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Honoring Mommy & Daddy

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The Ten Commandment are given to us to protect and enhance our daily lives. A young child is taught to respect the commandments and all of the scriptures. Hopefully through, and with, the love of their parents or some other loving individual.

Many times the commandment, “Honor your mother and father” is taught by an abusive person as a means of control and manipulation. His/her distorted version of this commandment can and does cause many problems later in life for the survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

It can also distort His word for those who have been physically or emotionally abused. Particularly if that abuse was from those closest to the child, the parent.

“These are the commandments the Lord

proclaimed in a loud voice…

Honor your father and your mother

as the Lord your God has commanded you,

so that you may live long and that it

may go well with you in the land

your God is giving you.”

Duet. 5:16 

“Children, obey your parents

in the Lord, for this is right.

“Honor your father and your mother,…

that it may go well with you and

that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Eph. 6:1-3

“Honor your father and mother” must be looked at more closely for those of us who have difficulty with that commandment.  Look at the Ephesians 6 verse closely. There is one key phrase that needs clarifying. “In the Lord.” What does that mean? Simply put, “In the Lord” means in accordance with God’s commands! If this phrase was not there, specifically telling us that we are to obey and honor as Christ would have us do, there would be no holds barred, no boundaries.

God placed the innocent child in the charge of adults and told them specifically how they should raise this child. Your parents, be it biological, adoptive, grandparents, foster parents, or step-parents are directly responsible to God for your well-being; physical, emotional, spiritual. All of these people are intended to be agents of God’s love and protection.

As adults we have the responsibility to keep children from harms way. We have very specific, clear-cut guidelines that the Lord put in place to show us how to do that. One of those is:

“No-one is to approach any close relative

to have sexual relations. I am the Lord.”

Leviticus 18:6

The verses continue on to specify mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandparents, sisters, brothers, in-laws, step children, and so on. (See Lev. 18) You can’t get any clearer than that!

If you were abused by a relative, that sin is not only a sin against you but against God.  If your abuser was not a relative he/she has still sinned against God and will also pay accordingly.

“Whoever welcomes a little child like

this in My name welcomes Me,

But if anyone causes one of these

little one’s who believe in Me to sin,

it will be better for him to have a

millstone hung around his neck

and to be drowned in the

depths of the sea.”

Matthew 18:5 

You will notice He does not specify “Dad welcomes…” or “Mother welcomes…,” or for that matter “Uncle welcomes…” He says, “Anyone causes…”

As adults Father God gives us the absolute responsibility to not harm; physically, sexually, emotionally, or spiritually the children in our society.

“…your Father in heaven is not

willing that ANY of these

little ones should be lost.

Matthew 18:14

As adults within our society our status is looked upon as authority to the child. It makes no difference if the child is ours or someone else’s. Tell a child that you have never met before to sit in the swing properly, for example. That child will more than likely not question your authority. He/she will promptly take the proper sitting position. (At least that’s how it was when I was growing up.)

Our responsibility as being older than the child is to look out for the well-being of those younger. Parents, neighbors, or strangers have this responsibility. Would you stand by as a child played on a railroad track, seeing the train approaching from the distance? Of course not! That is part of the responsibility that we carry. That the Lord Jesus gave to us.

“These commandments that I give you

(everyone) are to be put upon your hearts.

Impress them on your children…

tie them as symbols upon your hands

and bind them on your foreheads.”

Duet. 6: 6-9

 In other words, the Lord is telling us that we are to eat, drink, walk, talk, speak, teach, and be as Christ-like as humanly possible. We are to be a Christ-like example to others. Especially children.

“Train a child in the way

he should go, and when

he is old he will not

turn from it.”

Proverbs 22:6

“Train a child…” We are all a part of the training of children. Even if we do not have children we are to be a Christ-like example to them.

What about honoring?” Honor your father and mother.” The Greek word for honor is TIUAW, which means, “acknowledge the status of.” Another form of the Greek word for honor is TIUN,NS, which means  “respect, recognition.”

We show respect and recognize the status of our elders, be it parents or others. By the child, in the example used earlier, sitting properly in the swing, respect for that elder is being shown. By acknowledging that authority there was no argument. The child promptly sat properly.

By the very act of recognizing the older person’s position we are honoring that person. The Lord said, “honor your father and mother.” We do! by recognizing their position as our parents, by obeying their commands; right or wrong. If they demanded we do something, as a child, we obeyed because of their position and authority.

Throughout scripture we will find directives, to parents in particular.

“Fathers do not embitter your children,

or they will become discouraged.”

