekness will be evident as you humble yourself before God.
- Temperance will emerge as a person conquers the flesh and walks in the Spirit.
Just like we cannot see the roots of a tree but know that they have to be there in order for the tree to exist, the evidence of Jesus Christ in a person's life will be manifested in a changed heart, life and attitude.
God is the foundation on which our family tree must be built. God must be present in every part of our tree for it to grow and produce.
The trunk is the strongest part of the tree. It is the first thing that appears above the ground. As it is properly cared for and nourished it grows strong and tall and heads straight for the sky.
In our family tree the trunk is representative of the husband. He is the strength in the family unit. God gives him his position and we as women have no right to take it from him. The Bible reminds us in 1 Corinthians 11:8 that ... the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. You can't have branches, or fruit, on a tree without a tree trunk. So man must take first place in the home.
How does he do this? God intended man to be the provider for the family in two ways. First man must provide for the physical and material needs of his wife and children: food, clothing, shelter, etc.
Adam's punishment for sinning in the Garden of Eden was that of hard physical labor. (Genesis 3:17-19) And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Adam had the best of everything when he lived in the Garden of Eden. All he had to do was "dress it and keep it" (Genesis 2:15). Since everything was perfect he really didn't have much to do. However, after the fall, the ground was cursed and he would have to toil to stay alive and provide for his family. What was once a joy for him now became a burden and a necessity for survival.
The man of the family is to be the "bread-winner" or the provider. The woman is not. By working, especially if you do not have to, you are taking on your husband's role and creating competition for him. No real man likes to be in competition with a woman, especially with his wife. The wife was created to be the helpmeet for her husband, not his competition.
Your husband might not tell how he really feels about you working but more than likely he resents it. If you are having difficulties in your marriage this could be one of the major reasons why.
A man who lets his wife work when he is perfectly capable of working himself is lazy. Paul, Timothy and Silvanus wrote to the church in Thessalonica these words, "For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." (2 Thessalonians 3: 7-10)
What they were saying here was, "Hey, we didn't have to work because of who we are, but we did it to be an example to you. We're not too proud to get our hands dirty and help out. It isn't going to kill us to earn our own keep."
Jesus worked as a carpenter until He started His earthly ministry. Why? Did Jesus have to work in order to eat? Satan himself said when he tempted Christ in the wilderness that Jesus could command the stones to become bread. Jesus turned 5 fish and 2 loaves of bread into a meal for well over 5,000 people. He was God. He could have taken care of Himself. Why did He work when He didn't have to? He did it to be an example to men.
Paul was a tent maker and many times used his profession to help others and teach them at the same time. Did he need to work in order to eat? No. As a preacher he had a right to ask food and shelter from whomever he wanted and they were to oblige him. Why did he spend his time making tents then? He did it to be an example to the men.
Peter, James and John were fishermen before they met the Lord, during the time they were his disciples and after He died. Why? Didn't they think God could feed them and take care of their needs? Of course they could but they did it to be examples to other men.
Man in some way or another should be able to work in order to eat. God said, "In the sweat of thy face." But remember, He said this to Adam not to Eve.
Second, man must provide for the spiritual needs of his wife and children. The spiritual welfare of the family is the responsibility of the husband. It is not the responsibility of the wife.
- It is the man who is responsible to take the family to church.
- It is the man who is responsible to lead in prayer in the home.
- It is the man who is responsible to institute a family altar and have devotions.
- It is the man who is responsible to instruct in the things of God.
- It is the man who is responsible to lead his family in soul-winning and witnessing.
It is your job to back-up your husband in these areas. It is not your job to take charge of them. The spiritual life of a family is in the hands of the man of the family under God's authority and protection. It is not your responsibility. I cannot emphasize that enough. Do not usurp your husband's authority in the home. God will not bless you or your family if you do. Period.
It is your husband's responsibility to make sure that you are reading your Bible and on your knees in prayer. Don't resent him for this if he has to get after you to do it. Thank him. If your spiritual life is not in proper balance then his most likely will not be either. Why? If you are out of fellowship with God then you are giving the devil the opportunity to come into your marriage, your family and your home and destroy it. The Bible says in Ephesians 4:27, "Neither give place to the devil." Don't be responsible for destroying the hedge of protection that God has placed around your husband and your family.
