The First Commandment of Marriage: Exclusivity
The First Commandment of Marriage: Exclusivity
The first of the Ten Commandments is simply this, as found in Exodus 20:3,
"You shall have no other gods before Me."
What is God saying in this commandment? That He wants to have an exclusive relationship with you. He wants to be your one and only. He will not settle for flavor of the month.
And how appropriate in marriage as well. We are to have an exclusive relationship with our spouse.
It's been said that Henry Ford, on his golden wedding anniversary...50 years of marriage...was asked, "What's the secret of your success in marriage?" And he said, "The secret of my successful marriage is the same secret that I have in business: I stick to the same model."
In traditional wedding vows, the man and woman pledge their devotion until death parts them. For life. There is no competition.
My wife has no competition. I am not shopping for a new model. I do not want to trade in the old model. I will not be shopping in the future. One is all I need.
When God made man, He said it is good. But then He said, "It is not good that he is alone. I am going to make a helper suitable for him." And the Bible says God took one of Adam's ribs, and He formed a woman, Eve, and brought her to the man.
God did not take four or five ribs and say, "Okay, Adam, here is Eve, and here is Lois, and here is Samantha, and here is Rachel." No, it was just one. And to have a healthy marriage relationship, that is it.
I am committed for life. An exclusive relationship. I am not shopping, not even window-shopping. One God. One wife. That is enough.
Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God
The Secret of Contentment
Dr. Charles Stanley
After his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul had much to learn about salvation and following Christ. Throughout his life, the apostle shared what he was discovering. In his letter to the church at Philippi, he wrote about a very important life lesson—the secret of being content.
What kind of life do you think brings contentment? You might assume it is one with few troubles or great success. You may want good health, financial security, and a loving family. Paul's life was not at all like this. He was in danger from both his own countryman and the opposition (2 Cor. 11:23-26). Sometimes the people listened, but more often, they were hostile to his message. He also had a "thorn in the flesh" which God refused to remove (2 Cor. 12:7-9). And Paul even spent considerable time in prison, chained to a guard. Yet he boldly wrote, " I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation" (Phil. 4:12 niv).
The secret he discovered was to live on the basis of his position in the Lord, not his feelings. As God's child, Paul knew he was spiritually rich—"blessed . . . with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3) because he had a loving Father and the Holy Spirit's guidance.
Contentment in our media-driven age is hard to find and harder to keep. There's always something newer, bigger, or better to buy and someone else who has what you want. When you feel unsatisfied, try basing your response on your position as a co-heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17) rather than feelings.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
Distinguishing the Active and Passive Wills of God
Joseph said about the treachery perpetrated by his brothers, "You meant it for evil; God meant it for good" (Gen. 50:20). God's good will was served through the bad will of Joseph's brothers. This does not mean that since they were only doing the will of God the acts of the brothers were actually virtuous. All acts must be judged together with their intentions, and the actions of Joseph's brothers were rightly judged by God to be evil. That God brings good out of evil only underscores the power and the excellence of His sovereign, decretive will.
We sometimes get at this same problem by distinguishing between God's active will and His passive will. Again we face difficulties. When God is "passive," He is, in a sense, actively passive. I do not mean to speak nonsense but merely to show that God is never totally passive. When He seems to be passive, He is actively choosing not to intercede directly.
Augustine addressed the problem this way: "Man sometimes with a good will wishes something which God does not will, as when a good son wishes his father to live, while God wishes him to die. Again it may happen that man with a bad will wishes what God wills righteously, as when a bad son wishes his father to die, and God also wills it . . .For the things which God rightly wills, He accomplishes by the evil wills of bad men."
Coram Deo: Living in the Presence of God
Can you remember when God used what was intended for evil to accomplish good in your life? Give Him thanks for those times.
For Further Study
Psalm 31:3: "For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name's sake, lead me and guide me."
Psalm 139:8-10: "If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me."
The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries and Dr. R.C. Sproul is to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness.
Faith & Freedom Conference: The Pursuit of Happiness
Happiness: Virtue & Wisdom
The Declaration of Independence provides us with the right to pursue happiness, but it does not guarantee that we are entitled to happiness. There is no provision for a federal department of happiness, no provision for happiness stamps for the under happy, and no provision that allows taking excess happiness from one group and redistributing it to the under happy.
In his speech at the Faith & Freedom Conference, Newt uses Americans' right to pursue happiness to explain the core weakness of Obama's redistribution model.
By SIMPLY DIVINE LOVE on Monday, September 20, 2010