Family

Behavior is the family’s glue – not feelings

If feelings solely drive our family relationships then we will fail in our responsibilities to each other, and our family bonds will feel more like ball-and-chains.

So:

  • The Lord teaches husbands to love their wife (Ephesians 5:25); this isn’t feelings alone – it’s action.
  • The Lord teaches wives to submit to their husband (Ephesians 5:22); this isn’t feelings alone – it’s action.
  • The Lord teaches parents to raise children according to godly guidelines (Ephesians 6:4); this isn’t feelings alone – it’s actions.
  • The Lord teaches children to respect their parents (Ephesians 6:1); this isn’t feelings alone – it’s action.

Feelings waiver, wilt, wander, wish and become wily even within families, but listening to God is always beneficial for all.

This is why actions that please the Lord take precedent over feelings that may feel pleasing to self…because pleasing self can end up peeling us away from what’s truly important. But then again, that’s exactly why following Jesus makes for some crazy glue when it comes to the family. EA

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” (Colossians 3:18-21)

Don’t Slip on the Words of a Smooth Talker

Some people see a ring on the finger and they respect the boundary that it represents.

Some see a ring on the finger and they see as it a challenge.

To such a person the “game” begins with the end goal in sight: false flattery, ego inflation, and an up-tick in excitement which reaches a point of infatuation that ignores the obvious – righteousness and the cost.

Such is the danger of allowing our heart to slip on the words of a smooth talker that has no regard for our soul. EA

My son, pay attention to my wisdom; lend your ear to my understanding, that you may preserve discretion, and your lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of hell.” Proverbs 5:1-5

 

Don’t Forget the One Who Allows us to Make the Memories

As family centered individuals we strive to avoid forgetting to make important memories by taking family vacations, by having over friends for a meal, or by watching our children grow older and going to their school and extra-curricular activities and seeing them graduate and succeed on various levels in life. But while we strive to avoid forgetting to make these memories, are we forgetting the one who allows us to make them?

When it comes to making the most important memories of life, David once penned the importance of remembering God by saying:

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:” (Psalm 102:1-2)

As our culture rushes on, as our lives continually become fleeting and the memories that we have made increasingly become a thing of the past, we would all do well to presently remember the Lord God who calls us to love him with all of our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37).

At the end of the day no picture of our youth, our wedding, our children, our first home, our vacations, our vehicles or any “good time” can replace the memory of not forgetting the one who allows those memories to be made. EA 

Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end—then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.” (Deuteronomy 8:11-19)

The Value of a godly Grand-Parent

Godly grandparents are an uncommon commodity. They share the one thing that each new generation needs – advice learned through experience.

This is one reason why Proverbs 16:31 says, “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.”

Few parents like to be told how to raise their child, but advice asked for and advice needed is two different things.

When it comes to advice needed, godly grandparents need to do three things:

  • remind their own children about the importance of raising up their child in the footsteps of Jesus
  • remind their own children about the importance of raising up their child in the footsteps of Jesus
  • remind their own children about the importance of raising up their child in the footsteps of Jesus

Do these three things and grand will only begin to describe your value. EA

The heritage of the good man is handed down to his children’s children; and the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the upright man.” (Proverbs 13:22 – BBE)

Related Article:

Will God Bring Peace To My Family?

Few problems burden our sanity like family problems. When issues divide us from the people we’re closest to it hurts, and it can hurt really bad. And when we hurt like that we look for answers where we can find them, and more often than not the average person is more interested in drawing close to God when troublesome times draw near than at any other time – and this is especially true when family ties feel like they’re going to be cut. And a civil-war brewing under our roof can make a person want to know if God will bring peace to their family.

While I can completely and personally understand the want, most people ask the wrong question when it comes to God and family and peace. It’s not a matter of God’s will; it’s a matter of our own. The question that we should ask is, “Can God bring peace to my family?” Because the answer to that question is, yes! God wants families to live in peace with one another. But will God bring peace to every family? Sadly, the answer to that is, no. And he won’t because every family member won’t want the peace that he offers.

