Monday, April 30, 2018

THE POWER OF FAMILY Series: Our Children!

Children are a heritage from
the LORD, offspring a reward
from Him. ( Ps. 127:3)
Satan hates women! Let's take the lid off a well-kept secret.  The devil reserves a special hatred for women. We know he hates all mankind.  but he has a particular animosity against women...

Satan does not like the fact that women can have children. 
He hates our ability to reproduce...  

When we do conceive, he will try to devour our children before they are born.  After they are born, he will do all he can to make the children we have ineffective against him.  He will use our children to cause us some of our greatest pain.  If he does not succeed there he will persecute us as women just because we bring children into the world. (Excerpts from book: Chosen Vessels: Women of Color Keys To Change by Rebecca Florence Osaigbovo, DaBar Services, Detroit, MI)

In a previous blog I stated that our enemy, Satan is doing everything possible to destroy the family (John10:10).  Why? Because godly families are a powerful threat to him and his minions and on earth they reflect the glorious image of the Godhead! Thus, he strategically targets first, the husband and wife to scheme upon and then moves on to the children!

You don't have to be a bible scholar to see that the Devil is trying to take our children out! Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually!  What is most devastating to me is to watch the ways he is turning them away from the Truth of God's Word and toward the insidious darkness of self-destruction!  (Prov. 14:12 -There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death).  

In most of the conversations I've had concerning this sad commentary, fingers immediately point toward the parents!  True, many children are suffering from poor parenting skills and a culture that reinforces, even glorifies, their irresponsibility and spiritual neglect.  But can you blame a house that falls down for its leaky roof, rotten beams, or broken windows?  These are structural things that can be easily repaired.  But what can you do with a  faulty foundation?  Unless it is fixed no cosmetic work you do on or around the surface will last!

I believe that's what psychologists, politicians, and even some misguided social scientists have been trying to do.  Do a Makeover of the family without addressing the crumbling or in some cases non-existent foundation.  Our children deserve better and there's enough blame to go around for everyone!!  Let's look at some tools needed to offset the damage:

Quality Time with Your Children  - Deuteronomy 6:6-8 
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.
Children today are pacified with electronics and entertainment. These have become baby-sitters for tired, overworked, and sometimes selfish parents.  But what children really want is time with  with their mothers and fathers!  Time not "doing" but just "being" with them.  They want to feel that you are listening to them, care about them, actually want to be with them. 

The greatest life lessons producing godly living is not necessarily taught in church, but in the home.  As the above scripture says, powerful tools for living are sharpened as you talk, and walk with them.  During a meal shared or at bedtime.  Children need quite and calmness in their life! Our culture overstimulates them.  Parents need time to train, discipline, and model God's best for them. A good parent knows that there is a time to Shut the World out...and Let God In!

Communicating in the Language of Love! - I Corinthians 13:1
13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Would it surprise you to know that some children rarely hear a positive word from their parents?  We must learn how to communicate wisely with our children.  Adjusting not only our tone but choosing the right words in the right way to make what we say count! 

Gary Chapman, author of the renown, Five Love Languages, has expanded his principles to help parents teach children how to properly give and receive love.  One, I've already mentioned - Quality Time.  The next two, Acts of Service and Gifts are intuitive.  But, the ones I think relate well to the topic of communication are Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch.  Proverbs 18:21 says that Death and life is in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. 

Children generally believe what their parents tell them, until we show them different! If we tell them they are smart, valuable, and loved, then demonstrate it with consistency they will hold onto that image of themselves.  However, the same is true for the opposite.  Belonging, Love, and Esteem rank high on Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory.  The Bible ranks it high too!  Subsequent verses in I Corinthians 13 tell us that faith, hope, and love is important to the growth to any person but the greatest of the three is love! (vs. 13)
Shaping their Spirituality - Proverbs 22:6, 2 Timothy 3:5; Ephesians 6:4, Deut. 6:6-9
Here are a few practical ways you can lay a strong foundation of healthy spirituality in your children's life:
--Pray, not just for them, but with them - communicating our hearts to our heavenly Father is one of the most personal, intimate, and beneficial things we can do while here on earth.

--Challenge them to read and memorize God's Word - This will help them understand more about God's lavish love for them.

--Model forgiveness - By all means, hold your children accountable for their actions. 
(Reprint from EMBC bible study: Strengthening Parents and Children Relationship, October 24, 2007)
Summary:  The Bible is the Antidote for Satan's Poisonous Arrows Destroying Families
  • The answer to divorce, infidelity, and same-sex marriage is respecting and honoring God's design for marriage.
  • The answer to the gang affiliations, gun violence, and mind altering cults is Quality Time empowering children for success (Bible reading and study, instituting boundaries, and showing unconditional love.)
  • The answer to promiscuity and unwed pregnancy is Affirmation of your child's worth that teaches them that their body is a precious gift to be treasured and preserved for marriage 
  • The answer to drug use and pornography is embodying for non-Christians the biblical definition of love, intimacy, and God-ordained expressions for experiencing pleasure.


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The Power of Family Series Continues: Target Three: Our Church!

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