Headline: Tips for a Better Life

HeadlineHeadline Updated: January 1st, 2017

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“Beloved, I pray that in every way you may prosper and enjoy good health, as your soul also prospers.” 3 John 1:2

its-a-new-year

Kickstart the new year with some godly wisdom.

“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:6-7

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But I don’t have a life

From our WISDOM FOR TODAY series.

Many people actually believe that life should be a long party.

Good times. Happy times. A real life.

Well, wake up.

The Pursuit of Happiness is just that, a pursuit. Happiness is a fleeting experience. It doesn’t stay for long. It comes and goes. It is mostly an emotional reaction brought about by favorable circumstances that once in a while manage to show up.

Thus, the following happens:

  • People don’t have jobs, they’re unhappy and complain.
  • They’re single, they’re unhappy and complain.
  • They don’t have kids, they’re unhappy and complain.

So they cry out, “We have no life.”

But then:

  • They have jobs, they’re unhappy and complain.
  • They’re married, they’re unhappy and complain.
  • They have kids, they’re unhappy and complain.

So they cry out again, “We have no life.”

What is the problem?

They forget that life’s anchor is love, not happiness. And that love is not a goosebumpsy feeling or emotion.

To love is to do the right thing, to fulfill one’s duties, to sacrificially give of oneself, and to selflessly help others – even when it hurts and doesn’t feel right.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

If you believe you have no life because of your unhappiness, you need a Heart Adjustment.

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Living with Mom and Dad

From our WISDOM FOR TODAY series.

If you are not married and not working far from home, there is no reason to live anywhere but at home with mom and dad, no matter how old you are. The reasons are simple.

1. The bible says so.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife…” Ephesians 5: 31

A man can leave his parents before finding a wife if he has to work far from home, which in turn prepares him to later afford a family of his own. Jacob did that.

“Then Jacob went on his way and came to the land of the people of the east.” Genesis 29:1

There Jacob worked for 7 years to finally be able to marry his first wife, and toiled for another 7 to get the second one. See Can a Man have Many Wives?

2. Save money.

The propaganda, especially in the US, is that if you’re living with mom and dad you are a loser. The idea is to guilt-trap you into moving out of your parents’ house and renting or buying real estate you can’t afford, so you can enrich property developers.

Imagine how much money you could put aside if while working you were living at home. You could share some of the expenditures with your parents, and thus avoid all the expenses associated with renting and buying something you can scarcely afford.

That way you can build your savings and have a nest egg to fall back on when a true need arises to finally own or rent a property – for example, when it’s time to get married, or when your parents die and your siblings want to sell the house to get their share of the property, or when you have to move out of state/country for a new job.

So don’t fall for the propaganda. Be smarter than that.

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Family Life

From our WISDOM FOR TODAY series.

The family is God’s plan to bring order to the world, and yet He has placed within each family characters who rub us the wrong way.

Why?

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

That’s why. And how do we get sharpened in the Christian life? By loving and forgiving.

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates his brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” 1 John 4:20

“Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’ ” Matthew 18: 21,22

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive…” Colossians 3:13

Many avoid their families because they say they can’t handle it. However, unless there’s a life-threatening or deliberately criminal situation everyone should stay put, because one way or another God is going to sharpen you.

Those who run away from their families soon find out that God uses strangers (and circumstances) to do His sharpening as well, which in the end proves to be more unbearable. Ask the prodigal son.

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.” Luke 15:17-20

In conclusion, keep your senses, stay put, and allow God to use your family to sharpen you. Once you’ve been sharpened, the outside world and its uncomfortable grating will be more tolerable, for you would have already endured and surmounted plenty of irritating rubbing.

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

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Anger

From our WISDOM FOR TODAY series.

“Be angry, and do not sin.” Ephesians 4: 26

Anger can be useful, though it may easily become a conduit for sin.

“Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:20

So, what should happen when we do get angry? After all, Jesus Himself got angry.

“So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” John 2:15

The purpose of godly anger is to demonstrate and reveal  a wrong,  especially  when God’s commandments are not being followed.

“He said, ‘Get these out of here! How dare you turn My Father’s house into a marketplace!'” John 2:16

“You must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people… Expel the wicked person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:11,13

Anger shows our displeasure. When it’s acted upon in a godly way, the other party, if he has a heart for change, will feel convicted and will eventually repent; otherwise, he’ll audaciously display his own anger and be forever offended.

The same principle applies to parents as they discipline their children.

“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24

A parent’s duty is to teach his children righteousness. When they disobey, he gets angry or disappointed, depending on the level of the offense. With many kids whose parents did a proper job from the very beginning, there’s often no need to use the rod.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Sometimes the gravity of an offense might challenge parents to take that further step. The rod. Still, it is not an opportunity to beat a small child senseless until he bleeds. A gentle spanking, with the right amount of sting, can usually do the trick and show the parents’ anger.

Spanking may or may not work with adolescents, since they’re almost adults. Therefore, adult techniques, which are usually laden with dialogue and stern discipline, should take precedence.

With complete strangers, anger should be kept under total control. It is not our job to correct them.

