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Archive for the 'Ruling Desires' Category

Asking too much from your children

Posted on October 2nd, 2016 · Posted in Parenting, Ruling Desires

Living for your children will ruin your life and theirs. If your hopes and dreams are bound to your children, you will be disappointed, perhaps even bitter. If you expect your children to provide the comfort and support that can only come from God you will be deeply hurt. You will set yourself up to be disappointed and crushed when your family fails you. No spouse, no child can provide comfort that can only be found in God. God will have no other gods before him. Your first loyalty must.. read more

People pleasing – a fatal attraction!

Posted on September 30th, 2016 · Posted in Fear of the Lord, Ruling Desires, Shaping Influences

Luke recounts a story in Acts about how the early Christians were caring for each other’s needs. He specifically mentions a Cypriot Levite named Joseph who sold a field and brought the money from the sale to the apostles. Joseph was such a blessing that the apostles called him Barnabas, which means son of encouragement. This was a good thing. There was a married couple who apparently observed Barnabas’ good deed and the appreciation he received for it. So they sold some property that they owned. But something happened to.. read more

Do you enjoy being duped?

Posted on September 20th, 2016 · Posted in Ruling Desires, Sanctification

The answer is, of course you don’t! Yet, if you are like most people, you find yourself frequently saying something like, “I know better than that, why do I keep doing it?” So why do you keep repeating the things that trouble you — it is the deceptiveness of sin. You were born with a spiritual heart that is defective, it does not operate as intended. If there is a problem with your physical heart, it tends to immediately demand whatever attention is necessary in order to solve the problem… read more

Excuses or repentance

Posted on August 26th, 2016 · Posted in Parenting, Ruling Desires, Sanctification, Shaping Influences

Excuses keep us from trusting God, erode human relationships and weaken character. The default mode for the excuse maker is to shift blame instead of looking to God in repentance. Repentance brings hope. Excuses result in frustration and blame-shifting. This how the Holy Spirit describes the difference: “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 Concealing sins—making excuses—destroys trust in God. But repentance yields mercy and the blessing of God. Listen to yourself. Listen to your children. If you hear.. read more

I want it now!

Posted on July 19th, 2016 · Posted in Ruling Desires

Immediate gratification is the gateway to enslavement. This desire for the immediate is based on two lies. The first is that having what I want will be satisfying and the second is nothing bad will happen if I get what I want. This is the way sin works. If your children believe the lie that getting instant relief from their discomfort or discontent is ultimate, they have been entrapped by sin’s deceitfulness. This pattern, if not stopped, will result in a life dominated by the desire for immediate gratification. Pornography,.. read more

Dangerous rules

Posted on April 21st, 2016 · Posted in Parenting, Ruling Desires, Sanctification

Following rules will not make you a better person. Rules will not build your character. Rules will not produce spiritual maturity. What rules may do is keep you safe and keep you from breaking laws. The question to ask is this, is there more to life than being safe and legal? Relying primarily on a set of rules to govern your family can be toxic. Paul warns you about being taken captive by human traditions and spiritual forces of this world. Here is his exact warning found in Colossians 2:8… read more

Whining children, broken lives

Posted on March 29th, 2016 · Posted in Discipline, Ruling Desires, Shaping Influences

Your six-year-old has become so obsessed with wanting his brother’s radio controlled car that he has made himself sick whining and complaining about it. There is a reason the Holy Spirit warns against grumbling and complaining. This familiar scenario does not seem as shocking as the story of a teenager obsessed with pornography. However, the attitudes that fuel the teenager’s lust and obsession are the same ones that control your six-year old. This point must not be missed. You must connect the dots of self-pity in your young children with.. read more

Love is God’s idea

Posted on October 27th, 2015 · Posted in Midlife, Ruling Desires, Sanctification

Love is a personal thing or so we are told. Problems come when love is too personal. When love is all about me, bad things happen. Love must be defined by God, specifically by the work of his son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit tells us that we know what love is by how Jesus loved (1 John 3:16). By looking at Christ we see that love is other-centered, not me-centered. This takes some radical rethinking. Love is not about what makes you feel good or happy. Love is dying to.. read more

The problem with rules

Posted on October 26th, 2015 · Posted in Ruling Desires

Rules are an essential part of life. They tell us: how fast to drive, what time to put your children to bed, how many calories to eat, how much money to pay in taxes, what is acceptable behavior at school, what time to arrive at work, how to participate in sporting events, what not to do at the swimming pool, many more things to numerous to count. There is just one problem with rules. They lack the power to draw you and your children closer to Christ and to stop.. read more

Love: What’s in it for God?

