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5 minutes a day 5 days a week - a year of Bible Wisdom
I don't know what to consider myself anymore. I feel like I used to be/still am a christian, but I cannot come to terms with certain struggles:
- If God is omnipotent, then how can we as human beings not be mad at Him for creating such an imperfect world?
- Did God make a mistake with the world pre-flood? Why would He destroy it all? Couldn't He see what it was to become? Why wouldn't He have created the second world the first time?
- Does God really bless some people and not others? Why do even the greatest christians give thanks to God for saving a baby’s life, or so-and-so's life, while others have had to suffer terrible deaths?
We will try and handle each of your concerns in turn:
- God didn’t create the world imperfect. When God finished the world, it was perfect (Gen 1:31). All imperfection that we find in this world is a consequence of our sins (Gen 3:17-19).
- The problem with the pre-flood world was a manmade one, not a God-made one. Mankind’s thoughts were violent and sinful (Gen 6:5). God could see what was happening, but He allowed us to have freewill… and He respects our freedom of choice.
- God blesses all of mankind (Matt 5:43-48). All blessings and joy are gifts from our Creator (Jas 1:17). Death was introduced by sin (Gen 3:3). When someone dies, that is a consequence of our sin (Rom 6:23)… not a failure on God’s part.
In the end, it is important to remember that God hasn't failed us – He sent His own Son to give us life (Jhn 3:16). We fail Him when we sin (Rom 3:23).
5 minutes a day 5 days a week - a year of Bible Wisdom
I have a lot of questions concerning marriage. I have studied the verses about marriage a lot, but there are a few things I am still unsure of. I know God's structure for marriage (Eph 5:22-33, Col 3:18-19, etc.), and I do, in many ways, think it is beautiful. I also know that God's Word is truth and that whatever He says is ultimately best for me (psalm 119:1-3), so the structure He has set up is the most ideal structure for marriage.
My question then is about what scares me, as a woman – that I have to trust someone with that kind of authority over me. It seems unfair almost because I know that I am a capable person, so why must I be the one to submit simply because I am a woman? A part of me feels bad questioning this because I feel like this should not rub me the wrong way the same way it does not appear to bother many of my married friends and older women that I have spoken with… but simply stated: it does bother me. I feel guilty for not instantly wanting to do things God's way, but asking for this kind of trust in someone almost seems unreal to me. The most important thing for me is to do things God's way, but I would like to know if there is any advice you could give me to make this easier.
On the same note, I feel very conflicted because I want to pursue a career and am currently in school for it. I won’t graduate until I am twenty-two, and I know if I graduate, I will want to then work in the field I studied and worked hard to be certified in. On the other hand, I am with someone, and we plan on getting married, and I would want to start a family with him closer to twenty than thirty... I guess what I am trying to explain is it has always been my dream to complete school and follow my career, but I also want a family. I worry sometimes that maybe I am in the wrong for "not wanting all the things a woman should want" but for wanting a career too; at least, that is how every young ladies’ and women's class has ever made me feel.
I want to do things God's way, but I also want to be able to pursue my dreams, and it has, in turn, created a very big conflict in my life. I would deeply appreciate your thoughts.
The short answer to your question is: you have choices, and peace comes from knowing that whatever decisions are made are yours. We really appreciate your forthrightness and humility; your struggle is actually the unseen struggle of many women. Don’t take to heart what other women appear to think or feel about this subject; each heart knows its own burdens (Pr 14:10), and outward appearances can be deceiving.
You admit that God’s plan is for a husband to be the head of the household and for a wife to submit to his leadership (Eph 5:22-23), but the part of the equation you aren’t factoring in is that you get to choose who you enter into that agreement with. In fact, there is nothing wrong with never marrying at all (Matt 19:12), and the unmarried are blessed with the benefit of being unburdened from a great deal of cares and responsibilities (1 Cor 7:32-35). No one (including the Lord) is forcing you to be married. Marriage brings untold benefits, but it comes with responsibilities and burdens that some do not wish to shoulder. Men who marry must give up pursuits and freedoms, so they may provide for a family – just as much as women make sacrifices to be wives. In the end, there is no sin in remaining unmarried or in getting married… merely consequences for both paths.
Secondly, every godly woman that submits to a husband does so of her own volition. Whomever you marry will be your choice. It isn’t as if you must marry the first ape-ish brute that comes down the pike. God clearly wants you to pick a man that will love you and value your thoughts and help (Eph 5:25). After all, God intended for Eve to be a help to Adam (Gen 2:18). Don’t say, “I do” until you have found a man that loves the Lord, cherishes you, and values your worth.
As far as a career goes, we won’t beat around the bush – God wants the wife to be a worker at home first (Tit 2:5). If you choose to get married and have a family, your husband and children need you as a worker at home first and foremost because raising the next godly generation is the most valuable and vital profession anyone could ever undertake. However, many women (including the worthy woman of Proverbs 31) have found ways to fulfill their desires for work in the community either after the children are grown or in more creative ways from home. You may find the skill sets you have acquired for your chosen career may provide you with abilities that are exceptionally useful in the home and in the church… only time will tell.
Every decision we make in life has consequences. Every path chosen leaves a dozen other paths left untrodden. Just remember, whatever your decision is, it is your choice to make (Eccl 11:9).
Is drinking wine wrong?
Just A Sip?
Dear Just A Sip,
God never specifically condemns drinking wine, but He does condemn ‘strong drink’ (Pr 20:1), drinking parties (1 Pet 4:3), and drunkenness (Rom 13:13). Almost all alcohol that is consumed today would fall into the category of ‘strong drink’ because our alcoholic beverages are artificially fermented to increase their alcoholic content (unlike the wine of Jesus’ day – read “That’s Just Grape” for further details on the wine Jesus drank). We would all do well to heed the words of Pr 23:31-32 and avoid alcohol as much as is possible.