Woman, the Completer
By Dr. Jack Hyles
Five messages just as they were
preached before thousands of ladies at the nationwide "Women's Spectacular"
in the auditorium of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana.
Electronic Printing by FFEP
MEET THE AUTHOR
Jack Hyles began preaching at the age of 19 and has
pastored for over 33 years. These pastorates include churches that varied in
membership from 19 to over 50,000. All of these pastorates, other than the
present one, were in the state of Texas: first, the Marris Chapel Baptist
Church of Bogata, Texas; then to the Grange Hall Baptist Church in Marshall,
Texas; from there to the Southside Baptist Church of Henderson, Texas; and
then to the Miller Road Baptist Church of Garland, Texas. He pastored the
Miller Road Baptist Church for over 7 years and saw this church, under the
Lord, grow from a membership of 19 to over 4,000. It was from the Miller
Road Baptist Church that he was called to his present pastorate at the First
Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana.
Dr. Hyles has been Pastor of the First Baptist Church
since August, 1959. This church has a membership of over 50,000 and has
averaged for the past 6 years over 23,000 conversions and 7,000 baptisms per
year. For many years the church has been acclaimed to have the "World's
Largest Sunday School." During Dr. Hyles' ministry the First Baptist Church
has increased in property evaluation to over $21,000,000.
Besides his position as Pastor, Dr. Hyles is
Founder-Chancellor of Hyles-Anderson Schools, which enrolled over 3500
students last year. The schools are operated by the First Baptist Church and
are housed in separate facilities away from the church property. Dr. Hyles
has served as President of the Baptist Bible College in Denver, Colorado.
Dr. Hyles is the author of 29 books and pamphlets,
exceeding over 6 million copies in sales. One long-play record by Dr. Hyles
is also available, "Let's Go Soul Winning" (awarded by the Evangelical Film
Foundation an Oscar as the outstanding talk record of 1967), as well as many
Dr. Hyles' experience covers numerous evangelistic
campaigns, Bible conferences, etc. He has preached in virtually every state
of the Union and in many foreign countries. His annual Pastors' School
attracts thousands of preachers from every state and many foreign countries.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
WOMAN, THE HOLY SPIRIT OF THE
WOMAN, THE COMPLETER
THE CANDLE OF THE LORD
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE
WOMAN, THE HOLY SPIRIT OF THE FAMILY
Genesis 2:21-24, "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep
to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up
the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from
man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam 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. Therefore shall a man leave his father and
his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
"Our Heavenly Father, we come to speak on this vital subject. I'd love to be
a help and a blessing. I pray that for some ladies this will be
life-changing. May we give our attention to this truth and to Thee. In
Jesus' Name, Amen."
The Lord chose to compare a family with the Trinity.
In so doing, He called the head of the family, the man, after His own name,
Father. We pray, "Our Father, Which art in Heaven." Then He likened the son
or children in the family to His own Son, the second named Person in the
Trinity. Hence, we have in the family a person who represents God the
Father, and we have a person who represents God the Son. By process of
elimination, we come to realize who represents the Holy Spirit in the
family. There is only one person left, and that's the lady. That means that
you--the woman, wife, mother--represent the Holy Spirit. If you would like
to find your duties in life, just find in the Bible what the Holy Spirit is
supposed to do. He comforts; so does Mother. He teaches; so does Mother. He
instructs; so does Mother. He leads; so does Mother. Think of all the
ministries the Holy Spirit has in the world. He's the unseen One; so is
Mother. He is the one Who gives the others attention; so does Mother. If you
want to know what your duties are in the family, all you have to do is find
out the duties of the Holy Spirit in the Trinity, for you are the Holy
Spirit of the home.
The week of creation began. First came the light.
After the light, God made the firmament. Then God lit the starry hosts of
the nighttime in their constellations. Then God made the fishes of the sea
and then all the tribes of the animal kingdom. Now creation's week is almost
finished and all is prepared for God to make man. God did make man in His
All that God had made before man was made for man. The
stars of the nighttime were placed in the heavens for the enjoyment of man.
The herbs and grass of the field were placed there for the nurture and
health of man. The water was placed there for the refreshment of man. The
sun in the noontime and the moon in the nighttime were placed in the heavens
for man. It was marvelous.
Every tree that grew was pleasant to the sight. Rivers
flowed peaceably between verdant banks in Eden's garden. Every sound was a
melody and every scene was a delight. There was no war to unrest the breast
of man. There was no sickness to cause in his heart a fear of death. The
leaf never withered. The wind never chilled. No perspiration moistened man's
brow. There was no profanity to cause discomfort to his ears. There was no
weariness, no heat, no cold. No blossoms were ever smitten by a tempest. Man
had not yet learned to sigh and to weep. This was the Garden of Eden. God
had made it and the entire universe for one person--man! No withering frost
to chill the rose and no shadow of guilt was ever felt in the heart of man.
For Adam there were choirs of birds to sing. Man had everything he would
need, it seemed, in this Edenic bliss and yet something was missing!
Adam needed someone to share with him these beauties.
Adam needed someone to whom he could say, "Look at the stars! Aren't they
pretty?" Adam needed someone with whom he could share the joys of the
beautiful garden. He longed for communion with a kindred soul, one whose
wants and joys were like his own. The virgin world was cold and blank. Adam
needed somebody, and God made her, and here she comes dressed in all the
beauty for a human being to possess.
Milton said of Eve, "She was adorned with all of
heaven and earth that they could bestow upon her to make her amiable." Grace
was in her steps. Heaven was in her eye, and every gesture possessed
dignity, poise and love. Perfection was stamped on her. The sons of God
shouted for joy, the morning stars sang together, and Eden was transformed.
Now Adam has what he needed. Someone wrote, "The earth was sad, the Garden
wild, the hermit sighed, till woman smiled." The work of Omnipotence was
Notice, woman was not taken from man's head to lord
over him, nor from his heel to be crushed by him, but this magnificent
creation of Omnipotence was taken from man's rib, near his heart, so she
could be loved and protected by him.
The winds are a thousand times more refreshing now
that she is here. The flowers are a thousand times more fragrant now that
she is here. The birds are a thousand fold more melodious, the trees are
more beautiful, and the fruits are more delicious. The sun is brighter, the
moon is more lovely, the stars are closer, the animals are tamer because she
is here. There she is--Miss Universe! She was created because all of the
perfection of the Garden of Eden did not give to Adam what he needed.
There she stands with the beauty of Sarah as she made
Abraham her lord, with the courage of Deborah as she stood beside Barak in
the battle against the enemy, with the depth of Hannah as she prayed for and
reared her son, with the devotion of Rizpah as she vowed to protect even the
dead bodies of her own, with the royalty of Esther as she stood before the
king and spared a nation. There she is with the grace of Lydia, the poise of
Mary, the humility of Phoebe, the friendship of Dorcas, the faith of Rhoda,
the ambition of Salome, the worship of Mary, the care of Martha, and the
praise of Mary Magdalene. There she stands, our Miss Universe, with the
patience of Anna, the loveliness of Rachel, the love of Jochebed, the
gentleness of Elisabeth and the spirit of Lois. Wrapped up in all these
personalities is what you ought to be. Take all the good from all the good
women of the Word of God and there, dear lady, is what God intended you to
Who could have guessed that in the midst of Eden's
loveliness, innocence and peace where angels guarded the gates of the garden
and where peace, love and joy prevailed, who could have looked at this
magnificent creature of God's omnipotence and ever thought that evil could
find an entrance! In the loveliness of this woman is also the potential for
ugliness. In her joy is the potential for sadness. In her grace is the
potential for selfishness. In her humility is the potential for pride. In
her submission is the potential for rebellion. In her faith is the potential
for doubt. Though she is lovely and though all the good qualities of all the
women in the Bible are potentially hers, there is another potential that she
possesses. She bears in her breast the potential of Michal, who hated her
husband and laughed at him because he got happy and shouted when the ark of
the covenant came back to God's people. She can, if she chooses, possess the
rebellion of Jezebel, who fell and with her took a nation. She owns the seed
of the selfishness of Athaliah, who could kill her own grandchildren for her
own rights and privileges.
It's difficult to imagine that this beautiful queen of
the Garden of Eden, the one who filled every need of Adam, could possess in
her breast the hatred of Herodias, who had John the Baptist's head served in
a platter! It's hard to believe that she could be a soiled Rahab, who could
sell her body to the hands and lusts of wicked men. It's hard to believe
that this beautiful one has the potential so that her feet could carry her
to Moab with Naomi. It's hard to believe that these lips could possess the
potential of lying as did Sapphira. There behind her smile dwells the
possibility of hatred and the disposition of Abigail.
Ladies, it is up to you, as it was to Eve, to decide,
for there is in your breast all the loyalty of Sarah, the loveliness of
Rachel, the tenderness of Mary, the servitude of Martha, the patience of the
mother of Christ (His earthly mother), and the gentleness of Rebecca. There
is also a bit of Jezebel, Athalia, Michal, Abigail and the others. It is up
to you to decide.
Whether it be good or bad, there is one thing that
woman always does; she determines the spirit and the atmosphere of any place
where she is present.
Woman was not made to till the soil, she was not made
to build the house, she was not made to steer the crane, nor stack the
brick, nor hew the stones, nor build the road, nor head the state, nor lead
the church, nor reap the harvest.
It is woman's job to determine the atmosphere while
the soil is being tilled. It is woman's job to determine the atmosphere
while the house is being built. Though it is not her job to steer the crane,
it is her job to make happy the one who steers the crane. It's not her job
to stack the brick nor hew the stone; it's her job to make a wonderful
spirit and atmosphere while the brick is being stacked and the stone is
being hewn. It's not her job to build the road, nor head the state, nor lead
the church, nor reap the harvest. Everywhere woman has ever been, it has
been her job to provide the spirit of atmosphere while man does his work and
changes the course of history.
Woman can make Eden a paradise if she so chooses, or
she can curse everything in it, as she did. She can make an ark a lifeboat
and the Nile River a nursery if she wants to, or she can curse her husband
in Job's ash heap. It's her choice! She can ruin a nation as did Jezebel or
she can change a house into a church as did Priscilla. She can make a
preaching service great by giving all or ruin one by withholding some as did
Sapphira. She can fill the house with Mary's ointment or she can fill it
with Michal's hatred. She can save a nation as did Esther or she, like
Jezebel, can destroy one.
Ladies, I don't think you understand completely how
the atmosphere is determined by you.
Much of the atmosphere of Hyles-Anderson College is
caused by the lovely young ladies who grace our hallways. Our college was
made basically for God's men. When I was in Los Angeles, California, praying
all night one night, God didn't give me a burden and say, "You need to start
a college and turn out some young ladies." My burden was for God to send us
some young men who could go across this country with the fire of God in
their breasts and change this country, build churches, call America back to
God and fight evil, but we could not have done it had it not been for the
marvelous spirit that permeates our campus caused by the sweetness of the
"Holy Spirits" of our campus who make it so much sweeter.
We have some fine young men in our high school who
play football and basketball, and who are the officers of the classes, but
our high school this year has an amazing spirit. Do you know one reason? A
group of young ladies determine what it's like.
Woman's spirit determines the tranquility of the home,
the spirit of the office, the unity of the church, the reputation of the
preacher, the health of her husband and the joy of her children. She's not
the one whose name is put in the headlines of the paper. She's the one who
makes man have a delightful place to be. 'Tis her spirit, her attitude, her
The little song is true: "Sometimes I'm happy,
sometimes I'm blue; my disposition depends on you!" That's the way it is.
You can make your church a marvelous place. You ladies can determine the
spirit of your church more than menfolks can, for your spirit determines the
spirit of the menfolk. I wonder how many preachers have gone to church and
bawled the people out because of some discontent they received from their
wives concerning the church while they were home. I wonder how many
preachers have kept churches tranquil and serene because of the tranquility
they received at home.
Any time a woman is present, she determines the spirit
and the atmosphere many times more than does the man. Though she's not the
head, she's the neck that determines which way the head looks. Though she's
not the arm, she's the fuel that gives it strength. Though she's not the
strong cedar of Lebanon, she's the myrrh that makes fragrant the atmosphere.
Though she's not the pillar of the temple, she is the altar of incense that
makes everything fragrant within its walls. Though she's not the harvest
gatherer, she is the lily that makes the gathering of the harvest more
beautiful as she graces herself in the field.
Woman is the flower on the communion table. She's the
honey at the banquet table. She's the Holy Spirit in the home, the unseen
Man worked before woman came, but man worked harder
after she came. Man ran before she came, but man ran faster after she came.
Man jumped before she came, but man jumped higher after she came. Man was
good before she came; man excelled after she came.
Some women are not listed in the Bible by name--the
Shunammite woman, the little maid that pointed Naaman toward the man of God,
the widow who gave two mites, the widow at Zarephath, and others. You see,
the honest truth is, though you're not made to have your name in the
headlines, break the records, win the wars and fight the battles, God made
you for a specific purpose.
