Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Faithful Home is a Trustworthy Home

Most couples today are not covenant keepers.  In Romans, Paul explains that in the last days, many people will be "without understanding, covenant-breakers...who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" {Romans 1:31, 32}. God has clearly stated, "What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder" {Mark 10:9}. 

Trustworthy people are those who keep their commitments. When they tell someone that they are going to pray for them, they pray for them. If they tell someone they are going to call them, they call them. If they tell someone that they are committed for life to them, they stay committed for life to them. Children who grow up in faithful homes, most likely will grow up to be people you can trust.

Faithful and trustworthy people are not too common today. It's hard to believe anything a politician says who is running for an election. It's hard to trust the news media and what they report. It's even hard to trust some doctors because of the gigantic drug lobby and it's influence. However, it shouldn't be hard to trust believers who call upon the name of the Lord. We should be the faithful in the land and this faithfulness must begin in the home.

If you tell your child that you are going to do something, follow through and do it. Don't make empty promises to them. Pay your taxes without cheating. If you are undercharged at a store, show them and pay the difference. Model faithfulness through your marriage to them, through friendships and even to the church you attend. If a friend shares something personal with you, don't share it with others.  Teach your children to be faithful to sport's teams they are on by being on time to practice and practicing hard or whatever they have committed to do.

Having a faithful and trustworthy home definitely begins with the leaders in the home, the parents. If the fish's head begins to stink, the whole body will eventually stink. It must begin with us. We must be faithful to our vows. We must be faithful to our commitments to others. We must be faithful in teaching our children the ways of the Lord. Our society is on the path to destruction. Don't allow your family to go anywhere near this path. Stay as far away as possible from the filth of this world. The world redefines the words of truth and faithfulness to say, "Be true to your self and faithful to what you think is best." Put your trust in the Lord and spend your time in His Word and live your lives faithfully according to His Word with His Spirit working mightily within you as He gives you the grace to live it out.

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, 
and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
Luke 16:10

More posts in my Home Series.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Woman's Divine Assignment

John MacArthur isn't afraid to speak truth, even if it offends. This is why I love listening to him. I don't want a watered-down Word of God. Here is another sermon concerning women being keepers at home he taught on God's Pattern for Wives.

Now we get down to the nitty gritty. They {women} are to be workers at home. We've dealt with the attitudes of a woman, love toward husband, love toward children, wisdom and purity. Now, we turn to the very important issue, the sphere of her responsibility; workers at home, oikourgos, literally a house worker. This is the sphere of a woman's life. It is her domain. It is her kingdom. It is her realm. The word is derived from the word "house" and the word "work," a house worker. It doesn't simply refer, by the way, to scrubbing floors and cleaning bathrooms and doing that. It simply connotes the idea that the home is the sphere of her labors, whatever they might be. It is not that a woman is to keep busy all the time at home. It doesn't mean that she can never go out the door. It doesn't mean that she's always to be doing menial tasks. But what it does mean is that the home is the sphere of her divine assignment.

She is the home keeper; taking care of her husband, providing for him and for the children all they need as they live in the home. Materially, she is to take the resources the husband brings home and translate them into a comfortable and blessed life for her children. She is to take the spiritual things that she knows and learns and to pass them on to her children. She is a keeper at home. God's standard is for the wife and mother to work inside the home and not outside. For a mother to get a job outside the home in order to send her children even to a Christian school is to misunderstand her husband's role as a provider, as well as her own duty to the family. The good training her children receive in the Christian school may be counteracted by her lack of full commitment to the biblical standards for motherhood. In addition to having less time to work at home and teach and care for her children, a wife working outside the home often has a boss to whom she is responsible for pleasing in the way she dresses and a lot of other matters, complicating the headship of her husband and compromising her own testimony. She is forced to submit to men other than her own husband, likely to become more independent, including financially in fragmenting the unity of the family. She is in danger of becoming enamored by the business world or whatever world she's in, and finding less and less satisfaction in her home responsibilities.

