Best Words on Parenting in the Bible

3 grandsonsWhen it comes to church and religion, I think it’s important to let my child make his own choice whether or not he wants to go.

This statement always amazes me.  Can you imagine if a parent applied this mentality to school, or the dentist, or the doctor?  Why do we fall back on this sort of thinking when it comes to the most important part of parenting?  I believe the statement reveals a menagerie of situations:  One may be that of a parent who was made to go to church, as a child, for no other reason than it was what we were supposed to do on Sundays.  We now have a generation of parents who have “given up on the organized religion scene,” and rightly so.  “Just do it because I say so,” really doesn’t hold up in this progressive twenty-first century society in which we live.

What does the Bible have to say about Biblical training in the home?  A lot, but one of the most all-inclusive statements is found in Deuteronomy six:

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (7-9)

The Old Testament book of Deuteronomy is basically Moses last words before his death.  In chapter five, he restates the Ten Commandments, and in chapter six, he starts the chapter by saying:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart,

and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (4,5)

 

He then lays out the above plan for training children in the Jewish home: teach them diligently, talk to them about God when you sit and walk and lie down and get up (all the time!).  Have the Word of God all around them in your home! The Life Application Bible has a wonderful statement about verses seven to nine:

 

The Hebrews were extremely successful at making religion an integral part of life.  The reason for their success was that religious education was life-oriented, not information-oriented.  They used the context of daily life to teach about God. The key to teaching your children to love God is stated simply and clearly in these verses.  If you want your children to follow God, you must make God a part of your everyday life.  You must teach your children to see God in all aspects of life, not just those that are church related.

 

BINGO!!  That statement, if implemented, makes ALL the difference in your child’s life.  The lack of it has been the downfall of churches all across the world.  Why would a child choose to go to church as an adult if he sees no value in it?  Mom and Dad may have sat there enduring the hour for no apparent reason, but he will not!  If he does not see a real relationship with Jesus Christ lived out at home in his parents, how or why would he develop a real relationship with Jesus Christ for himself?

Dear Christian parent, there is NOTHING more crucial for your child’s success in life than this.  It is more valuable than a career or any possession.  It will aid him in life more than any amount of education or financial gain.  Nothing will mold his character and his future as much as developing his personal walk with Jesus, the Friend of sinners; because nothing else will matter in a hundred years except his relationship with Jesus Christ, and you hold the key!

 

PS Yes, these are our three wonderful grandsons, and I’m so thankful for the godly parenting they are receiving.  There truly is no greater joy!!

 

 

DRAMA QUEEN

ID-100122418Drama queen – someone who gets too upset or angry over small problems

Too – more than is needed or wanted; more than is suitable or enough

Small – less in size or amount than is average

It’s amazing what a few little words will do to a definition.  If you take out the words “too” and “small” the definition reads like this: someone who gets upset or angry over problems.  That is NOT a drama queen–that definition probably describes all of us at one time or another.

We’ve all witnessed the antics of a drama queen; perhaps we have even played the part.  So when have we crossed over the line of the suitable amount of anger or upsetness, and why do we get so upset or angry over seemingly small problems?  There are so many angles to this statement!  I can hear you forming them in your mind while you read:

“Well, just because HE thinks it’s a small problem, it’s big to me!”

“HE thinks I’m overly upset if I just blink the wrong way!!”

“SHE just doesn’t get it!”

Look at those statements! Can you see where the focus is?  It’s not on the problem; it’s on HIM or HER and more importantly, on ourselves!  Drama queening boils down to selfishness–it’s all about me.  Sadly, as women, we often feel pushed into this roll.  If only he would … you fill in the blank. Once again, can you see that the focus is all wrong?  Instead of focusing on HIS shortcomings, and if your husband is human, he has them, take an inner look at your actions and reactions, dear one.

My mother was brutal when I was a child–brutally honest!  (Hope you read this one Mom!!)  I LOVED teasing others and still do.  Anyone who knew my father knows that I inherited it from him!  But my teasing often put me in the hot seat of retaliation, and my dear mother would say, “If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out!”  Oh, how those words still ring in my ears!  She was and still is right, and it doesn’t only apply to teasing.  Our marriages and all relationships would do well if we would apply it to every action and reaction.

