Tag Archive: Hope for a struggling Marriage


by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thiefJob 24:14

These are the days of frequent reports of: uncovered terrorist plots; drug cartel killings; nations warring and killing one another; and government methodically stealing citizens’ rights through unjust laws. There isn’t a neighborhood without some kind of security measure: burglar bars, security systems, security/police patrol or security dogs to protect against thieves who strike at any time day or night. We’ve got deadly domestic violence; endemic divorces; billion dollar baby killing (infanticide) industries; and deadly addictions that put young people behind bars or 6 feet deep, destroying parents’ hope of a great future for their children. That’s the national statistics of ‘steal, kill and destroy’, but there is a more up-close and personal battle that is waging. If we win this battle then hopefully the national statistics should change for the better.

“If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”  1 Corinthians 14:8

Jesus described the adversary (the devil) as a liar, thief, killer and destroyer (John 8:44, John 10:10). The fact is that we are in a personal battle; a spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:12); and we need to be equipped for the battle.  We also need to know the weapons and battle strategy of our enemy (Ephesians 6:11-17). In order to fight the good fight, we must be able to recognize him when he appears as a “wolf in sheep clothing (Matthew 7:15).”

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. John 8:44

One of the devil’s tactics was first displayed in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-7). That is the tactic of altering focus from the commitment to obey God. Also, he changes focus from the grace of God’s manifold blessings to the focus on the one thing that we do not possess, but we think we want. Adam and Eve were conned with deceiving words and the same tactic will be tried on the body of Christ, both individually and collectively.

You’ve heard the expression; “all that glitters ain’t gold.” Just because it looks good, doesn’t mean that it is good. Have you ever had a Lexus driver try to sell you a Pacer? Has a stallion rider ever tried to sell you a donkey? If these things are so good then why isn’t the seller investing in it himself? It’s like the President trying to sell you an economy car and He rides in a limousine or a jet plane every day. If it’s all that great, then why is the seller not an owner too?  We must be careful to remember that our lifestyle is a faith walk not an emotional walk. Get back in focus! Don’t let the adversary’s lies steal your joy and destroy your confidence in God’s faithfulness to supply all your needs and not deny you any good thing. Focus on the abundance God has already given you. Delight yourself in Him (Psalm 37:4) and He will give you the desires of your heart and more!

Don’t be deceived! Colossians 2:8

The deceiving spirit will use tactics such as trouble on your job: the boss treating you unfairly; co-workers lying and/or spying on you; etc. You begin to focus on the unfairness of it all: how you should have gotten that promotion or how you can get even; how you can quit… “Danger, Danger!” The deceiver will speak cunning and enticing words to get your concentration on one closed-door while they steal all that you possess in your many open doors. Your focus is being destroyed. You have lost focus on the fact that God supplies all your needs and that you are an ambassador for Christ whose goal is to cause others to seek Christ as their personal Savior.

Don’t lose focus!! (Philippians 3:14)

You may be happy at your job: coworkers are praising you, enticing you; and you are making a lot of money, and the more overtime you work, the more money you can make. Now you are too tired to go to Midweek Bible Study and Prayer Meeting or even too tired to go to Sunday Morning Worship. You are never home in time for family breakfast or dinner; and you don’t make PTA meeting, etc. “Danger, Danger!” Your focus is being destroyed! You have lost focus on the fact that you wanted a good job to provide for your family the way God would have you do in the way God would have you to. Your job is your resource to provide for your family as you do the work God has called you to.

Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41

lieKillStealDivorce is rampant. The adversary is killing the family network which eventually leads to ultimate destruction of a nation. Like shooting ducks at an amusement park, men are succumbing to temptation and walking away from wife and children. In Tyler Perry’s movie ‘Why Did I Get Married Too?’ the marriage counselor announced that she and her husband were divorcing. As they talked with their divorce lawyers, she kept saying over and over “It’s going to be okay. We love each other.” Huh! Isn’t that an oxymoron? There’s got to be a lie in there somewhere! Their close friend commented; “14 years you’ve been with this woman, there’s gotta be something in them 14 years’ that’s worth fighting for! It’s baffling how we reconcile our differences in order to stay on a job for 30 years despite the difficult issues: awful boss; low wages; and backstabbing co-workers; etc.  We refuse to allow the devil to steal our job, but we give up and allow him to deceive, steal, kill and destroy a family we’ve invested in and committed to for so many years…

God reconciled with us who were wretched sinners unworthy of anyone’s mercy, don’t you think that He can help reconcile differences with your family? Perhaps your focus has been so deceptively altered that you are willingly “throwing the fight.”