Col. 3:21

“For I have chosen him, so that he

will direct his children and his household

after him to keep the way of the Lord

by doing what is right and just…”

Gen. 18:19

“Fathers, do not exasperate

(do not nag or arbitrarily assert authority)

your children; instead, bring them up

in training and instruction

of the Lord…”

Col. 3:19-20

“Husbands, love your wives

and do not be harsh to them.

Children, obey your parents

in everything,

for this pleases the Lord…”

Col. 3:19-20

This last verse can show us, in my opinion, that by doing what we were told, (as though we had a choice!) we pleased the Lord as His command says. It was our abuser(s) who chose to break the commandments of our Lord.

“…choose for yourselves this day

whom you will serve…”

Joshua 24:15

Obviously, our abuser(s) chose not to serve the Father in heaven. When we were told, “It’s our secret” or some derivative of that, our abuser was admitting his/her guilt. He/she was keeping us silent so that he/she would not be found guilty of the sin that he/she chose to commit against you and against Christ.

“…assemble the people before Me

to hear My words so that they

may learn to revere Me as long as

they live in the land and may teach

them to their children.”

Duet.4:10 

The lessons that we were being taught through the abusive actions of others were not in keeping with what Christ said for people to do. If His truths and His commandments were being taught in a Christ-like manner, which means that we have the life of Christ within us and the power of the Holy Spirit, we would never have experienced the pain that was inflicted upon our innocent souls.

We would not now have a distortion within our inner being, a bad taste in our mouth, and there would be no hesitation to even speak the words, “Honor your father and mother.”

We must also keep in mind that another of His commandments tells us to love one another. We must learn to love one another as Christ loves us. Forgiveness is tough! But, through the Holy Spirit within us, we can forgive those who taught us the wrong connotation of “Honor your father and mother.”

“May my vindication come from you;

May your eyes see what is right.”

