A CORRECTION AND AN APOLOGY!
Last week I copied and pasted an article concerning the need for men to step up to their responsibilities and be the godly husbands, as well as fathers, they need to be. The article talked about bull elephants that were brought in to teach immature male elephants how to act, and the point was that husbands and fathers MUST help the family to stay on track and be what God wants them to be. God will hold men accountable for their sins and failings. Men must love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25), “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4).
We must admit that we are living in a fallen world of sin, and Satan is doing a number on the family and church because men and women often do not live up to their responsibilities as God has commanded. Indeed, none of us are perfect, none of us deal with sin as we should, and we all commit sin! We are not perfect parents, husbands or wives, or even Christians. But we strive to be what God has commanded us to be.
God does not want children to be reared by single parents, hence, he knew they needed a mother and father. Because of sin, it is a reality that we deal with, and this has hurt society and the church in ways we cannot imagine.
Women, sadly, must step up to the plate many times when men fail in their responsibilities Many women in the church serve as moms and dads to children because fathers are not fulfilling their responsibilities (and sometimes men must do the same for women). We do not know, nor understand, the burdens single parents face, and as a church we must pray for and help them in every way we can. Being a single parent and rearing children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1-4) is never what God has intended. He wants husbands and wives to share in these responsibilities. Men or women who fail in their roles in the family will give account to God one day.
I commend those women who have served as mom and dad. I honor those women who have taught their children right from wrong, and who set the example of faithful Christian living. I thank God for those women who try to lead their children to Christ, not just by what they say, but by the example they set. I thank God for those women who come to church even when their mate will not. Having grown up in a home where my father was gone on military service for a year or more, I appreciate the fact that my mother taught me what was right and wrong, and who took me to church (though it was not the Lord’s church). I became a Christian because my grandmother, who had lost my grandfather, wanted someone to stay with her in her home at nights. She took me to church and, having heard the gospel, I obeyed.
Sisters in Christ, God knows what you deal with and appreciates your efforts. THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE FOR THE LORD AND YOUR FAMILY. Thank you for your efforts when you must do so by yourself.
Brothers in Christ, remember that you will be ultimately held accountable for the family. Set the example – love your wife as Christ loves the church; be the father your children need by not only teaching but also setting the example of a Christian before them. Be the head of a GODLY HOME, and set the tone by walking with Christ daily, teaching His commandments to your children daily (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). Your children, that God has blessed you with, will listen to your teaching, but they will learn more by your example. Even after they are gone from the home, moms and dads can and should help their children as they face the world, as they face parenthood, and as they struggle to be the parents God wants them to be. PRAY FOR YOUR FAMILY DAILY!
Broken homes are not a part of God’s will. Yet, because of adultery, abuse, neglect and lies in which the world has been immersed, divorce is common, and children are brought up in two homes. I pray that God bless the children, and may God bless the homes that are trying to follow God’s will according to Scripture by being husband and wife, mother, and father, so that the next generation will know what God wants and strive to live by it.
Thank you, parents, for striving to bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). For those one parent households, know that God knows your struggle. Keep the faith! Live as a Christian should and set the example for the next generation.
One closing thought – what will the future look like if we do otherwise?
Church, let us see those who struggle and do what we can to help our family, the church, to meet the expectations of the Father in Heaven.
GOD HAS CREATED BOTH OF THEM
The church and the home stand side by side as companion institutions. God is the author of both and has so correlated their activities and circumscribed all their spheres of influence that one cannot prosper while the other suffers. For that reason, the church has always extended a helping hand to the home and is made for it an easier path. However, there should be the same kindly disposition shown also by the home. Has the home fully cooperated with the church in matters of mutual interest?
No man would attempt to rear his children in such an environment where the influence of the church is not felt. He wouldn’t want to spend his last years in a land where there were no Bibles, no Christians, and no Churches. But if you want these influences, isn’t it right to expect you to contribute to their welfare by supporting them? Shouldn’t you bear the burden of teaching better moral conduct within the church?
Thus we illustrate the refining influence of the church and Bible teaching. That infidel and renegade who denies the Bible and seeks to overthrow the church lives a more peaceful life because of the influence of the church wields in the community to set forth law and order.
Therefore since the home relies upon the church for a wholesome environment in which to exist, let us strive to make the home such an institution that it will assist the church in this great service to man and to God. Let us see that God’s word is properly taught and that devotion to God is enthroned in the hearts of all within the home.
Old faithful Abraham had this commendation from God: “For I know him, that he will command his children and household after him and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment.” What a commendation! Surely here is praise from God to covet.
God has established the home as a medium of teaching his word. To the Israelites he said, “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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-8).
A child can be developed into a great servant of the Lord if given the proper training and teaching. The wise man said, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). No Christian will contend that he was dedicated to the Lord’s work too early in life. Paul said of Timothy, “. . . from a youth you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise into salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15). This young man was a great greater servant of the Lord due to the early training he received, “and you fathers provoke not your children to wrath but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4).
Let us ponder the drift of recent years. How often do you hear a family prayer or of home devotional services conducted by the parents? Haven’t we almost branded all such practices as obsolete? But in turning from the services, can we say that the home is made better without it? Shall the reading of God’s word be branded as an out-of-date custom? This lack of careful study of God’s word has weakened the church, upon whose influence the home depends. Thus, the home is undermining its very existence by turning away from the spiritual devotions that could safeguard its purity and well-being.
“God is love”. It is impossible to have a home ruled by love where God is not a guest. When the element of divine love is absent, there cannot be perfect agreement and concord. “Better a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.” (Proverbs 15:17) The truly happy home is where the love of God, trust in his word, and worship of him cast out fear and doubting.
“Except Jehovah build the house, they labor in vain who built it; Except Jehovah keep the city, the watcher wakes in vain.” (Psalms 127:1). Don’t leave God out of your home.
Roy Story, via Lawson Chapel Church of Christ bulletin.