Jesus is the One we exalt in our preaching here, but
the Holy Spirit gives us power to exalt Him. The Father is the One Who is
the great omnipotent God, but the Holy Spirit is the One Who causes our
attention to turn toward Him. The Gospel gets people saved, but the unseen
power of the Holy Spirit is felt in the services, His power causes folks to
walk the aisle; His power causes Jesus to be more lovely; His power causes
God to look more omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent; that power causes
the church to go out and bring more folks to Christ and draw folks to
Calvary; that power is the unseen One, the Holy Spirit! And that's what you
are! You're the determiner--the unseen one.
When I was a boy my mother used to sing to me in some
tune that you would not recognize, for she was possessed with the same
musical talents with which I am obsessed! She used to rock me on her knee
and sing, "Brighten the corner where you are; brighten the corner where you
are; someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar if you brighten
the corner where you are!" As she sang it, my father was probably out drunk.
We lived in a little two-room shack. Light came from a kerosene lamp, and
heat came from a wood stove which was too often empty because we had no wood
to place in it.
Mother did not know the story behind the song,
"Brighten the Corner." Years ago a little lady, Ina Duley Ogdon, was given a
beautiful voice. Someone asked her to sing a concert tour around the world.
She had anticipated the day when she could cover the globe and carry the
bright light of Christ through her voice. She had signed the contract; the
date had been set for her journey to begin. Just days before her departure,
she found her father was taken seriously ill. No one else could care for
him; only she! With some bitterness and much disappointment she cancelled
her worldwide trip to use her voice to sing the praises of Christ and shine
His light around the world!
Ina Ogdon looked at her aged father and saw him as he
was nearing death. She realized that she could not take her trip. Her
bitterness changed to joy, her disappointment changed to gratitude as she
sat down one day and began to write, "Brighten the corner where you are;
brighten the corner where you are; someone far from harbor you may guide
across the bar if you brighten the corner where you are!"
What the soloist could not do with her journey she did
with her sweet spirit as it went from her heart to her mind, from her mind
to her pen, from her pen to the paper, from the paper to the hymnbook, and
from the hymnbook to the whole world! Not just in her lifetime did she
brighten the world, but she will do so as long as the song is sung!
That's your job--brighten your corner! The atmosphere
of the office is determined more by the spirit of the secretaries than that
of the bosses. The atmosphere of the home is determined more by the mother
and wife than by the father and the children.
Man looks to you first to see in what kind of mood you
are now. Your husband comes home at night and one of the first things he
wants to know is, "What kind of a mood is she in tonight??' His evening is
brightened or saddened according to your mood! Why? Man doesn't determine
the mood of the house; you do! You are the Holy Spirit of the home.
You won't get the praises man gets. You won't get your
name in the paper like he does. You won't get your name honored like he
does, and you won't be as big, as strong and as much of a leader. He is the
Father, the children are the Son, but you are the Holy Spirit. The whole
atmosphere wherever you are is determined by you.
Did you know that God has made it so that your spirit
can overwhelm the spirit of man? He is stronger than you as far as your body
is concerned. Your emotions could never do it, because there is more
emotional stability in a man than in you, but there is one place where you
can always overpower your guy or any guy and that is your attitude, the
spirit, the atmosphere!
Sometimes your home is happy; sometimes it's blue. Its
disposition depends on you.
Sometimes the place you work is happy; sometimes it's
blue. Its disposition depends on you.
Sometimes your school is happy; sometimes it's blue.
Its disposition depends on you.
Sometimes your church is happy; sometimes it's blue.
Its disposition depends on you.
If your church doesn't have a good spirit, it's more
your fault than the man's. I like this building. I helped to build it. I
love it. I think it's the prettiest building in the whole world and I
wouldn't trade anyone's building for it. I love this pulpit. It's the same
pulpit I had in the other building; we just put some new wood on the outside
of the pulpit. When we meet here Sunday morning, it doesn't matter about the
building, and all of my training and planning for the services doesn't
matter if the Holy Spirit is not here! It doesn't matter what kind of a guy
you've got or what kind of kids you have, if the Holy Spirit is not there.
That's what it's all about. It's your job to comfort.
Dad's not a very good comforter; in fact, he's a weak comforter. Dad's a
horrible spirit-determiner or atmosphere-determiner. He waits on you.
Not many years ago, I think it was in the state of
Georgia, a mother and a child fell into an open well. The mother was beneath
the child. She held the child up above her and cried for help. For hours
that mother was there, just holding her arms up, holding the child above
her. When the rescuers came, they found the child was alive, but the mother
was dead. They took the mother's body to the funeral home. The funeral
director came to the family and asked, "How shall we bury her?"
The family said, "What do you mean?" The director
said, "What shall we do with her arms? "
They said, "What do you mean, 'do with her arms'?"
He said, "Her arms are locked in position above her
head. We'll have to break the bones to put them across her breast."
The family said, "Bury her with her arms up." As the
people came by to view her body at her service they looked at her face, but
her arms were raised out of the casket, and that's how she was buried.
That's the way it ought to be. Lady, your job is to
keep lifting up those who are yours. Your guy and all guys are symbols of
the Father; your children are symbols of Jesus Christ; you are the unseen
and often forgotten, overlooked, unpraised, but always necessary Holy
Think about the songs we sing. "Holy Spirit, breathe
on me." "All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down." Compare
your purpose to the jobs of the Holy Spirit: teach, lead, comfort,
encourage, strengthen, help.
I'll be honest with you. I think you ladies got the
long end of the stick. Preachers get on their faces and say, "0 God, give me
the fullness of the Holy Spirit." I think I may get the men to demonstrate
to God. We got short-changed in all of this. We're going to start our own
men's ERA. We build the wall, but you decide whether we smile or frown while
we build it. We build the city, but you decide whether we have normal blood
pressure or high blood pressure while we build it. We are the ones who build
the churches, but you are the ones who decide whether we have tranquility or
frustration while we lead. It's up to you.
Why don't you say, "My church is going to have a new
spirit because of me"? Some of you ought to meet your preacher before he
walks out to the pulpit Sunday morning and encourage him. Do what some of
our college girls did as they formed a little honor guard behind the
platform and began to sing for me about loving the Preacher.
The next time you are prone to think, "I'm not very
important; nobody appreciates me," remember that you are the one in the
family that typifies the One in the Trinity that nobody appreciates either.
His job is as the spotlight that is covered by the bushes or the ravine, but
it shines upon the building so that all may see the building. 'Tis your job
to be the unseen one, that comforter, that Holy Spirit.
Take your Bible, look up the term Holy Spirit, and
find all He does. Then resolve that you are going to do what He does. Go
alone somewhere, bow your head, lift your heart to God, and say, "0 God, I'm
so thankful that You made man in the image of God the Father, and I'm so
glad that our children symbolize God the Son, and I'm so glad that You made
me a woman, something that the earth had to have, something that paradise
could not replace, something that could not be satisfied by the breeze of
Eden, the taste of the fruit, the fragrance of the flowers, nor the
gentleness of the wind."
The earth had to have you, lady, just as the church
has to have the Holy Spirit.
Get on your knees and say, "Dear God, I am satisfied
with my lot in life. I am glad You made me a woman in the image of the Holy
Spirit. I yield myself to promise You that everywhere I go the flowers will
be a little prettier, their fragrance a little sweeter, the sun a little
brighter, the wind a little more gentle, the smile a little broader, the
shoulder a little straighter, and the arm a little stronger because I'm
You're somebody! You are God's Holy Spirit in the
family. It matters not what else you do--that's your job. It matters not
what else you accomplish. That is your job.
Mrs. Evans conducts these Christian Womanhood
Spectaculars. To you she seems like a mighty strong willed person. I don't
see her that way. I see her as, "Whatever you say, Preacher." "Preacher, you
know what's best." "Preacher, you're the wisest." "Preacher, I'm dumb
compared to you." That's what it's really all about.
You carry with you two little dispensers. One
dispenser is filled with the most marvelous fragrance and one is filled with
a bad odor. You have the potential for making everything around you sweet or
foul. We can't overbalance you. There is no way we can. You give me ten
gossipy ladies in a church, and I'll chase off any preacher in America!
Churches aren't split by men; they are split by women. Wounds in churches
aren't healed by men; they are healed by women!
One day I was teaching a class in a college in Texas
many years ago. I was driving down the highway coming home, and the cutest
little "cat" came across my path. It was black and white. It was a polecat
or a skunk, and I tried to miss him. I didn't! Not a bit of his Chanel No. 5
touched me, but do you know that for weeks everywhere I went people said,
"Whew! My! What's that odor?" There was no way around it.
You have that potential. It's up to you.
The Russell Andersons and we were in Nassau, Bahamas.
I was standing in a big department store and I heard something behind me
going, "Psst, psst, psst." I thought, "What is that--gas escaping?" Then I
felt something trickling down my neck, and Russell Anderson had taken a
little sample perfume bottle and absolutely washed my hair in it. For weeks
everywhere I went people said, "Ah!" My deacons said, "Ohhh!"
You have both in your personality!
There Miss Universe stands with power enough to
complete the perfection of the Garden of Eden or to let the serpent find his
way into her heart and destroy and curse all in the garden.
You have that power too. It's up to you which one you
choose. You are the mood-determiner, the atmosphere-determiner, the Holy
Spirit of the family.
WOMAN, THE COMPLETER
May I say to you before I begin that I have no desire
to scold. I'm going to say some things that will make many ladies
disappointed. Maybe you're going to look back over your life and say, "Oh, I
blew it!" I'm not interested in scolding someone who has had any degree of
failure. I would be interested in helping many young ladies and those who
are still in the middle years of life as well as those of you who are not
yet married. I beg your leniency and understanding as I discuss with you
this very vital and important subject.
This originated when I was talking to a lady in my
study one evening. She was a very unhappy lady, so I discussed with her for
awhile her home situation and her marriage. I gave her a little talk. She
said, "I have never heard anything like that! I believe my life will be
I thought that perhaps I should go home and give the
same truth to our daughters. So late one night as Linda and Cindy and I were
talking, I sat down at the kitchen table and taught them a Bible lesson on
"Woman, the completer."
Would you bow your head and ask God to help me help you?
"Our Heavenly Father, what a responsibility You have
placed on my shoulders to discuss such a vital subject. I pray You would
give me Your Holy Spirit, power, wisdom and leadership. Give me an alert
mind and a warm heart as we discuss together this thing that could well be
life-changing for hundreds of ladies, especially those who are young. Help
me. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
Nothing is happy, until it fulfills its purpose for
existence. God has made everything on purpose. He makes nothing by accident.
Nothing is happy until it finds the purpose for which God has made it. No
one is happy unless he finds and fulfills the purpose for which God has made
him. We hear talk these days about "I want my rights." Everybody talks about
"my rights, my rights, my rights." Somebody ought to start talking about "my
purpose, my purpose, my purpose," or "my place, my place, my place."
You have only one right in life and that is to find God's will and purpose
for your life. Then sit securely and work actively right in the center of
God's purpose and place for you.
For example, God made a bird to fly. If a bird doesn't
fly, it is not happy. A bird can say, "I want to be a fish and swim, " but a
bird won't be happy swimming. A bird can say, "I want to be a dog and run
through the yard," but a bird won't be happy running through the yard. A
bird is happy only when flying, for God made a bird to fly.
A fish could say, "I'm not satisfied here. I would
like to fly through the air," but a fish would never be happy flying through
the air, for God did not make a fish to fly. The fish could say, "I would
like to run through the forest like a wild animal," but God didn't make the
fish to run through the forest like a wild animal. God has a specific
purpose for each of His creatures. Hence, God has a purpose for woman.
Man needed someone to see how fast he could run and to
say to him, "You're a fast runner!" Man needed someone to see how far he
could throw the rock and to say, "You're a good thrower!" Man needed someone
to see how much he could lift and to say, "My, you have strong biceps!" But
there was nobody. Maybe man climbed to the top of the tree, and he was so
proud and so he said, "How did I do?" There was nobody to boost him. God
looked around and saw there was no help meet for man.
The Lord said, "The poor fellow needs somebody to be
in his corner, somebody to be for him. He needs someone to say, "Hey, that's
fast running! My, what a strong arm you have! Hey, how fast you can climb
When I was a little boy I got my first brand new
bicycle. I had a little girlfriend named Shirley Warren. I thought she was
the prettiest thing in all the world. I wanted her to see how I could ride
my bicycle. I rode in front of her house. She came outside and I said, "Hey,
look here, Shirley!" I rode the bicycle by Shirley's house. I went back the
second time. I wanted to do better. I said, "Hey, look, no hands!" In front
of her house she sat with that adoring, admiring look! That's why God made
women. (Coming back the third time I got up and stood on the seat, and then
I ended up on my seat!)
God made woman to sit on the sidelines and cheer when
a man succeeds.
