Archives For honor

 saba-III  1683847719_7c3e0c1f85_m

My kids all tried it: Shouting my first name above the noisy crowd in order to get my attention.

Maybe it was kind of cute, the first time. But what if my kids and I were on a first name basis...every day? That is what is being proposed by a growing number of young parents.

We are living in a culture when all issues of authority are suspect. And so we should not be surprised when the idea of "should anyone be in charge here?" come right into our own living rooms.

Something is lost when a child calls his parents by their first names. Instead of honoring his parents, the child holds them on the same level as his peers. So why should he obey them?

Is the traditional biblical view that children should honor their parents (Exodus 20:12) and obey them (Ephesians 6:1) outdated...or oppressive...or even dangerous?

Surely we can take a lesson from both God's word here and from common sense.

Our children are no different than children of other times. They need the security of loving parents who allow them to be kids while they are still kids! They need to know someone older and wiser than them is in charge.

And yes, they need to learn about the relationship between obeying a human parent that they can see and a Heavenly Father who they will one day see.

I know some Christian parents may have blown it be being legalistic and overly authoritarian.

I know some parents may have even abused their children and misused their trust.

And obviously, that is horribly wrong!

But throwing out the whole parental model of leadership in favor of a more "progressive" approach is not going to fix those problems....and in the end, it will trade one problem for another.

We are parents to our children, not peers.

So I suggest we hold fast to “Mom” and “Dad,” and not let our children use our first names.

Image Credit: Ehsan Khakbaz H. “Saba-III” via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

 

 

Lisa Dad Cinderella

Isn't it amazing how life's seasons change? It seems like just yesterday when my sister and I were little girls posing with our Mickey ears in front of Cinderella's castle.

This week Hannah, Rebekah and I have the immense pleasure of traveling with my dad to relive some of those fond memories.

Even as we sat on the plane, bought our Disney passes and hit the Goofy parking lot, I know what my dad was thinking. He wished that his beloved Sandra could be in our traveling crew.

It is hard when life changes. But in each precious decade of our family's journey, we find beauty and hope and joy.

Sandra Josiah 10298647_250972238426366_6292899561379082036_oToday my mom will be enjoying some time with my other children back home. Hopefully she is sharing some laughs and making some quiet memories.

She has made such a graceful adjustment to her new health limitations.  I am so proud of her.

Yet even when she knew she was not up to a trip, she wanted my dad to have a chance to travel. That is evidence of real love.

So here we are. Father and daughter sometimes easily and sometimes clumsily forging a working relationship that will allow us both to enjoy these precious years.

Today in a world that devalues life and shuns weakness, we each have the opportunity to decide what we are going to do with caring for our aging parents. TEarl beach Floridahe New Testament gives us a clue as it reminds us of the commandment with a promise.

Honor your mother and father...that it may go well with you and you may live long upon the earth.  Ephesians 6:2-3 

I don't see an age limit to that command. Do you? So even as the years roll by and we see with greater clarity our own parents' strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, I encourage you to make room in your heart for a spirit of honor.

Sometimes I hear of the most difficult family stories where a parent was not honorable to a child and the family is left struggling with brokenness. (Such was not the case in my home, so I do not know this pain.)

But no matter what your story, God has a way for you to resolve devastating problems through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ.....even if some relationships are no longer safe to be reconciled. Look for His answers. Seek out His grace and mercy. Do all that the Lord directs.

Here is a powerful resource that I believe can help:  The Tribute and the Promise : How Honoring Your Parents Will Bring a Blessing to Your Life

So right now I am celebrating the joy of caring for the ones who took care of me. And, hey, when it involves a trip to Florida, it is pretty easy to smile!

I am praying today for you and your family relationships with your seniors.

 Blessings, Lisa

Gratefully linked to:
Making your Home Sing Monday
Modest Mondays
Tell Me a True Story
Titus 2sdays
Titus 2 Tuesdays

Anti-procrastination Tuesday

fathers-day-clip-arts-2014

Hats off to all our Frontline Dads out there who sometimes feel unappreciated ...or even obsolete!

Turns out, God's plan for an intact family with one man and one woman is a proven winner even as many in our culture try to alter the plan.   

That’s the conclusion found in American Enterprise Institute’s study Dad and the Diploma: The Difference Fathers Make for College Graduation. 

Please take a moment this week and tell the fathers you know who are still on the job with their kids that you count them as important.

Also, let them know you noticed they are spending precious time with the kids.

They hear enough criticism. I think it is time for some celebrating.

How about you?

Father backpacking 2512323454_8f249466ef

By Doug Cherry

It felt just a little awkward…

We were in our family worship time this past Wednesday, reading together through Proverbs 4.

With Fathers’ Day coming up soon, we could not help but focus on the first two verses:

Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, And give attention that you may gain understanding,

  For I give you sound teaching; Do not abandon my instruction.

There we were discussing the value of  Dad’s instruction with Dad sitting right there in the room!  …Especially with Mom and the kids knowing full well Dad’s weaknesses and shortcomings. 

