Marriage-Parenting

“ Marriage and family are
institutions ordained by God.
Biblical marriage is only between
a man and a woman. Marriage is
like Christ and the Church ”
(Ephesians 5:22-33).

Our present society is suffering
from the breakdown of the family.
We have departed from God’s
ordained structure. If you feel your
family is broken or suffering, do not
feel judged by the Scripture. Rather,
know this is God’s trail map back to
health and restoration.
Good News!
If your family is divorced know that
God is in the restoration and renewal
“business”. He can make a way where
there is no way.

Husband are Leaders of Their Families

“The husband holds ultimate responsibility for all major decisions in the family and the home.”
“The wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband.”

To many people today the idea of wivesʼ submitting to their husband seems antiquated or even chauvinistic. A growing majority disagree with the above two statements.

The bible says in Ephesians 5:23,
“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”

Principles of Submission and Respect

Every woman dreams of being loved and
every man desires to be respected. These are
fundamental needs God has woven into us.
When a woman feels loved, she pours out honor
and respect towards the one extending this love.
When a man is honored with respect, he responds with sacrificial love. Curiously, he responds in this loving way without conscious thought.
     The Bible teaches the duty of each husband and wife in Ephesians 5:33, “Let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.

    
Every marriage needs more love and more respect. If the husband first loves his wife, she will respond with honor and respect. If the wife honors and respects her husband, he will respond with love. This ‘energizing cycle’ continues and makes a marriage relationship flourish.

Submission and respect are based on assigned roles, not on inherent worth. The reason wives are commanded to submit to and respect their husbands has nothing to do with inherent worth, but rather with assigned responsibility. Equality (1 Peter 3:7) does not mean sameness. Is hot better than cold? No. One is better suited for coffee and the other for ice cream.

Submission is due because respect is due to the sovereign wisdom of the God who ordained that relationship of authority and submission. Wives are created to be a helpmeet to their husband.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18).

For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake” (1 Corinthians 11:8,9).

Through the power of Jesus in our lives we can rediscover God
ʼs original plan in which a wife willingly defers to her husbandʼs leadership, and the husband sacrificially loves and leads his wife.

Submission is voluntary obedience to the Lord in that every woman chooses whether or not she wants to marry and, consequently, live under the authority of a husband. The only kind of power or authority a husband possesses over his wife is the positional power conferred on him by God.

But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:3).

Where is the line between submission to authority figures and obedience to God?Submission is limited in its sphere and scope. The only two areas where a woman is to submit to male leadership is in the marriage home and in the church. Never is a wife obligated to do anything that violates the clear teaching of Godʼs Word, such as engaging in immorality, forsaking worship with other believers, or allowing herself or her children to be physically abused.

If the husband (or other God ordained leader) misuses their authority then our duty is no longer to submit but to refuse to do so. We are to obey God and obeying human authority that goes against God
ʼs will is being disobedient to God.

Consider the beauty of a marriage and family life which is a product of the Biblical woman described in Proverbs 31.
 10 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.
13 She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight.
14 She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar.
15 She rises also while it is still night And gives food to her household And portions to her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong.
18 She senses that her gain is good; Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hands grasp the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her house-hold, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:10-31).

If you are a woman or mother with no husband, know that God is the husband of the husbandless. He is the Father of the fatherless. Begin to think of Jesus this way and watch what the Lord can do! (Psalm 68:5;146:9; Proverbs 23:10)

Principles of Husband Headship

Husbands can never coerce wives to obey them. Submission is encouraged by example, not coercion. Even if through manipulation or abuse you can force her to comply with your requests, you will find rebellion and refusal in her heart. More often not, when the husband submits to Godʼs leadership, his wife gladly submits to his.

Submission begins with the husband, not the wife. It is encouraged by the husbandʼs example and sacrifice.

For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God” ( 1 Corinthians 11:12).

A wise husband will invite and listen to the advise of his wife since she is a fellow heir. Pilate would have done himself a great service had he heeded his wife
ʼs counsel to leave Jesus alone rather than cave in to the publicʼs demand for blood. (Matthew 27:19)

The Bible
does not command the wife to obey her husband as it does in the relationship between children and parents, slaves and their masters. A wife is never to be treated as a child or a slave but as an equal partner in the marriage who submits to her husbandʼs leadership, not because she is inferior, but because she voluntarily accepts Godʼs design for marriage. Husbands can encourage her submission by example and sacrifice. Wives often have a difficult time placing herself under the husbandʼs authority because she has not seen him submit to Godʼs authority.

There are many verses that speak about the husband
ʼs responsibility to his wife. Being the leader of the family is not a privilege to be exploited, it is a responsibility. Husbands are to place the welfare of his wife above his own.

If he is not willing to do that, then he has no business getting married. If the wife is not willing to submit to the authority of her husband she has no business getting married.

But if you choose to marry, God through Jesus Christ has issued us a direct order,
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church” (Ephesians 5:25).


Family Relationships & Parenting

Parents are to love their children. Love is not permissiveness. It is godly and strong. Love protects children from the evils of the world. The rulers of the darkness are after your children. Godly parents are not to relinquish their authority over their children to anyone. Love builds up, not tear down. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love is patient and kind! Love forgives. Love rejoices with the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

Children are to obey their parents. Parents are to parent their children. They are to train them up in the admonition of the Lord.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH. ” (Ephesians 6:1-3).
“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on you forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).