Why did God make woman? He made woman to cheer on the
sidelines while her fellow made a touchdown. God made a woman to sit in the
audience while her husband preaches and say, "That's the best preacher in
the world!" God made woman to stand on the side of the street and watch her
little boyfriend ride the bicycle using no hands or standing up on the seat
and say to him, "That's the most amazing thing I ever saw in my life!" God
made woman to see her man run the 100-yard dash and say, "That's the
greatest accomplishment I ever saw!" God made a woman to sit on the
sidelines and watch her fellow throw a 100-pound stone 50 feet and say,
"Nobody else could do it like that!" God made a woman to sit on the
sidelines and watch a fellow climb a tree faster than anybody in the world
and say, "That's my man! He's the best tree climber in the whole world!"
That's why God made woman. He made her to be man's help meet.
God made woman for man! The word "help meet" means
"completer." God said, "I will make a completer for man." It is like an
incomplete circle. Man has almost all he needs, but there's something he
doesn't have. God said, "There's something I've got to give to man," so He
took from beneath man's heart a rib, and from that rib He made a woman. God
said, "I want that woman to go to that man, and I want her to complete him."
Man will not be complete until he has her.
No, God didn't see a child needing care and say, "I'm
going to send somebody down to take care of that child." Now I'm for
children! I think they're wonderful, but ladies, God didn't make you for
your children! No, He didn't. God didn't look down one day and say, "Hey,
there's a little fellow down there that needs his diaper changed. I'm going
to have to make somebody to go down and complete him." God didn't do that.
God didn't look down and say, "There's a dirty house
down there. I want somebody to clean it. I'll make a house cleaner." No, God
didn't make you for that.
God didn't look down and say, "You know, man needs to
love somebody and protect somebody, and I'm going to send somebody for man
to love and protect." No, God didn't do that either.
God didn't send you down to be helped; God sent you
down to help.
Your husband came home from work one day and you said,
"I went to the doctor today." Perhaps you were knitting.
He said, "Have you got the flu?"
You said, "I've got the nine-month flu."
Up out of the chair he flew! He said, "Wh-wh-wh-what?"
He said, "D-d-don't g-g-get n-n-nervous. Just s-s-stay c-c-calm."
You said, "Thank you, sweetheart. I always appreciate
the fact that you are able to calm me down."
Then you started getting sick. Every morning you
regurgitated, you got sort of a funny color to your face, and you were even
harder to get along with than usual. You started getting bigger! When you
sat down you had to spread your legs in order to get up! When you laid on
your back you looked like one of the pyramids in Egypt. When you laid on
your stomach you looked like a rocker on a rocking chair. Nothing fit, and
there was room for only one person in the bed. You had to go sideways
through the door. You ate pickles at midnight and watermelon for breakfast
and peanut butter sandwiches at two o'clock in the morning. Nobody could get
along with you. You remember those days. God bless you. Then one night about
two o'clock in the morning (I know it was two o'clock in the morning because
all babies are born at two o'clock in the morning!) you reached over to your
husband and said, "Sweetheart, the pains are five minutes apart now."
"He said, "Now d-d-d-don't you w-w-worry. Everything's
g-g-g-going to be all right."
You said, "Oh, thank you for your comforting words.
It's so nice to have a man around the house."
He said, "G-g-get in the car. I'll g-g-get your
suitcase." He got the bowling ball out of the basement and put it in the
trunk of the car. You had presence of mind enough to know what he would do,
so you got the suitcase and put it in the car yourself. (He doesn't know to
this day exactly what happened.) You took off for the hospital. You were
going about 80 miles per hour in a 30-mile zone and looked up in the rear
view mirror and saw the flashing light. The officer pulled you to the side
of the road and said, "Hey, are you going to a fire?"
Your husband said, "No, it's my hospital here. She's
going to the baby to have a wife. I mean, no, no, it's my baby here. She's
going to the wife to have a hospital."
The policeman was a nice man and said, "Yes, I think I
understand what it is." (He had probably been there before.) He said, "You
follow me," and he gave you a guided tour to the hospital.
They rolled you through a couple of doors, and you
were apprehensive, for maybe it was the first time you had ever done this.
You went into the room, and there was the nurse and the doctor and maybe a
hypodermic needle. Maybe they put you to sleep a little bit, maybe not, and
soon you felt pain like nobody has ever felt, the like of which no human
being ever feels in all the world. After awhile there was a little cry and
they rolled you to your room. It wasn't long until they brought that little
one to you. You held the baby to your breast, and that little, blind,
wrinkled, ugly rascal started hunting for his supper. He had enough sense to
want to eat as soon as he was born. As he fed from your own body, you said,
"That's flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone and blood of my blood," and
oh, how you loved it! What a sweet time it was, but that's not why God made
you. That wasn't the most important day of your life. You did not fulfill
the purpose for your being a woman that day! No, you didn't! God didn't look
down and say, "I have a baby that needs feeding; I'm going to send someone
down to feed it." God did make it so you could bear children, but God didn't
make that the main purpose for your existence. You can be a good mother and
be a failure. You can be the best mother in the world and be a failure. You
can be the best mother who ever lived. You can be a Susannah Wesley, a
Jochebed, an Elisabeth, and a Mary all wrapped in one package, and still be
Nothing is ever completely happy or content or finds
fulfillment until it fulfills the purpose for its existence. You say, "Well,
I'm going to rear my children." Go ahead. That's okay with me. I think you
ought to rear your children. Yet it is not as important as being the kind of
wife you ought to be. God made woman for man. God made woman for man to be a
help meet for him.
God didn't look down and see a hungry family and say,
"I want someone to feed them," or a dirty house and say, "I want someone to
clean it," or a little kid and say, "I want someone to rear him." No, God
looked down and saw a man that He had made. He saw an incomplete man. God
saw that man could not make it completely by himself. He saw that man was
not a self-contained package. God saw that man could not sustain himself by
himself and God said, "I'm going to make somebody to complete him. Man has a
subject but no predicate. He has a noun, but no verb. He has three sides,
but no completed side. He is a circle not completed. He is a two-sided
triangle. He's a three-sided square. There's something missing in man." So
God made you to complete man.
If that be the case, then in a sense God made you to
be the aggressor. Yes, woman is the weaker vessel, but man is the less
complete vessel. Woman is the weaker vessel, but man has more need than
woman does. Did you know you can stay at home at night by yourself and not
be as scared as your husband would be if he stayed at home by himself?
That's true. I dare you to check it. Some of you stay at home alone with the
doors unlocked. It is a different story when he is by himself. He probably
has the police number written down by every telephone in the house! Why? Man
needs you more than you need man. Man has the engine and the gasoline but he
doesn't have a starter. You don't have an engine, and you don't have the
gasoline, but you have the starter! If you don't believe it, tickle him
under the chin and see if you don't start something! He has the engine. He's
got what it takes, but he needs someone to start him, somebody to prod him
along, somebody to complete him.
Let me put it this way. Woman comes to an incomplete
man, completes him, and then receives the benefits of his completeness.
Woman comes to an incomplete man and completes him; that's her job--to be
the aggressor, to lead him to become a complete man so he can lead her, but
he needs woman to start him! Then after woman completes man, she receives
the benefits of his completeness!
Some of our college girls made a list of "the ten
things I want in a man." A girl's list might have included these
qualifications: 6'3", handsome, compassionate, strong, tender, etc.--that's
what she wants in a man. If you ever found a fellow with all those things,
he wouldn't need you!
Some lady says, "Oh, he has everything!"
No, he doesn't have everything! No man has everything!
If he did have everything, he wouldn't need you. I think the best thing for
you to do is find someone who doesn't have everything, and then help him get
everything. That's why God made you.
1. Complete him in his work.
If your husband is a carpenter, go look at the house
he built and say, "Did you all build that? My, my, my, let me see your big
old bicep!" (You may not realize it, but those old southern belles had
something on the ball.) You should say, "That's the prettiest house I ever
saw. My, did you build that?" That's what you're supposed to do--cheer on
By the way, if your husband is a carpenter, you learn
what a 16d nail is. Learn what an 8d common nail is. Learn what a 8d casing
nail is. You learn what a 2" x 4" and a 2" x 8" are. Know what Sheetrock is.
Find out what kind of roof is put on a house. Why? God made you to complete
that man, that's why!
You say, "I want a strong leader."
Someone says, "I want a great lover."
Make him a great lover.
"I want a great, successful man."
That's why you're there! You're there to complete him,
finish him. God made him, but he wasn't complete. So the Lord says, "I want
someone to complete him."
11. Complete him in his play.
Complete him here also. When your guy is watching a
football game, share it with him. When his favorite team wins a game or
makes a touchdown, you should cheer! When he looks around and says, "That
was great!" you ought to be there to say, "Sure was!" You ought to be able
to say, "You know why they got that touchdown? Because they red-dogged on
that last defensive play!" Red-dogged? Yes, you ought to know what
red-dogging means. No, it doesn't mean squirting ketchup on a mutt in the
front yard! You ought to know.
Listen, if your husband likes baseball, learn
baseball. If your husband likes to fish, when he pulls up that little old
6-inch fish you should say, "Man, look at that whale! " That's why you're
You say, "I'm just not that type.
I know. You're not the happy type either.
"I'm just not made that way."
I know. We're all pretty bad. We're supposed to
straighten up ourselves!
You say, "You're just trying to help the men.
No, I'm not. The first thing I said was that nothing
is ever happy until it fulfills the purpose for which it was made.
"He never brags on me," you say.
God didn't make him to brag on you. Now don't
misunderstand me. I think it's fine if he does, and I think it would be nice
if he did, but that's extra. The "bread and beans" of this is that God made
YOU to brag on your man!
"Well, I'm not going to listen to all that junk."
Don't call it junk. I didn't write it. I'm just
telling you what it says. God says, "I need a completer for man."
Complete him in his play. Complete him when he catches
a fish. When he hits a ball, say, "Let me feel your arm!" I'm saying, spoil
him rotten! That's why God made you.
Man is a vain creature. Men like to say, "All in the world my wife does is
primp, primp, primp!" I dare you to time the two of you. I dare you to put a
timer on the old man and one on the old lady and see who takes longer!
I use Command hairspray on my hair. I spray one hair
and then I spray the other one! I part my hair in the middle--in the middle
of the two hairs. I don't comb my hair; I place it. I get it all placed.
Each hair has one little spot where it's supposed to go. If one hair is out
of place, it makes the whole skull shine through. If one little hair is
sticking up, I work on it. I'll get my comb out and put that hair back and
spray it right quick.
You say, "Why?"
Men say, "I don't use face powder."
I do. I use after-shave talcum powder daily. Why? I
don't want my nose (or my head) to shine.
What I'm saying is, man is a vain person. Man is vain
because God made him vain. A man can do more if he is vain. When a man is
running for a touchdown and a little gal on the side is saying, "Rah, rah,
rah! Run, Goerge, run!" George will run faster because of that yelling on
The tragic thing is that before marriage it's, "Run,
George, run," and after marriage is, "Get, George, get!" There's something
wrong about that. Keep hollering, "Run, George." That's why God made you.
Complete him in his play. There's nothing in the world that masculinity
hates worse than to fail. A real man would rather die than fail. Now it's
your job to see that he doesn't fail. If your husband fails, you are part of
that failure. You must bear the responsibility of it because God has made
you to help and complete him.
You say, "I'm looking for a certain kind of man."
That's like a doctor looking for well patients, a plumber looking for a
house with no leaks, a mechanic looking for an engine with no knocks, a
cobbler looking for a shoe with no hole, or a barber looking for a man with
no hair! You look for God's man and then help to make him what God wants him
This is every man's right. Each has only one life to
live. God looks down and sees that every man is incomplete. God gives a man
a woman, and that woman is supposed to complete that man. If you fail to do
it, it won't be done. If he dies without ever having it, it's because you
didn't give it to him. You have taken from him what is every man's right.
Every man's right is to have a completer. That's why God made you!
A lady came to my office not long ago and I gave her
this truth. She said, "I'm not going to do all that stuff."
I said, "I'll give you an alternative suggestion."
She said, "What?"
I said, "Go over here to the bridge over the Chicago
River and jump off."
"Go jump in the river."
I said, "You'd go to Heaven, and your husband wouldn't
have to live in hell!" Listen to me, especially you young ladies, you
unmarried ladies, you ladies who haven't been married long. I'm trying to
help you. I'm not trying to take any freedoms away from you. I'm trying to
give you a liberty that you'll never enjoy unless you become what God has
made you to be.
I said to that lady in my office for counsel, "Look,
you are standing in the way. Your husband is a good man. He's not going to
have anybody else. You're standing in the way of your husband ever having a
completer. You'd be a lot better off, young lady, in the early days of your
marriage, if you would go over and jump off the bridge so your husband can
have in his lifetime someone to complete the circle."
Ladies, most of your husbands are fine men. Wouldn't
it be a shame for your guy to live and die without having what is his
rightful heritage? How pitiful! How tragic! I wish I could help you realize
the purpose for which God made you. I wish I could get you to get to your
man and help make that man all that God wants him to be. Complete him. Then
you'll know what it is to be happy.
Do you know what these women's libbers are? They are a
group of confused women trying to find happiness and failing because they
are searching for it outside of God's Word and God's plan.
