Category Archives: General

Speed Bump, Detour, Dead End, or Catapult?

Life can turn upside down in an instant. An accident, a cancer diagnosis, or _______.  We face obstacles in life. Some are easy, some difficult, and some “impossible.” Our response to these will greatly affect our children’s view of God, because it represents how real our faith in God actually is. Paul said follow me even as I also follow Christ. 

I’m thinking of one Brother whose life is ebbing, drip-by-drip, as a bucket with a leak. He requires constant care and suffers greatly.

Another Sister has been through unimaginable health trauma. Her testimony declares the glory of a righteous and merciful God.

May we embrace difficulties that come our way. May we see them as opportunities for God to grow our faith in Him.  May we consider that the mighty work God most desires is not the joy from flattening the obstacle, but unshakable faith in Him.  

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Steve

Tick, Tick

We spend our limited resource of time each day. Will it be for things that are in accordance with the will of our Lord Jesus or for our flesh? What we redeem our time for, we will lay at the feet of our Lord one day.

Our bodies are also a limited resource that are being spent day-by-day, week-by-week, and year-by-year. Will we spend our bodies for the Lord or do we misuse them? God did not design our bodies to grow roots into a couch.

“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;  That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries” (1 Peter 4:1-3).

Steve

More Mature Than Your Children?

Are you more mature than your children?

Obedience

Consider this. You ask your child to do something he doesn’t want to do, and he responds with a sigh, verbal complaint, or non-compliance. I doubt that is the response you want. I know a smile along with, “Yes, Mom, I’d be happy to” is what delights your heart.

Now think about your response to the hard things the Lord asks you to do (or maybe they aren’t even so difficult, just not to your liking), especially areas of daily life and mothering. Jesus wants you to respond to your child’s bad attitude with a meek and quiet spirit. Is that what you do, or do you sigh inside and complain to the Lord about how tired you are of your child’s bad attitudes, how much time it takes to correct him, and how you sure wish he would change? Do you have a tone in your voice when you correct the child? Perhaps you raise your voice at him, or simply ignore it?

Do we want our children to obey us, and yet we fail at obeying Him? “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).  Are we more mature than our children?

Repentance

Would it make a difference to you if that scenario with your child happens, and five minutes later he comes to you saying, “Mommy, my attitude was wrong. Please forgive me. I will happily do what you asked me to do.” Might that response knock you over? Would it change your thoughts about the child’s bad attitude?

Do you repent when you fail? Perhaps you think repenting doesn’t matter that much, or your wrong responses happen often so you ignore the repenting part and just try a little harder. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

If our children’s repentance brings us joy, what does our repentance do to our heavenly Father? If our children don’t repent over their wrong childish behavior, and we don’t repent over our wrong adult behavior, are we really more mature than our children?

Diligence

Are you frustrated with a child who doesn’t have initiative? One that you have to remind all the time to do what he is supposed to do? Perhaps he starts on a task but doesn’t finish it.

What about you? When you have a free moment, do you do something productive or feel like you deserve a break? Do you have a schedule but choose not to follow it? Do you allow your devices to distract you from the job you are involved in doing? Would God view you as His child who wants to hurry away from responsibility, has to be reminded to do what needs to be done, and is pulled away to her own interests or His faithful servant, diligent and happy to do more? “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).

If we don’t do what we should do, when we should do it, are we more mature than our children?

More Mature

Perhaps as we consider our failures, we will have more patience and compassion working with our children. That doesn’t mean we let down the bar, but it does mean we consistently and sweetly encourage them along the right path.

When we feel frustrated with our children’s lack of maturity, it reminds us to obey the Lord, repent of our sin, and be His diligent servants.

If you’d like encouragement in this area of a meek and quiet spirit, I suggest you read Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit. I wrote it when I was a mom in the trenches, with five young ones, including an epic dawdler. Whew! Some ladies share that they read this book at the beginning of each school year!

What Does Freedom Mean?

To some:

  • They can do or say anything they want, and no one can tell them “No.” 
  • They are not a slave to anything or anyone. 
  • _________ (fill in the blank).

It is surprising to me that many take freedom in Christ to mean they can do anything they want that isn’t sin. They have added Jesus to their lives. He’s in their pocket. They have no worries about hell and can now enjoy the good life.