Stop and think when a tree sways the most. It is during a storm or a heavy wind. What makes the tree trunk bend? On its own it may be able to withstand the wind but it is the action of the branches that pull it. So it is in the family between the husband and the wife. If all is peaceful and they are living according to the Bible then their marriage will be calm and steady. But if the wife gets out of fellowship with her husband because she is out of fellowship with God then she has the potential to cause her husband to get out of fellowship with God too.
The trunk is the strongest part of the tree. Just like the trunk supports the rest of the tree the husband is the main support for the family. (Psalm 1:1-3) Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
The branches may bend but as long as they are attached to the trunk they will be safe in the storm. Remember, a tree trunk can survive without any branches but branches cannot survive once they are separated from the trunk. Stay close to your husband and stay under his protection.
The husband comes first, next comes the wife and finally the children. That is God's plan for a perfect family tree. That was God's plan in the Garden of Eden and that is God's plan today. God has not changed nor has He changed His plan.
Anything out of this order will create chaos. It won't work. God established the family and as women it is our responsibility to see that it is in order. Why us?
We are in the middle of our family unit. We are the stabilizing force in the family. The husband's influence runs in one direction: from God, then to his wife and finally to his children. The children's responsibility also runs in one direction: to the mother first as the nurturer, then to the father as the head of the home and ultimately to God through his parents leading and guidance. But the influence of the wife runs in both directions at the same time. We are responsible to our husband and for our children.
Woman is a unique being. Let me explain. Man was formed from the dust of the ground. (Genesis 2:7) And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. But man was not the only thing that was created that way. If you never realized this before, don't feel bad, I didn't either until recently.
Look at Genesis 2:9, "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." Everybody knows that trees come out of the ground from seeds. But is that what this is really saying or does it mean that God created the first trees like he did man? Did God create seeds or did he create trees? I believe he created the trees. Man couldn't survive for twenty or thirty years without food waiting for those seeds to grow into trees. No, God created the trees complete and full of fruit for man to partake of immediately.
What about Genesis 2:19, "And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof." This is pretty clear. God also made the animals and birds from the dust of the ground like he did man.
While this was most definitely an unusual way for God to make the first man we see that He also made other things in a similar fashion.
What about children? Procreation of man and animals was established by God from the beginning and it has always been the same way since. From the sexual union of male and female come offspring. God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. When God brought judgment upon the earth in Noah's day he was told to bring two of every animal, a male and a female, for the purpose of replenishing the earth. (Genesis 6:19) And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
But the creation of woman was totally unique. No other creature before or since, man or animal, was made this way. The woman was created from a literal physical part of the man's body. The torso of a man, where the ribs are located, is called his trunk. The woman came out of the man's side just like the branches of a tree come out of the trunk.
(Genesis 2:21-23) And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto 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.
As long a branch is attached to the tree it will continue to live and grow. Once it is separated from the tree it will die and so will any fruit that is attached to it. While it is still attached to the tree it has life and gives life to its fruit.
When a woman becomes physically and spiritually separated from her husband she begins to die both physically and spiritually. A physical separation occurs when the husband and wife choose to live apart; they divorce or the husband dies. In all these situations the physical death occurs because there is no chance for the woman to bear fruit.
Why does a woman need a spiritual covering? Because a woman is not as spiritually discerning as a man is. Now I know that there are women who would disagree with this. But it is true. Why? A woman tends to think emotionally whereas a man tends to think rationally. A woman will base a lot of decisions on intuition and feelings while a man will try to reason things through. That is not to say that under normal circumstances intuition and feelings should be dismissed, they should not, for I believe that a woman's instincts are given to her by God. It is one of the things that makes a woman so unique. HOWEVER, when it comes to the spiritual realm the man must make the decisions.
(1 Corinthians 11:3) 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 is what Paul meant when he said in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, "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 any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." A woman is to get her spiritual counsel from her husband and her husband is to get it from God. The man is to be the spiritual leader in the home. God has ordained this and we as women are to abide by it.
(1 Timothy 2:12-14) But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Spiritual death occurs because the woman no longer has a covering of protection against evil. It was when Eve was separated from Adam that the devil visited her and tempted her. Let's look at what happened to Eve as a result of losing her covering.
(Genesis 3:16) Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Eve's punishment, if you will, was threefold. First she would suffer great anguish in childbirth. Any woman who has ever delivered a baby will understand this. There is a lot of pain involved. They are appropriately called "labor pains."
Secondly her desire was to be to her husband. The woman's desire here, I believe, has two meanings. The obvious one is a sexual desire for her husband. Every woman should desire her husband sexually. But this is not the only desire that she will have. Remember the Lord said He would greatly multiply her sorrow. A sexual desire is a pleasant desire.
