Monday, April 06, 2009


Boys are notorious for being rowdy, daring, active. Believe me, girls can be just as rambunctious! When children grow up, those qualities sometimes manifest in words like: Ambitious. Driven. Obsessed. These are negative terms used to describe someone consumed with activity. Passionate. Committed. Resolute. These are nice, Christian terms used to describe someone consumed with activity. The only difference is terminology. The calendars – and dare I say, the results – often look the same. When our daughters were younger, and Roy was in his first ministry position, I felt “led” to get involved at our church. Though I was not the typical pastor’s wife – no horn-rimmed glasses, didn’t play the piano, and barely tolerated other people’s children – I waited approximately 3.2 seconds before jumping into ministry with both feet. At one point, I was singing in choir, hosting a small group in our home, teaching ladies’ Bible study and an adult Sunday school class, attending women’s missionary meetings/events and co-directing the K-2nd grade children’s program (80 children). I was also trying to start a personal speaking ministry and attend our daughters’ school and sporting events, while supporting my husband in his first pastoral position. Can you say SuperPastorsWife? Neither could I. Though I was ministering, I was restless. I was fulfilled, but I knew I should slow down. But how do you say no? Well, my body said NO for me. It didn’t appreciate my passionate, committed, resolute life, and four years into ministry, it rebelled – slowing me from my all-out sprint to a restless jog called, fibromyalgia. The second body rebellion happened five years later and removed my running shoes completely. I spent six months in bed asking questions, relying on the Lord for answers; and slowly, my restless spirit began to still. “Why am I driven?” “For Whom am I passionate?” “Am I ambitious or committed?” Ambition vs. commitment isn’t about which word we choose to describe the condition. The key is Cain’s curse: restless wandering. Recognizing our restlessness, speaks to the motive for our activity. If we’re restless in the activity, it’s not of God; but it doesn’t mean we will fail. Cain excelled in his restlessness.

Gen. 4:17-18 – “Cain lay with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.”

  • Before you ask – I have no idea who Cain’s wife was…she could’ve been his sister, his cousin or a new lump of dirt. If God thought it was important, He would have told us. Perhaps the fact that she’s not defined and never mentioned again gives her significance. The poor woman is a shadow. She gives birth to the first child outside God’s presence, and it seems her violent, selfish, restless husband’s only concern is building a dynasty of his own. Cain’s ambition gains him the first city, named after his first child, but why is there only one child named of each son? Is it selective genealogy or the jealousy and ambition of Cain coursing through his descendant’s veins, causing them to repeat his bloody sin perpetually? Enoch, Irad, Mehujael, Methushael and Lamech all grew up in the restless, godless Land of Nod, under the angry influence of their ancestor Cain.

Gen. 4:19-24 – “Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play the harp and flute. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain's sister was Naamah. Lamech said to his wives, ‘Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have killed (I will kill) a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.’”

  • Alright, Lamech! The first to mess up God’s perfect institution of one-man-one-woman marriage! Great job! Let’s all send him an anniversary card. Actually, no need to rub it in. Lamech discovered his own set of troubles with two wives. One wife had two sons – shepherds and musicians. The other wife had a son, maker of “tools” (i.e. weapons), and a daughter (and we know how a girl can set her brothers against each other). We know Lamech felt threatened by his wives because he had to remind them that harming a hair on his head would bring down trouble on theirs. I’m guessing the blood-shedding Cain began was rampant by the time Lamech’s family roamed the earth with their shepherds’ rods and iron tools. First isn’t always best, and more (especially wives) doesn’t necessarily bring contentment – in fact, just the opposite sometimes.

Gen. 4:25-26 – “Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, ‘God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.’ Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on (to proclaim) the name of the LORD.”

  • This time Eve remembered God as she gave birth, and Seth’s lifetime marked a time when “men” began to call on or proclaim the name of YHWH – the Covenant God.

Lord, Seth wasn’t first. In fact, a lot of people don’t even know his name. But You did. You chose him to be the faithful “begin again” guy. He didn’t build the first city in the Bible, but he was the first evangelist – proclaiming, calling on the Name of YHWH. His foundations still remain, Father, because they were built on the Eternal Rock. Oh, that my efforts would rest on the same Foundation. No more restless wandering from ambition to passion to obsession for this Type-A girl, Lord!

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