If I am going to take you on this journey… A journey of sinking into Christ and learning from Him as women disciples, women who crave the ancient paths…you know those unpopular, old-fashioned even debatebly boring, ancient paths? May I suggest to you that these paths are anything but boring, that these paths are filled with the seeking and sinking into an all powerful God who desires that we know Him in such a way that when we begin to discover who He is, we will be left in knee-hitting ground awe, speechless in wonder, and a bursting heart leaking inexplainable joy, that we will be anything but bored.  These are the paths that lead to God and to rest, and we must heed his word, “Thus says the Lord, ‘stand by the roads, and look and ask, for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘we will not walk in it'” (Jeremiah 6:16).  Oh weary, burdened mama, beloved sister, let us be women who heed this quickly!  Let us not be obstinate women who say, “we will not walk in it!”  He promises rest for our souls if we heed  the ancient and true paths!  When will we be women who so seriously take His word to us that we “tremble at His Holy words?” (Jeremiah 23:9).  Esteemed daughter, there is a path for us…a path that was painted with all the colors of creativity, beauty, tenderness of heart, feminity in all its softness, compassion, gentle hands and kind tongues…a path, though purposefully placed on unfamiliar terrain, through deep valleys, up steep mountains, and across sun drenched meadows, nevertheless, it was intentionally placed before every choice woman of God to bravely set her feet upon, to courageously set out, with a determination to not look back….if we believe there is a path that leads to Him and to rest in marriage and motherhood, then we need to start in the beginning and decide.  We need to decide and resolve that there is a God who made us.  Who made us male and female and assigned to us beautiful complementary roles, and that within these roles, there is an order, for our God is a God of order and within that order He made all things good (1 Corinthians 14:14, 1 Timothy 4:4). If we decide this….If we understand this basic premise to diving into a sea of wonder and beauty within the black and white phrases, jots and tittles….then this book of words will be sure to come alive and actively at work as the Holy Spirit illuminates the ancient paths for us.  Dangerously at work.  Purifying.  Consuming Work.  Blowing away chaff.  Cultivating fruit.  luxurious  fruit and green foliage that will not shrivel up even in our season of lack and want…..if we believe and so therefore we speak…that He is God, then we can start.  For by proclaiming and confessing He is God, and understanding what it means to surrender your life to Christ as Lord of your life, then we are in fact saying that He is in rightful authority over our lives and we joyfully submit to His Holy word.  That Holy word, as holy as it is, as difficult as it is, becomes easy as we apply it to a rightly positioned heart in submission to Christ and his magnificent and glorious instructions to us as women.  So let’s start….in the beginning; the garden.

In the beginning, God had been at work.  A holy work.  A good work.  And he had skillfully crafted all that we know as the earth, the sea, the sky and all they contained.  Hanging lights on a canvas of black, jagged moss and snow covered rock reaching into clouds, deep caverns of swirling water where glowing fish dart about and hauntingly hover….magnificent scaled beasts, and the dance of the  amoeba… Bouncing about….is there a rhyme to it all?  A reason perhaps?  Is there an order of things and worlds and planets and times and epochs and nights and days and generation after generation of human life?  The answer is yes. And we will find it in the garden.  Enter with me into the most beautiful place on earth.  A place where God’s  presence was known to man before sin.  A place He had perfectly and ever so carefully designed for man to live and to thrive and to enjoy the presence of God. Perfect climate. Lush vegetation. Crystal River. Colors so brilliant and life so vibrant we would be left hand over mouth breathless.  The garden was paradise and it had been given to man to live.  God loves giving good gifts to His children and I beleive this to be the first of many gifts, other than his very breath within them.  It was to be an unending vacation in paradise.  This is the place God had prepared for his people.  This is a God of good gifts.  What kind of love breathes  life into dust and then tenderly places that God-formed life in the most beautiful place on earth? Our God. The one who made male and female (Genesis 1:27).  The One who fashioned these two brilliant creatures to be equal in worth yet vastly different in physical appearance, thoughts and ideas, temperament, emotions, personalities, skills and abilities, over which all, He was in charge and had masterfully and specifically designed within each to complement the other, serve the other, and to glorify their Maker.  The two, made in the image of Him, each a masterpiece, a workmanship with the mark of a holy God, intertwined and made one flesh, and God delighted and celebrated and angels peered down in puzzlement.  For they were not angels, they were mortal, yet oh how they reminded the angels of God in image.  What a wonderment to behold, a man and a woman. And how did the order become?  There was God, the holy triune God, and then God formed his precious Adam out of dirt.  Since it was not good for man to be alone, God tenderly put His Adam to sleep and took from him a rib in order to fashion Eve and create for Adam a “helper.” (Genesis 2:18).  The God who keeps giving gifts, gave His beautiful Eve to His precious Adam.  There was The perfectly happy self existent triune God.  There was precious Adam.  There was lovely, beautiful eve given to “help” Adam.  There is our order.  This order helps set the stage for God’s instructions to women.  If God created Eve,to be Adam’s helper, what does that help mean?  What does it look like?  Does it look the same today as it did back then? In order to answer these questions we will closely parallel Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 beginning with the first order of instruction in both passages.  When we meet again we will explore our instruction to “love our husbands” and to discover “the heart of our husband that trusts in her” (Titus 2:4, Proverbs 31:11).

consumed in His love,

trish

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