Friend of the Family News Letter

Family Issues


A little over 45 years ago my wife and I faced the challenge of educating our children. Our oldest was due to start kindergarten in the fall of 1972. Even then we knew we could not put him and our younger children in the public school system.  Prayer and Bible reading had been removed from the schools. The anti-establishment movement of the 60s had taken its toll on our society. Humanism was finding more and more acceptance, and the push for sex education in schools was on the increase. We considered sending them to various well established Christian schools, but some were too far away and others had low standards in appearance, discipline, academics, music and other areas. Our standards may be different than yours, but I would like to emphasize that 45 years ago the public school system was on a pathway to undermine Christian values in the classroom. It would have been ridiculous to have them in Sunday School for one hour a week for spiritual teaching, but send them for 30 hours a week to be taught the very opposite of everything we believed. We knew there were some very fine Christians who were teaching in public schools, but their opportunities to be a testimony for Christ and to have impact on the students were limited. We also knew that a Gospel witness was needed in public schools, but we did not think we should put our elementary school aged children on the front line of a growing spiritual war over our culture. We still rejoice in the presence of Christian teachers in the public system and we know some see themselves as missionaries for Christ. We need more who will see teaching as a ministry, not just a job.  I might add that the homeschooling movement began in the 70s, but neither then or now is homeschooling wise or feasible for all. I’ll write more about what we did and why, next time. For now I want to emphasize why, from a biblical perspective, Christians must remove their children from the purely secular, anti-Christian educational setting.

One of the most powerful forces in someone’s life is the influence of others. Many warnings and teachings in the Bible relate to influence. Let me begin with a very familiar text. Psalm 1:1 says, Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. The deepening influence is destructive. The influence of a godless educational system has robbed many young people of their faith and convictions.  More next time.

  

Trends &Troubles


It seems we are losing the battle for the next generation. Psalm 78:1-8 gives a tremendous challenge to parents regarding the generation to come. The Psalm was written by Asaph and was directed to Israel, but it has great application for us. I ask you to get your Bible and take a few minutes to read these 8 verses.

Asaph begins by telling the people to listen to his words which he also calls his law. He then says he is going to teach them with a parable, and utter dark sayings of old. The dark sayings are ancient truths that were heard and known. Relating to those truths he says, our fathers have told us. He goes on to say, We will not hide them from their children. Let me comment on the word children which shows up four times in the text. It refers to descendants. It could mean sons, grandsons, etc. Strong’s concordance suggests the idea, a builder of the family name. As we find it in the text of Psalm 78, we find Asaph concerned about future generations. Look at those challenges moving through the verses. Our fathers have told us- we will not hide them from their children – showing to the generations to come – he commanded our fathers – that they should make them known to their children – that the generation to come might know them, even the children – who should arise and declare them to their children.  What was the message and what was the goal of this teaching that was to be carried on from generation to generation? The text of verse 4 says, it was first to show the praises of the LORD and his strength and his wonderful works that he hath done. Then the text of verses 7 – 8 says, that the generations to come might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments, and that they might not be a stubborn and rebellious generation that set not their heart aright and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.  That exhortation was not only for Israel. It is for us, and we must ask – WHAT HAPPENED? Have we lived bearing testimony to the strength and wonderful works of God in our lives? Have we told our children and grandchildren how wonderful it is to be a Christian? Have we seen them set their hope in God, and not forgetting the works of God, but keeping His commandments? Have they forsaken stubbornness and rebellion? Have they set their heart aright and is their spirit stedfast with God? Verse 8 would seem to suggest that parents yielded to rebellion and stubbornness in their own lives. Hearts were not right, nor spirits stedfast. We are reaping what we have sown. Shallow Christianity in our generation is the fruit of the seeds of apathy and complacency sown by a generation that would not fight for truth, purity and godly living. Indeed we ask – WHAT HAPPENED – in your life, your home, and in your children?


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Prescription

For The Family   


Not long ago I was asked if I thought God had a will and a plan for our lives. Personally, I do not think there is any doubt about it. As soon as I say that, I can remember debates with some who said, if God has a will for me and I don’t follow it, have I totally lost any chance of His blessing? One of the classic arguments is about marriage. A challenge offered the idea that if a person was supposed to marry someone, but married the wrong person, and the person they were supposed to marry then moved on to someone else, would not that mess up the whole plan? Well, we can try to rationalize all kinds of things, but our only hope for direction is to search the Word of God. A passage of Scripture that has always been meaningful to me is Acts 9. Saul was confronted by the risen Christ and came to know him. In verse 6 Saul (later became Paul) said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?  The term translated wilt means desire. What a wonderful question. The response was, Arise, go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.  I suppose it would have been amazing if the Lord said, I don’t really care what you do, as long as you have a good Christian testimony. Of course, God did care what he did, because God had a plan for him. Paul was a great missionary preacher and the time came as recorded in Acts 16 that he decided to go into Asia, but verse 6 says the Holy Spirit would not let him go there. Then he tried to go into Bithynia, but the Holy Spirit would not let him go there. Then he saw a vision of a man calling him to go to Macedonia. Luke tells us Paul and his team gathered that the Lord had called them to go to preach in Macedonia. So, did God have a will for Paul? Some will claim that Paul was a special case, but look what James said in the fourth chapter of his letter. He was writing to average Christians, but he gave them a warning. Verse 13 says, Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year and buy and sell and get gain. Verse 15 continues, For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that.  Why do we bring this up in Prescription for the Family? Every child should be taught to give his/her life in surrender to God’s will. Romans 12:1-2 is well known. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.


Teach them – we are not our own. We are God’s!  


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God is looking for men…           

Is He looking for you?


Proverbs 20:6 says, Most men will proclaim everyone his own goodness; but a faithful man who can find? A faithful man is genuine and true. He is worthy of other’s trust. He will do what is right. He will fulfill his promises and commitments. He will be faithful to his wife and family. He will earn and maintain the trust of his children. He will be faithful to the Lord. He will be devoted in worship and faithful in service. No one will have to wonder where he stands or what he believes. He is not ashamed to live for Christ. He must be an unusual person, because the writer of our text asked, who could find such a man?  Are you willing to be that man?



From Under the Umbrella

By Patricia E. Griffith  


I’m so thankful to belong to this man of God! I am so very humbled to have walked with him for the last 52 years, as we have served our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. I just had to submit this poem he wrote, “From Under the Umbrella”


If I could reach one soul for Christ,

It would not seem a lot.

If I could reach one city

Twould seem like one small spot.


But if that were the plan of God –

His call upon my life,

I’d gladly go to preach or teach,

Twould be no inner strife.


I’d travel far or stay at home.

The choice would not be mine.

With broken will and broken heart

I’d let His bright light shine.


It isn’t where we go that counts

It isn’t what we do

It matters most that when He calls

We must go – will you?


Lord, I give my life to you

I come with open heart

I want to serve in your great work

I want to do my part.


So, as I stand a willing soul,

I sink to bended knee

For only in submission

Will I in fact be free.


E. Allen Griffith




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Biblical Family Ministries Inc. is a 501(c) 3 non-profit Christian ministry established in 1993 to present the Bible’s teaching on marriage, family, child training and other Biblical topics. Dr. E. Allen Griffith and his wife Patricia, work together in this ministry located in Myerstown, PA. They are assisted by Kimberly Schmelzer.


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