Preparing Yourself for Gods Promises

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“Chase rabbit holes and get curious…”

By this we mean raising them to be untainted and unmarred with secular humanistic worldviews, crippling emotional insecurities, false, non-eternal values, etc. Accordingly, the couple must submit to dedicating their lives to literally pouring themselves into their children: their knowledge of God, their eternal values, their strength of character, their self-discipline, their social skills—everything they have and are.

Obviously, if the parents do not have these qualities, then they must submit and bring themselves under the discipline of the Lord to obtain them. Doing this right is obviously a full time responsibility. This verse expresses the Biblical principle to support our assertion that making a home is the natural role for women. But the principle of women having a natural, God-given homemaking role is still biblical. Furthermore, for a female to refuse to have children is a form of rejecting her own identity. Everything about her— physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially, from the way she thinks to the way she moves—is a built-in, inseparable part of her ability to bear children.

To refuse to allow this natural ability to be utilized is thus a negation of her own identity, a rejection of a dimension of her being that makes her who she is. Having and raising children fulfills her natural calling. Child bearing and child raising also have the effect of expanding and enriching both parents. It develops and increases their ability to love. It provides a transcendent purpose in life as they concentrate on something beyond their own personal development and as they become responsible for someone completely dependent on them. And child raising grows and matures their characters with intangible qualities they can learn only by experiencing children.

A huge realm of the human experience can be tapped into only by having children. To refuse to allow children into their lives cuts off both husbands and wives from this invaluable dimension and whole-being growth process. This is not something they should voluntarily deny themselves from experiencing.

Of course, our modern society has very successfully re-educated young women to believe the lies that marriage is unnecessary, children are unnecessary, and the two—marriage and children—are not necessarily connected at all. And our society is suffering greatly for this failure to encourage women to concentrate on nurturing properly-formed families and building a next generation that is emotionally, spiritually, morally, and socially healthy. Instead, it could be saying that children are a reward we give to God. Although some may not like this metaphor, it is like a master in Bible times owning a pair of slaves, husband and wife.

When his servants had babies, the babies also belonged to the master, thus increasing his number of servants for free. Abraham, with his large household of hundreds of servants, was just such a master—and so is God. He is actually looking for us to produce godly offspring for Him. And He expects us to make sure they serve Him.

Preparing Yourself for God's Promises

The idea that our children should be believers is made clear in the passages above, and also in Psalms , Ephesians , Acts , 1 Timothy , 12, and Titus If we withhold from having children, we are withholding His reward. We should know that God feels even more cheated than we do: He created us, He owns us, He loves us, He sacrificed for us, and He gave us the privilege to reproduce, but the devil, who did not and could not create anything, reaps all the benefits. And if we have already lost some of them, we will do our utmost to reclaim them at any cost.

Thus, Christian couples who voluntarily choose not to have any children when they are able to have children actually violate the concepts contained throughout the Bible and even in nature. There is really no way for a couple to deliberately avoid having children—as many as the Lord wants them to have—and still claim to be living under the principles of holiness, lordship, and entire consecration to God. Few of the various reasons given for why they do not want children are, in the light of these and other passages, valid or legitimate. Indeed, most such reasons are secular humanistic in nature, i.

A Christian couple should choose not to have any children only in the extremely rare instance that God Himself reveals to them both that He has another calling and task for their lives that forbids children. They make it a one-sided deal where God gets short-changed. It should be obvious that there is some selfishness involved here somewhere. Of course, it could be that God might want just the two of them to serve Him in some other capacity. Another scenario, very common today, is that of grandparents stepping in to help raise—and rescue—their grandchildren.

Whatever the case, it is all in agreement with this very important purpose of the family: To raise a godly heritage—to fill the earth with God-fearing, morally-mature, emotionally-sound, Spirit-filled, righteousness-working, God-worshiping young people who, in turn, will do the same after they become parents. This is the reward due God. And, we might add, it is a reward He does not get nearly enough of.

And one other thing: Children are a whole lot of unexpected, life-fulfilling fun! Having children is one way to share your life, with them and with the world, distributing your life into several smaller containers who will love you forever. You will never regret it. Children may be your biggest liabilities, but they are also your biggest assets. And when properly trained and prepared, they can bring loads of happiness, love, and pleasure into the family, the church, and the world.

Just look at the major influence Susannah Wesley had and still has on the whole world through just two of her nineteen properly trained children—John and Charles Wesley. Christians can use this tool, just as they use evangelism, to help change society, all the while receiving lots of love in return. The fourth critical purpose for the family is to serve as the nurturer of people. God designed human beings to live and thrive on love.

