"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I Hate Being Needy

A Universal Prejudice

Everyone hates the thought of being needy in this society that idealizes self-sufficiency. But who are we fooling? Skeptics defiantly state they don’t need a crutch; they stand on their own two feet. Yet, they lean on “Science” to sort through all the confusing sensations assailing them in this almost infinitely varied world.

Though my pride would love to deny my need for anything outside of myself, I must admit needing a stabilizing factor. Dairy farmers know a two-legged milking stool is inherently unstable—though hand milking is an oddity today. Bicyclists know you have to keep moving to stay upright for very long—no rest for the biker. Architects know a simple planar triangle won’t stand; any structure needs support on another plane.

So, what do I lean on for stability? Near forty years ago I swallowed my pride and accepted Jesus as my Lord, Savior, and Solid Rock. In Him I don’t need riches, power, sex, alcohol, or any other god to keep me upright.

I Am needy

The same pride I swallowed back then, however, is still alive and loading me down(rather like too much meatloaf). It also tries to convince me that I don’t need any person outside of myself. Trouble is, I am needy; I need a woman, or should I say “the” woman, to balance my maleness with her feminineness. God created man and woman to complement one another. As He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper corresponding to him.” (Genesis 2:18-25)

We've all heard the overworked, romantic movie declaration, "You complete me." God created mankind—both sexes—for fellowship, both with Him, and with each other. He created woman because the male sex is incomplete without her(Now that's a complete understatement.), and by inference, the female sex is incomplete without the male, for whom she was made. So much for feminism.

God’s eternal Word incarnate, the anointed Lord Jesus, became the necessary sacrifice to reconcile mankind to the Father. Those of us who hear His good news, believe it, accept His Holy Spirit as surety of the new covenant, allow Him to turn us around and change our life’s destination, and walk in that new way until God calls us home, He corporately calls the bride of Christ.

Does our eternal Husband intend to meet every need that He placed in us for the opposite sex(celibacy)? For single Christ-followers, it be wonderful if that were the case. Are we to be content in our current state? Of course(Philippians 4:11-13; 1 Timothy 6:6-8; Hebrews 13:4-5).

God’s Provision

According to the New Testament, is marriage discouraged or recommended among Christ-followers? Let's examine the evidence: Jesus performed His first miracle at Cana, in Galilee, showing His approval of the marital covenant(John 2:1-11). Apostle Paul told the church that local leaders in the body must, among other criteria, be the husband of one wife(1 Timothy 3:1-13). The apostle instructed Timothy to restrict the list of widows(those who were allowed to serve in the church and take support from the church) to those who were older than sixty years-of-age(1 Timothy 5:9). But he instructed younger widows to get married, “to give the enemy no occasion for reproach”(1 Timothy 5:14). ("Younger widows" were less than sixty? Apparently, sixty years old wasn't all that aged for first century women.) Dealing with the moral issues evident in the Corinthian church, and defending his prerogatives as a minister of Christ, Paul claimed for himself the right to take along a believing wife(1 Corinthians 9:5). Finally, the author of Hebrews commanded that the marriage bed be held in honor, discouraging fornication and adultery(Hebrews 13:4).

Does God recommend marriage only as a last resort for relieving sexual tension? Though sex is one small part of the marriage covenant and relationship, God’s word assigns far more significance to marriage than just that; a godly marriage relationship gives stability to both the man and woman by meeting their multitude of unique needs, and fulfilling His purpose for mankind.

There is no need to hate being needy. Just allow God to fill that needy void in His way, and in His time.

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