When family problems arise I encourage everyone to remember that just because you draw near to God doesn’t mean that others will follow with you, and Jesus said this much himself (Luke 12:51-53). So if we want the peace of God in our family we need to start by having it within our self – because we might be the only ones who know anything about it. EA

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Knot a Care

If a husband and wife wants to be one flesh in the way that God intends for us to be then we have to care about each other in a way that ties the marriage knot so tight that all the changes of life that come our way can’t loosen it. So if we learn to care for our spouse better than we care for our self then we won’t be able to keep from being one flesh (Ephesians 5:31).

Unless we care about each other we will get stuck on everything but each other and change in ways that aren’t good. One of the most common things that people will say when their marriage relationship sours is that the other person changed, and more often than not there’s something to that. People changing as we go through life is normal and not necessarily a bad thing – more than likely there’s not a single person who’s reading this living life as the same person that they were five years ago. But when we start to change in a way that causes us to care less about our spouse and family then we’re not changing for the better, and the change won’t be worth it. This type of change doesn’t start with our body, our job, our hobbies or our habits all by themselves. It starts in our heart and mind, and then it moves from our feelings to our words and actions.

But when we care about each other there will be a commitment that keeps us together no matter the change. Being committed means that we’re in it for better or worse, for sickness or health, for richer or poorer and whatever opposite end of the spectrums you can think of. My wife is not the same person that she was when we got married – and I’m not either. But however I feel about the changes in her life I’ve got to remember that whatever they are I’m going to be committed to her through them.

Now I’m not saying that we ignore sinful behavior or that my relationship with God takes a back seat for the sake of my relationship with my wife. But what I am saying is that if we care about each other in a godly way then there will be a commitment that the world won’t be able to ignore, and a commitment that God will bless.

When one person cares about the other the other person won’t be able to deny it. And that’s because our time, our heart and our life will belong to them and they’ll know it. Yes, that also means that our flaws are going to belong to them too. But when we care we’ll learn to put our flaws and their flaws in their right perspective and that perspective is the one that says, “I know I care for them and I know they care for me.” And when we know that then we’ll have a knot that ties us together for good. EA

So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:28-33)

Think You’re Man Enough?

What makes a man a man? I guess that depends on whose standard you’re using. Ask the world and ask God and you’ll get two different answers.

Must he be tall to be considered a man? Not according to Zacchaeus! (Luke 19:1-10) Must he be rich to be considered a man? Not according to Peter! (Acts 3:6) Must he have a job with great authority? Not according to Andrew or James! (Matthew 4:18-22) Must he be a graduate of higher learning? Not according to John! (Acts 4:13) Must he be willing to defend his reputation physically? Not according to Jesus! (Matthew 5:38-39)

So what must one be to be a man? He must love God, his family and his neighbor in a way that the world doesn’t measure up to – think you’re man enough for that? EA

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11)

Related Topic:

One Big Housing Bubble!

It has been truthfully said by some that the new sign of commitment among my age group (the millennials) isn’t a ring on the finger but rather a ring with a house key on it.

Friends, make no mistake, truthful saying or not, there’s a huge difference between being committed to a house and being committed to each other! There’s a huge difference between taking the plunge and plunging one’s self into debt.

Playing house comes with spiritual, emotional and financial bills that are real. Shacking up racks up the debt on your morality, your children and your culture. It’s a faux reality. No brick and mortar house will ever replace the stability or reliability in a relationship that a godly marriage provides (Ephesians 5:22-33).

Marital commitment replaced by a commitment to a home loan? That’s one big housing bubble that won’t do anything but burst!

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4)

Cultural Meltdown

The Western culture is a relatively short-lived mindset in terms of prosperity, government and freedom, and it seems as if we are determined to keep it that way! From the America’s to the European nations to the “Land of the Down Under” a shift is taking place of tectonic proportions. We have forgotten how the west was won!

We are more concerned about the rights of children than we are with raising them right. We are more concerned with houses than we are with homes. We are more concerned about melting icecaps than we are with melting morals. We are more concerned with giving handouts than we are with hands that do not want to work. We are more concerned with people having their freedom from religion than we are with people having freedom of religion. We are more concerned with abortion rights than we are with abortion wrongs. We are more concerned with living it up than we are with living.

