John Erickson

Becky Noll

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The First Year.

When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken. Deuteronomy 24:5 KJV

When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, and bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken. Deuteronomy 24:5 NKJV

How would you interpet that scripture?

"During the first year or marriage, a man was not held responsible for military service or any other duty.
He was to devote that year of marriage to the enjoyment and establishment of his marriage."
– John MaCarthur commentary

What do Rebecca and I plan to do in our first year of our life together?
Pretty simple.


Before I am misunderstood, let me put it another way.
We will be too busy working on our lives.
Sometimes when asked, a newly wed couple will respond; "We are going back to work." Or, "We plan head right into full time ministry." Or other things.

But Rebecca and I are looking at the above passage of scripture, and can't get around what it means. God allowed that to be placed in scripture in the old testiment. It is there as a guide.
Why is it there? Think about it. You have two average* people get married, who have never lived together before, and have no experience being married. (*Average meaning, a never-before married single man and woman)
And what does our culture expect?

To head right into whatever they have planned. (Often it includes paying off debts)
Do we really expect this couple to quickly 'jell' and become one unit with all the distractions and tasks? Can we honestly say that sending them right into the fray of work and tasks makes for a good start?

Let us be reminded again of Deut. 24:5.
God knew that one of the bigest things that a person will ever do(get married) takes a lot of work. And scripture here encourages couples to realize this.

The man shall devote that FIRST year AT HOME, and shall cheer up/bring happiness to the home/family. (That is 24/7, 365 days)
I am reading this and seeing the wisdom in the words of Deut. 24:5.

But can we apply it to this day in age, with all the responsibilities, and the 100 Miles an Hour lifestyle we are use to living in our culture?

When I look at the consequences of not, or the benefits of doing so, it is worth doing everything possible to achive that goal.
Yes, it may not be possible without some very early preparations, to abstain from all work. But that is not the point.
The point is, Men (And women, you probably should not be working either!) we need to focus on the application of the truth found here.
That this is a year spent with the focus on our wife. Use it wisely, and fully. It is not a time to be lazy. It is a time to invest in your marriage, which is now your life, your committment.
It is not a time to be a work aholic, and grind ourselves into the dust and wonder why our marriage is not growing much.

With that mindset, Rebecca and I are fully intending, and are committed, to the fullest extent possible, to follow that example.
I am tempted to say, 'Take the year off'.
But that would be far from the truth, seeing how much work it takes to build a truly unified and fruitful marriage.

We are not forgetting, or ignoring verses like Matthew 28:19-20.."Go ye therefore, and teach all nations....."
But we are building the foundation for a fruitful ministry now, by doing quality work.

Do you enjoy quality work? Good products that are made to last? Knowing it is well made?
Well, is marriage any different?
This is why we are making Deut. 24:5 our priority, so that we can better carry out Matt. 28:19-20, by investing our time right now.

So what does this year look like for Rebecca and I?
Here is an example of one idea:
We both have friends and contacts across the U.S. I have a friend in a central state that does construction work.
With my focus still on being married, I would probably ask if I could work 2 days a week, or something along those lines... Only enough to supply for daily needs while renting a place to stay at.

After a couple months, I would like to move on to a new place/state.
Following this pattern will allow our focus to remain on building and strengthening our foundation and marriage together.
It also allows us to move around a little bit, without being tied down to school, or being burden working to pay off a house purchase.

At this point, it looks like our first place to live will be in San Antonio, Texas!
There is an ambulance company that is willing to hire me there, and there is a good church that would welcome us. So as early as December we may be in Texas!
Until then, please keep sending mail to either of our home(parents) addresses.

We are not doing this to follow the letter of the law in this verse.
Neither are we saying we won't work though.
The point is, we are committing to putting our focus and all our energy on Christ, and our marriage, and not putting our focus on our work/ministry.

Fun Story from the book, 'What he must be', page 160-161 by Vodie Bauckam

In was a cold winter night. Jack was sitting in front of the sire carefully lining up the pices from his gun cleaning kit. He had cleaned his guns before, but tonight was different; tonight the cleaning had a dual purpose. One purpose was to see that his weapons were all in working order; the other was to scare the living daylights out of the sixteen-year-old young man who was scheduled to arrive at his door in the next half hour.

Jack was a tall, athletic man who kept himself in good shape. He often joked that he worked out constantly in preparation for this moment. He knew the day would come when a young man came calling. That day had finally arrived. Jack’s mind flooded with images. He smiled as he remembered the day he brought her home. No man had ever been happier or more proud. Now, in just the blink of an eye, young men had begun to come knocking.

At 6:59 the doorbell rang. It was Scott. He was right on time. Jack opened the door and greeted the young man, who had to wipe the sweat from his palms before shaking jack’s hand. “come in, “ Jack said. There was more bass in his voice than usual. “Can I offer you something to drink?” Jack asked as he pointed to the chair across the room from his work station. “No thanks, I’m fine,” Scott replied as he looked nervously at the assortment of firearms lying on the table in front of him.

Jack sat down, picked up his two-tone Kimber Custom .45 Caliber semiautomatic pistol, and proceeded to field-strip and clean the weapon. As he ran his bore snake through the steel, match-grade barrel, he asked Scott, “Do you have any idea how much she means to me?” Scott, mouth hanging wide open, an d eyes as wide assaucers, could only manage to no his head. “Good,” Jack continued. “I just want to make sure we’re on the same page.” Scott shook his head more vigorously. “Do you remember what time I told you to have her back?” “Yes, sir—11:30,” Scott blurted out, finally able to produce audible sounds. “Don’t worry, sir. I’ll take good care of her and get her back long before that.”

Jack stood up, walked up the stairs, and disappeared. Moments later he reappeared. This was the moment Jack had waited for. He could barely contain himself. Resolved that he had done everything he could do to impress upon this young man the importance of taking great care and showoing the utmost respect for his baby, Jack turned around, reached into his pocket, and handed the young man the keys to his brand-new 6.5 liter, 12 cylinder All Wheel Drive, $354,000 Lamborghini Mucielago. “I want her back without as much as a scratch,” he said as the young man started toward the garage.

Of course, the story above is completely absurd. Who, you ask, would give the keys to a brand new Lamborghini Mucielago to a sixteen-year-old young man?
Well, Ihae a better question. Who would be foolish enough to think their daughter was worth less than any car? It should be as unthinkable for us to turn our sixteen-year-old daughters over to this young man as it is to contemplate giving him a depreciating hung of metal.
However, we have come to prize sports cars much more highly than we do daughters these days.
–Vodie Bauckam, What he must Be, Pg. 160-161

This is a title that should be on the door of a young lady's home.

Wanted: husband and father… others need not apply

So often we get caught up in providing husbands for our daughters that we forget that these men will also serve as fathers for our grandchildren.
As parents, we must help our daughters think in these terms. As the culture bombards them with images of broad-chested, empty-headed, shallow, overgrown boys, we must remind them that these quasi-men are hardly fatherhood material.
Fathers are a different breed. As such, they must be chosen from among those rare men who welcome children and are committed to investing in them and supporting them. We must settle for no less.

Pg. 138. What he must be my Vodie Baucham Jr.

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