Thursday, November 09, 2006

Who Can Find a Virtuous Wife or a Valorous Man?

In my first ever blog series, a short story entitled “Changing Church,” a relatively young man is the senior pastor of the average Baptist church. Aiming to be faithful to his calling as shepherd of his church, he institutes some major (biblical) changes. Will there be objections? Of course. Are they legitimate? Should anyone that young be a pastor? Aren’t pastors called elders? Doesn’t elder mean “older”?

At my state’s homeschool conference this summer, Vision Forum teamed up with our Christian home educators association to include sessions on Uniting Church and Family. After one of the more practical and inspiring classes, I overheard two young fathers discussing what they had learned. Their conclusion was, in effect, that they were passionate about the vision for uniting church and family, but their churches were not like that. Starting a church (another topic at the conference) seemed the most viable way to get the family fellowship described. But neither of them felt qualified at their age to lead a church. What should they do?

Also over the summer, my church studied church leadership in Sunday school. The youth class (yes, there is one) struggled to find application in 1 Timothy 3:1-13. “These standards are really high,” they said. Implied in their conclusion was that they weren’t up to the task. Or only older men are able to, for example, be sober (serious, intentional).

I listened sadly to the account of what took place that Sunday morning. This chapter is a challenge to young men.
Look! If you want to be worthy of leadership in the church when you are elder, you have to get to work now! Don’t make decisions today that will forever prohibit you from certain areas of ministry. Set this as your example, your goal. Be inspired!

Don’t young men today desire the work of a bishop (overseer, elder, pastor)? The Bible says that desire is a good thing. In 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul encourages Timothy to let no one despise his youth, but be an example of the believers. Paul enumerates: in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Being young is not an excuse for being frivolous or ungodly. The epistle to Titus elaborates: "Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded." And in 1 John: "I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one."

This reminds me of the various reactions to Proverbs 31. I say reaction. Proverbs 31 causes reactions in me. I am challenged. This is my example. Doesn’t every girl want to be the treasured woman in the passage? Some women respond to Proverbs 31. They don’t do anything. Only words explain how the admonition affects them. It’s discouraging. How can anyone be like her? The list is too long. These are, after all, rare virtues. Who can find her?

Specificly as a single young woman, I am challenged, too. Being a maiden in waiting is not being a maiden in whining. The Bible does not give us that option. If you are married, you are to be fulfilling the role of wife instituted in Genesis 2. 1 Corinthians 7 tells unmarried women to be about their Father’s business: "There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit" Titus 2, again, pictures what holiness means for young 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."

The part about blaspheming the word of God is very true. If
God’s Word is good, if it does not return void, and if these are to be our examples, and we are not putting them into practice, God’s Word is defamed and broken. His purpose is not being accomplished. God did not write the Bible so we could have interesting discussions once a week on Sundays. He intended… obedience rather than sacrifice. "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock” (Matthew 7:24)

To God be all glory.

1 comment:

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

I like your subject line, and the material is good. Oh, to go to a VF conference...my dream...:-)