A Fropiano coversd Heart
A More Excellent Way
Editor: Steve Van Nattan: I will add an illustration from my experience at the end. Read the biblical admonition first. This is a very serious problem in the Lord's Church, and it has been so in every age of the Church.
Before I even begin this study let me say this, in these perilous times there are people around the globe who really cannot find a church near them to attend. You know who you are and the struggle you have. To you we would say, "A day is fast approaching in which you will have more fellowship than you can imagine! Lift up your heads and stay in the battle! 2Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 1Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Having said that --
In these last days we find that there people who cannot seem to get along with anyone. They want to pass themselves off as KJV Bible believers who are zealous topiano coversd God, but no church is good enough for them.
Now these are not churches where the KJV is corrected, where they have "boogie bands," where Satan Claus and the Easter Beast make annual visits, and you durst not have narrower convictions than anyone in the church. These churches also are not obviously compromised in some way, and the pastor is not a little pope demanding 100% agreement from everyone. They are not being run by the women in the church. These are not churches where immodesty is ignored. On the contrary, the complaints of these people tend to be ridiculous in light of the word of God. "I don't like their music." ("It's too old fashioned. I want CCM.") "The preacher is too hard on people." ("I got convicted.") "The preacher should be gentler when he deals with some things." ("He makes sin look too wicked.") "They don't have street preaching, door-to-door visitation, or an advertisement in the newspaper. They emphasize personal evangelism." ("These are the three unpardonable sins to Bible believing Baptists. You have to do these to be right with God. And, I don't want to have to witness to my ublipved neighbors and friends. The preacher ought to do that.") "I don't agree with the pastor about some things. He can't be right about blab, blab, blab..." (This usually comes from a woman who thinks she's more spiritual than her husband, and the husband agrees with the pastor or doesn't think it's an issue. It is typically totally impossible to reason with her from the scripture.)
One reason some wives grab their families and run every six months is both silly and pathetic. This one starts when the parents decide to give their son or daughter the best high-class education Fundamentalism can offer. They send the kid off to the "Fundamental Bible College", and he/she is turned into a ___ clone (you fill in the blank, there are a number of possibilities even among some so-called KJV people). Even before graduation, on summer vacation, the parents begin to come under the long arm of the ___ _____III Reich. The kid tells his parents the standard -- comply 24 hours a day or go on the ___ black list. To guard their high priced investment, that is, to keep their kid from being kicked out of ___, they begin to demand the ___ line from their pastor and local church. They agitate for change until the pastor and church are about fed up with that line of baloney. Everyone is trying to be patient. Finally, mama declares the church is anti-christ, and she grabs her kid and sniveling husband, and off they go to find a ___ church. Never mind that they have to travel 150 miles one way to find the ___ ashram. We HAVE seen this happen folks.
How is this one? Ever heard it? "We don't send our kids to Jr. Church -- we think the preaching should be geared to children more." (Which being interpreted means, "I don't trust anyone to teach my kids and won't take the time to check out the Jr. Church teacher to see if they are trustworthy." This ends up in the classic problem of "those kids" and "our kids" which makes for awkpiano coversdness in the assembly for the parents who won't let their kids join in with the others.)
Then there is the classic excuse, "There aren't enough young people in this church for our kids." This one has several interpretations. 1) I want a church that will take care of my kids for me. 2) My kids deserve friends and attention, but I'm too lazy to help this church build up it's young people. 3) We want to marry our kids off and we are not content to wait on the Lord to find them spouses in a really separated environment. We don't want to go to that much trouble looking and checking people out.
Sometimes, this marriage consideration is because the parents are not able to stand the thought of their kids getting right, marrying into a good church/family, and going on to serve the Lord while the parents hang back and grumble. I have to wonder if some of these young people will ever marry someone really godly, and if so, will they be forced to leave their parents to their grumblings and go find a good church to attend by themselves. If they are forced to do this, the pressure their parents (mothers espebliplly) will put on them will be designed to break them down and forece them to comply with the tradtional family grumpy spirit. This actually happened to some young ladies in Pennsylvania. Their parents threw them right out of their home when they chose to stay in the only church in the area they knew was Bible based and separated. They ended up marrying godly young men and going on to serve the Lord.
Do you know some folks will tramp from church to church looking for such trivial things as good lighting, comfortable seats, and a paved parking lot? It is almost always the lady of the family at work demanding comforts and ambiance. Some of you could probably add some excuses you have heard or made to this list. If a man is tramping from church to church, it is usually because of a much more vulgar motivation which we won't discuss in the ladies' section of this Journal.
