If Any Provide Not For His Own – Part 4

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Marriage in Scripture Series

Part 4

If Any Provide Not For His Own – pt 4

[Study Aired March 23, 2014]

Here are two verses of scriptures which will be the basis for this week’s study in our series on marriage.

Lam 3:27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Our first study revealed that the purpose for marriage is to reveal to us Christ’s relationship to His Head, His Father. We saw that just as we are both a wife and a son to Christ, Christ is both a son and a wife to His Head, His Father.

1Co 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

In our last study we saw the Biblical requirements for marriage is not only “to avoid living in adultery”. Rather we are commanded that we are to marry “only in the Lord”, and we are commanded to diligently avoid being unequally yoked with an unbeliever, because two cannot walk together except they be agreed:

1Co 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

2Co 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Amo 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

If any provide not for his own…

Our subject this week is the single greatest physical obstacle to a happy and healthy marriage. Any couple who marries with the illusion that the mixture of lust and love will carry them through the reality of having to feed and shelter themselves, is setting themselves up for a life of misery, until they are given to grow up and acknowledge the realities of life. One of those realities is that married couples must be of the same mind on almost every subject before they will have a successful, happy and fruitful marriage.

When we are told “they twain shall become one flesh”, that statement is all inclusive, and does not leave out any possessions or relationships. This principle is so important that it appears three times in scripture:

Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Mar 10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;

Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Ruth’s attachment to her mother-in-law, Naomi, is a type of the proper attachment we are to have to Christ as our head, and it is a type of the attachment a woman is to have to her husband:

Rth 1:16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

This is probably the most romantic love story in scripture. Ruth loved her mother-in-law because her mother-in-law knew the true God, and Ruth was determined to stay close to that God through her mother-in-law, Naomi. It was because Ruth was determined “whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God”, that God saw fit to give Ruth to Boaz as his wife.

Rth 2:12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

When Ruth said “your God will be my God”, what that symbolizes is being of one mind in every way. As it relates to marriage, “Your God will be my God” means a married couple agree with each other that the Word of God will direct the way they rear their children, the doctrines they believe, and the way they will spend both their physical and spiritual resources.

In this story of Ruth, Boaz had apparently ‘born the yoke in his youth’, and was now, because of that, in a position to take on a wife. Boaz was now able to provide a roof over Ruth’s head, and he was able to feed her and himself.

Rth 2:1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

Ruth too, had proven to all in Bethlehem that she wanted only to please and care for her mother-in-law, Naomi, and because she had her priorities straight, God saw fit to give her a husband who had waited on Him to provide a wife. He gave Ruth to Boaz.

Rth 2:2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.

Rth 2:11 And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.

Boaz knew what he was getting. “It had been fully show to [him]”. Ruth obviously was not a spendthrift. She was willing to glean barley and wheat. Boaz too, had put his nose to the grindstone in his youth. He was now “a mighty man of wealth”, and was prepared to take on the responsibility of providing for the needs of a wife and family.

“The borrower is servant to the lender”

Marriage counselors know that overspending and building up a lot of debt is the number one cause of stress in a marriage. This is because couples are not being taught to sit down before their marriage and agree upon common spending habits. The educational systems of this country profess to prepare our youth to earn a good wage or a good salary, and become productive members of society. But what good is a good paying job, if we know nothing about how to properly use that resource. A family income is essential to providing for the needs of a family, but not having a common, agreed upon financial plan and financial goals can and will rob a marriage of its true potential for many years, and it often ends in the dissolution of the marriage. Newlyweds tend to want everything immediately, whether they can afford it or not. In no time at all they are hopelessly in debt, and it is invariably the other spouse’s fault. A financially separated couple will never just naturally agree on how finances are to be handled. This is a subject which must be discussed in advance if you value your marriage, and if you have been married for years and are still not of the same mind concerning family finances, then it is never too late to start doing the right thing.

A couple simply must agree upon financial goals, and have a plan that puts Biblical principles first. Here is one such principle which will be of great help to all who are given to receive this warning:

Pro 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

The message of that verse is that a wise couple will avoid going into debt beyond their ability to meet their monthly expenses.

