Tagged with " children"

When Honoring God Means Dishonoring Your Parents

We live in world today of extremes. Often people seem to be very for or very against something. Life is not usually balanced. This seems to happen in all areas. Whether it be education, child training, health care, or the Christian life.

Lately I have seen a very unbalanced approach to the Christian life. We tend to take one principle, one idea and run with it, without consulting the rest of Scripture. Never taking time to see what God’s Word, as a collective whole has to say on the issue. This posses to be very dangerous and often leads to a miss interpretation and application of God’s Word. The end result is legalism.

One area where I have especially seen this is in the principle of honoring parents.

Scripture states clearly that we are to obey and honor our parents. As children living under the authority of our parents we must obey the instructions they give us. Ephesians 6:1 leaves no room for creative obedience (something I remind my children of daily). We are to do what our parents tell us.

As we grow into adulthood our parents are no longer our authority in the same way. The goal of parenting is stated in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” As young moms we pour our lives out for our children so one day they will be able to walk a Godly life on their own.

Our goal is to raise children who are able to discern God’s Word for themself and rightly apply it to life. We are not to be telling our children what to do every step of the way all through adulthood. It is sad how many parents not only do this, but want to do it.

While adult children are not to necessarily obey their parents any more, they are commanded in Scripture to honor them.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”

Exodus 20:12

Here we have reached a difficult place because Scripture does not state exactly what it looks like to honor your parents (do this/don’t do that).

We read in the book of Judges about Samson who was a very wild out of control man. One can assume that he did not honor his parents in the way he rebelled against God’s commands. His actions broke their hearts on a number of occasions.

In Judges 6:25-32 we learn of Gideon who was tore down his father’s idol, Baal. It does not seem that going in the night and tearing down his father’s idol and building an altar to God would be the “honoring” thing to do. But God had commanded Gideon to tear down the idol. Gideon did not bash his father, he was not rude, but he also would not bow down and serve his father’s idol. God’s glory – obeying God was the most important thing!

In Luke 2:41-52, we have the account of Jesus as a young boy visiting the temple with his parents. We read how Jesus did not go with His parents when He left, but stayed in the temple talking with the men.

“And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.”

Luke 2:48-51

Jesus was not seeking to be rebellious agains His parents. In fact, He was doing EXACTLY what His Heavenly Father had planned for Him. In honoring His Heavenly Father, He was honoring His earthly parents, even though it may have looked like He was not.

In Number 9 we have the account of the men who were unclean and unable to participate in the Passover. Now, we have a problem. On one hand these men are to take the Passover, but they are unclean. The question becomes, which law of God do they break? Do they skip the Passover because they are unclean? Or do they participate in the Passover being unclean?

“Thus the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, “Now, let the sons of Israel observe the Passover at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall observe it at its appointed time; you shall observe it according to all its statutes and according to all its ordinances.” So Moses told the sons of Israel to observe the Passover. They observed the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the sons of Israel did. But there were some men who were unclean because of the dead person, so that they could not observe Passover on that day; so they came before Moses and Aaron on that day. Those men said to him, “Though we are unclean because of the dead person, why are we restrained from presenting the offering of the Lord at its appointed time among the sons of Israel?” Moses therefore said to them, “Wait, and I will listen to what the Lord will command concerning you.”

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If any one of you or of your generations becomes unclean because of a dead person, or is on a distant journey, he may, however, observe the Passover to the Lord. In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight, they shall observe it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it. But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and yet neglects to observe the Passover, that person shall then be cut off from his people, for he did not present the offering of the Lord at its appointed time. That man will bear his sin. If an alien sojourns among you and observes the Passover to the Lord, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its ordinance, so he shall do; you shall have one statute, both for the alien and for the native of the land.’

Numbers 9:1-14

We learn that God is a God of order and that He desires His laws to be followed properly. We also learn in this passage that there are various levels to God’s laws. Purity and holiness being at the top. God made away for both laws to be followed, even though those looking on may have said these men were breaking the law (today we would call these people Pharisees).

When it comes to honoring our parents we must look at the cost of honoring them. In honoring our parents are we honoring God? What they desire us to do, is that pleasing to God? Or are they asking us to make a decision that goes against the Word of God?

Matthew 8:21-22 Jesus lays before us the cost of following Him, “Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

In Acts 5:29 it says, “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”

Obeying God, seeking purity and holiness in our lives will ALWAYS trump honoring our parents (if there is a choice that must be made). It is sad that today so many adult children are having to make this choice between God and their so called “Christian parents/grandparents.” The same decision should both honor God and our parents but there are many times today when it does not.

This places many adult children in a difficult place. The hearts of these adult children desperately want to honor their parents, but a choice must be made and God must be that choice.

In Matthew 10:34-39 Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of m e, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

Four times in Scripture (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7, and Ephesians 5:31) God says that a man is to leave his father and mother and become one with his wife. At this point parents no longer have control over their children.

As parents we must realize (and desire) for our adult married children to be seeking the Lord and pleasing Him with their spouse. This is why we must work so hard now, while they are young, to instill in them the principles of God’s Word, so when they are old they will not depart from what we have taught them. We must also be in constant prayer for our children as they face life, on their own.

As I take time to think about my own children and how I want them to live when they are grown, yes, I want them to show honor to me. But even more than honoring me, I want them to honor God. I desire for my children to know God’s Word so well that they are able to read it, and rightly discern what God is leading them to do. I don’t want them making decisions for their life based upon what I as their mother want for them. If what I desire happens (and I pray it does) to match up with God’s Word – praise The Lord.

