3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
If God has given us children, then we must realize that He has given us a great blessing. In the above passage alone, we are told that children are a gift, a reward, and a source of strength and happiness.
Children are a great blessing, but with great blessings comes great responsibilities. It has been said that children are like lumps of clay to be molded. Taking that lump of clay and molding it into a godly young man or woman is the task that God has given parents. This responsibility does not belong to the grandparents, extended family, friends, teachers, elders, preacher, etc. While these individuals can be expected to provide a good influence upon children, God has singled out fathers and mothers and given them instructions concerning their responsibilities towards the “heritage” that they have received “from the Lord.” Continue reading » Responsibilities of Parents
Solomon wrote, “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers” (Proverbs 17:6). Most young people look forward to a day when they have a child of their own. Thoughts of children in the home are exciting and joyous. David wrote, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them” (Psalms 127:4-5 / NKJVB). The happiness of having a child is difficult to put in words. The excitement of watching the child grow and develop various abilities is fascinating. Christians must always remember; however, that there are great responsibilities that come with having children. Continue reading » Proverbs on Parenting
The word “teetotaler” means someone who abstains completely from alcoholic beverages. The Bible calls on Christians to be teetotalers. Continue reading » Teetotalers
The thirty-year old Harry Chapin classic song, Cat’s In The Cradle, has been revived in recent years by a national television commercial for newer, faster computers. That aside, the song’s message has always been poignant and powerful.
The title is borrowed from a nursery rhyme, but the song is about the neglect a wide-eyed little boy receives from his over-working father throughout his childhood. There are always planes to catch and bills to pay and so Dad never gets around to playing catch with Junior who learned to walk and live while he was away. Toward the end of the song, the inevitable parental neglect has dawned upon a lonely and retired Dad, whose son now has no time for him. "The n job’s a hassle and the kids have the flu, but it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad." Grown up son hangs up the phone and Dad goes back to the solitude he created and now loathes.
Continue reading » Walking Worthy: Cat’s in the Cradle
There is something especially beautiful to me to see an entire family worship God together.
When I was a young boy, I remember a man who worshipped with the church at home whose wife was a member of a denomination. Each week the family would leave home in separate cars, the man and wife going to different places of worship. Their daughter was pulled between the two.
My own father was not a Christian and he either remained in bed on Sunday morning while we all went to worship, or, as often was the case, expressed his displeasure at our going. The fact that he was not saved tore at our hearts and kept us from being a close family. There was a barrier there that was never removed and sin finally tore the family asunder.
Continue reading » Associate Editorial: All in the Family
“‘For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,’ Says the LORD of hosts. ‘Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously'” (Malachi 2:16).
Popular culture, left unchecked, can have an insidious influence upon the local church. This has always been so. The Corinthians, jaded by a culture of immorality and ungodliness, allowed a sexually immoral person to remain undisciplined. They rightly were admonished by Paul. “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump” (1 Corinthians 5:6). Paul instructed Titus to sharply rebuke the Christians on the isle of Crete, lest they be influenced to sin by their culture. “One of them, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:12-13).
Continue reading » Divorce: An Abomination to God
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5).
The Genesis account reveals God’s intention that man “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it;&ldots;” (Genesis 1:28). The account also reveals that the sexual act is to be between a man and his wife. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Concerning the sexual nature of the husband/wife relationship, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews commented, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (13:4).
Continue reading » The Parent/Child Relationship
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).
“And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:23-24).
These two verses show that men and women were created by God. Further, the relationship that resulted from the creation of the two genders is likewise instituted by God. Jesus said, “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6).
Continue reading » God in the Home
Since the relationship between an husband and wife is a partnership, it is not surprising that many of the responsibilities each have may be identical. For example, just as the husband is to be selfless, affectionate and kind to his wife, the wife should be the same to her husband.
Paul told Titus in Titus 2:1-10 to give instructions to certain of the brethren in the church. To the older women he charged a responsibility to teach the younger women. They were to admonish them to “love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed” (vs. 4-5). This verse can be used as a template for discussing certain responsibilities peculiar to the wife.
Continue reading » The Responsibilities of the Wife
As Joshua addressed the people on the eve of his death, after they had occupied the promised land, he made a statement which clearly shows the influence of a man as the head of his own house. He said, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).
Joshua’s proclamation was a challenge to all of Israel, and indicates that a nation’s well being is largely attributable to the leadership of the home. As the head of the home, the primary responsibility of the Husband/Father can be summarized in this way. He determines by the force of his will, his good example, and his love for God and family, that his home will serve God. It can rightly be stated that any man who does not make it his primary goal to have a God fearing and obedient family will fail in his responsibilities to them.
Continue reading » The Responsibilities of the Husband
Southern Baptists, at their 1998 convention in Salt Lake City, adopted an addition to their statement of faith, which states:
“…A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect and to lead his family. A wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ.”
Those who are familiar with the fifth chapter of Ephesians recognize this statement as a simple paraphrase of the Apostle’s words. Paul wrote, “Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (vs. 24-25). What is amazing is the response of many to the adoption of the phrase. It indicates how distorted a view our world has to the concept of submission, and to the marriage relationship as designed by God. Note the following:
Continue reading » Love and Submission: Ephesians 5
In Genesis chapter two, history records God’s words regarding the partnership of men and women. “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him'” (vs. 18). In commenting on that partnership, the inspired writer records, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (vs. 24). Jesus, commenting on this passage of scripture, said, “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6).
These passages describe the divine origin of the marriage relationship, and express its sensible design. Despite man’s attempts over the years to modify the parameters of the marriage relationship, the principle established by scripture of one man for one woman for a lifetime will remain the foundation of humankind’s existence. Assaults upon the foundation of the home invariably have a deleterious effect upon societies, and have even contributed to the decline and fall of nations.
Continue reading » The Design and Purpose of Marriage
The home was established by God at the dawn of time. It is the most ancient of all God ordained institutions. In his conversation with the Pharisees in Matthew 19, Jesus said:
“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (verses 4-6).
Jesus’ reference to the Genesis account of God’s creative work, and his subsequent divine commentary on that event, establish two very important points for our consideration. First, the institution of marriage has a divine mandate. Second, the parameters of the institution, as ordained by God, include a lifetime commitment to the arrangement.
Continue reading » The Establishment & Duration of Marriage
The oldest institution established by God, the home is the building block of society. Jesus said, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6).
The home is under attack in our day. The nuclear family, designed by God, is no longer the norm. Homes broken by divorce, single parent families, and even homosexual unions are accepted in society. As more and more children are disadvantaged by such circumstances, juvenile delinquency, alcohol and drug use, and promiscuous activity increases. These trends have had a very definite and deleterious effect on the fabric of our society.
Continue reading » Theme Editorial: The Home