Ruling Desires

109 posts

Breaking News: Toddlers are People!

Toddlers are people. They may be small. They may have a limited vocabulary. They are immature. But the bottom line is – they are people. This means they make decisions about what they think they need,. Just like you, it is their interpretation of their circumstances that determines how they respond to problems.  If your toddler sees that a sibling has his favorite toy,  his immediate interpretation may be that something is very wrong with the world. Let’s put this in perspective. Your toddler thinking he has lost his prized possession may be likened to the concern you have when you can’t find your debit card. Was it lost or stolen? Whatever the case may be, getting that card back […]

When your kids hurt you, trust God!

Parents, when your children sin and they are not respectful to you, how do you feel? Do you focus on how painful it is to be disrespected? The most natural, ordinary response is to consider the disrespect an offense against yourself.  You might well respond in anger and frustration. This is what ordinary parents do. You might get angry at them. You might just let your children know how painful this is for you. You might yell. You might walk around in silent pain. You might tell your kids they have gone too far this time. All these responses would be ordinary and totally understandable. But, if respond as an ordinary parent would,  you associate God with the ordinary actions […]

Anger: Giving in to the enemy

Just to be clear, I understand there are times for righteous anger. We could stand to experience more of this type of anger. But this post is not about righteous anger. It is about the anger that deceives, that makes you think your anger is justified, something to feel good about.  So when a child, a teenager, a spouse, or a coworker crosses an arbitrary line we feel totally justified in letting them “have it.” We cover our sin by saying, “I know I shouldn’t be angry, but sometimes you just have to say enough is enough.” This sort of language and rationalization will receive a hearty amen from the Satanic cheering section. We think we have been strong, when […]

How hard would it be if your child always obeyed?

Parent, how hard would it be for you to have a son who always did what you asked him to? Even as a teenager he would have a reputation as a fine, moral young man. He would be respectful to you, his parents. He would make wise use of his time. Everyone would compliment you on your obedient son. They would wish their children were just as obedient. How hard would it be? Are you starting to fantasize about how great this would be and how much easier your life would be?   There is a danger here. Do you see it?    Yes, a son or daughter who always obeyed would appear to be ideal. In Matthew 19 we […]

Anticipation – the fuel of lust

Lust is a sin that dominates and never satisfies. This sequence is not random. Dissatisfaction is an intended consequence of lust that was designed by the enemy of your souls. Remember that Amnon was consumed by his sinful desire for Tamar. Yet, after he had acted upon his desire and taken her, instead of being satisfied, he was filled with hatred. The Holman Christian Standard Bible translates verse 2 Samuel 13:15 this way: After this, Amnon hated Tamar with such intensity that the hatred he hated her with was greater than the love he had loved her with. “Get out of here!” he said. In desperation, Tamar pleads with Amnon not to send her away. But his hatred was so […]

Justice and your children

Children are born with a sharply defined sense of justice. The problem comes when justice is deployed as a weapon of self-defense. As in – “I hit her because she hit me first.”  “I took the toy because he had it all morning.”  Yes, justice. Our kids can be all about justice applied to others, but not so much for themselves. If left unchecked the quest for personal justice can ultimately lead to destruction. Feelings that one has been wronged can lead to heart-patterns of vengeance and self-pity. The personal quest for justice blinds your children from seeing their own sin, therefore, from seeing their need for Christ.  The truth is that all of us, including our children, are guilty […]

Help from Romans 8 – Controlling your fear

Here is a brief application from Romans 8 that teaches Christians do not have to be controlled by fear.   Christians need not fear condemnation. verse 1   Christians are not controlled by the flesh but by the Holy Spirit. verse 9   Christians are not slaves to fear, but to the Holy Spirit. verse 15   If you rely only on what is seen you will be controlled by fear. verse 24   If you rely on what is unseen, you have hope. verse 24   Even in your weak moments of worry and fear, the Spirit intercedes for you. verse 26   Your deepest fears have been searched out by God and are known to him. verse 27 […]

The Heart Matters by Tedd Tripp

Solomon describes the importance of the heart in Proverbs 4:23:   “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The heart is like an artesian spring. All our hopes, dreams, and desires gush from the heart. Every drive for meaning and significance originates in the heart. Our behavior flows from the heart—it isn’t caused by circumstances or other people. The heart, with its passions and desires, is the wellspring of life.   Recently, Radio Shack had a sale on little matchbox-size remote control cars. “What a fun thing for the grandchildren to play with at grandpa’s house,” I thought. The next week they were all at our house for a family meal. I got the […]

Avoiding disappointment Christmas morning

December is here and that means Christmas gifts. Gift giving is a double edged sword. When a gift is given that is a delightful surprise or a longed for treasure, all is well. The giver is happy, the recipient is thrilled, the tree seems  to be bigger and brighter. But when the gift that was desired does not appear, the tree is somehow not as pretty and spirits are dampened.  A cloud hangs over the festive atmosphere of Christmas Day. And, of course, the disappointment of the missing  gift is not limited to children, mom & dad can know this ache as well.   Not getting the gift that is wanted can happen for several reasons. The budget dictates trips […]

Don’t invest in counterfeit gifts on Black Friday

Something is counterfeit if it appears to be genuine but is not. The problem with counterfeit money is that you can use and spend it and often the recipient will not recognize it for what it is. Then one day you attempt to use what is counterfeit with someone who knows what is genuine. Not only do you not get what you wanted but the fake money you have is forfeit as well.   Gift giving can be counterfeit or it can be genuine. Giving gifts to others can be a very good thing. But to be good, the gift must first be genuine. Just as we can’t earn our acceptance with God, neither can we fully earn the acceptance […]