The Proverbs 31 Husband!

By Mr. Ronald D Kelly   

What man wouldn’t want a fantastic wife like the Proverbs 31 woman? But what kind of man deserves such a woman?

   Almost every man has dreamed of being married to the Proverbs 31 woman that near-super heroine who seems to be able to do it all.
   She is totally capable, yet submissive to her husband. She is highly intelligent, yet clothed with humility.
   Many men have read this chapter of the Bible and longingly wondered if such a woman has ever lived.
   But few men have ever stopped to ponder what kind of man deserves such a woman.
   They may fantasize about how wonderful it would be to be married to this vision of true womanhood, but they have probably never analyzed whether they would be worthy of her.
   Do you think the proverbial “macho,” domineering, male-chauvinist type really deserves the woman depicted in Proverbs 31?
   Or how about the lily-livered, weak-kneed mouse? Could such an introvert ever achieve happiness and properly lead the capable woman of Proverbs 31?
   Men, it’s high time to stop worrying about where this wonderful wife is and become far more concerned about becoming a Proverbs 31 husband.
   In fact, if there were more Proverbs 31 husbands, there would be more Proverbs 31 wives.
   What kind of husband would it take to lead, love, provide for and protect this outstanding woman we read about in Proverbs? At first you might think of a dominant, prominent, self-confident man whose wife trails five paces behind him – meek, quiet, seen but seldom heard. But that’s not how this woman is depicted.
   The Proverbs 31 woman is capable. Confident. Heard as well as seen. Respected. Known.
   Any man married to a woman this intelligent, proficient and loving does not hide her in a tent. He shouts her praises for all to hear – he wants the world to know that the epitome of femininity, grace and talent is personified in his wonderful wife.
   Let’s take a fresh look at Proverbs 31, this time to see what kind of man leads and provides for the Proverbs 31 woman.A successful man
   Certainly, whoever the Proverbs 31 woman was, she has provided the finest example for every woman to emulate.
   But Solomon, the author of most of the Proverbs, probably did not have a wife like this. Among his 300 wives and 700 concubines, it is doubtful that there was a woman of this kind of love and wisdom. Solomon probably didn’t even know anyone of his wives well enough to write such a complimentary chapter.
   The Proverbs 31 woman – and the Proverbs 31 husband – remain buried in anonymity. We just don’t know who they were.
   But this woman does seem practically perfect. And the man? Well, we may not have given much attention to him. But he himself must have been a person of great ability, outgoing concern and wisdom.
   Hidden between the lines of the verses in Proverbs 31 we see a man who must have provided a far-better than – average living for his family. Read verse 23:
   “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.” The husband of Proverbs 31 was respected in the community. He sat with the wise of the city and possessed wisdom and ability. He earned the respect of his peers as well as that of his wife and family.
   In addition, he achieved a measure of financial success. Notice verse 15: “She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.” The woman described in this verse is full of diligence and zeal, rising before the rest of her family to help prepare them for the day.
   But have you ever noticed that this household has, to put it in modern paraphrase, full-time hired help? Read it again: ” … and a portion to her maidens.”
   This family’s success has made it possible for help to be provided, which, in turn, makes it possible for the wife to achieve her maximum potential. The Proverbs 31 wife is not constantly “barefoot and pregnant” – she is not a poverty-laden scrubwoman eking out a bare existence in a ramshackled hut on the wrong side of town.
   The Proverbs 31 husband has provided an environment in which his wife can reach her full capabilities.A person of service
   I have known of more than one man who has browbeat his wife with Proverbs 31:15. “Get up woman,” he slurs sleepily. “Why can’t you rise up like that Proverbs 31 woman?”
   Certainly, Proverbs 31 shows a diligent wife responding to the needs of her household. She does rise early and she does have everything ready to make the beginning of the day enjoyable for everyone, including the live in help her husband has provided. It seems many men feel the woman should be up early in the morning getting all the chores done in addition to providing the nourishing breakfast the family needs for a proper start.
   Monetary wealth did not go to this woman’s head. She had not become lazy merely because maidens had been provided. In fact, she felt a responsibility to everyone in the household, including the hired help.
   But part of her responsibilities must have included outlining duties and projects for her maidens throughout the day. She was responsible for the household organization and operations.
   There is yet another hint of the family’s financial stability in verse 21: “She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.” Garments of substantial quality are here depicted. The children were not in torn and tattered rags. This family had no fear of the bitter colds of winter. The Proverbs 31 woman purchased quality garments or made them with her own hands.
   Throughout this inspiring chapter we find that this superwoman is constantly a person of service. Notice verse 20: “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”
   She is a woman of accomplishment. Her family is provided with the finest quality clothing and food. She has maidservants.
   She also has time available, and she uses her time to the best possible advantage – not lying by the pool on a sunny afternoon, whiling away countless hours, or sitting glued to a television screen keeping up with the latest intrigue and drama of soap operas. And she spends much of her time in service.
   You see, she and her husband have both developed their potentials to help and serve in addition to taking care of their own family’s needs.Mutual trust and respect
   One of the most vital elements in a successful marriage is trust and respect. The Proverbs 31 husband please note it – totally trusts his wife.
   How many women today have received the respect and trust they deserve? Greed, jealousy, mistrust and a host of wrong emotions dominate many marriages.
   How does the Proverbs 31 husband regard his wife in this area? Read it in verses 11 and 12: “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
   Trust and respect are a two-way street. The wife’s conduct certainly must be worthy of respect. But it is the husband who must give the trust.
   And how about a word of praise now and then?
   One of the Proverbs states, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Prov. 25:11).
   How is this for a word fitly spoken? “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” How about it, husbands? When was the last time you said, “Honey, that was a super job”? When was the last time you complimented your wife on a well-cooked meal? Or a clean and neat house? Or the extra time she spent helping a sick neighbor?
   Unfortunately, most of the time, the good deeds and hard work go unnoticed – certainly uncomplimented.
   You men would like a Proverbs 31 wife? Then, first, you be a Proverbs 31 husband!
   Trust, respect and praise for your wife – these are important qualities of the Proverbs 31 husband.She has ability
   Until late in this century, many societies have presumed that men were superior to women in every way. In The Good News we have been publishing a series of articles, largely directed to women (but, it is hoped, read by all members of God’s Church), in which we have emphasized that God did not make superior and inferior when He made male and female.
   He did make woman “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Gen. 2:23). And He made male and female “heirs together of the grace of life” (I Pet. 3:7).
   God did make male and female different. Man was not complete as male alone (Gen. 2:18). Different, yes. But one better than the other? By no means.
   However, God created man male and female, each with separate responsibilities to perform. Each was to achieve the fullest potential possible. There is not superior and inferior. This has never been understood in the history of mankind.
   Don’t get the idea we have leaped over to the side of the “liberated woman.” The Bible offers a great deal of instruction relevant to husbands and wives. There is male and female. There is breadwinner and homemaker.
   In past articles in The Good News, we showed how God designed a way in which each of us, male or female, can develop our ultimate potential. We showed that the calling of the “average, everyday housewife” is just as great as that of a corporate president.
   By emphasizing the capabilities of a Proverbs 31 woman, we do not want to swing like the proverbial pendulum far to the left of the God-inspired and created purpose for male and female – husband and wife.
   But you just cannot relegate the Proverbs 31 woman to the backseat. She is not an ignorant, uneducated, unmotivated, unsophisticated wench.
   Rather, she is an intelligent, capable, cultured, industrious woman who compliments her husband’s successes.