Another Biblical principle that will help any wise couple to avoid financial disaster is that there are no get-rich quick schemes that will do anything other than bring disaster and misery into a marriage. Again, there are no get-rich quick schemes a Christian couple should be involved with. Here is what we are told for our own good:

Pro 23:4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
Pro 23:5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

Pro 28:19 He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.
Pro 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

The scriptures are not against rich people. The gospel has always been supported by people of substance. Christ’s ministry was supported by “many women… and many others… [who] ministered to Him of their substance”, and Christ’s burial was paid for by two wealthy men. Joseph of Arimathaea provided a grave that had been hewn out of solid rock, and Nicodemas provided a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes for Christ’s burial.

Luk 8:1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
Luk 8:2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
Luk 8:3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

Joh 19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
Joh 19:39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

What the scriptures do teach us is that “he that makes haste to be rich [is a] vain person”. A man who spends his entire paycheck on lottery tickets is a “vain person” and is foolish to the extreme. That and many other get-rick quick schemes are the dreams of many every day. Likewise a woman who thinks she has found a way to invest her money or her husband’s hard earned money in some get-rich quick scheme is equally as foolish and “shall not be innocent”.

This is not a suggestion. This is a commandment of God, and we ignore these words at our own risk:

Pro 23:4 and 28:19 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom… till [your] land”.

In other words find a job in your youth, put your nose to the grind stone, and provide for your own, especially those of your own household.

I have had so many young married men write me telling me they want to be in their Bibles but they simply do not have the time to go to work every day, take care of their children’s needs, be a light to their extended families, and be a godly light in this dark world. These young men feel pressed on every side, and they know that God is trying their faith, but don’t know how to cope with the pressures they are feeling.

The answer I give to such young men and women is that ‘after they have done all they can to stand, stand therefore…” put on all the armor of God and wait for His salvation, because Israel was certainly not spiritually mature when God was dealing with them at the Red Sea or in the wilderness, and yet He blessed them and worked with them till the old man died and Israel was able to enter into the promised land.

The story of the ark at the home of Obededom is just another example of how God blesses us even when He has caused our lives to be out of His order:

2Sa 6:10 So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.
2Sa 6:11 And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household.
2Sa 6:12 And it was told king David, saying, The LORD hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.

God blesses us even when things are not yet in order if our heart is set on serving him, and getting things in order just as soon as He provides for us to do so. The fact is that it is He who is putting us through the trials of this life, and He knows that, and He provides for that time of our lives, especially for that part of a young married couples life when the pressures of this life are so great upon us.

It is simply not always possible when a couple are already married and one of that couple comes to know the true Shepherd, to live by the Biblical ideal. In today’s technological society some women are better equipped to be the breadwinners than their husbands. Nevertheless the Biblical ideal is for wives to be “keepers at home” putting the rearing of children in its proper place. In today’s society children are all too often literally offered up to the adversary on the altar of materialism. It is a rare couple indeed who can or will live by this Biblical principle:

Tit 2:4 That they [the older women] may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Tit 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Here is just how important a happy, healthy marriage union was was to God in ancient Israel:

Deu 24:5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.

“Not go out to war, neither… be charged with any business” tells us that there is a time in our lives in which God wants us to concentrate our efforts on our physical families and their needs even if it seems we are not doing battle or being about our Father’s business. In doing that we are obeying Him, and we will not be found guilty of “denying the faith”. Do not claim to be a representative of Christ, if you are not even ministering to the needs of your own, especially the needs of your own household:

1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Here is another verse which actually makes this same point:

1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

I want to draw attention to that word ‘rule’. Here is Strong’s definition of the Greek word from which this English word ‘rule’ is derived:

From G4253 and G2476; to stand before, that is, (in rank) to preside, or (by implication) to practise: – maintain, be over, rule.

Here are a couple of verses which demonstrate how this word is best translated – where this word is translated as ‘maintain’ instead of rule:

Tit 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

Tit 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Christ made it clear that Christians do not bear rule or dominion over each other:

Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
Mat 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
Mat 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Considering how this word translated ‘rule’ in 1Ti 3:5 is translated as ‘maintain’ elsewhere, and considering that Christ prohibits his followers from exercising dominion over each other, we need to look more closely at this Greek word ‘proistemi‘.

Here is the definition of the first part of that word:

A primary preposition; “fore”, that is, in front of, prior (figuratively superior) to. In compounds it retains the same significations: – above, ago, before, or ever. In compounds it retains the same significations.

