Happy November to you from Inspiration from a Blind brought to you monthly by www.ShirleyCheng.com!
Do you nourish the women in your life? Do you want to be more nourishing and learn how you can teach others to be so as well?
First, let us start by identifying what nourishment is. According to the Macmillan dictionary, "nourishment" means "food or the substances in food that are necessary for life, growth, and health" and "something that encourages the development of ideas, feelings, abilities, etc." To nourish someone is to "give a person, animal, or plant the food and care that they need to live, grow, and be healthy" and "to support or encourage the development of an idea, feeling, ability, etc." Thus put together, "nourishment" is something that fills you, meets your physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual needs.
How Nourishment Can Be Nourishing
Whether the form of nourishment fulfills its task is dependent upon both the giver and the recipient. First, the giver of nourishment has to give it out of genuine love in order for nourishment to work powerfully and effectively, to achieve its maximum potential in every way possible. Nourishment given from true love will endure time and age and withstand the winds and storms of life. It is the light that will ultimately conquer the darkest corners of the world. The best source of nourishment is love because all other wonderful elements of life stem from love. If you don't have love, you have nothing else that is of real value. No matter how hard you may work, nothing will be profitable without love: "If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don't have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don't have love, I am nothing. If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don't have love, it profits me nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, WEB)
Second, the recipient of the nourishment needs to be content with what they are given. Even if someone offers you nourishment with genuine love, you won't be satisfied if you don't appreciate it. The recipient has to realize the worth of whatever nourishment is given, be content of its value, in order to feel they have received nourishment.
Take our life for an example. The life we each have is the most precious present from Yahweh God Almighty. It blesses sunshine upon everyone equally. It provides nourishment of every kind to satisfy our physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs. Simply put, our life is given to us by God in absolute love.
Thus, Yahweh is the ultimate Bestower of our nourishment. However, we feel blessed only when we appreciate His provisions. Not realizing the values of His gifts won't satisfy us, no matter how good or fulfilling they are. For example, the very first woman of our human race, Eve, focused on what little she could not have (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) and ignored everything she did have (all other trees in the garden). Due to her discontentment, she rebelled against Yahweh's only law by eating from the forbidden tree. Thus, we can feel a lack of nourishment even though we have plenty.
On the other hand, we can feel quite nourished even when we don't have much. I'm both blind and disabled; yet, I am content with the nourishment that Yahweh has blessed me with. Therefore, one's attitude plays an important role in receiving the full benefit of nourishment.
Three Ways to Nourish The Women in Our Lives
I believe there are essentially three ways to effectively teach people how to nourish women better, and they are:
a) Teaching what true love entails
When all nourishment should be given in love, it therefore becomes necessary to know what true love is. To know love is to know how to nourish one another.
What is love? There are many varying views on what love actually is, or how it should be expressed. When we cannot pinpoint and understand the meaning of love, we encounter problems.
Often enough, women feel they have to measure up to certain standards set by our society to be lovable. They think that they may become lovable after conforming to these standards (I.e. Have a certain weight, a certain look, with certain amount in her bank account), but what they'll get is only what these standards can offer. So when she fails later in life, not being able to keep up with this mold, she may get rejected.
Nourishment, therefore, comes from a love that cannot change along with the conditions of life. It has to remain the same under any circumstance. What is this love? The Bible, God's Word, defines this love as a love that is "patient and is kind; love doesn't envy. Love doesn't brag, is not proud, doesn't behave itself inappropriately, doesn't seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Hence, true love is not just an emotion. It is not a warm, fuzzy feeling that isn't backed up with action. True love is all about action, of what you do for others in their best interest in mind. A proclamation of "I love you" does no one good when it's not expressed in deeds.
To know true love is to know Yahweh, for He is love: "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God. He who doesn't love doesn't know God, for God is love. God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him." (1 John 4:7-8, 16)
When Yahweh is love, it means all wonderful things come from Him. And if we replace "love" with "God" in the 1 Corinthians 13:8 verse, we see that "God never fails."
When we can fully grasp this godly love, and do our best to express and give this love, then and only then will nourishment be nourishing! Just imagine giving others even a fraction of the kind of nourishment Yahweh gives to us!