You say, "I have my rights too!
No, you don't. Not yet! A woman does not have any
right in this world until she's done this. You check in the Bible. Always in
the Bible the first command is to the follower. In Ephesians 5:22, for
example, it says, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands." Then in
verse 25 it says, "Husbands, love your wives." Who's supposed to start it?
It says in Ephesians 6:1, "Children, obey your
parents." Then in verse 4 it says, "Fathers ... bring them up in the nurture
and admonition of the Lord."
What does it mean? God gives the command first to the
follower. He says, "I want the wife to do her job first." That means you
have no rights until you do your job. That means He wants the child to obey
first. That means He wants the child to obey even if the dad is never the
right kind of dad. That means a child is supposed to obey, regardless!
For example, it says in Ephesians 6:5, "Servants, be
obedient to them that are your masters." Then in verse 9 the masters are
exhorted to be good masters.
God always puts on the follower the burden of having
the initiative and being aggressive. Wives, you do it first. Children, you
do it first. Servants, you do it first.
Somebody says, "I want a man already made."
There's no such thing as one already made.
Somebody says, "He doesn't help me at home."
He wasn't made to help you at home. If he wants to
help you at home, that's a pretty good bonus, but it is not part of God's
plan. I'm not saying it is wrong for him to help you at home, and I think it
may be good for him to help you at home, but it is not in the Book for him
to do so.
You were made for him; the man was not made for you.
Man's main business is outside. Woman's main business is inside. Man's main
business is not the woman. Woman's main business is the man.
You say, "He doesn't give me as much attention as I
The Bible doesn't say he's supposed to do that. Let me
put it this way. You be what you ought to be so you can make your man to be
what he ought to be to you.
This is why girls should be taught to cater to their
dads. Girls who cater to their dads make better wives. A little girl should
bring her dad's houseshoes to him. The mother should teach her to do it. The
daughter ought to be taught that if Dad's tea glass gets half empty, she
should fill it and cater to him and spoil him.
This is important, not for Dad's sake, but the girl's
When Cindy and Linda were our only two children home,
they catered to their dad. They spoiled me! They liked to do nice things for
me. I enjoyed it. I wanted my girls to get accustomed to spoiling a man so
they could spoil their husbands. I wanted them to get in the habit of
supplying Dad's needs so as to practice for marriage. I enjoyed their
spoiling me, but that wasn't my goal. I had ten thousand times rather my
daughters be good wives than good daughters. If each daughter will make some
man a loving, completing, spoiling kind of cheering wife, I'll feel then
that the girls are what God wants them to be.
I have always preferred that our daughters sing in
duets rather than solos. I want them to blend. That's why I've always been
pleased when they accompanied on the piano rather than play piano solos. I'm
not against ladies singing solos. I thank God for the ladies who sing solos
in our church, but I think for every solo a lady sings she should sing a
thousand times where she blends. That's why I've always wanted the girls to
play doubles rather than singles in tennis. From the time they were little
I've wanted them to share, be part of a team, boost a team image, and be a
part of boosting someone else. That's why I wanted them to spoil their dad.
I never much care if they win any beauty contests. Your main job in training
a girl is not to help her be happy when she grows up. Your main job is to
train her to know how to make a man happy when she grows up. Then, and only
then, will she be completely happy and fulfilled.
You say, "Brother Hyles, how can I do it?"
The best way is by example. Young ladies, have you a
child in the nursery now or one in the Beginner or Primary Department? The
best way to train those little girls to be a help meet one day is for you to
be that right now.
"How can I get the girls to watch the tea glass?" you
You watch the tea glass.
"How can I get the girls to spoil their future
husbands?" you ask.
You spoil your husband.
There ought to be some place where every man can go
where he is a hero. I mean, he is the biggest guy in all the world! He's the
most handsome guy in the whole world. He's the strongest man alive. There
should be some place he can go, a refuge, where he can feel that he's really
somebody. Every man has a right to be a hero to somebody! For every man God
has made somebody to make him a hero.
How does your husband feel tonight? How does your guy
feel? When your guy comes in the house, he ought to feel like a conquering
hero coming home. He has a right to it! That's why God made you!
God made a man and said, "That man needs someone to
think he is the greatest thing in the whole world. That man needs someone to
help him. That man needs someone to complete him."
Without a completer man will never achieve what he
could have achieved.
You say, "Brother Hyles, I'm not married. What can I
You can be a Viola Walden, a Fairy Shappard, a Maxine
Jeffries. Maxine Jeffries, the lady who oversees all our ministries to the
handicapped, is one of the most feminine ladies I know in the whole world.
Now Maxine weighs a "little" more than 110 and she has not won a beauty
contest. She's not Miss America. (She is to some of us!) She's one of our
staff members. She is in her40's. Maxine has never married, but she is a
help meet to God's man!
Miss Viola Walden was with Dr. John R. Rice for over
40 years as his administrative assistant. Many years ago a doctor fell in
love with her, and he asked her to marry him. Miss Viola went to Dr. Rice
and said, "Dr. Rice, how long do you think I'll work for you?"
Dr. Rice said, "As far as I'm concerned, you have a
job with me as long as you live."
Miss Viola went back to the doctor and told him, "I
don't believe God wants me to marry you." Miss Viola has been a help meet to
Dr. Rice all these years. She has been a helper and a completer to his
A woman should be a help mate by nature! I teach our
high school and grade school lady teachers that the boys in their classes
should feel more masculine when they are around them. When I was a little
boy, my mother used to say to me, God bless her, "Son, would you get this
pickle jar open for me?" I would open the pickle jar. (The next time when
Mama didn't know I was nearby, I would see her open it just as easy as I
Mother used to say, "Son, would you get this window
unstuck for me?"
She would say, "Son, Daddy isn't home, and it's so
nice to have a man around the house!"
The simple truth is, my mother was feminine. She still
is. When I'm in my mother's presence to this day, I feel more like a man
than I do when I'm not in her presence. She's in her nineties, but she's
feminine. She's a help meet.
A sister ought to be that to a brother.
You say, "Oh, brothers and sisters fight."
They shouldn't! I wish you could see the poem Cindy
wrote about David when he got married. Cindy happily worked for her brother
at the Youth Center. (Bro. Dave is our Youth Director.)
Even if you don't get married, the right kind of woman
will still be a help meet. I think that's what femininity really is. Being
feminine is not being a wallflower, a weakling, or a little dainty weakling.
Being feminine is being a strong completer, one who is strong enough to do
it alone but lets "him" do it and lets "him" get the credit for it. It's the
kind of woman who can beat him at Ping-pong but never does!
I was out playing golf with Evangelist Jim Lyons one
day. He had never beaten me. David was only seven years old, and he went
with us. Brother Jim got ahead of me by three strokes. He had a short putt
to beat me. Dave was crying because his daddy was getting beat. As Bro. Jim
pulled the putter back, Dave yelled, "HEY!" Jim jumped and hit the ball
across the pasture! It took him seven strokes to get in the hole, and I beat
him by four strokes!
That's the way every girl ought to feel about her dad,
her husband and her brother if she is a completer.
One of these days all of us are going to stand before
the judgment seat of Christ. God has given you one thing to do in life.
There is an incomplete circle. It lacks a part. God made you to add that
little part. You can make all the circles you want to by yourself, but God
won't reward you unless that circle is complete. Woman is the completer.
Several years ago Dr. John Rice, Bill Harvey and I
were in a conference at the First Baptist Church of Temple Heights in Tampa,
Florida. Dr. Rice and I were the featured speakers. At noon on Tuesday we
had a steak dinner for all the preachers and their wives. Dr. Rice, singer
Bill Harvey and I were sitting at the head table along with the staff
members of the church and their wives. All of a sudden as we were eating
steak, I heard someone choking badly. I looked! One of the assistant pastors
had turned completely white, and he began to run toward the door. The door
was locked! Suddenly we realized what had happened. He had a piece of steak
caught in his windpipe. We all tried to help him and failed. Folks were
frantic. He was about to die. All of a sudden his little wife jumped out of
her seat and stuck her finger down his throat and pulled out a piece of
steak! That's why God made woman. He made woman to be the one person who can
complete man and make him what he ought to be.
God has given most of you a man. Your man is not
complete. He is not even the aggressor yet. One of these days when you stand
before God, the dear Lord is going to judge you according to whether you
completed that man that God gave to you.
I want you to have the very best. I want you to have
the happiest life and the sweetest eternity, but you never will until you
become that thing for which God made you. No creature that God has made will
ever be happy or useful until that thing which is its superior becomes its
God's purpose for you is to be a completer. Woman was
made for man, not for children, not for a house, not for cooking; she was
made for man!
Be a completer.
In the Song of Solomon 6:8 there is a little line
which says, "There are threescore queens."
"Our Heavenly Father, I pray today that You will speak
to our hearts in an unusually sweet and, yes, in a quiet way. May the Holy
Spirit hover near to this platform, to these pews and in the hearts and
lives of Thy people, especially these dear ladies. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
It is the first Saturday afternoon of the world's
existence. There is no television, so there is no Saturday afternoon
football (for which you would be grateful). Adam is watching God's creation.
He notices something unusual. He notices that the fish swim in the water by
twos. He scans the sky to find the robins fly in the air by twos. He notices
the squirrels playing on the meadow, and they are playing by twos. He
notices the beasts of the field as they roam through the forest, and they
likewise travel by twos. He then drops off to sleep and awakens to find Eve,
the fairest and best of God's creation!
There are those who would lead us to believe that
woman was an afterthought of God. There are those who would lead us to
believe that God created everything and was displeased because there was
something He forgot to create--something He didn't do exactly properly, so
in order to correct His mistake, He created woman. There she was, thrown in
as creation's bonus, on the side, sort of as an afterthought of God. That
isn't true! Did you know that woman is the ultimate creation of God? She was
an independent creature and, by the way, could have lived alone. The Bible
never says, "It is not good for woman to be alone." (You wish you had known
that years ago, don't you?) The Bible says, "It is not good that man should
be alone." Be reminded, man was created before woman. In God's divine order,
He increased the importance and magnitude of the creation with the passing
of the days.
Somebody says, "Oh, but man is more important than
woman because God created man first."
Apply that to all of creation, and the hippopotamus is
more important than man because he was created before man. No, God did not
create that which was most important first and least important last, but
creation kept gaining in its importance as God created the earth, the moon
and the stars, animal life, man, and then, woman. She was the last of God's
creatures and, of course, most complete.
God calls her a queen--not a queen like the queen of
Sheba, or Esther, or Athalia; not a queen like Elizabeth of England or Mary
of Scotland. A queen is not made by scepters of diamonds, thrones of marble,
robes of velvet, crowns of jewelry, imperial wardrobes, courtly attendants,
cheering subjects or royal carriages. The queen that God created waves a
needle for a scepter, sits on a rocking chair for a throne, wears
righteousness for a robe, has the needy for her subjects, and wears meekness
for a crown!
This loftiest of all God's creatures does not rule the
world; she rules those that will rule the world. This highest of God's order
does not rule subjects; she rules rulers of subjects. She is not the king,
but she prepares him to rule. She is the queen of kings. She is the lordess
of lords. She is the most royal of all.
Where does this queen rule? She rules at the hearth.
She rules at the stove. She rules at the bedside. She rules at the table.
In the places that woman rules, man is incapable of
ruling. I said awhile ago that man should not be alone. The honest truth is,
there is nothing more pitiful than a man living alone. Leave your husband
alone some night and he will hear all kinds of noises. By the time you get
home, he will have the chairs against the doorknob, and the next morning he
will call to order a burglar alarm! Now, you can stay at home with the doors
unlocked and it doesn't bother you a great deal, but for the old man, it is
not good that he be alone. His hand is too rough; his foot is too clumsy;
his patience is too thin to rule where you rule. We men just can't do what
you can do.
You could go to our youngest daughter, Cindy, who is
married and is now expecting a baby. If you took off her shoe (I don't
remember whether it is on the left or right foot) and take off her stocking,
you would notice there is a space between the big toe and the one next to
it. That is because one day when she was very young, I tried to rule where
it was none of my business to rule and I didn't know how to rule. I put the
elastic part of the sock down between her big toe and the one beside it, and
it stayed that way all day lone! She was very small when it happened, but to
this day (she is 21 years old), there is some extra space there! All the
other toes are together, but the big toe on that foot is all by itself. I am
saying, I was ruling where I don't know how to rule!
You could rule on man's throne. If you'd seek it as
some females are seeking it in the Equal Rights Amendment, you could do what
we do. Queens have ruled countries, but men have never ruled kitchens. Women
can fill the shoes of men, rule on their thrones, wield their scepters and
wear their robes, but men are incapable of ruling where women should reign.
If we tried to have an Equal Rights Amendment, we couldn't rule in your
domain. We're not qualified. How roughly we tuck you in bed! How loudly we
talk by the sickbed! We stick the thermometer in the ear. We just can't do
what you can do! We have to have somebody else to be a queen. God made you
to be that. You, the loftiest of God's creatures, and therefore the last
creature that God made, are of necessity, queens who rule on a throne where
nobody else can rule.