But this is the definition of the second part of this word:

A prolonged form of a primary word στάω staō (of the same meaning, and used for it in certain tenses); to stand (transitively or intransitively), used in various applications (literally or figuratively): – abide, appoint, bring, continue, covenant, establish, hold up, lay, present, set (up), stanch, stand (by, forth, still, up). Compare G5087.

The Greek word ‘histeme‘ means “to stand”. Here is a verse which demonstrates the meaning of this word:

Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand [histeme].
Eph 6:14 Stand [histeme] therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

So ‘prohisteme‘ actually means that husbands, as the head of their families, should be the first to stand on the word of God and to set the example for their households, and ministers in like manner should be the first to stand on the word of God and set the example for the Lord’s flock. In other words being the head of a household has more to do with setting an example, and standing firm than it has to do with dominating our wives and children. It has more to do with standing on the word of God even when our spouse or children do not want to do so. ‘Prohisteme‘ has to do with being a godly leader.

Here is what 1Ti 3:5 is really telling us. Here is what we are really being told about the function of a husband and a minister:

1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how [to stand in] his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

If a man does not even provide for his own household, and if he does not know to set up a plan for his family’s finances, and cannot maintain restraint with his own spending, how can he expect his wife to restrain her spending? What most often is the case, many couples don’t even discuss such things in advance before they become united in a marriage union. As hard as it may be to do so, a couple should always seek the counsel of their elders on these matters, and avoid the stress that will be waiting on them when they fail to agree in advance on how to handle financial matters within their marriage.

“How shall he take care of the church of God?” reveals that the same principles apply in the realm of the spirit. Spiritual resources must be handled with equal diligence, and the body of Christ must also “be of one mind… the same mind” that was in Christ.

Here is a Biblical principle which must be observed within the body of Christ, and since Christ and His church are what marriage is all about, this principle is especially applicable within a marriage. When any statement is repeated in scripture, it is because that particular statement is very important to God. If it is repeated three times, it is especially important to God. Now just look at how important it is to God for us to “be of one mind” in our marriages, and in our service to our spiritual husband, Christ:

One mind, is mentioned in five verses

Rom 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2Co 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

Php 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Php 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

1Pe 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

The ‘same mind’ is repeated in four verses

Rom 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

1Co 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Php 4:2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

1Pe 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

So we have nine verses of scripture which effectively admonish us to “be of one mind… be of the same mind”. That is just how important it is for a couple who are considering marriage to “be of the same mind in the Lord” whether we are speaking of physical finances and resources or spiritual wealth and resources. We must stand together and be of one mind, or there will be no unity of purpose in either our physical marriages or our marriage to Christ.

Money, like everything else in scripture, has both a positive and a negative application in scripture.

Here are a few verses which give us money’s negative application in scripture:

Mic 3:10 They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.
Mic 3:11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.

Tit 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Here is its positive application:

Num 3:49 And Moses took the redemption money of them that were over and above them that were redeemed by the Levites:

Ecc 7:12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

Ecc 10:19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.

Luk 16:9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

What are we to learn from all of this? Remember that God’s ways and thoughts are not ours. What we are to learn is that, newlyweds or otherwise, we are not to strive to be rich, but we are to be hard working productive members of the societies in which we are to be a light. We are to be good stewards of the income we are given from our labors, and we are to be patient with the trials we will endure as we work toward maturing in the Lord’s service.

Lam 3:27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

A very common money problem in marriage is the ‘revenge’ factor. It is all too common for a woman to be angry with her husband and ‘get back’ at him by spending money they don’t have. Credit cards are NOT your friend! If your wife can’t be trusted to use it wisely, or if you as a husband have a problem with patiently waiting to afford something that is needed, it is better in the long run not to even have one. Years ago we got ourselves in financial ‘hot water’ and had a card cutting ceremony. It was a challenge for a short time, but served Sandi and me so much in the long run. Now that we have learned how to control our use of it, we have only one credit card for things such as car rentals, plane tickets for conferences, that occasional car repair emergency, etc.

We are told by Christ that we are “Jesus of Nazareth”, and as such Christ said we “are the light of the world”. If we are Christ and His light to this world, then let all who are ours “bear the yoke in his youth”, so he will never fail to “provide for his own… specially for his own household so the faith of Christ is never denied and we are never worse than an infidel.

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