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by Ruth Prince
I said to you this morning that I was looking at a lot of single women who wanted to know how to prepare for marriage. But, I’m very glad to see that there are husbands and wives, that there are older people here. Because, what I have to say is not just for single women. A friend of ours said after she had read our book God is a Matchmaker, she said, “That isn’t a book about marriage, that’s a book about how to be a good Christian.” Another friend of ours who has been married for ten years—he and his wife both read the book—and he said, “It has improved our marriage.” So, what I want to say to you this morning I hope will be a real help to you in all of your walk with the Lord.
I don’t think any of us would deny that we’re living in perilous times. That evil is increasing continually. I’m so glad that I have read the end of the book and I know it isn’t going to go on like this. What I want to do first of all, is to set our focus on the eternal. I want to read from Revelation 19:1–8.
“After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, to the Lord our God: for true and righteous are his judgments: because he has judged the great harlot, who corrupted the earth with he fornication, and he has avenged on earth the blood of his servants shed by her.”
See, there is a day coming when the Lord is going to judge all the evil of the earth. This is the day we’re looking toward.
“Again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rises up forever and ever. And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. Then a voice came from the throne, saying, Praise our God, all you his servants, and those who fear him, both small and great, And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give him glory: for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready. And to he it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”
What I want to do is to emphasize to you we’re talking about preparing for marriage on the earthly level. But, we cannot talk about marriage on the earthly level without thinking about the eternal level. All of us, if we are faithful, are going to be part of the bride of the Lord Jesus. He is waiting for us and he is longing for us to be ready.
The apostle Paul said in 1Corinthians 15:19:
“If we have hope in Christ only in this life we a of all men most to be pitied.”
I want to encourage you who are looking for mates to prepare yourself to be good wives until the Lord comes. But, bear in mind everything you do to prepare to be a wife and everything that you do to be a good wife or a good husband is preparing you to be part of the bride. I just want to read another passage from Matthew 24:36–39. Let’s make sure that we bear in mind—I can’t emphasize this strongly enough—that what we’re talking about are eternal principles. Verse 36:
“But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark...”
No one knows then that day or hour will come. So, as you live your life day by day, be watching, be ready. Some people may say, “Well, I want some practical advice. I don’t want to just have my head in heaven.” What I want to emphasize is that being spiritual is being practical. The Holy Spirit is practical. And, if we are led by the Holy Spirit we won’t bumble around, we won’t make mistakes; we will be continually moving on becoming more able to do what God has called us to do.
There isn’t really any lasting happiness without commitment and surrender. When you’ve surrendered to him, when you commit your life to him without any reservations then he gives you real happiness. Some people think they’ll get married and live happily ever after. I’m afraid it isn’t true. You live happily—I’m very, very happily married. But it’s by God’s grace. But, it isn’t ever after because the ever after is with the Lord Jesus. It’s in this present age that we enjoy the blessings of marriage but the ever after is with the Lord Jesus.
I’m going to direct myself now to women specifically. Men, maybe some of this will help you to understand your wife better. And, maybe to help your wives be better wives. First of all, when God created woman he defined her. Genesis 2:18:
“And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
The Amplified Bible says:
“I will make a helper suitable for him.”
So, a woman first and foremost was created to be a helper. She wasn’t created to be the head, the leader; she was created to help her husband. I believe that God knew what he was doing. I recognize that the 20th century woman has different ideas. I’m a 20th century woman and I had different ideas. But, the Lord changed that. If we live in the word and if we believe the word then we will desire to be what God created us to be.
The list of the ministry gifts in 1Corinthians 12 lists apostles, prophets, shepherds. Then it lists gifts of miracles and helps. So, we have the gift of helps which is a gift of the Holy Spirit to help us to be helpers. Really, there’s no reason why we can’t fulfill what God has created us to be.
I made a list which is in God is a Matchmakerthat I had accumulated over years of reading the Bible about what a helper is. But, I also say what a godly woman is. These are characteristics of women that I have accumulated. I grouped them and I want you to see that being a helper isn’t demeaning. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t worthwhile. It doesn’t mean that what you do doesn’t count. It’s our function. Let me just read the list to you. Wise, kind, faithful, loyal, sober, honorable, trustworthy, gracious, courageous, generous. All of those words are used in the Bible to describe women. Those are the ones I call general. Actually, there’s a lot of crossing over of categories.