Sometime, try an out-of-body-experience:  As the argument gets hotter, stand back figuratively and watch the argument, especially your side of it through his eyes.  You’ll be amazed at what you see! Look at the whole picture: the results of your drama queening, the damage happening to your relationship, the caustic fumes destroying the atmosphere of your home.  Is it worth it?

So what is the antidote for drama queening?  God gives us so many of them in His Word because He knows our weak flesh.  He knows how our flesh loves a sharp rebuttal. He knows that we want attention.

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.  OUCH!  Those are NOT the words a drama queen wants to hear, but there is so much truth in them.  James says, Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! (3:5) And verse six gets even tougher: And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

Drama Queening mainly about words and actions, but behind it all is attitude: Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.  As born-again believers, we should never take the part of drama queen, because under the mask of overreacting is a heart that is not right with God–a heart that needs to be cleansed by the Word.  Like a wound, our hearts which may have been sliced and diced by another’s drama queening need to be cleansed of the hurt and poison of harsh words and attitudes, or the infection of bitterness will set in and destroy the health of our souls!  The only remedy is the Balm of Gilead!

Two more remedies from the Word:

Proverbs 30:32 If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, lay thine hand upon thy mouth.

Psalm 141:3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.  This little verse was a memory verse for our Children’s Bible Club a few weeks ago and I can’t tell you how many times I needed to recite it to myself that following week!

The Drama Queen’s tongue is truly set on fire from hell, burning completely out of control, causing so much damage to our relationships and our homes, completely destroying the inner peace and joy that we so desperately need when facing our other two enemies: the world and Satan.

The bottom line is this: Is drama queening–feeding our pride, salving our wounds, and defending our rights–worth the disastrous damage done to our loved ones?

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

The Successful Dad (and Granddad!)

IMG_5983Success – my husband would say, and I agree, that success is finding the will of God and doing it!  So, to be a successful Dad would be to find God’s will for a father, and do it.  That sounds like a very tall order, and it is!

The following poem has always been special to me.  It shows the heart desire of a dedicated dad, and his yearning keep the task of fathering first in his life.  I’m not a father, I’m not even a man, praise God  :), but I had a father, I have a Heavenly Father, and I’m married to one of the best fathers that I’ve ever met.  So, let me share what I see from the passenger’s seat:

It’s not money that kids want, it’s your approval, Dad.

It’s not a big home with all the latest do-dads, it’s your time, Dad.

Kids NEED to know, and see, and feel your love, Dad, and it doesn’t have to be with kisses, although they are nice. 🙂  If you love them, and hug them, and smile… they will know.  (Words work too, although I know that it is sometimes hard – must be a man thing!)

They MUST have your strong hand of discipline, or there is no hope for them.

It’s okay to cry – tears water their hearts, and their love for you will grow better and faster and stronger than if your face stays dry.

Make them proud, Dad – it doesn’t take much, in fact, it doesn’t take any talent, just honesty.

Can you laugh at yourself, Dad? Laughing at yourself helps them to know that you are human, and there is hope for them!

And Dad, there is NOTHING that will assure your success and theirs more, than the Word of God.  It’s an absolute must in your life.  If you have a genuine love for God’s Word and you share that with your children, Satan and his minions will run!  Read It to them; share your thoughts with them; pray with them; go to church with them; ask them questions about their Sunday school class.  Be real, and if It’s not real to you, beg God that It would be so!

Mom’s may spend 90% of their time with the children while Dad is out there making a living, but that 10% of your time is more valuable than any of us can know…except one: our enemy!  That’s why he makes fathering so hard!  He knows if he can destroy the image of Dad in a child’s mind, the image of a heavenly Father is marred forever!

The Successful Dad
(Author Unknown)

I may never be as clever as my neighbor down the street,
I may never be as wealthy as some other men I meet.
I may never have the glory that some other men have had,
But I’ve just got to be successful as that little fellow’s dad.

There are certain dreams I cherish, that I’d like to see come true,
There are things I would like to do.
There are things I would like to accomplish before my earthly life is through.
But the task I’ve set my heart on is to guide a little lad,
To make myself successful as that little fellow’s dad.

