Monthly Archives: February 2013

38 posts

Instruction is a matter of life and death

Suppose for a moment that you lived as many Christians do on this planet. Suppose you lived in an area that was in a constant state of warfare. This is would be the warfare of the guerrillas, or of the tribal dispute, or of ethnic hatred. In each of these types of warfare, Christians are often acceptable targets. In this war-torn area you would still have your children.  For families living in one of these media-neglected war zones, going outside to play is an act of reckless endangerment.   You realize that the instructions you must give your children are instructions of life and death. If your kids fail to follow your directions to the letter they may pay the […]

Why manipulation is attractive

The easiest way to distinguish what is genuine from its pretender is to become intimately familiar with the genuine article. Therefore, if we want to distinguish biblical instruction from its pretender, we must be intimately and passionately committed to biblical instruction. This is the kind of instruction that Tedd Tripp calls formative instruction in his book, “Instructing a Child’s Heart.”  In it’s truest sense instruction means to teach children about God and his ways so that they are challenged to long for a deepening relationship with God. (see Deuteronomy 6:5-7 & Ephesians 6:4) A careful reading of these two passages leads to this conclusion. In Deuteronomy, the emphasis is on the parents and teachers being deeply in love with God so […]

Manipulate or Instruct

All’s well that ends well is one of those proverbial threads that form the tapestry of conventional wisdom.  In this case the tapestry is threadbare in spots. This thought leads to the idea it doesn’t matter how we get our children to obey as long as they obey. This thinking may well achieve its purpose today, but create serious problems in the years ahead.  Specifically I am talking about the distinction between instruction and manipulation when raising children to live for God.  In it’s truest sense instruction means to teach children about God and his ways so that they are challenged to long for a deepening relationship with God. (see Deuteronomy 6:5-7 & Ephesians 6:4)  Manipulation cares not the for […]

Gender Equality and the Emperor’s New Clothes

Hans Christian Anderson’s tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes was written almost 200 years ago. It remains a classic reminder of the vanity and gullibility of people who live for the praise and approval of others. In the tale, two shrewd and enterprising weavers manage to convince the Emperor that only those who were worthy would be able to see the stunning new set of clothes they had designed for him. Anyone who could not see these clothes was deemed to be unfit or stupid. As the king was “dressed” by the weavers in his new clothes he did not want to be seen as unfit or stupid.  He went along with the weaver’s scheme that he was indeed wearing […]

Formative Instruction to meet the challenges of life.

Several recent posts have addressed contemporary issues in our culture. The reasoning behind these posts is not just random thought or one person’s opinion. Rather these post reflect a systematic way of biblical thought. One of the places where this thought is collected for parents is found in the book, Instructing a Child’s Heart, by  Tedd and Margy Tripp. Following is an excerpt from the book: “The life classroom is constant, compelling and comprehensive. The same is true of our homes as well. They are environments where our children are constantly learning. Not only that, but we are always teaching our children. Our every response, whether it is instruction or silence, teaches. Our behavior and our love teach. But in […]

The Attack of Equality

Being somewhat of a sports fan, I could not help but notice that a female bout Saturday evening was highlighted in the sport of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).  UFC bouts are a cross between boxing and martial arts with a good amount savage aggression thrown in. A headline in USA Today said this bout was a big lift for women.   Really?   Equality is one of the rallying cries of modern culture in its quest to rid itself of God and his Bible. In our culture’s striving for equality of the sexes the special uniqueness of each gender has been cast aside. The media is delighted that women can viscously attack one another in the name of sport, just […]

Thought for the Lord’s Day

God is unique. This is essential to grasp if he is to be worshipped for who he is and not who we think he is. One way that God is unique is that he needs no outside validation of  who he is. As humans we tend to confirm things we think by appealing to someone or something to agree with us. God needs no such confirmation. He is the standard by which all that is good is measured.   For example, if I come to a conclusion about something, I may appeal to someone else to validate my conclusion. The more people who agree with me the more comfortable I am with my conclusion. God is not like this. He […]

Why Our Children Turn from God – another perspective

Much good material has been written of late about why children abandon the faith in which they were raised. Children may also leave the faith because they were made to be the most important people in their home. Let me explain. Parents, your highest priority in life cannot be your children. As wonderful as children are, if they become the main focus of your life you will provide a distorted view of God’s world for them. Your primary focus is to know and honor God. You must love and know God first and foremost. That is why Jesus sums up the commandments by saying that first you should love God with all that you are (Matt. 22:37-40). If this isn’t […]

We are God’s

We are God’s: let us therefore look for him and die for him. We are God’s: let his wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God’s: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward him as our only lawful goal. O, how much has that man profited who, having been taught that he is not his own, has taken away the dominion and rule from his own reason that he may yield to God! For, as consulting our self interest is the pestilence that most effectively leads to our destruction, so the sole haven of salvation is to be wise in nothing and to will nothing through ourselves but to follow the leading of the […]

Why we love lies

Someone may be thinking, “I didn’t think I loved lies. In fact, I hate being lied to. Actually, why would you say something so outrageous. I resent your suggestion.”   Your concern is understandable. I get it. However, what I am talking about is the issue of love of Christ. If we love Christ we love the truth.  If we don’t love the truth, the only alternative is to love a lie. Listen to what Jesus says in Matthew 6:24:    “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.   If Christ is […]