And, I have a category that I call relating to the home but most of them aren’t limited to the home. Industrious, prudent, strong. I was observing in the book of Proverbs, the 31st chapter that speaks about the virtuous wife, the prudent wife, the excellent wife that twice in there it refers to strength. She girds herself with strength. Her clothing is strength and honor. That’s one of the attributes that is ours as helpers and as godly women. Caring is another word I have, capable, dutiful.
Then particularly feminine traits. Modest, pure, of a meek and quiet spirit. And, the Lord said she is priceless. And trusting. Trusting is a particularly feminine trait. We have to trust.
Finally, I have a little list of spiritual. Prayerful, prophetic, ministering. You know, the women who ministered to Jesus, what higher honor or privilege could you have than washing his socks or weaving his robe, cooking his food? But, you see, when we do that for our husbands and for our families and we do it unto the Lord Jesus then we also have that tremendous privilege. We serve the Lord by serving our husbands, our families. Devout. And then finally, fearing the Lord. The end of the 31st chapter of Proverbs says the women who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
I have this sense in America that the fear of the Lord is something that has been lacking for a long time. People have gotten buddy-buddy with the Holy Spirit and with the Lord Jesus. I believe that we’re coming into a period when God is going to change that. I’m a little bit afraid because I don’t know what he may have to do to the church in America to bring about the fear of the Lord. I see it coming. I encounter people who are beginning to feel it, to be afraid lest they grieve the Holy Spirit, lest they fail to respond. We are going to have to answer to God for what we do in this life.
I want to go on just a little bit more about being a helper and making a home because I know and you know that in this decade most women work. Many wives work. We Christians didn’t plan it but we got caught up in what is happening in the secular society. I’m not going to go into the pros and cons. I work. I don’t go out to work but I help my husband in many ways. I know from experience that it’s hard to make a home when you are working. And, there’s a tendency today to think we can share the work load. The husband can do his part and the wife can do her part. The roles get blurred. What I would like to suggest is that the woman should really appreciate the help she gets from her husband. She should recognize that it is her primary responsibility to make a home. If she can train up her children to help, if she can find ways to make it easier, that’s wonderful. But, she can’t default. She has to make a home for her husband because that’s what God created her to do.
And, do it as an expression of your love and gratitude to God for placing you where he has and to your husband. I make a home out of my suitcase. It’s so easy for Derek to pack, all he has to do is put his clothes in. But, I have to take all the things that we need so we will be comfortable in all the different hotel rooms that we sleep in around the world. I want to say that that is for me my greatest joy because I can make provide a situation where my husband can give his best to God and to God’s people. I know. This is not theory, I know that he preaches better and he has more power and authority in the Holy Spirit and in prayer because he has me to help him. I want to just encourage you wives. Don’t feel you’re second class, don’t feel that being a helper is secondary because, in a way, he can’t do it without you.
I want to say also there for the single women, practice being a helper before you’re married. Derek said last night you need to practice commitment before you’re married. You need to be able to learn how to relate to people before you’re married because what you have learned before marriage will be with you in marriage. We have been just tremendously blessed by young women that have helped us in our home. There’s one of them here today. She served us for three years then the Lord promoted her. At the present time she’s office manager for a Congressman. So, what you do is you learn to help and God can promote you.
I want to say also practice making a home before you have a home. If you live at home, make your room especially suitable to your personality. I have noticed many of the young women growing up today don’t really recognize their responsibility as single women to learn to feather their nest while they’re still single. It’s so much easier if you’ve done it beforehand.
My second item is cultivate your relationship with the Lord. This will stand in you in good stead all of your life. First of all, remember that relationships take time. You can’t just say, “Good morning, Jesus” and then rush off and do what you have to do. You really have to take time in his presence. You know, the Lord is waiting for those who will worship him in spirit and in truth. He’s waiting. A single woman has a tremendous opportunity to be a worshipper. Take the time to learn to worship. He’ll teach you how, the Holy Spirit will teach you how.
