Train Up A Child Day 10

How important is the truth in your home?

Train Up A Child Day Ten

10.  Train them to a habit of always speaking the truth.
Truth-speaking is far less common in the world than at first sight we are disposed to think.  The whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is a golden rule which many would do well to bear in mind.  Lying and prevarication are old sins.  The devil was the father of them, — he deceived Eve by a bold lie, and ever since the fall it is a sin against which all the children of Eve have need to be on their guard.
Only think how much falsehood and deceit there is in the world! How much exaggeration! How many additions are made to a simple story! How many things left out, if it does not serve the speaker’s interest to tell them! How few there are about us of whom we can say, we put unhesitating trust in their word! Verily the ancient Persians were wise in their generation: it was a leading point with them in educating their children, that they should learn to speak the truth.  What an awful proof it is of man’s natural sinfulness, that it should be needful to name such a point at all!
Reader, I would have you remark how often God is spoken of in the Old Testament as the God of truth.  Truth seems to be especially set before us as a leading feature in the character of Him with whom we have to do.  He never swerves from the straight line.  He abhors lying and hypocrisy.  Try to keep this continually before your children’s minds.  Press upon them at all times, that less than the truth is a lie; that evasion, excuse-making, and exaggeration are all halfway houses towards what is false, and ought to be avoided.  Encourage them in any circumstances to be straightforward, and, whatever it may cost them, to speak the truth.
I press this subject on your attention, not merely for the sake of your children’s character in the world, — though I might dwell much on this, — I urge it rather for your own comfort and assistance in all your dealings with them.  You will find it a mighty help indeed, to be able always to trust their word.  It will go far to prevent that habit of concealment, which so unhappily prevails sometimes among children.  Openness and straightforwardness depend much upon a parent’s treatment of this matter in the days of our infancy.

God is very clear on the importance of speaking truth. I would have to say that in all honesty this is probably the biggest struggle of all mankind. This is why it’s importance MUST be taught and practiced in our homes.
We can find all kind of reasons why we think we need to lie about something. We will lie to not hurt someone’s feelings, or to not get ourselves in trouble. We will lie because we simply fear speaking the truth.
We will lie to keep a business deal in place or to get a job or keep a job or too simply stretch the truth or omit information to make more money.
 What is desirable in a man is his kindness,
And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.
Proverbs 19:22
In all honesty I have had a lie come out of my mouth and immediately once it passes through my lips I think “where in the world did that come from and why on earth did I say that?” Usually this happens when I fear that I am going to make someone angry at me or someone is already angry with me and I do not want to make it worse…
I have learned that fear is the root of the lies that have always come out of my mouth… it might not be every one’s root, but it was/is mine.
As I am learning not to fear anyone more than I fear God speaking the truth at all times is becoming much easier and more my nature, because in Christ I received a new nature and I am being transformed more and more into the image of Christ.
As I have learned this about myself through the Holy Spirit and through the study of His Word I am also learning to ask my children the “why” behind their lies. I want them to look at their hearts, to examine themselves, to discover what thing in their flesh led them to speak the lie.
You are of your father the devil,
and you want to do the desires of your father.
He was a murderer from the beginning,
and does not stand in the truth
because there is no truth in him.
Whenever he speaks a lie,
 he speaks from his own nature,
for he is a liar
and the father of lies.
John 8:44
This passage of Scripture is a sobering truth. It was this passage of Scripture that I sat down and shared with my children the first time I caught them in a spoken lie. I believe they were both around the age of 2 yrs old. I sat down with them in my lap and I shared this with them in love and with kindness.
I explained to them that in the future lying to us will bring grave consequences. There are two things in our home that we dealt with using spanking as the discipline… blatant disobedience to something we knew they understood fully and lying. We explained to them how important it was that we could take them at their word and we also shared with them how once trust is lost… it is a long time regaining.
Another sobering passage…
But for the cowardly
and unbelieving
and abominable
and murderers
and immoral persons
and sorcerers
and idolaters
and all liars,
their part will be in the lake
that burns with fire
and brimstone,
which is the second death.”
Revelation 21:8

Only the truth shall last until all eternity…
If we want to share eternity with our children and with our Father we must be people of truth, for our God is the God of truth, our Jesus is the way and the truth and the light.

Train Up A Child Day 9

Jesus said quite plainly that if we love Him we will obey Him.