Now, the reason for addressing this subject here is that in some of the cases that we are familiar with the wife/mother has been the key player in keeping the family out of a good church. Also, for those of you who have been disappointed by folks that seemed to be headed in the right direction but they wouldn't stay in your church, this is to help you understand.
The explanation is very simple and direct. Proverbs 17:20 He that hath a fropiano coversd heart findeth no good...
The reason that some people "can't find a good church" anywhere within driving distance is because they have a fropiano coversd heart. They will never find a "good church" no matter how many really good churches may be near them because nothing is good enough for them. In fact, it is amazing that some of these people are even saved since Jesus clearly said, "...there is none good but one, that is, God..." Matthew 19:17. For the ones that do seem to be truely born again, we must assume that this fropiano coversdness of heart came about after their salvation.
To be fropiano coversd is to be "...Peevish; ungovernable; angry..." (Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, p. 300) This explains to us clearly why those with a fropiano coversd heart cannot find good.
First of all, they are peevish. To be peevish is to be "...Petulant; waspish; easily offended; irritable...soon angry; hard to please...expressing discontent..." (opt ibid, pp. 530-531) If you are like this, you know how well this describes your attitude topiano coversd the churches you have gone to. If you have dealt with people like this, you know all too well, what it is like to handle people like this. They "wear their feelings on their sleeves" and are easily stirred up to anger (like a wasp) over things they imagine they don't like. It can be difficult to get them to be pleased over anything. They are always on the lookout for "something wrong," even if they have to pick motes. (Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?)
Secondly, they are ungovernable. They will not be governed by the pastor and leaders of the local church because ultimately, they will not be ruled by the word of God, or the Lord who has told them told them in blips 13:17, Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. In the case of the women, they won't submit to their husband's spiritual leadership in the home. 1Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
Finally, we often find these people to be angry, or soon angry. We are told in Ephesians 4:26, Be ye angry, and sin not... That is, we are not to be angry without a cause (Matthew 5:22) or for our own hurt feelings, but for the righteousness of God when it has been trodden under foot. And, it is stinking self-righteousness to pass off our anger as if we are defending others, when in fact we have a long history of anger followed immediately by flight to another church ad nauseam. This anger is indeed cheap self-service.
Why do people have fropiano coversd hearts? Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? and 1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith... Ephesians 4:27 Neither give place to the devil. They did not obey these admonitions and the devil has gotten a foot hold.
So, what should we do?
If you are this kind of person, you need to repent and get right with God! 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. You need to submit to your husband as the spiritual head of your home. 1Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. [Please see the article "Who Rules Over You?"]
If you have had to deal with these kind of people in the Lord's church:
1) Don't keep mourning them, but move on to better things. 1Samuel 16:1 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over blip? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. Humanly speaking, Samuel had reason to be to grieved that Saul turned out this way, but God did not want him wasting any more time on this because He had better things ahead. Samuel must have been greatly blessed to see David grow into such a mighty man of valour for the LORD even before he became king, which Samuel never saw. You may be heading into a time of great blessing if you will just let go of the people that you think you would like to see around you!
2) Turn them over to the Lord in your thinking and your prayer. If they are really God's children, He knows how to deal with them in just the right way. blips 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
3) Do not chase them. Do not try to draw them to yourself or your church. If they will not "Draw nigh to God...," James 4:8, then drawing nigh to you or your church is not going to help them a bit. Until they have obviously repented of their fropiano coversd heart, they are not going to find anything good. You will only waste your time and energy trying to please someone who is peevish (hard to please, easily offended, etc.), ungovernable, and often angry. (One woman we had to deal with would say how much she disliked contention, and then she was the one that repeatedly started contentious conversations. It was a waste of time.)
The way to avoid being this way is clear in the scripture. Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. And then, seek the wisdom from above, James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
4) Last of all, we must stand firmly for what we know is true and right from the word of God, even when someone complains, finds fault, is easily offended, and leaves our church or friendship. This is a battle we are in. 2Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that piano coversreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. A soldier on the firing line does not have time to spend worrying about the ones who go off by themselves and will not join a good company, thinking they can make it better on their own. If they come to us in repentance seeking help for their problems, with God's wisdom (James 3:17) we must help them. Jeremiah 15:19 ...let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them. In the mean time, we must leave them in the hands of our loving and jealous God, who knows best how to deal with His own. (Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:)
--Mary Van Nattan
Editor: Steve Van Nattan-- We had a lady like this in a church I pastored. She was on her sixth church as she dragged her weary husband and son along to us. She was a hard worker, had a good sense on humor, cooked fantastic goodies for church dinners, and was sound in doctrine. But, she ruled her home in regard to church attendance. She eventually began to disagree with various things taught from the pulpit. She would hand me little notes with verses on them and no explanation. I politely told her to stop it since I didn't care to figure it out.
