Posts Tagged ‘Family

11
Sep
12

Parenting a Christian Home

Sammy Jones

This week we are fortunate to be sitting at the feet of a great speaker and student of God.  Sammy Jones of Freed-Hardeman University is presenting a series of lessons at Parrish Church of Christ that deal with the overall theme of Christianity 24/7.  WOW!  The lessons are practical and hit me right where I need them too.

Sunday he spoke on Being a Christian in the Home.  He began with some disturbing facts:

  • 37% of all are headed by single parents (this morning on the local news they reported that number as 45%).
  • 50% of all babies born are born outside of marriage.
  • 1.1 million marriages end in divorce each year.
  • 2 million young people (younger than 18) run away from home each year.

After opening our eyes to the plight of the home, Dr. Jones shared these Five (5)

Aspects of a Christian Home:

  1. Family member must commit to sacrifice for each other and the family.
  2. We must take time to appreciate each other in the family.
  3. Build relationships of trust within the family.
  4. Develop a sense of God in yourself and teach that to your children.
  5. Learn to forgive!

There is a great bit to consider in what he shares!  Take time now to pray for your family and reflect on how you can be a better influence within the family.

- Scott

19
Jun
12

Dads and Children

Last Tuesday I posted some thoughts on what to say to your children.  A lot of

L-R Me (Scott), Andrew (who must be standing on higher ground), and Amy

people read that particular blog indicating to me that readers want more about parenting.  So . . . here we go again.

Paul writes in Eph 6:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” This passage contains two charges from God: 1) A Negative Charge – Do not provoke them to anger and 2) A Positive Charge – Bring them up in discipline and instruction of the Lord.  Sadly the world seems to have a different approach that swings to two extremes: Child Abuse – when discipline is without love and Permissiveness – when love is without discipline. Neither produces emotionally or spiritually healthy children because neither of these extremes fit God’s plan of training them because you love them  and love them enough to train them.

Here is a three point training guide to raising emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy children.

  1. Love Unconditionally.  Do not withhold love or use your love as a bargaining chip.  You  may not like what they do (or did) but still love them.  That is why you correct their missteps.
  2. Discipline.  Train them for their benefit.  Someone who plays an instrument receives discipline from an instructor or has enough self-discipline to learn on their own.  They receive both instruction and correction if they are to improve their performance.  The same principle applies to raising children. Discipline is more than punishment it is the entire aspect of training. 
  3. Involve Them in Activities.  Have them work alongside of you.  Teach them your trade or hobbies.  Help them learn to clean, cook, and construct.  You may be capable of doing the task yourself and even completing it faster without their “help.”  But you cannot replace the time spent with them as you work side by side.
- Scott
01
May
12

10 Things to Teach Your Children

From the Home Office somewhere off the road between Parrish and Oakman comes today’s list of Ten Things to Teach Your Children.  As a parent of a teenager, as a former Youth Minister, as a former assistant Jr. High Basketball coach, and as someone married to an Elementary School teacher, these things come from my experiences – both good and bad . . .  We should teach our children:

1. To Love Reading.  Teachers may give students the basic tools to read, but if

Andrew (left) on a 5th Grade Field Trip (2007)

parents do not read to children when they are young and model a love of reading, teachers fight an uphill battle.  If you do not want your child left behind, teach them to love reading.

2. To Pray.  Children should learn early that God cares for them and watches over them.  Teach them to spend time telling God about their day and their needs.  Give them an example of prayer, let them see you pray and pray with them and for them often.

3. To Be Grateful (Thankful).  Ingratitude is a bane of current society.  Too many people have a sense of entitlement and are not grateful for what they have.  Teach your children to say, “Thank you” to those who provide needs and gifts.  This would include God.  Demonstrate this thankfulness in your conversations and prayer.  Tell your spouse “thank you” for what they do and let your children hear you say that.

4. To Pay Their Way.  This is a second anti-entitlement point.  Not everything in life is free, nor are you (they) entitled to everything.  The wisdom of our Founding Fathers is evident in the statement that we are only entitled to the freedom of the PURSUIT of happiness, not all the things we think will make us happy.  (Washington, are you listening?)

