The great God of the universe who heaped up the mountains, scooped out the oceans, and flung out the stars, wants to have a relationship with you. – Adrian Rogers
Tag Archives: relationship
CLIPPED-WINGS CHICKENS STILL FLY!
Parson to Person
From the memory vaults of decades long gone comes a story of a lesson learned in country, childhood life. As most families back then, ours had all the trappings of basic life support, including a large number of chickens. Breakfast and Sunday dinner table were completed with their contribution and sacrifice. One day several of the chickens began to fly up and over the six-foot fence of their large, penned area. Mom gave a pair of scissors to older brother with instructions to clip a small amount of feather from their wing. Later, she noticed the chickens still flying out of the pen, and asked if he had done as she instructed. He answered in the affirmative, but upon questioning it was learned that he had clipped both wings of each chicken instead of just one. Of course, that did not work. The whole idea of keeping the chickens earthbound was to create imbalance by clipping only one wing. Thus came the old saying of someone deemed to be too haughty or “uppity” he or she needed their wing clipped. My brother’s action failed to achieve the objective because it allowed the chickens to maintain the necessary balance to fly.
It is also true that to fly in spiritual matters one must also have balance. Such balance is denied the natural man due to his sinful nature which does not harmonize or balance with the spiritual things of God and His righteousness. So, he remains “earthbound” by his sinful condition even while he seeks to be spiritual in religious affairs. He is desperately in need of the balance to fly, but it is beyond his ability or reach naturally. So, what, if anything, can be done to achieve spiritual balance and flying status? The answer is not complicated. The ancient prophet said it in a verse of scripture that has become the favorite to many: “ Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31. Here then is God’s way for mankind: wait upon the Lord. Such waiting denotes looking to; trusting, depending upon. Those who are tired of being “earthbound” by a nature that is not spiritual should allow God to clip the fleshly wings, imparting the spiritual balance of a right relationship with Him; spiritual knowledge by which he may mount up with wings as eagles.
My wife received a wonderful poem this morning. Four women spent time together and God came up in conversation. This young woman put it very well in a poem.
THE BUTTER CHURN
When you surround yourself with wisdom
And those who love the Lord
You’re humbled in His presence
As they share His precious Word.
Your mind and heart are opened
Your spirit is renewed
You find solace and direction
Of impressive magnitude
There is laughter, there is praise,
There is learning and desire
You see grace, you see love
As you watch it all transpire
I was honored to be in your presence
To reap what God has sown
To share in His love of friendships
Knowing we’re not alone
Thank you for your wisdom,
Your sharing of God’s love
For teaching me wonderful things
To share and be proud of
You women are amazing
I want to be just like you
For God needs all of us
To see His message through
Thank you for being you!
2 Samuel 1:25, 26
“I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women,” 2 Samuel 1:26.
What will people say about you at your funeral? What would you like them to say? I have attended many funerals, and the content of the eulogies is always positive. Something nice can be said about virtually any person who has ever lived, and that is usually why funerals are held: to celebrate the life of the deceased.
When King David eulogized the life of Jonathan, he said something that is not said at too many funerals. He said, “Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women” (verse 26). It should be obvious that David is not speaking inappropriately about his relationship with Jonathan, and, yet, this statement is not something you hear too often to describe friendships. What did David mean by this comment? He meant that, though Jonathan could have fought for his right to inherit the throne of Israel as Saul’s son, he denied himself that pleasure and radically supported David as God’s choice to rule the nation. The kind of love that Jonathan expressed for David was so rare, it exceeded the devotion found in relationships with the opposite sex because these kinds of relationships typically hinge upon some degree of self-gratification. Jonathan had nothing to gain personally from denying himself the right to the throne and yielding to God’s will in selecting David, yet, that is exactly what he did, and God honored him for it.
I would like it to be said about me at my funeral that I loved God so much that I was willing to forego my own satisfaction and fulfillment to enjoy the desires of God.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you yield to God’s will today?
1 Samuel 20:14-17
“So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the Lord even require it at the hand of David’s enemies,” 1 Samuel 20:16.
The concept of covenant relationships—especially in friendships—is not common in our culture today. Some may understand “covenant” (verse 16) as it relates to marriage, but most people do not engage in covenant relationships. Why is covenant so foreign to our relationships? One of the biggest reasons more people are not keen to the concept of covenant is because it entails, first and foremost, unconditional love.
We are familiar with the ideas of acquaintances, informal friendships and contracts, but these types of relationships can easily be manipulated by the participants for personal gain. If I approach a relationship with a mind-set of a contract, I will only be your friend as long as it suits me, and as long as you are benefitting me in some way. This kind of friendship is really not friendship at all because I can end it if I think you are not upholding your end of the bargain.
The kind of relationship that existed between David and Jonathan was a covenant friendship. This kind of relationship is not dependent upon either party fulfilling a set of obligations but is much deeper, founded upon the bedrock of truth and unconditional love. This is the preferred kind of relationship because it shows the kind of love God has for each of us. He has sworn a solemn vow to us in a covenant relationship through His Son, Jesus. When we strike up these deep relationships with others, we display God’s covenant-keeping love for us.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you display God’s unconditional love today?
bā‘al, lāqach, yāḇam, ‘’iššāh
Several Hebrew words are translated “married,” “marry,” or “marriage,” each of which provides insight into what this relationship should be biblically. One is bā‘al (H1166), which means “to marry, have dominion, or to rule over.” It is used, for example, to demonstrate political dominion (1Ch_4:22) as well as God’s dominion over His people (Isa_26:13), which in turn is pictured as a marriage (Jer_3:14). This does not mean a husband rules like a little Napoleon over his wife, rather that he leads in a godly way and cherishes her as his own body (Eph_5:25-29). It is used also in the contexts of both virginity (Isa_62:5) and adultery (Deu_22:22), the latter of which was punishable by death. These demonstrate that purity should be part of both the foundation and continuing structure of marriage.
Another word is lāqach (H3947), which is used more than one thousand times in a variety of ways. With the basic meaning “to take, to grasp, to take hold of,” it is used for Noah taking hold of the dove to bring it back into the ark (Gen_8:9), taking vengeance (Isa_47:3), or even figuratively for “taking on” commands, a metaphor for obedience (Pro_10:8). It is, therefore, easy to see the significance of taking a wife (Gen_25:1), as this word also includes the idea of keeping what one takes (Gen_14:21).
Another word is yāḇam (H2992), which specifically addresses the custom in the Mosaic Law called “levirate marriage” (Latin levir, “brother-in-law”), which required that upon his brother’s death, if there was not already a male heir, a man was to marry his brother’s wife so the family name could be passed on (Deu_25:5-10). Obviously, we have no such custom today, but it does at least illustrate the importance of having children.
One other word is ’iššāh (woman or “wife,” H802, February 5). It underscores that the woman is part of the man. God has instituted marriage to make two people into one person (Gen_2:24; Mar_10:6-8; Eph_5:31; 1Co_6:16) so they can function to the fullest. While God leads and empowers some Christians never to marry so they can more fully devote themselves to the Lord’s work (Mat_19:11-12; 1Co_7:7-9), the general rule is marriage. Let us each cherish the one-person relationship God has given us.
Scriptures for Study: There was much Scripture mentioned in today’s study. Read those verses that particularly interest you, and consider the critical importance of marriage.
When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed!
All my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing…never made a face nor uttered a word about it!
When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said, “Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then.”
Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides–a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!”
As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people.
I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But what I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.
And that’s my prayer for you today…that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal-breaker!
We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!
Don’t put the key to happiness in someone else’s pocket, keep it in your own.
So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.
Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
“Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil–it has no point”