Friend of the Family News Letter
We have been talking about grading your family life. Last time we focused on finances. Are you in financial bondage? If so, get out of debt. You do that with two actions. One is to increase your income. The other is to cut your expenditures. Neither of those actions is easy, but one or both must occur. Financial stress takes a real toll on family life and relationships.
Let’s go another direction on grading your family. Would you get a passing grade on how you communicate with each other? Communication is all about understanding the people around us and hopefully, being understood by those same people. Such understanding includes a loving response, so we can be blessed and be a blessing. Many people feel like nobody understands them, and they are hurt, believing that no one cares. It may be true that no one cares, but most of the time other people are wrapped up in their own issues and do not have the time or energy to take on someone else’s burdens. What should we do? In Ephesians 4:29, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Some have mastered the art of communication by letting nothing proceed out of their mouth. The silent treatment does send a message and at times could be better than hurtful and attacking words, but it does not minister to the “hearers”. So what is corrupt communication? Certainly no believer should use foul or vulgar language. I am grateful I don’t hear it often, but we should have no time for professing Christians who want us to “excuse their French”. I am sure God has no time for such conversation. But corrupt communication is far more than vulgarity. How many times are we guilty of hurtful, digging, attacking, demeaning, cutting, irresponsible, mocking, disparaging, derisive, taunting, dishonest, hostile, or sarcastic remarks? Did I miss anything? Such words are destructive and must not characterize our conversation and must not be tolerated in our home. We start by taking responsibility for our own words. Matthew 12:36 quotes the Lord Jesus as saying, “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment.” “Idle” means worthless. There are many statements made in many homes that are of no worth. Too often we simply look for things to criticize and then speak words of condemnation. We will take this up again. What are things like at your home? Is there a God honoring atmosphere or is there too much tension and strife?
Trends &TroublesIn this column we have been addressing spiritual conflict. We need to give attention to it, because we are all involved in it. We do not have to look for it. It regularly knocks on our door to invade and conquer our inner man.As we have noted, there can be a lot of turmoil and trouble in life. Most of those difficulties are external, but ultimately victory or defeat will be determined by what those problems can inflict on the inside. God’s provision for protection and victory is likened to the physical armor worn by the Roman soldier of ancient times in Ephesians 6. Last time we focused our attention on truth. The soldier’s girdle (belt) of truth protected his abdomen and loins. Wounds in those areas would have kept him from standing firmly in battle. Knowing, living, exalting, and loving truth will enable us to stand firm in facing our conflicts.
In our last article we briefly introduced the next piece of armor – the Breastplate of Righteousness. For the Roman soldier, the Breastplate provided protection for his heart, lungs and other vital organs. Without the Breastplate, he would be seriously wounded or killed in conflict. That fact illustrates how important righteousness is in our spiritual conflict. While we as Christians can rejoice in our righteous standing before God because of our salvation in Christ, the righteousness we need in spiritual warfare is practical, day by day commitment to speaking and doing what is right. Have you ever made a firm determination in your heart that you will do right, no matter what the cost? I have always been deeply impressed with a young teenager in the Bible who made such determination. The teenager was Daniel, who faced very difficult circumstances, but put his life at risk with the decision to do what was right, regardless of the consequences. We find his story in Daniel 1. Pressure to do wrong or compromise can come in many ways and from many sources. If we yield to those pressures, we step out of God’s protective care. Pressure is one of the devil’s methods to take us down. People may turn against us. Opportunity for success or promotion may be lost. Our own battle with guilt or shame may cause us to stumble. When all is said and done, we must choose what is right. Determining what is right can be hard. We could wish the right choice would be easy to identify. Many times it is not. We need to pray, search the Scriptures, discreetly seek counsel, get all the related information we can gather. Determine what to do or what not to do. Determine what to say or perhaps say nothing. Don’t be reactionary. Take time to fully consider a matter. Proverbs 15:28 says, “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer…” What I love about doing and saying the right thing, is that it puts us firmly on the right side, and fully opens the door to God’s help and blessing.
New Book Coming Soon!
“God Is Looking for Men,
Is He Looking for You?”