There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.           Proverbs 14:12

This is indeed an adulterous generation (Mark 8:38). Recently it was reported that 48% of first births are outside of marriage. Sometimes the parents live together without making wedding vows, but eventually sever the relationship.  I worked with a single lady who constantly complained that her physical clock was running out. She was focused on world standards and not the awesome ability and sovereignty of God. The Christian life is not based on earthly varying ‘politically-correct’ absolutes, but on God’s immutable truth, omniscience and ability to do exceedingly more than we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Get back to the basics of Bible Study and Prayer so that you are equipped for the battle.  Search the scriptures and see how the adversary consistently attacks and tempts the saints. Be on guard. Pray, and again I say, “PRAY (1 Timothy 5:17)!” Study and pray so that you can discern both good and evil. Remind yourself often of what your focus should be. Remind yourself of the will and work of God (John 4:34). Let God help you fight. Let God exalt you. God is the source of your victory: physically, financially and relational.

Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body … Matthew 10:28

Life is a ‘spiritual battle’ that gets physical. The enemy is so cunning and cleverly deceptive, how can we win this heated battle???

God already made preparation for His own to win. In a Garden, late in the night, while He wept and anguished (sweat like blood upon His brow), they plotted the betrayal, capture and killing of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. As the hour grew near, He momentarily wished that the ‘bitter cup’ be removed (Mark 14:36), but His whole being was about the ‘will of the Father’. He also knew that if He did not go the distance, we would be defeated and we would be perpetually killed and destroyed as the adversary would have stolen our right to receive eternal life and right relationship with the Father and deny us victory. They stole Him away from the Garden and took Him secretly from court to court, falsely accusing Him, and then they stripped Him, ridiculed Him and beat Him, destroying His priestly appearance (Isaiah 53:2). Then they unjustly led Him, bruised and bleeding, up to Golgotha Hill, nailed Him to a cross and killed Him. After He died, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a borrowed tomb. No one is buried in a borrowed tomb, but Jesus Christ was not ordinary, because on the third day angels set upon the stone, which had covered the tomb, and reported to the women disciples that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. Over 500 witnesses saw Him before He ascended into Heaven on a cloud. Now He is seated on the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf and ‘ALL’ things are under His feet (Ephesians 1:22). Jesus Christ has the victory waiting to give it to all who would receive it!

Thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

Surely Christ would not willingly go through all that agony only to allow us to be defeated and destroyed! There isn’t a sin that He cannot forgive. There isn’t a theft that He cannot recover. There isn’t a death that He cannot resurrect. There isn’t a battle that He cannot win. Whatever you’re going through, Jesus Christ will equip you to win. If you make Him LORD of your life, He will even fight your battle. Read His word. You will find that someone in the Bible has already walked a path like yours and God gave them the victory. He will give you victory also, if you are willing. Trust in God (John 14). As Apostle Paul said, “Put on your armor and then STAND…” (Ephesians 6:13-14).

 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  Jesus Christ (John 10:10)