Once we have this love, we should use it from the bottom up, from inside out. This means that it should start from the smallest unit of society: the family. Nourished families make nourished societies. Even if a woman lives alone, she can first develop this love in herself for others around her, such as her neighbors. As she shares this love with others, she will set a loving example after which others can model. This then becomes a ripple effect.
Why start nourishment from the family? To answer this question, ask yourself: What would a house need in order to withstand weather, time, and age? Wouldn't the house need a strong foundation? It's the same with society--families are the foundation of society. Each family, or each individual for that matter, makes up the entire society. If each person fails, the entire society will fail. And if the foundation itself couldn't stand alone, it surely cannot support the superstructure. If a mother doesn't love her child, how could she truly love strangers?
This is why what I dubbed the "love commandment" in the Bible is the most important principle, upon which all other principles are built. Here's what the Son of God, Jesus our Messiah, said about the love commandment: "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. The second is like this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
However, before we can develop this love in us, we need to learn more about it. And to learn about it, we must learn about Yahweh. Remember, God is love, so when we know Him, we know love, and then we can become love ourselves as He develops this fruit of love in us. And the best place to get to know Yahweh is from His personal profile: the Bible. Yes, the Bible is the manual for true nourishment, for yourself, for the people around you, and for our environment.
b) Teaching the importance of women
Second, the other way to teach people how to nourish women is to inform them of the importance of women. When we realize and recognize the value of any given object, it is more likely for us to take good care of it. Likewise, when we realize and acknowledge the important roles of women, and the purpose for which they are created, we will be able to appreciate them more and, in turn, nourish them from our hearts.
The Bible tells us that Yahweh created women to be men's companions and helpers. When a man and a woman marry, they become one flesh. This oneness refers to a spiritual unity founded and rooted in deep, enduring love. The Union between men and women is symbolic of the relationship we should have with Yahweh and Jesus Christ. Therefore, this love relationship is based on eternity, not the temporal love that passes with time.
The Bible says that a virtuous woman is "far above rubies." (Proverbs 31:10) She is priceless, for she is a treasure in both her household and workplace: she is skilled in caring for her husband, her children, her house, and "works eagerly with her hands." (Proverbs 31:13) Her successes in life are due to her reverential fear of God: "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears Yahweh, she shall be praised." (Proverbs 31:30) Truly, such a jewel should be nourished in return!
c) Following Biblical guidance and principles
Finally, the best way to teach people how to nourish women is by using biblical guidance. The Bible provides us with a few words of wisdom on how to nourish the women in our lives.
Husbands are told, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it. Even so husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord also does the assembly." (Ephesians 5:25, 28-29) (The "assembly" means all the children of God through faith in Jesus.)
To children, the Bible says, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother,' which is the first commandment with a promise: 'that it may be well with you, and you may live long on the earth.'" (Ephesians 6:1-3)
We are to treat "the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, in all purity" and we should "honor widows." (1 Timothy 5:2, 3) "But if anyone doesn't provide for his own, and especially his own household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Timothy 5:8)
Following these guidelines to educate one another on how to care for the gem of society--women--will guarantee success. The Word of God never fails; my life attests it!
~*~Q&A With Dr. Shirley~*~
Some very personal questions...
Question #1: Shirley, what is your definition of "happiness"?
Answer: Happiness is when you are still able to smile from the depth of your heart after all the materials you own are taken away from you and you are stripped naked. True happiness lives and thrives upon a person's spiritual wealth which no one can touch. The level of happiness is thus determined upon how much of your spiritual needs is fulfilled. The more spiritual needs fulfilled, the happier you are.
Some people equate earthly wealth with happiness. But I feel that the level of happiness concerning money and wealth a person experiences is primarily based on his or her spiritual beliefs and needs. A millionaire can still feel unhappy and empty when his or her spiritual needs are not met first. I feel that one has to have a balanced view of money in order to be happy about his or her monetary status. It is important that a person bases happiness on how much money he or she actually needs, not on desires for an extravagant lifestyle. One needs to keep in mind that earthly wealth will only bring passing happiness. Once a person has successfully established practical views on money, he or she will be happy. One who is spiritually happy (happiness that isn't dependent upon materials) can easily be happy about his or her wealth. One who is spiritually unhappy may never find complete happiness in wealth. It is important to find spiritual happiness before finding happiness in wealth.
Question #2: How do you find or achieve happiness in your life?