Sadly, that mindset ignores the truth that Jesus purchased us with His blood that He might live in and through us so that we would be a peculiar people, a holy nation. We don’t add Jesus to our lives. wW are to become lost in His. We have been freed from the tyranny of sin, to be bondservants of the Lord Jesus Christ.     

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2).

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).

Steve

Disdaining Danger or Embracing it?

We are evaluating forbidden fruit versus things to teach self-control.

In the garden, when God wanted man to learn to obey Him and choose right from wrong, He used the tree of the knowledge of good and evil by forbidding it.

God didn’t use the trees’s fruit to teach moderation/self-control. He didn’t say:

  • Eat only the good fruit.
  • Eat only a little fruit.
  • Eat it on Sundays.

God said, don’t eat!  Eating from that tree in the Garden meant death.

I want my children to completely avoid directly sinful things and I expect that is your desire for your children as well. However, in addition, I want my children to have a disdain for things that easily lead to destructive things. Are you still with me? 

“And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house” (Judges 8:27). The ephod that Gideon made likely wasn’t directly sinful at first. However, it soon became a snare to Gideon and his family.

The less like the world your family is, the more dangerous TV and movies are in pulling their hearts to the world.

What about you? What are your goals for your children?

Steve

Are You Slack?

Discipling children in the Lord, the Savior of their souls, is THE critical aspect in raising children. Dad owns this responsibility before the Lord. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Family Bible time every day is critical to nurturing a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the feeding of a soul, producing fertile ground for the Spirit of God to work. If Dad is slack in his responsibilities to gain ground in the hearts of his children, you can be sure the enemy will use it to his advantage. 

“And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the Lord God of your fathers hath given you?”(Joshua 18:3). 

The reason I warned a couple weeks ago about TV and movies is they are a sure way to give ground in the hearts of your family to the enemy. When given a choice, a child will likely choose the world’s entertainment over God’s Word. Why not eliminate the world’s entertainment and draw their hearts to God’s Word?

Steve

Dangerous or Useful?

Last week when you read my Seriously article about TV and movies, you might have thought, “Why didn’t he say something about the computer?” I must limit my word count, hence a follow-on article.

A chainsaw is a powerful tool, but it can also be very dangerous to an unskilled and unprotected user.  A computer is also a powerful tool, but there is great danger to the soul if it is used carelessly. It seems like many (most?) use the computer similarly to the TV – as an entertainment device. When viewed as such, the serious danger it poses seems minimized. No one considers an entertainment toy as dangerous. Right? No, wrong. It is terribly dangerous.

Therefore, safeguards are required  not just a good idea, but required. No one is above temptation. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Many dads haven’t realized the danger of the computer for himself or his children and discovered too late the damage done whether in addiction to empty games or to serious immorality.

Our family’s computers are not used for play or entertainment. They are tools for work and efficiency. We also use Google Safe Search and Accountable2You and encourage anyone we can to do the same. Better to be safe than sorry!  (The Accountable2You is an affiliate link and blesses the Titus2 ministry.)

Steve

Confirmed by Blood

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”   Jim Elliot

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it” ( Luke 9:24).

Steve

Fake or Genuine?

I recently purchased a beautiful ring at Walmart for ten dollars to be used as an object lesson. It is totally amazing. It looked like a diamond ring but it was fake. Frankly, it is difficult to believe something that looks so nice was only ten dollars. Still it was an imitation. Often, it can be difficult to recognize what is real versus what is fake for all sorts of things.

What about Christians? I expect when the idea of fake Christians is mentioned, a few names may cross your mind. We can easily fool even ourselves regarding our walk with the Lord. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). If only the Lord gave a “conformed to His image” rating like a purity rating on gold.

Are we going through the motions, or is there an intimate relationship with our Savior? Is the power of the Holy Spirit present in our lives? The Spirit is more than just the third name in the Trinity – He is needful for our lives.

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (John 16:7).

Steve

The Question

The judge asks you. “Which do you choose, death by hanging, or a lifetime sentence to the vacation resort of your choice?”  Simple answer.

Next choose one: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” or, “come, enjoy all the fun, entertainment and pleasures (non-sinful of course!) that this world offers.”  For many/most(?) another simple answer.

Notice the choice isn’t between Heaven and hell. It is between Heaven and the world.

Is it any wonder why so many Dads and children choose the world today? “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).

Steve