Friday, October 8, 2010

Godly Leadership in the Home

/God gives parents the responsibility of teaching their children to love

Becoming a parent brings with it many joys, happiness, and good memories. But
that time in a couple's life also brings new trials and challenges. Someone
once recommended the following tests for couples to determine if they are
ready for children.

-The Mess Test-Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Place fish
sticks behind the couch and leave them there all summer.
-The Toy Test-Obtain a 55 gallon barrel of Legos (If Legos are not
available, you may substitute roofing tacks). Spread them all over the
house, put on a blindfold, and try to walk to the bathroom. Do not cry; this
could wake the children.
-The Grocery Store Test-Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best).
Take them with you as you shop at the grocery store. Always keep them in
sight, and pay for anything they eat or damage.
-The Feeding Test-Obtain a large plastic milk jug, fill halfway with water,
and suspend from the ceiling with a stout chord. Start the jug swinging and
try to insert soggy cereal such as fruit loops into the mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. Now drop the contents of the jug on the
-The Final Test-Find a young couple that already has a child. Lecture them
on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet
training, and table training manners. Emphasize to them that they should
never allow their children to run wild.

While parenting certainly brings many challenges, one new responsibility
parents face is spiritually leading their children. God sets fathers as the
spiritual leaders in the home, and commands mothers to support the father's
leadership as he follows God. But what happens when parents neglect to
spiritually lead their children?

Eli was a spiritual man. He was God's priest in the temple and spent most his
life helping others worship God. Yet when it came to his family, he neglected
to provide spiritual leadership to his sons. He placed his work and ministry
over his family, and the result was rebellious sons who brought him shame.
Rebellious children aren't always a sign of a neglectful parent, but when
parents fail to spiritually lead their children, rebellion is a result.

Providing spiritual leadership for your children is a vital part of
parenting. You can teach them how to hit a ball, solve a math problem, or
socially interact with others; but if you haven't taught your children how to
follow God, you have failed them. God gives you, as parents, the
responsibility of teaching your children to love God.

How are you spiritually leading your children? Begin by giving them an
example of a godly life. Live your life how you would want your children to
live. Show them the blessings of a godly life by living one. Also, teach them
of God's principles. Share Scripture with them in family devotions, pray with
them, involve them in church, and lovingly guide them to follow God.

Perhaps your greatest role as a parent will be as spiritual leader. Fathers,
lead your home to obey God's Word. Mothers, support your husband's leadership
and teach your children God's Word from a young age. Work together to guide
your children into a loving relationship with God.

1 Samuel 2:22-25

/"Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and
how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of
the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of
your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report
that I hear: ye make the LORD's people to transgress. If one man sin against
another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who
shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of
their father, because the LORD would slay them."/

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Often, we harm a relationship with someone we care about - simply because we reacted poorly. Our responses can put us into a situation we do not desire, even when they are justified according to our own thinking.

A little poem can help us with our spirit concerning what we hear, and how we react to it.

Forget each kindness that you do as soon as you have done it.
Forget the praise that falls to you the moment you have won it.

Forget the slander that you hear before you can repeat it.
Forget each slight, each spite, each sneer, whenever you may meet.

Remember every promise made and keep it to the letter.
Remember those who lend you aid and be a grateful debtor.

Remember all the happiness that comes your way in living.
Forget each worry and distress; be hopeful and forgiving.

Remember good, remember truth, remember heaven is above you.
And you will find, through age and youth, that many will love you.

While we know that true joy only comes from Jesus, the above advice is
beneficial if we follow it.

Monday, April 5, 2010


/"Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."/
Galatians 5:7-9

/Even a little wrong influence can lead to devastating consequences./

A British newspaper was struggling financially. Readership was down, people were disinterested in the paper, and many newspapers in the business had already shut down. The editor-in-chief of the paper was a young, energetic man who had a passion for the newspaper. He often worked ninety hours a week, devoting his whole self to the advancement of the paper. When notified that his paper would soon be closed if revenues weren't increased, he brainstormed for a plan to stimulate interest in the paper. Not long later, he came up with a brilliant idea. The paper would hold a contest. The rules were this: the paper wanted readers to submit a story in which they came up with the definition of a "friend." The winner of the story would have their entry printed, their picture in the paper, and their definition submitted to a local publishing company to be included in a special edition of a dictionary. Although his idea was a long stretch, he counted on the fact that people would want to see their own picture in the paper, and would want their definition printed in the special edition dictionary.

His idea was a hit. The contest ran for three weeks, but in the first week alone hundreds of definitions were submitted. During the three weeks, readership increased by twenty percent, and newspapers were flying off the newsstands. Everyone wanted to see if his definition had been selected.

At the end of three weeks, the newspaper narrowed the search down to these definitions:
"One who multiplies joys, divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable.""One who understands our silence.""A volume of sympathy bound in cloth.""A watch that beats true for all time and never runs down."
And the winning definition was "A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out."

While the newspaper's goal was to increase revenue, everyone who read the paper learned a great truth-friendship greatly impacts people. Simply from reading the entries, one can deduce that the writers had some personal experiences that affected their entries.
Friends play vital roles in our lives. Have you ever had a friend who knew just what to say in tough times, or perhaps they were a kind listener on whom you could always count? Never take for granted the influence of a friend.

Just as a friend can be a great influence for good, so a friend can influence for bad. Notice Paul's question to the Galatians,
/"Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?"/ The Galatians had begun listening to false prophets and soon they were being affected by their doctrine. As Paul went on to say, /"A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."/

Your friends affect you either positively or negatively. In your Christian battle, your friends are either strengthening you to fight the devil or they are weakening your defense. Which one are your friends? Don't allow wayward friends to pull you down. God desires you to be friendly and kind to everyone, yet only allow godly Christians focused on doing right to be your close friends.
Do you have godly influences as friends? Re-evaluate whom you allow to be your close friends. If someone is not spiritually helping you, you need to break that friendship with him. Giving up that friendship may be painful, but allowing them to adversely influence you will lead to greater consequences.

If you have a godly friend who encourages you to do right, thank them! Let them know of your gratitude for how they help you, and determine to be a godly encourager to them as well. Make sure your friends are headed in the same spiritual direction as you.

-- Paul Chappel