That’s Today’s Single Focus…

DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

I would venture to answer, “Impossible!” It is impossible for any creation of God to have no purpose! Unfortunately it is possible to not be operating in that purpose. Admittedly, there are men who misconceive or limit their purpose and neither do they pursue that purpose. They tend to think that going to work everyday is the totality of their purpose to the point of becoming a workaholic. There are many reasons for this mindset. One may be that they don’t spend time with Christian men in church or informally at lunch or dinner. With all these books on knowing your purpose, you would think that it would be impossible that any human being would lack the knowledge of their purpose. Is your husband a Christian? Well, let’s assume he is. Because irregardless, many men define their purpose according to what the world dictates. They get a sermon during the commercial when they watch Sports on TV; they get a sermon during lunch talks at the job; and their boss gives them a sermon. By the time they get home to you, their wife, they express negatively what they think their purpose is. They think that their purpose is to go to work, come home and read the newspaper or watch TV. They might express that their purpose is to eat the dinner you have hot and ready when they get home from work; or to support their hobby with their overtime money! They might behave as if they think their purpose is to dictate to you what your purpose is relative to making them happy. They may express that your purpose is to be under their authority. You would assist him in his purpose, but once a car is parked, there really isn’t a need for assistance to a parked car (I wonder if this is one of those irreconcilable differences that they put on divorce papers)… But then there are the husbands that go to church and have lunch with men of God and they think the same way as afore-mentioned. They may never mention the word ‘purpose’. You love him, but his lack or misunderstanding of purpose is making your marriage like a ship on a stormy sea. Because you spend time in Bible study with women of God, you believe that you know your purpose. You have a dream, but your spouse does not or if he does, he hasn’t expressed it nor is he working on it.

Well, we have to work in order to eat, especially the man of the house with a family to take care of. After all God did put Adam to work, immediately. Of course after their sin, work would become a burden (Genesis 3:19). As we clearly see, work has become burdensome in more ways than one. It can become a resource or weapon in the cunning hands of the adversary (1 Peter 5:8). Your husband has a job, yet you say he has no purpose. We all must understand that purpose is given by the Ultimate Authority, which is the True and Living God. Is he interested in knowing his purpose, which is beyond going to work everyday? If he is, then he should be asking the Ultimate Authority. You have to seek wisdom from God. Whatever you do, you don’t want to get worldly advice on what his purpose is. Your girlfriends don’t live with him or you, so they don’t know. You don’t want to make the mistake that Eve did (Genesis 3:4); taking the advice of a snake. Because, then not only your husband, but you also will be living out of the purpose and will of God.

Let me ask you, “Do you really know your purpose?” Do you really understand purpose? Does your spouse understand purpose? Every human being is a product and is created to be a conduit of one purpose and that’s God’s good pleasure. It could be that you and your spouse have mistaken ‘purpose’ for ‘ambition’. Your question may really be, “suppose my husband has no dream?”, because, we all have the same purpose. Perhaps you have a passion for using your gift to accomplish that purpose and your husband shows no passion or signs of using any kind of gift to reach that God-given purpose. So let’s identify purpose and you will see that your husband does indeed have purpose, but we must pray and encourage him to use his gift to carry out that purpose. Look at Genesis 1:26. God said, “Let us make man in our image.” Then He gave them purpose in Genesis 1:28;“Be fruitful and multiply.” God charged mankind to multiply His physical image throughout the world. In Genesis 2:24 He designed the way this purpose would be accomplished; “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
Growing the population was ordained to be done in the context of marriage. Multiplying the image of God or growing the population is the purpose God gave to man. The world leaders and politicians need to make note of that as they spread this demonic doctrine (1 Timothy 4:1) of abortion on demand and complaints about world population growth. They are very much on the wrong side of God’s purpose and will. Look at creation. God said, “Let there be” and vegetation, seas, stars, animals, etc suddenly appeared and was in existence at His word. However, with His hands, He personally shaped Adam and then this Great and Powerful God, bent down and breathed into his nostrils and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). God is not only physical (John 1:14), but He is also Spirit. Our purpose, your spouse and your purpose is to be fruitful and multiply the image of God, both physically*through marriage and spiritually through the word of your testimony. Multiplying His physical image is easy; it’s the spiritual image that is tricky. This is where ‘passionately using the gifts’ comes in. Conclusively, your spouse has purpose, he just doesn’t exhibit the ‘passionately use of gifts’ in order to accomplish that purpose. Are you passionately using your gift to carry out that purpose?

It may boil down to the fact that neither of you see the true purpose. Your purpose is not to open a Bookstore or cut a Gospel CD. This is just the method by which you are to accomplish your purpose. Agreeably your husband can’t achieve the purpose by watching TV or be worldly logical by trying to stop you from pursuing your God-given passion. If you both clearly understood purpose, then you both would pursue everyday life with passion. Actually going to the job everyday would become a mission. Going to the job everyday would become a spiritual passion. Not to just get paid, but to touch lives so that the spiritual image of God would be multiplied. The struggle is getting your spouse to comprehend that. This will necessitate much prayer.