Our children are not always going to make the same choice we would have made. But – if we have done our part as parents, Lord willing, they will make the choice that pleases the Lord.

I do not claim to have complete understanding in this area and I have not totally fleshed out this subject. But this is my understanding as of today.

May God bless us with the strength we need today as young moms to train our children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord, so when they are old, they will not depart from the teaching they received as children.

Morning Worship ~ Prayer

“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”

Jeremiah 33:3 ESV

Teaching your children to pray is one of the most important things you will ever teach your children to do. Many Christians do not know how to pray – and so they don’t.

What is prayer? Prayer is simply talking to God. It is how we communicate with God. When I pray I don’t talk to God like I would my children or a stranger. I share my heart with Him, as I do my husband. I pour my heart about before Him. Sharing my innermost thoughts and feelings. There are times when I don’t even know what to say and in those times,

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Romans 8:26 KJV

Sometimes I pray when I am working in the kitchen. Sometimes I pray when I teaching school or potty training. One of my favorite times to pray is in the middle of the night when I cannot go to sleep. When it is dark all around me and the only sound is that of my husband and children sleeping. I feel completely alone with God. In peace. It is in those time when I am able to completely focus on God pouring the deepest burdens and cares out to Him.

 “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

I Peter 5:7 KJV

As an imperfect woman there are many things in my life I regret. But teaching my children how to pray is not one of them. Joe and Bo are learning how to pray like men.  Mel, Rose, and Mercy are learning to pray like women.

In the morning we start Morning Worship with prayer to get our hearts right before the Lord (confessing sin), to bless my husband at work, provide for our daily bread, and to ask the Lord to take our offering of worship and make it pleasing unto Him. Then during our prayer time I have each of the children take time to pray. They will never learn HOW to pray unless they do it regularly.

On Wednesday evenings at church the children stay with Hubbiness and I in the prayer service. My husband and I feel it is vital for our children to learn how to pray. When we look around the world today at Christians and we see how many of them do not pray, because they don’t feel they know how to pray, we see the importance of teaching our children. Joe began when he was just 3 years old sitting by his father and often the Pastor (or other older men in the church) learning how to pray. He heard these older, wise men of faith praying to God, and he learned how to talk to the Lord. He was then given the opportunity to pray – like a man. His prayers are so precious.  His heart would never be like this – unless it was taught.  On the way to Wednesday evening prayer service when he was just three,  you would find him in the back seat of the car with his Bible, piece of paper, and a pen. He was making out his prayer list of all the things he wanted to pray about. Now to me it was just scribbles but to him it was his mission for that night. Today he is able to write down each request and pray throughout the week. {We now attend a Family Integrated Church where only one man prays. While I enjoy the way the prayer service is incorporated in the worship service, I miss the times of my boys and girls praying along side the older men and women ~ learning how to pray by doing. This makes it more important than ever to have my children praying at home.}

So often we say, “Oh he’s just a child. He can learn that when he’s older. He needs to have fun time with kids his own age.” But, when I look around I see teenagers all across this nation, who’s hearts are not close to the Lord, I wonder WHY it is so important to have my children turn out just like the other children? They don’t want to be in prayer service because “it’s not fun”. They don’t want to pray with the “old” people. They don’t even hardly come to church anymore. It should be a warning to all of us parents – we have a choice how we train our children. We will answer to God one day. Are we teaching our sons and daughters how to pray or are we letting them just hang out with the friends – hoping someday they’ll learn?

“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20 NASB

Treasures

Treasures . . . we all have them. As little children most of us probably went around collecting rocks, flowers, sticks, and other things we could find. These were our treasures which we proudly ran and showed our fathers, mothers, and friends.

Matthew 6:21 states that where your treasure is, there your heart will be.

Moms, where is your heart? What is your greatest treasure? Your “dream” job? Is it your newly decorated house? Name brand clothes or expensive car? Your perfectly done hair or nails?

Our greatest treasures should be the hearts/souls of our children. We need to be pouring our life into these true treasures from God. Unlike our jobs, houses, clothes, cars, and physical bodies, our children’s souls are eternal. All of the things this world can offer will one day perish and be of no value. No matter what happens on this earth, our children’s souls – if they belong to Christ – are safe forever more.

When you are frustrated today with your little ones today, stop and look at them differently – – – as treasures – – – treasures given to you by the Almighty God – – – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Don’t forsake the most amazing, most rewarding mission field ever – – – given to YOU by God.

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

I Must Know God’s Word

It is sad but true . . . I have often been told by “godly” older women and pastors that it is ok to NOT spend time studying the Word during this busy season of life. I have been told that I should not worry about it or let it bother me. They said that someday when the kids are grown there will be plenty of time for that.

UM. . . .

Then how will I teach my children to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength? If anything, as Kay Arthur has encouraged countless women, NOW IS the time to be spending in the Word. The very FOUNDATION of the training of my children rests upon MY understanding, as a mom, of God’s Word. I can only give my children as much of Jesus as I have myself. I can’t tell them they are to do something, if I don’t know what and why the Bible says to do it. I can’t tell them to stop doing something that is wrong unless I KNOW what the Bible says.

Moms, no matter how busy you are, no matter how many little ones you have, you MUST make time to spend daily in the study, memorization, and meditation of God’s Word. Don’t let anything deter you from your most important “duty.” Lay aside all of the “spiritual books”, novels, and how-to books. Put God’s Word first above all else (including social media). Satan desires to snatch away, through distractions, needs of littles, tiredness, and busyness, this precious time with the Lord. Fight for it. Sometimes you must be creative, but ***fight*** with all your might for time at the Savior’s feet.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

Matthew 10:38-42
“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

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