   She cares for her children personally. She works hard. She has developed a sense of personal confidence that has made her individually successful as a person, a wife, a mother and a home manager and in appropriate personal business affairs.
   If there are any male chauvinists reading this article, I imagine they have not read this far. If they have, these statements might be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back.
   “Do you mean to say,” the male chauvinist may ask, “a woman can have personal business dealings? A woman?” Yes, a woman can be successful in appropriate personal business dealings – that’s what it says in the Bible.
   Look at the principle in Proverbs 31.
   First, verse 24, “She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.”
   In addition, notice verse 16: “She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.”
   Many, many women have good business heads. They have the ability to turn their time into profits and to be of service to their families and others.
   That does not mean this Proverbs 31 woman went off to become a major corporate executive. She did not leave her children in a day-care center from the time they were 6 weeks old forward. She did not travel far and abroad leaving her family behind in some sort of role reversal, with her as breadwinner and her husband a “househusband.” The Proverbs 31 woman, obviously, first and foremost has an allegiance and sense of responsibility to her husband and family and maidens.
   But can you see what kind of family this is? The husband’s education, prestige and success have afforded many opportunities for the family. The wife has been able to fulfill her duties as a wife and mother and at the same time develop her personal skills. How many men today have achieved a sense of personal strength and worth such that they do not feel intimidated when their wives develop skills? How many husbands have confidence in their wives’ ability to “consider a field and buy it”?
   The Proverbs 31 husband has encouraged his wife’s personal development and has demonstrated confidence in her abilities. He is proud of her accomplishments.A negative example
   Sometime back a lady in God’s Church came to me for counsel and advice. Her marriage to a member of the Church had ended tragically in despair, heartache and, ultimately, divorce.
   She wanted me to help her husband and other men in God’s Church see that there is more to the woman’s function in marriage than mop handles and dirty diapers.
   In this sad case, the lady involved had tremendous talent in art. She had the ability to paint and the personality and skill to market her paintings and profit from her talent.
   But her husband forbade her to paint and ordered her to do nothing more than cook the meals, clean the house, have babies and work in the yard.
   This was his mistaken impression of what God wanted a woman to be. He not only refused to let his wife sell her paintings, but he even commanded her not to paint at all.
   In the course of time, the husband’s inability to see his wife’s need to use her talents brought only heartache and misery. The marriage ended in divorce.
   This lady did not want to become a big art tycoon – she did want to express herself in her paintings and to be able to sell a few now and then. But her husband just wouldn’t let her. He was not a Proverbs 31 husband. He didn’t praise her abilities and skills. He did not permit development of those talents as he provided the proper direction and framework for the family.See both sides
   Perhaps while you have been reading this article you have opened your Bible to Proverbs 31 and read verses in it. I would like to ask you to stop reading the article right now and read through the entire section of Proverbs 31:10-31. If you have a modern translation of the Bible, such as the Revised Standard Version or the New International Version, use it.
   You now might see this chapter in a totally new light. Not only will you find a truly phenomenal wife, but you also find a rare and wonderful husband.
   You ladies reading this article: Read Proverbs 31:10-31 and see how you measure up against this wife. Would your husband describe you as a jewel worth far more than rubies?
   And you men reading the article: See if you can honestly say, “I am man enough to deserve, lead and love this kind of woman.”
   Set yourself to capture the spirit and intent of what it means to be a Proverbs 31 wife or a Proverbs 31 husband, whichever you happen to be.
   Pastor General Herbert W. Armstrong declared 1981 the “year of the family.” 1981 is now history and we are into 1982.
   But that does not mean that we in God’s Church should no longer emphasize improving family life. During 1982 we should even go beyond what we accomplished in 1981 in focusing attention on the importance of the family.Physical marriage a type
   The Bible instructs husbands and wives to typify, as much as is possible in the flesh, the coming marriage of
   Christ to His Church. The husband is to be a type of Christ, the wife a type of the Church.
   That marriage is to take place very soon now. When Christ returns, one of the first joyful events of His Kingdom will be the wedding of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9).
   What kind of bride will Christ take? Do you think this bride (the Church) is depicted by some dumb, “blonde bombshell” type – an empty- headed, scatterbrained sex symbol?
   Here’s what the Bible says: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7). Paul explained in Ephesians 5:21-33 the great mystery that the physical marital state between a husband and a wife is a type of the marriage between Christ and His Church.
   This mystery is revealed as each partner in the marriage fulfills important responsibilities.
   A Christian wife must develop to her full capacity, must be properly submissive to her husband – he is the head of the family, just as Christ is the Head of the Church. There has to be authority in the home. God designed the family to depict this spiritual type. Christ is the Head of the Church. He will always be the Head of the Church (the bride) and the eternal marriage that will take place at His return.
   Husbands, likewise, are to learn to love their wives as Christ loved the Church – He even gave Himself for it. He died for her. Through that supreme act of sacrifice, forgiveness of sin became possible.
   The bride of Christ is to be clean and pure and holy. And, we might add, intelligent, diligent and industrious in addition to being loving, kind and submissive. You see, Christ has been allowing the Church to develop the skills and abilities that will help her faithfully serve Him for all eternity.
   Christ is not going to marry some ignorant, wishy-washy, spineless introvert.
   On the other hand, Christ is not going to marry some brazen, smart mouthed, self-centered hussy decked out like Jezebel. In ancient times, Christ was married to Israel – He has already had one wife who played the harlot and had to be put away. Through His death, however, forgiveness of all sins can take place, and New Testament Israel, the Church, is in the process of being made holy and pure – preparing herself for the marriage.Develop your potential
   In God’s Kingdom, Christ is going to give a lot of responsibility to His wife. But she will always be under His authority and care.
   Then how about today?
   Shouldn’t you men be developing every possible attribute you can to rule and serve in God’s Kingdom?
   And shouldn’t you wives be developing all the possible skills you can to be part of that bride, too?
   And the next logical question – shouldn’t husbands be permitting their wives to develop those full capabilities?
   In fact, shouldn’t they be encouraging their wives to develop those skills and abilities that help them reach their ultimate potential in this life as homemakers, wives, mothers and future parts of the bride of Jesus Christ?
   The Bible reveals some shocking truths. Preconceived and false ideas have dominated whole societies for most of the 6,000 years of human history. Time-honored beliefs sometimes have to be thrown away. The Bible just doesn’t say what many people seem to think.
   In our articles on the family, we have been trying to show how important it is to achieve your maximum potential.
   Those born male have a responsibility to develop their ultimate potential and, in marriage, become loving, caring, providing husbands who are heads of households and inspirational leaders to their families.
   Those born female have an equal responsibility to develop, within the framework of the functions God has created for them, the ultimate potentials as a wife, mother, homemaker and future eternal spirit being in the Kingdom of God.
   It is entirely possible for a wife to be submissive to her husband and at the same time be a tremendous homemaker and mother to her children, and to develop her skills in the home and family and outside of the family as time and abilities permit.
   It is possible for a husband to be the wise, respected, successful and loving leader of his family. It is possible for a man to be married to a woman who is intelligent and respected for her own accomplishments and abilities and wisdom.
   With God’s help, each of you wives and mothers reading this article can become more and more like the ultimate wife depicted in Proverbs 31. Make it your goal to do just that.
   And all you husbands, who may have never thought of it before, have a responsibility to become the ultimate
   Proverbs 31 husband. It takes a whole lot of man to do so – not many have. But armed with true knowledge, with God’s Spirit and God’s help, you can!