“If you love Me,
you will keep My commandments.
John 14:15
Here also is this flip side of this… because God so loved us and knew that true love obeys the one they love in faith He not only gave us written instructions on how to obey Him, He sent His own Son as example just to teach us how to obey in love.
Our job as parents is too teach our children how to obey in love and we are too teach them with love, just as Jesus taught us, we are also to teach them by example through our own obedience in love to our own parents, just as Jesus taught us…
Train Up A Child Day Nine

9.  Train them to a habit of obedience.
This is an object which it is worth any labour to attain.  No habit, I suspect, has such an influence over our lives as this. Parents, determine to make your children obey you, though it may cost you much trouble, and cost them many tears.  Let there be no questioning, and reasoning, and disputing, and delaying, and answering again.  When you give them a command, let them see plainly that you will have it done.
Obedience is the only reality.  It is faith visible, faith acting, and faith incarnate.  It is the test of real discipleship among the Lord’s people.  “Ye are My friends if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14).  It ought to be the mark of well- trained children, that they do whatsoever their parents command them.  Where, in deed, is the honour which the fifth commandment enjoins, if fathers and mothers are not obeyed cheerfully, willingly, and at once?
Early obedience has all Scripture on its side.  It is in Abraham’s praise, not merely he will train his family, but “he will command his children, and his household after him” (Gen. 18:19).  It is said of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, that when “He was young He was subject to Mary and Joseph” (Luke 2:51).
Observe how implicitly Joseph obeyed the order of his father Jacob (Gen. 37:13).  See how Isaiah speaks of it as an evil thing, when “the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient” (Isa. 3:5).  Mark how the Apostle Paul names disobedience to parents as one of the bad signs of the latter days (2 Tim. 3:2).  Mark how he singles out this grace of requiring obedience as one that should adorn a Christian minister: “a bishop must be one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.” And again, “Let the deacons rule their children and their own houses well ” (1 Tim. 3:4,12).  And again, an elder must be one “having faithful children, children not accused of riot, or unruly” (Tit. 1:6).
Parents, do you wish to see your children happy? Take care, then, that you train them to obey when they are spoken to, — to do as they are bid.  Believe me, we are not made for entire independence, — we are not fit for it.  Even Christ’s freemen have a yoke to wear, they “serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:24). 

Children cannot learn too soon that this is a world in which we are not all intended to rule, and that we are never in our right place until we know how to obey our betters.  Teach them to obey while young, or else they will be fretting against God all their lives long, and wear themselves out with the vain idea of being independent of His control.
Reader, this hint is only too much needed.  You will see many in this day who allow their children to choose and think for themselves long before they are able, and even make excuses for their disobedience, as if it were a thing not to be blamed.  To my eyes, a parent always yielding, and a child always having its own way, are a most painful sight; — painful, because I see God’s appointed order of things inverted and turned upside down; — painful, because I feel sure the consequence to that child’s character in the end will be self-will, pride, and self-conceit. You must not wonder that men refuse to obey their Father which is in heaven, if you allow them, when children, to disobey their father who is upon earth.
Parents, if you love your children, let obedience be a motto and a watchword continually before their eyes.


Obedience is evidence of faith and love. We clearly see this from the example of our Savior. We must teach our children to obey us… and then we must expect it. Teaching them the importance of obeying us will teach them the importance of obeying God. And as we teach them to obey us we point them to God… our rules and expectations of our children should always line up with God’s Word. If we teach them to obey God, then obeying us is just part of it.

Tonight at our church was friends and family night for our fall drama, The Judgment Seat. My Shelby is serving in the nursery for our JS actors’ and volunteers’ children and my Bekah is running cards for registration. She was getting ready for a break and so we were about to walk out the door for me to take her to the childcare area. On the way out one of our volunteers was explaining to her that when she got the ice scoop to get ice out of the ice maker she needed to put it up on top, not leave it in the ice maker.
All my Bekah seemed to catch was “this goes on top”  
To which she replied, “no, Jesus goes on top.”
Then our volunteer laughed and said “well yes put this under Jesus then.
Then Bekah replied, “but parents go under Jesus.

Whew! Well we have made it the first seven years with stuff in the correct order…
I’ll let you know how things look five to six years from now 🙂

