Is Your Parenting on Cruise Control?

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Parenting is inconvenient.

Yes, I just said that.

Once you have a child, your life will be forever changed.

You will be humbled. Humiliated. Screamed at. Loved with abandon. Squeezed with unimaginable strength by those little arms. Amazed. Shocked. heartbroken. Overwhelmed with love. Filled with a newfound awe for your own parents.

Unfortunately, once the baby phase is over, we parents hit burn-out: Continue reading

The Love of our Heavenly Father

This is part 2 of the series “God’s love is the Greatest Love.” For the previous post, click here.

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One of the greatest tragedies for a young child is to grow up without a good father. For one thing, fathers provide protection, establish balance, and are often essential to a child’s understanding of how men and women should behave toward one another.

Fathers are a vital part of the family unit.

In ages past, fathers often treated their children as though they ought to be seen and not heard, rarely showing affection and often remaining aloof. This explains why many of the old preachers and pastors framed God as wrathful and distant. In our current culture, many hear “God is our Father” and do not believe He actually exists or cares because their own fathers are likewise absent or uncaring.

How we view earthly fathers directly affects how we relate to our Heavenly Father. Continue reading

Happy Father’s Day!

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Strong fathers are the pillars of their families. They train and discipline, they show their children how a woman ought to be treated, they reflect God in a positive light, and they lay down their own desires to care for their families.

Strong Fathers are priceless.

Continue reading

Praying for wives [The Effective Prayer – October 27, 2015]

This post is part of a biweekly series on effective prayer. To read the original post on effective prayer, click here.

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An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.

The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.

~ Proverbs 31.10-11, ESV

In our previous effective prayer post, we talked about praying for husbands and the challenges of marriage. If you have not read it, please click here. This post is built on the same principles.

As I mentioned in that post, marriage is about sacrifice made from a deeply committed, unconditional love. A lasting marriage takes effort, you can’t simply get married, hit auto pilot and expect smooth sailing. Turbulence, storms, low fuel and other variables require the couple to be attentive in order to stay intact.

There are many passages about wives in the Bible. Let’s dive in to a few before looking at focus points for prayer.

The “Submission” Issue

Ephesians 5:22 is probably one of the most controversial passages for women in today’s culture of female independence and dominance:

Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:22, ESV

Yes. It actually says that in the Bible.

“Submit” is viewed as one of those dirty words. Webster’s Dictionary defines it as, “to yield oneself to the authority or will of another; surrender. To defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another.” So many pop songs talk about surrendering to the one we love, but the real-world application is far more elusive. Consider the rest of the context surrounding Ephesians 5:22:

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”

Ephesians‬ ‭5:15-25‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I included the verses leading up to 22 because I want you to notice that in the context, the passage talks about submitting to each other in the church. Submission is not a suggestion. It’s a requirement for every Christian.

Does this mean that wives should be a doormat—trampled on, wiped with mud and treated as common? Absolutely not! Notice that the immediate words following the instructions to wives are “husbands, love your wives.” I’ve never seen anyone shower their doormat with affection, have you? (Well, maybe at Pier 1.) So what does healthy submission look like for the Christian wife?

I will share my penny-worth thoughts: a submissive wife is the life-force of the home. She and her husband have agreed on the goals of their home and she does her part to help those goals be achieved. She discusses issues with her husband and he either delegates to her or takes on the task himself, but the success or failure lands on his shoulders. She honors her husband in front of their children and doesn’t run him down behind his back. He consults her because she is a pillar in the home and shows her love and affection. She supports her husband in the training of their children—they do not undermine each other.

Jesus submitted to God’s will in going to the cross. He prayed, “not my will, but Thine be done.” We submit to Christ when we are baptized into His death and raised to walk in newness of life. Our life is to be in submission to His will. The Church submits to Christ because He is the authority. Does He crush, berate, and belittle His church? No! He loves the church just as husbands are to love their wives.