Give God your best time. For most of us that is first thing in the morning. Some people have different schedules and some people have different metabolisms. For some perhaps, this is a different time. Generally speaking, it’s the best time. My practice has always been since I’ve known the Lord which is now 16 years that I don’t speak to anyone else until I’ve spoken to Jesus. I think once in awhile there’s an exception. Once in awhile I say good morning to my husband first but basically, Jesus should be the one you wake up to and the one you go to sleep with.
When you do, begin with thanksgiving and praise. We enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise. As we thank and praise him for who he is and for what he’s done for us then it opens the way for us to make petitions. Sometimes you find you won’t make any petitions. You’ll be so taken up with his presence and with thanking him and praising him that all the things that seemed so important just drop away. You spend that time just worshipping him. I say just worshipping him. What could be more wonderful? I find when I pray alone it really helps me to keep a prayer list that I use every day. I divided it up by the days of the week and I prayed for specific types of needs. For example, one day I really prayed for my family. Another day I prayed for Christian leaders. Another day I prayed for people that I knew needed salvation. Another day the list of people that I regularly prayed for for healing. Derek and I do it differently. We don’t pray our prayer list every day because there are two of us and we pray back and forth as the Lord leads us. But, when you’re praying alone it’s very easy for your mind to wander. Having a list will keep you focused on the Lord.
Then, don’t limit the Lord to those times when you come apart with him. You can communicate with the Lord all the time. In the book God is a MatchmakerI put in that I keep the conversational line open to the Lord all the time. The publishers had a young woman who went through it and made suggested editorial changes. She wanted to change that to “I try to keep conversational lines open all the time.” Well, I don’t try to, I keep them open. The Lord speaks in the most surprising ways. When you’re brushing your teeth, when you’re walking out the door. If you don’t have those lines open you’ll miss what he’s saying. I never go shopping without the Holy Spirit. I don’t like to shop, it’s a chore for me but the Holy Spirit says today you go shopping. I go and he leads me.
My final point under cultivating your relationship with the Lord is that you check on yourself to make sure that God is in first place. That is, before any person, before any activities, and before yourself. I’ve written down don’t backslide. You know, people think backsliders are people that have gone away from the Lord. That’s the end of backsliding. We backslide one step at a time. I heard someone say if you were ever closer to Jesus than you are today, you’re backslidden. You can’t stand still in the Christian life, you have to be continually moving on. Someone said to me when she came into our room and saw my suitcase packed on time, she said, “Not me.” I thought, “Dear God, help her.” Because, she’s putting her own convenience and her own comfort before the will of God. We can’t afford to do that. If Jesus is Lord, as we just sang, then he’s Lord of every area. If he’s Lord then he goes where he says go and we do what he says do whether it suits our convenience or our comfort or not.
The next item I have—this is all from my chapter in the book, the item numbers. But, I’m diverting a little bit. Number three, cultivate commitment and loyalty. The key word there is faithfulness. The Bible says a faithful man, who can find? A faithful woman, who can find? If you cultivate faithfulness, commitment, loyalty now while you’re single you won’t be tempted to be unfaithful to your husband in thought, word or deed. When I think about unfaithfulness I’m not talking only about marital unfaithfulness, I’m talking about not upholding your husband. That’s speaking about him in a disparaging way to other people. That’s being unfaithful. Your job is to uphold him, to encourage him.
I want to read Luke 16:10–12. I have the NIV translation which says it a little bit differently but I think very powerfully.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So, if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
I believe that as women are faithful in a single condition, to be faithful with very little, with another person’s property, that God will promote them. I’ve mentioned this already. I was awed when God chose me to be the wife and the helpmate of Derek Prince. I knew him the way you know him, as a Bible teacher, a platform personality. I thought how can I be a wife to such a man? But, you know, one of the first scriptures that Derek quoted to me was that one. He said to me after he had made known his intentions, “You have been faithful in the small things and you have been faithful over another person’s ministry. So, God will give you your own.” But, if you’re not faithful in the small things you won’t get promoted.
Furthermore, this is speaking about eternal issues. If you’re not trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches where the true riches are eternal? You’re preparing yourself for your eternal reward. Who knows what some of us will be doing when we’re part of the Lord’s bride in eternity? I get excited when I think about it.