>Under The Shield of God


God did not allow him to hurt me.
Genesis 31:7
Uncle Laban has been using his authority and position to manipulate and change the rules on Jacob since Jacob moved to town. Jacob has discovered that God’s continual blessing of him, no matter what Laban does, has brewed some jealousies among Laban and Laban’s sons.
Depending on the condition of the heart, sometimes others respond to God’s blessings upon us with bitterness and hardness. This has been seen all through history; nations have enjoyed the presence of the blessing of God on His people. They have loved how it grew their kingdom, built their wealth, and provided them with their needs and luxuries. They have enjoyed the products developed and the hand of help in times of need, yet somehow, so many of their hearts have been moved to the jealousy of Laban and his sons.
In my opinion, this has never been more greatly seen in our time than in WWII through the Nazi regime. How easily Hitler stirred his people to hatred of the Jews still astounds me today.
The enemy of our souls knows hate, he knows lies, and he knows evil jealousy. Those who turn a deaf ear to the Word of God are easily stirred by the lies of the serpent of old. He stirs hate against the people of God, both Jew and Christian.
The Lord appears to Jacob and tells him to return home and He would be with him. Jacob is beginning to understand the power of his God for himself. He will learn more and more throughout his years, just as his fathers did. Jacob is getting a glimpse at the sovereignty of God; this God that promised he would be with him.
Jacob knows the power and might of the God of his fathers. He also knows that it is only by the hand of God that he has been protected from Laban and his sons. If God so protected Jacob, He will also protect us.
In Genesis 15:1, God told Abraham, “I am a shield to you”—a shield protects. We can know without any doubts that if God has called us to a place, He will protect us. “As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him” (Psalm 18:30).
No one can touch us unless God has allowed it for the sake of His perfect will.
In John 7:30 we read, “So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.” How many times those who hated Jesus tried to kill Him, but they could not touch Him because it was not His time.
We see this truth illustrated again and again through the pages of the New Testament. We read in the book of Acts about the sufferings of Paul. How many times were attempts made on his life but they would not succeed because God was protecting him? We read of a time on the sea when a great storm arose but the whole crew was saved as they entered under the shield of God with Paul, His servant (Acts 27:24).
My precious one, God has not changed. Let us never forget that His name is a strong tower and when the righteous run in, they are safe (Proverbs 18:10).
Oh Father,
You are my God! You are with me wherever I go. Oh, that I would always be in the center of Your will. Help me, Father, to stay on the path that You have laid out for me. Forgive me for my lack of faith. I have no reason to fear and no reason to doubt, for I have You, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe, dwelling within me. For what reason should I ever fear? “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
In You, my Jesus, there is even no fear of death. For You have given me victory over this enemy called death (1 Corinthians 15:57), and all things short of death You will give me the strength to endure. For You are my God and Your grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).
My Jesus, it is in Your name I pray,

Train Up A Child Day 8

Have you ever considered that you can help your child to learn to have faith?

And He answered them and said,
“O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you?
How long shall I put up with you?
Bring him to Me!” 
They brought the boy to Him.
When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him
into a convulsion, and falling to the ground,
he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. 
And He asked his father,
“How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. 
It has often thrown him both into the fire
and into the water to destroy him.
But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” 
And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’
All things are possible to him who believes.” 
Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said,
“I do believe; help my unbelief.”
Mark 9:19-24
Yes, God has placed upon us the great and mighty privilege and responsibility of teaching our children how to believe, how to trust, how to have faith. We can indeed be used by our God to help their unbelief. We will be used by God to train them up to a habit of faith… if we ourselves surrender to this habit of faith ourselves.
Train Up A Child Day Eight

8.  Train them to a habit of faith.
I mean by this, you should train them up to believe what you say.  You should try to make them feel confidence in your judgment, and respect your opinions, as better than their own. You should accustom them to think that, when you say a thing is bad for them, it must be bad, and when you say it is good for them, it must be good; that your knowledge, in short, is better than their own, and that they may rely implicitly on your word. Teach them to feel that what they know not now, they will probably know hereafter, and to be satisfied there is a reason and a needs-be for everything you require them to do.
Who indeed can describe the blessedness of a real spirit of faith? Or rather, who can tell the misery that unbelief has brought upon the world?

Unbelief made Eve eat the forbidden fruit, — she doubted the truth of God’s word: “Ye shall surely die.”
Unbelief made the old world reject Noah’s warning, and so perish in sin. 
Unbelief kept Israel in the wilderness, — it was the bar that kept them from entering the promised land. 
Unbelief made the Jews crucify the Lord of glory, — they believed not the voice of Moses and the prophets, though read to them every day. 
And unbelief is the reigning sin of man’s heart down to this very hour, — unbelief in God’s promises, — unbelief in God’s threatenings, — unbelief in our own sinfulness, — unbelief in our own danger, — unbelief in everything that runs counter to the pride and worldliness of our evil hearts. 

Reader, you train your children to little purpose if you do not train them to a habit of implicit faith, — faith in their parents’ word, confidence that what their parents say must be right.
I have heard it said by some, that you should require nothing of children which they cannot understand that you should explain and give a reason for everything you desire them to do.  I warn you solemnly against such a notion.  I tell you plainly, I think it an unsound and rotten principle. 

No doubt it is absurd to make a mystery of everything you do, and there are many things which it is well to explain to children, in order that they may see that they are reasonable and wise. 

But to bring them up with the idea that they must take nothing on trust, that they, with their weak and imperfect understandings, must have the “why” and the “wherefore” made clear to them at every step they take, — this is indeed a fearful mistake, and likely to have the worst effect on their minds.
Reason with your child if you are so disposed, at certain times, but never forget to keep him in mind (if you really love him) that he is but a child after all, — that he thinks as a child, he understands as a child, and therefore must not expect to know the reason of everything at once.
Set before him the example of Isaac, in the day when Abraham took him to offer him on Mount Moriah (Gen. 22).  He asked his father that single question, “Where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?” and he got no answer but this, “God will provide Himself a lamb.”

How, or where, or whence, or in what manner, or by what means, — all this Isaac was not told; but the answer was enough.  He believed that it would be well, because his father said so, and he was content. 