What every Woman needs to learn! How to be a True Godly Woman

True Womanhood
By Roderick C Meredith  
Here is the booklet thousands of you have been anticipating! Here is the answer to what is missing in the lives of millions of
women — and their husbands, children and society as a whole.
   THE SCENE was a beautiful semitropical garden a veritable paradise. The young man in the picture seemed to have everything going for him. He had perfect health, radiant good looks, a keen, alert mind. He even had ideal employment and abundant wealth in natural resources nearby.
   A paradise?
   But, as he walked in these gorgeous surroundings, ate the delectable, natural fruits, observed and petted the friendly animals, an aching, gnawing feeling began to grow inside of him. He was dissatisfied.
   He was just plain lonesome. There was no one of his kind to talk to. No one with whom he could share this beauty as well as his plans, hopes and dreams. No one he could love.
   He was alone.Why Woman Was Created
   “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18).
   Then, God took a rib out of Adam’s own body and used it as the basic substance from which He created woman. Then He brought her to the man.
   “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (verse 23).
   Then God states: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (verse 24).
   If every young girl could be taught this inspired account of her reason for being, the world would be a much happier place for both male and female. If every young boy could be given proper understanding of this event, the husbands and fathers of tomorrow would respect and appreciate their wives far more than most men do today.
   But what do we find today?
   A real lack of understanding of woman’s true purposes in life of what true womanhood is and how to achieve it. This lack is a major cause of the frustrations and unhappiness of multiple millions of women. The effect on our entire modern civilization has been profound.Questions That Demand an Answer
   In today’s mixed-up world, millions of women are wondering — and literally hundreds have written us — questions like the following: “Just what feminine characteristics should a woman have?” “Just where do women fit, anyway?” “What value does the Creator place on women?” “Just what are women for?”
   The answer is found in the simple, yet beautiful, account of woman’s creation. Review and analyze this inspired account. It is found in Genesis 2:18 in your Bible. Let us learn what it does not say, as well as what it does say.
   God said: “It is not good that the man should be alone.” Obviously, then, man was not the great, all-conquering hero, self-sufficient and in need of no help! Rather, man needed help — and needed it badly. Man was not complete unto himself. Rather, each man is incomplete and in need of the help, inspiration, warmth and balance imparted by the right woman as his wife.
   In a way that no animal creature could, woman was created to share with man his life, his plans, hopes and dreams. She was created specifically to help the man.
   Without this help, which only the woman can give, man would never achieve the full, abundant, peaceful and balanced life which God intended. Without giving this help, woman becomes edgy, resentful, frustrated, headed up a “blind alley” — for she is failing to fulfill the very purpose for which she was created.Goals Women Should Bear in Mind
   To be truly happy, a real woman should bear in mind the purpose for which she was created — and set herself definite goals to fulfill in the accomplishment of that purpose.
   First of all, she should remember that she was called to help and supplement her husband. She should learn to be responsive to him and to his direction of the home, entertainment and way of life.
   She should realize that her husband’s success is her success also — and fully share and delight in the triumphs and achievements of her husband, knowing that they are partly her own. Also, she should equally share in his sorrow and disappointments — trying always to give the right kind of balanced and positive sympathy and encouragement so that he will rebound to other successes in the future.
   A second area in which a woman should cultivate success and service is that of bearing and training her children. Certainly, young mothers exert a powerful influence on the leaders of tomorrow. And women should realize the overwhelming importance of zealously and joyously dedicating themselves to this as their highest physical calling. Far more important it is than that of an office worker or secretary on any level.
   In His Word, God instructs older women: “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:4-5).
   Here, the Great God who created woman tells her to be a keeper at home. Christian women who objectively and enthusiastically give themselves to their calling are adding immeasurably to their own happiness and well-being, first of all, and to that of their family — now and perhaps for generations to come. But it goes deeper than that. They are adding to the entire society in which they live.How a Woman Can Best Serve the Entire World
   This leads us to the third area of woman’s rightful accomplishment. That of serving — through her husband and family — the society and the world as a whole. In the end, women can really accomplish far more to help this entire world by being the kind of wives and mothers that God Almighty intended.
   Then, for the woman who reads and understands the Bible, another goal presents itself. That is the goal of preparing to help rule and reconstruct this entire society in the World Tomorrow (Rev. 2:26; 5:10). Some Christian women wonder how they are being prepared for this. If they, themselves, are not leading and directing businesses, families and public activities today, how are they learning and preparing for tomorrow’s world?
   The answer is that a woman, with the physiological and psychological nature given her by God has magnificent opportunities-too often untapped-for preparing toward this goal. She needs to set herself to be a really successful wife, mother and contributor today. But, you say, she is not getting direct experience in leadership?
   Let’s put this another way. How many men that you know are constantly “leading”? How many men are in complete charge of every situation wherever they may be? How many men are responsible to no one else?
   The answer, of course, is that every man on earth is responsible to others. The overwhelming majority of all men have supervisors and bosses over them during the day. Then, on the way home, they are certainly “under” the authority of the youngest motorcycle policeman on that particular freeway. Even at home they are “under” the authority of the police, the mayor of the city, the governor of the state, the president, premier or other leader of the nation and the ministers appointed by each of those in governing their respective territories.
   And the woman?
   All during the day while her husband is gone she is “in charge.” Over whom? Over what? The organization and administration of household duties, the children and their training, and perhaps servants, and delivery people who may assist her from time to time.
   Her leader, her boss-who should be her husband is not around and watching over her work nearly as much as his boss is probably watching over his activities hour by hour! It is just that they have different kinds of work and different kinds of responsibility.
   If a woman learns to zealously and wisely think out and plan, execute and follow through on her responsibilities, she will be just as well prepared for any future responsibility in God’s Kingdom as will her husband.
   For both husbands and wives, it is important to realize a basic principle of leadership. This is a valid principle taught in many military organizations and quite often civilian ones. It is that you are not ready to give orders until you have first learned how to responsively take orders and to accomplish the assigned job effectively.
   Certainly, the very nature and role in life which God Himself has assigned women enables them to learn some very important Christian qualities most directly. They learn in a direct, personal sense to be yielding and responsive, to help and to serve. In a constant and personal manner, a woman has the blessed opportunity to live to its greatest extent Jesus’ inspired statement: “It is more blessed to GIVE than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
   The happiness, the joy, the sense of deep-down satisfaction and accomplishment which comes to a dedicated and successful wife and mother bears eloquent testimony to the eternal truth of the above inspired statement of the Son of God.True Femininity is An Attitude — An Entire Way of Life
   Although many women think that femininity is primarily looking pretty, dressing neatly or talking softly and being retiring, these are just outward symptoms of an inward state of mind. These things are important in themselves — yet they alone do not constitute the whole of femininity by any means. Sometimes, in fact, certain women “put on” these outward manifestations which belie their real attitude and approach to life.
   The basic attitude a true feminine woman should cultivate springs from her recognition and agreement with the feminine goals outlined above.
