The Home: Problems And Solutions (Part Two)

This article is part 2 of 6 in the series Christian Home

 It is absolutely true, “God is no mocked; for whatever a man sows, this will he reap also” (Galatians 6.7). This was always a negative verse to me. (Sometimes it still is.) The old acronym BTDT (Been There, Done That) carries many regrets and thoughts of what I would “do over,” if the chance were given. Thoughts and actions planted result in reflective plants grown and a harvest of consequences.
When children grow up with the idea that they are not amenable to Mom and Dad’s law (authority), it often results in teens and adults that see themselves as not amenable to God’s laws and man’s laws as well. The harvest is not good. Where to begin?
PARENTS MUST TEACH! Their WORDS, MODEL, and TOTAL IMAGE, are completely grasped by children as they grow up and often emulated in their life.
Instructions, law, direction, rules, responsibility, accountability are to be taught.
Solomon wrote “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck” (Prov. 1.7-9). I grew up with the teaching of “B.H.D.” (You have to BE before you HAVE and DO.) Today this has been changed to H.B.D. (You have to HAVE before you can BE and DO.) The development of character is vital, and yet it is sorely missing today. “For I know Abraham, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgement” (Genesis 18.19). Growing up we didn’t have much but it was more than most. Dad worked at preaching, and Mom worked at home (a job which is unfortunately ‘put down’ by many today). We kids (there were three of us, then four, then five, then six!), never were in need of what was important. We had .25 cents for allowances, and loved the trip to Woolworth 5 and 10 cent Stores. The table was always full of food. Even when Mom made a big pot of RUNNY mashed potatoes. Dad told us, “Eat up boys!” Okra was a now and again thing. Slimy things that they were. Dad always said, “Slide me some.” Mom served two things… TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT! WE ALWAYS KAD PLENTY, BECAUSE DAD SAID, “YOU’VE HAD PLENTY.” Things have changed now haven’t they? What is lacking is Dad’s that will guide and command in the right way, and Mom’s that will back him up, and kids that will follow.
Paul says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor your father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6.1-4). “Go learn what this means,” Boys can BE without HAVING!!! (Dad often joked about his Dad having him work at home. “He only wanted us to work half a day and the other half was ours, he didn’t care which half it was either.) Learning involves guidance, teaching, rules, commands. responsibility and accountability. These don’t come easy to a child.
Children are growing up in an age when “image” is “Fifty shades of Grey.” Black and white are quickly disappearing. It is politically incorrect to say things like “”Flee immorality…” “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify god in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Cor. 6.19-20). References like Ephesians 5:21ff; Matthew 19.1-11, need to be taught in love. Mistakes have horrendous consequences. Truth is still truth, and to do otherwise is sin, and even though there is forgiveness… scars still remain. Scrambled eggs cannot be unscrambled, but must be eaten.
Begin early teaching and setting the example of the right way to go. TEACHING PLUS TIME = MIND, MIND PLUS TIME = CONVICTION, CONVICTION PLUS TIME = CHARACTER, CHARACTER PLUS TIME = DESTINY.
I grew up with a solid idea of who I was. I had a Father and Mother. My Dad was: 1.) A MALE. (“God create them male and female” Moses wrote in Genesis.) He had (like his Dad) a crop of hair growing on his chest. I didn’t! I wanted to be LIKE DAD. He said, “Jack, Eat your spinach!” I looked at the green stuff on my plate, and yuk! He said, “It will put HAIR on your chest.” Yummy, give me some more! He had no problem being a MALE. I wanted to grow up to be a MAN like Dad. Lovingly, people need to hear the message, HOMOSEXUALITY is wrong! Unnatural! Confusing to a child’s image (Romans 1.24-32)! Soup commercials that have two “fathers”, and one says, “I’m your father.” and the other says, “No, I’m your father,” speaks loud and clear to the mess children are in today, and should be “boycotted.” 2.) A FATHER. Someone who was the “head of the house.” The leader, the guide, the “supreme court.” My youngest brother Ed, was getting a whipping and Dad asked, “You have anything to say Ed?” Ed said, “I want to speak to the supreme court.” Dad said, “You’re speaking to it son.” Don’t get me wrong, Dad’s are not perfect. We all sin and fall short of God’s glory, Paul said. Dad’s grow with time as well, and learn from mistakes. Dad’s you may not be perfect, and you may make mistakes, but BE A DAD! 3.) A HUSBAND. This is a role which the man cannot miss. If you are married treat your wife with the love and respect she deserves. She is a partner not a slave. She is your completion not your play toy. She is yours and you are hers, (I Cor. 7.1-5). Read Ephesians 5. 22-31. Think about the comparisons made, and the love shared. BE A HUSBAND.
Then there was Mom. Mom was a 1.) FEMALE. She and Dad were equal in that what Mom said carried the weight of Dad. Dad backed her up. When she said, “Dad will deal with you.” Our day was over! (We thought our life was over.) God created them male and female. God was and is wise in His way of doing things. Just think where we would be if He started with John and George instead of Adam and Eve. Mom was a female, and my sister identified with MOM. They wanted to be like her. They wanted nothing to do with “hair on the chest.” They played with dolls, and we played with army men. DIFFERENT! 2.) A MOTHER. She was everything to us but a Dad. She was the doctor when we were hurt, she was the mediator with Dad for us (which is why we are still alive), she was the one who made sure we had clean clothes, patched clothes, food in our bellies, warm coats on our backs, a clean room, she drove us to school and back, she loved gently, firmly. She was a teacher, a disciplinarian, a guide. She and Dad were together always, and never argued in front of us. Their disagreements were taken care of behind the bedroom doors, always! 3.) A WIFE. Mom was Dad’s wife. There were no others, nor should there be. Sin camps at the doors and the “grass just looks greener on the other side.” Sixty one years they were married. Perfect? No! In love? Yes! Mom and Dad have passed on now, and they are together again.
Divorce is a problem. It is not unforgivable. The guilty (as I have always believed) don’t need to unscramble the egg as it were. People cannot be divorced too many times so as to be unreachable by the blood of Christ, as one preacher said to a three time divorced lady. Christians are not perfect either, but God’s grace and forgiveness is always available. God help us all to understand and reach out to the hurting.
Command + Example = Image. It all begins at home. Teaching and setting the example needed by children to follow can pave the way to a good life. This puts a big responsibility on parents, and a tremendous joy as well.
Grow in grace friends!

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