Tell your children, too, that we must all be learners in our beginnings, that there is an alphabet to be mastered in every kind of knowledge, — that the best horse in the world had need once to be broken, — that a day will come when they will see the wisdom of all your training.  But in the meantime if you say a thing is right, it must be enough for them, — they must believe you, and be content.
Parents, if any point in training is important, it is this.  I charge you by the affection you have to your children, use every means to train them up to a habit of faith.

As a Christian parent I have come to realize that God is on my side. He has a way of backing my words and proving my point without me ever having to do a thing but trust Him. I have lost count of the times He has stepped in with what we like to call in our family a “God-slap”. 
A small example is when the girls were little we could tell them to stop running in the house. And if they refused to obey and continued to run when we left the room, it would never fail that they would fall or run into something, then they would come to us crying wanting pity and sympathy, we would look and say “Were you running in the house after we told you not to?”
They would sheepishly nod their “yeses”
And we would remind them that God was watching even when we were not. And they needed to be thankful that their disobedience did not cause more harm than what they had already received.
When we tell them to do something or not to do something we are not trying to be mean or ruin their fun. We just know more than they do and we knew that this would eventually happen if they kept running in the house. 
We have also learned that if we as parents will be faithful in prayer and fellowship with our Savior, the Holy Spirit will let us in on what is going on in our girls hearts and lives, even things they are trying so hard to hide from us. He will give us a heads up. He will let us see things that apart from His eyes we would have never seen. My husband and I both have learned and have often have reminded our girls that we are fully aware of the knowledge that God is on our side and we actually know more about them than what we let them know we know.
Honor your father and your mother,
that your days may be prolonged in the land
which the LORD your God gives you.
Exodus 20:12
This 5th Commandment is our stamp of legality to be able to say in full confidence “because I said so, that’s why!”
I have never felt the need nor the desire to “explain myself” to my children, neither has my husband. My parents never felt the need either. I learned to either take their word, believe it, and walk in it with a happy ending… or I could ignore it and suffer the consequences.
I can in all honesty tell you that I have absolutely no recollection of my parent’s ever being wrong. In my minds memory and my heart’s confidence I can only recall that they spoke truth to me at all times and every time I went against their truth I suffered greatly.
This is the awesome benefit of godly parents who choose their words wisely and speak honestly. I learned that I could take God at His Word because I had first learned that I could take my parent’s at theirs.
My parents spoke truth, they meant what they said, and said what they meant.
Now note my parents were not perfect. I know they look back and wish they had done certain things differently… but what they did do was in truth and in love, not pampering love, but perfecting love.
You shall be careful to perform
what goes out from your lips,
just as you have voluntarily vowed
to the LORD your God,
what you have promised.
Deuteronomy 23:23
This is indeed one of the hardest commands to keep with children where discipline is concerned. The old saying “this hurts me more than it hurts you” is really true, yet you just don’t get it until you become a parent.
You set your standard of discipline and then they break your commands, your rules, and you have to flesh out your words. You must administer the exact discipline you said would be the consequence and there is no turning back ever. If you slip the first time, if you cave, you are in trouble.
If you say it, do it.
Teach your children that your Word can be trusted and is to be obeyed.

>Be A Blessing


But Laban said to him,
“If now it pleases you,
stay with me;
I have divined that the Lord
has blessed me on your account.”
Genesis 30:27
After Rachel bore Joseph, her first son, Jacob came to Laban and asked for his blessing and permission to take his wives and children and return to his own country. Laban had come to realize that the presence of Jacob had been good to him. Laban knew that the God of Abraham and Isaac had been blessing him because of Jacob.
Jacob carried with him the Abrahamic Covenant, which promised that God would bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him. God is true to His word. This covenant is not conditional to the obedience or character of man; it is solely based on God.
Today we can still know that those who bless Israelwill be blessed, and those who curse Israelwill be cursed. Oh precious one, do not think for one minute that God has forgotten His Israel, nor His covenant with them. “Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant, O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me” (Isaiah 44:21).
In Micah 7:20 we read that God will give truth to Jacob and unchanging love to Abraham. We become a part of this unchanging love when we enter into the new covenant in Christ. We who are Gentiles must remember that when we were separate from Christ we were excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. It is only in Christ that we have been brought near (Ephesians 2:12–13).
God uses His people to be a blessing to those in the faith and to those outside the faith.
To those in the faith the Word declares, “And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). In Philippians 4:18, Paul writes, “I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.”
To those outside the faith the Word declares, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 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” (Matthew 5:44–45).
He saved us that we might become a blessing (Zechariah 8:13). Let us live our lives in such a way that others, especially those outside the faith, see that they are blessed by the Lord on our account. May we always give all glory to God.
Oh Father,
I carry the blessing of Abraham through my redemption by Jesus Christ. I am an heir to the promise according to Your Word, “and if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:29). Oh Father, I pray for the peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love her. May peace be within her walls and prosperity within her palaces. For the sake of my brothers and my friends, may peace be within her (Psalm 122:6–8). May I live my life in such a way that I am a blessing to others. Oh Father, keep my hands strong, that I might be used by You to build up Your church and to bring others to the obedience of faith. Might Your blessing of forgiveness, hope, and peace be seen in my life with such magnitude that it moves others to seek these blessings for themselves.
My Jesus, it is in Your name I pray,

>Calgon Take Me Away

>Do not let the calm and reasonable “Train Up A Child” posts fool you… this Christian housewife and momma is on edge.