Your life, his life, all our lives is about the Glory of God. How can you know your gift and use your gifts? How can you develop a passion to grow the kingdom? The first thing God did after establishing their purpose was to develop a relationship with Adam and Eve. Apparently God customarily walked with them in the cool of the day. This is where developing a passion, being gifted and given a dream starts; with a relationship with God. I’m not talking about a simple believe in your heart and confessing with your mouth, “Sunday go meeting” faith. I’m talking about being full of the spirit, consistently walking with, talking with God, and ‘feeling His embrace’ kind of relationship (John 3:7). The kind of personal relationship that discerns His righteousness, hates what He hates, and passionately seeks His glory and will! Just think about the conversations God and Adam had in their walks through the garden. Not only did God give Adam direction but He spent time with him. Adam spent time in His presence.

I guarantee that as soon as that personal relationship develops you will clearly understand purpose and God will reveal to you how to use your gift to achieve the purpose (Ephesians 4:1-12). He will give you a dream and a passionate pursuit of that dream by using your gift for the Glory of God (Matthew 4:19)! You will then discover that ‘Purpose’ is more than a pursuit. It is a walk; a lifestyle; the air we breathe.

No creation is without purpose. True purpose is the product of a personal relationship with the True and Living God.

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, (Ephesians 4:1(KJV)

That’s Today’s SingleFocus…

A Book that might be helpful is: ‘The Kingdom Agenda’ by Dr. Tony Evans
'What A way To Live'

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 by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Picture this…  Your mother gets pregnant with you while engaged to be married to another man.  She marries a man who is not your father and you are born while your mother is traveling with her husband to pay his taxes.  Before they can get to a hospital, you are born in a barn full of smelly animals and placed in their eating trough and wrapped in dead men’s’ clothes.  Then you are raised in the ghetto. While an infant, your dad suddenly decides to leave the country and moves your family in the middle of the night, because of a dream. As your family leaves your home country, the government there is killing infant and toddler boys of your ethnicity and age.

You are older now and you answer God’s call to teach and preach the word of God and His kingdom. But you are disliked and hated by fellow clergy.  The religious call you names. They criticize the kind of people you are from and they criticize the kind of people who follow you: former prostitutes; thieving tax collectors; fishermen; everyday laborers; people who maybe are unschooled and of little means…  As multitudes, including rich and judicial, begin to follow your teachings and your name is mentioned everywhere, the established clergy become jealous and begin to actively plot your demise.

You have a faithful group of men who go with you wherever you go. However, the clergy gets to one of the men with offer of money.  This trusted friend eats supper with you and then betrays you the very same night. So while you are praying, in the middle of the night, they arrest you without charge.  They don’t give you time to seek a lawyer, but take you from court to court until they’ve come up with a federal charge.  While in federal custody you are judged innocent, but the judge hears the voice of a paid mob crying “Give him death!” Therefore the judge sentences you to die for an unjustified cause.

You never have a trial by a jury of your peers; and you aren’t even given a public defender.  You are never given an opportunity to face your accuser of this trumped-up federal offense. While in custody, the guards spit upon you and ridicule you and beat you until you are unrecognizable. Then they parade you, bloody and bruised, to the place where they will put you to an agonizing death.  As you are dying, a group of people stand mocking you.  While you are dying and being mocked, you look to the heavens and speak to your God and say (where you can be heard), “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

What? Come again! Forgive? Excuse me, but…? That’s most extraordinary, but that scenario is based on a true story about Jesus Christ!  He endured the ridicule, the beating and the death as punishment for our sins. He stood in our place, because we stand guilty as charged. No matter what the charge, we are worthy of death (Romans 6:23).  However, because of what He endured, we are forgiven and can have an eternal relationship with the Almighty God. Now we are called to show that same grace and forgiving attitude.  We are called to forgive.  Are you in the midst of a relational conflict? Are you having sleepless nights?  Do you have an ulcer attack or severe headache every time you think about what someone did to you?  Maybe there always seem to be a confrontation with your loved one or with anybody.  Are you struggling with getting your needs met?  Is your marriage falling apart? Are you angry all the time? There could be many reasons for your struggle, but you may want to start with un-forgiveness.

