How do I get past the pain of the past years? I do not think I can forgive this, this is too much! Can you imagine? She … He…
These are the voices of many people in different forms of relationships today. Everyone has been hurt by someone they thought they could trust. It hurts because we trusted, and got disappointed!
The effect of the rolled over pain and unattended disappointments have left strains in a lot of families.
Many marriages today are very far from their places in destiny because of one disappointment or the other. Spouses are unable to get past the pain of disappointment to healing and fulfillment. How do we get to this place while being led by the Word of God? This is the question I pray this article will answer.
Every relationship thrives on the ability to forgive and forget. Everyone must come to accept forgiving and forgetting as a lifestyle and the key to having fulfilled relationships.
For some time now when I see couples, I keep seeing the wonder of what lies between them. For every couple having a great time together, laughing and working together, there lies forgiving and forgetting. Hurting one another is inevitable where two people are working closely with one another and especially in marriage. A friend used to say,” I can only step on your toes because we are close enough to each other”. Offense is inevitable in any relationship of any kind: the closer the relationship, the greater the possibility of offense. Someone once said there are very few people who can hurt you like your spouse and children. This is the fact of life we must live with. But when there is an offence what do we do? How do we get around it to get to our perfect destination of Peace and Harmony?
So many families are under the captivity of unforgiveness, brothers and sisters in discord because of longstanding sibling rivalry, husband and wife relationships heavily strained because of past offences. And in some cases, the marriage ends in divorce. How do we ensure our relationships do not become part of the statistics?
- Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
- And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
- And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
- For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
- And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
- And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
- And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, what is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
- And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
- And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.
- And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, here am I.
- And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
- And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, what seekest thou?
- And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
- And the man said, they are departed hence; for I heard them say, let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
- And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
- And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
- Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
- And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
- And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
- And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
- And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
- And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
- And Judah said unto his brethren, what profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
- Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
- Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
- And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
- And he returned unto his brethren, and said, the child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
- And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
- And they sent the coat of manycolours, and they brought it to their father; and said, this have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.
- And he knew it, and said, it is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
- And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
- And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
- And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard. (Genesis 37:3-36).
Just like Joseph I am very sure you have the right to feel offended. Being angry really is not a sin. Scripture confirms it to us in Ephesians 4:26 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” Really you have a right to feel offended but how do we ensure that SIN does not take hold of your anger.
Offense always leads to bitterness where not properly taken care of.
We cannot prevent offenses but we have the power to take care of them when they occur. Our Lord
Jesus taught us through the Bible that we should forgive as many times as we are offended.
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven. Mat 18:21-22
Just like Joseph, you have every reason to be offended but going further down the passage above, our Lord Jesus told a parable of a servant who refused to forgive little after he had been forgiven so much. Jesus concluded that the servant was WICKED. To refuse to forgive is to act wickedly, unfortunately we do not act wickedly against the person alone but even against ourselves. Nelson Mandela said “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
Keeping offense takes us off the path of trusting God! When we keep offense we take over, instead of allowing God to defend us.
I hear someone say this lady does not know what she is talking about, I should just forget that I read this. This is the more reason you must forgive.
Why we must forgive
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.(Matthew 6:12)
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14 -15)
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. (Isaiah 43:25)
We forgive first for our own sake, for our own healing. When our Lord Jesus Christ was teaching us how to pray He said forgive us just as we forgive others!
We need to forgive just as much as we require forgiveness ourselves. And do not we all need God’s Forgiveness?
We need to forgive because we must get to our place in destiny. I believe Joseph got to destiny because he forgave. He had forgiven his brothers even before his first encounter with them after they sold him off.
The story of Joseph is one that thrills me every time I read or think about it. After reading and meditating on his story I wondered how he was able to forgive his siblings.
He had every right to be bitter against them and even God. He got revelations from God about his future and instead of having things fall in place from then on, his life seemed to go haywire. His own brothers sold him into Slavery, his master’s wife wanted to sleep with him and when he stood his ground in the fear of God, he landed in prison.
At some point I thought he would have just given up on God, but he did not. Rather, he held on to God the more; and little wonder, even in the prison he was interpreting dreams.
We cannot afford to lose hold of our God-given promises because of bitterness. As I write, I sense some people are not just bitter against their spouses, but even their in-laws and this is creeping into the relationship they have with their spouses. I pray that healing will come for every hurting soul.