A boy sticks a nail in his foot. He doesn't cry,
"Daddy!" (Daddy would in turn cry, "Mother!" or "Doctor!") Daddy just
wouldn't know what to do. The boy cries, "Mommy!"
A little child is lost downtown in the great crowd of
shoppers. He doesn't cry, "Daddy!" He cries, "Mommy," because when anyone
wants help, he wants the "top man." He wants the expert! He wants the queen!
The child awakens at night with his brow warm, his
throat sore and his head aching. The faint cry from the child's room is not
"Daddy!" It is "Mommy!"
It is Monday night. You are dutifully watching Howard Cosell. You could care
less. To you, a "split end" is caused by dry hair, and a "quarterback" is a
refund from Montgomery Ward. You know nothing about what is going on, but
with your dutiful spirit you say, "I like the guys in the red uniforms. They
are the prettiest." You cheer ignorantly, but you cheer faithfully because
Monday night football isn't much, but it beats the divorce court by a lot!
The football hero comes to the bench. He has just run
90 yards for a touchdown. He is a big, burly guy. He has a beard sticking
out under his helmet. He looks like the "incredible hulk." He weighs 250
pounds. All of the players on the other team tremble as he runs on the
field. He comes back to the bench. They mob him, tackle him, take off his
helmet and rub his hair, and this big beast suddenly finds the television
camera is pointed at him, so he says, "Hi, Mom!" It's always that way! You
never hear one say, "Hi, Pop." I don't care if its "Mean" Joe Green or
Walter Peyton, it's always, "Hi, Mom."
What's he saying? "Hi, queen." "Hi, ruler." "Hello, your majesty." "Hello,
the only person in the world who has ever conquered me." "Hello, thou who
didst make me what I am." "Hello, thou who didst care for me when I was a
child, who fed me from your breast, who carried me in your own womb, who
nurtured me when I was sick, who stayed awake at night and cared for me when
I was ill, who mopped my fevered brow ... hi, Mom." That's what he's saying.
I was reading in II Kings 4:18-37 and I was amazed at
the boy who was in Shunam in the field working. I'm sure he was there with
his dad. He got sick unto death, and the Bible tells us that the father
said, "Carry him to his mother." Now the old man was right there, but he
said, "Carry him to his mother." I imagine it was the Shunammite dad who
carried the boy. Why didn't the boy sit on his dad's knee and say, "Dad, I
don't feel well." Because dads don't make you well! Dads don't make you feel
better! Dads don't know how to mop your brow! They drown you when they mop
your brow. They don't know how, but there is a queen who knows how. She
rules at the bedside, she rules at the table, she rules at the hearth, she
rules at the fireplace. She is queen!
Oh, the loving hands that bathe the temples, the
loving voice that speaks good cheer, the loving lips that speak comfort, the
loving hands that rub the back, the loving fingers that bring the socks,
slippers, bandages, the warm drinks, and the warm bread!
It's midnight. Mom and Dad are both asleep, and the
cry comes from the child's room. Dad just changes his key of snore. Mother
gets up gently so as not to wake up Dad, feels the fevered brow, takes the
temperature, bathes the brow in cold water or gives the baby a bath in
rubbing alcohol and is tempted to drink what's left! She kneels beside the
bed and whispers a prayer for God to take care of her baby. The baby
whimpers. The mother holds the baby near to her breast and weeps as she
walks the floor and paces all night long. She tries to go back to bed. When
she has been asleep for five minutes the child says, "Mommy, I'm hot!" and
Mommy goes back again.
When morning comes, Dad awakens so refreshed! He looks
over to Mom and says, "Did you get a good night's rest? It sure was a good
night to sleep, wasn't it?"
You say, "Yes!"
He says, "Why are you so grouchy?"
You've been reigning. You've been performing your
queenly tasks. You've been wielding that thermometer as a royal scepter and
sitting on the chair beside the bed as a queen on her throne.
You've just been through nine months of misery. I mean
you doubled your size, had splotches all over your face, haven't felt good
for nine months, and now the baby is two weeks old. He has the colic. You
get up at night. Your husband snores. All night long you rock the baby. You
try everything. You try breast feeding her; that won't work! You try
formula; that won't work! You try homogenized milk; that won't work! You go
milk the old goat (not your husband); that won't work! You go down and get a
carton of Pepsi, and that won't work! All night you're up. Then when the
alarm goes off, your husband gets up and says to you, "Wasn't God good to us
in giving us a baby that sleeps so soundly!" (You contemplate murder.) Why?
You've been ruling on your throne. You've been rearing a king. You've been
nursing a great businessman. You've been taking the temperature of a great
man of God. You've been warming a bottle and feeding a giant tycoon. You are
ruling in your domain. Nobody else can do it!
Kings can pass away; other kings can rise. Presidents
can go, and other presidents can come. There's always a king to take the
place of one, but there's nobody to take the place of the highest of God's
Just as I walked out of my office the Holy Spirit gave
me an illustration. Somebody slipped a letter under the office door. I'm not
going to give you any idea who wrote it, but it was from one of our men who
is rearing his child by himself without a queen. He talks about Hammond
Baptist High School's homecoming football game.
(I was one of the cheerleaders. Someone made a sweater
for me just like ones the cheerleaders wear! It had "Class of '44" on the
sleeve. It had "Preacher" written on the back. I had pompoms and white
tennis shoes trimmed in blue. When the cheerleaders came running out at the
first of the game, I came lumbering out with them and led a few cheers. We
had a band at halftime. Band music was played over the loud speaker, and
some of the staff men and deacons of our church had band instruments and
pretended to play. I had a trumpet solo! John Colsten, our Associate Pastor,
and John Penley, one of our deacons, were the "majorettes!" They did a
twirling demonstration, and everybody had a lot of fun! Our team won, by the
Here's a letter I got awhile ago.
"Dear Pastor Hyles. Thank you for arranging the last
two football games that were played at night. If it weren't for that, I
wouldn't have been able to go see the games. The last time I attended a
football game was in 1962 when I was an undergraduate at the University of
California (Cal beat Washington 38-14). Brother Hyles, thank you for
treating us each to a hot dog and root beer.
(It was men's night, and we gave all the men and boys
free hot dogs and root beer.)
"You can tell Brother Colsten and Brother Penley and
all the members of the First Baptist Church Marching Band that I appreciate
their making fools out of themselves...
(We really didn't make fools out of ourselves. We just
revealed that we were fools all along!)
" . . . in that bitter cold night to entertain us.
God bless you all. I just can't tell you how much I enjoyed the night. I
just never get to do anything like that. I was wishing I had a son to bring
to the game, though. It helps me to have a little more wisdom, I think, in
knowing my daughter when I get a chance like I did last night to see the
young people with whom she spends most of her time during the day. I got to
hear them and observe them firsthand. I sure wish I could just one day go to
school with her and sit in every class and see her interact with her
teachers and fellow students. I think it would help me understand her better
and help her more.
"Ever since June I have had to work ten and one-half
hours a day, six days a week and haven't been able to spend much time with
my daughter. I just get to see her briefly in the morning and listen to what
happened at school and read her the Bible and teach it to her at night, and
I'm so far behind in my housework.
(It's a shame. He's rearing his daughter by himself.)
"Brother Hyles, I heard you say at K. K. Colsten's
marriage to the Cliver man that you had prayed for K. K. more in the years
than you had for any young person except your own. I'm nowhere near the man
Johnny Colsten is, and I don't have an Elaine Colsten to help me do the job,
so since you would pray for K. K. Colsten, would you please pray for my
daughter that she would turn out right and become the lady God wants her to
be. I need help. I think I am going to fail in the end unless I get special
help from God.
"I'm hungry for the supernatural too. Brother Hyles, I
wish there were someone who has had to live the life I have for the last
eight years. Such a person could understand my frustration. I'm often at my
wit's end. I wish you understood what I'm talking about. I don't see how
single women rear children alone.
"I can't do it. It's driving me batty. I wonder if I'm
going to make it. Let me tell you how much I appreciate the time you spent
in the Sunday school lesson from Proverbs 7. Needless to say, I have already
taught the lesson to my daughter, and Sunday isn't even here yet! I'm going
to review it with her on the way to church Sunday. Pray for me, please."
Do you know what that fellow needs? He needs a queen.
He's ruling in a domain where he doesn't know how to rule. It takes a higher
creation of God. The fellow that was created first can't do it. It takes the
lady that was created last, God's highest creation, God's mightiest
potentate, God's most powerful ruler--that's the one that's needed.
Oh, the beauty of such a queen! It's the beauty of the
soul shining through the face.
The saddest sight in all the world to me is a woman
who has spent her youth worshipping her beauty and her face. Her charms
begin to vanish. She tries to cover the wrinkles and hide them, and yet when
time's harsh footprints step on her face, the footprints remain, and she
cannot hide them. However, time's foot cannot change the beauty wrought by
kindness, compassion, faith, love, gentleness, meekness and goodness. When
the color has left the cheek, the beauty has fled the face, the luster has
escaped the eye, the spring has parted from the step, the crow has lighted
on the sides of your eyes and left his imprint, and when the caulking can no
longer fill up the cracks, there's a beauty that remains in the life of one
who has ruled well that wrinkles cannot tarnish. This queenly beauty cannot
be dispelled by years; it does not escape because of time.
Some of the most beautiful ladies don't have enough
money to get a hairdo at the beauty shop. Your dresses are hand-me-downs.
You pray every night, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul
to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take, and
thank God for garage sales! Amen."
You're lovely! Many of you are too old to pass for 39,
but you'll never admit your age. If you admitted you were 60, we wouldn't
believe you. You're beautiful. You have the beauty of one who has sat on a
I got to talk one day to Harry Truman. He lived for a
time after he escaped the White House. I was flying from Kansas City,
Missouri, to Chicago and got to talk to him for about an hour. You know,
there was a glow about that man. There's something about a man who has once
been President who used to be the leader of the country and who now is not.
Have you ever stopped to think about this? When the
Bible talks about the beauty of Jesus, it doesn't say His hair was coal
black. When the Bible talks about how beautiful Jesus is, it doesn't say His
hair was golden blonde. No, when it talks about the lovliness of our
Saviour, it says His hair was white as snow!
The most beautiful women I know are women whose faces have been stained by
the marks of time, whose shoulders are drooped and whose hands are somewhat
palsied, but they have been queens. They sat on thrones, wielded scepters,
ruled their own and have fulfilled that marvelous purpose for the highest
and loftiest of creations.
Yours is a lofty calling. Yes, you have your rights,
and if you want to, you can fight for them. You can get equal pay for equal
jobs. You can put on your pants and go to the steel mills, factories and
automobile plants and go to work. Yes, you can be the mayors of cities, the
governors of states and the presidents of lands, but whatever throne you
trade for your present throne will cause you to take a step down, for she
who rules from the bedside ruleth the greatest!
On Mother's Day, 1975, I sat in my study about
daybreak and I was thinking, as you do on Mother's Day, about the past. I
tried to write a poem about Mother, but I couldn't.
We had an old red chair at our house. It was a round
chair. The back came up high enough to hit you in the middle of your back.
It had little slats in the back. It wasn't beautiful, but it was the only
chair where Mother held me when I was a child. We kept it for many years. So
I decided to let the chair write a poem. This poem was written by Mother's
old red chair:
I'm not one of the better styles,
But dear old Coystal Mattie Hyles,
Used me to rear her son.
No French Provincial snob am I;
I'm just an Early American guy
Who's seen some victories won.
I've been a psychiatric couch
And heard old Jack cry many an "Ouch!"
As o'er her knee he lay.
She'd cut a limb from off the tree
And lay on stripes that all could see;
She reared her boy that way.
This was the style in days of yore,
And 'cause of all the fruit it bore
I'm glad I had a part.
And then she'd lay a limb right here
And bow her head and shed a tear,
I felt her broken heart.
I've rocked so often through the night,
While Mom would watch through candlelight
And feel a fevered brow.
I watched her patience hour by hour,
And witnessed all her queenly powers
As on her knees she'd bow.
I've been a pulpit many a time
As Rev'rend Mom on me would climb
To preach a sermon or so!
She'd stomp, and rant, and weep, and rave;
She had a son to try to save,
And show the Way to go.
I was a bank for many years
Where Jack deposited doubts and fears;
I interest always paid.
Tho I've not rocked in quite a while
Because my type is out of style,
By me she always prayed.
I've been empty for many years,
And tho I've shed so many tears,
Memories warm my heart.
For many years from in the loft,
I've praised the Lord and shouted oft,
"I'm glad I had a part!"
