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Questions for Parents!

   It troubles my heart as I observe Christian single individuals choosing a path (a path influenced by a world that has rejected Christ) but one they hope will led them to happiness, only to find disappointment and heartache, instead. I wonder, what were the fiery darts Satan used to manipulate these individuals? Perhaps this excerpt from my book, exposes some of Satan’s deception:

Reconsider the effect of the Adamic Curse. Society tells us that we need to search, that means by dating, for someone who will complete us, someone that will make us happy. If we buy into this thought, then Satan has no trouble fashioning a most deceptive fiery dart that will convince us that as individuals we are incomplete and we need the love of another person to make us whole. This fiery dart assumes we do not realize that it is the love of God that completes us and makes us whole, not a romantic relationship with someone of the opposite sex. FD, p. 55-56

   In my book I expose Satan’s intent when it come to planting thoughts into our mind that eventually leads to the heartache and disappointment to which many fall victim!

Scriptures are obvious in describing Satan’s plan in John 10:10a, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;…” (NIV) So what is it that the Enemy desires to steal, kill, and destroy? The answer is obvious – anything God has planned for us!

  I have observed a dramatic difference in the lives of Christian single individuals who have discovered that a relationship with Christ goes beyond salvation! They have discovered that a deep relationship with Christ is what makes them whole and complete (even if, and especially if, they come from homes that failed to teach them this Truth). For these individuals Christ has become the deepest desire of their hearts. I have noticed that when they experience disappointment, that disappointment doesn’t rule them or ruin them. Instead, they trust Christ with all their heart and resist the temptation to try and figure out what went wrong on their own. Because the deepest desire of their heart is Christ, they trust Him to direct their path and lead them forward in His strength. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Therefore, Parents, here are a couple of questions I want to pose to you.

Are you raising your children to desire Jesus above all else?

Is Jesus the deepest desire of your heart?

Words for Parents!

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   There are some youngsters near and dear to me that have recently embarked upon that vulnerable journey in life referred to as adolescents. And I am being reminded of the pitfalls that await our children during this section of their life’s journey as I learn of the struggles my loved ones are facing.

   Therefore, I pass along the following in the hopes that if you or your adolescent is having a difficult time maneuvering through the challenges of this time, you may find these ‘words’ to be the lifesaver for you that they were for me. 

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   As my children came along, I knew, from my own experience, that I had to find a way to protect them from the damage negative words could inflict, especially negative teasing. Thus I believe God prompted me to establish a rule in our household of “no negative teasing”. 

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   Negative teasing at some level inflicts pain. Sure on the surface we may be laughing but down deep we aren’t! It certainly doesn’t build up someone to teasingly call them ‘stupid’ now does it?

   But the most revealing and powerful force to defeat the negative thinking that years of hurtful words had produced in my own life, regretfully didn’t come to me until I was in my 50’s. Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice is the compilation of lessons given to me in how to overcome and/or heal from the damage caused by hurtful words.

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   It is from this perspective of healing that I offer these words to parents, for we must pass on to our adolescents an awareness of the Truth thought found in Ephesians 4:29 (opening photo)! We should model the Truth of this verse in the words our children hear coming from our mouths before we try to impress upon them how to filter their words through this Truth.

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   We need to teach our children how to handle the hurtful words (whether teasing or otherwise) that is inflicted upon them. For without this guidance our children will be tempted to believe things about themselves that are nothing but lies.

   We must teach our children that God’s Word is the most powerful of all weapons to destroy the enemy’s fiery dart attacks. However, we must first learn how to use that weapon for ourselves then we will be equipped to pass along successfully what we have learned to our children.

   Within the Bible are counter attacks for every fiery dart Satan throws at us and our children. Therefore, it is imperative that we teach our children (after first learning for ourselves)  how to recognize Satan’s fiery darts, then how to call upon God’s Word to defend themselves. (Ephesians 6:16)

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A FINAL WORD

   Please remember that the flesh is weak. If we do not arm ourselves with the Sword of Truth, our flesh will not be able to resist the temptations that will arise from the fiery dart attacks. But by wielding the Sword of Truth against every hurtful word, the tempter’s plans to weaken us will be demolished. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

 

Parent’s Alert: Fiery Darts of “The Stirring”

 

  When our children begin to experience this stirring, if we parents haven’t availed ourselves to the connection between it and God, then we become prime targets for Satan’s fiery darts. Therefore, for lack of knowledge, we will usher our children along a path that we never would have desired. We will  assume, right along with society, that our children are reaching the ‘dating age’ (and alarmingly, in our culture this happens earlier and earlier) when the search for ‘true love’ naturally begins.

