A woman came to Elisha crying because her husband was now dead. Not only was her husband one of Elisha’s servants, but he was a man who feared the Lord. Unfortunately, he owed a man money and now that man was coming to take away her sons. He was going to make them work to pay off a debt that they didn’t even owe.
The prophet asked the woman, What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in your house? She initially told him that she didn’t have anything, but then she remembered she had something left – a pot of oil.
Sometimes when you suffer a loss (death, divorce, etc), it seems like you have nothing left. You don’t know how to move on. Your confidence or self-esteem is low. You’re sad. You’re angry. But the one thing that remained in this woman’s life never lost its value. She probably couldn’t see any good in what she was going through, but the oil was still good. It was still worth something. It could still be used.
Elisha told the woman to borrow empty vessels from her neighbors. Then, he told her to take what she had left (her oil and her sons), go home and shut the door. She and her sons poured the oil in the vessels. When she asked her sons for another vessel, they told her there were no vessels, but she still had oil left.
After she followed the instructions Elisha gave her, she went to the man of God to find out what she should do next. (Your obedience is important). Go, sell the oil and pay your debt. You and your sons can live on what is left (2 Kings 4:7, NIV).
This woman already had what she needed, but she didn’t understand what she had. Elisha never did anything. He just told her what to do to show her what was in her. She just wasn’t a woman or a mother or a wife. She was a businesswoman. Sell the oil. Had he done everything for her, she would have come to him the next time she had a problem – and the next time, and the next time.
There is nothing wrong with desiring a husband, but don’t get married because you’re lonely or because you’re tired of paying bills. This woman had no idea that her husband was going to die this soon. And he didn’t just leave her. He left her with his problem – his debt. The man God gives you will not be perfect. Just like you have problems, they have problems, too. Instead of looking for someone to complete you, become complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).
Don’t focus on what you lost. Focus on what you have left. Some of us have been crying over what we lost or what someone did to us or what was stolen from us. The enemy may have stolen some things, but he didn’t steal everything. Take what you have left and live. Take what you have left and give it to God. Give Him your best praise. Give Him your worship.
If you’re going to focus on anything, focus on how good God has been to you. Focus on how He spared you and gave you another chance. I know some people have left you and some things have left you, but HE never left you. I will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5).
Stop crying over what you lost and thank God for what you have left.
[Scripture reference: 2 Kings 4:1-7]
Ministry doesn’t begin behind the pulpit. It begins behind the walls of your home.
Responsibility of the parent:
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8, NKJV).
Responsibility of the husband:
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered (1 Peter 3:7, NLT).
Responsibility of the wife:
In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate, not as inferior, but out of respect for the responsibilities entrusted to husbands and their accountability to God, and so partnering with them] so that even if some do not obey the word of God, they may be won over to Christ without discussion by the godly lives of their wives (1 Peter 3:1, AMP).
Responsibility of adult children/grandchildren:
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should learn to serve God by taking care of her, as she once took care of them. This is what God wants them to do (1 Timothy 5:4, CEV).
The first place to do God’s work is in the home (1 Timothy 5:4, WE).
There was a man who was given a great responsibility to help rear and train up God’s only Son and our Savior, Jesus.
His name was Joseph. He is described as a just man (Matthew 1:19). He was engaged and he respected his fiancée. He made the choice to wait until his wedding day, but while they were engaged, he found out that his soon-to-be wife was pregnant – with Someone else’s child. I’m sure he was hurt and disappointed by the news, but he didn’t embarrass or humiliate Mary. He didn’t publicly disgrace her. I believe he was afraid what other people would say or think of him (as they weren’t married yet), but he was also concerned about Mary – how she felt and how she would be treated.
Joseph had planned on calling off the engagement quietly, but God had a plan, too. Joseph was about to walk away from favor and from his ‘good thing’. He was about to give up before he received his deliverance, but before he could do anything, God sent an angel to Joseph. Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:20).
Joseph obeyed the angel. He didn’t push Mary away. He protected her. He endured the difficult times (with her). He didn’t leave her when she needed him. He didn’t allow her to have this baby alone in a stable. Not only did they go through some things while Mary was pregnant, but they also had to go through some things after Jesus was born. God gave Joseph and Mary what He promised, but it was a fight to keep, guard and protect the promise. Joseph couldn’t be lazy. He couldn’t procrastinate. He couldn’t do what God told him to do when he wanted to do it. He had to pick up his family and flee to Egypt during the night – when it was inconvenient, when others were sleeping – because Herod wanted to kill the One who would give life to many. When God told him to move, he moved (Matthew 2:13, 19).
Although the bible doesn’t tell us all that Joseph went through, I know it wasn’t easy. In fact, I’m sure he cried or wanted to cry sometimes, but he held on because he believed what God said. He believed that Jesus was born to save all men.
He cared for his wife, but he also cared for Jesus. Do you remember when Joseph and his family went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover? Jesus was twelve years old at the time. When they left the celebration, they didn’t realize that Jesus wasn’t with them. They turned back around to Jerusalem and after three days, they found him in a temple, hearing and asking the doctors questions. When they couldn’t find Jesus, this not only affected Mary, but it affected Joseph, too. His mother said to him, Son, why have you done this to us. Your father and I have sought you sorrowing (Luke 2:48). If Joseph could care for a child who was not his biological son, surely God can send a man to a single mother who will care for her children like they are his own.
