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)

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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)

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)

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)

A Great “Fortune” Cookie

I got a great fortune cookie today with my lunch! It said, “A gambler not only will lose what he has, but also will lose what he doesn’t have.

I agree whole-heartedly! So many individuals and families have been damaged by gambling in ways that no jackpot could ever repair. Gambling digs more holes than ladders can be built. It breaks the bank, the wallet, the heart and the soul. Gambling is a plague on the poor, the home and the senses.

But the “funny” thing about the “fortune” that I got was that the “lucky numbers” were still on the back. Makes one wonder???

He who is hard on the poor puts shame on his Maker; but he who has mercy on those who are in need gives him honour.” (Proverbs 14:21BBE)

Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, But he who regards a rebuke will be honored.” (Proverbs 13:18 – NKJV)

Put far from me all false and foolish things: do not give me great wealth or let me be in need, but give me only enough food: For fear that if I am full, I may be false to you and say, Who is the Lord? or if I am poor, I may become a thief, using the name of my God wrongly.” (Proverbs 30:8-9 – BBE)

Make Sure “Acting Like a Kid is on Your To Do List”

No, I didn’t say “Make sure acting childish is on your to do list” – I said “Make sure acting like a kid is on your to do list.” There’s a difference between the two. Every once in a while we adults need to remember what it was like to be a kid. We need to remember what it was like to find pleasure in the simple things of life.

Kids don’t need fancy big screens TVs to have fun! Kids don’t need a giant “Grade A” steak to enjoy food! Kids don’t worry with having a designer label on their clothing when they go out! Kids don’t care if their dog is “a pure breed” or “a mut from three generations back” because they know it’s the loyalty that makes the relationship last! Kids don’t need expensive leather couches to kick back and relax!

I love kids. They keep things simple. I know life is simple to them because they don’t have to worry with bills, jobs, putting gas in the tank, etc. but the truth of the matter is sometimes we adults make the things on our “to do list” a lot more complicated than it should be. Kids leave the worrying up to the adults because we don’t let them down. Here’s a neat little “to do list” put together by a small child that their dad found. I found it on a news web-site and I thought that it might make you smile and reminisce:

It’s true that we all need to grow up and stop acting childish – but if we know what’s good for us we’ll still make time to act like a kid every now and then. EA

Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:2-3)

Who Will Take the Son?

I received this story (I added the picture and scriptures) in an email several weeks ago. You may have read it before but if you have not it’s worth reading. I tried to find out who the author was but I could not. If you know who it is pass it along to me and I will give credit where credit is due. But untill then, read it and enjoy…

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing other soldiers. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, There was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.

He said, ‘Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly…He often talked about you, and your love for art.’ The young man held out this package. ‘I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.’

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