Is it hard to submit to Christ? Are we willing to surrender ourselves to Him by changing our ways and walking with Him? It takes effort doesn’t it? We make every effort to do so because we love Him, we respect Him, and we trust Him.

Transfer those concepts to the marriage relationship as a wife. What does it mean to submit? Love. Respect. Trust.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

“However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

~ Ephesians‬ ‭5:33‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Do you love your husband? If you do, show him some respect. Don’t bash him behind his back, don’t perpetually roll your eyes at his every enthusiasm and don’t make him look like a fool. That behavior is cultural, worldly, and selfish. Don’t be conformed to the world. Be like Christ.

Does respect imply the absence of disagreement? By no means! If a wife is a true helpmeet to her husband, she will speak up if she sees as decision as a poor choice that will be detrimental to her husband or the family as a whole. It’s how she goes about disagreeing that is significant. For instance, if the husband decides that the family needs a boat, but the wife realizes that buying the boat will put the family in debt and under considerable financial strain, she’s going to hit the brakes. The wife approaches him and says, “I like that you want to create memories with the family and give us something for enjoyment, but I am concerned about the impact to our budget. We have our son’s braces to pay for next year and our daughter is going to need the next size violin in a few months…” Reasonable reminders, gentle persuasion. A good leader/husband will consider the rationality of his wife’s statement, concur with it and make the responsible decision.

A wife should speak well of her husband both to his face and behind his back. She should highlight his positive attributes and praise him in front of their children. She can also demonstrate respect by showing interest in his activities.

What if the husband isn’t a good leader and/or is not a Christian? 

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.

~‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭3:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This is no easy task and will be in the focus points for our prayers. It is no easy thing being married to a spouse who doesn’t obey God. The best thing for a wife in this situation is to focus on doing what God requires of her.

Live the way God wants you to live, love the way Christ loves and your example may have a powerful impact on your husband. Remember that he will stand before God on judgement day to answer for his choices as a husband and father. I do not encourage remaining in an abusive home as it can do great harm physically and mentally to a woman and children. When it is simply poor leadership or apathy toward God, remain and live for Jesus. Pray constantly for your husband.

If you are single, pray these things for your married friends! If you are a man hoping to be married one day, pray that you will find these qualities in a wife. If you are a woman hoping to be married one day, pray these qualities for yourself, paying particular attention to proverbs 31.

Dont fail to pray for the “strong” wives. Even if someone seems to have it all together, they are still human and subject to temptation and trial. They need your prayers to remain faithful and true.

What should we pray for wives?

  • Pray they will be devoted to God in prayer and study.
  • Pray they will learn to submit to their husbands in a healthy, Christ-like way and pray  their husbands will in turn show love toward them.
  • Pray they will be respectful toward their husbands both publicly and at home.
  • Pray for them to stand against temptation.
  • Pray they will honor the Lord in their marriage.

If a wife is in a difficult relationship with a poor leader or unbeliever, pray for her to remain strong in the Lord and have a positive impact on her husband that will lead him to Christ.


FREE PDF prayer guide. Includes bible verses and a few lines to add notes/names. Download by clicking here.

Pray with purpose.

Pray effectively.

Reach out and encourage!

Please leave feedback in the comments section re: the PDF download. I am still trying to format this effectively to be a tool for your use and mine. Thank you in advance for your help!

Coffee Chat 8 – Are you putting family or God on the back burner?

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I love a good discussion with a friend over a steaming cup of chai, but since I can’t gather all of you at a comfortable cafe, I’ll have to be content with this little corner of the Internet.

I want to thank each and every person who has come to these coffee chats and commented. I have thoroughly enjoyed your insights and inspiration! Thank you for your time.

Read previous coffee chats under the “discussion” category or click here.


It has always mystified me how a godly parent can have awful children and how awful people end up with godly children. The most common answer is, of course, that people make their own choices in spite of upbringing. While that maxim is certainly true, it still shocks me when I read about Eli, Samuel, David and their children. The accounts of all three families are sobering.

Eli’s sons 1 Samuel 2:12-36

Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord.

