Family

This is the second blog on CWV focus topics. This one is particularly hard to write. There is so much info in the market on families, marriage, spousal relationship I am not sure what would be new. In my thinking, the following blog represents the main mindset we should have as we approach this topic. It all comes down to continually applying the Word into the relationship and periodically adjusting as your family life unfolds. It is the accumulation of God’s truth into your thinking and life via obeying the Word.

If you have any comments or challenges, please let me know.


The family-subject is much too large for a single writing. There are seminars and books and counselors all around. There are people making good money giving out proverbs for the Mom and Dads on these subjects. It is a rich target. Therefore, I will only do a synoptic view from my perspective of the topic. Always remember to be a discerning student.

During my life, I had to continuously rethink what a good family looks like during the 54 years of marriage, 3 children, 3 in-law children and now 8 grandchildren.

Over this time my thinking revealed:

  1. There are no good marriages recorded in the Bible that meet our cultural standard of good.
  2. I can only think of a smattering of good children, as defined today, in the Bible, i.e. Abel but his brother killed him, Job’s kids, but God killed them? Josiah but he wasn’t raised by his parents?
    1. There is no algorithm for raising good children
    2. The children’s final disposition is up to God. Our job is to obey the scriptures and pray and trust His work.
    3. The definition of what a good child changes from generation to generation, and culture to culture.
  3. Love is not an emotion in the Bible. It usually means service or obedience.
    As one of my mentors pointed out to me “Love is a determined act of the will which seeks the other’s highest good.”
  4. The Bible is a not a cross-cultural handbook for marriage.
    1. The Bible has only a few negative commandments on marriage and children, i.e. no divorce, no adultery, let no man put marriage asunder, and do not provoke your children to anger.
    2. The Bible has numerous positive commandments on marriage and children, i.e. love your wife, honor your parents, wives be subject to your husband, do not let the sun go down on your anger….Note I can’t find any guidance on siblings.
    3. The Bible defines many great principals on marriage which take both parties to make them work.
  5. Instead of praying to God for Him to implement our plans for the child, i.e. that she become a cheerleader, score a touchdown, play their instruments better than all the rest, be an honor student, close an order, etc. we should pray that God executes His plan in our lives and their lives and that we get to play role in His Plan. Our prayer should be “Your Will be done, Your kingdom come”. Always close your prayer YWBD_YKC.
  6. Legacy is not a monument to what I accomplished. Ref: Blog 19, My Legacy with the Kids.
  7. As you can see, biblical application about the family is neither explicit on the subject, nor the same from generation to generation. Culture has a large impact on this. A Christian family life is an accumulation of many applications from the Word. Applications will change with age of your family. Both husband and wife must renovate these applications over the years for the marriage.
  8. Marriage is not mostly about sex. Both must work at the interpretation and exercise of sex.
  9. Marriage is not a romantic adventure.
  10. By in large you determine what your family is to look like. Remember; you get to determine what the application looks like but be careful because you get to explain your thinking on the application to God later.

We must all approach our marriage, children, and our parents in prayer, prayer and more prayer on discerning what is the best application for God’s instructions.

Here are three “for sure’s” that you can work on:

