|Posted on February 22, 2017 at 7:05 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted on February 22, 2017 at 3:50 PM||comments (0)|
What is God`s purpose of having children?
God invented marriage. Thus, He created family.
"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward."
- Psalm 127:3 -
As I borrow from the explanation of Pastor John MacArthur, "Children are blessing from the Lord. There are overtones of God`s promise to Abraham to make his offspring like dust of the earth and the stars of heaven. "
It is right to say, then, that we need to pay attention the counsel from the Bible to train the children appropriately.
God`s purpose of having children is to know and honor Him.
My parents trained us (9 children) not to be lazy in doing household chores. Not only that, but to be good at it. Furthermore, it was an obligatory, especially when my father was at home, that we should wake up before the sun will rise in the morning. If we committed mistakes on the rules they implemented, there would be punishments. There were times that my father told us to be contented in life, eventhough we`re poor, and by that, we should be thankful what we have. On the other hand, we have learned as well to share all what we have to our siblings, and even to some people who are in need. In additon, we should have respect especially to our elderly relatives. If not, we should surely expect the punishments.
Moreover, my father told us not to act like a high class children. Having said that, there was one time when my sister and I wanted to play badminton. We saved up money just to buy a badminton set. When he saw us carrying a badminton bag, he was so angry, and beat us because for him playing badminton was only for rich people. My father was stuck up in the old days where badminton in our hometown was not yet common. When it comes to school, they beat us if we`re absent from classes, and even if we couldn`t do our assignments. How much more if we drop out of school? I did drop out of school thrice, and my father threatend to kill me. I escaped and never came back home for many months until he found, grabbed, and beat me terribly.
Although we have believed God when we were younger, but we were not worshipping the real God. Instead, we learned to pray to the statues and images of the saints.
Honestly, it was a very tough for us, and especially for me to experience the hardships and pain growing up. I can still remember when I was five years old, I did experience beaten up for many hours until I could no longer bear the pain. Indeed, I grew up physically and verbally abused by my earthly father. I could not count how many times throughout in my entire life (before my father passed away), the pain from beating up with a belt (buckle), hitting my head on the wall, throwing away hard objects, slapping my face, and even threatening to kill me. I felt depressed, afraid, panic, worried, tired, and fatigued all the time those days. My life felt hopeless and miserable because of challenges at school and home. Home should supposed to be a place of comfort, peace, and serenity. It was not a happy household. So much discipline to the point of exceeding the limit, and there`s a big impact physically, emotionally, socially, and psychologically.
There are still a lot of things to write, but I think those are more than enough to tell people about my childhood rearing or parenting. I could assume that you (reader) have some stories to tell regarding about how your parent/parents raised you and your siblings. There might be similarities.
Why I shared this very sensitive story?
The kind of brain that I have could not forget situations that impacted my life big time especially bad things. But I am thankful and forever grateful to Jesus that He came into my life because by His grace, I have learned not to focus on negative side, but rather, the positive side. In other words, my perspective in life changed. My focus in life now is God`s promises about the future or eternity.
I shared this story not because there are still grudges or unforgiveness, hurts, and regrets. I need to connect the past for me to come up with a story, and give the right explanations about a good parenting. Nonetheless, I already forgave my father since a long time ago because he was, and still always be my father no matter what. To my mother --- I love her very much because her discipline was motivated by love.
I want all people to know that despite of horrible and terrible (humanly speaking) childhood parenting my parents induced to us, everything is all beneficial except for anger that it seemed normal for us growing up. According to Ephesians 6:4, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
To “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” means that parents should train their children the way God trains us. As a Father, God is slow to anger, and forgiving. His discipline is designed to bring us to repentance. His instruction is found in His Word, and He desires that parents fill their homes with His truth. God also disciplines His children and expects earthly parents to do the same. Psalm 94:12 says, “Blessed is the one you discipline, LORD, the one you teach from your law.”
After knowing Christ, I realized that my parents raised us tremendously with discipline. I am thankful especially to my father that he disciplined me big time. It might appear a very bad parenting because it was not the right instruction from the Lord, but all things work together for good. It was a bad moment in my life, but God turned it into good. "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28.
What is then the right discipline and instruction of the Lord?
"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
- Proverbs 22:6 -
Raising and training a child within the context of this proverb means that it begins with the Bible. "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Clearly Scripture teaches that training children to know and obey God is the basis for pleasing Him, and living victoriously in His grace. Knowing God and His truths begins with the child’s understanding of sin and his need for a Savior. Even very young children understand that they are not perfect and can grasp at an early age the need for forgiveness. Loving parents model a loving God who not only forgives, but provides the perfect sacrifice for sin in Jesus Christ. Training up children in the way they should go means, first and foremost, directing them to the Savior.
