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You may very well find some of what follows is offensive to you—or perhaps brings an uneasiness. As I researched and wrote this, I most certainly felt the sharp sting of conviction in a number of areas of my own life, and I am repenting for my failure to live up to some of the codes of behavior clearly set out in God’s Word for us.
Here are a few random topics that I’ve been pondering; they are by no means comprehensive, my understanding of them may be ‘off,’ but I hope they spark a debate in your own heart.
Adam needed a helpmate—Eve—who in turn needed him. Right away, they were an ‘item.’ God created them, set them up in a paradise and was the only witness to their union. They were man and woman, the model and mold for human marriage, as we call it today. One man, one woman. A husband and a wife who were to cleave to each other. One flesh.
Then together, this couple disobeyed one simple command from a loving God; they blew it, and today we reap the results of that disobedience which led to banishment from their paradise, a messed-up marriage and a dysfunctional family. But the real model of a man-woman relationship is still there for us to follow and build on. Some questions . . .
What age group would Adam and Eve have fit into? Thirties? Twenties? Teens? If teens, how do you feel about that?
How do you know when you’re in love? I would suggest that along with emotional and physical attraction, there would be deep mutual desire to unselfishly crave the very best for each other. (Then there’s some stuff about submission and death; read Ephesians 5:21-33. Better read the whole chapter.)
How does one get married today? It seems like it should be a celebration and should have witnesses—family and friends who are to hold the couple accountable to the vows they make. (Adam and Eve presumably celebrated each other, and were accountable to God. Then not.) If you want to know how to celebrate a wedding today, wangle an invitation to a Jewish one. They know how to party!
How much does a couple need in the bank before they get married? Or should they just follow true love, regardless of their financial condition, trusting the Lord together, along with Godly human counsel?
When is it OK for physical consummation? Before the ceremony, or only after? Giving ‘one flesh’ a try through what the Bible calls fornication—by living together—has become all too common, and rarely is there a public commitment. Even a planned wedding can be a charade, as proven by today’s divorce and separation rates.
How do you separate ‘one flesh’ without pain to others—and yourself? You can’t.
[Recommended reading: Sustaining your Marriage. Click here]
When not to have babies—or how many babies to have? God blessed Adam and Eve and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it . . .” [Gen 1:28] Have we—the God-followers—filled the earth? No mention in the Bible of conception control of any kind, except in a negative light. (Planned Parenthood had not yet been invented.) Being ‘with fetus’ is not to be found in the Bible. It is ‘with child.’ In 1960, the year The Pill was introduced, the North American birthrate was almost four children per family. Today it is below two. We’re emptying the earth—not filling it.
Where in the Bible can you learn the ‘how to' of physical, spiritual and emotional intimacy in the marriage relationship? You can’t, so since there is no instruction manual, it seems to me, this should be ‘discovery time’ for newlyweds, designed to be attractive, pleasurable and unselfish for the purpose of encouraging fruitfulness. Perhaps we men, generally speaking, need to exercise more self control—God’s Word says nothing about, “A baby-a-year.” We’re not the ones who labor through the birthing process. (God, later through Solomon, gave us quite an incredibly emotional narrative in his Song of Songs; and then the amazing phrase that I love in all its purity, "the way of a man with a maiden.” Proverbs 30:19
NOTE: Because men and women broke the ‘one flesh’ covenant in so many ways, God through Moses, placed restrictions on the physical conduct of relationships; just read Leviticus 18; and from Paul, read Romans 1:18-32; Galatians 5:19-21, etc
Should couples with young children both work? Thereby leaving their children for others to raise, especially during the early, most formative years? Argh! Don’t get me started on that.
The Animal Kingdom
Was the animal kingdom affected by man’s sin? I love to watch birds and their behavior; they fight with, and natter at each other, competing for food and mates. And of course, many animals kill for food—were they thus designed?
Man and woman were created to live in some kind of a luscious, fruitful garden—and to cultivate it—with its plentiful supply of fruit (and probably vegetables and other kinds of edible goodies), that flourished in that paradise.
What was the fruit that grew on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? If indeed it was some kind of fruit that we know, I personally don’t think it was an apple. (I’m inclined toward mango!)
Biblically, what kind of food should we eat (can we even?), in today’s world? Eating properly and healthfully would seem to be a lost cause for most of us.
Should we even be eating meat? Cain was a gardener, Abel tended flocks (for wool and clothing; or also to eat?). Cain made an offering of his produce to God, but it was rejected, because of unconfessed sin in his life. Abel’s offering of choice cuts of meat was accepted (evidently because he knew how to deal with sin in his life).
Certain creatures became OK for the Jews to eat—other kinds were prohibited—read Leviticus 11. Now lest you think I’m preaching vegetarianism, I’m not. I enjoy a standing rib roast as much as anyone. (Hamburgers? Not so much.) To get me salivating, offer me Atlantic Lobster Thermidor or Singapore Chili Crab. Both are prohibited, as is pork, etc for Jews).
That’s just a sampling of the undisclosed life principles, not to be found in the Bible. I suppose we all have enough trouble understanding and obeying the basic truths that we know and that are clearly laid out for us in Scripture. So why worry about things that aren’t even mentioned? Let’s just love God and each other and everything’ll be alright.