Many studies have shown that most children who grow up in homes where the mother works are less secure than in those where mother is always at home. I think that should be obvious. Her presence there, even when the child is in school, is an emotional anchor. Working mothers contribute so often to delinquency and a host of other problems that lead to the decline of the family. It's not that mothers who stay at home are automatically or categorically more spiritual. Many mothers who have never worked outside of the home do very little in the home to strengthen their families: gossiping, watching ungodly and immoral soap operas and a host of other things can be as destructive as a working mother. But a woman's only opportunity to fulfill God's plan for her role as wife and mother is in the home.

Now, when children are grown, there is an opportunity for some kind of endeavor outside the home. Certainly, that option is viable; if it doesn't compromise her as a woman, it doesn't compromise the headship of her husband, it doesn't put her under undue temptation, it doesn't put her in an environment where she is going to be subject to the actions and the words of ungodly men. It may be that when the children are grown she can work part-time; she can even work full-time in an environment which is salutatory to her and which increases her godliness and strengthens her as a wife.

When a woman obviously still has children at home, her primary obligation is to them. If she has no children or they are grown, she has a responsibility to help teach the young women and share the insights and wisdom she's gained from her own walk with the Lord. She should invest her time when she's older and her children are grown not in working in the world, hopefully sometimes that may have to happen, but investing in younger women.

The focal point: she provides for her husband expressions of love and care. She provides the same for her children. She leads and guides and teaches her children so that they can become godly children. She is in the home, secure, and protected, and kept from the influence of evil men and potentially wicked relationships. She lodges strangers. She humbly washes saints' feet. She shows hospitality. She devotes herself to every good work and that's her domain.

In New Testament times, as in Old Testament times, a woman in a home had to grind flour, bake everything from scratch, launder, cook, nurse and care for children, make beds, spin, weave, keep house, and care for guests. And in the same time and with the full energy and commitment, devote herself to express her love to her husband, to her children and to God Himself. A tremendous assignment. You say, "Why in the world does God want women to be so busy?" At the risk of sounding trite, it keeps them out of sin. Proverbs 7:11 gives a startling picture of a harlot. "She is boisterous and rebellious, and her feet do not remain at home." She doesn't find her home sufficiently fulfilling. She needs something else, and that leads her into sin.

To most of our society, this is all absolutely ridiculous stuff. And we get so engulfed in this kind of thinking because of the society around us that it may even seem a little strange to us, but this is the Word of God. Godly women are to be content at home, and to be content to love their children and love their husbands and serve their families in their homes and serve the Lord. One of the most wonderful things that the church has ever experienced is the ministry of women. All of the tests and the studies and surveys indicate that about 60 percent of all church life is cared for by women. Evangelical churches are populated by women. They say 37 percent of evangelical churches are men. The church has always benefited by godly women who work in the home, and when they have time, they minster on behalf of the church. And as women abandon the home for the world, they also abandon the church.

That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:4, 5
photo source

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Joshua Duggar ~ From Victimization to Victory

There can be little doubt that the saddest part of the Josh Duggar saga is the sisters who  were touched. We cannot go back and change what has happened and molestation of any kind is far from a victimless crime. It is awful what mankind has done to each other throughout history and continues to do in modern day, despite all efforts at tighter and tighter legislation to try and prevent and punish sexual crimes. People and children are victimized, but they do not have to become "victims." Instead, when life happens, ugly as it may be at times, the grace of the cross is there to cover it all. For there is NO sin that can be committed, or any harm done, that cannot be healed and forgiven by the great atonement of Christ on the cross.

We as Christians have a very wonderful and complete faith, where both victim and abuser partake of the same source from the fountain of living waters as Jesus promised, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” {John 7:38}. 

If there is a family that understands this it is the Duggars. They know in whom they believe, and they are indeed "persuaded that He is able to keep that which they have committed unto Him until that day" {2 Timothy 1:12}.  The Duggars would never play victims as the world plays it. Instead they dealt with the problems and issues created by their 14 year old just as most other godly families would; with a goal to save and to heal the whole family, not one person left behind and no one remaining a victim. 

The world will never understand that Jim Bob and Michelle were going to do exactly what the Good Shepherd Jesus does with us, seeking the one lost sheep and bringing him back into the fold, “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.'  Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance" {Luke 15:4-7}. 