"You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."
- Deuteronomy 6:7 -
God desires that the generations to come would continue to uphold all His commands. When one generation fails to instill God’s laws in the next, a society quickly declines. Parents have not only a responsibility to their children, but an assignment from God to impart His values and truth into their lives.
"Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him."
- Proverbs 13:24 -
"Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die." - Proverbs 23:13. Discipline is used to correct and train people to go in the right way. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” - Hebrews 12:11. God's discipline is loving, as should it be between parent and child. Physical discipline should never be used to cause lasting physical harm or pain. Physical punishment should always be followed immediately by comforting the child with assurance that he/she is loved. These moments are the perfect time to teach a child that God disciplines us because He loves us and that, as parents, we do the same for our children.
God`s love is not pampering, but rather it is perfecting. Kids are always kids. They are still immature and could not decide yet rightly. We are the one who will mold them, and not them who will mold us. What I mean is that, we don`t need to tolerate and spoil them. We should prepare them to face the real world. The real world is harsh and full of challenges. We can strike them with a rod (stick), if needed. As what Proverbs 13:24 says, that they will not die if we will strike them with a rod or spanking them, and not only that, it only shows that we love them. One of the definitions of love is, it does not rejoice in wrongdoing (See 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Just like my mother, although she hit me with a wood many times when I was younger, I still love her very much because she has given me an unconditional love as well. She knew what is best for me. Through that, I have learned discipline. Discipline is very important because we can apply it in all aspects of life, not just on spiritual matter. For example, when it comes to food, discipline plays a very important role.
By the discipline of my earthly father, I am already aware about the discipline of my Heavenly Father. It always brings me to repentance whenever I commit a sin. If I do wrong, there will always be a consequence and punishment. It has already written in my heart that if there are laws, rules or regulations, I need to follow and obey it. I applied this to my spiritual life. Although, I am not perfect and need God`s grace everyday because I could not be able to obey all the laws of the Lord, but I have learned to remain in Jesus. He says in John 15:4 - "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." - John 15:5.
Everyone of us could not be able to fulfill all the commandments of our Heavenly Father, that is why Jesus came into this world, and fulfilled all the laws. He died for us and saved us from the penalty of all our sins. We are no longer under the law, but rather, under grace (Romans 6:14). I admit that I am not attending church as of now. However, I will be back by God`s grace. It was that time when I encountered a big challenge to the point I did not have peace, and worsened my sleep, but not now! I have gained peace when I ran to Jesus. "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28. What keeps me going is God`s grace. Abiding in Him despite of everything, is the best, and the only thing we can do. I am not a legalistic. Perfect church attendance and people could not save me from Hell, but Jesus can. I did not mean that we will no longer go to church. We are to worship God every day, not just on Sunday.
Jesus is the founder of the Church. He built the Church. A Church is not a building, but a group of believers. In church, we can also practice giving the radical love to our brethrens, pray and encourage one another, worship and praise God together, value spiritual relationships as we are all God`s family, and many more!
As of now, I prefer to study more diligently on God`s Word. To read and learn the Bible firsthand. I want to know more about Jesus personally and intimately. Pray to Him unceasingly. I want to learn His unconditional love. I want to equip myself with His Word as an armor, a shield, and a sword in this spiritual battle. The battle is real against the evil spirits in this world. Ephesians 6:12 - “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.“ I am weak not just emotionally and mentally, but also spiritually, "real talk". God is all I need. He is my strength indeed!
Eventhough, our parents did not teach us about Jesus. Everything what we (siblings) have learned from God, is purely by His grace alone. All credit goes to Him. I thank and praise the name of the LORD all the days of my life forever and ever. Amen.
"The goal of good parenting is to produce wise children who know and honor God with their lives."
(Some Source: www.gotquestions.org)
(Other Source: "The MacArthur Study Bible")
|Posted on February 19, 2017 at 4:05 AM||comments (0)|
Raising and training a child is a topic that seemingly, I don`t have an authority to encourage someone who has a child because I don`t have one. However, my parents had me as their child. Nevertheless, I could still relate how my parents raised me. I experienced as well for at least a short period of time taking care of a child because I was an au pair. Above all, as time passes by, and by God`s grace, I have gained insight into God`s Word regarding about this matter.
What motivates me to write this topic?
After I got married, I had no desire to become a mother because I wasn`t sure of my marriage. In additon, I had an ambition to finish my studies, not in Norway, but in Philippines. To make the story short, my marriage failed. After my husband and I reconciled last 2012, I gained desire to become a mom. Due to my sickness, and not getting any good night sleep, I lost interest again to having a child because I knew that it is hard to take care of a newborn baby.