We are forgiven as much as we forgive ourselves.
Forgiving after a broken heart!
It can be very difficult after a heart has been broken too many times by the same person. I will not just speak scriptures and walk away. Nothing heals the heart more than the Word of God! Yes your heart has been stepped upon without care but you need to take responsibility for your heart.
What do we do about the unrepentant we need to forgive?
How do we forget?
Decide to Forget
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. (Isaiah 43:18)
You and I have the responsibility of choosing to forget. Choose to let go. You will have flash back of the pains and disappointments but as you decide to forget and act contrary to your feelings of revenge you will get to the place of healing and wholeness.
- And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.
- And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.
- And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.
- And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
- But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Genesis 50:15 -20)
See everything as working together for your good. As much as people act wrongly against us, it does not change God’s plan, it is part of His plan. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” (2 Corinthians 4:17). When we face injustice as Christians, we should remember that Jesus Christ suffered much more injustice for our sake. “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;” (Philippians 1:29)“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Things work together for good only when we are in line with God’s love and purpose. Being in line with God’s love and purpose is to forgive and forget.
Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him.”(Luke 17:4 –The MSG)
What to do next?
This is the very difficult part. There is no simple answer other than letting the Holy Spirit guide you in all your ways.
Our Lord Jesus promised never to leave us without comfort and He keeps this promise through the Holy Spirit, the Seal of our redemption. The person you need to forgive may not be repentant, and may be your spouse or someone you cannot readily get rid of. Yet you need to keep on holding on to the Word of God and allowing His Spirit to guide you in all your ways. Ensure you have no resentment and be open to God about your feelings. Sometimes we are hurt and heaven knows we are, and we ought to feel hurt. The best part is that we have a High Priest that is moved by our issues. He understands betrayals and hurt more than you think. He can get you through this also.
Pray sincerely telling God exactly how you feel and watch a miracle begin in your heart! He will fill you with so much love than you can ever imagine! You are on your way to healing!
Rules of Engagement for Couples
From experience I have found that it is necessary for couples to set rules for what can and cannot happen in the event of any disagreement. It is interesting that often we assume our marriages will just work out fine, especially for Christians, but today we have found that it takes a deliberate attempt by both partners no matter how Spirit filled to make it work.
Decide as a couple limits of how far you will ever go in the case of a disagreement.
No Physical Abuse, name calling, bringing up the past except that is what the discussion is about. No dragging of third parties into the argument, stick to the matter that needs to be addressed. Respect your partner’s feelings. There is so much that we could share, here is a link you can go to for more information.
Maybe you are reading this article and your marriage just came out of a terrible storm and the wounds are still fresh, this is good information for you.
To the Forgiven
You know you have done wrong and you have been forgiven, it is not time to forget completely it ever happened. It is time to build back confidence into your partner. Your partner is trying to do the right thing by forgiving you, so you need to make it easy by “bearing fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8). Make deliberate efforts with the help of the Holy Spirit to take your family far away from yesterday.
To the Forgiver
Thank God you have taken the road to freedom which is forgiveness. Now, it is time to forget. Forgetting takes deliberate effort not to go back there, for your own sake! Your mind will wander back to the pain, please make deliberate effort to offload your mind of your hurts, do not push them back, bring them up and deal with them. Trust the Holy Spirit to help you do the right things to renew your love. Fill up your being with God’s Word. Nothing heals like God’s Word.
There’s an interesting passage in Genesis 29. Jacob fell in love with Rachel and he agreed to serve Laban, Rachel’s father, for seven years in order to marry Rachel. Genesis 29:20 tells us those seven years were like a few days to Jacob. Even when Laban tricked Jacob by giving out Leah instead of Rachel, Jacob was still willing to serve Laban for additional seven years! That demonstrates to us the power of motivation. Many people go out to work, not just because they need the job, but because they need the pay check or the salary. Many students work hard at their studies, not because they have nothing else to do, but because they want to graduate with flying colors.
Just as adults can be motivated to reach their goals, children also can be motivated toward positive attitude and appropriate behavior. There’s a saying that the behavior you praise gets repeated. It’s possible to motivate your child to do good. And it’s possible to help your child sustain the good behavior. I’ll like to clarify that “reward” isn’t the same thing as a “bribe”. Moreover, rewarding your child doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve lost leadership as a parent. I think parents should still be able to instruct their children with or without reward system. My point here is, you can take advantage of motivation in the process of training your children to become everything God has destined them to be.
