It Was the Woman You Gave Me

the woman you gave me 2

After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they both hid from God in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 3:11 & 12 God asked Adam, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?” Adam gave the answer that married men have been repeating ever since, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”

Someone once said, “Every man needs a wife, because many things go wrong that he can’t blame on the government.” For thousands of years husbands have been blaming their wives for stuff that goes wrong in their lives. Wives get the blame for everything from lost car keys to heartburn. If a man’s car isn’t running right, somehow it has to be his wife’s fault. It doesn’t seem to matter how far removed she is from her husband’s problem, somehow and someway she is going to catch blame for it.

I’m as guilty as the next guy playing the blame game. I was thinking about my ancestor Adams’ statement, “It was the woman you gave me” and came to realize he was not only blaming his wife Eve for his disobedience, but he was blaming God as well. “The woman YOU gave me” says it all.

The Bible says in Proverb 18:22 “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.” Proverb 31:10 says “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” Ephesians 5:28 tells us “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

Scriptures exhort husbands to love and honor their wife. She is God’s precious gift to him. If someone gave a beautiful fine China tea cup to a man and he thoughtlessly used that teacup as an ashtray or filled it with dirt and made it into a planter, he not only dishonored the gift but the giver as well. Husbands who don’t honor their wife as a precious gift, dishonor God.

Husbands, what if we stop playing the blame game with our wives and use our great (x 142) grandfather Adam’s words to honor the gift and the giver? When God asks us why we no longer act, live and smell like a barbarian, we should simply reply, “It was the woman you gave me.” If He asks why our bathroom smells like Lilacs and the toilet tank has sea shells on it, we can say, “It was the woman you gave me.” If He asks us why our home and our world is beautiful, we’ll have to respond, “It was the woman you gave me.” If he asks why our children are so wonderful, we need to admit, “It was the woman you gave me.” Finally, when He asks us what’s the most precious gift (with the exception of Jesus) he has ever given us, with a grateful heart let’s declare, “It was the woman you gave me.”

Let me say, “Thank you Lord for the woman you gave me.”

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That Figures

Just My Luck

Have you ever sighed “That figures” after something bad or disappointing happened to you? My wife used that phrase several times a day. I couldn’t help but notice the frequency of those two words coming from her lips. I got to thinking about what those words actually communicate and I believe hidden below the surface of those words is a curse. Without trying to be overly dramatic, those two seemingly innocent words are destructive. When someone says, “That figures,” they are proclaiming the belief that they have come to expect consistently bad, or at least disappointing results in their life. For example, if your car breaks down along the road and you moan, “That figures;” you are declaring that you have come to expect cars, washing machines, computers, or anything mechanical to break whenever you use them. The thought process behind the words “that figures” is, if anything can go wrong, inevitably it will for me. Along the same line of thought are the phrases, “Just my luck” and “I can never win.”

I suggested to my wife that she should curtail her use of those words because of the dangerous side effects they might produce. She agreed and went to work immediately eliminating those two words as her default response to every adverse situation. It wasn’t easy for her to break the habit. When she received a disappointing piece of news, she would catch those words just as they were coming out of her mouth. “That figggggg” she would mumble. Soon it was down to just, “Thattttttt.” Then eventually the phrase was completely gone from her vocabulary.

We worry about when someone lets a swear word fly, but the real curse words are in disguised as innocent. Christians are not under a curse of constant bad things happening to us. Yes, bad things happen to Christians, but we need not live in fear or expectation of those bad things. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’” Galatians 3:13 NKJV. On the contrary, the Bible declares we are a blessed people. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” Ephesians 1:3 NKJV.

God is a good God. That’s just who He is. He doesn’t take sadistic delight in making our stuff break down, causing things go wrong for us, or causing us to have constant disappointment. He’s not an old man with a big stick ready to beat you down every chance He gets. The Bible says “God is love.”   He is a loving Father who desires good things for us.

When we focus on and trust in God’s goodness to us, maybe the words “that figures” don’t have to be curse words. Maybe we can turn them around to be words of praise. For instance, “I woke up alive and well to a brand new day. That figures!” Or, “I have some wonderful friends and family who love me. That figures!” Another example might be, “I have a job and I made it to work this morning safe and sound. That figures!” Let’s continually remember the fact that God is good. He is for us and not against us. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8: 31) He loves us greatly. Our declaration every day should be, “I am deeply loved and greatly blessed by God. God is so good to me.  That figures!”