5. To Read God’s Word.  Our public education system owes its existence to early settlers and colonists wanting their children to learn to read so that they could read the Bible.  God’s word is a great guide to life in general and the ONLY guide to life eternal.  Read to, with, and in your children’s presence.

6. To Love God.  Jesus said this is the greatest commandment.  The Israelites were to bind this before their eyes, talk of it on the road, and write it on the door posts.  Teach children to know God loves them and how to return that love.

7. To Love Others.  Jesus said this is the second greatest commandment.  This is really what the “Golden Rule” of treating others the way you want treated is all about.  Again it is imperative that we model this love to our children.

8. The Importance of a Committed Marriage.  Countless hours of research exists that show the importance of a committed marriage to the well-being of children.  This is one point you definitely should exemplify.  Let your children see how important your husband or wife (their dad or mom) is to you.  In fact, let them know that your relationship with their other parent comes before your relationship with them.

9. To Encourage (Be Complimentary).  We live in such a negative world.  We need more people like Barnabas (Acts 4 – 5) who will work to encourage others.  One way we can help our children be better at encouragement is to encourage them in their pursuits.

10. To be Humble.  Children enter this world egocentric.  They cry when they have needs – feeding, changing, physical contact, etc.  We should meet those needs, but as they mature physically, mentally, and emotionally we should gently guide them to understand that they are NOT the center of the world or even the family.  I am not advocating a throw-back to “don’t speak until you are spoken too” mentality of years gone by, but children do need to learn that others are important (see #’s 3, 4, 7, and 9 above).  Humility is important to successful marriages, success in all relationships, and in our approach to God.

What else should we teach our children?

- Scott

03
Jan
12

Five “L’s” of Marriage

Amy and I as we leave EYC '11

I recently ran across an old sermon outline in my files. The file simply listed the five “L’s” of Marriage. Here are those five points:

1. Learn. Learn God’s will for marriage. Learn about the the other person. Learn the uniqueness of your relationship.
2. Let. Let your spouse be who they are. That is permit them to be themselves. One of the great thrills in marriage is to discover and enjoy the differences between us. If you think there is an area your spouse needs to change, live that way in front of them and allow them time to change.
3. Lift. Lift your spouse up when they are down. “Two are better than one . . . For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.” (Eccl 4:9-10). This is especially true in marriage.
4. Leave. Leave the oversight of parents, leave or change habits and lifestyles that are self-directed.
5. Love. What good are all the other points if we do not have love. A recent Youth event reminded us that “love is more.”. Love is the force that brought you together and it is the force that will keep you together. But love is more than words and love is more than a feeling. Love is acting in the best interest of the other.

What other “L’s” can you think of that apply to marriage?

-Scott

 

04
Aug
11

Have You Told Them You Love Them?

Here is the book cover. We read ours on Kindle

Just this past week, Amy and I both read Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. Many people are recommending this book, and now I understand why. In our 22 years of marriage (08.12.1989 to the present) some of our friends’ marriages struggled to live in love and some of those never found love again and ended the marriages. We shed tears with and for those who suffered. Looking back, many of those failed marriages might still be a unit if I would have known what Dr. Chapman calls the Five Love Languages. I will not go into detail, because I cannot give these languages the space they deserve (you need to read the book), but here are those languages. One or two of them are how you feel loved, and how you communicate love. Your spouse or children might have a different love language that you need to learn to demonstrate your love for them.

  1. Words of Affirmation. Some people need to regularly hear the words, “I love you” along with positive reinforcement that they are appreciated for who they are.
  2. Quality Time. For some nothing says I love you like being there with them in what they are doing and listening to what they have to say.
  3. Receiving Gifts. Although the Beatles were right is singing, “Money can’t buy me love,” there are many who know they are loved because you shower them with gifts. These gifts can be simple,p expensive, free, or homemade, but when they come from you it shouts to them of your love.
  4. Acts of Service. Other people do not need gifts as a sign of love, they simple want help. Help around the house or in the yard. Help with a project or a warm meal. Paul Overstreet sang about “Sowin’ Love” I think this is what he had in mind.
  5. Physical Touch. A hug, holding hands, a brush on the cheek, a kiss, playing “footsies” under the kitchen table can fill up what Dr. Chapman calls the “love tank” for those who are touchers.

Take time to get to know your spouse’s love language and take the time to learn to speak that language. You will be glad you did.