Dads are being bashed and undermined in America like never before and to some extent, rightly so!  There has been much failure in fathering!

But facing the truth of the scripture was so important for our entire family.        

…For Dad, to see the standard set for him. 

…For Mom to see the need to facilitate the important instructions from Dad to children. 

…And for children to open their hearts to receive in spite of the weak vessel that Dad sometimes is.

The reward for listening to Dad is clear: “Understanding and sound teaching.”  The warning likewise: “Do not abandon my instruction.” 

It is no wonder that the instruction coming from fathers is being opposed by every evil force in the heavenlies. 

Would the real fathers please stand up!?

As we discussed Fatherhood, we recognized these roadblocks that are at work to stop the effectiveness of a father:

1)    His own weaknesses.

2)    A societal downgrading of the value of fatherhood.

3)    A spirit of rebellion and lawlessness across the land.

But we did not stop there.  We discovered these clues to tap into the power of Proverbs 4:1-2:

1)    Our vision must be to look past the earthly nature of our fathers to see that a divine flow originates in heaven from God and is sent to pass through fathers to children as a life-giving force.  God can and will use even weak fathers to pour out His instruction if our attitudes are right.

2)    Though almost every human being has some level of “father wound” from mistakes our own fathers have made, we are called to rise above the failures and to lay hold of the victorious life that has been offered to us through the cross.  We must lay aside the imperfect for the perfect.

3)    We must train our boys from a young age to prepare for the days when they will be fathers bringing Godly instruction to their own children.

4)    We can call our fathers up to a higher level of Godliness as we recognize and honor their supernatural calling in the family.

 Image: Alphonso "Achieving Goals" via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

 

Adolescent Dishonoring  iceberg 4343398296_fc805e057e

By Lisa Cherry

Dishonor is an iceberg lurking in the ocean of our teens’ emotions.  Ignore it, or try to sail around it, and it’s a certain appointment for shipwreck in adulthood.  Scroll forward a few years, and imagine:

What will happen when a boss says something that rubs your son the wrong way?  Will he roll his eyes and storm off in a huff?

How will your daughter respond to her husband when he wants to shift direction? Will she toss back a sarcastic comment?

Frustration is a big challenge for teens, and learning to control it is a mark of maturity. It can be learned, and it’s a critical skill for adolescents.

We must help our teens get a handle on their emotions before they launch into adulthood and marriage. 

One of the ways rebellion can get a foothold in our teens' hearts is through unchecked dishonor.  Here are some keys to conquering this dangerous behavior.

1. Recognize that dishonoring authorities’ instructions is a developmental temptation in this age group.

2. But also realize that just because it's a temptation, we should not leave them helpless in their sin.   No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Cor. 10:13

3. Set in your own heart a standard of honor. We cannot change those things which we passively allow. Dishonor must be "disallowed."

4. Learn to recognize the many presentations of dishonoring behavior:  rolling eyes, backtalk, complaining, argumentation, storming off, silence, etc.

5. Set aside some time outside the heat of battle to teach your adolescent about this issue. Explain your standard. Use the following scriptures: Exodus 20:12, Colossians 3:20, Hebrews 13:17, 2 Timothy 2:20-21,  Mark 9:35  Proverbs 13:1 Proverbs 21:23, Proverbs 3:34, Philippians 2:14-16   Consider using role playing to try out appropriate responses.

6. Do not have an unrealistic expectation that you will "nip this in the bud" with only one encounter. But don't also make allowances that this should be a multiyear project!

7. After appropriate teaching, explain to your teens the logical consequences of dishonoring behavior. The best strategy I've found is to not allow the dishonoring behavior to work. For example, if you get a dishonoring response to a request to take out the trash in the kitchen, expand the job to taking out the trash throughout the whole house. If the problem is a dishonoring behavior related to a privilege to go somewhere, the answer becomes a “no” to the social engagement.....even if you would have been inclined to say "yes."

8. Point out negative examples you see around you and the disastrous results. Do not assume teens can make these connections.

9. Pray with your teen for the fruit of self-control. Appropriately help them to understand this is a spiritual battle ground. Be on their side.....not the enemy!

10. For sons....in each one of my sons’ lives, I have had a pivotal mother/son encounter, something like this: "Son, you are now bigger than me. Stronger than me. And becoming a man. But I am still your leader. I will not permit you to dishonor me. I will not allow you to back talk. We will have a healthy and strong relationship throughout your teen years."

11. For daughters.....I need to recognize that there is something extra volatile about two women in relationship. I have needed a conversation something like this with my girls....."In your teen years I will not allow you to dishonor me. I understand the difficulty of female emotions, and I understand that you can now see my weaknesses in a new way. But you will not cross the line into dishonoring behaviors (which I then name such as eye rolling, sighing etc). We are going to have a strong relationship and work through our problems in a healthy way.”

12. Model honoring behavior yourself. Teens learn by example more than lecture. If someone rises up in maturity, they win the spot of influence!

Image: “Blue Inside” by Piero License: Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic  via Flickr Creative Commons

*    *    *    *    *