Reward system is scriptural. Hebrews 11:6 describes God as a “rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”. Deuteronomy 28: 1-14 is a list of blessings we stand to receive if we do what God commands us to do. Verse 2 of that chapter states, “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God.” Everlasting life is promised to those who believe in Jesus Christ, (John 3:16). In Matthew 5:7, Jesus says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” We can see so many examples in the Bible where the Lord is motivating us toward living to please Him. If God will use the reward system over and over, I believe parents should do the same with their children.
The Principle Explained.
Reward system simply means your child gets something as a reward for carrying out certain instruction you gave him or her. The reward must be captivating or motivating enough to get your child inspired. Your instruction must also be very clear and specific. For instance, I practice this principle with my 5-year-old son weekly. The deal is for him to have five “good days” from Monday to Friday and Friday will be his “treat day”. Good day means when I pick him up from school or day care, the teachers have good things to say about his behavior. That means he has been respectful of his teachers and peers. That means he has been compliant with his teachers’ directives. For his treat, he gets to choose what he wants, subject to my approval. In the past, he has asked for Subway sandwich, cookies, buffet at Chinese restaurant, old-fashioned donuts from Donkin Donuts, and pizza from Little Caesars. The good news is my son has now internalized having good days. With or without reward, he now enjoys having “good days”. We have come to the point where I began to explain to him that the joy he derives from having good days is actually a great reward.
There’s another side to this coin. There may be times when a child decides to ignore his parent’s instructions. Despite every effort to motivate a child to do good, he may still defy his parent’s authority. That’s when the parent needs to apply the appropriate consequence(s) to discourage the child’s negative behavior. This will be the subject of my discourse in the next edition. I pray the Lord will strengthen you in raising your child to live for Him.
Pastor Victor Adeola King
God give us Christian homes!
Homes where the mother, in caring quest,
Strives to show others Your way is best,
Homes where the Lord is an honored guest;
God give us Christian homes;
God give us Christian homes!
God give us Christian homes!
Homes where the children are led to know
Christ in His beauty who loves them so,
Homes where the altar fires burn and glow;
God give us Christian homes;
God give us Christian homes!
Homes where the mother, in caring quest, Strives to show others Your way is best,Strives to show others Your way is best!
Home where the mother in caring quest, a home where the mother loves all that come into the home be it, the father, children, in-laws, family, the house help, artisans etc. everyone feels loved and welcomed. The children learn indirectly to respect all people and love all from our actions.
A Christian Home is where the house help is not just a maid but an additional member of the family. A home where the mother is always trying to teach Christ with every action no matter how insignificant.Home where the mother loves God so much and she is trying to be the Christ everyone sees.
In a world where right seems wrong and wrong seems right, we must be deliberate to show the examples. Our kids are watching us like a hawk. What books or magazines can be found on our book shelves? What songs do we share with them? How deliberate are we at teaching them why one song is good or bad? Do we just shut them up and tell them to live by the law and not grace?
Homes where the Lord is an honored guest;
Homes where the children are led to know
Christ in His beauty who loves them so,
Homes where the altar fires burn and glow;
Home where the worship of God is just natural. The children burst into praise at play time because of the abundance of God’s worship around them, modeled by their parents.
A home where Christ is taught through everything, the movies, the choice of books bought for the kids, the testimonies we share with them and so much more.
I believe for us to do a good job as parents we need to learn as much from other parents who are successful at this, as possible. I have come to learn that you find only the knowledge you are looking for. The ‘How’ is all around us but we will only see what we choose.
Do we have an altar at all? Have you the woman of the home neglected it because your husband has? Or are you the father too busy with work to enshrine Christ in your home?
God give us Christian Homes!
My prayer is that the Lord will cause every scale that has blinded us to fall that we may begin to see that our ultimate purpose must be to please God and not just acquire things.
We Christians are so busy these days seeking bread at the expense of the kingdom. I was thinking about some Christian homes recently and I realized that the Children did not turn out well because they went to Ivy league schools but because they were trained in the way of the Lord.
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink;
nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet
your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil
not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the
oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal
shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have
need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Mat 6:25-34(KJV).
Please think about these words like you never heard them before and let them come alive in your spirit!
“Children”, the Bible tells us, are an heritage of the Lord (Psa 127:3) in other words they are God’s inheritance – his property, as parents, we have only been privileged to be their custodians, caretakers and managers.