It’s His will.The principle reason we should forgive is, of course, because Christ paid the price for everyone’s sin; past, present and future, and it’s His will for us to do so: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses ( Matthew 6:14-15).”

Avoid Torment.The Apostle Peter asked how many times a brother can sin against him and he forgives him? Christ replied “…Seventy times seven.”  He gives an illustration of a servant who asked his benefactor for forgiveness of his debt and upon receiving mercy, the servant then went to those whom he was a benefactor and showed no mercy. Word got back to his benefactor about this shameless behavior. His benefactor, angered by this, withdrew his mercy and gave him over to tormentors until he paid his debt. Then Christ summed up the moral of the story by saying: “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if you from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses (Matthew 18:35).” A word sticks out in this passage: ‘tormentors’.  This is an overlooked factor in the lack of forgiveness.  The one who does not forgive will face torment.  Torment is: to inflict pain, torture or anguish on somebody or something. Notice that Christ says that the one who does not forgive becomes the tormented, because He said that just as was done to that unforgiving servant, so will it be done unto you, if you do not forgive.  Forgiveness is essential to avoid “tormentors” Remember you were asked, “Are you experiencing conflict or confrontational relationships, etc.?”  This is a form of torment.  You want to punish or you want God to punish someone who has wronged you, but you wind up being tormented, because you have not forgiven them.  You’re the one having sleepless nights, because of anger.  You’re the one who gets ulcers or headaches from the sight or thought of the offender, because of bitterness. You’re the one who can’t seem to get along with anybody. You’re paying for the offense done to you.

Receive forgiveness.  In this same passage is found the third principal reason to forgive: so that you can receive forgiveness from God, because the mark is missed everyday by saying something inappropriate; or not forgiving someone; or whatever…. You know this. That’s why we pray” Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Christ infers that He will not forgive the unforgiving. “And when you stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also in heaven may forgive you your trespasses (Mark 11:25).But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:15).”

Don’t be used by the devil. Paul gives a fourth principle for forgiveness and explained this as he counseled the congregation at Corinth about a very real situation with one of the parishioners in 2 Corinthians 2:7-11. Apparently the parishioner had committed a sin for which the church rendered a punishment (probably excommunication for a period) which he served. Now that he has repented and served his time of punishment, Paul instructs them to forgive him of his trespasses and show him the love of Christ before his heart despairs.  In other words, he had served his punishment with hopes that he would be forgiven and welcomed back into the church family as a repentant soul with renewed passion to walk in the Spirit.  However, if the congregation does not welcome him back, but still holds his misstep over his head, he will despair and probably turn from God and the “Church “rather than turn to God.  Then Paul makes a startling statement that you don’t often hear preached or taught.  He says: You must show him the forgiveness and love of Christ “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (2 Corinthians 2:11).” Un-forgiveness is a device of the devil.  So not only does God leave the unforgiving to tormentors but the devil uses the un-forgiveness to snare the un-forgiven. Either way the unforgiving loses, because the Christ life suffers in the life of the believer be they un-forgiving or un-forgiven. The fourth reason to forgive is so as not to be a party to the devices of the devil.

Avoid pride and arrogance. Before Christ died we were all absolutely subject to the wrath of God.  We were all subject to punishment, because as Paul said, we were: …”fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortionist, etc. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).” But Christ took upon Himself the punishment of us all.  So that when we come before God, we can ask for forgiveness and expect to receive it, because of the shed blood of Christ.  If God has forgiven you, then you ought to forgive others.  It becomes a sin of arrogance and pride if God has forgiven someone, but we infer that God is wrong to forgive that person by not forgiving them ourselves. We’re saying by our un-forgiveness that we know better than God, what or who should be forgiven.  I remember dating a guy who told me of his past sins.  Everything was lovely until he told me that.  Then we started having senseless arguments. The relationship got very shaky.  One day the Spirit of God said to me, “I have forgiven this man, who are you to not forgive him?” This was his past that I held against him.  I didn’t know him then! Yet I had the gall to not forgive a man who was forgiven by God.  Because of un-forgiveness, I was subject to torment; our relationship became suspect; and my un-forgiveness was an act of pride and arrogance which almost became a device of the devil.