Answer: I achieve happiness by satisfying my spiritual needs. The cornerstone of my happiness lies in my knowing of Yahweh God Almighty through the Holy Scriptures, developing and maintaining a sacred relationship with Him, seeking His guidance through prayers, and serving Him through my online Christian ministry, www.Ultra-Ability.com Ministry. Whenever I pray to Him, I am unfailingly reminded of all of the blessings He has graciously bestowed upon me. Whenever I serve Him by teaching the Bible, I feel fulfilled, complete, and blissful. Knowing that I am able to share with others the joy I've received from my Heavenly Father brings me even greater joy.
Question #3: What has been the most happiest moment in your life?
Answer: Although I am extremely happy each time I have achieved a goal, I still find that my happiest moments are when I meditate about Yahweh and His Holy Word, the Bible; when I teach His Word to others; and whenever I talk about Yahweh with my mother. Nothing else I do can really measure up to the kind of happiness I experience when I talk about God with others, not even when I had achieved grade level after only about 180 days of school attendance in my lifetime nor my being able to calculate long chemistry equations in my head without Braille. Those achievements do make me happy, but it is still the passing kind of happiness that will not last forever, thus it is not as fulfilling as the happiness I have when satisfying my spiritual needs.
Question #4: How important is happiness?
Answer: Happiness is essential. Personally, spiritual happiness has allowed me to still be content and grateful for my life despite my multiple physical disabilities since infancy and blindness since age seventeen. God made us humans and created a most wonderful planet; why would He have done so if His purpose was not meant for us to be happy? Without happiness, life is empty. It does not matter how much you own--if you are not happy, then your belongings are worthless. No matter how little you own--if you are happy, then you are wealthy.
From my own experience, happiness enables you to be more successful in what you do. When your soul is uncontaminated by depression or sadness, it can be open to freely absorb or create knowledge, ideas, and dreams, just like crystal clear water could effortlessly flow through a mud-free river without any hindrance. Thus, such a blockage-free spirit will enable the person to achieve big in his or her life. I can personally testify to the powerful role happiness plays in one's life--I am a blind and physically disabled award-winning author (with twenty-seven book awards), author and contributor of thirty-five books by age twenty-seven, motivational speaker, poet, but above all, a passionate lover of life!
Additionally, happiness is a most wonderful ingredient for good spiritual health, which is as much important as physical health. It is scientifically proven that happiness (i.e., laughter) is good for one's heart, circulatory system, and one's overall health. Happy people will be less prone to contract stress-related health conditions and illnesses.
Question #5: What advice can you give to others to help them find true happiness?
Answer: To achieve the happiness that will never be gone with the wind, one has to cultivate the Biblical treasures of life--love, gratitude, faith, hope--and live on those gems daily for oneself and for those around him or her. Most importantly, one has to develop and maintain a sacred and intimate relationship with our Creator, Yahweh, who will bestow upon you happiness with no bound. My love for, faith in, gratitude toward, and hope in Yahweh is my secret to happiness.
~*~Dr. Shirley's Corner~*~
All of my books are now available on Amazon's Kindle! There's something for almost everyone: there's my inspirational autobiography, The Revelation of a Star's Endless Shine; a motivational memoir, The Adventures of a Blind & Disabled Award-Winning Author; spiritual poetry and prose in Waking Spirit; Dance with Your Heart, a collection of fables, fairy tales, and inspirational stories and poems for the heart from the heart; and Do You Love Jehovah (Christian theology and Biblical commentary), among others. Visit my Amazon's Author Central page to learn about my nine books: http://www.amazon.com/author/shirleycheng
To see all the Kindle editions of my books, just click on "Kindle Edition." For this holiday season, give a Kindle ebook as a gift to a book lover or two in your life!
May the grace and peace from Yahweh God and Jesus Christ be with you.!
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Dr. Shirley Cheng
Award-Winning Author with 27 Book Awards
Founder of Ultra-Ability Ministry
Proclaimer of Yahweh God's Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ
Author/Contributor/Editor of 35 books by age 27, Bible Teacher, Poet, Motivational Speaker, Self-Empowerment Expert, Advocate
Board member of World Positive Thinkers Club
"Although I'm blind, I can see far and wide; even though I'm disabled, I can climb high mountains. Let the ropes of hope in Yahweh God haul you high!"
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