1 Corinthians 13:1-7 New Living Translation (NLT)
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Good morning and thank you for joining me another time as I share part of my journey as a prison wife. It is still April 2013 and I have been challenged with another lesson! Lord, being a wife and Your servant is hard work!
As I shared last week, I had the privilege of attending Daughters of the King: A Royal Retreat earlier this month, put on by the ladies of my local assembly. One of the sessions was entitled “Bride of the King” in which we received a Marriage Survival Kit. The only piece I am going to share about today is the “white flag” that was enclosed. The leadership team referenced the following scripture: Ephesians 4:26 (NIV) “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” and they shared about waving the flag for surrender and the benefits of not demanding your own way when you are having a “discussion” with your husband.
This is great advice and my husband and I do our best to always complete our “discussion” before it is time for “phones off” in the TDCJ unit he is in. In case the line is long or we do not have more time/money available – we whip out the pen and paper and finish our half of the discussion and promptly mail it first thing in the morning. This way we continue to lean into each other and do not shut each other down or out by dropping the “discussion”. It has helped us during this time apart to work out hard topics without letting bitterness or misunderstanding creep in and create a canyon in our communication.
However as I have been learning more about my Arsenal that God has given me to live for Him in this world, another image came to mind. A flag or a banner waving high in the air, being the research nerd that I am – I decided that I should research what flags or banners were originally for before we became so conscience of our front yard’s looking just right for the maintenance associations or to beat the decorations that our neighbors put out!
When I read in I Corinthians 13: 5 about Love not demanding its own way – what does it mean? I am a child of God, I am to exhibit His love – I get it but how will people know that I am His? That I love Him and He loves me?
As a believer in Jesus Christ and a doer of God’s Word, I needed to learn more about what God says about His Kingdom. A little farther down after reading about – not letting the sun settle on your anger I found the following in Ephesians 5:22 (NIV) “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”
So yes I am to surrender to my husband, but the last part says “as you do to the Lord”. Meaning that even though I belong to my husband, I ultimately belong to the Lord; I am in His Royal Kingdom. Let’s read some more about what is in God’s Kingdom.
Psalm 24:1 (NLT) The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
How is a Kingdom advertised? How do people know who or what Kingdom is represented? In my research I found that flags and banners have been used throughout history to proclaim what kingdom or territory a home, a piece of land or an army belonged to. This makes sense, as children we said Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America every day in public school with our right hand over our heart while looking at the American Flag.
Then it got me to thinking, really thinking – what do I pledge to every day now? Whose Kingdom do I proclaim today? Is it my kingdom “Genie Ojemann here!” or do I belong to another?
So clearly I belong to God’s Kingdom. Since this is a fact – what Banner is flying over my life?
- Is it the “Parham” banner from my father’s house that I was born into?
- Is it the “Ojemann” banner since I made a holy covenant between by beloved Donnie and God when we married?
- What banner should it be?
Let’s go back to The Word and find out:
Numbers 1:52 (NLT) Each tribe of Israel will camp in a designated area with its own family banner.
Psalm 20:5 (NLT) May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers.
Psalm 60:4 (NLT) But you have raised a banner for those who fear you— a rallying point in the face of attack.
Isaiah 11:10 (NLT) In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.
More than I knew before I started on this journey to learn about God, His Warriors and His Weapons – wow He has Banners too! One thing that I know without a doubt – God has challenged me to walk, move and have my being in His Love. Not just with my Warrior Husband but with others too: with our daughter, our boys, our grand-daughter, our parents (including all the in-laws since we have an extra set), our friends, acquaintances and our enemies.
It appears that His Banner of LOVE is what is supposed to be flying high in my life, to let all who look see God’s Salvation, His Love and His Grace. Not the Parham Banner, or the Ojemann Banner or the Genie Banner that flew for so many years in my adult life. God’s Banner of Love is what He wants flying High, identifying me with His son, Jesus Christ.
In 2010, I had the opportunity to dance before the Lord in an assembly of Hebraic Christians in the Kingwood area. I was richly blessed as we would dance with flags and under banners with all of our might, singing, dancing, and worshiping our Lord and Savior in complete and total surrender to HIM in body, soul and spirit. It was a humbling yet exhilarating time in my life to be able to worship with abandon in my garments of praise.
Now I realize that He has given me daily opportunities – to dance before HIM in my behavior. How I speak with others, how I build relationships, encourage and even admonish others. He has blessed me with the privilege to interact with people in my neighborhood, on the job, in restaurants, stores, at events, in jails, prison, half-way houses, Christian assemblies, anywhere that I go – HIS Banner of LOVE flying high over me! What is it that they see under His Banner of Love?
- Do they see that I am surrendered to HIS LOVE?
Some days I can stand with my head up and shoulders back and boldly declare – YES!
Other days, I need to run to my Father King, throw myself at His feet, beg for His mercy, forgiveness and grace for I know that I did not represent Him well.
Under God’s Banner of LOVE – I willingly surrender to my husband, Donnie W. Ojemann with my heart abandoned as unto our Father King, God.
I am in God’s Family. I am His Royal Daughter. His Banner is LOVE – It flies high – He loves us so much that HE gave HIS ONLY SON for the salvation of souls and remission of sins. HIS LOVE is GREAT for us, higher than the highest mountain, deeper than the deepest sea…
I hope that I have encouraged at least one wife, sister, daughter or woman of God today and that you will continue to follow me as I learn to follow Christ more completely. I will continue to learn and share about other items that God wants us to be aware of as we fight this good fight of faith!
Sincerely Warrior Bride of Christ,
Mrs. Donnie W. Ojemann,
All I am, All For HIM!