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).
New Zealand passed a new law that designates the Whanganui River, the country’s third-longest river, a legal person. That means the Whanganui has rights such as owning property, incurring debts and even petitioning the courts. We can be sure that rational, intelligent people made this decision, but for what possible purpose? It was done with the hope of preventing environmental damage to the river. A similar legal action has been carried out in India for the Ganges and Yamuna rivers.
History repeats itself as mankind struggles to place value where real value is due.
There have been times when basic human rights were denied:
The Jews in Nazi Germany,
African Americans in slavery in the United States
Now, babies in the womb.
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent” (1 Corinthians 1:18-19).
Twelve leaders. – Just like us.
“And Moses by the commandment of the Lord sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel” (Numbers 13:3).
All saw the same things. – We have equal opportunity to be used of the Lord.
“So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath” (Numbers 13:21).
Two trusted in their God, but ten were afraid. – What will we choose?
“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we” (Numbers 13:30-31).
There are always dissenting voices to listen to. Victory belongs to those who will trust and obey.
Possibly one solution for bored children is to let them watch movies or TV and play video games or sports. I didn’t say these were good solutions, merely possibilities. Based on popularity, however, it appears that these solutions rank at the top of the list.
Depending on our goals for our children, we can take a hint from God’s provision for Adam in the Garden as to a cure for boredom. “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). Purposeful work is needful for each of us. If we are discipling children to be adults, then might we want to train and guide them with that end in mind?
Might the popular solutions for boredom be the reason why our nation is plagued with entertainment addicts?
What are your goals for your children? How you guide them should not be based on popular choices or even their preferences but their ultimate good. That will be consistent with God’s direction.
“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy” (Ezekiel 16:49).
At a recent conference Teri and I were sharing about how critical it is to establish peace and order in the home. One dad turned to his wife and whispered to her, “Honey, that sounds like a really good system, but I love the way our home is running, so let’s just stay with what we have.” She smiled and whispered back, “Babe, we’re doing their system!”
“Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).
If you look up someone on Wikipedia, you will find their birth date and date of death. Next will be a summary (slice) of their life.
How would the slice of your life read? How would it read if written by your wife? What about each of your children? What if a lost friend of yours wrote about you?
“If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors” (James 2:8-9).
Self-discipline is an ugly word with many today. The saying “I can resist anything but temptation” seems to be quite accepted. However, on the flip side, fans “Ooh and Aah” over the physique of athletes and ignore it was self-discipline that achieved those results.
Saying “No!” to things is critical and followed by the need to be able to say “Yes!” to the right things.
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (2 Peter 1:5-7).
One morning in January of 2016, I dropped a kettlebell when exercising with Teri. Over a few years we had been progressing nicely in our “bell” routines but something had changed. My right forearm had been progressively getting weaker. Okay, I know it was supposed to be getting stronger but something wasn’t right. I was quite disappointed with this and felt if I couldn’t swing one safely, it was time to quit.
The weakness in my forearm was affecting even small things like mousing, eating and brushing my teeth. I hoped that given rest over time, it would return to normal. No success—disappointing.
Unbeknown to be, Teri did some Internet sleuthing and suggested I watch a video she found on forearm stretching. Over a few short weeks of stretching, I’m almost back to normal. Was the video the answer? Partially. Was it Teri’s love and concern? Partially. What was it? Prayer. We had been praying for months.
Every family is going to face challenges with no obvious answers. Pray, then as God gives direction/light, investigate. We seek His face in all things. As His children, He will never abandon or forsake us. If we suffer, we know He has a purpose, and we learn through it whatever comes. All things, always, work together for good—always. Romans 8:28: “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.”
“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.