Number four, cultivate your own self esteem. Ephesians 2:10. I can quote it but I think I’ll read it.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
We are his workmanship. You’re his masterpiece. Don’t belittle yourself. Respect yourself. As I come back to this I discovered that so many young women don’t respect themselves. They will do things for us but they don’t do them for themselves. This summer Derek and I were having our lunch and we generally eat our lunch alone because it gives us the opportunity to discuss things that we’re working on. So, we were in our home and we were eating our lunch on china with silver and crystal. I got up to go speak to the young woman who serves us who was eating her lunch out on the beautiful balcony and I found her with a little tray about this big (indicating) and a tiny little plate eating her lunch. I was grieved in my heart. I said to her, “You know, everything we have is yours to use. Why do you do this? Why don’t you set the table for yourself and sit down and eat as unto the Lord?”
I’ve been in girl’s rooms, friends of the family and others. They don’t take care of their possessions, they just drop things. Well, you know, nobody may be watching you but the Lord is watching. He expects better than that.
I also would encourage you to memorize scripture about who you are in the Lord because when you memorize the scriptures you have that available to you. At any time when the devil starts to taunt you you can answer him and he can say you did such and such, “Remember that sin.” You can say, “But, I’m a new creation in Christ Jesus. Old things have passed away, all things have become new. That’s true, that’s how I was but I’m not that way anymore.”
A favorite scripture of mine—I have a lot of favorite scriptures. The Bible is so full of Good things. Philippians 3:12–14.
“Not that I have already obtained, or am already perfected, but I press on that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
Think of that. He laid hold of us. Not just the apostle Paul but he laid hold of you and me for a specific purpose.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do: forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
That’s what it’s all about. We forget those things that are behind, we forget what we did wrong yesterday, we forget what we did wrong before we were saved. We also forget the good things we’ve done because we can’t bask in yesterday’s glory. We forget all those things that are behind and we press toward the mark for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Doesn’t that make you feel good?
Number five, be willing to learn. I want to give you three words which all have the same meaning. Humble, meek, teachable. God debases the proud, he brings low the proud and he exalts the humble. Moses was the meekest man on earth, he was the most humble, the most teachable man on earth. When I was a new believer I was 40 years old and I had been a very independent woman. I began to go to a church and I saw that I needed to have spiritual oversight of my life. The Lord was changing me but I saw I had to change more. I knew I really couldn’t do it on my own so I went to the pastor and I asked if he would oversee my life, if he would be willing to shepherd me. He looked at me and I’m sure he knew he had a handful! He said he’d pray about it and he came back to me the next day and he said, “The Lord spoke to me and he said she loves me and she’s teachable.” I thought at the time I didn’t realize what the full impact of that was. But, you know, I think that’s what I’d like to have on my gravestone if the Lord doesn’t come and take me. “She loves me and she was teachable.” Because, if we’re teachable God can do anything he wants to with us. But, if we decide I know best and I’ve already learned this and I don’t need to change, I’ll just do it the same way today as I did it yesterday, if we are not willing to accept new revelations of scripture as God opens them up to us then we don’t progress. I am so excited about my husband’s ministry because God is just continually opening up new gems, new treasures in the word. He just receives them and takes them and makes them part of his character and part of his teaching. The body of Christ is being changed by it.
Some people, when they get to the age of 70 fossilize. But not my husband! It’s a challenge to me to see what the Lord can do.
Along in this whole area of being willing to learn, be willing to learn skills. Make good use of your time when you’re single because you won’t have as much discretionary time once you’re married. There will be a lot of things you need to know how to do that you won’t have time to learn after you’re married. I can look back over my life, I went straight out of high school into secretarial work and then I joined the U.S. Marine Corps in l950. I went from being a secretary to being an office manager at the age of 20. I had three male Marines under me. I have to say that I was less humble then and I think I was pretty hard on them—not that I have attained humility yet. Then I went on, I was married and reared my children. Then when the time came for me to go back to work I went back to college and finished my degree. Then I was a classroom teacher for a time, I was an executive assistant, I was an administrator. All of those things that I did—I’m also a good cook. I also made all my own clothes and all my children’s clothes. I have a lot of skills. You know what? I need every one of those skills to be Derek’s wife. Don’t think that what you’re doing now is a waste of time if you want to get married because you’ll need those skills.