Seldom times, leaders who appear to be excelling in their career, business and ministry fail in the area of child upbringing. This in the eyes of the Lord is failure. The Bible tells us one of God’s purposes for instituting marriage in Malachi 2:15
Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are His. And what does He want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. (New Living Translation)
Didn’t God create you to become like one person with your wife? And why did he do this? It was so you would have children, and then lead them to become God’s people. Don’t ever be unfaithful to your wife. (Contemporary English Version)
The union of marriage is aimed at leading leaders to lead their children into becoming God’s people. In today’s world, even some pastors lose their children to societal vices and ungodly compromise. This was the case with scriptural examples like Eli (1 Samuel 3:13), Samuel (1 Samuel 8:1-6) and King David (2 Samuel 12ff).
The sins of Eli’s children included their acts of profanity and fornication with ladies who come to the ‘Church’ for worship. See 1 Samuel 2:22-25. Concerning 1 Samuel 3:13 Wesley wrote in his commentary – “They who can, and do not restrain others from sin, make themselves partakers of the guilt. Those in authority will have a great deal to answer for, if the sword they bear be not a terror to evil – doers.”
In the case of Prophet Samuel, his children (Joel and Abiah) made the elders of Israel to apply for a King (1 Samuel 8:1-5) because they were anxious for filthy wages, perverted justice and took bribes. It was obvious that God didn’t like their request for a king but had to approve it since the judges who were the children of the leader were a disappointment.
No matter how busy you are, you owe God, yourself and humanity the honour of raising godly children. To fail in this area will be to plan to destroy whatever legacy, prosperity and name you may be making for yourself.
Rise up, take responsibility and love, teach and train your children in the ways of the Lord so when they grow they will not depart from the righteous path – Proverbs 22. A few tips to managing your children:
– Start early: You can only bend a reed while it is tender and fresh
– Use the Word of God: Speak it into them, read it with them, teach it to them. Psalms 119:11
– Apply the rod: He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him quickly.. Pro 13:24
– Be firm: Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him. Pro 22:15 (NASB)
– Pray for and with them: Prayer changes things and people
– Love them: Don’t be harsh with them. Rather, treat them with love. Correct, but don’t bully them.
– Listen to them: Many kids just need some attention. Don’t get too busy that you have no time for them.
I trust the Lord to support you to manage your children for His glory.
– david sanda
Reverence for the LORD is an education in itself. You must be humble before you can ever receive honors. (Proverbs 1533)
Take God out of the equation and what you have left is chaos and disorderliness. Imagine a situation in this world where morals are relative to the individual’s knowledge and sense of what is good and evil. That is, what I regard as ‘sin’ may be ‘good’ for you. Someone has not had any food to eat for a whole day; therefore, he steals a bar of chocolate at the mall. Justifiable, right? You rationalize it thus- the guy probably doesn’t have a job else he would have had money to provide himself food, therefore, picking a chocolate bar out of thousands to satisfy his hunger isn’t wrong. Besides, the management of the mall makes exorbitant profits on a daily basis and this little bar of chocolates is less than ten pennies. When everyone becomes a law for himself there’s bound to be friction and infringement on the rights of other people because the nature of man is intrinsically selfish- self preservation is the name of the game!
However, God did not design us so; His plan for humanity right from Eden was for man to be dependent upon Him for the knowledge of what is good and what is evil. Adam & Eve’s desire in partaking of the fruit was to be able to have knowledge of what is good and what is evil by themselves without relying on God.
Having established that the responsibility for guarding the hearts of our children at the early formative stages of their lives is in the hands of the parents; I want to direct our hearts to the corner-stone for shaping the heart of your child.
If you miss this, the basis for your instruction, nurture and admonition will be warped and the results will not be desirable. Don’t just hand down instructions to your children which MUST be obeyed BECAUSE YOU SAID SO.
Rather, steer their hearts and young, impressionable minds towards the fear of the Lord as many versions put our key-verse for today. The fear of the Lord does not mean a morbid dread of punishment or trepidation at the mention of God, but a reverence for Him that is borne out of love and adoration for who God is and What He’s done for humanity.
Reverence for God is said to be an education in itself because, it is a well-spring from which good, godly attributes are generated. If you make reverence for God the cornerstone for your home, the task of shaping the future of your children becomes an easy one because they have a reason for their actions which goes beyond the unbreakable codes given by Dad, Mum or the fear of punishment.