- Scott

02
Aug
11

Creating Ownership in the Church

One of the reasons churches do not grow or worse, die of attrition is that there is a sense of “they” and not a sense of “we” or “us.”. As in, “they are having a revival down at the church,” instead of “we are having a revival at church.”. The difference is more than the words it is a difference of being on the outside looking in or being involved as an owner.

As Christians we need to view our status not as a distant investor but we need to consider ourselves employees with a stock option. When we buy stock in the church we buy into truth – Prov 23:23, “Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.” Consider also Jesus words in Matt 13:45-46, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding aone pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

Tuesday evening Daniel Courington gave us a three step TIP on how to instill ownership in the church.

1 Transformation – going beyond your current form. Be transformed by aligning yourself with God. Cf. Rom 12:2.
2. Initiative – take chances and get busy. Go a little bit farther. Do more than you have to do. This especially applies to spreading the good news – Matt 28:19-20.
3. Persistence – streams smooth rocks through persistence not strength. Paul reminds us of the importance of consistent persistence in 2 Tim 4:1-5, “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, rendure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

27
Jul
11

Attacks Against Our Homes

Yesterday evening (Tuesday) we had the next to last of our mid-week Summer Series at Parrish Church of Christ. Chuck Webster, from Hoover, spoke with us about the things that attack our families. His message was just what the leaders here hoped it would be. What follows are his points:

1. ME. I am the greatest threat against my home. I am the greatest device that Satan can use to ruin the home. When I think that my marriage is all about me and my needs, then I am having negative impact on my marriage and family.

2. Redefinition of Marriage. Post-modernism, existentialism, and humanism are teaching us and our children that the “traditional” picture of marriage can be thrown away. That we do not have to be just one man and one woman for life. Society is saying that marriage is not only not necessary, but can exist between any two adults who “love” each other.

3. Materialism. Beware of covetousness. When we try to have everything, and when we do whatever it takes to have the latest, biggest, most expensive, or better than everyone else’s, we find our family in a financial bind. Both parents begin to work too many hours outside the home to just make ends meet.

4. Sexuality. Pornography, sexual relations before, and outside of marriage have a grave impact on our homes. We must set up barriers to keep the z message, that sex is meaningless and just what people do away from our children and adults. We must return to the idea that God created us a sexual being for the intimacy of marriage and the special relationship that marriage is.

5. Busy- ness. We are too busy. We cart our children to school, sports, music, practice, this club, that club, and we work, volunteer, coach, etc. We never slow down and remain “still and know” that the Lord is God. Prioritize to seek the kingdom of God first and your marriage next.

6. Mis-placed Priorities. This is related to the busy-ness above, but is more. This includes the materialism above, the self-centeredness above, and more. Anytime anything comes before our spouse, children, and family we are headed toward danger. Slow down, spend time with each other. Turn off the entertainment technology in your home and sit down for a meal together and simply talk.

-Scott (adapted from Chuck Webster)

12
Jul
10

A Blackberry Sermon

No not the electronic kind, the real blackberries.  The wild kind you go out and pick.  Last week Amy, Andrew, and I went blackberry picking with my my niece Melanie, Amy’s niece Rachel and her husband Brandon, and Amy’s parents on a large plot of family land.  There is a simple lesson that we can learn from such and

Andrew, Rachel, Brandon, Scott (me), and Melanie ride on the back of Gran-Gran's truck while moving to the next patch of berries.

adventure: The fruits of labor are worth the effort.  Needless to say, July in Alabama is hot, and we perspired while gathering our berries.  We had to fight off insects, thorns, and watch for snakes – no one saw a snake, but everyone found thorns and all of us have a few bug bites.  But what we really came away with was a mess of black berries.  Amy, Andrew, and I are on our third or fourth cobbler!

What is true in picking berries is true in marriage, friendships, and in the walk of Christianity — The end result is worth the effort I put forth.  If I want a great marriage, I will work for a great marriage.  If I want healthy friendships, I will put in the effort to be a friend.  If I love God, I will serve Him knowing my labor is not in vain (1 Cor 15:57-58).  To quote Albus Dumbledore “We all have to choose whether we will do what is right or what is easy.”




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Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, used by permission, all rights reserved.

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