DU013 - A Prudent Wife is from the Lord
From: "Pastor Buddy Martin" <Bro.Buddy@ChristianChallenge.org>
Date: Friday October 27, 2006
Subject: Bible Study DU013 - A Prudent Wife is from the Lord
One of the difficult areas in Pentecostalism involves the women in how many of what is called standards deeply affect her and not so much the man. Here is a study that shows the woman's role as her role was intended.
This is Bible Study DU013 - A Prudent Wife is from the Lord.
The Hebrews placed the highest value on marriage, and on the blessing of maleness and femaleness. They also held the women in great favor. She was considered to be God's greatest gift to man. They taught that God was more than careful when he brought a man and woman together in a marriage. One reason was because of the uniqueness of the woman's role.
This is why the Hebrews often referred to God as the great Shadchan. (Marriage maker.) If you are familiar with Fiddler on the Roof, you'll remember the elderly lady whose role was to arrange marriages for the village. The sages taught that God spends much of His time arranging marriages for His people.
This may seem odd, but there are Scriptures that do point to God's involvement with the marriages of His people. Proverbs 19:14, says, "House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, BUT A PRUDENT WIFE IS FROM THE LORD." (Caps for emphasis only.)
Then we have this in Ecclesiastes 9:9; "Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun."
Even the apostle Paul reflects on God's gracious gift of the woman, when he says, "For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man." (1 Cor 11:17)
The next thing that needs to be understood is that Adam and Eve were created as co-regents, not as servant and master, but with the human family heading up in Adam. It is important to understand this in its true sense. Both Paul and Peter touch on this in the new covenant.
Paul says that in Christ there is neither male nor female. His point had to do with God's work of salvation in that no one is greater or lesser when it comes to God's gift of grace. This doesn't mean there are no roles of accountability. (More later.)
Peter also brings this out. Listen carefully; "You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered." (1 Pet 3:7)
Here is what needs to be noted from Peter:
(1) The woman is a weaker vessel. (Physical strength. God made her that way.)
(2) The woman is to be honored as a fellow heir the grace of life. (Not as an inferior person.)
(3) The man's prayers will not be answered if he fails to take these instructions to heart.
(4) None of this takes away from the differing roles of the man and woman. The apostles were careful in this area to let us see how God's original purposes have never changed.
Now back to God's original plan for the human family. Adam was created first and as such, had covenant responsibility for the family of man. But in his relationship to Eve, Adam was not to be without Eve, and Eve was not to be without Adam. Each had a role to fulfill. Each had giftings that were theirs in particular. And each was given nature traits that belonged to them alone. It would take both Adam and Eve to fully express what the term 'image' really means.
Since we know that Adam was given covenant headship, let's look at what Eve's role was in relationship to covenant. Here again we need to see the bigger picture. There are mysteries in the Adam-Eve story that reflect on the total of God's eternal story. I'll skim just a bit.
Genesis 2:20, says, "...there was not found a helper suitable for him." Two words are important. Helper is the word 'ezer.' This word is similar in some respects to the Greek word, parakletos. As you know 'parakletos' is applied to the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever."
Ezer is an interesting word in that it also carries an idea of freshness, or someone who succors. To succor means to run under, come to the aid of, to help, support, to relieve in difficulty or distress. It is a very strong word. The root for this word is found it most Semitic languages. For example in Ugaritic, it means to rescue and save. (It is often used in a military sense.)
When the Lord said there was no one who could serve as a helper to Adam, you have to keep in mind what this role really meant. And if men truly understood the giftings given to the woman (wife), never again would they look on her as being inferior in any sense.
Then we have the word 'suitable.' This is also an interesting word. Listen carefully men --- Neged literally means 'in front of', 'in sight of,' or, 'opposite to.' It means she is to be 'before' your face. (Not 'in' your face.) So Adam needed someone whose giftings were companion giftings, to make up for His own lack in areas. Yes, the Lord designed Adam where he could not be a lone ranger.