Fathers and Mothers are to set the spiritual allegiance for their home.

“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Fathers are to Discipline their Children
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and
instruction of the Lord”
(Ephesians 1:4).

Dads are to have control of their emotions when discipling their children. And they are to discipline. They should not neglect it nor give the responsibility to someone else. Discipline should be towards a goal of positive and godly behavior traits in their children. This is an expression of godly love.

Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline?But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life? For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness. Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it” (Hebrews 12:7-11).

Fathers are to be an example to their family. They are to lead them and make godly decisions. Fathers need to be present and actively engaged. It requires that they give up (at least temporarily) some of their favorite activities in order to spend time with the family.

The one who spares his rod hates his child,
but the one who loves his child is diligent in disciplining him”..”Discipline your child, for there is hope, but do not set your heart on causing his death”
(Proverbs 13:14; 19:18) (See also Proverbs 22:15; 23:13,14).

The penalties for spiritual neglect are great. Fatherly sin when unchecked or covered in the blood of Jesus goes well beyond your immediate children. And the reward for diligence is great!

“... for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments” (Deuteronomy 5:9,10).

Sons and Daughters : Dating and Sex

Unmarried girls and boys should remain a virgin until married.
Premarital sex is the sin of adultery and fornication. They are cheating on their future spouse that God has ordained for them. The personal penalty for disobedience to this command is too great to ignore.

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching..My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” (Proverbs 1:8,10)

The Bible reveals the “snare of unchastity”. Read Proverbs 7. It speaks of the young man walking down the street and being seduced by a woman. The seduction is even couched in spiritual motivations! The result costs him his life.


#1. Kiss Dating Goodbye
I Kissed Dating Goodbye shows what it means to entrust your love life to God. Joshua Harris shares his story of giving up dating and discovering that God has something even better—a life of sincere love, true purity, and purposeful singleness.
Why? 7 habits of highly *defective* dating
1) Dating leads to intimacy, but not necessarily to commitment.
2) Dating tends to skip the 'friendship' stage of a relationship.
3) Dating often mistakes a physical relationship for love.
4) Dating often isolates a couple from other vital relationships.
5) Dating distracts young adults from their primary responsibility of preparing for the future.
6) Dating can cause discontentment with God's gift of singleness.
7) Dating creates an artificial environment for evaluating someone's character.

Unless a man is prepared to ask a woman to be his wife, what right has he to claim her exclusive attention? Unless she has been asked to marry him, why would a sensible woman promise any man her exclusive attention?

Dating Is Divorce Training
Dating is the world’s way. By it’s very nature, it is premeditated practice in “how to break up”. It produces disastrous results and it has no place in the Body of Christ. After enduring the battle field of dating, many find that they are unable to bond properly and permanently with their mate once they get to the altar. Then a few years later, they are right back in the dating game because of a divorce. Done properly, Courtship provides a method for discerning the will of God and guidelines to help believers through to the altar of marriage without the rejection, broken hearts, and ‘divorce training’ that result from dating. The young couple will enter marriage with a heart ready to properly bond with their God-given mate.

#2 Take Up Courtship
Courtship is a revolutionary adjustment to the practice of dating. It is a radical change in how we approach the process of going from being a single person to being united with the lifetime partner God has planned.
In practice, courtship entails the young man and woman getting to know each other and their respective families. The young man and woman do not consider each other as a girlfriend/boyfriend nor do they go on dates. The shared activities are done within a group of people, often with their families. They learn to treat each other almost as a brother or sister first before committing to a romantic relationship. They first learn what a relationship based on spiritual principles is. The physical relationship is consummated only after marriage. They may learn prior to a romantic relationship that they are not meant for each other.
Courtship is God’s royal plan for Christians to find the love of their lives in His time. It produces strong, stable, permanent marriages without all the pain and rejection along the way.
One need only examine the divorce rate within the Body of Christ to see that something is desperately wrong with the way we approach our commitment to the ‘love of our lives’.

Courtship Is More Than Abstinence
True courtship encompasses the preservation of one's ability to deeply experience romantic fulfillment by preventing emotional brokenness.  It incorporates total physical abstinence (not just sexual), emotional abstinence and spiritual abstinence until marriage when these can be freely enjoyed under the blessing and favor of God.  These three areas of intimacy were designed by God to deeply join two souls together and make them irreversibly one. 

Outside of marriage, these types of intimacy will produce a short-lived excitement but this will be followed by disappointment, disillusionment and sorrow.  Like so many other things provided by God for our blessing and enjoyment, they will produce life, joy and strength within the Creator's guidelines or pain, disappointment and destruction outside of their intended purpose.

Under Courtship, the passionate heart of God for his bride, the church is revealed.  His commitment to provide the right spouse in the right time for our blessing and fulfillment is clearly understood.   

At the heart of Courtship is the reality that the beauty of man and wife becoming one has its basis in the reality and glory of God become one with man through Christ. 
*Excerpted from Covenant Courtship

Through the power of Jesus in our lives we can rediscover God
ʼs original plan for the family.

We cannot learn positive family living from worldly principles. It can only be learned from the Bible.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).