1 Samuel 2.12

If you click on the passage, it will take you to the full context so that you can read, in detail, the wicked deeds of Eli’s sons. In that scripture, it details how they “treated the offering of the Lord with contempt,” and that they would “lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting.” Eli rebuked them, but he did not stop them and it was within his power to do so.

Samuel’s sons 1 Samuel 8:1-5

Yet [Samuel’s] sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice.

1 Samuel 8.3, ESV

The people of Israel were so frustrated with Samuel’s sons that they demanded a king!

David’s sons

  • Amnon – 2 Samuel 13 (Amnon raped his stepsister)
  • Absalom
    • 2 Samuel 13 (Absalom kills Amnon because he raped his [Absalom’s] sister)
    • 2 Samuel 15 (Absalom conspired to overthrow David and rule the kingdom)
    • 2 Samuel 16:20-23 (Absalom had relations with his Father’s concubines on the roof of his house for all to see).
  • Adonijah – 1 Kings 1:5-7 (Adonijah set himself up as king without authorization from David)

Now, those three men—Eli, Samuel and David—were recognized as godly men, but the state of their households was deplorable! They pleased God, and yet it appears they neglected to instruct their children in the ways of the Lord.

I know of instances in which missionaries, preachers or pastors decide they are going to do some “great work” and they go on to accomplish great things in the name of the Lord… but while they are off changing the world, they leave their families behind to crumble from neglect. Is this acceptable to God? Is this how God wants us to put Him first?

It’s an interesting conundrum. In the book of Matthew, Jesus talks about the need to put God above family.

“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 me, 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.

Matthew 10.34-39

When two people choose to be married, that relationship is a covenant relationship. Vows are made between two people before God and other witnesses that they would love, honor and cherish one another under every circumstance while they are both living. There will be times in which that commitment requires one spouse or the other to set other obligations aside. When a couple decides to bring children in the world, those children are entrusted to their care (unless for some reason both parents are suddenly killed). We are told repeatedly to train our children in the ways of the Lord. Training children up in the way of the Lord is putting God first while still caring for the needs of those children. The two are not mutually exclusive.

God told the Israelites that they were to teach their children, and we know how well they did that… (sarcasm intended):

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Deuteronomy 6.4-7

Here are some cut-and-dry scenarios:

  • Your kid’s Sports/Extra-curricular activities on Sunday or… worship? (Ahem. Worship, of course!)
  • Your child doesn’t want to go to Bible class because it’s boring. In order to keep peace, you decide to stay home. (Negative! They are under your roof and you are charged with teaching them. Don’t be wishy-washy!)
  • Your child or spouse or parent has a medical emergency or illness and you are missing services or losing out on bible reading or class to care for them. (Yes!)

Here is where the gray area emerges: I have read about (and observed) missionaries and preachers so engrossed in working for the Lord that their families are neglected. Their care for a congregation is phenomenal and the church is thriving, but their children don’t love the Lord. The spouse begins to seek affection elsewhere. They may be doing a great work for the Lord, but what about their family? I read the story of one woman who was sent off to boarding school so her parents could go be missionaries in a foreign country. Apparently this was not an uncommon practice in the early twentieth century. Would you entrust the teaching and raising of your child to someone else so that you could go off and teach the gospel? Which one is right?? If you take your children with you, will you be able to care for them physically and spiritually? I’ve read about it being done successfully from time to time. Again, how do you find balance?

Maybe you aren’t a preacher or missionary, but you are very involved with your local congregation. Are you still meeting the spiritual and physical needs of your own children?

As a blogger trying to share the Word of God with others, are there times you have to set aside your blog to care for the needs of your family?

Maybe you have the opposite problem and you make excuses not to do this or that because you have to take care of family. (I will be the first to admit that I have been guilty of this in the past.)

I firmly believe that our walk with God and care for our family should be intertwined, but the how is not always clear.

How do we uphold our commitments to our families in a way that honors God without neglecting the work that God has for us outside the home?

How do we achieve balance?