I know one young woman who was working for me in our home who said she was going to leave us because her husband was going into business for himself and she was going to be his bookkeeper. She was so excited. She didn’t have to go to bookkeeping school, she already had learned to be a bookkeeper. Don’t waste your time. If you don’t have skills, if you don’t know how to cook, if you don’t know how to sew, if you don’t know how to do homemaking things; ask some busy woman if you can help her. Instead of watching television a few evenings a week go and help her. Be an apprentice. Learn to cook from somebody that is a good cook because then you’ll become a good cook.
Especially bear in mind that you’re going to have to answer for all your time when you stand before the Lord Jesus, how you spent your time. You’re going to have to give an account to him for every idle hour and for every idle word that you speak. We don’t watch television. I did turn it on in 1982, I think. We were in Hawaii and there was a hurricane and I wanted to find out what had happened. I turned it on and you know, to get the hard news I had to leave that machine on for half an hour. They could have told me in two minutes what I wanted to know. I don’t have time to waste like that. The Lord is coming and there is a lot to do. So, I’m not saying don’t ever relax, don’t ever watch television. I’m sure there are good things on it. But, make sure that that’s the way God wants you to spend the time.
I’ve already touched before on my sixth point which is be willing to serve. I think I touched on it at length when I spoke about being a helper. Serving is an expression of love. People can serve you, you can go into a restaurant and they can serve you and you have the impression that they wished you weren’t there, that you are interfering with their program for the day when you ask them to bring you something. That’s not an expression of love, that’s doing a job, that’s being a hireling. But real serving is done as an expression of love.
For me, the key words are do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That can be illustrated with just two simple words: consideration and thoughtfulness. Just good manners. When you do something for another whether it’s your boss or your little brother, you’re best friend or your husband, do it as an expression of love. Do it in such a way that they know that it’s making you happy to do it. For me to serve Derek is my greatest joy. There isn’t anything that makes me happier. I’m disappointed if he wants to do something for himself that I usually do for him because it takes away the satisfaction that I get. We are pretty clear on our roles and so we don’t very often have tension where he’s trying to take back from me the job that I do for him.
Number seven, be willing to adjust to your husband’s priorities. I just want to say marriage is not a tug of war, it is not a battle of the wills. Women are instructed in the scriptures to adjust to their husbands priorities. If you look at 1Peter 3:5–6:
“For in this manner in former times the holy women who trusted in God...”
Wouldn’t that be wonderful that we might be all be referred to as holy women who trusted in God?
“For in this manner in former times the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves. Being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah, who obeyed Abraham calling him Lord. Whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any fear.”
Then 1Corinthians 11:3, Derek quoted this last night, that God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man and man is the head of woman. Don’t let any women’s liberation people tell you that man is not the head of woman because this supersedes their pronouncements. This is God’s word, this is the way God made it. The husband is the head of the wife. Another man is not your head, your husband is your head.
If you look at the Bible you can find clear illustrations of women who adjusted to their husband’s priorities. My two favorites are Rebecca and Sarah. I just love the story of Rebecca. If there was ever a woman who trusted, it was Rebecca. Here this servant came. She’d never seen him before, he gave her gifts, she accepted them. She didn’t know what kind of a man he was. But, she accepted the gifts from the servant and the she left her home and her family, her whole culture to go to marry a man she had never met. That is faith and trust. God rewarded her, he made her the ancestress of all of us.
Sarah, there again was a woman. They were settled in Ur and her husband got a word from the Lord and they moved. Then they kept on moving. He sent her into a harem and she trusted God and she came out of the harem just as pure as she went in. Then you think about it, she was 90 years old when she became a mother. Now, if anybody was flexible, that was Sarah! She had to change her lifestyle.
You have to be willing to change your lifestyle. When I met Derek I lived in Jerusalem. My first husband was Jewish and I converted to Judaism. I didn’t know the Lord Jesus and I converted to Judaism. So, most of my adult life I have been identified with the Jewish people. I immigrated to Israel in l975. I love Jerusalem. It’s the city of the Great King. The Lord called me there, I didn’t go there on my own choice. I love Jerusalem. But, when God sent Derek, the job description says you have to go where your husband goes. I left Jerusalem to marry Derek and I still love Jerusalem, it’s my home. I don’t ever really feel at home any place in the same way that I do in Jerusalem. But, God called me to marry Derek.
