In 2010 we toured Carlsbad Caverns and in 2011 Yellowstone park. They are both exquisite examples of God’s beautiful creation. Sadly, God was not given any credit – not even the slightest during various guide presentations or on placards.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3).
Was our children’s faith weakened by evolution being given credit instead of Jesus Christ, the God of creation? No, not at all. For almost every day of their lives we have been in the Word together. It’s a special time of reading and sharing as a family. In addition, they have seen God’s Word authenticated in lives and know it to be true.
Sadly, now imagine the confusion so many (most?) children face who are merely taken to church on Sunday and then sit in front of a TV every day of the week? “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Many have it upside down today. When they think of how much something costs, they think in terms of dollars. In reality, they should be thinking in terms of time. We can always get more money, but we only have a limited amount of time. That scarcity makes time invaluable.
Most have heard the expression, “I’m spending my children’s inheritance.” They usually mean that they are spending their savings themselves, and there won’t be much left for the children after their death.
Here’s another perspective for you to consider. When Dad or Mom don’t invest time in the lives of their children, might they be spending their children’s most crucial inheritance? How prepared your children are for life, their character, their walk with Christ— isn’t that far more important than any amount of dollars they might inherit?
Child-raising years are priceless, and there are no second chances. No amount of money can replace what is lost in the child’s life. You that are heavily investing in your children’s lives are making the best choice. That investment is an inheritance they will benefit from for all eternity.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5).
We just returned from Colorado and spent a lot of time hiking. I love being with my family, enjoying God’s beautiful creation and challenging exertion. The view from the trails greatly varied, but one thing was sure, you’d better keep an eye out for where you placed your feet if you didn’t want to fall.
It seems like Scripture shares a similar admonition. “Choose where you are going.” Every decision we make has a result. As you lead your family, what you do everyday will have an affect.
While hiking I was thinking about a session we give called “Building a Vision.” Oh, Dads, I plead with you to have a “vision” of where God is calling your family. To know and follow it will save you so much grief.
I am aware of some dads who have major turmoil in their family, and I have to wonder if things couldn’t be improved if they had a “vision” and then lived it. Sure it can involve some tough decisions, but life in Christ takes courage.
The best way to avoid a crisis is by knowing where God is directing, then go for it, one step-at-a-time, day-after-day. What’s stopping you?
“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7).
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…