   Her attitude and approach, therefore, is that of trying to help and add to the stature of her husband. It is that of gladly bearing and training her children, spending time and effort with them in the realization that they may be the leaders of tomorrow. It is attempting to serve the larger society through — not apart from — husband and family. It is also, finally, preparing for her ultimate spiritual goal in the Kingdom of God by learning the lessons of love, obedience and service here in this life and expressing these to the full extent as a wife and mother.
   The above attitude and approach is basic.
   Every woman who seeks to be truly feminine should inculcate this approach into every area of her life. She should actually write down these areas of feminine responsibility, analyze how she is fulfilling them and write down suggestions as to how she may fulfill them more perfectly. Asking God’s help, she should attempt to live this way in her relationship with her husband, family and society as a whole. Attempting to help, supplement and serve in these areas should be the motivating factor in all of her life and permeate her thinking and approach to every situation.Something to Study
   In meditating on the above approach to life, she should study, analyze and obey God’s inspired instruction found in I Peter 3:1-11.
   Notice, in this passage, that wives are to be subject to their own husbands. If their husbands are not Christians, God says that they may be “won” apart from the “Word” — or Bible teaching — by the conduct (this word translated in old English as “conversation” really means “conduct” in modern English) of the wives. The passage explains that if a wife shows deep respect and reverence for her husband, he may be won over to Christianity by his admiration of her willingness to take the place which God has assigned the woman in this life. She wins him not by “preaching at him,” but by her Christian humility in submitting to him as a wife should.
   Her “adorning” is not to be the over-usage of gold, pearls, fancy clothes or outlandish hairdos. Rather, it is to be the outward way of life reflecting “a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” In verse 6 of this passage, the Christian woman is instructed to consider her husband as her “lord” or boss.
   With the attitude of deep respect for her husband, a truly feminine woman will not be arguing, bickering or nagging at her husband.
   She will anticipate his wishes and his directions. Because of its altered meaning in modern terminology, she may not literally call her husband “lord,” but she can and should respond to him with proper respect.
   Beginning in verse 7, husbands are told to respect the willingness of their wives to take the place designed by God. Then, in verse 8, both man and wife — and all Christians — are instructed to be of “one mind” — with compassion, love, courtesy and a definite self-restraint in the use of the tongue in arguing and bickering.
   Truly, as this scripture says: “He that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile” (verse 10). Life is entirely too short to spend it arguing, bickering, and fighting with anyone — especially the very man or woman whom you should love the most.
   While we are on this subject, let me give you the advice of one eminent physician — with whom I heartily agree-who has said that the words, ”I’m sorry, dear,” are very medicinal in their effect in people’s lives. A simple and sincere apology often averts a great deal of trouble, bickering and anguish. It takes courage to admit that you — and sometimes you alone — are wrong in a particular situation. But, in marriage above all other institutions, it is certainly worth it.
   In seeking to implement and magnify the above feminine approach to life, let us now discuss five specific feminine characteristics which every woman should cultivate:I. Responsiveness and Service
   Perhaps the most outstanding characteristic of a truly feminine woman is that of being warm and responsive. The first man, Adam, was alone; he was lonesome. He had no one to talk to. He was incomplete.
   Woman was created to share man’s life and love, to respond to him, and encourage him.
   If a woman will lovingly and consistently do this, any right-minded man will lavish love and appreciation upon” her in return. For this is the kind of person most men truly want to marry and with whom they want to share their lives.
   “There are people,” said the brilliant French essayist, Raoul de Roussey de Sales, “who transmit to others their particular emotional atmosphere; who show you how to love, to suffer, to be happy, to laugh at the humorous things in life.”
   This describes the truly feminine woman. Her mind and heart are enthusiastically sharing in the ideas and hopes of the man she loves. She is constantly aware of him and is in the middle of his hopes and dreams — not merely an onlooker.
   For her husband — and for all people for that matter — she cares: things not only happen to her, she happens to them.
   But in all of this, she is not leading and dominating — but responding to others and especially to her husband. She is sharing and furthering their hopes, interests and joys. She is not competing for the center of the stage or trying to “get.”
   Such a feminine woman instinctively adapts her mood to that of her husband whenever possible. She rejoices in his triumphs, she weeps with him in his sorrow. Yet, constantly she bolsters him, balances him and helps him in every possible way.
   Both in her family and in the larger society, she is not only responding but serving. She is constantly attempting to make her home a cleaner, more beautiful, more happy place. As part of her husband and family, she is attempting to do the same thing in the lives of those around her.An Outside Job?
   Should this type of woman ever, ever have an outside job? This is a basic question — but one that needs to be answered here. The true answer depends upon whether — in taking such a job — she is responding to her husband’s true wishes and serving her family’s true needs as well as those of the larger society.
   There are certainly many situations in which a young, unmarried woman needs to be working as a secretary, shop girl or in some other position. For the young married woman, these situations are distinctly fewer.
   Yet they do exist.
   Especially in the first few months of marriage, a young woman may need to take at least a part-time job before the children come if her husband requests it, she knows it is temporary, and the right job situation presents itself. But the true interests of most marriages are not truly furthered by having the wife work throughout marriage. That is why I said that a woman should respond to her husband’s true wishes.
   On the surface, he may imagine that he would like to have his wife work and thus continually supplement the family income.
   But would he like the ultimate result of the wife working constantly, beginning to be more independent and competitive?
   A woman needs to be very careful about this. With prayer, with timely suggestion and advice, she should do her full part to see that she is not pushed into taking an outside job.
   Recently Money magazine ran an article captioned: “The Half-a-Loaf Life of the Working Wife.”
   The author pointed out that up to 70% of the added income provided by the wife’s job is largely taken up with travel expenses, additional taxes, outside lunches, extra clothes, day-care centers, baby sitters or nursemaid’s fees to take care of children at home.
   This article showed that — looking at it economically alone — a family will gain relatively little, in many cases, by having the wife work outside the home. What the artide did not attempt to point out, of course, was the severe damage done to the attitudes of both husband and wife in such a situation and to the very characters of their young children growing up without the care and guidance of a full-time mother.Keep Feminine and Responsive
   An outstanding biblical example of responsiveness is given in Ephesians 5:22-24. Here, the wives are commanded to “submit” to their own husbands “as unto the Lord.”
   This passage shows that a wife’s highest duty is the development of this responsiveness, service, and obedience in regard to the God-appointed head of the home, the husband.
   If a Christian woman seeks to respond to her husband as to Christ Himself, she will never undermine his plans or hopes, but will do everything possible to make them a success — even when some of the details have not been in perfect agreement with her ideas and suggestions.
   The old saying, “There is more than one way to skin a cat,” certainly applies here. Everything may not be done her way, but she should try to be “on her husband’s team,” and see that the play is a success even though it is not the particular play that she would have called at that particular stage of the game.
   The warm and responsive woman who doesn’t try to conquer or rule the man has an inner serenity and security not found in the aggressive, raucous, competitive type of woman. She is glad to be a woman. She has an innate tenderness for a man. She intuitively senses her husband’s mood and responds to him — making him feel glad to be alive, sparking his personality, enthusiasm, courage and initiative and gladly sharing in his successes.II. Tenderness and Beauty
   The truly feminine and happy wife is one who wants to have a husband as the head of her home. She does not marry in order to enter into an “equal partnership” agreement.