I could have said I don’t want to, I want to live in Jerusalem. Derek was feeling called back to Jerusalem and probably if I had been stubborn we could have just lived in Jerusalem but we both listened to the Holy Spirit and I left Jerusalem. I left Jerusalem not knowing when we would return. But, a little over a year after we were married God put it in our way the opportunity to build a home in Jerusalem. We moved there in l981. We don’t live there in the sense that it’s our home 12 months of the year but that’s where our primary home is now.
So, I gave it up but God gave it back. Don’t be afraid to just drop in the ground and die. Don’t be afraid to let your own ideas of what your life ought to be be put aside because if you do what God calls you to do, if you are rightly related to him and to your husband he’ll give you something better than you would have thought of.
Number eight, learn to pray and intercede for others. I have two points under that. Number one, it takes your mind off yourself. When you begin to pray about other people’s needs the Lord will show you needs. He’ll show you needy people, he’ll show you situations in the world that you can pray about, in the church that you can pray about. It prepares you to intercede for your husband. That’s my primary ministry in the spiritual sense. I’m his helper in the practical overall sense but spiritually I’m not a Bible teacher, I’m an intercessor for my husband that he may be the best Bible teacher he could possibly be, he may be the best servant of God he could be. But, it doesn’t matter what your husband’s work is. You can intercede for him to be what God created him to be.
I just want to speak to wives for a minute. There are a lot of husbands who are not what they should be, what God wants them to be because their wives have fallen down on the job. You are not praying for your husbands the way you should, you are not beseeching God to make them the men of God that he wants them to make them. He has a purpose for every man, for every couple. The wife’s job is to pray, to intercede, to hold him up before God and say, “Lord, make him what you created him to be.” Don’t nag your husband, pray for him.
Before you’re married it’s good if you can find a prayer partner to pray with because that will help you to learn how to pray in harmony with another person and you’ll be ready for it when you get married. Also, the Bible says if any two agree as touching anything they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. So, it’s wonderful to have two in agreement.
But, I just want to give you a word of warning, I’ve seen this happen again and again. You have to stay rooted in the scripture in your praying because it’s very easy for two women praying alone to get very kooky. You get silly revelations that have no foundation in the scriptures and cause a lot of confusion and run around telling men of God, “I have a word for you” which is some bird flew by and dropped it, it didn’t come from the Holy Spirit. Just be sure you stay rooted in scripture.
Number nine, learn to care for you body. There’s a tremendous emphasis today in the world, in the United States, on being thin, being skinny. It’s good not to be overweight, you’ll live longer but be careful that you just don’t focus on skinniness and that you don’t eat the right foods. There are enough magazines and enough books available to you in English—you know, you don’t realize until you travel what benefits you have having English as your first language because there’s so much available in English today that is not available in other languages. There’s plenty available to teach you how you should eat.
I just read a book recently that 60 percent of cancer in women and 40 percent of cancer in men can be prevented by proper diet. You need to learn that. You need to learn which foods to eat and which food to avoid. I tell you, fat is a number one killer. Whether it’s heart disease or cancer, fat is about the worst enemy. White sugar is bad but fat is worse.
You need to learn that, you need to learn how to keep yourself healthy, how to keep your husband healthy, how to keep your family healthy because you’re going to have to answer to God for it. If you feed your family junk food what comes out, the harvest will be junk. You can’t live on junk food.
You can learn about preventive medicine and physical fitness. Derek and I used to jog. He ran faster than I did. One day we were jogging down a street and they were building a house on the street and there were some workmen there. Derek was about 100 yards ahead of me and I came along. The men called out to me and said, “Do you think you’ll catch him?” I did catch him, he waited for me. We don’t jog anymore but we take regular exercise. Sometimes in Jerusalem we walk 6 or 8 miles a day. My favorite exercise is hiking in the mountains when we can find mountains. We don’t have any in Florida!
Because of our lifestyle we also have to stay fit. We do exercises in our hotel room, wherever we are. You can learn to do it, you just have to make up your mind. Also, there are many spas with gymnasiums where you can go do it with other people and it’s fun. One of the things that sometimes happens, too, is young women meet their mates there! So, that’s an extra plus, it could happen.
