We like control. We crave control. Our first reaction when life starts to spin is find a way to fix it. Control. Manage it. Control. And when we can’t fix it, and can’t manage it, we block it out and begin to focus on what we can control in the moment (or at least, what we think we’re controlling).
I have discovered that God doesn’t just “allow” pain – he uses it, on purpose, in each and every one of us. There are some lessons that cannot be learned through ease and comfort. And there are some things we’ll never change, some sin we’ll never forsake, until God uses pain to get our attention. Therefore, pain is not just inevitable; it is necessary.
Our response to pain reveals what we truly believe about God.
They all ran. For all the same reason. Sin.
They ran from the consequences of their sin.
They ran into the arms of sin.
And they left a trail of destruction behind them.
[Excerpt] By believing that rebellion is inevitable, parents make the mistake of beginning to excuse it at the beginning stages, feeling it’s not a big deal yet, or even believing it’s just not a big deal. Sometimes they avoid the confrontation simply because they’re too tired or busy, or even afraid.
The worst part of believing that rebellion is inevitable is that it allows parents to excuse their children’s behavior by believing that they can’t help it, it’s normal, or even natural for them to behave in these ways that are, in reality, sinful. And of course, if the parents excuse it, the children will not only excuse it, but indulge it.
[Excerpt] There’s a prevailing mindset of children existing for their parent’s personal pleasure and comfort. We see children as a blessing when they’re convenient and as a curse when they’re inconvenient. Thus we have seen the rise of abortion pre-birth and abuse post-birth. The root of it all is extreme selfishness – the mindset that children for me and my personal pleasure.
To gain a godly perspective on children, we must first understand that our children belong to God and that He has allowed us to have them in order for us to raise them to follow Christ. This is a great responsibility – it is serious, important work. And we must, in turn, take it seriously.
To raise a child is to be more than just present, it’s to be strategic. One day this child that you have been entrusted must make his or her own decision to follow Christ; and in the few years that you have with your child, your job is to prepare him or her to choose Christ over self and over the world.
[Excerpt] Divorce begins before a couple is even married. Before a man and woman even exchange vows and rings, most marriages are already in decline. By the time a couple reaches the alter, they’ve already begun to take each other for granted, they’ve already begun to think marriage is going to make them (and keep them) happy. They already believe that it will be easy and effortless, that it will finally complete them. But these are all lies.
Marriage is hard, and a good marriage is even harder.
[Excerpt] We just learned the importance of submission in marriage, and the responsibility a wife has to encourage, bless, and benefit her husband. But what about the exceptions, those cases where a husband is abusive, passive, or just plain ol’ dumb?
[Excerpt] Submission is a sensitive topic, especially when it comes to marriage. However, that does not mean we should avoid it. Rather, we must work hard to make sure we have a biblical understanding of submission – who we are to submit to, why we are to submit, and what that looks like.