Can’t . . . or Won’t? Part Two

If you haven’t read yesterday’s reading, I’d like to ask you to do that. It’s crucial that you understand that God has given Christians an extra inner reservoir of power that is more than a match for the stuff life throws at us. In the verses we studied yesterday (Philippians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 3:14, 16; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 Corinthians 10:13), it’s called several things: strength, power, divine nature, ability.

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Backing Off, Part Two

As we’ve been discussing, there are certain times when it’s necessary to keep quiet, to relax, to back off. Intensity often leads to futility. Like the little boy who plants the seed and then nervously digs it up every day to see if it is growing. Waiting is as necessary as planting and fertilizing. When the fish aren’t biting, banging on the water with an oar won’t help. You can’t get sap out of a hoe handle.

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Backing Off, Part One

Kids are nutty. Some friends of ours in Texas have two little girls. The younger child is constantly on the move, rarely winding down by bedtime. So the nightly affair has become something of a familiar routine. A story from her favorite book. A drink of water. A prayer. A song. Her doll. Another drink of water. A kiss. A hug. A third sip of water. A trip to the bathroom. A warning. Another kiss. You know, the whole bit.

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Insensitivity, Part Two

We’ve been talking about the tragedy of insensitivity in relationships. Parental sensitivity rates desperately low these days. It’s part of the fall-out of our rapid pace. Solomon tells us that our children “make themselves known” by their deeds, their actions. He then reminds us that we have ears and eyes that ought to hear and see (Proverbs 20:11–12). But again, it takes time to do that. And again, we’re “too busy.”

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Insensitivity, Part One

My kids pulled a fast one on me one Christmas years ago. They teamed up, pooled their vast financial resources, and bought me a little motto to set on my desk. It was more than cute . . . it was convicting. In bold, black letters it read: DIETS ARE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE THICK AND TIRED OF IT. At first you thmile . . . then it makes you thad. Especially if you’re not thick of being thick!

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An ”Affair,” Part Two

In Part One, we acknowledged that our society has embraced a subtle lie about affairs, believing that not only is the grass greener on the other side, it’s acceptable to hop the fence. What’s more, believers are just as likely as nonbelievers to do the hopping. But infidelity isn’t an “affair,” remember; it’s adultery. And it’s deadly to a marriage. Robert J. Levin and Alexander Lowen noted three specific ways.

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An ”Affair,” Part One

The sad fact is no longer surprising—infidelity has invaded the ranks of professing Christians. The church body bears more ugly scars than ever in its history, and instead of hiding those scars from the public eye, we now speak of them without much embarrassment. The tone is sophisticated. The head is unbowed . . . the heart is unbroken . . . the terms are mellow.

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Equally Yoked

In 2 Corinthians 6:14 (KJV), Paul the apostle warned believers to avoid being “unequally yoked” with nonbelievers. He used the image of two oxen—one strong, the other weak—harnessed together to pull a plow. Every farmer at the time knew what the outcome would be: the weaker animal invariably set the pace. The stronger animal, trying to remain in step with its partner, will not pull to its full potential.

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Industriousness

To be honest, I never quite understood the dogmatic assertion, “A woman’s place is in the home.” While I agree that the responsibility for provision falls upon the man of the house, I see nothing in Scripture that suggests a woman has no part in it. On the contrary, the “excellent woman” of Proverbs 31 is nothing short of a business genius.

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Trustworthiness

In the opening lines of his ode to excellent womanhood, Lemuel expressed his great admiration for someone close to him. He obviously wrote from personal observation of someone truly great—perhaps his own wife or mother. The Hebrew word translated “wife” is the general term for “woman,” and the wise man described the excellent woman as a wife and a mother because, in his culture, most women were both.

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