Mother's old red chair was all those things. It was a
psychiatric couch. It was a doctor's office. It was a judge's bench. It was
a lawyer's stand. It was a preacher's pulpit, but the main thing about that
old red chair is that it was a throne--a throne where I saw a queen rule her
Mom's old chair was a throne where she sat and reigned
as she helped Lorene, a little afflicted daughter, for seven years. It was a
throne where she held the body of that daughter when it ceased to breathe
and had to be laid in baby land at the age of seven. It was a throne where
she held the fevered brow of little Hazel, the next child, who said, "Mommy,
I feel like I'm going up in the air to be with Jesus," and she did go up in
the air to be with Jesus, and for the second time, Mother held the lifeless
form of a daughter as she sat on her throne. It was a throne where she
prayed and ruled with dignity and where she sat as a queen with a beauty
that time could not erase, tears could not wash, trials could not mar,
wrinkles could not fade and years could only enhance.
I envy you. I'm only the second echelon of creation.
God made me next to the last. He had the main event coming up later.
You could do what I can do. You ladies could preach as
well as I am preaching now, but I couldn't rule where you rule and I
couldn't reign where you reign. My hands are not tender enough. My voice is
not soothing enough. My patience is not thick enough. My endurance is not
long enough. My love is not tender enough. My voice does not coo enough. My
legs cannot walk enough.
I take off my hat to you and bow in your presence,
thou of royalty. My charge to you is that you go back to your home and
realize the position that God has given to you. Grab your scepter!(It may be
a spatula, a stirring spoon or a paring knife.) Look at it and say, "You're
not a paring knife; you're a scepter." Wield it with all the dignity of
royalty. When you get up in the morning and put on that old greasy
bathrobe(one that has been saturated by every liquid known to mankind),
wishing that on Mother's Day someone would buy you a new robe because this
one is 18 years old and isn't going to last much longer, look in the mirror
and say to yourself, "The queen is wearing her robe!"
Go downstairs, read your Bible, and sit on that chair
that your husband bought for you 38 years ago! See the stuffings escaping
held down only by your presence, which, by the way, holds it down well! Sit
up straight, hold your spatula in your hand, look at your old greasy robe
and say, "I'm a queen."
At the educators' convention in the state of North
Carolina, I preached on the importance of being a Christian school teacher.
Most all of my audience was composed of school teachers. I said, "What an
honor to be a school teacher--a Christian school teacher! Walk out of here
when you go back to your motel room, walk up to the clerk at the desk and
say, 'Hey, buddy, do you know who I am? I am a Christian school teacher!'
Walk down the street and stop a cop on the street corner and say, 'Hey,
buddy, do You know who I am? I am a Christian school teacher!'"
When I finished preaching, one of the school teachers
came up and said, "Would you sign my Bible?"
I said, "I'll be glad to."
The school teacher said, "Now would you want me to sign yours?"
I said, "Why?"
The teacher said, "Do you know who I am?"
(I still didn't get it--I looked dumb, which is no problem for me!) I said,
"No, I don't. Who are you?"
To my delightful surprise, the teacher said, "I am a
Christian school teacher!"
I said, "Would you sign my Bible, please?"
As you ladies are driving home and you stop to get
gasoline, tell the gas station man, "Hey, do you know who I am?"
"I am a queen. I rule a country that David could not
have ruled and the Caesars could not have ruled and where Darius and Cyrus
would have blundered."
"What country do you rule?"
"I rule at the hearth!"
THE CANDLE OF THE LORD
I am going to talk with you for a while about the
secret of happiness and fulfillment in any relationship. You will find a
philosophy here that could well change any relationship you have. Proverbs
20:27, "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the
inward parts of the belly." I want you to notice that little line, "The
spirit of man is the candle of the Lord."
"Our Heavenly Father, for the next few minutes I am
going to take one Scripture, an object-lesson Scripture that You've given
us, and teach a lesson that could save dozens of marriages and prepare for
dozens of others. I pray that You will help me know exactly what to say.
Now, Lord, I don't have time to say all I want to say, so I'm going to have
to have wisdom to know what to pass over. I pray You would help me to stop
and park when I need to emphasize something. Give me Your leadership and
help. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
An unlighted candle is standing in darkness. Someone
comes to light it. He takes a force and the candle yields to it. When that
candle yields to that force, it burns, gives light, and fulfills the purpose
for its existence. Unlighted, the candle is not fulfilling its purpose!
Lighted, it becomes that for which it was made; it performs the duty for
which it was made; and it has fulfillment in its purpose in life.
Don't forget, the Bible says, "The spirit of man is
the candle of the Lord." I'm glad about that, because God is light and God
is fire. When God would manifest Himself on earth, He would do it by sending
fire from Heaven. God was a pillar of fire by night. When Jesus spoke to the
disciples going to Emmaus, they said, "Did not our heart burn within us?" So
when the spirit of man yields itself to the fire of God, only then does he
fulfill the purpose for his existence. We'll say several things about the
candle and the fire.
1. When two things are made for each other, neither is
complete alone. The fire was made for the candle, and the candle was made
for the fire. The candle is not complete, for it is alone; and the fire is
not complete, for it is alone. Until the fire comes in contact with the
candle, the fire is not complete and the candle is not complete.
The candle is a symbol of the spirit of man. Until
man's spirit comes in contact with his Creator and comes in perfect union
with that Creator, it is not complete and man is not fulfilling his purpose
in life. Man is not complete without God. The Christian is made to yield
himself to the Holy Spirit.
2. Fulfillment comes only when the weaker substance
renders itself submissive to the stronger substance. When these two get
together, the fire doesn't become a candle; the candle becomes a fire.
Nothing is ever happy or complete in life until that something yields itself
to the superior force for which it was made. Every problem that man has
comes from this one error: The weaker does not yield himself to the
stronger. The wax must acknowledge that the flame is superior. Hence, it
yields to that which is superior and in so doing becomes the best candle it
can become and fulfills the purpose for its existence.
In every relationship this is true. A child gets in
trouble when he doesn't yield himself to his mother and father. A human gets
in trouble when he doesn't yield himself to his God. A Christian gets in
trouble when he doesn't yield himself to the Holy Spirit. A citizen gets in
trouble when he doesn't yield himself to his government. A church gets in
trouble when she doesn't yield herself to her pastor. A wife gets in trouble
when she doesn't yield herself to her husband. Every human problem is caused
originally because that which is inferior and that which is subordinate
refuses to yield itself to that which is the stronger or the superior.
In the Bible the burden of initiative is placed first
on the follower. The Lord says, for example, that husbands are supposed to
love their wives, but He first says that wives are to submit themselves to
their husbands. He starts with the wife. He starts with the follower. Why?
Followers make leaders more easily than leaders make followers. So God comes
along and says, "Husbands, love your wives," but first He says, "Wives,
submit yourselves to your husbands."
Think about a child and his parent. The Bible is going
to say to the father, "Provoke not your children to wrath, but rear them in
the nurture and admonition of our Lord," but He first speaks to the child.
The first command is not to the father; the first command is to the child:
"Children, obey your parents."
God knows it's more important to have the right kind
of follower. A good follower will follow even if he doesn't have the right
kind of leader. A weak father can have a submissive child if that child is
admonished first to submission. The Lord speaks first to the child and then
to the parent. He speaks first to the wife and then to the husband.
God wants to tell the employer to treat the employee
right, but before He ever does that, He goes to the employee and says, "You
be a good servant."
It is a greater sin for the wife not to be submissive
than for the husband not to love. It is a greater sin for the child not to
obey than for the parent not to rear him in the nurture and admonition of
the Lord. It is a greater sin for an employee not to treat the employer
right than for the employer not to treat the employee right. God puts the
first admonition and the first command on the inferior to obey the superior.
A human is supposed to come to God and accept Christ, and that initiates
salvation. So, a child is to obey his parents even if his parents are not
what they ought to be. An employee is supposed to work hard even if the
employer is not what he ought to be. The citizen is supposed to obey the
government even if the rulers are not what they ought to be. The church is
supposed to obey the pastor even if the pastor is not as strong a leader as
they perhaps think he ought to be. A wife is supposed to submit herself to
her husband even if he is not as strong a leader as he ought to be.
Only when that which is inferior yields itself to that
which is superior does that which is inferior become fulfilled and happy.
This kind of fulfillment comes only when the weaker substance renders
obedience to the stronger.
3. The candle is usable only when it is lighted. Young
ladies, the Lord puts the big burden on you. Mrs. John Rice says that when a
couple has trouble, it's 90% the wife's fault. One time I asked her, "Why?"
She said, "The husband's job is outside the home, but
the wife's job is the home. The husband's main duty in life is to work
somewhere outside the home, but the wife's job is the home."
That means, wives, that you are going to be happy only
when you have yielded yourself to that superior force. You have no other
chance in this world to be happy. You've got to come and say, "My husband is
the fire, and I'm the candle. I yield myself."
An unlit candle is bigger than one that is burning.
The one that is burning will not be big for long; it is giving itself. It's
absolutely burning itself out, but it is fulfilling its purpose; the unlit
one is not. It may be prettier, it may be bigger, and it will even last
longer, but the unlit candle is not fulfilling its purpose! It represents a
woman who says, "He's not going to tell me what to do!" The unlit candle
represents the ERA.
The candle was not made to be pretty; it was made to
burn. The candle was not made to decorate; it was made to burn. You can put
lipstick on this candle, but it won't be pretty. You can put rouge on this
candle, but it won't be pretty or fulfill its purpose. You can put a pretty
hat on this candle or dress it in the prettiest dress known to designers,
but it won't be happy! A candle is happy and fuliflled only when it is doing
the thing God made it to do. It doesn't matter what the candle does. The
candle can join the P.T.A., but it won't be happy. The candle can go to the
beauty shop once a week, but it won't be happy. The candle can take Dale
Carnegie's course and yet not be happy. It can lecture on ERA, but it won't
be happy. The candle can learn to play the piano, but it won't be happy. It
can learn to make a speech, but it won't be happy. The candle can even teach
a Sunday school class, but it won't be happy. It can even have a bus route,
but it won't be happy. The candle can even be a soul winner, but it won't be
happy. Why? The candle was made to submit itself to its superior force and
thereby give light to those who are all around it. So, a candle is usable
only when lighted.
Let me read you a letter I received in the mail.
Here's a typical example of a candle which did not yield itself.
"Dear Dr. Hyles. I am 24 years of age. I am a preacher
boy whom God called to preach six months after I got saved three years ago.
I felt led to go to a certain Bible college in a certain state. I attended
there until God called me to pastor a small church. I was ordained. From
there, God led me back to a certain city in a certain state where I got
saved under Dr. Joe Doe. (I'm using ficticious names.) I worked on the staff
of Dr. Doe for that summer and started to go to the Letot Bible Institute
that fall. As I started to go to school that fall, I got a full-time
position in a church as assistant pastor and youth director. While I was in
a certain state, I met and married a wonderful girl, a spiritual girl, a
girl that loved Jesus Christ. As we lived in Letot, I was working for a
church in a certain place. I seemed to be getting away from soul winning and
getting deeper into the books. After awhile I was not doing what God wanted
me to do and what God made me to do. I was not knocking on doors and winning
people to Jesus Christ. My not being the man of God I ought to be affected
my marriage. It affected my marriage to the extent that my wife told me at
one time that if I didn't become the soul winner that God wants me to be,
she couldn't respect me as a man of God, and she thinks. . . ."
Here's a husband that was not yielding himself. God
had called him to be a soul winner. He was made for that purpose. He refused
to be that soul winner that God had called him to be. Everything went wrong
then! Why? God called him to preach!
You nag your husband out of the ministry, and you'll
lose your husband and your own life and your own joy!
God called him to preach. His candle was made to be a
servant of God and to be a soul winner, but his wife talked him out of it.
His candle was not yielded to the superior force and her candle was not
yielded to the superior force. The letter continued:
"One afternoon as I was leaving from school, my wife
and I seemed to be in the flesh. We didn't have devotions that day and pray
as we usually do. I walked out of the house without telling her I loved her
and without telling her good-bye. As I got to school, I felt bad, so I
called on the phone, and there was no answer. I knew something was wrong. I
drove home immediately and found my wife had committed suicide."
This was a preacher boy in a college. His wife said,
"I want you to be a soul winner. I want you to do what you were meant to
do," but he didn't do it, so she said, "I'll not respect you until you do
what you're supposed to do." He was not submitting himself to the superior
force over him, and she was not submitting herself to the superior force
over her, and in so doing, he lost her!
"As we had her funeral in her hometown up North, I
went a half hour early before her relatives and friends viewed the body. I
walked in and put my head on my wife's chest in the casket and was hoping
that she would lean up and hold me, kiss me, cuddle me, baby me and tell me
that she loved me, but she wasn't there--she was with the Lord. I then fell
on my face before the casket and talked with God. Something happened to me
there that I can't explain, but for once in my life I had the full power of
God, but what a price to have to pay! As her friends and relatives came by
the casket, I stood there like a soldier witnessing and telling them about
Jesus Christ. I feel, Dr. Hyles, that God is leading me to Hyles-Anderson
College to learn more about Him and learn more about character and
discipline and be the man that God wants me to be."