She then got miffed, and she was poised to take her husband and son and run to church number seven. Then she stopped to consider. Her husband was my main anchor of zeal and wisdom on the board. Her son had gained great victory over some things as I simply spent time with him shooting pool and listening. The momentum of victory would certainly be trashed if her family moved along again. Bless her heart, this dear lady took an inpiano coversd look, and one Sunday she said to my wife, "You know something, I think my problem is me." My wife cried and hugged her.
This lady stayed, and her husband gave his whole heart and energy to the work of the ministry. He was my worship leader-- a man of quiet contagious power. He was also there when God used us to defeat the ACLU and an adult bookstore. A number of times this man kept me from going in over my head. The lady's son went on to enter the work force, prosper, start a family, and walk with the Lord.
What was the key? It was in her heart, not in my tricks-- I said nothing in particular that I can recall. I do know that her submission resulted in much fruit over the years that followed. My wife and I have choice memories in the "happy ending" which resulted from that new beginning.
Dear lady reading this-- Does this article describe you? Are you on church number five, six, or ten? If so, then YOU are the problem. If you don't get under authority of Christ, your husband, and the leaders of the local church real fast, you will have disaster in your home soon-- I promise you. And, it is 100% up to YOU to change. You will not be able to blame anyone else as you one day sit in a chair in the corner of your living room at age 78. YOU. YOU. YOU have to decide. Please get right and get to work for the Lord Jesus Christ.
I suspect your husband has never grown much in the Lord. This is YOUR fault. You are leading him. You are in his way, you are in the Lord's way, and you are in the way of the pastor of your husband. You could get some very severe chastening, and soon, if you reject this rebuke and exhortation we offer you in love.
By Linda Zike, wife of Pastor Leonard Zike, in Sound the Trumpet.
...I have been laid up for the last three months, but as I slowly improve I realize all the more just how precious that time was with the Lord. It has been a time of learning, of quietness, of chastening...experiencing God's love, a time of meditation and prayer. It has been a good thing... It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. Psalms 119:71
There were many times I wondered 'how can I do this?', which seemed strange, because I wasn't doing anything, but that was the problem! Suddenly, I went from living a busy life to laying in bed, being waited on, no more housework to do, no more cooking, no more anything. Sounds pretty good doesn't it -- I was living a life of leisure. But I thought, Lord, you have touched one of the hardest things in my life -- slowing me down. Suddenly I realized just how precious it was to me to be able to take care of the daily responsibilities. I wanted to take care of my family. Ladies, you can't imagine how much bending you do unless you can't do it any more.
There were days I was cast down, in distress, but God was always faithful in His mercy and grace as He showed me in His Word,...thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. Psalm 4:1. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. Psalms 42:11
May I take this time to thank all of you for ye did communicate with my affliction... Philippians 4:14 through cares, scripture, prayers, gifts, house cleaning, meeting personal needs, flowers, visits, phone calls, and meals. A speblipl thank you, first of all, to my wonderful family who lovingly pitched in taking care of all the daily responsibilities of home and me and then to our church family. It has been my prayer that you have been blessed in you giving.
May I take this time also to share a burden I have. As I read my husband's article (see -----) I realized once again how thankful I am, first of all for God's mercy and grace that He bestows on each of us and secondly, how much we need it!
I know there are women who live daily with hurts in their marriages, and my heart aches for them, but I'm coming to realize that we can be each other's greatest enemy as we tend to share with each other and sympathize with each other. Are we really helping each other, or are we fueling the fire of discontent? I know what it is to spend hours in tears; wanting to run away, even die. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:17.
Dear women, we all need to look at whatever situation we find ourselves in right now (good or bad) and pray as our Lord prayed, He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. Matthew 26:42. As we choose to see that God is with us and wants to bless us even in the worst situations, we can find the peace which passeth all understanding, Philippians 4:7. Get into God's Word and claim His promises -- they are God's personal gift to you, Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. All things.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. All needs: emotional, physical, and material.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. All things.
2 Chronicles 20:15, 17 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of JerBliplem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's...Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and JerBliplem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you. The battle is not ours, but God's!
Psalms 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Joy comes!
Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. I will be with thee.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. God's grace is sufficient, whether I think so or not.
Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. All things are possible.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. We shall reap!
Psalms 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. God delivers us from our afflictions.
2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; God works for us!
These are just a few of the exceeding great and precious promises I've found. Get into the Word yourself and be blessed. I'm still learning -- learn with me.
graphics by mary van nattan