Oh, I may never come to glory, I may never gather gold,
And when my business life is over, I may be considered a failure as told.
But the task I’ve set my heart on is to guide a little lad,
To make myself successful as that little fellow’s dad.

It’s the one job that I dream of, The task I think of most,
For if I fail that little fellow, I have nothing else to boast.
For the wealth and fame I’d gather, all my fortune would be sad,
If I fail to be successful as that little fellow’s dad.

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Galatians 4:6

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

Days of PraiseThe Institute for Creation Research puts out a wonderful little devotional book called Days of Praise,  which often contains a hymn series.  If you or your church have not discovered them as yet, I hope you’ll visit their website, where you’ll find loads of wonderful material and a wealth of Biblically accurate information. The following is an example of one of their hymn series:

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

The Christian church has a rich heritage in its hymn.  Over the years, dear saints of God have framed great Christian doctrines in music, easy to remember and a joy to sing.  The unfathomable love of Christ for us is laid out clearly in the first verse of one such hymn, “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus.”

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

Our text reminds us that the love of Christ is a different kind of love than that which we can express or even comprehend.  We can only ask, “What manner of love is this?”  We know it as grace, unmerited favor, a sweet blessing given to us that we do not deserve.

This love surrounds us, buoying us up and sweeping us along in its current.  We have the privilege of returning that love: “We love, him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).  Such love led Him to Calvary and us to eternal life.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever belie eth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)

This love will lead us on to glory, where we will spend eternity with the Author of love.  Here He continues forever extending His love gifts to us.  “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).  His love for us is so deep. JDM

Recently, I was praying with a woman and her prayer stopped me short.  As she prayed for an unsaved man, she prayed that he would know the unfathomable love that God had for him!  Sadly, I must admit that I often prayed that God would give him a glimpse of hell.

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering;

not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?  Romans 2:4

Yes, the awful truth about hell often awakens the soul to a consciousness about sin and its consequences, but as this verse says, it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance; and oh, how good our God is!  How rich is his goodness, how long is His forbearance, and how immeasurable is His longsuffering towards His children who should know better in the first place!

His Grace – My Weakness

IMG_6932I love these dancing solar flowers!  A friend and colleague had several in his classroom, and I threatened to steal one.  (I really don’t think I would have, but the temptation was there!)  So, one day he gave me one!  It now sits on the table by my living room window, dancing merrily and bringing me great joy!

It is now 6:30 pm as I write.  The sky is covered with thick clouds promising rain before the hour has passed. Every once and awhile, the flowers will quiver slightly.  It’s really quite comical.  They just don’t have enough energy to do much else, and on a Wednesday night at 6:30, after teaching an after-school Bible Club and heading into Master Club at 7:00, it reminds me of myself – not much energy!

However, I have learned long ago (and am STILL learning) that Paul was right:

And he said unto me,

My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

I’ve seen over and over again that His strength comes in when mine goes out!  By the time the kids get here and I start teaching, I am energized, but it’s not my energy!  However, I don’t believe that I’ve learned the “most gladly” part yet.  I so want His power to rest upon my life, but I’m not sure I like the infirmities thing!

 *     *     *     *     *

Well, it’s now 9:47 pm and I’m finally in my jammies, ready to relax, AND He did it again!  The strength was there, the joy was there, the thrill of serving filled my heart, and as I counseled with a family after everyone else had gone, I wasn’t tired – I was energized as the Lord helped me to know what to say.

My tank is pretty empty, I’m spent spiritually, but just like my little pot of flowers, I’ll be there tomorrow, sitting by the window with my Bible open and my notebook ready, pen in hand.  My little spiritual battery will be soaking up the Rays from the Son through His Word as my little flowers recharge as well for another day of brightening my life!

Shocking Reality

FireBIGAs I observe the times in which we live, I sense almost a dread at the shocking reality of Christian beliefs.  Our times are filled with Christianity, in all shapes and sizes.  Some churches which would place themselves under the umbrella of Christianity deny that Jesus is even God’s Son.  To me, that is a shocking reality; while others pick and choose which teachings of Christ they will embrace and trash the others as archaic or irrelevant.  That is also a shocking reality.

