Congratulations to my dear friend, Rachelle, and her fiancé, Josiah on their upcoming wedding in July. What an amazing couple they are! God has paired them so well. On a personal note, Rachelle, I am thankful for being allowed the privilege to give the devotional for your wedding shower here in Arizona this past weekend. Following are the notes I told you I would post.
Congrats to you and Josiah on your plans to spend a lifetime together. A lot of planning and hard work has brought you to this point in your lives.
As you continue planning for your future, may I share some scriptures with you that will help you to be good life managers. Life can be demanding and the busyness of life can be overwhelming.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. So what are God’s plans for you, Rachelle & Josiah? Let’s look at God’s priorities for your lives. Notice the order…first things first.
1. The Lord
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Matt 6:33
Give God your first fruits – your time, your energy, your resources, your devotion. If you are too busy for God, you are too busy…Being Under Satan’s Yoke. Be a good combo of Mary and Martha, devotion first (attending the collage at the feet) and then service, in that order.
Find a good Bible believing, doctrinally sound church to attend so that you may “Not forsake the assembling of yourselves together.” Faithfully attend your church services so that you may fulfill God’s purpose for His church (as the bride of Christ) to (acronym, WIFE) Worship, Be Instructed, Fellowship and Evangelize. Rachelle, go to church even if Josiah is not able to go with you (unless he is sick), go when company comes, and go when you are on vacation. (Shared your finding a church while on a piping trip.)
“An excellent wife is a crown of her husband..”
An excellent wife makes her husband feel like a King. As proverbs 31 says, “her works praise her in the gates.” Her excellence as a wife is know by her husband’s colleagues. Her reputation precedes her. Be worthy of Josiah’s trust. Do him good all the days of his life. It takes a lifetime to really get to know one another. Spend time together. Schedule date nights for time alone one with another (even if it is just a mall walk, holding hands, and enjoying a cup of coffee, tea or soda.)
“Behold, “looky hear” children are a gift of the Lord.”
Children are on loan to you to be good stewards of. Not to be raised by the baby sitter or school system, but to be raised by their parents in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Practice the Shema of Deuteronomy 6. Shema means “hear what is being said”… looky hear, listen up. This is God’s directive for you to know, memorize, to do, and to teach your children the Word of God so that it penetrates hearts, minds and wills. (You want how many children??)
“She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Prov. 31:27
God has called you to be a good household manager. This will often mean early mornings, and late nights, and a willingness to get and provide for your home. Prov. 31 woman did not do it all by herself–so don’t forget to use resources–children (training them to be good home-makers), ask Josiah for help if you are both working, and hire help if need be. You may have money but no time, and someone else may need the money and have the time.
Proverbs 31 repeatedly talks of her hands, her hands. Her walk precedes her talk. She is industrious and not lazy.
Practice hospitality–invite people in to your home so that you may get to know them better. If you have an “Open Heart” you will have an “Open Home.” Purchase a guest book so you can look back at the good times you’ve shared with others. (Cloyce suggested to use the unused pages in the back of your wedding guest book to get started.) Great suggestion!
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
This is a 2-parter… Love yourself and love others in your realm of influence.
Yourself–take care of yourself. ..physically, emotionally, intellectually. Take good care of yourself so you can properly take care of others. We all know that we should eat healthfully, exercise and rest. Look your best…especially for Josiah, and remember others have to look at you also. Dress modestly–your private body parts are for Josiah’s eyes only.
European women are so good at taking time for themselves, and they always seem to look and feel great. Have spa days with bubble baths, soothing music, and glowing candles. Take time to relax, to take a leisurely walk, or to sit under a tree and read a good book. Be a life-long learner. There will always be something new to learn.
Others–God expects you to meet the needs of others. We live in a hurting world and you will be needed as a “stretcher bearer” to lift those who are hurting. God uses us to be the answer to those we pray for. Practically speaking that might be to give a hug, send a caring note, a fix a needful meal, give a few extra dollars, to pray, or just give a listening ear (not giving advise, but just listening.) Don’t enable people to become dependent on you, but direct them to God and His word where they will find real answers for real life problems.
6. Outside the Home
“Go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.”
God has called us to be light in a dark world (getting darker my the moment.) Out of a sincere love for what the Lord has done for us, it would only be reasonable service to want to share the joy and peace our relationship with the Lord has brought to us. Help train others to serve Him. Invite people to church. Awana is such a great discipling tool, training young people to serve to the Lord and you have been fortunate to be an Awana leader in the past. Be a mentor to younger folks than you. Your investment into others’ lives will be a blessing to you. We are saved to serve and not to sit. Practice Mr. C ‘s favorite verse (paraphrase) “Be ye steadfast unmovable always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing your labor is not in vain.” 1 Cor. 15:58
Well, that’s what God has planned for you and Josiah.
And as you head out on this new adventure in life, we pray the Lord gives you both all you need to accomplish His directives. May God’s riches blessings be upon you both.
You are dearly loved!