In 2014, we added this section to highlight the importance of contribution of our sisters in faith. We also included in the section information which may be of interest to our sisters.
In a traditional family setting, wives play an important role in child bearing and upbringing. Part of this role is built upon the infrastructural setting of biology including bonding between mother and baby in pregnancy ,nursing, and newborn baby caring. Contribution of women on the children upbringing can not be overstated. Most of times, a baby starts to say mom-a first, then daddy.
In today's great social experiment setting, traditional marriage, and family values are continuously being degraded. Divorce rates are skyrocketed. Our young generation is being educated by a Godless educational system whereby prayers, and biblical values are deliberately excluded from the class rooms.
Our children's future is indeed in great danger and desperately needs godly mothers to come to the rescue. The post- modernism world advocates not only truth is relative but truth cannot be known. Part of the consequences of this approach is no respect for any traditional values and authorities. Everything is relative and our young people are on their own to survive or perish under current revolutionary setting. In fact, you are on your own. Every family or whatever left over of a family is on its own. We definitely need godly mothers to stabilize and protect our families.
Most of church members are women. Most of sunday school children are nurtured by woman teachers. Praise our Lord, God is raising a generation of godly mothers to protect our future generation.
It is clear from our Lord's earthly ministry that He restored the position of women in ancient male-dominated society to equal to men as co-heir to the eternal God's kingdom. This tradition was passed onto the apostles as well. For example, Apostle Peter warned husbands to respect their wives.
1 Peter 3:7
7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
Similarly, Apostle Paul reminded Timothy about the faith of his mother and his grandmother on him.
2 Timothy 1:3-5
3 I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience [a]the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my [b]prayers night and day, 4 longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 [c]For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.
3 我感謝神，就是我接續祖先用清潔的良心所侍奉的神，祈禱的時候不住地想念你， 4 記念你的眼淚，晝夜切切地想要見你，好叫我滿心快樂。 5 想到你心裡無偽之信，這信是先在你外祖母羅以和你母親友尼基心裡的，我深信也在你的心裡。
You may wonder why "Finance and Women" has to do with the quality of life. In this 21st century world, how to handle one's finance is very important to ensure the quality of life. As
a matter of life, we need to have money for food and housing expenses.
Why we choose this topic of "Finance and Women"? First, Women live longer than men on the average. It is important for wives to learn finance so that she can function well when she outlives her husband. Some wives are so ignorant of finance that they do not know where are the family assets. Some wives can not even write checks and pay bills. So it is very important for a husband to share family resources with his wife so she can survive beyond his death. This is best love that he can show her.
It is particularly important for a young couple to share their finance resources so that survival spouse can continue to take care of their children even after unthinkable tragedy happened to one of them.
Finance is a complicated issue. A young family should have life insurance of the bread winner so that there are emergency funds for the surviving spouse to take care of the family. A will is also a prudent way of avoiding many conflicts in the family.
Finance and Women is indeed a key issue in ensuring quality of life. You may find the following verses useful:
Ps 90:12, So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.
Ps 91:14, “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
你可能想知道、為什麼 “財務與婦女” 與生活品質有關。在這21世紀的世界，要確保生活品質，如何處理自己的財務是非常重要的。因為日常的生活中，我們需要錢、來支付食衣住行的費用。
It is interesting to observe that our Christian sisters have contributed greatly to the church ministry even since the early days of the church history.
1. During our precious Lord's first coming, Mary, the mother of our Lord, provided nurture and motherly cares to baby Jesus. During His ministry, there
were many women who provided the support and cares to His ministry. We know through the scripture that our Lord visited Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus many times and they served Him with
hospitality (See Luke 10:38-42 for example). Also, Apostle Peter's mother-in-law also served our Lord and His disciples after she was healed by our Lord ( Mark 1:29-31)
2. It was Mary, our sister in the faith, who took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair to prepare for the day of His burial (John 12:1-7).
3. It was one poor widow's faith in donating two mites with her whole livelihood which received our Lord's praise on her faith (Mark 12:41-44)
4. At our Lord's cross, many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar. It was our sisters in the faith who accompanied our Lord at His last afflictions for our sake (See Matthew 27:55-56).
5. During the apostle age in early church history, Peter restored a woman disciple Dorcas to life as a miracle in Joppa and many believed on the Lord (See Acts 9:36-42). It was Lydia whom the Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Apostle Paul as the first converts in Europe. She opened her house to assist Paul's ministry ( Acts 16:11-15)
Indeed, our sisters in faith have been instrumental in church ministry till this date. Women have been very active in serving the church throughout the church age. Praise our Lord for raising so many godly women in the church even to this date.
