Monthly Archives: August 2013

36 posts

Fairness – an example

The modern concept of fairness is rooted in achieving justice. Biblically, however, both fairness and justice must be defined as doing things God’s way. From a Christian perspective, the only way to be fair is to apply God’s word accurately to a given situation. Paul says that obeying parents in the Lord is the right thing and, therefore, the fair thing. This is a freeing principle for parents and children. It is not always necessary to check and see if big brother got a larger scoop of ice cream. Being obedient to God leads to trusting him that he will be fair with us—even if others appear not to be fair. Now we are ready to make this application to […]

Right or Fair

That’s not fair is a statement that has come define our culture. From the play ground to the court room being fair has do to with getting what we think we deserve. This has profound implications for parenting. Is fairness making sure each child gets the same number of minutes to play with a toy, or making sure that each child has the same number of toys to play with? Is this concept of fairness what God wants you to teach your children? Let’s see.   In Matthew 20:1-16 we find the parable of the workers in the vineyard. The owner of the vineyard sends workers out at various intervals throughout the day to work in his field. The first […]

Justice – it is not about you

It is dangerous to want justice for ourselves. When it comes to justice, we have nothing to bargain with. We are guilty before the holy God of heaven and earth. Only Jesus, by his substitutionary death for his people, can provide justice for us. Justice is something we cannot demand. Indeed a quest for personal justice for ourselves will lead to our destruction. This is a vital truth your children must embrace.   In, “Get Wisdom!”, Ruth Younts defines and describes wisdom this way:    “Justice is measuring everything by God’s law, to know and do what is right.”   The balance scale measures what is in one pan against the weight in the other pan. So, too, we should […]

Are you raising an Absalom?

Power struggles are common among parents and teenagers. Even teens who appear to be mild and compliant to others can engage in hard-fought battles at home. At the root of many of these battles is a deep-seated perception that they, the teens, are being treated unfairly. We see this dynamic in the life of Absalom. It is abundantly clear from the narrative that Absalom did not seek God in his distress and troubles. He took matters into his own hands. His outrage over Tamar turned into vengeance towards Amnon. His bitterness at his father’s failure to deal with Amnon’s sin yielded a life devoted to the overthrow of David’s kingship. We see Absalom’s anger, his planning, his obsession with justice, […]

Whose music is playing in your heart?

Music used to honor God can be a very good thing. However, music also has the potential to help establish wickedness as a lifestyle. In Exodus 32:18, “Moses replied: ‘It is not the sound of victory, it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear.’” This shows that Israel was again using music to establish and exult in a commitment they had made. But unlike the joy and praise of God that was the focus of the song in Exodus 15, this time the commitment was to wickedness and disobedience. Music was used to celebrate the sinful actions of Israel just as music had earlier been used to celebrate the faithfulness of God. […]

Thoughts on Music

Music has a powerful impact upon people. We tend to think of the dominance of music as a recent trend introduced by modern recording technology. However, read this account of a young and popular musician. “He was as concerned about the way he appeared when he performed as the music he played . . . Around him young women swooned, others fought for and tore articles of his clothing . . . The musician encouraged such conduct because it made his legend grow.” Who was this wild man after whom young women clamored? Is this a scene from today, the 90’s, 80’s, 70’s or 60’s? Actually, it is from the 30’s—the 1830’s. The musician was Franz Liszt, the noted classical […]

Prepare your children for a hostile takeover

The world as a hostile place that will turn your children from God. This hostility is masked by deception. The world does not present itself as a hostile enemy. Rather, the world offers itself as the ultimate source of understanding, pleasure, fulfillment and satisfaction. The success of this deception is evident in the lives of many children who have been savaged by the world. Too many children from Christian homes echo the cry of the man in Proverbs 5   At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors. I […]

Thought for the Lord’s Day

Biblical worship is about transformation. Christian worship is distinct from anything that our “spiritual” culture has to offer. An encounter with the Living God, whether corporately or individually, should be transformational. Conformity to the world’s idea of worship carries the idea of personal enrichment and fulfillment. Biblical worship is nothing of the sort. When we see God for who he is, we cannot remain the same. We are undone, yet we have hope. We must be transformed. Our minds must be renewed so we can embrace the perfect, written will of God for lives.

Parenting is not primarily about information transfer

Ephesians warns fathers not to exasperate their children. To be sure, there are a number of ways to exasperate children. But, I believe one of the most subtle and discouraging ways of doing this is the wrong use of explanations in disciplining children. Explanations can become damaging when they are based on attempts at persuasive argumentation or even manipulation.   One way to know if explanations are being wrongly used is if you hear yourself constantly saying, “how many times I have told you not to do that!” This is an example of seeing instruction as an exercise in information transfer.  When information transfer is the main focus of child rearing explanations will become a problem instead of being useful. […]

Do you lead with pleasant words?

Leading with love is not an optional performance package to go along with basic parenting. This is basic biblical parenting. God and his word are special, precious treasure. Nothing else that we possess can begin to compare in value to knowing God and his word. (Psalm 119:72; Proverbs 3:15) Thus, leading with love is a not a lofty goal that should you hope someday to possibly achieve. Rather it is a command of God. Stealing is not something that we hope one day to leave behind. You won’t find someone at church happily announcing to others that she is making real progress with learning not to steal; “why yesterday I only stole twice.” But when it comes to raising voices […]