According to one brother in Christ who did the math, the West doesn’t know how to be happy because we’re too worried with people being gay…those are my words not his. But his numbers did reveal that Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden have all “legalized” homosexual marriage. His research also revealed that laws allowing gay marriage have been proposed, are pending, or have already passed in at least one legislative house in Andorra, Columbia, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Nepal, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay. Sadly, since he did his number crunching New Zealand actually legalized homosexual marriage too. On top of that, none of the previous examples include the nine American States (the beacon of the western culture) who have “legalized” homosexual marriages. In less than 10 years America has gone from approving none to approving homosexual marriage in nearly one out of every five states! Do you see how fast a nation and culture can fall down a slippery slope???

If our culture paid less attention to supporting faux families and more attention to supporting the types of families that build strong foundations maybe we would have to worry less about the sinkholes that are swallowing up our identity as a culture.

Unfortunately a cultural thermostat set too high on prosperity has led to cultural thermostat set too low on a spirituality that recognizes our dependence upon the one God of the heavens and the Earth. And my prayer is that the western culture would soon realize that the meltdown we are experiencing is not due to the world getting warmer – it’s due to hearts getting colder! EA

Article Update: As of April 23, 2013, the nation of France “legalized” homosexual marriages as well, and as of May 2, 2013 the American state of New Hampshire “legalized” homosexual marriages raising the percentage of American States to 20% that have done so. As of May 7, 2013 the American state of Delaware “legalized” homosexual marriages sadly raising the number of American states who openly approve of abominations to 11. As of May 13, 2013 the American state of Minnesota “legalized” homosexual marriages sadly raising the number of American states who openly approve of abominations to 12. How fast one falls down the slippery slope! As of October 21, 2013, New Jersey will “approve” of legalized lust. As of December 15, 2013, the state of Hawaii will become the 15th state to join the not-so-United-States in their open approval of closed spiritual hearts…and the state of Illinois’ sun is setting quickly on the horizon as well; and the sun did indeed set in November of 2013 making it the 16th state. As of 12-19-13 and 12-20-13 the state supreme courts of New Mexico and Utah struck the state’s ban on homosexual marriages thus opening another lust filled closet door to sanctioned sin.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:18-21)

God Gives Boundaries For A Reason

Some fences are built to keep things out. Some fences are built to keep things in. The most effective fences are built to do both.

The need for a fence is not always determined by what is meant to be kept out. Nor is the need for a fence solely dependent upon what is meant to be kept in. A farmer with livestock might build a fence to keep things in. A business owner may build a fence to keep people out at certain times during the night. A parent with small children may build a fence not only to keep what is harmful from getting in the yard but to also keep what is important inside the yard from going out into dangerous territory.

The American culture is forgetting how important, how valuable and how needed good fences are! Young people, old people and all people need to be taught that the boundaries given to us by God are meant to protect, not to restrict.

A growing majority of the people in America are choosing to openly rebel against God and ignore the plain boundaries that He has given us. People are worried about the future debt of young people – our young people are reaping the consequences of sinful choices today!

Rampant divorces, illegitimate children and the fruits of “sexual freedom” are ripping our hearts out but we refuse to stop. The “land of the free” was never meant to be a land free from the boundaries of God. And the worsening conditions of the heart of our country are being exposed, not by the financial situation we are in, but by the spiritual boundaries that we continue to break and grind to dust. Every foundational principle of the home is under attack socially and politically and the “free living” lifestyle that is so widely promoted in the media and in our nation’s government is coming at a price that we cannot afford to pay. We are getting closer and closer to the “debt ceiling” in more ways than one!!!

God does not want us to learn our lessons the hard way like the “prodigal son” of Luke 15:11-32. But at least the son in that parable learned what boundaries were all about. Unfortunately, people are not learning from their mistakes today. As a matter of fact the average person doesn’t even realize they’re sitting in the stench and mire of the pig pen!!! People have always made mistakes for sure, huge mistakes, but today we (as a nation) are continuing to look at God’s boundaries with increasing disdain instead of acceptance. I suppose we will all find out together what really lies out beyond the boundary in the “far country” eventually.

God has given His grace for a reason but God has given us His law for a reason too! We can listen and learn, and do well; or we can “live” and learn, and deal with the consequences.

The thing about freedom from boundaries that people are forgetting is that it can be equated to a rope with just enough slack to hang our selves with…and the rope is getting tighter everyday! Only in God’s boundaries will we find true protection and freedom. EA

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:10)

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:2-5)