Any young man married to a beautiful woman would love
to be at home more and not be out on the battlefield serving God. Any young
lady in the flesh normally would want her husband home, but God made God's
men for Himself. I'm not saying a man should neglect his home. I'm not
saying he should neglect his children or his wife. I am saying that when it
comes to the place that the man is not what he ought to be and his wife is
not what she ought to be because that which is weaker has not submitted
itself to that which is stronger, then neither one is happy and neither of
them is fulfilled!
4. The candle is beautiful only when it is lighted. Do
you want to be pretty? Do you want to be lovely? Then be submissive. Helene
Curtis does not make any cosmetic that compares to submission when it comes
to make a lovely lady. Avon knows nothing that can compare to submissiveness
when it comes to putting beauty on a lady's face.
I am thinking now of a preacher's wife. She had only
average beauty. She was a nagger. She complained, "You're not home enough!
You're gone too much! You don't love me or you'd stay home at night!" (Maybe
that's why he didn't come home!) One week he had gone on a trip to preach.
He came home about two o'clock in the morning, and the lights were on in the
house! The preacher couldn't understand what was happening. He went inside
the house and found his wife sitting in the living room fully dressed as if
she were going to church. He said, "What's wrong? What are you doing up at
two o'clock in the morning?"
She said, "Go back and get in the car." They both got
in the car. Then she said, "Now drive me to the church." He drove her to the
church. She said, "Now pull up in front of the church in the parking lot.
Get out. Take the key and unlock the door to the church." He did. She said,
"Now turn on the lights," and he did. She said, "Now come with me to the
altar," and he did. She knelt at the altar and placed her hand on the head
of her husband and said, "Dear Heavenly Father, I lay my husband on the
altar tonight," and gave her husband to God! In so doing, she got a better
husband, but something marvelous also happened to her!
The next time I saw her, immediately I said to myself,
"She is beautiful!" I never noticed her being very pretty before. I didn't
know all that had transpired! I said to myself, "Good night! She's a pretty
woman." I couldn't believe it. I asked her, "Have you lost weight?"
She said, "No."
"Have you changed your hairstyle?" I asked.
"What have you done to yourself? You look like a different person."
"Do I look better or worse?" she asked.
"I've never seen anybody look so much better!"
She said, "I'll tell you why." She told me the story
about how she took her husband to the altar and put her hands on his head
and gave him to God. She said, "I'm the happiest I've ever been."
Do you know why? She had submitted herself to that
5. The candle not only is more beautiful when it is
yielded to the superior force (now I'm going to get a little frank), but it
is the warmest! Do you know who the frigid women are? They are the
unsubmissive ones. I've been counseling for over 30 years as a pastor. I
couldn't begin to tell you how many men have come to my office and said, "My
wife is not passionate. My wife does not enjoy romance." I don't know how
many women have come and said, "Pastor, I'd like to enjoy romance, but I
just don't. Just to be quite frank with you, my husband doesn't turn me on."
Do you know why? The unlighted candle is always cold.
The candle that has submitted itself to the superior force is the warm
I have counseled with hundreds of ladies who don't
even want their husbands to hold their hands or couldn't care less. Each of
them would like to thrill when her husband holds her hand. Each one would
like to thrill when he kisses her, but it doesn't work. They say, "What's
wrong with me?"
I never work on the biological end of it; I work on
the submissive end. It is as natural as can be that when the candle comes in
contact with the fire and yields itself to the superior force, the warmth
will take care of itself. Physical love, romance, if you please, is far, far
sweeter to that young lady or woman who submits herself to the superior
force for which she was made. The candle is warm only when lighted.
6. The candle is fulfilled only when it is giving
itself. A lighted candle could say, "All I am is a slave!" or "I'm just
burning myself out!" It could also say, "I am fulfilling the purpose for my
existence." An unlit candle has no marks up at the top; it has no melted
tallow coming down the side; it is straight, but it is not fulfilling its
purpose. A burning candle may even have a little bit of a bend and may be
marred, but it has fulfilled its purpose and in so doing, it has given of
The lighted candle may have dishpan hands, but it has
given itself and so it's beautiful and happy. It may get a little extra
wrinkled because it has worked so hard, but it has given itself and
fulfilled its purpose in life.
Mrs. Charles Hadden Spurgeon in the latter days of
Spurgeon's ministry became an invalid. Her husband was in the peak of his
ministry and was traveling much of the time. Mrs. Spurgeon became a bit
bitter. Someone came to her and said, "Mrs. Spurgeon, what's your trouble?
You've lost your glow." Mrs. Spurgeon complained that she was in a
wheelchair, an invalid, in bed much of the time, and that Charles Spurgeon
was gone most of the time. Then somebody came to her one day, talked to her,
and said, "Mrs. Spurgeon, Charles Hadden Spurgeon is the greatest gift that
England has! Won't you be the greatest giver that England has? Because your
husband is England's greatest gift, you can be England's greatest giver,"
and that did it! Mrs. Spurgeon, it is said, gave her husband. In giving her
husband, she gained her husband, and she got more attention than she had
gotten before. She got more affection than she had known before. As she sat
in her wheelchair and as she reclined on her bed, she had a look of peace
and beauty because she had given herself and her husband for England.
Young ladies, make your husband the greatest gift you
can make of him. Give him to God. Then one day when you die you can say, "I
finished my course."
A rebellious wife is never a happy wife. A rebellious
child is never a happy child. A rebellious citizen is never a happy citizen.
A rebellious church member is never a happy church member.
A horse that is not broken is not a happy horse. A
horse is happy only when it has been broken and then yields itself to the
tender tug of its master who pulls the reigns. The horse whose master can
order and command him gets more affection than the horse that pulls back,
bristles and bucks. There comes a time in his life when he says, "I'll
yield. I think I'll be happier when I yield to the tug of the one who pulls
the reigns." That's the kind of horse whose master strokes his mane. That's
the kind of horse whose master pats his face. That's the kind of horse whose
master pats his side. That's the kind of horse whose master combs his mane.
That's the kind of horse that is happy.
The happy child is the one who yields himself to the
will of Mom and Dad. The happy citizen is the one who yields himself to the
will of the government. The happy church member is the one who yields
himself to the leadership of the pastor, and the happy wife is the one who
yields herself to the will of her husband.
Here's the tragic thing. If you want to, you can wait
until you're 25 years old to get saved, and you can still burn for Jesus
after you're 25; you've got as much a chance to burn for Him, but you can't
burn as long for Him. You can decide to wait to yield yourself to the
superior force until you're 35, and you can still have just as bright a
light, but you can't burn as long. If you care to, you can wait until you're
45 before you decide to yield to the superior force (whether you're a
citizen or a child or a wife or a Christian) and you can burn just as
brightly, but you can't burn as long. You can wait until the senior years of
your life and waste the whole life and you can still burn as brightly as
ever, but you can't burn as long.
Come to Christ in the early years, when you're young.
Give Him your life. Yield to His leadership and let that which is superior
While you're young, say to the man God has given you,
"You do the will of God for your life, and I'll give my life to you." When a
man submits himself to God's calling, and his wife yields herself lovingly
and submissively to the one God has chosen, then both can shine brightly
together and fulfill the purpose of God for their lives, but neither will be
happy, useful, usable or fulfilled until that which is inferior yields
itself to that which is superior.
If you've found the man for whom you were made, you'll
never be happy apart, but together you'll never be happy until you have
yielded yourself to become all he would need. Then in turn the young man
says, "You have helped make me what I am, and I'll be thoughtful and
considerate of you."
I never have understood why people want to fuss. I've
never understood why anybody would want to be unkind to anybody else. All of
our fussing, complaining, griping, arguing and feeling selfish lie in this
one truth: That which is inferior or weaker has not submitted itself to that
which is stronger.
That's the trouble with the hippie. That's why the
hippie tried liquor, long hair, blue jeans, then one kind of dope, then the
needle, then the pill, then the upper, then the downer! Why? He has not
That's why rebellious children aren't happy, and
that's why unsubmissive wives aren't happy. They have not yielded
If you will make a list of all the relationships you
have where you are responsible to authority, and if you will decide that you
are going to submit yourself to that authority, you will be happy.
When Dr. John Rice comes to our church, he obeys me.
You know why? This is awful to say, but when he comes here, his position is
inferior to mine. When we have a board meeting at the Sword of the Lord, I
obey him. Why? When I go there, my position is inferior to his. We have a
happy relationship only when he submits himself to me at First Baptist
Church of Hammond and I submit myself to him in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
What am I as far as being the weaker is concerned? I
am a Christian, so I must yield myself to the Holy Spirit. I am a citizen,
so I must obey the laws of my land and respect the authority. I'm a board
member at the Sword of the Lord, so when I go to a board meeting, I must
respect authority. In every case, I will be happy in direct proportion to my
submissiveness and my yielding to that which is my superior. Ninety-five
percent of all the people with whom I counsel about home problems could be
cured if they would do what I am talking about right now.
That which is inferior will always get more attention
from that which is superior when it yields itself to its superior force.
Herein is the philosophy of government, the philosophy of churches, the
philosophy of homes, the philosophy of life, the philosophy of business, and
the philosophy of any human institution or endeavor that has a leader and a
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE MORE?
Isaiah 5:1-4, "Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a
song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in
a very fruitful hill: and he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof,
and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it,
and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth
grapes and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, 0 inhabitants of
Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?
wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth
We are strange creatures. We plan what we are going to
do ... when I get out of high school, when I get married, when I have a
baby, when my children get old enough to walk, when the children go to
school. It seems that basically we look forward all the time. That's the
first part of life. The last part of life seems to be spent lamenting the
fact that we did not do what we planned in the first part of life.
It seems that we never do today what we planned
yesterday to do tomorrow and will wish tomorrow that we had done today.
Today is the only material with which yesterdays are made. Today is
yesterday's tomorrow and today is tomorrow's yesterday. All the things you
planned yesterday to do today, you will remember tomorrow if you did them.
One of our young men who had wasted most of his life
in riotous living literally killed his dad prematurely by his life. The
young man was in the hospital room where his dad had just passed away. He
went up to his dad's body, not yet cold in death, and threw himself upon the
form of his lifeless father. He put his arms around his dad and got his
dad's arms and put them around himself until he was hugging his father and
his father's lifeless arms were hanging around his shoulders. The young man
said, "Hug me, Daddy! Hug me, Daddy! Hug me, Daddy! Hug me, Daddy." But it
was too late! Daddy couldn't hug back. Then he put his lips against his
dad's lips that were stilled in death and began to kiss him. He said,
"Daddy, kiss me back! Kiss me back, Daddy! Daddy, kiss me!" It was too late!
Daddy could not kiss back! Daddy will never kiss back.
The text is, "What could have been done more?"
The song says, "By and by when I look on His face,
I'll wish I had given Him more."
"Our Heavenly Father, for these moments we pause to
look at life and to examine what I guess is the most common failure of human
nature. I pray that in these few moments together we shall glean a truth
that will help us not to have to say with lament someday, 'What could have
been done more?' Amen."
1. What could have been done more for your mother?
She lies in state. There are flowers all around the
casket and there are friends and loved ones behind you. You walk down to the
front of the auditorium and view her body. You touch the eyes that first saw
you. You note her body which was your first dwelling place. You rub her
hands--hands that were once your Florence Nightingale. You look at her
breast over which her hands rest and remember that there was your first
dining table. You notice her lips--lips that spoke your first, "I love you."
You notice her ears--ears that "walked the midnight watch" to hear your cry.
You notice her arms that are crossed across her breast. Those are the arms
that embraced you for the first time, and the face is the one that received
your first kiss. The cheeks are those that were warmed with tears for you.
You touch those cheeks, wrinkled for you, and you stroke the hair that was
whitened for you. Suddenly you realize for the first time that you have no
mother! All of a sudden you grow up. You are an adult now. For the first
time in your life you have to say, "I have no mother." Then you ask the
question, "What could have been done more?"
You cannot write letters to her then. You cannot kiss
her then. You cannot hug her then. You cannot say, "I love you!" then. You
cannot care for her needs then. You cannot call her long distance then. You
cannot write a check to help support her then. All you can do is look,
remember and ask, "What could have been done more?"
I don't know what you're going to do, but I'm going to
try to be the best son I can be to my mother. I'm not going to look at my
mother's face one day and wish I had done more.
I was preaching in a little town in Arkansas, a few
years ago. I walked in the church that night and saw my book table out in
the lobby. A little lady walked up, and said, "Dr. Hyles, could I help you
at your book table?"
I said, "I'm sorry, but three ladies have already been
She said, "Could my husband and I take you out to eat
after the service tonight?"
"No, I'm sorry, I don't eat after I preach."
"Could we take you out for lunch tomorrow?"
"I'm sorry. We're having a preachers'luncheon tomorrow
and a question--answer session."
"Could we take you out to dinner tomorrow night?"
"No, ma'am, I don't like to eat a meal before I
"Could we take you to the airport Wednesday morning?"
"No, I'm sorry. A preacher who is having some problems
in his church asked if he could drive me to the airport. I'm very sorry."
She put her head in her arms on the table and began to
beat the table with her hands.
I said, "Little lady, why are you weeping and why do
you want so badly to do something for me?"