I believe that Paul explains this fully in his letter to Titus (chapter 2, verses 3 through 5) when he says women are to "love their husbands, love their children, be keepers at home and obedient to their own husbands."
It is not always easy to love your husband. Remember love is blind so when you are courting he will seem like a knight in shining armor to you. Then after the honeymoon when he starts leaving his dirty socks lying around the house and his hair in the sink from shaving, and burps at the table when you have company or falls asleep when you want to get romantic you will start to look at him in a different light. Now don't be too hard on him or fall out of love with him for these things. Don't forget, you have your little idiosyncrasies too, which I'm sure drive him just as crazy, like hanging your stockings on the shower rod, or walking around with curlers in your hair.
We have a friend who told us this story. His wife went to bed before he did one night and so she got up before him the next morning. She walked into the kitchen and found his dirty socks on the kitchen table. When he got up she asked him why he had left them there. He replied, "Because that's where I took them off!" I'm sure her desire was not to her husband that morning. Nevertheless we are still to love our husbands and we are to make sure that our children love them too.
Personal Illustration: I remember when I was young and it was time for my dad to come home from work. No matter what we were doing, where we were or who we were with we always made sure we were there when my dad got home to greet him.
Why did we do this? My mother attached special meaning to my dad coming home. It was important to us. It was important to him. I had friends who continued playing and didn't even acknowledge their fathers when they came home from work. Maybe that's why their fathers never played with them. My dad played baseball with us after dinner even though he was tired.
Make your kids look up to your husband, don't tear him down and don't ignore him. Don't make him a part of the furniture, like a lamp or a table that is just there in the room. This applies to adoptive or step-dads as well as biological fathers. They are the head of the home too. And it also applies if your husband is lost. He is still the head of the home and of you. Spiritually he cannot be your head but he is to be given the position and authority as the head of the home because he is the man of the family.
How do your kids react when dad comes home? How do you react?
Women are also to be keepers at home. Don't let your house run down and your dishes pile up in the sink and your laundry overflow in the hamper. Don't sit around all day watching television or reading trashy novels or magazines. Don't spend your day on the telephone gossiping with your friends. Keep your house neat and clean. Make it a place that your husband wants to come home to. Cook his favorite foods. Make him a special dessert. Clean up the house and the kids before he comes home so he can relax in peace and quiet. Get your work done at home while he is at work during the day. Transfer your attention to him once he walks in the door and keep it on him until he leaves for work the next morning. Spend time together. Let him know that you love him. Tell him so in word and deed.
Keepers at home means at home. Not at work. Now there are women that have to work in order to support their family because they are divorced, widowed or their husband is sick and can't work himself. And God understands that and He will bless you for doing what you have to do in order to provide for your family. But don't work just to get out of the house. God won't bless that. If you do have to work don't give the best part of your time, your energy, your good spirit, or your kind words to your boss and co-workers. Save it for your children. Don't give them the part that's tired or grumpy or what's left of you. They deserve better than that. Spend some time with them. They grow up so fast.
- Read the Bible with them so they learn to know God.
- Pray with them so they learn to talk with God.
- Teach them responsibility so they won't be lazy when they are older.
- Train them when they are young so they can grow in wisdom later.
- Discipline them with love so they will love the Lords' discipline.
Someone once asked a very famous preacher when you should start to spank children. He replied, "With boys as soon as they are born, with girls you can usually wait until you bring them home from the hospital." The Bible talks a lot about discipline. It is something that God commands parents to do. It is Scriptural. Let me give you just six verses that you can look up on your own later. They are all from the book of Proverbs: 13:24; 22:15; 23:13-14; 26:3; 29:15.
The third punishment of Eve is that her husband should rule over her. This is the "be obedient to your husband" part of Titus 2:5. This is also the hardest part for women to accept. The Bible in Ephesians 5:22 commands the wife to be submissive to her own husband.
The feminist movement hates this verse. They teach women to "do your own thing," "you don't need men, you can be strong not weak" "have a career," "get out of the bedroom and into the boardroom." Society today places value on women being independent. "Don't get married, live together;" "don't have children, get an abortion;" "put yourself first;" "be your own person." None of this is Scriptural.
I can hear the arguments now:
- Maybe God made a mistake.
- Maybe He didn't realize what opportunities there would be for women today.
- We are living in the twenty-first century not the dark ages.
