Category Archives: Biblical Womanhood

Reflections on Married Life: Jericho

I am often asked in passing how married life is going. I never know how to answer such a loaded question in a brief sentence. I think most of the time I am asked out of courtesy, like how’s it going, or how are you. It would be polite to just reply “fine,” but there is more space here than four characters, so here’s what I have to say:

Kevin and I are opposites in many ways, and that tension brings out the worst and best of us, often resulting in a literal tug of war of blankets, clothes, and chores. And, I think these are the moments that test the marriage–not the fancy sparkly anniversary celebrations planned by Kevin that I admittedly sometimes daydream about.

In Joshua 6, the obedient, mundane, silent marching of the Israelites for six days around Jericho led to a victory delivered by God. This reminded me that keeping up with the mundane and repetitive tasks that make an organized and functional home are the elements of a victorious marriage in the Lord. It’s not easy because little things that are ignored pile up–I know because the last load of laundry is still unfolded, the stack of bills is like a rising tide, and every chair in the living room is occupied by papers, books, and boxes. On top of that, Kevin and I are trying arrange time to pray and read the Bible together every day, the “ark” of our daily march which should be prioritized before any other to-do.

Where Kevin takes me for our next vacation or for a fancy anniversary celebration will be great, but more important are how we handle the routine tasks of cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, ironing, and managing our budget.

So the next time you ask me how married life is going – make sure you’ve also got time to hear out my reply.

Reflections on Married Life: My Single Life

My single years have so far been the most productive in my faith. Prior to falling in love with Kevin, I fell in love with Jesus Christ. I had time to serve God with greater flexibility when I only had one schedule to consider – mine. I found him. Remember the Creator in the days of your youth. I enjoyed that time in singlehood and I enjoyed praying to God to find me spouse and to bless my future marriage. I can’t say that one part of my life is better than the other because both were given by God and through both, God walked by my side. Married life is wonderful, but don’t waste away single life fantasizing about married life. Single life is also a blessing, so use it to be productive for Christ. I had crushes and I dated other guys briefly, and I thank God that none of those experiences led to sin. Those experiences are things I want to share with my younger sisters and brothers in Christ to let them know the dangers of college dorms and even “casual” relationships and how God protected me.

Now I really look forward to serving God with my new partner, but this might take some time as even the Israelite army in the Old Testament excused soldiers from active duty for one year from their wedding.

The Secret Behind a Single Strand

Curly. Wavy. Straight.
Black. Brown. Blonde. Red. Grey. White.
In the sink. On the pillow. In a comb. On your head.

Hair dominates the human landscape. Each person is born with approximately 100,000 hair follicles. Each follicle can produce up to 20 strands of hair in its lifetime. With so much hair to spare, it is no wonder we become engrossed with it.

Our obsession with hair is manifested in the endless aisles of shampoo, conditioners, treatments, dyes, sprays, curling irons, straightening irons, blow dryers, and other hair products. We spend too many waking hours combing, washing, drying, cutting, and admiring our hair than we would dare to admit, even to ourselves.

Hair also appears to be a topic of interest in the Bible. Hair is mentioned over 100 times in the New and Old Testaments. Who can forget the story of Samson’s mighty mane (Judges 13-15)? King Solomon was captivated by the tresses of his beloved (Song 7:5). Mary wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair, after pouring fragrant nard on them (John 12:3). Hair gives glory to those who possesses it (Proverbs 16:31, 20:29; 1 Corinthians 11:15).

Oddly enough, God also seems to be obsessed with our hair. His concern is not focused only on our lovely locks as a whole, but also centered on the importance of a single strand.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?
Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
(Luke 12:6-7; Matthew 10:29-31)

Most people shed between 50 and 100 hairs daily. We may barely register when we lose ten or fifteen strands, let alone one or two. Yet, God has counted them one by one. 1, 2, 3…99,998, 99,997, 100,000. A complete set. Like a collector contently reviewing the number of items that make up His valuable collection, God numbers the hairs upon our head.

Not only does He count them, He also protects them.

But not a hair of your head will perish.
(Luke 21:18)

When Daniel’s three friends were thrown into a burning furnace, they became prime examples of God’s care for hair.

Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.
(Daniel 3:26-28)

The secret behind the calculation of strands is not God’s obsession with our hair, but His immense, immeasurable love for us. If the almighty Master and Creator of the universe cares about one of the most easily overlooked components of our body, just imagine how much He must care for our whole being!

When we are tired, lonely, lost, frustrated, despondent, let us consider our hair. Let us remember that God’s love is enough to cover a single strand, and more than enough to help us move forward and upward.

Reflection
1. Think back to a time when your faith was at its lowest. Was there any relation to your experience (or lack thereof) of God’s love?
2. What are some projects or activities you have taken up (or would like to take up) after being motivated and fueled by an experience of God’s love?
3. Look around you. Find at least one thing that demonstrates God’s love for you today.

Take a Walk with Me

Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. (Ps 86:11).

In our speed-addicted, technology-centered society, we’re used to driving, riding, and flying everywhere. We’re very busy, extremely late, and have to get wherever we need to be ASAP. It’s no surprise that many of us even drive to the store at the corner instead of taking the dozen footsteps that could get us there.

Walking? Who has time for walking? Why tire yourself out when you can roll comfortably on a four-wheeler (enjoying the plush leather seats, air conditioning, and a sun roof)?

Despite the many comforts of modern-day transportation, several studies have shown the benefits of walking: Continue reading

Ruth: How to be a single, dating Christian (woman)

Ruth worked hard at her job, staying into the evening until she had finished beating out the grain she had collected.  She is a biblical example of a woman who spent time to develop her career skills, a nod to the many sisters who pursue graduate degrees or career promotions. She did not, however, ignore the other aspects of her life. As a single woman, Ruth had her hands full with multiple responsibilities–her mother-in-law, financial duty, and a budding relationship.

Ruth shared her wages with her family, Naomi, and took care of Naomi’s needs.  While many youths starting jobs and careers will pour their earnings and free time into entertainment, better clothes, bigger flatscreen TVs, or other self-centered products, Christian youths should remember God’s standard in their spending priority.  Perhaps we can hire a lawn mower for our aging parents or buy groceries for them once a month.  When we remember our parents, God will remember us.

In addition to maintaining a connection with a parent, she also started a romantic connection.  While the student spiritual convocations teach high school and younger youths to abstain from dating, there is also a time to date and we read about Ruth during that appropriate time: when one is ready to continue life’s journey with a partner in marriage.  Ruth carried on a courtship while she also kept busy gleaning grain, so working on a career or education is not mutually exclusive with taking out the time to date.  We should accept opportunities of courtship, or at least consider them and putting them in prayer. Ruth listened to Naomi’s suggestion of Boaz, which requires stepping outside her comfortable routine and into the unknown–as we might have to when we talk to a church marriage coordinator or accept a brother’s invitation to start an email correspondence or chat over coffee.

One of the greatest lessons I learned from Ruth is to follow God’s standard for finding a husband. Ruth had a duty to marry her husband’s relative, just like we have a duty to marry a member in the True Jesus Church. Boaz was older, and Ruth had the pick of younger men in the field or finding a man in her hometown. For sisters, the men we meet in the world may be more educated, wealthier, or more handsome than church brothers we know, but what use of a companion would he be if he couldn’t share in our joy of experiencing the Holy Spirit and if he couldn’t lift up our faith and pray with us when we’re feeling down. Just like God led Ruth to Boaz in the land of Canaan, we can trust that God will lead us to the right brother in True Jesus Church.

Once Ruth starts a relationship with Boaz, she demonstrates the Biblical principle that the purpose of dating is to get married. This couple seeks the counsel of elders and the next of kin for permission to get married. Instead of drawing out their courtship, they were wise to seek out any barriers as soon as possible. Dating for too long, more than one or two years, makes breaking up much harder when the couple and their friends and family are emotionally, and unfortunately for the couple perhaps even physically, entangled. But if we treat our boyfriends and girlfriends with purity and aim to draw closer to God together, then a break up is not a shameful matter, but rather a praiseworthy moment where we can thank God for helping us to grow through this relationship and for finding out that we are not compatible before it’s too late, like after tying the knot.

Ruth is an excellent role model for how a modern Christian woman, and also man, can glorify God during singlehood. It is a time for us to develop a caring relationship with our parents, as well as allowing ourselves to develop godly romantic relationships (one at a time, of course).