Honestly, I admit it that after my marriage restored, I wanted to have a baby not because of desiring for it, but because I was pressured from some people, and as a result of that, I slowly developed envy in my heart to some women who have children. They were telling me to have a baby, since I am not getting younger. I said to them that I did my part, but it is God who knows everything. He knows what`s best for me. I remember a verse in the Bible that speaks similarly to this in Proverbs 14:12, and it says; "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." There are things might be best for us, but not for God who is sovereign. He sees far ahead of time, even to the end of the world. It does not really matter to my husband about having children. "The important is that we are happy in our marriage.", as he said.
Furthermore, even someone told me to have at least one child, just to find direction in my life. I replied, "It is God who gives direction in our lives." The Bible says in Proverbs 3:6 - "In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight." I thank and praise God for His grace that He came into my life because if not, for sure I am living depressed and hopeless. In my case, I should not put all my happiness and hope in my husband, family, things, and etc., because there is no real security in this world. Everything changes. Everything comes to an end.
If for example I have a child, and then, something happens to my child. Like for instance, diseases, and to the point of death. My child is gone, my happiness is gone too, because I put all my happiness and hope in a person. Another example is, if a child grows up rebellious or wild, and no discipline, or doesn`t honor his or her parents, then life is so devastating and frustrating! According to Ephesians 6:1-2; "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise)."
In heaven, we will not live in family units. There will be no more, "our children" or "our parents". Instead, everyone is our brothers and sisters. But this does not mean that we won`t know or remember each other, or will cease cherishing our earthly relationship (please read Luke 16:19-31). To those people who have relationship with Jesus, God adopted us to His family as His children. In terms of creation, we are all God`s children, but because of SIN, we are the children of the devil. (See John 8:44, 1 John 3:10, & 1 John 5:19). Not everyone is God`s children, in terms of spiritual. People who do not have relationship with Jesus, they are just existing in this world.
Let us put all our trust, hope, faith, peace and joy in the LORD. He is far beyond more important than our family (Matthew 10:37) --- "real talk". I did not mean or say that we don`t need to take care and give love to our families. It`s a command: "But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." - 1 Timothy 5:8. We love what God loves --- people! Whether having children or not, we should highly value and prioritize God. The Bible speaks clearly about this in Matthew 22:37; "And He said to him,`YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'"
I knew that envy, jealousy, and covetousness are sin! It is not good that my motivation to bear a child is just being pressured, and envied toward others. Having said that, I stopped thinking those thoughts and asked God`s forgiveness. I should rather focus on God`s will and purpose in my life.
As I was digging deeper into my thoughts on finding happiness in a child, I realized that my parents have 9 children! Plus one sister of mine died at the age of 2. All in all 10 children.They must be very happy in life because they got many offsprings! But the answer is --- NO. Instead our household was only chaos and disunity before we came to know Jesus. I assume, that even one child is already a big challenge and sacrifice.
Therefore, my motivation behind this topic is the impact or the effect of how my parents raised us, specifically me.
To be continued...
|Posted on February 15, 2017 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
I`ll continue the part two of this series which I entitled: "The Key To Finding Joy In Marriage". Let me recall on that God invented marriage. Apparently, I will not be going to talk about the same sex marriage, since God created Adam (man) and Eve (woman), and not Adam and Steve, neither Madam and Eve.
In part one, I talked about God because true and unconditional love comes from Him.
There are married couples eventhough they do not have relationship with the Lord Jesus could still manage their relationship to function. In that case, I could not be able to answer the whys and the hows. Only God knows. One thing for sure, they do not have the real peace and joy. I could assume in this situation that God`s grace is for the believers and unbelievers. It is called --- common grace. According to Matthew 5:45; "so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." There are rich people eventhough they are ungodly. On the other hand, there are poor people, but spiritually abundant. Being poor is not a sin. God determines everything, why there are rich and poor nations. If the causes of poverty is idleness or laziness, then that`s the consequence. Being idle or lazy is a sin.
Let`s go back to the main topic.
There are unhappy marriages. God knows the pain of an unhappy marriage, and it should not be the biblical ground for divorce. Moreover, He understands our fleshly desires, but as what I wrote previously on part one that God has given His Word on this matter (marriage), and He does ask for obedience.
I am writing about marriage and how to find joy in it. Honestly, it is a challenge to walk the talk. As the saying goes; "You practice what you preach." Although I`m writing blogs to encourage people, what I have written is a reminder to myself as well. My marriage is not perfect. What keeps me going is God`s grace. By Him and through Him, my marriage is still alive and growing in love.