  1. Husbands love your wife. Discuss what you both think that would look like and begin to incorporate the action plan into your life. The applications will change year to year. The command never changes but the applications do. Remember as a couple you are looking for the best application(s), not who will win or lose.
    Axiom 1: Love is serving one another. You will be best served working together on what that looks like.
  2. Children: “And you shall carefully teach them to your sons, 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 up”. Don’t depend on the Church or your schools “to train up your child”, but you as a parent impart the truth and stories of the Bible to the kids. I remember talking to an executive one time who thought quantity of time with the kids was not as important as quality of time with the kids. This thought is wrong. There are lots of ways and means of assistance available today. The application will change as the kids change in age.
    Think on Eph 6:4 “And fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
    Axiom 2: focus on teaching your children how to think biblically.
    Axiom 3: Their battle is won and lost in the mind.
  3. Submission: One of the most controversial commands is that a woman is to be subject to her husband.  The word subject means: subordinate; to obey: – be under obedience. The answer to this tension is that God ordered it and we are to figure out how that works in our lives. For sure it can manifest in many different ways to many couples. The answer is for the couple to work out what is best for them. Remember, both sides must win. The rule is, she is to be subject and the husband is to lead. Leadership on the husband’s part will manifest itself in many ways and styles. The command is on both. The only question we can raise is what does it look like in our marriage. It changes from couple to couple. This is not a command for the husband to be autocratic and nor is it for the woman to be a wilting flower. If you don’t work as a team, there will be failure.
    Axiom 4: Husband and wife be subject one to another out of reverence to Christ.

Becoming and staying a Godly family is always a moving target. It requires prayer and more prayer. Your children will get married and move out and create a whole new set of paradigms and applications which will influence your life. You are on a journey with God. The only rule I can give to you is to commit yourself to seeking the best interest of all that are around you and be in prayer for your wisdom.

Remember what works for me and pleases God, may not be true for you.

God gives guidance and instruction on the family. It is to be obeyed. God does not promise pleasing results. Just be grateful however he blesses you with the family.


Application:

  1. As a couple make a list of all negative commandments that govern marriage and the children.
  2. As a couple make a list of all positive commandments that govern marriage and the children.
  3. List all examples in the bible concerning marriage and the children.
  4. Pray over how this may affect your personal lives.
  5. Seek an application for each command and document it with your mate.
  6. In an ongoing process grade your progress on the different commands.

Gaining a CWV is critical for your life. This list is just a cut at issues and items you must think out for your CWV. Most men I meet have a hybrid World View. Some culture and some my emotion and some the Bible.

Some areas you need to get a clear view from the scripture for your CWV are– This list is from an earlier Blog on CWV.

  1. My Purpose in Life
  2. Authority and accuracy of the Word
  3. Family
    • My marriage
    • Sexual relation to spouse
    • Money
    • Your children
    • Respecting their Mom/Dad
    • Honoring your Parents
  4. Learning and thinking
  5. Dating and then marrying non-believers-you and your children
  6. Moral discipline of brothers and members of the family
  7. Habits
  8. My dealing with sexual deviants or the overall moral decay of my society.
  9. How to serve my boss
  10. My view and my obedience to authority in my life, i.e.
    • the Word,
    • the President,
    • the Governor,
    • the Police,
    • the Church leadership,
    • the Father,
    • the Mother,
    • the Spouse,
    • the driving laws,
    • etc.
  11. Fearing God, parts 1 and 2
  12. My “generosity-giving”
  13. The church*
  14. Forgiveness*
  15. My contentment with my life and where God has me
  16. My motivation
  17. My Legacy with the Kids
  18. What is Success
  19. View of death and life after
  20. My good works
  21. My Contending-Contend*
  22. My Theology
  23. My Hope
  24. Why do I work
  25. Legal action with a brother
  26. Death*

This is a life time journey and some of your thinking and application may be altered with time. But be in the pursuit.


Postscript:

I was thinking more of the last blog and wanted to add one more thought for your consideration.

I noted there were no mention of good marriage, or family, or children in the Bible. So, what is the question? If the Bible doesn’t take time to address this “achievement” why do we put so much emphasis on it? These labels of success are extra-biblical. The bible gives no standards for a good marriage, etc. We want to sense achievement in our parenting, etc. and the truth is that God determines the final product not us. The only call is to obey the scriptures about your job. The product is up to God. I have known too many families that were wonderful parents and their child went “South” and the same for the marriage. There is no guaranteed cause and effect in these relationships. Conclusion: Go about obeying God and praying for His grace in your relationships.


*Note from web guy: I’m behind on getting the pre-website blogs up on the site. Will have these up soon.

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