Friend of the Family News Letter
We are talking about grading your family life, and have been discussing communication. Let’s think about some practical aspects of communicating well. We use a variety of ways to communicate. We are always sending messages to other people. We can do it with our eyes. We can say “I love you” with our eyes. We can also say, “I am furious” with our eyes. We send messages with facial expressions and hand gestures. We can write a note. Caution is given here. Writing establishes a permanent record of what we say. You may or may not want that. On the more serious side is the challenge of clearly expressing yourself on a written page. Emotion can be misread in a letter. A lady once told me she had problems with her father-in-law for years. She decided she would write a long letter to try to resolve things. She said he misunderstood everything she wrote. So, be careful. The best way to communicate is probably the most difficult. It is eye to eye, face to face conversation. Paul gives us guidance in Ephesians 4:25. He writes, “Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.” The foundation of virtually every relationship is truth. If I want to understand the people around me and if I want them to understand me; there must be a commitment to truthfulness in every aspect of the relationship. We must tell the truth. In the court room the challenge is “truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” That is good for marriage, family and friends. Have you made the commitment to always tell the truth? Do you know people who do not always tell the truth? They might outright lie or tell part of the truth, slant a story or exaggerate, but when all is said and done, you can have little or no confidence in what they say. Hopefully “we” are not that person. Verse 29 of the same chapter says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.” Paul says, no corrupt communication should proceed out of our mouths. That certainly includes lying, slanting etc., but there is more. Certainly there is no place for vulgarity or foul language, but what about yelling, sarcasm, cutting remarks, digs, mockery; indeed anything said to intentionally hurt, demean or humiliate. Unfortunately, these kinds of things are common in too many Christian homes. The whole atmosphere of family life could be changed for many, if this kind of talk would be stopped. What is conversation like in your home? Are people being built up or torn down?
Spiritual conflict is not optional for the Christian. We learn how to battle spiritually or we end up defeated and destroyed. We have considered a number of the “pieces” of the armor of God and now will discuss the shield of faith. The shield was extremely important to the Roman soldier, as it would be to us in physical conflict. The Roman soldier had a small round shield available to him that he could wield to protect himself from blows coming from various angles. He also had a large shield, behind which he could hide. The large shield is the one described in Ephesians 6:16. It was about 2½ feet wide and about 4 feet high. You may have seen pictures or movies which showed large lines of soldiers spread out, with the shields forming a virtual wall of protection from incoming projectiles. The Greek term “belos”, translated “dart” in our text, could be rendered missile, arrow, javelin or dart. Let’s emphasize that the shield for us is faith. The fiery darts of attack come from Satan. Those attacks take many forms, but what protects us is faith. The shield of the Roman soldier gave him a place to hide from the darts. They came, but his shield quenched them. He could not move forward, but he found needed protection and security. Many times we come under attack and can do little to respond, but we can put our faith in God and His promises. In Hebrews 13:5, God says, as he said to Israel long ago, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”. I need that promise today, do you? Then I think of I Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” These texts and others like them form the basis of our faith. Hiding behind these truths protects us when the fiery darts come. Many of us find hope in Romans 8:28. Paul wrote, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” We are reminded in Romans 10:17, that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” As we claim God’s promises, the “shield” is strengthened. It does not stop the fiery darts from being hurled at us, but by God’s grace, it can quench them.
“God Is Looking for Men, Is He Looking for You?”
Available on BFM website
For The Family
Last time, we discussed parental influence on children. Children will grow up being influenced regarding their ways, actions, attitudes and faith. It is essential that godly parents be the greatest human influence on their own children. One of the dangers to influence is poor parental authority. If a parent misuses, abuses or ignores God given authority, a child is likely to look elsewhere for relationships and guidance that God intended for parents. So, let’s talk about authority. Whether we like it or not, there are times when the use of authority must be confrontational. Often a parent must say “NO”. There is a view of parenting today that calls for re-direction instead of confrontation. The small child is doing wrong. Rather than the instruction to stop doing wrong, the parent gets a cookie and offers it to the child, so the child will turn from the wrong doing and enjoy the yummy cookie. We ask, how often is the cookie given and how big will the cookie have to grow? It is easy for the moment. No confrontation, no tears, everybody is happy. One problem is that God tells us to “Train” our children. You can teach your puppy to sit, speak, and rollover by using a dog biscuit, but a child needs to learn, responsibility, diligence, courtesy, love, faith, knowledge, wisdom and so much more. No one said parenting would be easy, nor always pleasant, but it is job #1 for someone who brings a new little one into the world. A sharp “NO” with conviction in the eyes, will awaken little ones to realize certain actions are not acceptable. When obedience brings sweet and loving words of acceptance and encouragement, the training process is underway. Believe it or not, those loving words will be more valuable than the cookie. While it will not be grasped immediately by these precious little treasures, they need to learn that parents are in charge, because God said so. Parents must remember that children are an heritage from the Lord. That means they must remember who gave them their children and to whom they ultimately belong. Parenting is carrying out an assignment from God – so we better do it His way. More next time.
God is looking for men…
Is He looking for you?
Psalm 71:17-18 have always intrigued and challenged me, and all the more as I have gotten older. The verses say, “O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to everyone that is to come”. Though the Psalm has no superscription, it is believed by many to have been written by David. He, as all, had difficulties of every kind in his life. He experienced the heights of glory and the depths of wicked sin. His ups and downs however, were met by the steadfastness of God’s love and holiness. No one knew it better than David. He had often testified by his words and life, the greatness of the works of God. As he moved into his later years, he sensed the importance of telling the story of God’s strength and power to the youngest generation. Did he have his own grandchildren or great grandchildren in mind or just young people in general? We don’t know, but he made it clear he was asking God to “forsake him not” (not let him die) until he reached the youth of his time. We do not know if he thought he was near death, but there was an urgency to get this task done. What a challenge for every man in our day. ARE YOU WILLING TO BE THAT MAN?
From Under the Umbrella
By Patricia E. Griffith
We just got back from visiting a precious friend,
whose husband, a faithful preacher of the Word, has been promoted to his
Heavenly home. It is so sad for those left behind, however, our parting from
our loved ones, is for just a little while. When we have accepted the Lord
Jesus Christ as our Savior, we have the promise of being with Him for all
eternity, and with those who accepted Him as Savior and gone on to glory before
us. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that
believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
God has given us His Word to give us all the instruction we need. God made us,
God gave us His Word to teach us how to live and how to receive His gift of
eternal life. If we reject the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for
our sins, and continue to live our lives the way we want, there is a place
called hell. It will be the destination of all those who reject God’s great
salvation. We, who are saved, need to be busy, living for Christ and telling
others the truth of God’s Word. We want to gather with our friends and loved
ones in Heaven, when we part from this world.
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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
Israel, Still God’s Chosen people - $12.00
God Is Looking for Men, Is He Looking for You? - $13.00
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.
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