The Holy Spirit will help. You have to lay pride aside (Matthew 5:41) and forgive (seventy times seven) even when it seems unforgivable (Matthew 18:22); show grace and mercy as Christ has shown to us; and love the way Christ loved us (John 14). If you forgive, you will see a marked transformation for the better in your relationship with God and others.  Not only that, but you will get off of stress medication.  When you forgive, you will be released from your tormentors.  Not everyone or everything is easy to forgive.  When the Spirit of God confronts me with the fact that I have not forgiven, it is usually someone or something that is difficult to forgive.  Sometimes we have difficulty forgiving ourselves or we have difficulty in accepting God’s forgiveness. The offender may be dead. They may be habitually abusive. They may be betraying. They may be an institution/organization or someone we don’t know personally.  So we have to pray to God for His help. When I have difficulty in forgiving, I pray, “Lord it is my will to forgive _____ (name of the offender) for his/her/their offense________ (name the offense) against me; because it is Your will that I forgive. Please give me Your kind of forgiveness.” We can’t be obedient and forgiving without the help of the Holy Spirit. Allow the Holy Spirit to take control so that you can live this Christ life.

The Forgiver gives new life. If you can’t let go of bitterness toward someone whom you feel may have rejected you or disrespected you, or betrayed your trust, or offended you, or just flatly wronged you, you no doubt are facing torment. It is obvious by your relational difficulties:  you are a casual church goer when you used to be a regular attendant; and you are difficult to be around, because anything someone says is taken negatively by you.  These are signs that you are in torment and you may have some forgiveness issues.  The only way you are going to be loosed from your tormentor is to acknowledge your sin of un-forgiveness and decide to do the will of God by taking your un-forgiveness to Christ.  The Holy Spirit is willing, and able to help you to forgive.  Then before you know it, your tormentors will leave and your prayers will be answered.  You will shed pride and arrogance and you will begin to see clearly the grace and merciful hand of God miraculously operating in your life.  Remember Christ died on the cross so that we can have forgiveness of the Father which will give us access to a relationship and eternal life with the Father. Christ, the son of God, arose from the dead on the third day with all power in His hands, thereby, giving us the ability to walk in overcoming victory.  He was the blood sacrifice for our sins, past, present, and future. We must believe that God forgives us and we must seek to forgive as He has forgiven us.  Thank God for His incomprehensible love and forgiveness. Because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven and forgiving; and the Great Forgiver releases us from torment and gives new life. Praise God and Amen!

“And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32

That’s Todays’ Single Focus…

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DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

A few weeks ago the Assistant to the Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys became interim Head Coach. I’ve heard Sports Commentators express that another Assistant should have been chosen, because they doubt the ability of the one chosen to motivate and discipline. They doubt his abilities as though, all this time, as Wade Phillips’ Assistant has not taught Jason Garrett the qualities necessary to be the Head Coach. Surely he has learned what to do and what not to do, by now! After all, the Head Coach and the Assistant Coach both had the same goal: to win ball games. Each game day will surely show the wisdom or lack there of regarding the choice made.

‘Assistant’…Man didn’t create that word. Oh no! It was first coined in the Garden of Eden. Well… God called it “help meet” or today we would say help or assistant. Man had no human assistance (help) until God created Eve. In Genesis 2:18 God expressed that it was not good that Adam was alone. Therefore He decided to make him a suitable “help meet” (KJV). Then God proceeded to create the woman Eve (Genesis 2:21-22). She was to be Adam’s help or as we would say today, she was created to assist Adam. I know that we all have heard preaching from the pulpit on this matter. Genesis Chapter 2 is preached a majority of times as part of a series on marriage and what the role of the woman and the man is in marriage. So, I’m going to start by acknowledging (as you have heard many times before) that after God created Adam, He gave him a job. In Genesis 2:16-15, He put Adam in the garden and was told to dress and keep it. With all the knowledge and brilliancy of Adam to do the task given him, God decided that he needed help. While Adam worked and named all the animals, God decided that Adam needed an Assistant.