Psalm 17:2 

~~~~~

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Blessings to you.

 

Will God Help me not to try Suicide Again?

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By   •   February 11, 2008   •   Topics:

I’ve just gotten out of the hospital after trying to take my own life. Things are better with me now and I don’t plan to go down that road again, but how can I be sure I won’t? Will God help me?


A:

Yes, God will help you as you turn to Him and discover what it means to walk with Him every day. The Bible says, “No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” (Psalm 84:11).

How does God help us? First, He helps us by giving us the strength to do what is right. When we turn to Christ and ask Him to forgive us and help us, He comes to live within us by His Spirit. We are never alone when we know Christ, for God now dwells within us! He is with us every minute of the day, and He helps us as we turn in faith to Him. His Spirit encourages and helps us when discouragement or temptation comes our way. The Bible says, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8:26).

He also helps us by reminding us that He loves us, and we are His children forever. If you forget everything else I say, I hope you will remember this: God loves you. He knows all about your struggles and failures, but He still loves you–and the proof is that He was willing to send His only Son into the world to die for you. Your life will never be the same once you realize how much God loves you.

Don’t face the future alone, or try to meet it only in your own strength. Instead, by a simple prayer of faith ask Christ to come into your life today–and He will. Then turn to Him every day and thank Him for His love and His constant presence with you.

Why God Allows Your Pain

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My Peace I Give to You

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The birds, high above in the trees, chirp their welcome. They sing with their various whistles for all the world to hear. An ant crawls across the grass with determination, a rabbit scampers, then stops to look at me quizzically, then hops on.

The sounds of natures are all around me and the peace I feel as the cool water ripples around, over, and between the rocks downstream is calming. The smells of nature fills my nostrils. I breathe slowly in and slowly let it out.

In times when we have thoughts invade our mind or the worries of life invade causing our peace to skitter away we can take a moment and visualize our safe peaceful place. We all have an image of where we would like to be, a place that fills us with peace. Some may find that peace fills them as they sit by a flowing brook and some may find that peace standing high on a mountain top looking out over a scenic view, while others may find it as they walk a long sandy beach with the sea breeze kissing their cheek, but wherever we find it God will take us there.

In times when things seem overwhelming we can stop and take a few minutes and ask the Lord to take us to our peaceful place. He knows where it is. For me I see myself in my mind’s eye sitting under a large tree next to a flowing stream. I hear the birds, I see the rippling water and hear its sounds as it gently meanders downstream to its destination. It’s path has been determined by God and nature and to sit there quietly, with no thoughts, brings peace.

Christ said it is His peace He gives us. His peace seeps into my soul and gives me calm. It replaces the worries, it replaces the memories of the past, it fills those spaces that the enemy wants to invade. Sitting quietly, Jesus has arrived. He sits down beside me and we quietly bask in the beauty. My peace is complete.

“Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means.” 2Thes. 3:16

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Blessings to you.

Church Hurt

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Blessings to you.

A Fist Raised in Anger

11342215-a-man-angry-over-the-whole-world-is-screamingIn going through some of what the Lord has spoken to me through the years I ran across one writing from last year and it made me think about how we get so angry at God and tend to blame Him for those things that have hurt us or things that have gone wrong in decisions we have made.

For many years I blamed God for not stopping the abuse I suffered from my family and later for an abusive marriage and, just to be honest, for a lot of things. The abuse I suffered within my family was not my fault, I thought God was supposed to stop it. He’s all-powerful so how come He let it continue for years?

I didn’t need the Lord in choosing my first husband! I had decided the man was good-looking, I was twenty-seven years old and ready to settle down, and this guy was fun to be around. I learned very quickly after the “I do’s” that he was an alcoholic, a womanizer, and wife beater. That may not have been the man the Lord wanted me to marry so why didn’t He say, “Stop! Don’t marry him!” Maybe He kept quiet because my anger slammed that door in His face and the fist was raised and maybe He had and I ignored Him.

I am convinced that those that vehemently claim to be atheist’s have turned their back on God because of hurt, rejection, abuse, or something else that happened early on or at some time in their life that they felt God should not have allowed. The fist flies up and suddenly “there is no God!” They have rejected the all-powerful One and have deemed themselves god. They claim there is no God yet their god is Satan.

We can blame God for those things that are not our fault and blame God for the poor choices we make. Some have felt “led” to do something, thinking God is the One leading them only to learn later it was either our own soul or the enemy that was in the lead and yet we blame God. “If it wasn’t you, God, then why didn’t you stop me? You knew it was going to turn out like this.” or “You knew what they were going to do and yet you said…..”

We humans, some of us anyway, are quick to shake our fists at God instead of focusing on His will and trusting that even if we mess up He is there to bring us through. He knows what we are going to do, think, and say before we even do, think, or say anything! His love is so great, His grace so abundant that maybe, just maybe He lets us make the mistakes so we will eventually learn to turn to Him about all things. Some of us have to learn the hard way and I’m more than sure, being one of those, that the Lord is more than willing to let us have our own way. And in having our own way, not seeking or following God’s will we have allowed the enemy access.

So let me share His words that I found that caused all this deep thinking:

“The Almighty God which art in heaven sees all that is within heaven and earth and even beneath the earth. His Grace is poured out for all who will accept it yet there are those who refuse and will even blasphemy His name. Those who love Him have the assurance of an eternal home with Him and those who reject Him shall see the fires of hell for all of time and beyond.

God’s love goes beyond human understanding and it is a shame that although He gave His only begotten Son for the sins of all mankind they reject that shed blood. It is a shame that the enemy of God has such powerful influence in men. It is a shame that so many have turned fists to heaven and swear by their own gods. Their god is self. If they refuse the Son of God there is only one alternative and he has been on the prowl more so now than ever before because he knows his time is short.

Those who follow the Son of God must stand strong and bold. They must watch for the ploys of the enemy and not be sucker-bunched by those who follow the enemy. For if they do not follow God through His Son Jesus Christ they are following Satan. They may not realize their self-righteous attitudes are those coming from Satan but they are. I pray to My Father that all will see My light and that none should perish. I come to the Father with love for all even though they reject and defy Me.

My children, you must be strong. You must focus on Me day and night for the times are about to change and things are not as they have been. My strength I give you if you will follow in My footsteps and let Me lead you through the turmoil. Trust Me as you have never done before. Pray for the lost but do not compromise My truth for any. Many shall belittle. Many shall call you atrocious names and throw the fiery darts so as to turn you from Me. That is the fiery darts of the enemy. Put on your armor and stand firm!
I am the Almighty I Am. Go with my love, joy and peace for I am with you.”
Given by the Holy Spirit 8-7-15

~~~~~

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Blessings to you.

Are You Married to a Selfish Spouse?

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Does your spouse define you? Do you live out a marriage of reaction to their sin and selfishness? What if they don't ever change? Will you? Your marriage does not define your heart, God does. Here's how to honor him with a heart of worship, even in a marriage that is struggling.

Victoria (not her real name) is married to a selfish spouse. She prays for him. She encourages him. She seeks ways to serve him. Her husband soaks it up but hasn’t learned to give half as much in return. If I give examples, I may blow her cover, but most of you know marriages like this.

Maybe you’re in one.

Somewhat understandably, Victoria struggles with bitterness. If her husband only knew how much just a small bit of giving back in return would mean, how if for one hour of a weekend he could make it about her instead of about him, the relief she would feel would be enormous, buther husband’s selfishness seems to run through his core.

