It takes courage to be a good leader and be obedient to the Lord. The Lord’s instructions to Saul were very clear, “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass” (1 Samuel 15:3). It would have been extremely difficult to carry out this command, but the Lord was clear.
Yet Saul disobeyed and blamed his disobedience on those he was called to lead. “And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.” (1 Samuel 15:24). Notice a halfhearted confession with no real repentance.
Saul gave a great excuse to say he feared the people – God didn’t buy it. “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:22-23a).
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). God’s command to fathers is equally clear. Ya think?
“Neither shall he (the king) multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: . . .” (Deuteronomy 17:17). Even with our little wisdom it is obvious, Solomon disobeyed the Lord. “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites” (1 Kings 11:4-5).
Yet, might we be like Solomon and have difficulty in seeing our own error? Will we heed the warning of Scripture? “Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing” (Deuteronomy 7:26). Sadly, many Christian dads have brought what God would call an abomination into their homes.
Notice how these verses describe TV and most movies. “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19).
“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).
Part 2 coming soon, “What about the computer?”
How often do you read something or here a message and think how it applies to a number of guys you know? Maybe someone at church or a friend? We can so quickly dodge the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Oh what good may result if we are willing to be open to the Holy Spirit enough to say “Is it I?”
“And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I” (Matthew 26:21-22)?
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:” (Ephesians 5:25-29).
You know the drill. The child says, “It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t do anything.She’s always blaming me.” But Dad and Mom have a different level of understanding of justice, love, and kindness than the less mature child has. Hence, parents keenly see the wrong that was committed.
In a similar way, God, Who is Wisdom, watches our interactions with the wife of our youth and will see things that displease Him that we can be clueless about. God takes it very seriously and is not reluctant to apply consequences.
Do you feel like your prayers bounce off the ceiling? Would you consider asking your wife if there are things she is struggling with in the relationship?
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
When everything today is instant and delivered to you door, why would you go to Ft Smith, Arkansas, Feb 23/24, 2018, for a Family Energize conference? Simply put, there is something powerful and engaging when brothers-and- sisters-in-Christ meet together for inspiring teaching.
More specifically, you and your family would benefit from the following:
• A big dose of motivation and encouragement
• Children encouraged in Christ and purpose
• Vision (where are you “headed?”)
• Likeminded fellowship and new friends
• Learning practical ways to be more efficient and get it all done
• Finding joy and peace when you are accomplishing what God is calling you to,
I wonder if your wife would be thrilled if you told her you were taking the family to a weekend conference.
Homeschooling families often have more limited financial means because of Mom not working outside the home. That is why we don’t charge for those attending but have a love offering box on the display table.” We also have obtained a block of motel rooms nearby at a discounted rate. See conference registration details.
I’d love to meet you there, and Teri would love to meet your wife. Will you come?
Have you noticed how easy it is to see flaws in others and not recognize them in ourselves? When tempted to distrust your wife, have you considered whether you are worthy of her trust? “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?” (Matthew 7:3-4)
What is your wife’s confidence level in you:
- To put the needs of the family above your personal wants and desires?
- That if you say you will do something, you will do it?
- To keep your end of “any agreements?”
- To be careful with family resources?
- That you own the responsibility of discipling your children in the Lord Jesus Christ?
- To value your time as priceless or do you waste it on empty pursuits?
May we each have the mindset that trust is earned–not deserved.
Dads, have you observed the new popular guidelines?
- Don’t eat together as a family. One way to do that is not to have a set time for meals. Keep mealtime a secret until 5 minutes prior. Even if you know the time, demonstrate your independence by sitting down only when you feel like it. Also, consistent with this behaviour, don’t help your wife clean up after eating.
- Don’t set a bedtime, and if you do, ignore it. Stay up late watching TV or doing something “important” on the computer. It is the most effective way to guarantee your wife can’t function well the next day (actually you too). To make sure this is an ingrained pattern for the children, allow them to enjoy movies and the media of their choice as late as they want. They will be irritable the next day and despise anything that looks like education.
- Make pleasure/entertainment your pursuit, and you will fit right in with our society. No one will call you weird or peculiar if you do.
- Be encouraged, these simple rules will easily be acquired by your children, and if you don’t like the outcome in their lives, it won’t be too difficult to find someone to blame. It’s not your fault anyway.
“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20).
Here’s a test: Do you do the same thing over and over and expect or hope for different results? That was Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity.
Scripture admonishes us to change —forsake old ways and embrace new ones. We are new creatures in Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Sure old ways die hard. They are comfortable because we are used to them, but where God calls, He enables. “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1).
We caroled to our neighborhood Sunday night. As the family was caroling, I was overwhelmed with gratitude to the Lord. Forty-three years ago there was just Teri and me. Sunday night, all twenty-three of my family – wife, children, grandchildren, and daughters-in-law were having a wonderful time showing Jesus’ love to our neighbors.
Are you seeking the Lord as you make decisions? Are you proclaiming God’s mighty works to your family? Stay the course my brothers. Your children are eternal.
“I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done” (Psalms 78:2-4).