For The Family
As we closed our last article in this column, we quoted Psalm 78:5-8. It is requoted here as a reminder of its challenge. For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers that they should make known to their children: that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: and might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.
The first thing I notice in these verses is the end goal regarding future generations. God wants our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and beyond, to know the greatness of God and to be instructed in His Word, so they will set their hope in God, not forget His works and keep his commandments. At the same time, it is intended that future generations might not be stubborn and rebellious against God. The second thing I notice is that parents, specifically fathers, are responsible for making these good things happen and not allowing the bad things to happen. That challenge should awaken and stir the heart of every parent. We should seek to know how to carry out this overwhelming task. One thing I learned along the way was to load my children with good influences and protect them from unfettered contact with the bad. What I also came to realize is that influence is actually more powerful than authority. God gives parents authority over their children. Children are clearly told to obey their parents. That sounds pretty simple. Unfortunately, most parents don’t handle their authority as effectively as God’s Word instructs them. That is a problem. For instance, Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:4 that fathers are to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. That is related to authority. However, he felt compelled to first warn fathers to not provoke their children to wrath. Fathers sometimes do that by abusing and misusing their God given authority. They can be harsh, critical, unjust and unfair. Children respond with hurt, anger and bitterness. When the parent child relationship is harmed, children are more likely to yield to non-parental influence. It may be friends, relatives, teachers, neighbors, or others, who will nudge our children in the wrong direction. Fathers still have authority but have lost their influence. Children have to hear from them, but they don’t want to hear from them. Psalm 1:1 says, Blessed is the man (person) that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the ways of sinners, not sitteth in the seat of the scornful. We must be the most powerful influences in our children’s lives. More next time.
God is looking for men…
Is He looking for you?
In I Chronicles we read of David becoming the king of Israel. Thousands of men from the various tribes of Israel joined with him as he took the throne. From the tribe of Zebulun alone came 50,000. From the tribe of Issachar came the fewest. That tribe only sent 200, however, it appears the 200 were leaders. In fact the testimony regarding this small group is found in I Chronicles 12:32. The verse says, And the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, and to know what Israel ought to do. A man from this tribe was unique among the nation. This man understood the times. How desperately such a man is needed today in every home and every church. Such a man of Issachar also knew what Israel ought to do. Such a man must be a student of God’s Word and must live in search of the wisdom of God. Are you willing to be that man?
From Under the Umbrella
By Patricia E. GriffithWhat a privilege it is to serve the Lord. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8. Being able to be a witness for the Lord, wherever we are, is becoming more and more urgent for us, as we approach our senior years and know the Lord’s return or our being called to Heaven, could happen at any time. Our world is becoming worse and worse, as the Devil’s plan of destruction to God’s beautiful creation is so prevalent. Eyes are so blinded to the truth of God’s Word. Such bold denial of God’s plan for mankind! We have a larger than ever job to do. God saved us and we are His spokesmen to a lost and dying world. How busy are we telling others of God’s provision for the forgiveness of sin and a promise of eternal life to those who accept His free gift of salvation? We need to pray that the Lord will give us a shining light and boldness to proclaim God’s truth, no matter what this wicked world has declared. The task is urgent; we MUST be about our Father’s business. Spring is upon us – it is time for a renewal to serve our Savior most of all.
Israel – Going to the Holy Land will change your life. Contact us for our trip itinerary. Final costs should be available in March 2019.
Travel dates will be: March 24 – April 3, 2020
BFM RESOURCES INCLUDE:
*All listed prices are suggested donations.
BOOKS AND BOOKLETS:
The Christian Response to Culture Collapse in the USA - $2.00.
Does it Matter? – A look at Bible manuscripts and versions - $8.00
Before the Throne of Grace – Leather - $19.99.
Victory Over Trial and Trouble – hard back book on getting real victory in life - $13.95.
Parenting: One Chance to do it Right - $12.95.
Serving As A Deacon – booklet - $2.50.
Growing Up God’s Way – John Stormer - $3.00
None dare Call It Education – John Stormer - $3.00
Holy Ground – 3 messages - $12.00
Til Death do Us Part – 6 messages - $18.00
Parenting – 6 messages - $18.00
The Basic Family Series – 6 messages - $18.00
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.
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will notify you when FOF is up on our website.