Next we find the Lord putting Adam into a deep sleep. The Hebrew term for 'deep sleep' is not often used. It is close to a death word, in which consciousness of life is not present. This is the word used for Abraham's sleep where he sees the flaming torch and smoking oven.
The point is that Adam had to die to his own life, as it was, that is, he had to die to his aloneness, so that God could give him 'his other self,' Eve. This speaks to us in two ways. One is that the husband has to die to his own selfish ways in order to know the value of someone precious in his life. But it also gives us a picture of Christ and the church. The church was born out of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (This was the joy that was set before Christ that caused Him to endure the cross.)
Here is where we see some of the wonderful mystery of Christ and the church, but also the wonder between a godly man and his wife. (Learn this men, and you will learn how to enjoy life with the woman that you love.)
Let's follow this triple lesson. God presents Eve to Adam. God presents the Church to Christ. God presents the wife to the man. All this is contained in the Adam-Eve story. But notice one thing in particular. God required Adam to die before He would give him Eve. This is so important to understanding how God's giftings of maleness and femaleness work. It is never a matter of submerging one's life under another. It is a matter of merging of lives, where both lives count, but neither is to be without the other.
Now we go a step further --- Listen to the passage; "The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man."
Do you see the beauty in this? God fashioned the woman herself. He didn't fashion her from the earth. He actually took a part of Adam, and fashioned Eve from that part. (Not the head or toe, but from the heart area.)
The very first words that Eve hears are the words of Adam 'sanctifying her to himself.' Here is how Adam sanctifies Eve. He looks at her, and says, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man." (Apply this to Christ and the church and get excited. We are the body of Christ. We are bone of His bone. Flesh of His flesh. He doesn't fill us full of fear. He sanctifies us by driving our fears away.)
But there is more to the story of sanctifying Eve. Because the Lord made her to be more fragile than Adam, and yet with powerful giftings that were hers alone, Adam was put in a place where he had to recognize Eve as God's special gift to him. This meant he had to draw her back to himself, and she needed to hear him do so.
Husbands, it is so important that you learn to affirm your wife to yourself. (Holds true with the wife also.) Even in nature, God designed the male to be the one who courts. To sanctify Eve, Adam had to drive away her fears. This is exactly how Christ sanctifies the church to himself. John said that perfect love casts out fears.
Let me add two more items. Coming back to the image of God. There is a sense in which the woman can serve as a type of the Holy Spirit. This is especially true when you consider her nature and giftings. There is also a sense in which the man serves as a type of God's Word. Both are needed for life. (The woman provides the womb and egg. The man provides the seed. Just something to think about.)
The point is that the Word without the Spirit can produce legalism. The Spirit without the Word can produce instability. Perhaps this is why Jesus said, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life." (John 6:63)
The second item is an issue of covenant. There is no stronger spiritual working power on this planet than a man and his wife who are in spiritual union. All the promises that relate to 'two' people doing something, find their greatest impact in the godly marriage.
For example, Jesus said, "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven." (Matt 18:19) Think about it. Who is in a better place to experience the awesomeness of this promise than that of the godly married?
I'll close this devotional study with a short testimony. (Some of you are probably familiar with it.) It was 1965. We had just brought our firstborn son home from the hospital. We were living in Montrose, Colorado at the time. This was when my heart turned towards home. I wanted my dad to be around my son. The big question was --- How could I ask my wife to leave her family and move to Louisiana?
This is when it happened. I shared with Betty about my dad. All she did was pick up her Bible and began to read the Ruth passage. This is what she read: "Intreat 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 to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me." (Ruth 1:16,17 KJV)
Well, that was 41+ years ago. The sweet lady of my life set her life in order with mine. Its been that way ever since. Yes, we've buried one of our sons, but the journey is not over. We'll see him again.
All I can say is, "An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." (Prov. 31:10,11 NASB)
Do you agree? Is a prudent wife from the Lord?
Shalom in Christ.
Lawrence "Buddy" Martin
email: Bro.Buddy <at> ChristianChallenge.Org