Here is our biggest issue with all of the vitriol that is spread on the Internet masked by appeal for the "victims." We don't know if any victims remain, all we know is that some children were victimized by a brother they love dearly. To begin to throw stones at the Duggars on behalf of the "victims" not only means you know a lot more about the current state of affairs in the family than us and the camera crew can see in the reality show. No one is acting like a victim, but now the whole family has been victimized by In Touch, the sleazy gossip magazine that may have violated the law as they violated the Duggars right to privacy.

 Ironically, some who cry foul when it comes to Jim Bob's handling of the situation, are the same parents, often single parents, who are just fine with sons and daughters having sex at 14 and aborting babies at 15. Those gloriously private sex organs they want protected are allowed to be used and abused by many multiples of lovers, and just acquaintances, so long as it is consensual. They have no intention of protecting the sanctity of sex within marriage, but instead teach their kids to give it away as often as they "feel" it is right. Tell me which parents need help here! 

So what about the Duggar's little victims? Well the jury is still out, but if this was my family, I am quite confident that not one my children would be feeling like a victim after a time of talking about the situation. Why? Because we, as parents would, have taught them the truth, that sex is a good thing created by God, and some will abuse it, but when someone touches your privates you tell them to stop it, then go to Dad and Mom and tell them about it. This is what appears to have happened in the Duggar family and the family handled it.

Until I hear one of the victims coming forward and explaining the great harm that has come to their lives because of Josh, the Duggar parents deserve full reign to be parents to their 19 children without the pundits having a say, especially by those who claim to be believers. This story plays itself out in family after family, day in and day out, one issue or another, and parents need their God-given rights to raise their children as they deem is necessary with the least amount of interference by outside authorities. Until a parent proves to be incompetent or abusive, the community must allow the parents to raise their children as best they know how. 

The Duggars are an exceptional family and the proof of this is what we have witnessed as the cameras rolled into their lives and showed a well-adjusted, fabulous set of lovable kids for the past ten years. We have seen the victims at least looking as if they healed, and if they still need help, that is the parent's responsibility to find it for them, not society's role to force it upon them. I vote for keeping the Duggars on the air so that we can see how a fine Christian family handles great adversity twice. Once victimized by one of their own children and now victimized by money grubbing worldly people who had to get the garbage.

We have a great guide in the Bible as to how to raise our children in the Lord, and it has proven itself in all areas of life and godliness for our children and many other Christian families. The context of redemption for the Christian is a powerful place that much of the world can never grasp. The blood of Jesus covers every sin; past, present and future and was hung on a cross in 30 A.D. Now all we have to do as a believer, victim or abuser, is to reach out and accept the gifts of grace and healing that only God can give. No amount of psychological counseling is a match for one little drop of the blood of Christ in the life of a believer, nor the Word of God. To know who we are in Christ, to whom we belong, and where we are going, makes this journey on earth pure joy, no matter what circumstances, or sins, this world may throw at us. Nothing will keep us from the love of Christ. You go on Duggars and show us and the world how to live with and for Jesus.

 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
Romans 8:38-39

Friday, May 22, 2015

Joshua Duggar ~ Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb

{This post was written by Ken and Lori}

Revelations of Joshua Duggar fondling younger sisters are just coming out. It is a tragedy for such a wonderful family and for Josh. Something that happened some 12 years ago while Josh was a child should not be public record, and the only reason to drag it out now is to finally give the detractors a little piece of poop so they can taint the whole family and conservative Christianity with one broad brush of “I told you so! Those Duggars are not perfect. Finally, we can bury them."

It's a sad situation and certainly more facts will come out, but it sounds like the family did what was necessary to remedy the situation, including helping the family girls he touched inappropriately. They also sent Joshua away for awhile to do hard labor on a farm, then had him speak to a policeman who used his discretion not to file a report. Some three years later, a supposed family friend turned the secret into CPS who investigated, filed a 33 page report and dropped the matter. The report was obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request of the police department by the sleazy In Touch celebrity gossip magazine.   