God’s promises of eternal life and glory

Love is the power that energizes heaven and earth. Love is the greatest and most powerful motivator on earth. But it is not the most prevalent motivator. Because of sin and selfishness, fear—insecurity, pride, self-seeking, hatred, lack of self-esteem, and dozens of other forms of fear—is the most prevalent human motivator. But love should be. God made us dependent on and addicted to wholesome, positive, and loving relationships and interconnectedness.

Our emotional, mental, social, physical, and spiritual health depends largely on the health of our relationships.

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In all creation, humans appear to be the one creation that cannot thrive without loving relationships with others. Babies that do not receive love actually have a higher infant mortality rate. Psychologists have noticed that many of the toddlers adopted from sub-standard orphanages in Romania and other Balkan countries have been so neglected and unloved that it appears that many of them will never be able to sense or receive love again.

They have tuned the world out and no longer respond to other people. The fact is that we were made to live on love, and when it is missing or replaced with rejection, the results can be literally devastating. Therefore, one of the most important purposes of the family is to provide love and nurture to people throughout their lives.

But this nurturing is especially needed when people are in their development stages. We need this kind of environment because God did not originally design humans to be able to deal with rejection and abuse. We were designed to love and to be loved. Thus, we crave love and acceptance from other people, and when that fails, we are indelibly negatively affected. This is the very reason God sent Jesus Christ into the world: to bring us the love and acceptance that He made us crave but which we will never completely find from any source but Himself. This is the good news of the Gospel: He came to bring us love, and thereby bring us life.

Children victimized by families that are dysfunctional, abusive, neglective, collapsing, or just unknowledgeable usually spend the rest of their lives recovering. Depending on just how awful their family conditions may be, people adapt to and compensate for rejection and absence of love and nurture in various ways. They may substitute their need for love by seeking and piling on possessions, money, power, fame, etc. They may compensate by destroying themselves with negative behavior fueled by low self-esteem, e. Or they may lose themselves in non-productive romantic relationships, e. They may try anesthetizing themselves and drowning out their pain with drugs, alcohol, sex, pleasures, and other addictions.

Even at the best, people are affected in subtle ways that they may never even realize: fears, insecurities, mistrust, low self-esteem, pessimism, possessiveness, oversensitivity, and other emotional weaknesses. Therefore, families must concentrate more on building and nurturing people—both within and without the family. For some reason, many families seem to aim most of their thoughts and efforts on materialistic goals, and forget all about nurturing each other.

Many parents seem to focus most of their efforts on their own desires, careers, comfort, and personal fulfillment, failing to make the nurturing of their children and spouses their chief duty in life. Our entire society continues to reap the negative results of such selfish practices. We are almost no longer shocked by such appalling behaviors.

It should now be pretty obvious that the family is no small matter. It is eternally significant simply because families are the basis for the most important factor in human life—relationships. The world is only as good as the people who make up the world. But the people are only as good as the families from which they come. The health of our relationships determines the health of our lives—and the health of our society and world.

This does not negate the wonderful miracle that God can and does make new creatures out of whoever comes to Him, no matter how much our families may have scarred us in the past. It merely acknowledges the fact that most human beings are marked and scarred for life by their original families—and most never completely heal. If human beings were only animals, that is, only physical beings, then it would not matter what kinds of families they came from.

But they are more than animals, possessing very complex spiritual, moral, emotional, and social needs that must be fulfilled. If these needs are not provided, then people become distracted, unproductive, and even destructive to society. But these needs are all impacted by the family, thus making the family the most important human institution on earth.

This being the case, the family should have the highest priority in human life. Anything damaging to the family is ultimately damaging to basic human life. From a holiness perspective, nothing is more important than the perpetuation of the knowledge, experience, and service of God from generation to generation. No human endeavor is more important than the nurturing and training of human beings to glorify God.

Therefore, everything in life should be viewed from the perspective of the effect it has on the family. We should spend time, money, and effort training and preparing people in the skills, abilities, and attitudes that help the family. We should teach people how to have and maintain healthy human relationships—within and without the family. We should teach children from the beginning that their most important function in life will be to prepare themselves and their families to live productively for God in this world and the next. Most people get married; most people form families.

So people should be trained to accept, submit to, and commit to the idea that fulfillment of their family role is the greatest thing they can do with their lives. If a man rises to become the President of the United States but fails to make his children productive for God, then, from a holiness perspective, he has failed in the greatest area of his life. We cannot emphasize this enough. We should actually look forward to fulfilling our family roles. But the spirit of this age does not really value such roles. Instead, we emphasize and place great value on things —things such as jobs, houses, money, education, possessions, pleasures, comfort, freedom from negatives, personal fulfillment, etc.

