Monday, January 13, 2014


By Hugo McCord

    Every man, as Jeremiah, Jesus, and Paul, can live a chaste, holy life and stay single if he so chooses: "No trial has taken hold of you except what is common to humanity.  God is trustworthy, and he will not allow you to be tried beyond your ability. With the trial he will provide an escape, so that you can bear up under it" (1 Corinthians 10:13, FHV). "But, said the Lord, It is not good for Adam to be alone  (Genesis 2:18, FHV)." The companionship of a dog or a cat or a parakeet, though deeply satisfying, still lacks something.  Consequently, for Adam no suitable helper was found (Genesis 2:20, FHV).
    Around this first solitary figure stretched the greenery of the forest and at his feet the wild flowers burst into bloom.  But in the midst of such natural loveliness, it is said that the man himself was lonely in his solitude. He heard the glad call of the birds to their mates, and saw them build their homes with joy of natural things.  But for him there was no song, because there was no one to hear his singing, no one who could understand his dreams, share his joys, or sympathize in his sorrows.
    But God saw that it was not good for him to be alone and created for him a helpmeet.  With her fragile loveliness and grace more beautiful than his strength, her intellect swifter to understand, and a heart tenderer to be touched, she brought to him those lovelier graces for which his nature yearned.
    And so this first home came into being as the perfect fulfillment of a vital human need, the completion of two natures that alone were incomplete.  This is the beauty and significance of every home.  For here alone is found the consummation of earthly happiness, a security derived from perfect loyalty, a contentment based on mutual understanding, and a joy born of perfect love (“Wedding Ceremony” composed by James O. Baird and used at the marriages of his children).
    It is noticeable that the all-wise God did not create for Adam as a companion a Robert (Genesis 2:22).
    It is noticeable that the all-wise God did not create woman from man’s head, that she should be his ruler; nor from his feet, that he should walk on her; but from near to his heart that he should love and cherish her (John Wesley and Genesis 2:21).
    It is noticeable how pleased and even thrilled Adam was when he first laid eyes on Eve: "This is the time!  Bone from my bones!  Flesh from my flesh!  She shall be called ishsha (“woman”), for from ish (“man”), she was taken.  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother, and be glued to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:23-24, FHV).
    A Sunday School teacher was trying to impress her class with the mind-boggling concept of the omnipresence of God, that there is no place that God is not.  She was shocked when a girl said, “God is not at our house--God would not be in a house where a man talks as mean as daddy does to my mother.”
    Oh!  How that husband needs to repent, to apologize, to pray, and to read his Bible!  He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind (Proverbs 11:29).  Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife (Proverbs 17:1).
    One who loves covers a transgression, but he who keeps talking about a matter separated close friends  (Proverbs 17:9).  Unavoidly disagreements will arise, but lovers will quickly find a solution--yes, before sundown (Ephesians 4:26, FHV).  An old man told me, “Every night in bed, before we go to sleep, I give her a love pat, a reassurance that all is well between us.”
    Husbands are included in the admonition to all Christians to be kind one to        another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32).
    If a husband wants to be liked and appreciated he will cultivate a fruit of the Spirit called “kindness” (Proverbs 19:22).
    Then the apostle couples with kindness another fruit of the Spirit called “gentleness:” "I, Paul myself, am begging you by the gentleness and kindness of Christ" (Galatians 5:23; 2 Corinthians 10:1, FHV).  No husband, if he considers himself a gentleman, would say,  “Paul was not talking to me,” for the very word “gentleman” says a man is gentle.
    Can a husband be called a “gentleman” if he is gentle with his boss and with his neighbors, but he is not gentle with his wife and children?  To be gentle, says the dictionary, is to be “mild; moderate; not violent, harsh, or rough.”  The wise man said,  A gentle tongue melts anger, but  harsh words stir up             anger  (Proverbs 15:1, FHV).  What husband  is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show by honorable behavior his works in gentleness of wisdom”  (James 3:13).
    In some homes a worthwhile placard adorns a wall:
    Christ is the head of this house, an unseen guest at every meal, a silent listener to every conversation.
    No wife can ever appreciate her husband as she would like to if he is cheerful and smiling away from home, but at home is a sourpuss and grumpy.  An irritable husband cheats himself: "Every day is bad to the afflicted, but the cheerful of heart have a continual feast" (Proverbs 15:15, FHV). "A cheerful heart is a good medicine, while a crushed spirit dries up the bones" (Proverbs 27:22, FHV).
     Who is the greatest husband?  Jesus is the “bridegroom,” and his “bride” is “the church” (John 3:29; Ephesians 5:25).  How much did he love his wife?  He “gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25), and "In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church" (Ephesians 5:28-29, NIV).
    Likewise, in the same way,  each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself (Ephesians 5:33, NIV).  The wife of Hugo McCord has often said that she will never have any trouble in being subject to him as long as he loves her as much as he loves himself.
    Paul’s personification of love is beautiful and meaningful:
    Love is patient.  Love is kind and not jealous.  Love does not boast, and is not puffed up.  Love does not behave improperly.  Love is unselfish.  Love keeps calm.  Love holds no grudges.  Love rejoices not in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.  Love covers with silence the faults of others.  Love trusts and hopes and endures all things.  Love never ceases(1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
    Peter tells how the prayers of husbands will be heard: "Likewise, husbands, live understandingly with your wives, as with those who are more delicate; and bestow honor on them, as being      fellow-heirs of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered" (1 Peter 3:7).
    Everybody’s wholesome comedian of another generation, the late Will Rogers, received an invitation from a rich Hollywood hostess to a party.  He went, and was the life of the evening.  On his return home, he sent a bill for $1000.00 to the hostess for “services rendered.” She was shocked! She telephoned, “I invited you as a guest, not as an entertainer.”  He replied,  “When Mrs. Rogers’ name is not on the invitation to a party, I go to work.  You  will please mail me the $1000.00.”  She did, and he gave the money to charity.  Will Rogers was not a New Testament Christian, but he believed in giving honor to his wife.
    Every wife knows soon   after marriage if her husband is a prize, a surprise, or a consolation prize.

- via The Family Friend, a monthly newsletter published by the Calvert City Church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  It is an excellent resource for articles relating to the family.  To learn more consult the congregation's website:

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