Now, most of the time we women receive that message uncomfortably. Some women hear it as a reason to be submissive to the husband and men tend to use it as a reason for their wives to be subservient to the husband, but look at it a little closer. Genesis Chapter 2 merely establishes the order: 1. God: Ultimate Authority; 2. Man: Head of House; and 3. Woman: Assistant Head of House. Notice God did not say that Adam needed maid service, a dishwasher, babysitter or cook. He created a help meet (assistant). Okay, how is that different from subservience? Look at Genesis 2: 21-24:

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22) And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23) And Adam said, “This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24) Therefore, shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (KJV)

Genesis 2:24 sums up the phrase “help meet (assistant) “they shall be one flesh.” Like Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett had the same goal given by Jerry Jones, the husband and wife were designed, by God, to have the same goal: the fulfillment of Gods purpose and will (1 Corinthians 11: 11-12). The ideal is that they walk lockstep with one another towards the accomplishing of God’s will. When Wade Phillips was the Head Coach, he mainly worked as a defensive specialist as well as the overall spokesman for his team of coaches. One of his Assistants (help), Jason Garrett was the offensive specialist. The other Assistants had their specialties; all different specialists with one goal… to win football games. They are supposedly lockstep with that goal in mind. In the garden, Adam was given the charge and instructions. Eve was brought from his side along side to be lockstep with Adam; to recognize God as Lord; and accomplish what God had instructed Adam to do. Adam was the head and while he operated in his gift or specialty, Eve operated in her specialty or gift to accomplish the same goal.

This is the ultimate goal of marriage. Establishing order and purpose was done by God. Staying in that order is on us. Wade Phillips answered to Jerry Jones, the owner and general manager. The owner established this order. Therefore when the team stopped accomplishing their goal, which was the purpose and will of the owner, the Head Coach was fired. The Assistant, who had a different gift or specialty, could be promoted because he was a part of the team with the same goal as the Head. Moving from Assistant Coach to Head Coach changed his workload, but did not change his goal which has always been to fulfill the purpose and will of the owner to win football games. Uniquely, Jason Garret made the same wages that Wade Phillips made though he was the Assistant, because their goal was the same and only their order was different. As owner, Jerry decided what the goal was. As Head Coach, Wade worked on accomplishing that goal. As Assistant Head Coach, Jason helped Wade to work on accomplishing that goal, but concentrated on the offense. The man, as husband has been given a purpose and goal for his life by God. If he is pursuing the fulfillment of God’s plan and will for his life, God will bring the man help (his wife) and they will both pursue the goal. They may not always have the same gift, but they should have the same goal (1 Corinthians 12). Adam seemed to specialize in the technical aspects of achieving the goal, while Eve seemed to specialize in emotional (“touchy/feely”) and visual aspects of achieving the goal. Though different specialties and different order, God made and expected them to be ‘one’ in their goal, which is to obey and carry out His will and purpose.

In 1 Corinthians 11: 3, Paul put it this way: “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.”
Cunningly the adversary(Genesis 3) has spouses trying to define each other’s roles instead of first seeking to know their own role & purpose as a team; God being the ultimate authority; the husband being the head; and the wife his assistant. Ideally the man should be working on fulfilling the will of God when Christ brings a wife into his life. So instead of trying to define their roles according to the world, as a couple, the two should be (with the help of the Holy Spirit) establishing how together they can use their individual gift or specialty to accomplish God’s will and purpose. However, spouses are making their ‘order’ and ‘roles’ a subject of arguments and resulting divorce battles. God did not design marriage to be “the battle of the sexes.” He designed marriage to be a team of two as one accomplishing His will and purpose, which He established before the foundation of the earth (Ephesians 1: 4-8). God created the woman especially to help for the man to carry out what God had called him to do.

Think about it…the Head is held in great accountability by an ultimate authority. Notice that Wade Phillips, the Head Coach, was fired, not the Assistant Coach…

Hmm… maybe ‘Assistant’ isn’t too bad of a position to be in!

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. (Romans 8:28 (KJV)

That’s Today’s SingleFocus…

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