5. 在早期教會歷史上的大使徒時代，彼得恢復一個婦女弟子多加的生命，這一個奇蹟傳遍了約帕，就有許多人信了主。(參閱 徒9:36-42）。名叫呂底亞的婦人，主開導她的心，叫她留心聽保羅所講的話，成為保羅在歐洲事工上的首批信徒。她和她一家領了洗之後，就開放她的房子，來協助保羅的事工（徒16:11-15）
One may at time wonder why Almighty God establishes family as one of the key infrastructures of the universe. One may further wonder why the formation of family is so important in human history. Family structure appears in every tribe and in all human societies. And it exists across ethnic, racial, and geographical boundaries. God created family as a necessary unit for our procreation and survival. Indeed, we need family to survive in this world whether in ancient or modern time.
According to the Holy Scripture, and the human history, the basic unit of a family is formed by a marriage consisting of a man and a woman and their children. Many evils and social illnesses of the world can be clearly attributed to the brokenness of this basic human family unit.
Woman is as important in this unit as man. God created human beings in man and woman. So woman and man are different not only in biological aspect but also in their roles in this basic family unit. There is no such a thing as man is superior to woman in biblical teaching. But after the fall of Adam and Eve, the position of woman in a family and in a society was greatly perverted and degraded by evil men and by many societal customs controlled by evil men. It was clear in history that women were mistreated by and large by men. This was particularly evident in barbaric states, dictatorship, and in tribal elder systems.
On family infrastructure, we see that many important functions such as food preparation, and washing clothes, etc, are carried out by women historically. Anyone, who thinks that the tribal meetings dealing with societal issues are more essential to preparation of food and/or laundry, is definitely being misled and poisoned with male chauvinism; and is certainly part of the evil system as well. You may ask why it is so? This is because the world system emphasizes lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of this life. This means that power, money, sex, and control are the driver forces of this evil world. In God kingdom, the great one is the one who serves the most. If political revolution by warring men were superior to the cleaning of dishes by women, just look at the terrors currently happening in Africa and atrocities committed by the evil men in the Middle East. It is self evident that evil men caused so much human miseries indeed.
As a matter of fact, the following important infrastructural works contributed by women can not be ignored:
1. Woman is as essential in maintaining the family unit as man. God ordained that it would be easier for two working together as a unit to survive in the
world. It is interesting to mention that the bond by blood in a family relationship is indeed quite unique in all human relationships.
2. From the procreation viewpoint, woman plays even more important roles in the family unit than man because the role of motherhood plays in child bearing and child personality formation.
3. Because of harshness of the wild world, men tend to defend the family against external elements and women tend to nurture the family from inside. There is a very practical Chinese saying,"Family harmony is the key foundation of thousand successes". More Importantly, the Scripture reminds us in Mark 3:25 "If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand". The importance of woman role in nurturing and holding together the family harmony can not be kept ignored by the man-dominated evil societies in the world.
We can say many more about the importance of woman's contributions in a family setting ranging from taking care of children, parents, to taking care of her husband. As a matter of practical experience that we all knew as a child, it usually takes mother to moderate father's ruthless and harshness to his children.
From historical records, men have deviated far away from the Bible teaching on loving their wives. Please listen to our Lord's teaching in this regard:
5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
6 But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. 7 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, 8 and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
The reality of "two become one" is the key to the understanding of how husband and wife should treat each other.
Marriage Like Christ and the Church
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.(Ephesians 5:22-33}
The Bible teaches us that Christ died for His bride to secure her salvation. Through the history, we also witnessed that His church stayed faithful to Him even under severe prosecution and martyrdom.
In summary, woman and family can not be separated; women's role in family infrastructure can not be ignored; and women's contributions in nurturing children and maintaining the family harmony can not be neglected.