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11

“Anger lodges in the bosom of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9

When strangers are angry with us, this is the way to act:

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.” Proverbs 15:18

In family, anger should be quickly resolved.

“Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Ephesians 4:27

In general, when anger is burning inside this is what is required:

“Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.” Psalm 4:4

Then apply wisdom from above.

“The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17

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Dating Traps

From our WISDOM FOR TODAY series.

Dating causes your emotions to get all wrapped up in a person who may not be right for you; and even when you know they’re not right, time and/or desperation often cause you to become addicted to them.

Worse still, many give away their sexuality, some their virginity, only to get nothing positive in return. After desires are satiated and contempt is brought on by familiarity, they break up. Then the painful withdrawal process tees off as tangled emotions ferociously and pitilessly unravel – a needless situation that could have easily been avoided.

In addition, people put their best faces forward when dating; so if marriage materializes you have to get to know them all over again, because it seems you don’t recognize them.

When looking for a spouse keep these 3 succinct points in mind.

1. Don’t consider divorcés/divorcées (unless it’s a divorcé who divorced his wife because of her fornication). It’s not only a sin, but  a commonsensical point as well (i.e., if he/she divorced once, he/she could divorce again). There are plenty of fish in the sea, so look for those with no baggage.

2. Guys, don’t get involved with women who have kids, they’re usually looking for a financial anchor. These women will always put their kids ahead of you, and you will never be their kids’ fathers. Besides, why do some other guy’s job for him? Again, there are plenty of fish in the sea, so ignore the Hollywood propaganda that depicts stepfathers trying to surpass their stepkids’ real fathers by proving how much better they can be to them. It’s all bull biscuit geared toward social reengineering.

And you ladies with kids, if you find yourselves separated from your kids’ fathers, do not bring other men into the picture, as they will likely butt heads with your sons, possibly eye your daughters, and even take you for a ride financially – once more, pay no heed to the Hollywood propaganda. However, single non-divorced women can consider widowers with kids, since women have a maternal instinct that can be transferred to kids not their own, as opposed to men trying to do the same as stepfathers. Fathers are a whole different ball of wax. The bible tells us so.

“The glory of children is their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6

3. There’s no such thing as “the one”. The purpose of marriage is to start a family that soon will involve children (i.e., marriage is about making babies). So the only query that matters is this: Is he/she father/mother material from a respectable family?

Then, instead of dating, follow God’s Biblical Marriage Blueprint.

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Money-Wise Steward

From our WISDOM FOR TODAY series.

“In a wise man’s dwelling, precious treasures and oils are stored.” Proverbs 21: 20

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” Proverbs 13:22

You are just a steward of the money God entrusts you with. As such you must exercise due diligence in order to use and bequeath it properly:

a. meet your family’s needs (vacation included);

b. save for bad times;

c. invest in your retirement;

d. lay away for your children’s future;

e. take eternity into account and apply Jesus’s parable of The Unrighteous Steward in Luke 16:1-12.

With that parable, Jesus delineated a two-prong position:

1) Salvation. The unrighteous steward gave away commercial goods to those who could give back to him in return. Scratch my back, I scratch yours. That’s the way of the world. And for the world it is a smart way to deal. However, you, as a disciple of Christ, have something better to give. The Gospel of Salvation. And it is not to be exchanged for filthy lucre like many “preachers” do today. It is to be given to all, expecting nothing in return.

2) Money. You must not only give the Gospel away for free, you must also bestow money on those who can’t give back to you. That way they can see Christ in you as well as getting a taste of the goodness of the Lord through your giving.

“Taste and see that the LORD is good.” Psalm 34: 8

“If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.” Luke 6: 33

When you give, it is as if God Himself is giving. Said gesture affords you the opportunity to share Christ. It is also a seed impregnated with Christian love that later on could yield the fruit of change in marginal “Christians” or salvation in the souls of those who do not know ChristThat’s why Jesus said to “make friends using unrighteous mammon”.

Thereupon, those at the receiving end of your gift, once saved, will be able to partake with you of the everlasting life, which is the real dividend or the true riches that God Himself will assign to you as your own.

See Who Should Christians Give their Money to?

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Has God planned BIG Things for our Lives?

From our CHURCH REFORM series.

Many Christians seem to think so. But where did they get that idea from?

Continue reading here.

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Of Nagging Women and Angry Men

C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

The actress/scriptwriter Nia Vardalos in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding wrote the following line: “The man may be the head of the household, but the woman is the neck, and she can turn the head whichever way she pleases.”

It may be a funny one-liner, but it’s a dangerous one.

Why?

Entertainment and media have a great influence on many people, and that one-liner has wormed its way into our society’s consciousness using a comedic wrapper to make it palatable, as it takes roots and reinforces a notion that many women are already inclined to develop. Some preachers even use it to make their audience laugh. But, in truth, it’s no laughing matter.

“But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:3

Adam and Eve 2The head of woman is man, not Jesus. The head of an unmarried woman is her father or the elder brother if dad is deceased. The head of a married woman is her husband or whomever the husband puts in charge after his passing, usually the elder son who has the right of the firstborn.