It is Judgment Seat week and the tired has set in, along with a dull headache due to lack of sleep.

Nice left me about 10:30pm last night when I threw the semi-black duct tape across the basement that is used for our Hell scene because it would not cooperate.

So last night it was after midnight before I got into bed again… and then my stupid dog has me up at 2:30 in the morning. I thought that maybe, just maybe I would leave him in the hall for the night…

Oh yeh did I mention that my husband has been in Connecticut since Tuesday… (ugh… deep sigh….)

Usually when I am in the bedroom the dog lays down at the end of the hall by our door and he stays there. He follows me where ever I go… I think it must be because I am the one who usually feeds him… because he is not always the favorite on my list.

Anyway, at 2:30am he begins whining and snorting in the bulldog kind of way and so I get up and take him outside. So here I am out in the middle of my front yard in my pj’s at 2:30 in the morning. The dog does his business and I call him back in and he just looks at me like, “what? you talking to me?” 

I go in the house to find the leash.
Can I find the leash at 2:30 in the morning?
Of course not!

Our dog doesn’t have a collar on, because he stays in the house and the collar tears him up for some reason, he will scratch at it until he removes all his hair and makes sores. So no collar. The leash is a rope that is threaded and fits around his head… it’s a vet leash.

Well I finally get him to come in the house and call him to his kennel for bed…  
Does he come?
Of course not!
He runs down the hall and parks it in his corner.
I think, well okay, maybe he really did just have to go and relieve himself and he will be quiet the rest of the night.

I finally crawl back in the bed.

Guess who starts whining again just about the time I am at that moment of drifting off into oblivion?
Up again.
This time I am going to put the dog up. I must sleep.

I call him to the kennel again.
Does he come?
Of course not!

So here I am with a death grip around the nape of my dog’s neck dragging this 75 lb dog through the house to his kennel…
Oh he’s going in!

Finally sleep.

Then morning comes… and I realize that sometime this week I lost every floor in my house and every table and counter top… they are no where to be found. All I can find is dirty dishes and paper and toys and I think there are at least 8 sets of shoes in the living room floor and the garbage can runneth over… all of them!

I hit the floor finding the floor, doing laundry, dishes…oh my I need my coffee!
Quiet time?
Nope didn’t happen this morning.

And my morning attitude showed it…

I had to confess to my girls that their mom is on overload… with a short fuse today… tired… with a dull headache… a husband that’s still out of town… a dog that is aggravating as all get out… a house that is a wreck… a Mary Kay order to divide with totals to tally… and it’s bill day… the fact is I just need grace upon grace today…

And some BC Powders and more coffee probably wouldn’t hurt.

Train Up A Child Day 7

So just how important is it to drag your children to church even if it be while they are kicking and screaming- pouting and stomping- grumpy and hateful…
Train Up A Child Day Seven


7.  Train them to habits of diligence, and regularity about public means of grace.
Tell them of the duty and privilege of going to the house of God, and joining in the prayers of the congregation.  Tell them that wherever the Lord’s people are gathered together, there the Lord Jesus is present in an especial manner, and that those who absent themselves must expect, like the Apostle Thomas, to miss a blessing.  Tell them of the importance of hearing the Word preached, and that it is God’s ordinance for converting, sanctifying, and building up the souls of men.  Tell them how the Apostle Paul enjoins us not “to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is” (Heb. 10:25); but to exhort one another, to stir one another up to it, and so much the more as we see the day approaching.
I call it a sad sight in a church when nobody comes up to the Lord’s table but the elderly people, and the young men and the young women all turn away.  But I call it a sadder sight still when no children are to be seen in a church, excepting those who come to the Sunday School, and are obliged to attend.  Let none of this guilt lie at your doors.  There are many boys and girls in every parish, besides those who come to school, and you who are their parents and friends should see to it that they come with you to church.
Do not allow them to grow up with a habit of making vain excuses for not coming.  Give them plainly to understand, that so long as they are under your roof it is the rule of your house for every one in health to honour the Lord’s house upon the Lord’s day, and that you reckon the Sabbath-breaker to be a murderer of his own soul.
See to it too, if it can be so arranged, that your children go with you to church, and sit near you when they are there.  To go to church is one thing, but to behave well at church is quite another.  And believe me, there is no security for good behaviour like that of having them under your own eye.
The minds of young people are easily drawn aside, and their attention lost, and every possible means should be used to counteract this.  I do not like to see them coming to church by themselves, — they often get into bad company by the way, and so learn more evil on the Lord’s day than in all the rest of the week. 