   She knows that a house divided against itself cannot stand. She knows that only one person can drive a car at a time. She wants her husband to be that person!
   She respects and admires what her husband is trying to achieve in life. She hopes to help him in achieving it and to make him happy along the way. In thus giving herself to the happiness of her husband and others, she achieves her own greatest happiness, joy and inner peace.
   Since she expects and wants her husband to be the head and the one she can “lean on,” this woman has a deep softness and tenderness for him. There is no bristling, no competition, no frigidity.
   This tender, yielding state of mind automatically gives such a woman added beauty, a sparkle in her eyes and an unusual capacity for patience, love and compassion for others.
   Automatically feeling tender and yielding toward her husband, she will naturally walk more softly, talk more softly and dress in a more soft, feminine and attractive way for her husband.
   Frankly, any truly feminine woman will dress, fix her hair, wear perfume and accessories and so conduct herself in all these ways in a manner to please her husband. She will not dress merely to please other women or to follow the latest fashion fads. More often than not, she knows these are dreamed up by “weirdo” effeminate men who actually don’t like women in a normal, decent manner anyway.
   In the area of tenderness and beauty, a woman should use her mind to cultivate true womanhood in every way possible. She should keep herself neat and clean. She should take a bath or shower every day and wear perfume lightly. In like manner, she should keep her home scrubbed, clean and warmly attractive in the arrangement of furniture, flowers and other things which only such a woman can add to make a house a home.III. Intelligence and Understanding
   Actually, although both men and women were definitely created equal as fellow human beings, the outstanding kind of intelligence possessed by women is that of intuitively sensing the moods and attitudes of husbands and children, adapting themselves to these family situations and inspiring husband and family in the supporting role for which they were created. But it does take a lot of intelligence to be the kind of wife and mother described in this booklet!
   Yes, a feminine woman needs sparkling intelligence and deep understanding. For she needs to perceive in a very special way how to complement and inspire her husband to accomplish the greatest possible success commensurate with his health, abilities and situation in life.IV. Christian Virtue
   A truly feminine woman is always an outstanding example of virtue and purity. Although among the men, many rogues and scoundrels among the kings, dictators and emperors have emblazoned their names in the pages of history, very few women indeed have commanded continuing interest or respect who have not been examples of decency and purity.
   So the scripture states: “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones” (Prov. 12:4).
   As far as their reputation in this world is concerned, some scoundrels among the men appear to get by. But among intelligent people of every race and creed, rarely is a woman respected who has failed to be an example of decency, purity and virtue.
   For, as the scripture states, a virtuous woman is indeed a “crown” to her husband-adding to his stature and respect even among others. If she has the implicit trust of her husband and constantly demonstrates her faithfulness and loyalty to him, that in itself is a tremendous help and inspiration in his work and accomplishments.
   This also inspires him, and his sons after him, to be faithful and loyal to his wife and to all women. The everwidening effect of this kind of woman’s dedication to Christian principles may help, purify and strengthen the characters of countless children, grandchildren and friends and relatives by the score.
   It is worth it!
   As the mother in the home, the woman also has a tremendous responsibility to set an example of Christian character and faithfulness to right principles. Her example — and her diligent teaching and training — will leave an everlasting impression upon her growing sons and daughters.
   There is no need to belabor this obvious point. But in a very special way for a woman the dedication to virtue and decency involves a living law. Her responsiveness and obedience to this law will protect her from immeasurable heartache, and guarantee a type of lasting love, respect and appreciation extending to generations beyond her own life.V. Faith, Hope and Courage
   A woman who shows faith in God, faith in her husband and faith in herself is one whose price is beyond compare. For such a woman will inspire her husband to think and do more brilliantly than he may have thought he was able. She will inspire her sons to high accomplishment which may well not have been theirs otherwise.
   In moments of defeat and despair, such a woman shows faith and hope in God. She will thus rekindle the spirit of her husband — and perhaps others who are “too close” to the situation to see the larger picture. This may save them from even greater disaster and despair.
   A feminine woman does not need the type of strength, leadership and dominance which befits a man. But she does need a depth of courage which would befit any man. For, many times, as the help and support for her husband and family, she is able to buoy them up when they need it most.
   There will be times, or course, when her husband may be sick, absent or perhaps dead, and she will have to carry on with courage and implicit faith in the fact that God will help her do her part, in a feminine way, to act for her husband in his absence.
   In this area of life, especially, to be truly and everlastingly feminine, a woman needs to believe in the true God. She needs to know — and know that she knows — that the Great God of heaven stands behind the living laws He has set in motion and will bless, guide and protect her in her place as a woman as she yields to Him!In Summary
   What a much better place this world would be if all women were truly feminine!
   For all husbands would have real wives, partners, sweethearts and loving “helps” to assist them, buoy them up and share in the highest degree their hopes, dreams and successes. All children would have full-time mothers to teach, guide, protect and inspire them by constant training and by loving and faithful example.
   Society as a whole should have the real warmth, tenderness and responsiveness which only this kind of woman can impart.
   In summary, and before bringing this booklet to a close, I want to draw the reader’s attention to the most complete single passage in all the Bible on womanhood. This passage is found in Proverbs 31:10-31. It has been preserved for nearly three thousand years in the Canon of Scripture. It is inspired of God to help the woman of today grasp and understand the type of life she should be living.
   All, both men and women, should study it regularly.
   It calls attention to the tremendous value of the “virtuous woman” (verse 10). It shows how she buoys up and encourages her husband. It describes how she works for him and her family in the home.
   Surprising to some, perhaps, it shows that a Christian woman should have the right kind of initiative. For she “bringeth her food from afar.” If the family budget permits, she may order things from distant places and overseas. “She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard” (verse 16).
   This kind of woman obviously has initiative. Her initiative may be exercised, occasionally, in purchasing additional plots of land for her own gardens or vineyards and adding to the income of the household by her cultivation of these lands. This type of activity, of course, can be exercised on her own husband’s property. But it does take initiative, drive and vision.
   “She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant” (verse 24). Here again, this woman is going above and beyond keeping the home and rearing the children. She is actually in the clothing industry — yet at home.
   “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple” (verse 22). Most important of all, she may save her husband and family a good deal of money — when necessary — by sewing at home and in every way making sure that her children and family are well dressed and well taken care of in every way possible. She assists her husband in providing quality products for her home and family by making some of them herself.
   “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness” (verses 25-26).
   This inspired passage certainly describes a wife of diligence, vision and accomplishment!
   She is a wife of “honour.” She has wisdom. She is alert to her place in assisting and encouraging her husband and remembers to be tender and kind in what she says, thinks and does.
   Her children grow up and praise her. Her husband praises her and loves her till death does them part.
   Frankly, long generations yet unborn will praise and honor this type of feminine woman and her memory. For she is the kind of woman who will be the ideal in “the world tomorrow.”
   She is the kind of woman who is fulfilling the role for which she was created. Beyond all doubt, she will be blessed, appreciated and everlastingly loved for joyously fulfilling this high calling!

