Friend of the Family News Letter

Family Issues


Sin complicates things! We were in Illinois for meetings a few years ago. Activities started with a Saturday evening fellowship dinner. Across the table from us was a young couple with an infant child. After the dinner, the pastor opened up a time for testimonies. The young man across from us shared how he had recently been saved. It was a blessing. Later in the evening I told the pastor how special it was to hear the young man’s words. He said there was only one problem. The young man had a wife in a different state. It was a sad case to be sure. As we talked the pastor said, “Sin complicates things”. Those simple words were not a revelation, but they told a story of heartache, confusion and virtually unsolvable conflict – and the story is repeated a thousand times over. The moral values in our society have dropped so far, it is almost impossible to unwind the tangled web of sinful wickedness. What can we do?

It would be wonderful if we could address every young person long before they even thought of developing relationships with their peers. If we could only lay a biblical foundation on which they could build their lives. Unfortunately we meet sinful situations in the middle of their destruction. To then preach and teach what needs to be said will surely stir some to anger, because of guilt and shame. But we have no choice, because we must reach the next generation with God’s Word.

Let’s start with some basic truth. In I Corinthians 7: 1-2, Paul wrote, “…it is good for a man not to touch (be physically intimate with) a woman, nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

There is a powerful message in those words. It includes a message to parents, who need to guard their children from situations where emotions can lead to sin. Young people cannot be permitted to be alone with members of the opposite sex. Paul warned in Romans 13:14. “…make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Guidelines and restrictions on relationships follow spiritual training and the establishment of godly convictions, in the hearts of our precious kids. When young people go out, parents must know the when, where, who and how long of every activity. What about adult supervision? What is the curfew? Better yet, why can’t the activity be at our house? We have the opportunity to avoid larger heartaches, if we actually do the job of parenting. More next time.


Trends &Troubles


A number of years ago we were having meetings in a small church in Georgia. Along with preaching the special services I was asked to speak to the youth group. There were about 12 teens at the meeting. I was cautioned that among the 12 young people, 7 had been diagnosed with A.D.D. and were taking prescriptions of Ritalin. Ritalin is one of a number of brand names for Menthylphenidate, which is often prescribed as a mild stimulant to the central nervous system (brain and nerves). The LESS serious side effects include insomnia, nervousness, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, tics, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, weight loss and slowed growth. I confess these young people were not the most attentive I had ever spoken too, but their struggles may have been due to the treatment not the “disease”. As noted last time, A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder) may yield to A.D.H.D. (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). About one third of young people diagnosed with A.D.H.D. also have Anxiety or O.D.D. (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). The symptoms of O.D.D. include: being hostile toward parents or other authority figures, arguing about or breaking rules, loss of temper, annoying others on purpose, blaming others for mistakes or misbehavior, being overly sensitive, being angry, being resentful and being vengeful. Anxiety includes: being on edge or keyed up, excessive worry, constant sadness, reduced ability to concentrate and increased irritability or agitation. I read all these things and I say, STOP, STOP, STOP!!

Let’s consider a few matters. The first thing that needs to settle into our minds is the fact that all these designations refer to a child’s behavior. The titles given to a particular list of problems are somewhat artificial. There is no physical, neurological, or psychological test that can prove the existence of A.D.D. or any of the other problem areas. So, one must ask the question; If a child fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes, has difficulty sustaining attention in work or play, does not listen when spoken to directly, fails to finish chores, homework or work duties, has difficulty organizing activities, avoids tasks requiring sustained mental effort, loses things, is easily distracted and is forgetful – Does he or she have a mental disorder? Should we give the child some kind of drug?

In his book, All About Attention Deficit Disorder, Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D. acknowledges, “…there is a higher incidence of marital dissatisfaction, separation and divorce in families where there is an A.D.D. child” My question to Dr. Phelan would be – Does the A.D.D. child cause the marital problems, or do the marital problems produce the A.D.D. child? Think about it! More next time.



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Prescription

For The Family


In our last article in this column we acknowledged that one of the greatest obligations of faithful parenting is fulfilling the task of molding the character of our children. Let’s take an area of concern and discuss it. In Paul’s letter to Titus, he said in 2:12, we should live godly in this present world. How do we teach our children to be godly? First they need to know that godliness is reverence and devotion to God. Then we need to train them to have a proper reverence for God. One of the best places to do that is in church. What do we do? We need to help them know the church building is not the house of God. God is present everywhere, but there was a time when in a special way, God actually dwelled in the Tabernacle and then in the Temple. God does not dwell in buildings anymore, but He does dwell in every person who has trusted Christ as personal Savior. The church building is a special place where Christians meet to fellowship with each other and to worship God together. When we go to church we are friendly to everyone and have an enjoyable time together, but we remember why we are there. We want to worship, reverence and honor God. We dress in our best clothes, because we want to give God our best. We each carry our own Bible, because it is God’s Word and we are coming to learn what it says. The men and boys take off their hats when they enter the building to show respect for God. Everyone quiets their voices a little bit – there is no reason to yell. We walk to our classrooms or the auditorium; we do not need to run. When we sing, we do it to honor and praise God. When we give in the offering, we show our love for God, realizing that every good thing we have is a gift from Him. When someone prays, we quietly pray in our hearts with them. When someone preaches or teaches, we pay attention, so we can learn about the Lord and how to live for Him. We remember what a privilege it is to freely worship, which is why we attend church faithfully. We remind our children that while we can honor God in many ways, He is the one who started the church and tells us we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. We tell them that God Himself established the first day of the week for worship. It celebrates the resurrection of our Lord Jesus. As we focus on teaching our children to be godly, many other lessons are included. They learn respect, kindness, courtesy, faithfulness, generosity, responsibility, attentiveness and so much more. As they learn to give God His rightful place in their lives; they will see themselves in light of God’s Word and they will learn how to treat others.


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Pride is a terrible sin and we are all prone to it. John wrote about Diotrephes in 3 John verse 9. He said, Diotrephes, “loveth to have the preeminence”. The phrase is just one word in the original language. It means, he loved to be first. It was so bad that John and his ministry were rejected by this self-centered man. James says, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. A man should desire to be used in serving the Lord, but to truly be used requires a humble spirit. Paul told the believers in Colossians 1:18, that Christ should have the preeminence in all things. God uses the man who puts Christ first. Are you willing to be that man?



From Under the Umbrella

By Patricia E. Griffith


“Every wise woman buildeth her house; but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands” Proverbs 14:1. I’m just amazed at some people we’ve encountered in our life of ministry! Some wives are so career minded, they let the privilege of being a homemaker fall into the background. They present beautiful homes, lavishly furnished, that house miserable children and unhappy hubbies. Often, they have to work to have a fine home and lovely cars to drive. Whatever happened to the teaching and privilege of a woman’s highest calling – growing up to be a wife, a mother and homemaker. I could just cry when I see Christians insisting that their daughters must go to college, so they can have a job to fall back on, should they marry and have to work. Christians have totally absorbed the WORLD’S philosophy that the Woman’s Lib crowd have fostered. If you want your girls to grow up with the desire to meet a fine Christian young man, get married, and raise a family to love the Lord; you are looked upon with such disdain. It is hard to build your house, if you are not home. I’ve been so blessed to see my daughters and daughters-in-law be married, have children and be home, to raise them, teach them, and mold their lives to love the Lord. Building a house for the Lord is a full time job. What a wonderful privilege to have a home with a wife who makes it a haven for her husband and children; who creates a sweet atmosphere in a place of comfort. That is a happy home. I hope you are privileged to be that wife.


 


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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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