3. 由於世界的殘酷，男人要捍衛家庭抵抗外來因素，而女性在家裡、孕育家庭。有一個很實用的中國諺語，“家和萬事成”。馬可福音 3:25, " 若一家自相分爭 那家就站立不住" 。女人在培育和維繫家庭和睦的重要功能，是不能被男人所主導的邪惡社會所忽略。事實上，在子女、父母、丈夫的照顧上，我們更可以說，女人對家庭是有重大的貢獻。從實際的經驗中，我們都知道，小孩通常需要母親來居中調和，父親對小孩較為沒耐心、粗暴的處罰。
6 但從起初創造的時候，神造人是『造男造女』， 7 『因此，人要離開父母，與妻子聯合，二人成為一體。』 8 既然如此，夫妻不再是兩個人，乃是一體的了。 9 所以，神配合的，人不可分開。」
以 弗 所 書 5:22-33
22 你 們 作 妻 子 的 ， 當 順 服 自 己 的 丈 夫 ， 如 同 順 服 主 。
23 因 為 丈 夫 是 妻 子 的 頭 ， 如 同 基 督 是 教 會 的 頭 ； 他 又 是 教 會 全 體 的 救 主 。
24 教 會 怎 樣 順 服 基 督 ， 妻 子 也 要 怎 樣 凡 事 順 服 丈 夫 。
25 你 們 作 丈 夫 的 ， 要 愛 你 們 的 妻 子 ， 正 如 基 督 愛 教 會 ， 為 教 會 捨 己 。
26 要 用 水 藉 著 道 把 教 會 洗 淨 ， 成 為 聖 潔 ，
27 可 以 獻 給 自 己 ， 作 個 榮 耀 的 教 會 ， 毫 無 玷 污 、 皺 紋 等 類 的 病 ， 乃 是 聖 潔 沒 有 瑕 疵 的 。
28 丈 夫 也 當 照 樣 愛 妻 子 ， 如 同 愛 自 己 的 身 子 ； 愛 妻 子 便 是 愛 自 己 了 。
29 從 來 沒 有 人 恨 惡 自 己 的 身 子 ， 總 是 保 養 顧 惜 ， 正 像 基 督 待 教 會 一 樣 ，
30 因 我 們 是 他 身 上 的 肢 體 （ 有 古 卷 在 此 有 ： 就 是 他 的 骨 他 的 肉 ） 。
31 為 這 個 緣 故 ， 人 要 離 開 父 母 ， 與 妻 子 連 合 ， 二 人 成 為 一 體 。
32 這 是 極 大 的 奧 祕 ， 但 我 是 指 著 基 督 和 教 會 說 的 。
33 然 而 ， 你 們 各 人 都 當 愛 妻 子 ， 如 同 愛 自 己 一 樣 。 妻 子 也 當 敬 重 他 的 丈 夫 。
聖經教導我們: 基督愛教會 , 為教會捨己 。從歷史記載看, 教會順服基督,甚至在受難折磨裡,忠實到底 。
Throughout the recorded history, it was clear that women were treated very unfairly in ancient civilizations. The issue of equal pay for equal work has been an issue throughout the world. It is important to know what is the teaching of this subject in the Bible.
1. It all started this way
In the beginning, God created Adam and found out that Adam was not happy even though he was given the authority to manage the world including all animals. So God created Eve to be a companion for Adam. This was recorded in the Bible as followed:
22 The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.
It is very important
to see how Adam’s first reaction to see the beautiful Eve brought to him by God
23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”
24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Wife is “the bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” of husband. This is the way husband supposes to love his wife in the most precious way just like his own body. We should fully appreciate in the beginning—all pure, innocent, and good without corruption— what is the status of the woman in the eyes of the man. Adam and Eve were one flesh. How can you abuse woman by man when they are in one flesh. One flesh means just one flesh. They act in unison and are harmonious in dealing with all things. They are equally precious and equally valued by both of them!
It is very important to know this is the will of God who created this universe which we live in. Now we should know that God governs the universe. The will of God is infinite because God is infinite— beyond time, space and beyond. We the human race are all finite and very limited. Just open your eyes to see how much we as the human species have messed up the world. This will keep us longing for the days Jesus Christ our Lord returns to this earth to fix everything we messed up.
2. What happened next
A. We need the following background first in order to understand gravity of the event followed. What happened next was the mother of all tragedies. In order to fully appreciate enormity of this tragedy, we need to know that the reality is not just physical but also spiritual. We can not limit our assessment to the physical side only. Our Creator God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. Actually, without Holy Spirit we can’t even communicate with God at all. In case you forget, this was how Adam was created: to be a human being with a spirit to understand spiritual realm.
7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
The breath of God is the breath of life. Listen to what our Lord said in John 6:63:
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
So without the Holy Spirit, no one can know God’s will. This explains why so many people did not receive God as the Almighty Creator and worthy of our obedience and worship. You may ask why? Listen to what the Bible says. People cannot receive God because they are dead in transgressions. A dead man cannot respond to the spiritual reality. In other words, a spiritually dead man can not feel the need to seek God.
因此，沒有聖靈，沒有人能知道神的旨意。這就解釋了、為什麼世上有這麼多的人沒能接受: 上帝為全能創造者和值得我們服從和崇拜。你可能會問，為什麼？讓我們聽聖經說什麼? 人們無法接受神，是因為他們死在過犯之中。死人不能感受到靈性的現實。換句話說，沒有靈性的人，是不覺得有必要尋求神。
B. So what happened next was that Eve was tempted by the Devil and so both Eve and Adam ate the forbidden fruit and sinned against God. What happened is not of a small consequence at all. The Devil corrupted the God’s crown jewel creation—Adam and Eve, the ancestors of our human race. Just to mention a small aspect of this greatest tragedy. This started the blame game: Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the Devil. This is the beginning the gender war between man and woman. The cost alone includes ocean of tears throughout the human history. Let us ask what is the price of losing the joyful harmony of functioning as one flesh! Priceless indeed!