Father Should Know Best – But Does He?

By David Hulme  

The future of humanity hinges on whether we as Christians obey God’s instruction to fathers!
   “Let me give you one piece of advice,” the older man said.
   Through the window of the 747, Paris shone beautiful in the springtime sun. My traveling companion on the flight to New York had introduced himself as a businessman returning from West Africa, and we proceeded to talk for several hours.
   But it was only when the discussion turned to families that the man saw fit to offer me his heartfelt wisdom: “Let me give you one piece of advice. Spend time with your children now.”
   It is a common plea, I thought, that reflects a common problem: Most fathers, for whatever reasons, do not spend enough time with their children, and certainly not early enough. Many of us have made this mistake and have reaped the consequences.
   However, the phenomenon of the father who, for whatever reasons, spends little time with his children is not cause for a mere passing regret before moving on to a more pleasant topic of conversation. The Bible tells us that the world will face a time of terrible suffering largely because, believe it or not, most fathers are not being fathers now.
   Does this seem like an overdramatization of the problem? Let’s look at what the prophet Malachi had to say on the subject.”The hearts of the fathers”
   Describing our day, Malachi spoke of worldwide upheaval that would take place unless the fathers turn their hearts, concerns, emotions and intellects toward their children:
   “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse [“utter destruction,” Revised Standard Version, margin]” (Mal. 4:5-6).
   Here is a desperately serious warning for all of us. God says the end result of a father’s lack of responsibility is, simply, utter destruction!
   Just what is a father’s family responsibility? Fathers become fathers by taking up the reins of family leadership. Irrespective of modern opinions, the Bible teaches that a father is meant to be a loving authority figure, the head of his home, his wife and his children.
   A father’s responsibility in the home is vital — so vital that, in the absence of a father properly fulfilling his purpose, others try to fill the vacuum. The prophet Isaiah prophesied just what would happen when fathers in a society become ineffective:
   “As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them” (Isa. 3:12).
   Because husbands and fathers have abdicated their God-given responsibilities as leaders, guides and the ones who set and maintain standards, wives and children fill the void. The integrity God intended for the family unit is shattered.
   Respect, untaught in the home, becomes a rare commodity, and “the child will be insolent toward the elder” (verse 5). The whole society is upset, confused as to where to turn for guidance.
   One can scarcely open a newspaper or magazine without reading of some evidence of family disruption and disintegration. And God lays major blame exactly where it belongs, squarely on the father.
   Paul wrote, 1,900 years in advance, a searing catalog of the sins of 20th-century humanity: “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy” (II Tim. 3:2).
   This is the heritage of children in the absence of God’s laws.Fathers vs. mothers
   The most stable and productive societies have been those in which men and women have understood their God-ordained functions in the family and have taken a moderate, balanced view of life and its responsibilities.
   For centuries of Western history, the pendulum has swung back and forth between societies dominated by women and societies dominated by men. Both extremes produce wrong results, because neither is what God intended. Under the influence of Satan, the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2), we have chosen to rely on our own minds, instead of turning to God as the source of instruction.
   God has ordained a healthy balance between male and female responsibilities in child rearing, but with the father in overall control. The guidance and nurturing of children by their mothers is absolutely vital, but under the right leadership of the father.
   Let’s take a closer look at the role of fatherhood today, identifying the problems and understanding just how God has decreed that fathers should shoulder their responsibilities.Fathers must be present
   Possibly the No. 1 problem among fathers today is simply not being there — not spending time with children before they have grown up.How many fathers come home, invade the refrigerator or liquor cabinet and use the television set as a barrier between themselves and their offspring, while telling themselves they are at home with the family?   The cases of the executive always off on business, the workaholic who rises early and leaves before the children are up and comes home after they have gone to bed, the man who spends his afternoons and evenings having a “beer with the boys,” only tell part of the story, however.
   How many fathers, while not exactly committing the error of not being around, come home after a hard day, invade the refrigerator or liquor cabinet and use the television set as a barrier between themselves and their offspring, all the while telling themselves they are at home with the family?
   How many fathers bring home a briefcase full of papers and disappear “not to be disturbed,” hardly seeing their children during the week? And the weekend? Well, it’s for relaxation on the golf course with “the boys” — adults, that is, not children.
   It is well known that the first two years of a child’s life are critical in so many ways, and especially in forming right perceptions of male and female roles. Absence of either parent at this crucial time can produce severe emotional and behavioral problems in later life.
   Children emulate their parents. They cannot emulate what they do not see.Fathers must be leaders
   Predating social scientists by hundreds of years, God long ago explained that a father should be neither harsh nor permissive.
   Notice Ephesians 6:4: “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training [or, more accurately, “with discipline”] and admonition of the Lord.”
   Addressing Himself to fathers, God says, in effect: “Do not be so uncompromisingly harsh as to alienate, anger, discourage and frustrate your children, but do raise your family with discipline, instruction and guidelines and in the recognition of God’s governance of your lives.”
   Notice Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Jewish Publication Society).
   There is an important difference between this translation and the Authorized Version’s rendition of the verse. The JPS editors correctly included the word even, omitted in the King James Version. This omission permits a misunderstanding of the scripture.
   The Jewish translation stresses that with right leadership and caring instruction by parents in agreement, a child reared in God’s way will not depart from it, even in old age. In other words, the child’s obedience will mature throughout life and up through old age. This verse cannot be used to excuse delinquent behavior during the teenage and young-adult years.Fathers must spend time
   This world’s economic and educational systems have removed father from the family for most of the child’s waking hours.
   In a study to determine how much time middle-class American fathers spend with their young children, microphones placed on the youngsters recorded their conversations. The average amount of contact with father was 37 seconds a day! Other studies showed a meager 90 minutes a week for children aged 6 to 10.
   Sadly, much of the responsibility for guiding, instructing and disciplining children falls to the mother, who is usually more available during the day. But under such pressure, many mothers, unsupported by their husbands, allow their children to decide their own behavior well before they are capable.
   The conspiracy against the family is completed by a social system that encourages even women with children to leave the home to seek outside work.
   The long-term effects on children of this poverty of leadership in the home are everywhere to be seen in the explosion of the number of “latchkey” kids — young children entrusted with a house key because they regularly must come home from school to a locked, empty house — and the sad but all too common eventual effects of teenage drug abuse and juvenile crime.
   Statistics from Canada show that one in every 10 children has an emotional or learning disorder. In Canada, too, young people up to age 19 account for 27 percent of first admissions to psychiatric hospitals and clinics.
   But this kind of information has lost its shock value; it has become commonplace. We are reaping the whirlwind of social disintegration. Devoid of the kind of leadership God requires of fathers, we daily prove that “a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Prov. 29:15).Spare the rod…
   To the father God says, “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Prov. 13:24).The family should function harmoniously in love, mercy and discipline, as God’s Kingdom In microcosm. How well fathers fulfill their responsibilities will partly determine their place in that Kingdom.   In a world that, in the name of love, increasingly decries spanking of any kind, it is significant that God says such sparing of the rod equals hatred, not love, of the child.
   Now, by correction and discipline are we to understand severe physical punishment? Clearly not! First, we instruct our children on the behavior expected. We make sure they understand. If behavior does not improve, then it may be necessary to emphasize the rules by spanking in moderation.
   Physical correction of wrong behavior should never be done in anger, but out of deep love. It should be accompanied by a reasoned explanation of why the correction is necessary and reassurance of the parents’ love.
   Balance and wisdom in disciplining our children are the key-notes. A child corrected in this way, in love, will show real love and respect in return.
   The Bible reveals, too, that there is a time limit on effective child rearing: “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Prov. 19:18, AV). “For his crying” is better translated “to his destruction.” That is, if we do not correct our children, we are contributing to their eventual failure. We will not mold in them the pattern of life that guarantees God’s blessings.
   We are now experiencing “a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother” (Prov. 30:11). That predicament results from poor and inattentive training, where the father has not taken the initiative in rearing the children and, where he has taken the initiative, the mother has undermined his efforts.An elect group
   In Matthew 24:22, Christ spoke of an elect group being saved from such worldwide destruction as has never before occurred. That elect is the same group referred to in Malachi 4:5-6. They are the people who have been taught God’s purpose for the family and who have responded positively. Because of their response, God says He will not “strike the earth with a curse,” or “utter destruction.”
   The family, according to God’s Word, should be an integrated unit functioning smoothly and harmoniously, in love, mercy and right discipline. It should be an embryo of God’s Family — God’s Kingdom in microcosm. How well fathers fulfill their responsibilities will partly determine their places in that Kingdom.
   “The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who begets a wise child will delight in him” (Prov. 23:24).
   Fathers, just how well are your hearts turned to your children?