Neither do I like to see what I call “a young people’s corner” in a church.  They often catch habits of inattention and irreverence there, which it takes years to unlearn, if ever they are unlearned at all.  What I like to see is a whole family sitting together, old and young, side by side, — men, women, and children, serving God according to their households.
But there are some who say that it is useless to urge children to attend means of grace, because they cannot understand them.
I would not have you listen to such reasoning.  I find no such doctrine in the Old Testament.  When Moses goes before Pharaoh (Ex. 10:9), I observe he says, “We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters: for we must hold a feast unto the Lord.”

When Joshua read the law (Josh. 8:35), I observe, “There was not a word which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.” “Thrice in the year,” says Ex. 34:23, “shall all your men-children appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel.”

And when I turn to the New Testament, I find children mentioned there as partaking in public acts of religion as well as in the Old.  When Paul was leaving the disciples at Tyre for the last time, I find it said (Acts 21:5),” They all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.”
Samuel, in the days of his childhood, appears to have ministered unto the Lord some time before he really knew Him. “Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him” (1 Sam. 3:7).  The Apostles themselves do not seem to have understood all that our Lord said at the time that it was spoken: “These things understood not His disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of Him” (John 12:16).
Parents, comfort your minds with these examples.  Be not cast down because your children see not the full value of the means of grace now.  Only train them up to a habit of regular attendance. Set it before their minds as a high, holy, and solemn duty, and believe me, the day will very likely come when they will bless you for your deed.

My husband and I have been blessed to have girls who have never fought us on church attendance. They have always loved to go to church and they always look forward to going.
Even my girls who are up there almost every day while I work in various areas, our church is as much home to them as our house. They help clean it, they help move stuff, they know their way around it, they can tell guest where everything is at because they are intimately involved in the service of our church.
Yes my children are the ones that you will see roaming the halls barefoot because their socks and shoes are piled up in the middle of the gym floor somewhere, and they will be laughing and giggling while most likely they are found standing at white board in a room with a dry-erase marker teaching each other Sunday school lessons.
My girls love to be in the house of the Lord and I believe they love it because they know it’s home. The people there- they love as they love their aunts and uncles and cousins. They are family because we raised them with them. Our church is not a place we show up to for an hour on Sunday and then leave… Our girls are growing up serving in the church, not just making an appearance.
“I do not like to see them coming to church by themselves” I also have to say that this is one of things that has began to disturb me much here lately. The division of families in the church. We seem to have decided that is okay for our children who still live in our home to attend elsewhere than we do just because “at least they are going somewhere”.
My step-daughter moved in with us when she was around 13 years old, her mother and step-father lived in North Carolina. About a year later her mother and step-father moved back to Alabama. My husband and I extended an invite for them to check out our church. They were always welcome in our home as was their family and we wanted them to know that they were just as welcome in our church home. I truly believe that at that point in time, we could have served the Lord with them within the same assembly of believers had they chose to buy a home in our area. Being a family united is just that important to us.
I currently teach children’s church and it occurs during Sunday morning worship and I truly believe the children need to have this time to learn. However, I also believe they need to be in “big church” as well. I believe our children need to see us in corporate  worship. I cancel our children’s church for the Lord’s Supper and special events and holidays because I feel this is time that we should all be worshiping as a family. Communion should be taken together…
“Neither do I like to see what I call “a young people’s corner” in a church.” I have to admit that this is the first time that I have really thought about the youth corner…


So as for the youth corner, maybe we would not look over to see so much whispering, so much texting, if every once a while parents said, “No, honey, sorry but you are sitting with me… What your friend comes alone because their parents refuse to come? Well bring them to sit with us as well, and hopefully we can be an example to them for the family that they themselves will have one day…

So parents let us be diligent to teach our children to not forsake the assembly.
Let us first teach by example.
Then let us teach by making it important enough to discipline them over.
“You go because I said go… period”

>A Husband’s Response Matters


Now when Rachel saw that she
bore Jacob no children,
she became jealous of her sister;
and she said to Jacob,
“Give me children, or else I die.”
Genesis 30:1
Jacob responds to Rachel’s cry with anger instead of prayer, which leads to what I like to call the “wife wars.” God has placed the husband as head of the household, and his choices and his actions affect the course of the family. We should never forget the importance of the role of husbands.
In Leah’s and Rachel’s desperation to be number one in the heart of Jacob, they force their two maids, Bilhah and Zilpah, to allow Jacob to go into them and bear sons for them.
I can’t help but wonder if the history of the nation of Israel might have been a little different had Jacob learned from the choices of his fathers; if he had learned from Abraham, who listened to the voice of his wife and went into her maid and refused to do so himself. If he instead had prayed for his beloved Rachel as Isaac had Rebekah, maybe things would be different.
However, I know that God is sovereign, and I know that from Leah came Judah, the father of David, the father of Mary, through whom Christ would enter this world in the flesh.
Jacob has such a long road ahead of him, and behind him lays the path of havoc wreaked by his choices. He has yet to place his faith in God. He has yet to seek righteousness. He is still just going through life, living according to his own strength, making choices according to his own flesh. He has yet to learn that he needs to trust in the Lord with all his heart and lean not on his own understanding, but acknowledge God in all his ways and God will make his path straight (Proverbs 3:5–6).
The good news is that one day he will learn.
Jacob also will learn that even in the mistakes of life—even in the sin, the rebellion, and iniquity—God’s purpose will not be thwarted. In our God there is always hope. He reigns supreme. God not only makes our path straight, but He also clears the way.
Oh Father,
I have made life-altering choices that not only affected me, but others as well, and they were made in the midst of sin, rebellion, and iniquity. I continue to suffer the consequences of those choices, but I have peace because I know I am forgiven. I have You as my God and Savior. In Christ I can forget about what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead (Philippians 3:13). In Christ I am a new creation, and the old things have passed away and new things have come (2 Corinthians 5:17). In Christ all things work together for good for those who love God and are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). In Christ I can rejoice!
My Jesus, it is in Your name I pray,