My final item on proper care of the body is don’t sin against your body. 1Corinthians 6:18–20. I’m talking to Christians. I feel as if I really shouldn’t have to read this verse. I didn’t originally have it on my notes but I realized that in the society we live in we need to be told flee sexual immorality.
“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? And you are not your own; for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God’s.”
Your body is not your own, your body was purchased with the blood of Jesus. You need to keep it pure for the sake of the Lord, for the sake of your physical well-being, for the sake of your spiritual well-being. But, you also need to care for it. You need to be sure you eat the right foods and take the right exercise so that your body can do what it should do.
This young woman who works for us in Jerusalem had a revelation this summer about the care of the body. She had had a problem with eating that went back to her early years. She didn’t eat enough and she’s very, very thin. She doesn’t have much strength, she does her best with the strength she has. First of all, she saw her body was the temple of the Holy Spirit. She said, “I knew that intellectually but God has really spoken it into my heart that my body is his temple. So, for me to fail to take care of my body is really sinning against my body.” Then she came back to us about two weeks later and she said, “I want to ask your forgiveness because now the Lord has shown me that my failure to take care of my body has been a sin against you and against the body of Christ because if I can’t do my share, if I can’t do what I’m supposed to do because my body isn’t strong enough, because I haven’t properly taken care of it, then I’m sinning against the body of Christ.” That to me was a revelation. I had not seen it in that light before. I’ve seen it only in terms of the individual calling but, it’s true. The body has many members and if there’s any part that isn’t able to do what it should do because you didn’t take care of your physical body then you have to give an account to God for your sin against the body of Christ.
My tenth point is observe the wife’s behavior in exemplary marriages. I’ll come back to that meek and quiet spirit that is one of the most important attributes a woman can have. One of the things I’ve discovered is not all quiet women are meek. Some of them are just dull, some of them are very quietly bitter and sharp tongued. So, the two words are not synonymous. I’m not a quiet person by nature, I’m a lively person. But, I’m trusting God to work that spirit of meekness into me. Humility, humbleness, teachability. Because, 1Corinthians 11:1 says:
“Be imitators of me...”
That’s what’s expected of us as godly women. Other people will look at us and want to imitate us. You look around if you’re single, look around at the godly women you see that you’d like to be like. Ask the Lord to work into you the attributes that he wants in you. Don’t try to be a carbon copy of somebody because that’s done in the flesh and you cannot please God. Ask the Holy Spirit to work into you those attributes that you see in women who have good marriages that you may have the same qualities.
Then in Romans 8:29, our destiny is there. Not just for women but for men as well.
“For whom he foreknew he also predestined...”
See that word predestined is the same word as destiny.
“...to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he [that is Jesus] might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
If you have your eyes on what your destiny is, that you’re to be conformed to the image of Christ, then you’re not too likely to try to be a carbon copy of somebody else. You’ll find that likeness to Christ that he wants to work into you. We sang the song earlier that the image of Jesus might be seen in us. I thought yes, we want it seen, we want the image of Jesus seen by other people but most of all, we want the Lord to look at us and see that he’s worked himself into us, that we’ve permitted him to change us.
I’m really not tremendously concerned about what other people think about me. I want to be an example but my first concern is what does God think about me? Am I pleasing the Lord? I think that we’re in real danger if we’re continually thinking what will people think. How can I explain this to people, how can I please the Lord best?
Number eleven, we’re almost there. I’m watching my time and I’ve run over. Number eleven, trust God and be willing to wait. Believe me, the wrong husband is worse than no husband. Psalm 37:3–5. I’m going to quote this from the King James because I like the way it is expressed.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thy heart.”
I want to just mention that in l977 on the 1st of January the Lord gave me that verse. He doesn’t give me a verse every year, that just happened to be that I wrote that down in my journal. That was l977 and Derek came. I didn’t even know that being married was a desire of my heart. I was delighting myself in the Lord so I was in the path where he could give me the desires of my heart.
Finally, the fifth verse is:
“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he will bring it to pass.”
You see, if you’re in the way, if you’re delighting yourself in the Lord, then you’re on the path. He will bring it to pass if you trust in him.