Can You Be Trusted?

By Richard Rice  

Loyalty and trust are absent from many personal relationships today. What about your own?
   Long-standing friendship between two men was shattered when one betrayed a secret the other confided in him. Information that was considered strictly personal was divulged to other people.
   The betrayed man was stunned and heartbroken — he was shocked. A friend he thought he could trust turned out instead to be a devious traitor!
   How highly do you value a confidence? How deep does your loyalty run? Can you be trusted — relied upon to keep private information to yourself? Do you conscientiously guard the personal secrets others confide in you? When friends and associates bare their innermost feelings and seek your advice, do you resolve to keep it quiet?
   Let’s reverse the situation. How many of your friends can you trust with your deepest secrets? Can you be honest and open with them about your personal hang-ups, problems and frustrations, and know they will not betray you? Or do you fear they would react with shock and abhorrence and pass the information on to others?
   Even among our closest associates, it seems hard sometimes to find a friend we can really trust. We hear gossip and rumors almost every day. Loyalties are betrayed with reckless abandon.This condition prophesied
   This deplorable condition in our society has come to be an accepted way of life. We seem to have lost the integrity that true friendship demands.
   How odious this must be to almighty God, whose character reflects the highest level of trust!
   The Bible forewarned that this condition would prevail at the close of this age. Jesus stated, “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Matthew 24:10).
   The apostle Paul more specifically emphasized that traitors and un trustworthy people would abound: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors” (II Timothy 3:1-4).
   Have you and I become guilty of these sordid evils by violating the sacred trusts that others place in us?Why trust is rare
   Why are trusting friendships so scarce in the world today? A principal reason may be the “loose-tongue syndrome,” or the callous disregard for the reputation of others. It seems that we give little thought to the damage we inflict on people when we gossip and besmirch their good names.
   For example, have you noticed how often a conversation that begins on an uplifting note soon deteriorates into destructive slander? Blunt opinions are carelessly expressed, sharp remarks and suspicions are freely voiced. This is highly displeasing to God and openly defies His Word.
   James wrote: “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge” (James 4:11).
   Of seven specific things God says He hates, three have to do with gossip and slander: “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue. hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies. and one who sows discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19).
   Another reason we are prone to break confidences is that we probably were not taught at an early age the importance of protecting our friendships. We were probably exposed to the occasional hypocrisy and cynicism of our parents, who prattled about the mistakes and foibles of their friends, neighbors and even relatives. Thus, we unconsciously absorbed the gossip habit into our thinking processes.
   How very important it is that we teach our children to be faithful to the trusts placed in their care — to view them as a cherished obligation.
   A word of caution: Please realize that we’re referring to the moral obligation our children have of protecting the privacy of others, and not to serious or immoral acts that need to be reported.
   One of the most destructive sins is exposing past mistakes people have since repented of, or revealing weaknesses they are striving to overcome. Probably nothing is more humiliating to a person who is genuinely repentant than to have his past life brought up and discussed by others who will not leave his sins buried under the blood of Jesus Christ.God’s admonition to forgive
   This is why Paul admonished the Corinthians to forgive and comfort the man who was put out of the Church for an immoral act but was reinstated after repenting (II Corinthians 2:7-8).
   Unforgiving individuals are ruthless and cruel, and will surely be judged by Jesus Christ for their merciless treatment. Mark 11:26 says, “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Moreover, Jesus warned: “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you” (Matthew 7:1-2).
   God’s Word is explicit concerning what our attitude should be toward others who are struggling with sin. True love covers sin (Proverbs 17:9). That is, it thinks the best about others and gives them the benefit of the doubt. Instead of babbling their sinful deeds to the world, true friends will do all within their power to rescue a stumbling neighbor from his plight.
   “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).
   For sure, true friends will not add to the shame and disgrace of neighbors by spreading vicious rumors.
   Are you given to gossip? Do you revel in advertising sin that others commit? Do you betray the trust of someone who, ensnared by an evil habit, cries out to you for help?
   If you do, then God, in His Word, brands you a traitor who may be in greater peril than the one you are accusing: “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly” (Proverbs 18:8, Authorized Version). And, “A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends” (Proverbs 16:28).A different kind of talebearing
   Related to the sin of tale bearing is a practice equally as harmful: telling people the juicy tidbits of gossip we hear others say about them.
   Obviously, such indiscriminate mouthings do not serve the cause of peace nor build bridges of goodwill. Instead, they sow the seeds of discord and create division. God commands us to speak evil of no one (Titus 3:2). In principle, this means it’s just as destructive to pass on gossip to the person affected as to a second party.
   Try to make the theme of your life one of true and dependable friendship, and you will rise in favor with God and man.Importance of trustworthiness
   An excellent example of just how highly valued trustworthiness is can be seen through the screening procedures of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation.
   When a person is being considered as a prospective agent, everything about his life is examined — his background, hometown, habits, known friends and acquaintances, after-work activities and more. Every detail is taken into account.
   And, though a candidate may be found to have good character and reputation, if he cannot maintain a trust — if he habitually divulges confidential information — that person will never be appointed an agent.
   On a grander scale, God is also looking for men and women who allow His Spirit to develop in them even higher standards and attitudes. Respect and fidelity are among the highest qualities of character God treasures.
