Friday, February 1, 2013

A Couple after God's own Heart.

 Scripture contains the accounts of many couples, and the way God used them and they way they lived.
Whether they lived in sweet communion with their spouse and God, or whether they lived in bitter strife and sin, every couple in Scripture has something to teach us.
By searching the Scriptures and studying the couples who make up Scripture's story, Jim and Elizabeth George examine their marriages and draw out insights for those men and women who want to be A Couple After God's own Heart.
 Jim and Elizabeth came together to write this book, and they write together with one voice, husband and wife in harmony. A book written in one voice harmony is a good picture of a marriage.

In A Couple after God's own Heart we meet Adam and EveAbraham and Sarah, Jacob and Rachel, Manoah and his Wife, Ruth and Boaz, David and Bathsheba, Elizabeth and Zechariah, Joseph and Mary, and Prisca and Aquila. 

I was delighted to see so many themes and character details in A Couple after God's own Heart that I had never noticed before in Scripture- now I will be looking for them in my Bible when I read their stories. 

Insights from the ladies of Scripture teach their sisters today, and insights from the men teach their brethren. These are some of the ones that touched me the most:

Eve reminds us that our identity is in God, and the fact we bear his image, and our purpose in to help our husbands. We are Helpers.
Our actions should be checked by 'will this help my husband?' That is the sign of a helper's heart- one who finds ways to meet the need of the moment.
Being a helper is such a large calling- one moment you might be helping him paint your house and the next you might be helping your husband by being the only encouraging human voice he hears as he stands fast for God.
After the lesson comes living it out...and Elizabeth gives us an idea for that.
"How about a post-it note for your heart? 'Today I am my husband's helper. And it never hurts to put those post it notes in other your Bible, the cover of your prayer journal, in the kitchen, and on your car's dashboard so you can be reminded of your purpose..." 

      Isaac and Rebekah are one of the greatest human romances in Scripture.
From the first time Isaac saw Rebekah coming to him as he meditated in the fields, he was captivated by her, And she loved him too. The love of Rebekah is what comforted Isaac after his mother died, Scripture tells us.
We find this confirmed when Rebekah was barren. Isaac did not remarry or shun her- he prayed for her. When Isaac prayed for his barren wife Rebekah we see a tender and Godly man.
Their marriage has a lot to teach us about communication- communication was sinfully gone at the end of their marriage. They deceived each other, spoke of family troubles behind each other's back, they played favorites among their sons and divided their loyalty from each other.

     Ruth teaches us that Godliness is a magnet, faithfulness is rewarded, mentors are a blessing, and tragedies are redeemed.
     Boaz is an example of husbands who are diligent, merciful, Honor God first, truthful, and encourage their brides in godliness.
"Boaz pointed out Ruth's strong qualities and spoke of them to cheer her on. (Ruth 2:11) Surely these words of encouragement were like raindrops on the parched desert sand of Ruth's heart." 

      Bathsheba is a picture of redemption. Her story seems to end with adultery.. but it doesn't. It ends with her role as a god fearing mother who raised her son to seek the Lord.
 "In the Bible text, we don't read much about Bathsheba until David is on his death bed and Solomon is a grown man. But we know she was busy during those silent years. She was behind the scenes, quietly and systematically raising Solomon, training him, loving him, and grooming him. One day he would be king, and she wanted him to be ready and confident. It's no wonder that Solomon became the wisest man on earth and a great king. His vast wisdom and love for God was very likely a reflection of her own spiritual condition."

     David shows us in technicolor the need to run from sin, and to run from temptation. "A member of a couple after God's own heart has eyes for only one person- his or her marriage partner." 
Repentance is here also- Psalm 51 was torn from the breast of the man who knew he was a wretch. He was forgiven, and brought more glory to God than the respectable sinner who trusts that he has a drop of residual inner goodness somewhere in a forgotten closet in his soul that will squeak him through in to Heaven.

     Mary and Joseph are perhaps the most humble, trusting, willingly obedient couple in history.
They stored up the things of God in their hearts, and raised the Lord Jesus Christ.

     In Luke's Gospel you can see that Zechariah was a man who prayed for his wife diligently. Angel Gabriel confirmed it, as he stood before Zechariah at the incense altar in the Holy place. He said "Your prayers have been answered." His wife would bear a son.
When I read the account, I thought Zechariah was most likely praying for a son at that moment as he burned the incense in the Holy Place. A man who longed to be a father would have prayed for the thing that lay on his heart as he stood there, vulnerable before God.
"You would expect a godly husband to pray faithfully for his wife, wouldn't you? Especially if he knew there was a deep burden she was carrying every day." 

    Prisca and Aquila- they are impressive! "We can think of Priscilla and Aquila as being like a coin, which has two sides- with each side indicating the same value, but each bearing a different image. Isn't that a perfect picture of what marriage is all about?"  

Truly it is exciting to see the details in the marriages of wives and husbands of the Scriptures.
I was blessed to receive this book free from Harvest House for my review.

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