To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the LORD. Stupid people have no respect for wisdom and refuse to learn (Proverbs 17)
*Scripture quotations are from the Good News Bible
– Dr ifelayo ojo
Last week, I read about a 7-year old Indian boy who could only communicate by chirping and flapping his arms. Guess why? He was raised in aviary by his mum and she did not talk to him at all since his birth till the time he was discovered by social workers. He had learnt to communicate like the birds he’d been exposed to all his life, one can only wonder what kind of experiment his mum was making of her son. However, before you point your fingers to accuse her of child abuse or call her a lunatic; consider what kind of influence you are directly or inadvertently exposing your own children to on a daily basis.
Babies are born with an enviable apparent innocence- pink and cuddly, smiling in their sleep, they appear to be the perfect picture of purity. However, just how pure they grow up to be is a function of what kind of environment they find in the home and the kind of training received from the parents. If you find a little child using swear-words; it is only reasonable to deduce that such words are in the average vocabulary parlance of the parents. This is because language development as with all other forms of development in children is a function of stimulation. What kind of social stimulation do you give your child?
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
To train here means to instruct deliberately, to coach, tutor or induct. The main task of a parent is to bring up these little ones in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
And the fathers! provoke not your children, but nourish them in the instruction and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
Apostle Paul was talking directly to fathers here as the head of the home, to make their instructions to the children such that the child will obey. Although, it is the duty of children to obey their parents, the parent also has a responsibility to maintain such a character and home administration that it’ll be proper for the child to obey.
Do not provoke your children by unreasonable commands, by being unduly harsh or by displaying anger. This is child abuse! Christian parents are allowed to discipline or punish their children if necessary, but not in anger. Do it in such a way that your child will not lose confidence in you but will love you. This love will make your known wishes a law for them; your child will like to bring you pleasure by fulfilling your wishes.
Feed your children with God’s word not swear-words, it is your duty to guard their minds, because at the early stages they cannot do it by themselves. Children are highly impressionable, if you leave them to watch the just any kind of movie or listen to just any kind of music; you may realize too late just how much it does matter!
There’re plenty of good, godly materials in Christian bookshops targeted at helping you nourish your children in the way of God. Take the time to purchase these cartoons, videos, books, sing-along tapes etc. that will positively stimulate your child. Their toys should also have Christian undertones; rather than buy a gun for your four year-old at the toy shop, why not buy him a story-set of ‘The Good Samaritan’? Put up posters with godly characters and verses of scripture in their rooms instead of the heroes of our time who wear revealing clothes and live on drugs. The input you give to your children will determine their output.
(To be continued…)
– ifelayo ojo
Find listed below, some examples of sibling rivalry in the bible:
- Cain and Abel
- Jacob and Esau
- Leah and Rachel
- Joseph and his brothers
This is to show how this problematic phenomenon has existed since the creation and subsequent fall of man. The tendency in the natural man is for competition, selfishness and a desire to be greater than his fellows. While not condemning a pure desire to excel and succeed at endeavours, I wish to propose God’s method and will to you:
For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. (Romans 123 NASB)
We are to live as individually unique members of Christ’s body, exploring and utilizing to the fullest the riches of grace bestowed upon us and showcasing God’s workmanship.
It is unwise to work by comparisons or judge our physical or spiritual achievements by other people’s attainment- whether they be siblings or fellow heirs of God’s grace because each one shall stand before God and be judged as individuals at the end of the age. (See 2Corinthians 1012, Galatians 62-5, Romans 1510-13)
The desire of God is that we complement one another and help each other be the best that He has created us to be.
Parents, learn to commend good behaviour and praise worthy achievements without comparisons amongst your children. Let your children express their grievances and do not take sides with anyone, just correct bad behaviour without putting any child down as the ‘bad one’. Give gifts to each child according to need not just equally because you want to avoid jealousy. As you practice these things, the rivalry and competition amongst your children will not disappear suddenly but they’ll grow to know how they can resolve differences without unhealthy crisis if you don’t give up.
Children, therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children; and walk in love, just as God loved you, and gave Himself up for us (Ephesians51,2a). Display love in relating with your siblings, do not insist on your own rights. Be willing to share. Rejoice in the achievements of your sibs and love them for it, even if your brother or sister gets something which you personally desire before you do.
As a family, do all that will make for peace always…
– Dr ifelayo ojo