I'm sure this situation was very painful for the whole family and they will be viciously attacked for it by those who have wanted them out of the limelight for many years. They show good grace, love, submission, and family values; the world hates everything about them. They poke at the Duggars, make fun of them, and are sure their values will kill society as they want it to be. Now they have some great ammunition. Is this really news if Josh Duggar is a changed man and has proven not to have any issues with his boyhood weaknesses? It shouldn't be as no 14 year old should have his bad behavior paraded in public 12 years later if he stopped it long ago. Is this not a reason why child privacy laws are written?

So who here may cast the first stone?  If you did not do some sins you sincerely regret when you were a teenager, then perhaps you can go ahead and throw. A 14 year old boy's curiosity, or desire to explore sex, got the best of him. This is not an adult man we are talking about here, but a boy whose brain is not fully developed with the adult faculties. There is a reason why a 14 year old will go to juvenile hall and not prison, nor are they tried as adults. We know our teens do not have the capacity to understand that some sins are more grievous than others, especially those sins perpetuated on other smaller innocent souls. 

The biggest stones will be thrown at Jim Bob for not reporting this immediately to the authorities. But I would not have if it was my 14 year old without first seeking other remedies. And the advice given to parents in such situations is to seek help, but not from the police, as this is not such an uncommon sin for a 14 year old as one might think. Here is what a Safesociety.org says:

"Many other parents who have been through similar experiences found that by taking action the child and family got the help they needed and were able to avoid future abuse. The first step is to recognize the value of talking it over with someone else" {page 7}.

After these terrible sins, Joshua made a commitment to the Lord, or renewed it, and it appears his repentance {turning from his sin} is genuine and complete. He confessed all of this to his wife, Anna, two years before they were married. He had no obligation to report what he did as a 14 year old to anyone, just as you do not need to hear my laundry list of sins as a teen. And his parent's obligation was to protect their children, all of their children, including Joshua. They are fabulous and loving parents. You have watched them and entered into their lives. Please don't let the world drag you along into sleaze that should have never been dug up by the sleaze makers.

The world will want to tear the Duggars apart and condemn them. I can't even mention God's name in a lecture anymore without some detractors trying to make me look bad. We, as Christians, must instead hold up the family and Joshua in prayer, knowing that God will take this and turn it into His good for the advancement of His kingdom. This sexual sin pales in comparison to what was happening in the Corinthian church where Paul says these words about a man that had sex with his father's wife: "Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow." 

"I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions," says Josh. "I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God's grace, mercy and redemption." How many of us could say these exact words? Perhaps not sins as bad as these, but still significant sins that we greatly regret, of temptation and stupidity. Thank God we can be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

We are called to receive and forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ who repent and turn from their sin. Let's support this family as they walk this difficult road and pray for them regularly. And let's thank the Lord that we as parents did not have to make the terrible choices Jim Bob and Michelle had to face through this terrible ordeal. The apostle Paul had his murderous past and was still used mightily by God. This is what we pray for Joshua and the entire Duggar family as they show the grace and strength of the Christ who lives in them through the trials. 

***All this talk about the "victims" of Josh Duggar isn't sitting right with me AT ALL! I finally figured out why. We know nothing about these victims but it sounds like most were his sisters. We know he touched their private parts. He didn't have sex with them; he touched them. They are being raised in a godly home with amazing parents and they know, without a doubt, the power of forgiveness and God's amazing ability to heal ANYTHING!!! 

Joyce Meyers was raped by her father over 200 times, yet she lives a joy-filled and amazing life. She understands what forgiveness truly is and the healing power of God! She has an amazing husband, four children who walk with Jesus and a powerful ministry. {I know some of you don't like her, but that is besides the point!} Yes, what Josh did was bad but he was 14 and was punished and has had nothing said against him for the past 12 years. He lives a godly life now. However, his life is ruined. He will forever be branded as a "child molester" and suffer. Yes, the Lord will give him strength but I am sure his "victims" are devastated by what has happened to their brother. The girls can grow up to have happy and productive lives walking with Jesus and the freedom and healing he provides for everything that happened to them in their past. Joshua doesn't have that privilege now because of some underhanded, against the law person whose sole purpose was to destroy the Duggars. Keep perspective women, please!