   Notice the description of the kind of person who will stand before God and be blessed: “Lord, who may abide in your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; he who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the Lord; he who swears to his own hurt and does not change; he who does not put out his money at usury, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved” (Psalm 15:1-5).
   Are you striving to become this kind of person?
   We all need to deeply examine our attitudes. Are we guilty of the very things we distrust in others? Is it possible that the suspicions we often insinuate stem in part from our own guilt feelings, or our own tendencies to participate in rumor spreading?
   Let’s search our own hearts. Do we put others down simply to minimize our own shortcomings and lift ourselves above them?
   Of course, we should not ignore or condone wrongdoing. That is, we should not try to protect people who are guilty of i1legal acts. Even more important, we should not conceal the actions of a brother who is sowing discord among God’s people and trying to divide the flock.
   In the case of a friend who is weak and sinning, the Bible instructs us to go to him privately, in a spirit of meekness, and try to help him (Matthew 18:15-17). We should not want to make him a public spectacle of ridicule so as to destroy his dignity.Be a faithful friend
   True, faithful friends are priceless. The Bible commends the brother who “loves at all times” and the “friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 17:17, 18:24).
   The Bible points to the friendship between David and Jonathan as a sterling example of unfailing loyalty, of what true friends should be like. II Samuel 1:26 states that the love that they had for each other was stronger than a man’s love for a woman. The friendship was so unshakable that they would have given their lives for each other. Can you imagine either of them turning “Judas” on the other — betraying a secret or a confidence or spreading vicious gossip?
   What can be said of us in the way we treat our friends; Can we also be trusted to carefully guard a confidence, to faithfully uphold someone’s honor?
   The greatest example of true friendship and devotion in the entire universe is God Himself. The Bible tells us that all our faults and secret sins are open to His view (Hebrews 4:13). He knows us through and through.
   Yet God, who is love, plainly reveals that He does not talk about our sins when we repent (Ezekiel 18:22). He forgets them in His mercy (Hebrews 8:12) and casts them far from His presence: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
   In stark contrast, Satan, our great adversary, constantly gossips and accuses us before God day and night (Revelation 12:10). He is a renowned liar and depraved slanderer (John 8:44) whose primary aim is to destroy our character.
   It behooves each of us to make sure we are emulating God and letting God create His faithful character in us (Ephesians 4:23-32). If we are not on guard, we’ll find ourselves often serving Satan and doing immeasurable harm to other people.
   As we serve God and draw close to Him, let us strive to honor our neighbors and develop friendships based on loyalty and trust!

Question: Where does it say in The Word of God to follow an Apostle?

Question: Where does it say in The Word of God to follow an Apostle?

Answer: The SURE Word of God says to Follow Christ’s Apostle as he followed Christ. To Keep the ordinances, the traditions, the commandments that we received from the Apostle. To HOLD FAST to what we have given to us through the Apostle. Why must we believe and condone the exact opposite?

1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the Church, FIRST Apostles…(Christ called and taught Herbert W Armstrong FIRST before all in the Church afterwards)

2 Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord(The Gospel Message being Preached), NOR OF ME, his Prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

2 Timothy 1:13 Hold Fast the form of sound words, which thou has heard of me(Christ’s Apostle), in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me(Christ’s Apostle) among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say(Christ’s Apostle); and the Lord give the understanding in all things.

1Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
1Corinthians 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

1Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
1Corinthains 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

Phillippians 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
Phillippians 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Phillippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me(Christ’s Apostle), and mark them which walk so as ye have us(The Apostle’s) for an ensample.
Phillippians 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Phillippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
1 Thessalonians 1:6 And ye became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 1:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us(The Apostles), ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

2 Thessalonians 3:4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
2 Thessalonians 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
2 Thessalonians 3:7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;

2 Thessalonians 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2 Peter 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2 Peter 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

Acts 2:41 Then They that GLADLY received his word(The Apostle’s) were baptised: and the same day they were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul(The Apostle of Jesus Christ), the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
Ephesians 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
Ephesians 3:3 How that by REVELATION he made known to ME(The Apostle) the mystery, (as I wrote afore in few words,
Ephesians 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Ephesians 3:5 Which in other ages not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy Apostles…by the Spirit;

Matthew 10:11 (Speaking to the Apostles) And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
Matthew 10:12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
Matthew 10:13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive YOU(Christ’s Apostle), not hear YOUR WORDS(What he preaches), when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Matthew 10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

1 John 4:6 We are of God(Christ’s Apostles): he that knoweth God heareth us(The Apostle). Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Revelation 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thous shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.