God did not make a mistake. God knew exactly what the twenty-first century was going to be like when He created the world. Turn to Genesis 41:32. "And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass."
Many times when you read the Bible you will notice that something is mentioned two times but in different places. This verse gives the reason why God does that. It is something that He has established. To establish means "to set or firmly fix; to enact or decree by authority and for permanence." (Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, Copyright 1828)
God has established His law, if you will, that wives are to submit to their husbands and it is fixed forever. No exceptions. It did not just apply when He said it or when it was written but it is for all time.
Let's go back to Ephesians 5:22 and read it again. "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." Now turn to Colossians 3:18. "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord." Submission to our husband is something that God wants established in the life of every Christian wife. AMEN???
What could possibly be the rewards of such submission? If you are the Godly wife and mother that the Lord wants you to be then there is only one earthly reward that you will need. Turn to Proverbs 31:28. "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her."
So the responsibility of the wife in the family unit is to train the children to love the Lord and to love and respect their father; to be submissive to her husband; and to get her spiritual covering from her husband.
The fruit, which includes the leaves; the flowers (like a cherry tree); the seeds (like a pine tree) or literal fruit (like an apple tree) represents our children. Our children come from our bodies. They are the fruit of our wombs.
Let's take a look at what the Bible says to children about their role in the family unit. (Colossians 3:20) Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
Don't let your children pick and choose when they want to listen to and obey you and your husband. The Bible says that they are to obey you in ALL things. This includes what clothes they should and shouldn't wear; what friends they should and shouldn't have; what chores they should do; what activities they can participate in; and what discipline they are to receive, to name a few things.
Now I know that most kids won't like that kind of restriction placed on them. So what are you going to do about it? If you are like most mothers today you will say I can't "cramp their style" like that so I will let them make their own decisions about such things. Congratulations, you have just created a rebellious child. And let me insert here that you shouldn't have to bribe your children to do what you ask or tell them to do.
Depending upon their age you may not see it now but by the time you do, usually when the kids are in their late teens, it will be too late. And then you will scratch your head and wonder what happened. What went wrong? This is not the way I wanted them to turn out. Why are they so stubborn? Why can't I do anything with them? Why won't they listen to me?
When it comes to obedience of children in the family you don't have a choice in the matter and neither do they. The Bible is very clear on this issue. It is not a suggestion or even something that is open for discussion. God tells them very clearly what they are to do and why. And as their parent you have no right to go against God's commandment. Jesus said in John 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
In Colossians 3:20 God told the children what they are to do and now He tells them why.
(Ephesians 6:1-3) Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; (what is the promise?) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. This is not the first of the Ten Commandments but it is the first of the Commandments that has a promise attached to it.
According to God's Word children must be submissive and obedient to their parents in order for the chance to live to a "ripe old age." Let's look at what happened to children in the Old Testament who did not do what God commanded them to do concerning being respectful and obedient to their parents.
(Exodus 21:15) And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.
(Exodus 21:17) And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
(Deuteronomy 21:18-21) If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
God took the matter of obedience and respect very seriously. The death penalty was associated with those that mistreated, disrespected or disobeyed their parents.
Is it important that only young children obey their parents? No! It is talking about children that are still under their parent's authority. Today it would apply to children still living with their parents no matter what age they are, those that are still being supported financially by their parents and those that are not married.
In the Old Testament, especially when it came to women, the children lived with their parents until they were married. The girls usually married young, late teens or very early twenties but the men were often what we would consider today to be middle-aged. Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah (Genesis 25:20). Esau was forty when he married Judith and Bashemath (Genesis 26:34). Moses is thought to be over 40 when he married Zipporah.
Children living with their parents until marriage is part of God's perfect plan for the family. God speaks about this in Genesis 2:24. Jesus refers to it in both Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7. And Paul mentions it in Ephesians 5:31 in relation to the mystery of the church as the bride of Christ.
What are they all saying? "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
When does the Bible say the man should leave his father and mother? When he takes a wife. And the woman always lived with her family until she married. Some of the men may have struck out on their own, like Moses and Jacob, but the girls always stayed with their family. If they didn't they were more than likely prostitutes. A girl needs the protection and cover of her family especially that of her father.
Today the children leave the home as soon as they become legal age, when they finish high school or college, or take their first job. They are too eager to come out from under their parent's authority and protection and live on their own.