She looked at me and said, "Dr. Hyles, you don't even
know me, do you?"
I said, "No, I don't."
She said, "You'll know when I tell you who I am," and
she called her name. "We were members of your church in Garland, Texas. We
got peeved with you and the church. We left the church. Since then you have
become our favorite preacher. We live in Arkansas. We own a plane, and we
fly anywhere within 250 miles of where we live to hear you preach. You are
our favorite preacher. Oh, my! We wouldn't drive across town to hear you
preach when we could have, and now we drive 250 miles to hear you.
How tragic it is that most of us live now in what we
will wish tomorrow that we had cared for and enjoyed, but we live now in
what we dreamed of yesterday!
"I cannot wait until I have a husband."
"I cannot wait until I get married."
"I cannot wait until I have children.
"I'm going to do this and this and that and that."
Most of us plan it and then lament the fact that we
did not do what we planned to do.
11. What could have been done more for your daughter?
She's at the altar. How beautiful she is! You sit
lovingly on the front pew in the mother's place. You see the lips that once
puckered just for you. You watch her graceful walk in her wedding gown and
remember the first steps she took as she stumbled toward the coffee table.
You hear her vows, "I take thee to my wedded husband, to love, cherish and
obey until death do us part," and you remember when that little voice could
only say, "Oh, oh. I wuv 'ou." You watch as her graceful feet and legs take
her to the top of the stairs where she is going to walk as a bride, and you
remember those little feet when you played with her toes and said, "This
little piggy went to market and this little piggy stayed home. This little
piggy had roast beef and this little piggy had none. This little piggy
cried, 'Wee, wee, wee,' all the way home." If you were a little more
literate and scholarly it was, "This little piggy said, 'I want some corn.'
This little piggy said, 'Where you goin' to get it?' This little piggy said,
'Out of mas'er's barn.' This little piggy said, 'I'm goin' to tell,' and
this little piggy said, 'Wee, wee, wee, wee, wee!" You remember as you watch
her walk the stairs. You look at those lovely eyes and remember Christmas
morning when before daybreak they saw the Christmas tree and all the
The bride smiles at the groom and you see a tooth in a
place where there had been not tooth. You remember how you tied one end of
the string to that tooth and the other end to the doorknob. You closed your
eyes and shut the door quickly, and the tooth came out! You recall how that
tooth was placed under the pillow. The next morning she turned over the
pillow and there was a nickel or dime or quarter (depending on the
generosity of the "tooth fairy" that lived at your house).
As you see the bride's lovely form, you remember the
baths that you gave her every morning. Then you see her run to school and
you see her with a skinned knee. You hear her first piano recital that made
Bach turn over in his grave. You remember the first date, the first high
heels, the first driver's license, the ice cream man, the car seat, the
bassinet, and the room that looked like the Korean War had been fought in it
during the night.
Suddenly the newlyweds are leaving. The reception is
over. There is rice and a car and a "Good-bye." Then after it's all over,
you go home. Her room is a holy of holies and every toy becomes a shrine.
You pick up her favorite doll and it seems to speak to you. Then you ask the
question, "What could have been done more?"
It's too late then to sit down and teach her about
life. It's too late then to pull her to your breast and say, "I love you."
It's too late to be close. It's too late to pray with her. It's too late to
be her best friend. It's too late! All you can do is remember and sometimes
lament and sometimes rejoice and ask the question, "What could have been
On June 1, 1979, Cindy (our youngest daughter) took
the man of her life to be her husband. (Our brides walk across the balcony
aisle, down the open staircase, and down the center aisle. Outside the
balcony door and down a few stairs is the bridal room. The father meets the
bride outside the bridal room.) When it came my time once again to stand
there, Cindy and I stood outside the balcony door and she said, "Daddy, I
want to tell you something. I have a wedding present to give you."
I said, "What is it, Puddin'?"
She said, "I'll be kissing Jack, my groom, in a few
minutes, and I want you to know before I do, that that will be my first
kiss. I wanted to give it to you for a wedding present."
We walked out the balcony door and down the aisle. I
stood on the platform and read this poem that I had written that afternoon.
Behold, this dreamer cometh,
His newborn child to view.
You cuddled in my bosom,
And made a dream come true.
I dreamed you would be loving,
To warm your Daddy's heart.
My cup soon overfloweth
My dream was only part ...
Of all the love you've given
And thoughtfulness you've shown;
We've had a close communion
That few girls and dads have known.
I dreamed you would be lovely
Of face and spirit too;
No father could be prouder!
You've made my dream come true.
I dreamed you would be clean and pure
To stand before your guy
To offer him your greatest gift
One money cannot buy.
Ah, there you stand before me
With virtue ever new.
Oh, thank you, dear unsoiled one;
You've made my dream come true.
I dreamed you'd be devoted
To Christ and to His plan;
I dreamed you'd have a healthy soul
To offer to your man.
I've seen you kneel beside your bed
Beneath the night lights dim;
I've tiptoed to your bedroom door
And heard you talk to Him!
I've watched you frolic through the Book,
The One that's always new;
I've viewed your moistened eyes and said,
"My dream is coming true."
I dreamed that God would save you
A man that was His best
To prove that He rewardeth those
Who wait and stand the test.
Now by your side, sweet lovely bride,
He stands, made just for you.
So thank you, my beloved son,
You've made my dream come true.
Behold, this dreamer cometh
Another dream to view;
'Tis up to you, my children,
To make this dream come true.
My dream for you, dear daughter,
Is that you'll use your life
To make our new son-in-law
A loyal, loving wife.
And, son, the dreamer lingereth
To dream a dream for you:
Be good to her and love her
And make my dreams come true.
Behold, this dreamer cometh
Another dream is near:
I see a lonely couple
In Hawaii, filled with fear.
The dream is clearer.
Say, I know what we'll do!
We'll go along beside you
And share your trip with you!
Oh, think, beloved children,
Of all that we can do
To rescue you from boredom
And make your dream come true!
111. What could have been done more for your husband?
Lady, you have a new title--the title you knew you
would have, for almost all ladies get it. It's one that all bear sooner or
later. The title is "widow." You get out the insurance policy and look at
it. You pack his clothes and try to find somebody that is his size who could
use them. You go to the funeral home and see the hands stilled now that once
provided for you, and shoulders that carried the burdens of providing for a
family through the years. You choose a suit, you go to the cemetery, you go
to the Social Security office, you dust off the black dress and sit at the
funeral chapel as people come by to tell you they are sorry. Again you go
through his clothes and then you ask the question, "What could have been
It's too late now to sit close to him in the car. It's
too late to greet him at the door with a hug and a kiss and ask him how the
day has been. It's too late to make love to him. It's too late now to make
him feel like he is a conquering hero coming home from the steel mill or the
carpenter shop. It's too late to encourage him. It's too late to be kind.
IV. What could have been done more for your son?
You sit in an auditorium. A processional has been
played and there sits the class in caps and gowns. "Could he be graduating?
Is he old enough? I don't remember the years between the ages of four and
eighteen. What happened? Have I been a Rip Van Winkle for these years? Look
at his shoulders--so broad and so straight. Isn't he clean-cut? I'm so
proud!" His name is called. He walks toward the platform and you remember
when he toddled. Then all of a sudden memories come--the doctor's office,
the baby shower, the maternity clothes, the pickles, the peanut butter
between two slices of watermelon at midnight, the morning sickness when
often you vomited. There were prayers and the preparation of the room. It
was two o'clock in the morning when the pains began. Then you remember the
frantic trip to the hospital when the policeman stopped you and asked you
where you were going, and your husband said he was taking his "hospital to
the baby to have a wife!" As you see your son reach out for his degree or
diploma, you remember the pain, the labor, a little ether, a cry and you
heard the nurse say, "It's a boy." You remember the pabulum, the diapers,
the nursing, the blue jeans, the electric train, the basketball goal, the
first date, the paper route, and the hub cap on the wall. You rush home
after commencement because you've got to help him pack, for off to college
he goes. There's a "goodbye." You clean his room and store things--the
baseball glove, the baseball cards, the .22 rifle, the 16 pictures of steady
girlfriends--and then to bed, for tomorrow is housecleaning day. The alarm
seems to go off in the middle of the night--the clock says six o'clock, but
you know it's not that late. Up you get, you rush to his room. You've got to
clean it! That's what you've always done. But it's clean! The bed has not
been used! No pants are on the chair! No shirt is on the floor! Then you
say, as I said:
At last his room is neat and clean.
No clothes are on the floor.
The hub cap is gone from off the wall.
No marks are on the door.
The messy bed is finally made.
The carpet is clean now too.
For once the closet door is closed,
And no underwear is in view.
Bath water now is seldom cold;
I never have to wait.
No dirty rings around the tub,
The towels are clean and straight.
I'm never wakened by the sounds
Of bouncing basketballs;
They never fray my lonesome nerves
By hitting on the walls.
No fevered brow now mars my rest,
Or midnight sickly groan;
No fighting for the one sports page,
No, "Dad, I need a loan."
No baseball shatters windowpanes,
No basepaths mar the grass,
The car top never gets a dent
>From a wayward forward pass.
No heel prints run along the wall,
No, "Dad, I need the car."
No more, "'Cause he's not in yet,"
Do I leave the door ajar.
The water pitcher's always full,
The bathroom floor's not wet;
And when I want a piece of bread
The heel's not all I get.
Me thinks the floor is lonesome, though--
It never has been bare;
The chairs are homesick now it seems
For dirty underwear.
The towels aren't happy straight
And the bathtub wants some rings;
The floor is sorely saddened
By the silence cleanness brings.
The bed is lonesome for the guy
Who kept it such a mess,
'Cause when it's smooth and all dressed up,
It cannot seem to rest.
I'm gettin' mighty nervous too
Just waitin' for the noise
Of basketballs thrown 'gainst the house
By him and all the boys.
How about his preacher dad,
The guy he used to fleece?
I've learned a truth I'd never known:
The heel's my favorite piece!
You look at his picture and ask the question, "What
could have been done more?"
V. What could have been done more?-- She has done what
The years pass and you sit in a chair in an apartment.
Your son and daughter sit with you. It's a Friday afternoon late, the
shadows are coming and the sun is disappearing. Your daughter is getting
prepared to go to a Ladies Spectacular they are having at the church. She's
going to receive a doctor's degree. Your son is the busy pastor of this
sponsoring church. You're too sick to get up and say, "Good-bye," and you're
too blind to read. You're almost 92 and you know the end can't be far away.
It's been a hard life. You've buried two children, a husband, two brothers,
a sister and most of your friends. You hurt. You're lonely and you're a
little bit afraid. You know you are going to Heaven, but you've never taken
the journey before and the trip between here and there is a rather dark one,
you think, and you dread the trip. You pray, "Even so come, Lord Jesus,"
more feverishly than you did when you were young. You look back over your
life. Your son is too busy to stay there long and your daughter has to go
get a degree. There you sit. You're took sick to go to the Spectacular, and
if you did go, you are too blind to see. Suddenly you look back over your
life and the apartment becomes a palace and the chair becomes a throne. Your
daughter becomes a princess and your son becomes a prince. The royal scribe
unrolls a scroll on which to write the story of your life. As I open the
scroll I see these words written, "She has done what she could."
What could have been done more?
My challenge to you is this: Live today like you
planned yesterday to live today; live today like you'll wish tomorrow you
had lived today. Then when you say, "Good-bye," to the one who brought you
into the world, you can look at her face and say, "I did what I could." When
you say, "Good-bye," at the altar to the one whom you cradled in your arms
and nurtured and succored at your breast you can say, "I did what I could."
May I share with you for a few moments the thoughts I
had when Cindy walked down the aisle as a bride. (She was the last of our
four children to be married. David is a preacher. Becky, Linda and Cindy are
all married to preachers.) As Cindy and Jack walked out the aisle, I
chuckled at the feeble attempt they had made to kiss. You should have seen
them! They had never kissed before. You know what I wanted to do? I wanted
to call out the high school cheerleaders and have a cheer. We cheer at
football games for a touchdown or basketball games for a field goal. I
wanted to call out the high school pep squad and the cheerleaders and have a
great yell, "Rah, rah, rah-rah-rah! Rah, rah, rah-rah-rah! Rah, rah,
rah-rah-rah! Virgin! Virgin! Virgin!" Then as she disappeared with her
captor I stood on the platform and watched them disappear, these words I
said to myself: "I have no regrets!"
One day these days will be over and you will be at the
altar. By the way, if your child is three now, it will happen day after
tomorrow. If your child is ten now, it will be this afternoon. Then you'll
either say with David, "Oh, Absalom, my son, would God I had...!" or you can
say, "Thank God, I did!"
When her beautiful face wrinkled by toil is lifeless
and you touch it, you'll say, "What could have been done more?" or you'll
say, "I'm glad I did."
"What could have been done more?" That's the thought I
leave with you. When the days of being a wife are over (and they will be);
when the days of being a mother are over (and they will be); I hope you can
say, "Thank God, I did!" and not, "What could have been done more?"
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