Train Up A Child Day 6

>Yesterday our main point was to teach our children a knowledge of the Scriptures- to introduce them to the Bible-  to help them become intimately acquainted with the Word of God. This must be a priority.

Our next point is also a priority. As we look at the life of Christ in the Scriptures, He was a teacher. One of the most direct questions the disciples ever asked Jesus to teach them was “Lord, teach us to pray…” Luke 11:1

Train Up A Child Day Six

6.  Train them to a habit of prayer.
Prayer is the very life-breath of true religion.  It is one of the first evidences that a man is born again.  “Behold,” said the Lord of Saul, in the day he sent Ananias to him, “Behold, he prayeth” (Acts 9:11).  He had begun to pray, and that was proof enough.
Prayer was the distinguishing mark of the Lord’s people in the day that there began to be a separation between them and the world.  “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord” (Gen. 4:26).
Prayer is the peculiarity of all real Christians now.  They pray, — for they tell God their wants, their feelings, their desires, their fears; and mean what they say.  The nominal Christian may repeat prayers, and good prayers too, but he goes no further.
Prayer is the turning-point in a man’s soul.  Our ministry is unprofitable, and our labour is vain, till you are brought to your knees.  Till then, we have no hope about you.
Prayer is one great secret of spiritual prosperity.  When there is much private communion with God, your soul will grow like the grass after rain; when there is little, all will be at a standstill, you will barely keep your soul alive.  Show me a growing Christian, a going forward Christian, a strong Christian, a flourishing Christian, and sure am I, he is one that speaks often with his Lord.  He asks much, and he has much.  He tells Jesus everything, and so he always knows how to act.
Prayer is the mightiest engine God has placed in our hands.  It is the best weapon to use in every difficulty, and the surest remedy in every trouble.  It is the key that unlocks the treasury of promises, and the hand that draws forth grace and help in time of need.  It is the silver trumpet God commands us to sound in all our necessity, and it is the cry He has promised always to attend to, even as a loving mother to the voice of her child.
Prayer is the simplest means that man can use in coming to God. It is within reach of all, — the sick, the aged, the infirm, the paralytic, the blind, the poor, the unlearned, — all can pray.  It avails you nothing to plead want of memory, and want of learning, and want of books, and want of scholarship in this matter.  So long as you have a tongue to tell your soul’s state, you may and ought to pray.  Those words, “Ye have not, because ye ask not” (Jas. 4:2), will be a fearful condemnation to many in the day of judgment.
Parents, if you love your children, do all that lies in your power to train them up to a habit of prayer.  Show them how to begin.  Tell them what to say.  Encourage them to persevere.  Remind them if they become careless and slack about it.  Let it not be your fault, at any rate, if they never call on the name of the Lord. 

This, remember, is the first step in religion which a child is able to take.  Long before he can read, you can teach him to kneel by his mother’s side, and repeat the simple words of prayer and praise which she puts in his mouth.  And as the first steps in any undertaking are always the most important, so is the manner in which your children’s prayers are prayed, a point which deserves your closest attention.  Few seem to know how much depends on this.  You must beware lest they get into a way of saying them in a hasty, careless, and irreverent manner.
You must beware of giving up the oversight of this matter to servants and nurses, or of trusting too much to your children doing it when left to themselves.  I cannot praise that mother who never looks after this most important part of her child’s daily life herself.  Surely if there be any habit which your own hand and eye should help in forming, it is the habit of prayer.

Believe me, if you never hear your children pray yourself, you are much to blame.  You are little wiser than the bird described in Job, “which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in the dust, and forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.  She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers: her labour is in vain without fear” (Job 39:14-16).
Prayer is, of all habits, the one which we recollect the longest.  Many a grey- headed man could tell you how his mother used to make him pray in the days of his childhood.  Other things have passed away from his mind perhaps.  The church where he was taken to worship, the minister whom he heard preach, the companions who used to play with him, — all these, it may be, have passed from his memory, and left no mark behind.  But you will often find it is far different with his first prayers.  He will often be able to tell you where he knelt, and what he was taught to say, and even how his mother looked all the while.  It will come up as fresh before his mind’s eye as if it was but yesterday.
Reader, if you love your children, I charge you, do not let the seed-time of a prayerful habit pass away unimproved.  If you train your children to anything, train them, at least, to a habit of prayer.

