My heart aches hearing of the problems some are facing. Is God still good? Yes, beyond measure! Has He forgotten His children who are struggling? No.
Are you complaining and fearful or praising and joyful? Brothers your wife, your children need you to be strong. “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3). “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
As you have needs, lay them before your Lord. “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7).
Keep a journal and capture all your needs and God’s answers for future encouragement. God is always good, always.
I spoke with someone a while back about their walk with the Lord. They described it as fantastic. I asked how often they read their Bible. They said they didn’t, but they loved God so much and prayed to Him all the time.
People often seem to be more willing to pray than to read their Bibles. Prayer becomes a spoken, laundry-list of requests or maybe even commands for God to fulfill. “Snap, snap. I want this. I want that.” Reading Scripture is much different. As we read God’s Word, God speaks to our hearts. We need to hear God’s commands, encouragement, promises and rebuke.
I heard a verse in church recently that would have been appropriate to have shared with this person. “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination” (Proverbs 28:9). The Hebrew word for “law” in the verse is Torah. The prayer of a person who doesn’t want to hear God’s Word, is an abomination, something wicked and disgusting.
Are you in His Word every day? Do you love it? Brothers, do you do your best to live it?
I couldn’t count how often I have heard someone defend having a TV by saying, “It does have some good programs on it.” To me, that is the equivalent of justifying dumpster diving. I’m confident if I dove deep enough into a dumpster and spent long enough there, I might find something that had some value. However, in the process, I would likely be exposed to much that was disgusting and vile. Also, the aroma of where I had been would go with me.
I’m confident that most who have a TV would admit they watch things that at the least aren’t edifying and, at the worst, damage their souls (i.e. news). I grieve over dads who squander their time when they could be spending it with their wives and children. On that final Judgement Day, what excuse will you try to give the Lord?
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Ephesians 5:11-12).
Mentally go through three praiseworthy things your Lord has done in your life recently. Have you shared them with your children? “We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days…” There won’t be parting-of-the-Red-Sea examples, but there will likely be times you saw the hand of a gracious, loving Heavenly Father at work. BTW, if it was chastisement in your life, that counts DOUBLE. Do your children see a living Savior at work in your life so that life in Christ is desirable, or could they see life in Christ as stale and boring? If life in Christ is the best thing on earth–tell them about it.
I believe many children don’t want their father’s faith because having observed their father, it is nothing more than a preference, a mere religion, a club, something you feel you need to do on Sunday morning. Sort of like Dad like’s chocolate ice cream and the children like vanilla. Frankly, Dad, if you are merely going through the motions, ask yourself the hard question, “do you have real life in Christ?” If not, want to talk?
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
It grieves my heart to hear a dad say he isn’t leading his family in the Word every day. We aren’t to be motivated in a legalistic, checking a box sort of way, but rather to use it as a joyful opportunity to wash/feed your family with the pure living Word of God (Eph. 5:26). It is a daily opportunity to build up while Satan is working to tear down.
God uses the analogy of building a house to a legacy of descendants that will follow the Lord. “And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, …” (1 Kings 11:38).
I love the example in Nehemiah as he rebuilt the walls. “As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built” (Nehemiah 4:18). This pictures always having the Word of God ready and at your side while you build. “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Many dads have experienced heightened emotions–okay, terror–on handing their car keys to their son for the first time. The combination of the son’s driving ability, attitude, and level of responsibility all might proportionally affect Dad’s emotions. Dad is giving his son the authority to drive the family vehicle, registered in Dad’s name, and hereby Dad might have over-the-top liability should something go very wrong.
God established authority structures on earth and in marriage has given husbands the higher authority as exemplified in Ephesians 5:22-24 and 6:4. Husbands and wives are a team, but Dad leads the team because God has placed him in that role. Therefore, we will answer to God for what we did with the authority He entrusted to us.
Cars and dollars are temporal and will burn one day. However, our children have eternal souls. We will be held accountable for what we have poured into their lives.
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing” (Ephesians 5:22-24).
Have you ever wondered if you might be guilty of heresy (belief or opinion contrary to orthodox Christian doctrine)? To most, that might be a shocking thought, but there is an expression that heresy is some aspect of truth carried to an extreme.
Here is an example that I’m inclined to think is common today. “Jesus is my very best friend. He loves me so much. He understands that I make mistakes. Sure, He doesn’t want me to make wrong choices, but He knows I’m a normal man with passions and desires…”
Do you recognize that as breaking the first Commandment by making and worshipping this “custom-created god? “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth” (Deuteronomy 5:6-8).
It is easy to change God into someone that He isn’t. One that doesn’t hate and punish sin. Yes, He forgives, but He is holy and righteous and doesn’t ignore sin. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation” (1 Peter 1:15).
When David counted his troops, it cost 70,000 (1 Chronicles 21:14) men their lives when God chastened him. May we not presume upon God’s mercy and forgiveness.
It happens, and is never expected–his wife is unfaithful. Crazy emotions flood the husband: jealousy, fury, betrayal, hurt, devastation, and rejection. Thankfully, most have not been in that situation, but many likely have known a dad who has experienced it. It is a heartbreak situation and often destroys the home.
However, what about the dad who mentally or visually cheats on his wife through Internet sites designed to give men a thrill? One doesn’t have to go to those sites but can have plenty of “eye candy” at stores, around town, and even at church these days, which prompts impure thoughts.
“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
My brothers, fear of God, is a necessary thing.
I didn’t know that a husband and wife could hate each other to that level. Their marriage didn’t get “there” overnight. It took years of unresolved offenses piling up until the “dam” broke loose. They were both to blame, but God held the husband to the greater responsibility. How do I know that? Because God gives husbands greater authority and therefore holds them responsible for its use.
That husband once told me, “But you don’t know my wife.” Likely others might say the same thing about their wives, but they shouldn’t count on the Lord’s sympathy. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). Jesus died a horrible death to purchase His bride with His blood. I am commanded by God to love my wife to the extent of dying for her. One thing about a dead man hanging on the cross—he isn’t going to argue or get angry.
Do you want to treasure your wife? Invest in her. The more you invest, the more she feels valued, and the more you will treasure her. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 5:21). Why not invest to the point of being thrilled with your love for her?
(BTW: The dad I mentioned above is dead now due to a serious health problem. Coincidental? I don’t think so. I believe God took him out.)
I was reading Psalms recently, and the Lord convicted me to make the most of every opportunity to proclaim God’s praise. Daily, I communicate with people in my family, when Teri and I walk, when I am out in our community (not right now with Covid-19), when I’m on the phone, or when I am writing emails. Those are opportunities to praise a loving and gracious God, and sadly, I’ve missed many. Then, as if to highlight that point, a Brother emailed me, and in his brief email, he had six praises to the Lord. This Brother proclaimed God’s goodness and grace six times instead of grumbling and complaining. His email blessed my heart as he glorified the Lord.
May praise for our blessed God and Savior flow from our lips, pens, and keyboards in all our communication. It is easy to complain, but our God deserves praise. He is worthy!
“Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. (Psalm 96:3-9).