Well sorry, but I’m a bit like a dog with this ‘bone of unknowns’. So I plan to keep digging to find more of these buried and hidden ‘unwrittens’ that we have appropriated into our lives as ‘Bible truths.’
Will you join me in this quest? I’d like to continue this search in the coming months, but not in March. Easter is approaching.
God is too good to be unkind, too wise to be mistaken; and when you cannot trace His hand, you can trust His heart. Charles Spurgeon
Jesus is the legal expert who is there to plead our case in heaven. He has never lost a case. Derek Prince
If you take away religion, you can't hire enough police. Clayton Christensen
Pray at all times . . .
Well, not quite as seafaringly romantic as you might think.
Next Wave, one of the YWAM Ships’ fleet, is moored at the island of Lesvos, Greece. She is there with her crew and volunteers helping with the refugee crisis that has gripped us all over the world.
Interested? Is God touching your heart? Click on the photo and email firstname.lastname@example.org
Forty years ago this coming September—God called Peter and me—along with our four young children—into the mission field through YWAM. We thought it was for one year but God saw the bigger picture and He was saying, “Step into My frame and be part of what I’m doing.”
After serving in Kona for twelve years, and after much prayer, we went to Loren and Darlene first, and then to the Kona eldership and shared that, “We have a heart for those who have been staff in YWAM, have done a DTS, or an SOS; or helped us in other ways in fulfilling God’s vision: parents releasing their children; pastors and church missions boards supporting YWAMers; Mission Builders giving of their time and talents; intercessors surrounding us in prayer; and of course anyone who has given financially."
Our hearts were set to encourage and strengthen this diverse group as God would lead. We were blessed and sent out to pioneer YWAM Associates International as part of YWAM.
When in a YWAM DTS or on staff we are like ‘hot coals’ in a fire, worshipping, interceding, listening to God, having faith and walking in obedience—all together. But when separated it’s so easy to lose that fire—until we come alongside another hot coal that has experienced the same hunger for God.
When coals come together, the fire is reignited, there’s more warmth, more light and the fire spreads. This September 4-11 in Kansas City, there will be a coming together of current YWAM staff plus any and all of those who are still part of the ‘family,’ those who are right now taking the Kingdom of God into one or more of the seven spheres of society.
Some have lost their fire, hope, vision and the feeling of belonging to the ‘family.’ In Kansas City that ‘familyness’ can be revived. Jesus said those who are doing the Father’s will are His brothers, sisters and mother. This is a vision or dream, that Peter and I have had for almost 30 years, that YWAM and former YWAMers and friends would come together to worship, to have fellowship and to be renewed and reignited in God’s presence; all nations, all generations, just being ‘family.’
This will really please our Father in heaven. He loves it when His sons and daughters come together, honoring and loving one another; loving Him and listening to what is on His heart.
Jesus will begin to see the fulfillment of His last prayer [John 17: 6-26], just before the cross:
"I have given them the glory that you gave Me that they may be one as we are one. I in them and you in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know you sent Me and have loved them as you have loved Me.” [verses 22-23]
We have no idea how many have been involved with YWAM, but know it’s got to be over three million. Can you picture what could happen if just 1% of those millions came together in corporate humility to seek the Lord? The unity and authority we would have in the spirit realm, by seeing His Kingdom come and His will being done? It would have a ripple effect and the big wave that Loren has visualized, will sweep across the nations.
Ask the Lord if you are to come to Kansas City this September and we’ll look forward to seeing you there. Tell your friends who have been in YWAM, or are connected in some way. It could be a day of new beginnings for many.
Love and Blessings,
July 10-16 - Sighisoira, Romania: with Mariette Louw
July 25–30 - Skjærgårdsheimen, (Kristiansand) Norway: Speaker TBA
July 31-Aug 6 - YWAM Champagne, France: Speaker Carl Tinnion
– – – – – –
Sept 4-11 - YWAM Together: A Family Gathering, Kansas City, USA:
This is a gathering for anyone who is in, has been in, wants to be in, or supports YWAM in any way. Come and celebrate FAMILY!
Here’s a very short video from Lynn Green: https://vimeo.com/154242717
YWAM Together website: http://ywamkc2016.org/
Not too many years ago, I was blessed to be able to show some of my family and friends around the city in China in which my missionary mother delivered me—loudly—into a strange new environment, after nine months of comfortable silence.
I lived there until I was eight, and though some memories are still vivid, things have changed in my old home town.
What had been a sleepy little port town has become a modern, major-sized metropolis of five million souls—yet still only a Third-Tier city by Chinese standards! As I revisited long-remembered sights, we went to take a look at the hospital in which I announced my appearance upon the world’s stage. Well, maybe it was just my family’s stage.
Our little group stood across the street gazing at this large hospital—much grander than back in my day—when without thinking, I impulsively stepped out to cross over so I could get a closer look at the entrance. Suddenly, an arm reached out and yanked me back to the sidewalk, saving me from being run over by a car. How embarrassing would that have been?
I guess my sense of humor, which can be a bit warped, kicked in. I blurted out what could very well have been my epitaph: “Born here, died here.”
To me a sense of humor is to not take yourself too seriously . . . to be able to poke fun at yourself, not so much at others. What's not often understood is that you don't have to be funny to have a sense of humor; you just have to be able to see the lighter side of life—in this weighty world.
Till next time,
The Small Print
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YWAM Associates International is a ministry of Youth With A Mission
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