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Most people live as if those things have the highest value in the world. People want nice, pleasurable relationships without having to work to maintain them. They want sex without the monumental consequences of having to raise children. They want more time—not for family, but to work for more money and things.

Of course, they say they want more time for family, but their actions speak louder than their words. They want to receive love from someone without making the commitment to truly give love to someone. They want a great family without emphasizing and practicing the values that families consist of: unconditional love for each other, unlimited self-sacrifice, life-long commitment and fidelity through all the changes of life, the giving of time and attention to family instead of oneself, the pursuit of moral and spiritual excellence, and the development of character.

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But none of these nice benefits occur accidentally. They are achieved only if somebody concentrates on them and dedicates their lives to make it happen. Therefore, our major focus should be on people and relationships, because the world really consists of people , not things.

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Things—money, physical possessions, power, etc. A house is significant only because it shelters a family. A job is significant only because it provides for a family or helps finance the kingdom of God. Money is not an end in itself, merely a means to an end. Things are important and valuable only as tools to be used to help and support people.

But our society values and worships material things, as if the things themselves have some kind of significance of their own. Accordingly, our society will continue to suffer as we continue to lose the values battle, where healthy human relationships, marriages, and families are devalued and sacrificed in our ever-increasing insistence for material prosperity and fulfillment of personal selfish agendas. Since we continue to talk about training people for relationships and marriage, let us give some statistics proving such training actually works.

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  8. Here are some interesting summarizations:. Seeing the eternal significance of what a family is supposed to do, it is obvious that the utmost cooperation between a man and his wife is required. It should also be obvious that no commitment-free, cohabiting relationship or voluntary single parenthood will ever be able to get the job fully done. The responsibilities are extremely daunting, and almost overwhelming.

    Too much is at stake; heaven and hell are involved. There is absolutely no way either a father or a mother can do it all alone. Each parent has too many individual responsibilities that only they can fulfill. Each parent has too many gender-specific influences that only he or she can exert upon the children. Furthermore, it will be nearly impossible to fulfill all of these tasks if they cannot concentrate on their individual roles alone. Therefore, a division of labor into two separate, distinct, equal, but non-interchangeable gender roles is essential.

    The father should then fulfill his traditional role of physically providing for the family while allowing his wife to concentrate on nurturing and maintaining the home. Of course, every father should realize that providing financially is not his only duty. He must provide spiritual and moral leadership. He must provide emotional support to his wife and children. He establishes the value and identity of everyone in the home.

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    Therefore, although he may work outside the home to provide financially, he must never let his outside work prevent him from doing his in-home duties and exercising his in-home influences. It is just as important for him as father to be greatly involved in the life of his family as it is for the mother to be. Any career or activity that takes him out of the picture should be seriously questioned, rearranged, or even eliminated if need be.

    In addition, a mother will generally not be able to perform all of her spiritual, emotional, physical, and social duties toward her children and husband if she is also trying to work outside of the home to provide financially.

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    The only way she can hold down a full-time outside job is if she neglects many of her inside-the-home responsibilities. Parents must realize that there is absolutely no way to ignore or get around this fact: S omething very important will have to be neglected. A mother simply cannot do it all. If she thinks she has figured out a way to successfully juggle homemaking and career-building at the same time without suffering any significant losses, it is only because she does not know how much she is really responsible for or how much she is neglecting.

    She obviously does not realize just how important character-building and full-time nurturing really are. It is essential for every family to produce well-adjusted, morally upright, spiritually-attuned young people who possess a biblical worldview. This cannot be done on a part-time basis, but requires both parents to concentrate on this one purpose. To pursue multiple purposes, there must be trade-offs. Parents must prayerfully decide if these trade-offs are really worth it, because, in the light of eternity, most of them are not.

    Distinction should be made between homemaking responsibilities and housekeeping duties. Homemaking is not just housekeeping. Housekeeping involves keeping the house clean. It is a known social fact that the best way to improve the overall life conditions of children is to educate and improve the training of their mothers as girls. In our early child-raising days, when our oldest son was starting first grade, our congregation started a private Christian school in the church.