We taught our girls to pray before they could talk. I can remember my little 7 month old Shelby covering her eyes with the back of her hands while her little fingers curled in just slightly as we prayed before our meals and then her little head popping up at “Amen” with this most glorious smile on her face… she was learning to pray. The same came with my Bekah.
Then I remember the day that they were able to to say “Amen”. 
Then I remember the day that they “prayed in tongues” and the only word we could really catch was the ending “Amen” but we knew they were praying right along with us.
Then I remember when my little 2 year old Shelby would say the blessing before a meal and she would thank God for each individual item on her plate… except the item she did not want to eat. 🙂
We would ask her, Shelby why did you not bless the corn, “I don’t like corn” would be her reply…
Then we began the quiet times that were focused for her. And we prayed at meal time, we prayed at bedtime, we prayed at Bible study time… we prayed when we were scared, we prayed when someone hurt us… we prayed with them.
When our Shelby was 3 years old she was sitting on the couch and I was in the rocker giving the infant Bekah a bottle and Shelby out of no where says, “Momma, I need to ask Jesus into my heart.” I was shocked and surprised and simply said, “well okay Shelby, you can do that.” Then she did. She sat there on that couch in her precious 3 year old body and she prayed for Jesus to come into her heart, all on her own, no prompting or leading from me. When the Holy Spirit convicted her and said pray… she was ready… she knew how to pray. 
Several years ago we realized our girls meal time prayer was becoming a mere repetitional ritual that must be done before they knew we would let them consume food. The “God is great, God is good…” is wonderful to teach our children the habit of praying before a meal and being thankful for our food… but it was now time to push them a little farther.
We had them stop this repetition and begin praying with their own words. Then low and behold it did not take long for their own words to become repetitive and ritual, they had turned their own words into a new “God is great God is good…”
So my husband checked them on it and once again he had to remind them to pray for today. To pray with sincerity. To think of someone today who needs prayer for a specific thing, to think of one thing today that they were thankful for, then also thank God for this food today, and thank Him for being God.
We are also teaching our children to pray God’s Word. Now that they are old enough to study it for themselves, it is time they learn to get serious about praying according to God’s will and not their own.
A wonderful study that we have used with them to help teach this is Lord, Teach Me To Pray. If this is an area you struggle with yourself, do this study with your child, trust me you will learn as well 🙂 

>God’s Hands Are Never Tied


Now the Lord saw that Leah was unloved,
and He opened her womb.
Genesis 29:31
Jacob awakes the morning after his wedding to discover that it is Leah beside him and not his beloved Rachel. He goes to Laban and confronts him about this deception.
Laban offers Rachel for another seven years of labor. Jacob chooses to work seven more years in order to take Rachel as his second bride. Laban allows Jacob to marry Rachel after the completed wedding week of Leah.
Leah is immediately shoved to the wayside because Jacob’s heart always belonged to Rachel. The Lord, however, saw the hurt of Leah—after all, He is El-Roi.
The Lord opens Leah’s womb, and she conceives a son. Leah hopes against hope that this will win the affections of her husband, but it does not. She conceives and bears Jacob three more sons, and still her husband does not love her as he does Rachel. By the time she reaches the birth of baby number four, Leah says, “This time I will praise the Lord” (Genesis 29:35).
Leah had finally learned that the love of God was what mattered. “For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the Lord of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, who is called the God of all the earth” (Isaiah 54:5).
Precious one, we cannot expect others to define our worth. Leah was unloved by Jacob, but oh, she was so loved by God. Leah had been the victim of her father’s deception of Jacob. God knew this.
The fact of the matter is that God designed the family as one man for one woman until death separates. A man’s heart cannot be divided. Jacob grew to care for Leah, but his heart belonged to Rachel until his death.
Yes, God allowed polygamy because He allows us freewill, but in this freewill comes consequences of choices. There never was peace in Jacob’s home. His home was always filled with bitterness, jealousies, and strife. He suffered the consequences of this “blended family” until his eyes closed in final sleep.
The glorious thing is that God’s hands are not tied or controlled by our choices. He is still God, and His will always is accomplished. When our hurts and even our mistakes are placed into the hands of God, good is always the end result.
Oh Father,
Once again, through the study of Your Word, I see that You are a God who sees. You see my hurts and my heart when it has been broken. You are my comfort and my peace. In You is my strength, and You are my refuge. As long as I know that You love me and that You care about the hurts of my heart, then I too can say as Leah said, “I will praise the Lord.” Life is not always fair, and sometimes we suffer because of the choices of others, but “if God is for us, then who can be against us” (Romans 8:31). You are the One from whom all blessings flow, and Your blessings are not measured by human measurements. You are sovereign over the womb and over the world. In You I can place my whole heart and never fear that You will break it.
My Jesus, it is in Your name I pray,