How often have you thought, “I can’t do this?” Maybe during struggles in parenting, or marriage, or serving Christ these doubts arise. Jeremiah told God he couldn’t do what God was asking, but God had a different idea. “Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak” (Jeremiah 1:6-7).
If we look at ourselves, yes, of course, we are unable, but we need to look at an all sufficient, all powerful God. It is His grace, His strength and His knowledge that enables.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
I once heard a description of a football game: fifty thousand people who need exercise watching twenty-two men who desperately need rest.
Have you observed something similar in some churches? There might be several hundred spectators who need spiritual exercise watching a core group who desperately need rest.
Finally, have you also noticed some homes where one person is greatly overworked, while the other family members desperately need to learn what it means to serve?
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (Proverbs 22:29).
Were you amazed when you read of how Aaron built the golden calf and then lied to Moses about it? I was! What was Aaron thinking of?
I couldn’t understand why Aaron suffered no consequences for his actions (Exodus 32). I have to wonder, though, if that golden calf didn’t eventually cost him his sons, Nadab and Abihu. Later we read that Nadab and Abihu took censers “and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” (Leviticus 10:1-2).
Aaron’s sons were learning well the lessons of disobedience to God that their dad “taught” them as they observed his actions. Their disobedience required their lives.
As dads, our lives are impressed upon our families. That impression will be for good or for bad. You choose the outcome by your thoughts, words, and actions. May your life be the best impression possible—the image of Christ.
“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:10).
Raising godly children is a difficult, full-time job. It takes a great deal of time and effort. Will your future daughter-in-law be able to stay home with the children, or will she have to work full time? Will she want to homeschool the children?
The answer to those questions will likely be determined by how you raise your son and by the values you impress on his life. This affects the type of woman he is attracted to for his wife. In addition, it has much to do with the type of leadership he provides for his home. We must purpose to instill in our sons the desire to have their wives home nurturing their children. Now is the time to be working with our sons and developing them according to God’s Word and His leading. (excerpt from Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single Income Family)
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22),
You are so excited when your son’s eighth birthday arrives, you can hardly contain yourself. Your son opens the small box you give him, stares at what is inside, then picks it up with his thumb and forefinger. “What’s this?” You explain that it’s a whole ounce of pure gold and is very expensive. He continues to look at it. Then he asks, “But what can I do with it?” You now realize this expensive gift was a total flop. You were planning on giving him one each year and were sure it would kickstart his saving for a debt-free house.
A month later, you see him happily riding a new bike. Puzzled you ask, “Son, where did you get that bicycle?” He cheerfully replies, “Joey sold it to me.” “Where did you get the money for it?” His response, “My birthday present. I gave him my gold for the bike. Isn’t it great?” Glug.
Most dads understand how difficult it is to teach children the value of money. However, to teach our children to treasure what is of greater value is a difficult undertaking.
There is something far more important than teaching our children to value money – teach them to value time. Time gets us money and other things of value. We can always get more money, but time is vastly limited.
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).
We read in 2:9 that “the tree of life was in the midst,” likely center of the Garden. Was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil close to the tree of life, which was in the midst? I believe so, because of how easily Eve observed it when she was being tempted. Very likely Adam and Eve would see the forbidden tree on a regular basis. The fruit was, “… good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise…” (Genesis 3:6). It was very tempting indeed.
Did God put it there to tempt them for evil? Not according to James 1:13. Then why was the tree there? What benefit was it? Could it be it was for man to exercise his free will on a regular basis and choose good? The more “he” exercised his will in right choices, the stronger and more reliable in self-control “he” would have been and the better prepared for a life of self-discipline for following his God. That’s a lot to think about.
“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it”(Genesis 2:15).
God is always good, always. God gave Adam His best, and He gave Adam purpose. Adam was not ever to be bored because he had his work cut out for him. If you want to see a sparkle in your children’s eyes and a spring in their step, give them something worthwhile to work toward. Get them used to the satisfaction that comes from accomplishment.
Observe the youth and young adults of today. Would you characterize them as having purpose and good work ethics? God gave Adam purpose and a reason to work right away in a perfect environment. He was to work/serve (dress) and manage (keep) the garden. Without meaningful work, life is dull and boring, and children (and adults) will turn to the pursuit (and addiction) of entertainment and pleasure.
If you want to see a possible “result” of boredom, laziness, and lack of godly purpose, read and meditate on Ezekiel 16:49.
Second one next week…
What were two essentials that God gave Adam in the garden that every parent would do well to help his children with? Give it a week to think about. I’m not asking you to send me your ideas. Just think about it. Hint: I’m not referring to the obvious such as food, clothing, and a place to live.
“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:15-17).
I spoke to a dad recently who used to give guest lectures to junior and senior public high school classes on a financial topic. He always began with the question, “Does anyone know what ten percent of $50 is?” After many lectures, he said he never had a student correctly answer the question. We would all agree that math is important for life.
What about reading? I’m confident you want your children to be able to read well. Reading is the basis for much learning. As believers we know it is critical for our children to understand the Bible and from it, life in Christ. Do we ever think about how important our example in this area of reading would be to our children? If our children never see us reading, will reading be important to them?
I’ve received emails from moms, in response to a book recommendation I’ve made that might help their situation, who say their husbands don’t read. Consider this statement from an unknown originator, “The person who doesn’t read is no better off than the person who can’t read.”
If reading is important for our children, is it important for us parents? In this age of video everything, do we read? Do we read the Bible, and do we read other beneficial books? If we don’t read, are we any better off than someone who can’t read?
“How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words” (Ephesians 3:3).
I have observed the outcome of decisions I have been very curious about. Why did someone do that? As I was out driving yesterday, there was a five-mile backup on the southbound interstate because one lane was closed. There was no sign of a work crew or any work being done, but there must have been a good reason (in someone’s mind) to put out the cones and not pick them up.
Other things that make me curious are: the way a house is situated on a piece of property, a “feature” on a car’s dash, or the navigation scheme on a website. I have come to believe that no one makes a dumb decision on purpose. In fact, I am confident that everyone does the best he can with the information he has at the time and with his reasoning abilities.
Those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ’s shed blood on the cross for payment of their sin debt and who are in fellowship with Him have incredible advantage over those who are lost. Think about it. We can seek His direction for every aspect of our lives and spare our families hardships that can be avoided.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).