In what I’m hoping to make a Sunday tradition here on my blog, I’m going to post a couple of Bible quotes from various passages I’ve read over the past week. These quotes will be ones which I found especially appropriate at the moment, really touched me, or left me with some questions I would like answered.
The first passage is from the First Letter of John:
15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him. 16 If you see your brother or sister[a] committing what is not a mortal sin, you will ask, and God[b] will give life to such a one—to those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin that is mortal; I do not say that you should pray about that.
I found this passage fascinating because it indicates that we aren’t required to pray for those who commit mortal sins. Not that we can’t, only that we aren’t required to. I’m curious as to how my readers have heard this passage explained before, as it is not one that I’m familiar with, nor one I can say I’ve ever heard a homily/sermon on.
The second passage is from the First Letter to the Thessalonians:
Finally, brothers and sisters,[a] we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that, as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact, you are doing), you should do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; 4 that each one of you know how to control your own body[b] in holiness and honor, 5 not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;
I found this passage particularly intriguing because of what is mentioned in footnote [b] here. A more literal translation would be how to take a wife for himself, which leaves us with a passage that states: “that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself in holiness and honor…” Which, if I’m reading this correctly, would seem to indicate that Christian men are expected to know how to find a good wife as a means to avoid sin. And furthermore, they are to do so in a manner consistent with Christian teaching and practice.
The last passage is from the Book of Sirach:
19 Do not dismiss[d] a wise and good wife,
for her charm is worth more than gold.
20 Do not abuse slaves who work faithfully,
or hired laborers who devote themselves to their task.
21 Let your soul love intelligent slaves;[e]
do not withhold from them their freedom.
22 Do you have cattle? Look after them;
if they are profitable to you, keep them.
23 Do you have children? Discipline them,
and make them obedient[f] from their youth.
24 Do you have daughters? Be concerned for their chastity,[g]
and do not show yourself too indulgent with them.
25 Give a daughter in marriage, and you complete a great task;
but give her to a sensible man.
26 Do you have a wife who pleases you?[h] Do not divorce her;
but do not trust yourself to one whom you detest.
27 With all your heart honor your father,
and do not forget the birth pangs of your mother.
28 Remember that it was of your parents[i] you were born;
how can you repay what they have given to you?
There is a lot packed in this small passage, but I found the part about daughters especially poignant. A father is advised to:
1) Keep them chaste
2) Do not indulge them
3) Marry them to a sensible man
Sadly, Christian fathers don’t seem to be accomplishing any of these tasks these days. And we are all the worse for it.
[This will probably be my last post until after Thanksgiving, although I will keep an eye on the comments and the e-mail address folks can contact me with.]