From Our Hearts to Yours
The book of Proverbs warns you and me and all readers against becoming liable for the financial obligations of others, saying, “If you become surety…” (Proverbs 6:1). This means being a cosigner—the one who is responsible for a debt if the borrower defaults.
Suppose a relative or friend wants to buy a car but needs additional money to make the loan payments. Then your friend or relative comes to you and asks you to cosign the note. What is the best way to handle this kind of request? Take time to think and pray and ask for advice. Don’t feel pressured by any kind of time limit. Take all the time you need before you make this kind of commitment. And if you are married, your spouse should be involved from the first minute.
Consider these reasons why you should take your time and be sure before agreeing to cosign for a someone’s loan:
- You might be helping someone buy something which is not God’s will for them to have.
- You might be discouraging the development of your friend’s patience, faith, and trust in God to provide.
- You may be practicing bad stewardship. Remember that Scripture instructs you to be a wise and careful steward of what you have (1 Corinthians 4:2).
- You risk the possibility of bitterness in a close relationship, especially if that person defaults on their loan. It is better for them to be upset with you right away when you say “no” than for you to shoulder the results of a default in the future.
The biblical approach is to discern if there is a real and legitimate need. If so, it is better to give money outright, than to become surety.
In Proverbs for a Woman’s Day, Elizabeth George takes you on a journey through the 31 chapters of Proverbs, which cover the matters closest to your heart. Don’t guess about the next step and hope for the best. Get a clear view of the right path as you follow God’s wisdom found in the Bible.
There’s something in us that wants to be lazy, do it later, wait a little longer, or take a shortcut. But this was not so with Jesus! He was committed to faithfully doing and fulfilling the Father’s will. Jesus was faithful to His disciples, His family, and others. He also faithfully prayed for them. And now, He is faithfully praying for you and caring for you, His friend (see John 17:20).
As a young woman who is a Christian, it is vital that faithfulness be a quality that describes you. When you are faithful, you show that you are born of God and belong to Him through His Son.
The good news is you can develop the same faithfulness Jesus showed the world. You can grow in faithfulness that follows through, fulfills your responsibilities, shows up, and keeps your word and your commitments. Your whole family is blessed when they can depend on you and trust you.
If this sounds impossible or like a hard uphill climb, take Step One: Call out to God in prayer. Ask Him to help you get rid of laziness. Then start small—in the little things. Start right under your own roof at home by doing your work chores, your homework, and helping with your parents and siblings—even without being asked! And count on Jesus’ strength. In Him you can do all things, including being faithful (Philippians 4:13).
In Elizabeth George’s book, You Always Have a Friend in Jesus, you’ll explore how Jesus lived out character traits in His everyday life on earth, and you’ll discover what a good friend He is to you–and what a good friend you can be to others.
FROM JIM’S HEART—
If you are married, you have one of the greatest of all opportunities—that of leaving a lasting legacy to your wife and children.
Dear brother, to do this you must impart to your sweet wife a strong spiritual foundation that equips her to handle whatever the future holds. That means you must be a strong spiritual leader yourself. Don’t leave behind only personal memories. As wonderful as they are, memories fade with time. And don’t leave behind only financial security. Seek to leave behind a tower of spiritual strength that is being built now, today, through your godly example.
Perhaps the greatest legacy you can leave behind is another godly generation. Humanly speaking, Christianity is only one generation away from extinction. You are to pass on to your children the truth about Christ and Christian living. Your faith ought to become their faith.
As dads, we know that we cannot grant salvation to our children. We cannot give them eternal life. No, that’s God’s job. But you and I can provide the right kind of godly influence in the home that will point our children to the Savior. The reality of Jesus must first be evident in your life before you can point your children to that same reality.
I must warn you that your children may resist your Christian focus. They may object to your Christian standards. They may complain of your direction for their lives. But don’t give in. There is a war going on for their souls and for their purity, just as there is a war going on for your soul and your purity. Do your part to provide a godly influence, and trust God to do the rest.
In The Man Who Makes a Difference, Jim George explores how the Apostle Paul took God’s priorities for life and made them his own. The result? He had a significant impact on everyone around him. From Paul’s example, you will learn how to:
- Let God’s power work in and through you.
- Acquire discernment for making right decisions and choices.
- Pursue holiness that allows God to work through you unhindered.
Have you ever had a conversation with a woman who, by the way she is talking, you can’t tell whether she is married or single? Sure, she has a ring on her finger. But as she talks, everything she says is “my daughter,” “my house,” “my last vacation.” I always wonder, Hey, aren’t you part of a married couple?
A mentor of mine taught me the lesson of speaking in the plural. She married for the first time at age 47. Immediately, she went from being an independent woman and CEO to being a wife. And amazingly, her language changed overnight. Everything in her life became “we.” For instance, when someone asked her “Where do you live?” her answer was “We live in San Diego.” The more time I spent with her, the more I got the “we” message!
You and your husband are a couple. Your life now has a partner. You now have joint interests. So it’s “our house,” “our daughter,” “our vacation.”
Say along with Joshua: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). Then back up your talk with your actions. Worship together, pray together, and serve together. Walk through life arm-in-arm, facing and enjoying life’s challenges—as one. That’s exactly where you want to be.
In 15 Verses to Pray for Your Husband you’ll discover key Bible passages you can use as a springboard for lifting your husband up to God. Praying these is powerful because you’re praying what God desires for your spouse.