“he shall acknowledge… the firstborn (male), by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.” Deuteronomy 21:17

From the very beginning, in the Garden of Eden, the woman managed to usurp the man’s authoritative role, and the result has been the catastrophic state of sin we currently find ourselves in.

The Serpent knew what he was doing when he approached the woman.

“And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?’ ‘ ” Genesis 3:1

The most cunning of all creatures, he discerned that woman was the weaker vessel and therefore not built to withstand his attacks, and that man for all his bravado could not long endure a woman’s pleading eyes. He was certain that man’s ingrained chivalry would get the best of him.

He was right. Eve fell and then induced Adam to fall. Quite the bull’s-eye on both counts for the Serpent. In other words, he caused Eve to become the neck that turned Adam’s head, and voilà!

Since then women everywhere, way before Nia Vardalos penned that “funny one-liner”, have been either trying to “neck around” their husbands or have actually been doing precisely that.

The consequences of such a disposition are disastrous.

Women who embrace said frame of mind end up being these nagging and manipulative creatures that drive their husbands crazy or angry.

Many of these men bottle up their anger until one day they explode and divorce their wives. Some morph into these feeble, castrated individuals who are trapped and cannot move forward, while others are in a permanent state of resentment as they continually butt heads with their wives.

When God says that man is the head, He means it.

Wives, respect and obey your husbands…” 1 Peter 2: 1

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Ephesians 5: 22

Feminism has conditioned most women, even many Christian ones, to rebuff the above-mentioned laws. To masquerade their unbecoming behavior, these women usually use the following nonsensical statements about their husbands – with our rebuttal.

  • But he’s doing the wrong thing. Answer: Then advise him.
  • But he doesn’t listen. Answer: Then the onus is on him, not on you.
  • But he’s leading our family to disaster. Answer: Then why did you marry him?
  • But I thought I could change him. Answer: Did you, now? Is the bride of Christ the one who changes to accommodate Him, or is it the other way around?
  • But he’s gonna fail if I don’t take over. Answer: Then let him fail. There’s nothing wrong with failure. Failure sobers a man up and gives him wisdom. Moses failed to convince Pharaoh over and over until his persuasive argument won the day.
  • But he’s gonna bring shame to me and my family. Answer: Ah-Ha! It’s your pride then. Shade of Eve.
  • But he can’t make up his mind. Answer: Then wait until he can.
  • But he’s lazy. Answer: Then why did you marry him?
  • But I didn’t know. Answer: Did you follow The Biblical Marriage Blueprint?
  • But I thought I could change him. Answer: Aren’t we going in circle here?

Women can help their husbands, advise them, encourage them, build them up when they’re down, etc., but in the end final decisions are up to the husband. God is the one who put him in charge, and therefore he’ll have to answer to Him.

When a woman takes upon herself the man’s responsibilities, she takes upon herself duties that were not assigned to her, and sooner or later the result will be a frustrated woman who’ll end up disrespecting, even despising her husband.

Job’s wife is a great example of how women can step out of their supportive role and be putty in the devil’s hand. She could not see God’s purpose in Job’s trials, so instead of showing respect to her husband she cursed him (and God) instead.

“Why don’t you curse God and die?” Job 2:9

Likewise, most women prefer to nag and nag until they get what they want, not unlike female characters in many movies who insolently mouth off at their husbands or at their fathers. Such a devastating sinful trait will drive a family to ruin, just like Eve drove her family out of the Garden.

“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.” Proverbs 21:9

“It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.” Proverbs 21:19

“A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one’s right hand.” Proverbs 27: 15-16

Women like these grind down a man’s self-esteem. They are the reason many run away from their wives and into the arms of those who indulge and respect their God-appointed position.

“Your adornment must not be merely external– braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands.” 1 Peter 3: 3-5

Now to the men.

Be men, godly men! Not sissies, nor brutes.

“But if someone doesn’t provide for their own family…They are worse than those who have no faith.” 1 Tim 5:8

“Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5:28

“Fathers, do not anger your children, but rear them in the discipline and in the teaching of Our Lord.” Ephesians 6: 4

Husbands must work hard and provide for their families in every aspect: financial, spiritual, emotional, in knowledge, in wisdom, in decision-making, etc. In other words, they must become real men, leaders of their homes.

Some husbands actually cause their wives to become the necks that turn their heads, and then they wax all hot and bothered, even angry.

There’s nothing uglier than a man who’s not a man, meaning a man who does not fulfill his responsibilities. If that’s you, then it’s about time you took back your role as head of your family and applied God’s principles to turn your situation around. But in so doing, remember to exercise loving firmness and patient understanding, especially if your wife has already settled in the neck-turning-the-head role.

“Husbands, dwell with your wives with understanding, giving honor unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

Adam and EveWhat if Adam had put his foot down and told Eve to behave? What if he had said, “Now listen darling, God said it’s a no-no to eat of the forbidden fruit. Now throw it away because I’ll have none of it. Quickly go and ask God to forgive you!” Do you think we’d all be in different circumstances right now?

In conclusion, guys, be biblical men!

And you, ladies, be biblical women!

Your lives will be better for it.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

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