Finally, number twelve. Set your goals and establish your priorities. I’m not talking about New Year’s resolutions because New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken. People make them and forget about them a week later. What I’m talking about is coming before the Lord in prayer and asking him to show you what is most important at this particular point for you. What I did and what I update periodically is to make a list of how I use my time and then to assign priorities to them. When you work to get your life in line with God’s priorities, the things that aren’t important will just drop off.
But, I’d like to suggest to you also that you look at the character traits that I mentioned earlier. You can buy the book and they’re all written down there. Look at the character traits that are there and ask the Holy Spirit to show you which ones you need to work on. Then ask him to work them into you.
I’d like to recommend to you this booklet if you want God’s best because in here are eight points that will help you to—maybe I’ll just read them to you. That’s cheating a little bit if I turn to the end and read the summary. If you want God’s best, you want God’s best. Don’t settle for anything less. I say to you in regard to a husband. Don’t settle for just any man, ask God for his best for you. Number two, if you want God’s best, focus on Jesus. Number three, if you want God’s best, meditate in God’s word. The word tells you who you are and what you can expect. Four, if you want God’s best, make friends with the Holy Spirit. Number five, if you want God’s best, hear and obey God’s voice promptly. When God called me to Jerusalem I didn’t have options. If I said next year, I wouldn’t have gone. If I hadn’t gone to Jerusalem I wouldn’t have been in the right place to meet my husband. Number six, if you want God’s best be careful how and what you hear. I think scriptures all the time. I think songs about the blood all the time. I hear them. I can’t afford to listen to this garbage that’s on the radio now. I can’t afford to listen to some of the words of Christian music that really don’t build us up. Be careful how and what you hear. If you want God’s best, be more concerned with the eternal than with the temporal or the temporary. Make sure your priorities are right. I didn’t read this before I made my notes but, you see, it’s right in line. Number eight, if you want God’s best, let God choose for you. Someone has said—I think it was my husband—God gives his best to those who leave the choice to him.
Be realistic about the changes that you make in your life. Sometimes changes take years and you just keep on praying. I mentioned before physical fitness. That’s where I really have a personal testimony because it has just taken me years to get physically fit. I neglected my body at one point in my life. I was very active when I was up to about age 35 and then I had some sickness and I just let things slide. Now I have had to catch up because I have a really strong, energetic husband and I have to keep up with him. With the kind of ministry we have we sometimes pray for the sick for—I think our record is 8 hours at a time. You have to be strong to stay on your feet and keep praying for people for hours on end. The travel we do takes physical fitness. I have struggled. It seems if I just about get there and I’d have an accident, I’d fall and hurt myself. Then I’d have to again wait while I was recovering when I couldn’t be active. It would take so long to regain the strength. It’s been very, very frustrating.
But, we pray every day, “Help us to eat wisely.” What’s the rest of the prayer—it just went from me. “And quicken our mortal bodies by your Holy Spirit.” That’s the end of our grace before meals. Three times a day. You know, God is answering that prayer. In this past year we have found a way of eating that works for us where we can avoid putting on weight in this traveling circuit we’re on. Our bodies are being quickened continually by his Holy Spirit, it’s an ongoing process. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t achieve it the first week or the first month or the first year. Keep on pressing on, disciplining yourself to change but asking, most of all, that the Lord change you. He’s in the people changing business.
My final scripture is 2Corinthians 5:9–11. I just want to direct you back again to where we started. The eternal. We are responsible to God for how we use our bodies. We are responsible to God for how we live our life. I’m going to read this from the NIV and I’ll just come back to the New King James at the end of it.
“So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Since, then, we know the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”
I want you leave that with you. We all will appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account for the deeds done in the body, whether they were good or bad. Whether we wasted our time or whether we used it right. Whether we spent time sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves because we didn’t have a husband or whether we were serving the Lord actively until God put us together with the husband he has for us.
And then, I like the way the New King James translates that. We know the terror of the Lord. That’s the fear of the Lord, that’s to know that if you don’t do what he says you’re going to answer to him. Believe me, he’s merciful but he’s also just.
The final words are because we know the terror of the Lord we persuade men. We get out there and we tell people that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. That people don’t have to stay in their present situation in this world because there’s a new life available to us in the Lord Jesus and he is coming again. He’s coming for his bride and that’s you and me. Amen.