They have talked about it, even with a counselor, but the thing about selfishness is that the more selfish you are, the less you realize it. Her husband thinks he’s doing “better,” but not by much, and usually only when Victoria brings it up, which ushers in a new kind of pain.

Victoria’s husband tries to be a little less selfish so that he doesn’t have to listen to his wife complain about it. So he’s fighting his selfishness with, yes, selfishness.

Victoria has prayed. She has gone to a counselor. She even brought her husband with her to the counselor—everything advice-oriented people tell her to do. But the situation hasn’t changed much, and doesn’t appear likely to. In that light, she asks me, how do you maintain a godly attitude?

Keep in mind—I wasn’t talking to the couple. I was talking to Victoria, and about her spiritualattitude, not resolving the situation (that’s a different discussion). What I’m about to say may make some of you married to selfish spouses angry, but I believe this advice is rooted in spiritual reality.

“Victoria,” I said, “you need to start thinking of yourself as the postal worker, not the store. You see all this good stuff that you do for your husband coming from you, but in reality, it’s coming from God. Your graceful attitude, your servant’s heart, your inspiration and motivation are all evidence of the Holy Spirit at work in your life. At root, though, you’re just the postal worker delivering God’s package to your husband. A postal worker doesn’t expect a thank you letter when she delivers the gift.”

I said this because I didn’t want Victoria to let her husband’s selfishness engender poisonous pride in her own heart. This wasn’t to chastise her, but to protect her on her journey toward God.

“Second,” I said, “and here’s the hope—if God is the owner of the store, and we’re just the postal workers, God can use any number of postal workers to deliver what we need. You’re acting like what you need can only come from your spouse, and since he refuses to deliver it, you’re stuck. With some things, that’s true. There are certain things only a spouse can provide. But God can deliver a fulfilling, meaningful life through any number of channels.

“If I keep waiting for a package from the U.S. Postal Service that has been sent and resent a dozen times and is always lost, eventually I’m going to ask God to send something via U.P.S. or Fed Ex. Maybe you can buy your own flowers, and thank God that your husband earns enough, together with you, for you to enjoy the weekly luxury of fresh flowers in your house. No, your husband didn’t think to buy them, but in a way God used your husband to make their presence in your home a reality. And no, your husband might not think to send you to the spa, but if you need a ‘pampering day,’ perhaps you’ll have to set up the appointment. Yes, it would be much more delightful if it came through your husband, as that would show his care for you, but think of it in this light: there are a lot of wives who could never afford to have a day like that even though their husbands would be inclined to provide it if they could.”

Every particular application is going to be different, so I won’t go on any further with Victoria’s story. But if you’re married to a particularly selfish spouse, hold on to these three points:

  1. Fight pride by remembering you’re just the postal delivery person. Everything God gives to your spouse through you comes from God. Your desire to serve, your creativity in serving, your commitment to serve, your conviction to love—that’s God’s work, not your own heart. You are choosing to be faithful in delivering those blessings, but without God, you wouldn’t have the blessings to give, nor likely even the inclination.
  1. God can deliver life’s blessings through many channels. We’d all like them to come in a certain way, but wouldn’t it be rather ungrateful of you to complain about a pair of diamond stud earrings if they came in yellow wrapping paper instead of red? Ask God to bring what you legitimately need as He wills, in His timing, and in His way. It may not be your ideal, but even in this, your spouse’s selfishness is simply helping you to press deeper into God. That, in itself, is a gift, when you think about it.
  1. Don’t stop giving. Don’t allow someone else’s selfishness to infect you. Set the positive example rather than join in the negative one. There’s a certain fulfillment that comes from being faithful when it’s done in the right spirit; seek to capture that.

I write this because some of you may live the rest of your lives still married to a selfish spouse, and the last thing I want to see is your spouse’s selfishness affecting your spirit with resentment, bitterness, and eventually your own selfish demands. Nobody gave to Jesus a tenth of what He gave to them, yet He lived a supremely glorious, powerful, faithful, and joyous life.

In other words, don’t allow what your spouse isn’t to define what you become. Yes, in one sense this is an act of “spiritual self-defense.” But when a spouse sins in a way that doesn’t rise to the cause of divorce, and traditional methods haven’t worked, what else is a spouse to do? There may be a time, further down the road, when you can re-engage with this issue. But when you know it’s time to just accept it for the time-being, these three steps will keep you on track spiritually and even help you to grow in love rather than collapse in bitterness.

Blessings,

Gary Thomas

(If you’d like to learn more about Gary’s newest book, A Lifelong Love: How to Have Lasting Intimacy, Friendship, and Purpose in your Marriage click here:http://www.garythomas.com/books/lifelong-love/)

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Blessings to you.