Posted on October 23rd, 2015 · Posted in Ruling Desires, Sanctification

The unspoken question most asked about love is, “What’s in it for me?” We are born with this compelling motive regarding love. We are born self-centered and self-consumed. So, if we love something or someone there must be a benefit to be gained. Young children love what makes them happy. Unfortunately, this is a pattern that we never outgrow apart from the saving work of Christ. We were made to love, just as we were made to worship. But, because of sin, we love ourselves and we worship what is.. read more

Obedience is your reward

Posted on September 30th, 2015 · Posted in Ruling Desires, Sanctification, Wisdom

Obedience is not something I use to gain a reward – obedience itself is my reward. Just as I cannot make myself more acceptable to God by my obedience, neither do I want my children to think that I will be more accepting of them because of their obedience. When children disobey, the solution should not be to do better next time. The solution is to to trust Christ for the strength to do what cannot be done in one’s own strength. Training your children to be obedient is not.. read more

Emotions and your children

Posted on September 23rd, 2015 · Posted in Ruling Desires, Shaping Influences, Wisdom

In the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit has provided you with a guide book for understanding emotions. Biblically, emotions can be thought of as the first responders of the heart. If the heart is good and well-guarded emotions can work for us, not against us. If the heart is not guarded then emotions can bring much damage. This is why Solomon is adamant that the heart be guarded above all else (Proverbs 4:23). The book of Job tells us right away the value of emotions. We.. read more

Understanding Anger

Posted on July 17th, 2015 · Posted in Ruling Desires

Anger is a difficult sin. Like an ice-breaker pushing huge chunks of ice in all directions, anger leaves a trail of broken pieces in its wake. Broken chunks of ice are good thing. Broken pieces of life – not so much. Anger is often a response to injustice. With God this is good. His motives and reasons for anger are always pure and right. Your child’s anger is also often a response to injustice. But his motives and reasons are seldom pure and right. A young child thinks he has.. read more

Love – it’s not about you!

Posted on November 15th, 2014 · Posted in Ruling Desires

Your flesh tempts you to think love is something that is designed to make you happy, to make you feel good. Yes, it is wonderful when others love us. But you must not live live for those moments. Biblically, love is dying to what you want and living for what brings honor to God. In love, Jesus did not keep his life, but gave it up for you. Paul tells us three things that are not love. Love does not envy. Love does not boast. Love is not proud. I.. read more

Marijuana and the NY Times: Smoking away our brains

Posted on October 31st, 2014 · Posted in Ruling Desires, Sanctification, Uncategorized

By Dr. Charles Hodges, author of Good Mood Bad Mood I have written often about the perils of the recreational use of marijuana and I cannot resist writing again. The cause for my writing is that the New York Times that has stumbled into the reality that smoking pot does little if any good for those who smoke it. And it has the potential for great harm.[i] In an October 29th article by Abigail Moore titled, “This Is Your Brain on Drugs,” the problems with pot are outlined. The first.. read more

Getting to the Heart of Behavior

Posted on July 31st, 2014 · Posted in Ruling Desires

Getting to the Heart of Behavior Tedd Tripp Ask good questions to help your children understand their attitudes of heart. Think, for example, of the young man who has humiliated his younger brother in the presence of his older friends. You must correct his rude and hurtful behavior, but the wise parent will also help him understand what motivated him. You might have a conversation like this: “Do you think your brother was embarrassed by the ways you spoke to him?” “Yeah, I guess.” “Why do you think he felt.. read more

Three ways wisdom fueled by emotion will protect your children

Posted on July 28th, 2014 · Posted in Ruling Desires, Wisdom

The woman grabbed Joseph’s clothing with such force it was clear that only one thing was on her mind. Joseph’s response was also swift and emotional. He tore himself away, leaving her holding on to his cloak. Such a powerful emotional response is not simply an academic decision. Joseph’s response was like Job’s. Job feared God and shunned evil. Wisdom driven by emotion protected Joseph. So, here are three dynamic factors that led to wisdom protecting Joseph: 1.A strong, emotional love of wisdom—so much so that Joseph was driven emotionally.. read more

Anger, a deceptive ally

Posted on July 24th, 2014 · Posted in Ruling Desires

Anger, sometimes it just feels right. When your husband is insensitive, when the kids are selfish and squabble constantly, when your wife is disrespectful, anger stands ready to come to your defense. When others are not helpful anger is there to encourage you. When your pride is wounded, anger offers its healing power.      When anger is embraced, God is cast aside.    But what about righteous anger? That’s always the trap. Paul says in Ephesians 4:26 that in your anger you should not sin. So, since it is.. read more

Protect your family, guard your heart!

Posted on July 19th, 2014 · Posted in Ruling Desires

Proverbs 4:23 warns you to guard your heart:   Above all else, guard your heart,     for everything you do flows from it.   In other words the ideas, the images, the influences you allow to flow into your heart become the substance of what flows out of your heart.    Do you guard what flows into your heart? Are there things that are more exciting to you than the person of Christ? Are you enticed by anger? Do you long for what you do not have? Are you plagued by.. read more

Do you have an angry child?

Posted on July 1st, 2014 · Posted in Communication, Ruling Desires

Anger is a difficult sin. Like an ice-breaker pushing huge chunks of ice in all directions, anger leaves a trail of broken pieces in its wake. Broken chunks of ice are good thing. Broken pieces of life – not so much.  Anger is often a response to injustice. With God this is good. His motives and reasons for anger are always pure and right. Your child’s anger is also often a response to injustice. But his motives and reasons are seldom pure and right.  A young child thinks he has.. read more