God gives some the gift of a husband or wife, and others he gives the gift of being able to stay happily unmarried (1 Corinthians 7:7, TLB).
According to the above scripture, to be married is a gift, but to be ‘happily unmarried’ is also a gift. If God gives you a husband or a wife, He doesn’t want you to treat this gift as we would a toy or a new car. After a certain number of years, some of us want something new or something better, but God doesn’t want us to treat people the way we treat things. He wants us to value what He gives us because what He gives us doesn’t lose value.
This makes me think about the prodigal son. His older brother said he was living with prostitutes (Luke 15:30). When the prodigal son returned home, he told his father he wasn’t worthy to be called his son (Luke 15:19), but what he didn’t realize was the moment he humbled himself and repented to his father for what he had done, everything was restored back to him. And guess what? He was still his father’s son. His father hadn’t changed his mind about him. The reason why the prodigal son was doing the things he did with his body was because he didn’t understand his value, but the good news is he never lost his value. And he didn’t lose his position either (Luke 15:22). He just left it.
He that is unmarried cares for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:32).
The above scripture tells us what we should be doing while we’re single. Are we faithful to God in this area of our lives? What are we doing with this gift (of being unmarried)? Or maybe we don’t see it as a gift. Are we happily unmarried or are we only happy when we have someone?
Joseph was a good man, a good husband and a good father. He was the type of man that most women would desire to marry. To those ladies who God has promised a husband, there is a ‘Joseph’ for you, but why would God give us (I’m including myself) a ‘Joseph’ if we’re not willing to become a ‘Mary’? Have you ever thought that what you’re expecting from your future husband is what God expects from us, His bride? It was just as important for Mary to be obedient as it was for Joseph to be obedient. Ladies, there is nothing wrong with having standards, but it’s not right to desire for a man to be to you what you fail to be or become for God.
Mary didn’t allow herself to be used by different men, but she offered her body to be used by God. She may have not understood everything Gabriel told her and we know she was afraid (Luke 1:30), but she obeyed. She didn’t resist God. She didn’t fight God. She submitted to Him. Be it unto me according to your word (Luke 1:38). For some of us, that’s been the problem. We’ve been saying yes to what we should be saying no to, and saying no to what we should be saying yes to.
I’m not ashamed to tell you that I’ve gotten involved in relationships that I should have never been in, but so have some of you. I also know that just like the prodigal son’s brother, the enemy will condemn us, remind us of all the things we’ve done wrong and try to make us feel not worthy to be married or remarried again, but God is not looking at what you did then. He is looking at what you’re doing now.
Well, how much longer do I have to wait? I’m not getting any younger. Maybe you’re not waiting on your husband. Maybe your husband is waiting on you. James 5:7 speaks of the farmer who is patient. The reason why he is patient is because he believes that what he’s waiting for is ‘precious’.
Just in case you’ve forgotten, I just want to remind someone today that no matter what you’ve done in the past and no matter how many men have touched you,
You are still precious.
You haven’t lost your value.
And you are worth waiting for.
If God said He is going to give you a husband, let God give him to you. Let God pick him out for you. You are a special type of woman who will need a special type of man. You cannot join yourself to just anybody. The men that were sent in the past by the enemy were sent to destroy your soul, kill your ministry and rob you of the good things God gave you. They were sent to give you depression, low self-esteem, and to tear you down.
You are out of the relationship now, but God is still restoring what you lost in that relationship. The devil couldn’t tear down what God built. You survived in what others died in. Some women lost their minds, but you are still in your right mind. This thing was intended to work against you, but instead it worked for you. You don’t even look like what you’ve been through.
As you allow the Lord to make and prepare you for your husband, keep in mind these things:
- Jacob worked 14 years to marry Rachel. You are worth working for. You are worth waiting for. Your body is not for fornication, but for the Lord (1 Cor 6:13). God never gave you a body to be used by men, but to be used by Him for Him. You want someone that will want ALL of you, not SOME of you.
- Obey God. Anytime God asks you to do something for Him, it’s because He wants to do something for you. When Ruth was where she was supposed to be and doing what she was supposed to be doing, THEN Boaz saw her. Prior to that, he could not find her.
- You are a good thing. You should know who you are. Do not leave that type of responsibility to a man because just as quick as he can build you up, he can also tear you down. Whoever finds you will find a good thing and will obtain favor from the Lord (Prov 18:22).
- Stop saying ‘there are no good men out there’. Watch your words. Sweet water and bitter water can’t flow from the same fountain. When you speak, say only what you want to see. Everything God made was good, but every man doesn’t know who he is and he won’t know until he consults the One who made him. Please remember that you didn’t always have it together (and you still don’t have it all together), but God was very patient with you. If God can change you, He can change them, but let Him do the changing. Let God do what needs to be done in you and in him before He gives you away.
- Once you recognize your husband and he recognizes you, pick out your wedding dress, the flowers, the cake, the location, etc., but don’t invest more time preparing for the wedding than you do for the marriage. The wedding only lasts for a short period of time, but you want your marriage to last a lifetime. Even after you’re married, you will always be learning one another. If you don’t want to invest the time (because it is work), then don’t waste his time. You are two people, but you must learn how to become one.