Remember your last graduation? For some it was high school and others college. How did you feel? Was there satisfaction of accomplishment or relief to be finished with school?
I admit. I was tired of the schoolwork. I looked forward to applying what I learned and being free of study. I was in for a surprise, though. In my field, the good ones never quit learning. That is true in life, as well. The good ones, at whatever they do, never quit learning.
There is a huge secondary benefit to being a lifelong learner. Your children are much more likely to have the same attitude toward learning.
What should we learn? First, we learn of our Lord Jesus and His Word. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).
Then we seek to learn what we can in order to excel in everything we put our hands to. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:23).
Are you learning? Are you reading God’s Word everyday? Are you improving in your ministry? Are you improving in your vocation?
It is easy to say “I love you” to our children, but, demonstrative actions are required to confirm it.
- Do you lead them in daily family Bible time?
- Do you live out the Lord Jesus?
- Do you have daily personal Bible time?
- Do you worship with the family each week?
- Do you wear a seatbelt?
- Do you refrain from exciting and dangerous activities because you want to be around to provide for and disciple your children?
Some might wonder what the last two items have to do with loving your children. Love puts the needs of others above their own selfish interests. I am especially grieved when I hear about a dad who lost his life or was seriously injured by something that could have been avoided.
It is easy to buckle a seatbelt. Yet without doing that, it is also easy to be thrown from the car in an accident and be crushed by it. What about the thrill of blazing a trail down the ski slopes and impacting a tree at a high rate of speed? What about the exhilaration of a fast motorcycle ride on a beautiful day in the country only to end in disaster? Sadly, these are real examples.
If we truly love those entrusted to our care, it must change the decisions that we make.
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20).
Picture a sixteen-year-old boy daily spending 30 minutes in front of the bathroom mirror fixing his hair and meticulously grooming facial hair. Then he goes to his closet and picks either tight-fitting or minimal clothing. He wants the girls to stare at his muscles and find him attractive. Would you think that a good thing in light of Scripture? Would you encourage a son like that?
Then why is it good for girls? Is it because in the world females are ascribed value when they are attractive and sensuous? Should she see her value based upon something false? The Proverbs 31 woman is praised as an example for women. She is praised because of her virtue, not beauty.
A physical focus leads to pride. “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness:..” (Ezekiel 28:17).
“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
How are we praising our daughters? What about our wives?
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.