3. God’s infinite Grace since the beginning
We, the finite beings, need to recognize that God is almighty, omnipresent, and omniscient! We would never fully understand God’s will. One thing is for sure: God controls history. To remedy the fall of Adam is not a Monday morning quarterback! Before the foundation of the universe was established in creation, God provided a human Messiah Jesus Christ! Do you know that God loves women dearly, probably more than man. You may ask how do you know that. You can judge this for yourself. God entrusts the motherhood of raising children to women! This is a greatest assignment if not the greatest blessing in creation. God entrusts woman to be a better half of the one flesh!
But most of all, the Messiah is to be from the seed of the woman Eve. In other words, the Messiah was to be from the Woman’s seed and not from the Man’s seed. Jesus Christ was to be born of Virgin Mary from God, not from the seed of her husband Joseph. So Jesus is to be called Son of God. Actually, tit is impossible to comprehend the infinite Son of God willingly to give up His heavenly glory to be born as a helpless human baby to be nourished by Mary. This was by itself an infinite love and grace of God to all human beings. It is indeed incredible to comprehend that the infinite Son of God willingly lived as a finite being to be limited by space and time in a human body in His incarnation two thousand years ago.
4. Our Lord’s Earthly Ministry
There were many “Mary”s in our Lord’s earthly ministry. First was His mother Mary who initiated the first miracle of changing water to wine in a wedding celebration party. There was Mary, a sister of Martha, who sit at the feet of Jesus for receiving Lord’s teaching. This reminds us that in God’s view there are equal education opportunity for men and women as compared to some middle eastern cultures today which look down on women and prohibit female education. This is so much a rebuke on the hypocrisy of many countries in history that discriminates female in their education systems.
You may recall in Mark 3:31-35 that our Lord always uplifted the status of women in the days of his ministry.
31 Then His mother and His brothers *arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him. 32 A crowd was sitting around Him, and they *said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You.” 33 Answering them, He *said, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” 34 Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
Then, there was Mary Magdalene who was possessed by seven demons. Our Lord cleansed her from demonic possession and sufferings. We all know that resurrection is of the pivotal importance in our Christian belief. Mary Magdalene was the first human being who saw our Lord after His resurrection from the dead. She was sent by our Lord to tell the apostles about our Lord’s resurrection. We may ask why? Partly because all male disciples run away at the crucifixion scene and most of the faithful were women who loved our Lord and were there at His empty tomb in that early Sunday’s morning.
Thus, we may say that women as well as men are equal in God’s sight. As a matter of fact, God does not respect people whether they are master or slave, male or female, jews or gentiles, rich or poor, powerful or pitiful, etc. But our Lord did distinguish men and women by those who do the will of God as a standard: “For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” As a matter of fact, in the redemptive history, wife and husband have always been regarded as co-heir of eternal kingdom!
1 Peter 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
Furthermore, we can see how women are treated by any religions to tell whether such religions are from men or from God. Any religion or cult which advocates multiple wives is from men. It is indeed ignorant for any group to indicate that 70 virgins will wait for you if you become a religion martyr just as ignorant to say to a woman terrorist that 70 virgin men will wait to serve her in heaven! This reminds us the abuses of women as temple prostitutes in ancient Greece and India. Indeed, the history and human conscious will testify the abomination of such a crime against women by those men-made religions controlled by evil men.
To get rid of all abuses against women, we all need to return to the Bible to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28). We all need to recognize the tremendous value of one flesh in the holy matrimony instituted by our Almighty God.
以色列阿，你要聽！耶和華 ─ 我們神是獨一的主。
萬物都是藉著他有的, 我們也是藉著他有的。(歌林多前書 8:6)
Supremacy of Jesus Christ our Lord - Phil 2:9-11; Col 1:15-20
主耶穌的絕對優越性—無不口稱耶穌為主 (西 1:15-20)
Inerrancy of Holy Scripture - Psalm 19:7-9, Matt 5:18
Glorious Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ which demonstrates the love of God - John 3:16-18
Obedience to God is much better than offering sacrifices - Hos 6:6
For I delight in loyalty
rather than sacrifice.
And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
The righteous shall live by faith alone - Habbakuk 2:4
Self-denial and be patient in enduring afflictions are the God's ways for us in following Jesus Christ our Lord - Matthew 16:24