    Philip was the principal, and Segatha was one of the teachers pre-kindergarten, first grade, and other classes from year to year. At that time we had five boys, ranging in age from 1 to 6 years old. We took the whole family— the whole home —down to the church and worked for the Lord together! The children were with both parents most of the day. Eventually, we had two girls, and, for the first few years, we raised them at the church also. So in essence, Segatha was not a keeper at home, but she was definitely the keeper of the home.

    See Proverbs It does not rule out the possibility of her finding part-time work that pays well and offers a perfect family-friendly schedule. The key is for her to maintain the ability to fulfill all of her responsibilities as mother, wife, and nurturer. The problem arises when her employment or other activities even ministry take her away from the home, make her too tired or distracted, or otherwise prevent her from fulfilling all of her God-ordained responsibilities toward her family. Although many Christian parents agree with the concept that mothers should stay home to care for and nurture their children, many doubt and challenge this notion.

    The kids will survive. But remember, just surviving is not the goal of families professing holiness. Then read through the lesson ideas provided for that particular attribute. Note that you don't need to cover all the content provided. Rather, each lesson presents a "smorgasbord" of ideas for you to pick and choose from. Just select the activities, stories and memory verses that will be most relevant, interesting and age-appropriate for your children.

    Many families find that a week is about the right length of time to spend on a single attribute, but some families extend the lesson over a longer period. Monitor your children's interest level, moving on before it begins to decline. Each character trait lesson has twelve different components which are explained further below. We recommend that you commit yourself and your children in prayer first, then compile your lesson plan. It's also a good idea to focus on the memory verse, Bible stories and kick-off craft early in your lesson.

    The remainder of the lesson components can be completed in any order. Every character trait lesson provides two blank planning cards. As you review the idea options for each lesson, use a planning card to note the ones you would like to try. This will be your framework for your lesson and serves as a reminder during the week. Use either the point form or calendar form of the planning card — whichever suits your needs best. At the start, and throughout each lesson, pray that God will work in your children through your lesson activities. The kids talk with God section will help kids learn to pray and to invite the Holy Spirit to help them change their attitudes and actions.

    As problems come up during the day, suggest talking to God about them. Changing old habits is hard work, and your child will need encouragement. This section will remind you to affirm your child when you see him or her choosing God-honouring actions. We suggest that you choose at least one verse of Scripture to memorize early in your lesson.

    Aim to review it at least once every day. Once you have selected your memory verse, try to complete the kick-off craft early in the course of your lesson, since the activity is a good way to introduce your chosen character attribute. The resulting artwork will provide a focal point and a reminder of your theme for the remainder of your lesson.

    As you read your preferred Bible story, try to bring the story to life for your children. Here are some ideas you can try:. Even young children need to be taught the truth about sin and its consequences, and the rewards God promises for those who repent and make better decisions in the future. The Scripturally-based ideas in this section will help you convey the message, "I love you and God loves you, but we cannot put up with your sin. The activities listed in the hands-on options section help you turn everyday situations and tasks into fun, creative lessons for your children.

    Every lesson presents at least eight hands-on options for you to choose from; some lessons have many more. If you are viewing lesson content on the website, you can filter the hands-on activities if you wish. Each character trait lesson includes a list of books, DVDs and CDs you may wish to use to reinforce the trait you are studying. Of course, there are many such resources available, but you can be confident that the titles in this short list convey messages that are consistent with Biblical truth. If you are viewing the lesson content online, you'll find the list of recommended resources on the lesson contents page.

    View past e-newsletters! You will need an assortment of verses cut from the chart provided below, a pot, a sunny day and a garden hose to make rainbows. If you are unable to get outside to make rainbows, rainbows can be made indoors with crystal figurines, crystal glass or even with cut glass pieces detached from a chandelier.

    Triangular prisms can be purchased at science supply stores. If you wish, foil-wrapped gold coins can be placed in the pot along with each Bible verse. Go outside prepared to get wet and have fun making rainbows with your children. The best time of day to make rainbows is when the sun is close to the horizon. Your kids will likely want to take a turn making rainbows too.

    See if they can think of a promise from God for each rainbow they make. After sharing your ideas, tell your children about the myth that there is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. You can also tell or read a story about the futile searching that happens if someone were to try and walk to the end of a rainbow.

    Then let them know you have a pretend pot of gold that contains something way more valuable than all the gold coins in the world in it. See if they can guess what it is. To reinforce the truth that God's Word and His promises are of much greater value than gold, read Psalm b In closing, read Psalm and thank God for being faithful in keeping all of His promises. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember My covenant between Me and you and all living creatures of every kind.

    Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

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    Preparing Yourself for Gods Promises Preparing Yourself for Gods Promises
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