However, the most shocking reality is the beliefs that people embrace about salvation.  There are those who feel that they will safely arrive into heaven’s domain because they belong to a certain church, or have completed a course, or have practiced a religious activity.  And then there are the myriads of humanity which have been “born-again,” and that also comes in all shapes and sizes!

Salvation: What does it mean to be saved, born-again, converted?  Of all the doctrines of the Bible, it is understandable that Satan would work the hardest at distorting this one!  What a price we pay for not embracing the whole truth about salvation!  What do I mean by that?  Read on…

Let’s say that you live in a community that has a wonderful community group, which does a lot of wonderful things.  They are very organized, not just a loosely banded group, and they require members to fill out an application.  You have attended some of their meetings, have even joined in with some of their activities, but you haven’t filled out the application.  Are you a member?  No.  When it would come time for any votes to be taken or any major decisions made, you would not be included.  Why?  Because you did not fill out the application.

You may really believe in their cause.  You may like them.  They may accept your presence happily and wish that you would join “officially.”  They may even give you the application and urge you to join; but for whatever the reason, you just didn’t do it.

Salvation:  Is it just believing in God?  If so, then according to a recent poll 74% of Americans are saved.  If you believe that, I have a great deal on some land in Florida I’d like to sell you!  🙂

Is it asking Jesus to be your Savior?  I would think that most of you would say, yes.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10: 13

The above scenario about the community group creates the problem concerning someone who purposely did not fill out the application.  The spiritual equivalent: someone purposefully no asking Jesus to be their Savior.  Why wouldn’t you do that?  Maybe you just never got around to it.  Maybe you don’t think it’s necessary.  Maybe you know the commitment it will involve and you’re not ready to commit.  Maybe you don’t believe in that sort of thing. Maybe you think your way or your churches way is good enough. Whatever the excuse, just know that there are consequences for not making that commitment – a big one called hell.

Is it possible to ask Him to be your Savior and still not go to heaven?  Yes – it’s not the words, it’s the heart.  Is it possible to really, really mean it and not go to heaven?  Yes – if you really, really mean it because you just don’t want to go to hell, but you will not admit your sin and forsake it – be saved from it, in Jesus name.  How could someone be saved from sin if they don’t want to let go of their sinful life and seek holiness?

“But I believe that God will accept me just the way I am.  That’s just your interpretation of the Bible.”   Another shocking reality: God loves each of us more than we could ever understand.  His love is completely unconditional – I can’t do anything to make Him love me more or less.  In fact, He loves us SO MUCH that He willingly sent His Son to die in our place – He, God the Father, placed every one of our sins on God, the Son – His ONLY Son!  Wow!  That’s beyond my comprehension!  And then someone will say that God would accept a person because they are good, even though they refuse to bow the knee and ask forgiveness – asking Jesus to save them?  The shocking reality is that many people think that way.  How do I know, because I see lives that talk the talk but they don’t walk the walk.  There’s no sense of “God” in their lives except when they are in church, IF they even go to church.

Am I talking about sinless perfection?  No, just a heart for God, the rest will follow!  We, as born-again believers, all have a walk to walk.  God knows what it is that He wants us to do to glorify His name.  What a wonderful thought!

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to make a decision for Christ, don’t continue to ignore Him!

Revelation 22:7 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Complete in Thee! no work of mine
May take, dear Lord, the place of Thine;
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And I am now complete in Thee.

Yea, justified! O blessed thought!
And sanctified! Salvation wrought!
Thy blood hath pardon bought for me,
And glorified, I too, shall be!

Complete in Thee—no more shall sin,
Thy grace hath conquered, reign within;
Thy voice shall bid the tempter flee,
And I shall stand complete in Thee.

Complete in Thee—each want supplied,
And no good thing to me denied;
Since Thou my portion, Lord, wilt be,
I ask no more, complete in Thee.

Dear Savior! when before Thy bar
All tribes and tongues assembled are,
Among Thy chosen will I be,
At Thy right hand—complete in Thee.

 Aaron Robarts Wolfe (1821-1902),James Martin Gray, chorus (1851-1935)

If you have never made that commitment to Jesus Christ, and you don’t quite understand what salvation is, maybe it would help to read “What is Salvation” at the top.