I thank God that my husband is loving, responsible, and so on. Just think of the good qualities, my husband does have that, wordly speaking. Because spiritually speaking, as what the Bible says, "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks God." - Romans 3:10-11. Eventhough how good we are, "for all have sinned and fall short the glory of God" - Romans 3:23.
The problem of my marriage is my heart. I am the kind of person who gets bored, and give up so quickly. I wanted new things all the time. Can you imagine this during my grade school, I transferred school twice, and in my secondary or high school years, I transferred different schools every year. That is why we need to have discipline in the area of our weaknesses because whatever we have shown or done to a specific person, situation or events, we could probably apply it in all aspects of our lives. As I like to transfer different schools every year, and so, I applied this to my marriage (I think you know what I mean). In other words, who we are is who we were.
Who could rescue us from this situation?
The answer is Jesus Christ.
He is the only One who could rescue us from all bondages of sin and slavery, including bondage from an unhappy marriage. Even if an unhappy marriage results from a believer being married to an unbeliever, there is always the possibility the believing spouse can lead the unbelieving spouse to the Lord by his or her pure conduct and kind behavior. “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” - 1 Peter 3:1.
To answer this question: "What does love and marriage really mean to me?"
"Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."
- 1 John 4:8 -
"Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him. Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed."
- Genesis 2:18-25 -
My conclusion is, as I quote this beautiful insight from Pastor Steve J. Cole; "God designed marriage to meet our need for our companionship and to provide an illustration of our relationship with Him."
|Posted on February 10, 2017 at 4:20 AM||comments (0)|
February is a month of love, as they say.
It is very timely that I saw a picture (above) of me and my husband on his another phone (since I did not take pictures of us two while we were in vacation), and next week, it`ll be Heart`s Day, I thought it would be nice to write something about marriage and love. Nonetheless, love should be celebrated every day, all throughout the year, and not one time only. Saying "I love you" is so cliche. That phrase is overused and abused.
What does marriage and love really mean to me?
My marriage is not perfect. Indeed, no marriage is perfect.
Being separated from my husband for two years, it only indicates that I had a rocky marriage. Every married couple has different kinds of problems or challenges. Mine is different, and yours is different too. As everyone is unique, and so every marriage is unique.
The truth of the matter is, there are indeed consequences if married to an unbeliever. Meaning, someone who claims to be a Christian, and then married to a non-Christian, or an atheists needs to accept the consequences of being disobedient to God and His Word. According to 2 Corinthians 6:14, "Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?"
If someone claims to be a true Christian, and then married to a non-Christian or an unbeliever, whether that person is not yet really saved, or maybe, as I already assumed in my above statements that he or she is just being disobedient to God. A person who already repented, and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of his or her life is still sinning against God after that, and then, still remain a Christian. An example of sinning against God; being upset to someone, criticizing others, and etc., but to get married is one of the biggest decisions in life that you would not allow yourself to tie a knot to a man or woman who doesn`t have a relationship with Jesus. So, whatever your reason is, only God knows everything. The Bible says in Romans 8:1, "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
When talking about my decision before I got married, I`m in a category who claimed to be a Christian, but in reality I was not yet saved, sad to say. If I am really saved at that time, and then have a close relationship with Jesus, knows and obeys His Word (since a Christian must obey God), and marriage is a very big decison, I wouldn`t marry Vegar (my husband) since he is not yet a believer of Christ. Furthermore, the conviction of the Holy Spirit would probably be weightier or heavier than my own decision. Let us not forget that a true Christian has the indwelling Spirit of God. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the action by which God takes up permanent residence in the body of a believer in Jesus Christ. "Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" - 1 Corinthians 3:16.
Notwithstanding, I believe God has a plan! The Bible specifically addresses those who are married to unbelievers in 1 Corinthians 7:12–14: “If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband.”
What`s happened has happened. We could not go back to the past, but we could make it right, now. Let us humble ourselves before God and acknowledge that we need Him in our marriage, and generally in our lives. Pray, repent, ask forgiveness, invite Jesus to come into your life, and seek Him always. God gave His Word, so we must read and study the Bible, and meditate on it. What I am trying to say here is that, God invented marriage. If we disobey Him, and He is not above the marriage there will be no real love, peace and joy in marriage. Obedience to God always brings peace and joy, my friend!
_ ▓▓____ ▒▓▒▓▒___ ████
_______ ▒▓▒▓▒▓▒_ ██████
_____ ▒▓▒▓▒▓▒_██████ ███
_ ___▒▓▒▓▒▓▒__██████ _███
To be continued...