Children today do not want the responsibility of caring for their parents. They too quickly forget that their parents sacrificed for at least 18 years to provide for them. They want their freedom. Too often it leads to disaster. They want independence and they don't want to be burdened with taking care of someone else.
Taking care of aged and dying parents is Scriptural.
- Joseph took care of Jacob in his remaining years when he was finally reunited with him.
- Ruth took the responsibility for the continued care of her mother-in-law, Naomi, upon herself when she could have had her freedom. It was Naomi who offered Ruth her freedom.
- >When Jesus was dying on the cross He made arrangements for the care of his mother with the apostle John.
(Genesis 47:11-12) And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families.
Joseph had been on his own for many, many years and even had a family of his own at the time but he still provided for his father and his brothers. Did he have to? No! He did it because he loved them, even his brothers who sold him into slavery when he was seventeen years old.
(Ruth 1:16-17) And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
Ruth was not even Naomi's daughter. She was her daughter-in-law. But she loved Naomi and God blessed Ruth for her decision. These are beautiful words. They were part of my wedding vows. Becoming a pastor's wife and the wife of a missionary I felt impressed by God to include them as part of my wedding ceremony. They hold special meaning for me.
(John 19:26-27) When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
Jesus should always be our example. If we live our lives by Christ's example then we will be as close to perfect as we can humanly be. Amen??
So the responsibility of our children, the leaves, in our family tree is that of obedience.
Now that we know who represents what part of our tree it is important that our tree is put together correctly. By that I mean that the leaves cannot be where the trunk should be. You may laugh at this and think how ridiculous but in many homes today the children are in charge and make all the decisions. And the sad thing is that the parents allow them to do this. It is wrong. It is against God's natural order. It is un-Biblical.
Fruit that is rotten will drop to the ground, wither away and die. Disobedient wives will raise disobedient children. Be a good example for your children. Women that are not living for God should not be disappointed when their children stray from or reject the things of God.
(Psalm 144:11-12) Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:
Childhood is preparation for adulthood. Teach your children while they are young. Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Most people misinterpret this verse. They quote it when they discipline their children. What it is referring to is teaching your children responsibility while they are young. If you can instill certain principles and standards in them when they are little chances are they will keep them all their lives.
Which would you rather be around? A child who is constantly screaming and whining and always demanding his own way and miserable or a child that is quiet and respectful. There is a big difference between the two but it didn't just happen and it is not totally because of personality. The first child wasn't trained to be responsible but the second child was. Begin training your children now. It is not too late to begin.
Be a virtuous woman. Don't embarrass your husband with your thoughts, words or actions. (Proverbs 12:4) A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. A crown is something that has beauty. It is made of gold, a very costly material, and it contains precious stones, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, etc. It is something that is cherished and treasured.
A disease of the bones is fatal. Do you know what happens to a tree when it gets a disease? It dies. If the disease starts in the trunk of the tree then the branches and the fruit will die also. Don't kill your marriage and don't destroy your husband.
Proverbs 31:11-12 says, "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life." Not just when she feels like it, not just when he is good to her and she thinks he deserves it, but all the days of her life as his wife.
Ephesians 5:33 says, "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband." Reverence is the highest form of respect. Maybe your husband is lost or maybe he is saved but he doesn't love you the way he should. That is no excuse for you not doing what you are supposed to do. Your husband will have to answer to God someday for his actions and so will you. Make sure that when you stand before the Lord in judgment you will not be ashamed.
Did you know that there are twice as many admonitions to women in the Bible as there are to children and to husbands? Now you can take that one of two ways. You can think that God must really have it in for women and that He really wants to punish them and keep them under bondage. If you are part of the feminist movement that is probably what you would think.
Or you can realize that God gave us His rules are for our protection. That is how I choose to view it. God gave us a special place in the family. It is from our bodies that children are born. It is from our bodies that our babies are nourished. Man cannot do these things. We are unique creatures. Man was not complete without woman. That is part of the reason why we were created. God gave us a special set of rules to live by. They are for us alone. We are special in God's eyes.
(Psalm 144:15) Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD. The roots affect every aspect of the tree: the trunk, the branches and the fruit. Make sure that your family tree has a strong root system. Make sure that God has first place in your life and in the lives of your husband and children. Make sure that your children are obedient to you and your husband and that you are training them to be responsible and to love the Lord. Make sure that your husband is getting the reverence that he deserves and that he is the head of both you and the household.
But above all make sure that you are in proper fellowship with the Lord. If you are then you will be the wife and mother that God wants you to be and your life will be one of joy.