Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Volume 5 No. 302 August 28, 2015

Regular Weekly Features

Family: Husband and Wife - A Holy Partnership
"Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself."
- Ephesians 5:33

To properly define the God‐ordained role of husbands, there's no better place to turn than Scripture. The apostle Paul instructs: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy…. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies" (Ephesians 5:25–28). Paul also tells us "the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church" (Ephesians 5:23).

Here's the bottom line of your responsibility as a husband: You are charged with the holy, loving leadership of your wife. There is nothing dictatorial or selfish in this prescription! Your love is to be so strong that it mirrors Christ's love for the church, so committed that you would unquestioningly die to save her, and so powerful that it is indistinguishable from love of your self.

What a challenge! And what a privilege to join with God and your wife in this holy partnership! For as you fulfill your role as head of the house, you'll encounter blessings you never imagined.

Just between us…

(husband) What has been my most "shining moment" as your husband?
(husband) Do you feel my love for you meets this scriptural ideal?
(wife) How do you feel about the responsibility God gives husbands?
(wife) How can I encourage you in this role?

(husband) Heavenly Father, You have given me an awesome and holy responsibility to love my wife just as Christ loved the church. Help me to follow His perfect example as I learn to increase my love for my mate. Amen.

From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Prescription for Happy Living

by Greg Laury

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
- Matthew 22:37-39

Conventional wisdom says that if you want to be happy, then you have to look out for number one. You have to do whatever it takes to succeed and whatever it takes to fulfill your own desires and needs. It doesn't matter whom you step on. It doesn't matter who gets hurt in the process. You have to think about yourself. That is what the world says.

The question is, does it work? No. Because all of us know from the experience of having probably tried it that it is a complete failure to some degree. We know that our happiness ebbs and flows, and it isn't lasting.

Here is God's formula for a life that is meaningful and full. Here is how God tells us to live:

If there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (Philippians 2:1-3)

Everyone says, "Look out for yourself. Think of yourself." But the Bible says, "Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (Philippians 2:4).

The Bible teaches that we already look out for number one. That comes with human nature. It is not something we need to learn how to do.

Source: Daily Devotion with Greg Laurie

An Innocent Man
Ernest Gordon was a British Army officer captured at sea by the Japanese at the age of twenty-four. Gordon was sent to work on the Burma-Siam railway line that the Japanese were constructing though the dense Thai jungle in preparation for invading India.

Thousands of prisoners struggled in 120-degree heat, bare bodies and feet attacked by insects and cut by rocks. But that was nowhere the worst of it. Many dropped dead of exhaustion, malnutrition, and disease. If any appeared to be lagging, a Japanese guard would murder them on the spot. Under these terrible conditions, nearly 400 men died for every mile of track laid -- 80,000 in all.

Interaction among the prisoners had degenerated into barbarous behavior, each man for himself. Then one day a shovel went missing.

Japanese guards carefully counted tools at the end of day's work, and one day the guard shouted one was missing. Demanding who had stolen it, he screamed "All die! All die!" and raised his rifle to fire at the lineup. At that instant a man stepped forward, stood at attention, and said, "I did it."

The guard killed him immediately, and his fellows collected his corpse. That evening, when the tools were counted again, the work crew discovered there had been a miscount earlier; no shovel was missing.

The word spread like wildfire through the whole camp. An innocent man had been willing to die to save the others! The incident had a profound effect. The men began to treat each other like brothers and look out for one another.

When the victorious Allies swept in, the survivors, human skeletons, lined up in front of their captors … (and instead of attacking their captors) insisted: 'No more hatred. No more killing. Now what we need is forgiveness.'"

Sacrificial love has transforming power. (Gordon tells the full story in his book, Miracle on the River Kwai.)

-- Anonymous 

Self Improvement: Change Problems To Opportunities

by Wes Hopper

"Your state of alertness meets with your goal and your intention and allows you to seize the opportunity. Every single problem that you have in your life is the seed of an opportunity for some greater benefit. Once you have that perception, you open up to a whole range of possibilities."
- Deepak Chopra

One little part of the quote from Chopra above contains the gift that truly keeps on giving, and that is the idea of looking for the opportunity that is hidden in the problem. The funny thing is - we used to do that automatically as small children, but as adults we've forgotten it!

Don't you remember how as a small child you took things apart, tried to match them to other things, plugged them together in strange ways, and created marvelous inventions? Older kids and parents may have snickered at what you did, but you were actually being creative at a high level.

So as adults it's important that we use some of that same creativity in our problem solving, and that means it's important that we give ourselves permission to test"crazy" solutions to some of the difficult problems we face occasionally.

As long as we treat the "problem" as a problem, the solution will remain elusive and difficult. We'll feel unqualified to solve it, and as a result, won't solve it, or at least won't solve it very well. We have to change our approach to find what the problem is teaching us.

If we approach the solution with what Deepak is suggesting, that the problem is really an opportunity in disguise, we have gone from the burden of problem solving to the excitement of discovery! It's easy to feel the difference, isn't it?

Now you're on a treasure hunt, and that's fun. So instead of griping about problems, change your attitude to one of treasure-hunting new opportunities. Who knows what you might discover?

Source: Daily Gratitude

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