Just what Satan has planned!

But wait, here’s what he is attempting to keep us (especially Christian parents) from realizing:

The Stirring – According to God

Remember in Part One, I said that Satan has a plan for our lives and that is to kill, steal, and destroy whatever it is that God has planned for us. Let’s go back to that “stirring” I mentioned earlier. Could it be that the stirring in our heart that initiates a search for true love is the Holy Spirit calling us to a love relationship with our Creator? I think so! Why else would Satan enforce a plan to do everything he could to make sure that we misunderstand what this stirring encompasses? FD, p. 54-55

   As parents, if we buy into this misconception of ‘the stirring’ then our focus regarding our children and dating will be completely out of balance. We will think how else are they going to find that one that God wants for them. For in the process, they will grow in their understanding of love and how to recognize the real thing, right?

Sounds logical, doesn’t it!

   Indeed, we do need to help our children learn how to recognize genuine love. But the place to start is in committing their lives to God then sitting at Jesus’s feet as He teaches them about the love He displayed for them. They then go from there putting into practice what they have learned from Jesus about genuine love, but first within the context of their own families; romantic love following much later.

If in those early years we set our focus on cooperating with God as He teaches us the true meaning of love, then our future attitudes and actions will reflect an appropriate definition of love because our textbook was God’s Word; in particular, verses like 1 Corinthians 13:1-7. . . We could do nothing better to prepare us to live life and love others, especially a future spouse successfully, by studying and applying the truths about love from the Book written by the Author of love!  FD, p. 55

   There’s much more on this subject in my book. If you are interested then check out the sidebar about how to order, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice. (By the way, it would make a great Christmas gift!)

Parent’s Alert: “The Stirring”

In my previous post, we determined that the key to happiness (the kind that we parents would desire to pass along to our children) was to have a relationship with Christ and being obedient to God’s word.

Okay, now that we have established this basic Truth of Parenting, what next?

   First, we must examine our own lives. Do we have a solid relationship with Christ? Does obedience describe that relationship? Parents, if we don’t have that nailed down then we are putting our children’s future at risk. Here’s why:

   During the time of adolescence there is a stirring that becomes keenly apparent to girls early on and typically to the guys a bit later. It has been assumed by our society that this stirring heralds the beginning of “the search” for a future spouse and as a result girls and guys begin counting the days when they will become old enough to date. And, as our society relaxes its standards, the age to begin this search becomes younger and younger. When you add to that the ease of communication between our young people, guy/girl relationships develop in their intensity long before the individuals have reached a level of maturity to be able to handle such intensity.
   The senses of young people are quickened to anything that speaks of romance. Our culture is quick to expose our adolescents to all sorts of romantic encounters on television, in movies, books and depending on the ability of the adolescent to access it, it can be pretty graphic. During these encounters our children are taught all about love and romance from society’s perspective; a society that pretty much rejects anything God may have to say about this subject. Then they file this misinformation away into their memory banks and draw upon it as they become more and more consumed with the search. FD p. 51

   Parents, our children depend upon us to help them make sense out of this ‘stirring’! And I am alarmed that the common assumption of many parents (even Christian parents) is that “this stirring heralds the beginning of the ‘search’ for a future spouse”. (FD p.51)

   The fiery dart here is subtle, dangerously so! Because if we misinterpret what this stirring is all about, then our children, by our own erroneous definition, will set them on a course that can in no way promise the happiness that we would have hoped for them. 

Next time, we will delve into the fiery darts of ‘the stirring’.

 

 

 

Parent’s Alert: Defining Happiness

Question–What do parents want most for their children?

Answer–HAPPINESS!

Most parents greatest desire for their children is that they be happy, and I agree with this for the most part. However, as parents (especially Christian parents) it is imperative that we have a firm understanding of how to define happiness. Why? Because if we don’t have this understanding then we will easily be sidetracked by fiery darts as to how this happiness should be achieved and what sources would provide it.
In Chapter Five of my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, I examine Matthew 4:1-4, concerning Christ’s temptations. You see, after Jesus had been baptized by John, He entered into the desert and fasted for 40 days.  So you KNOW he was plenty hungry! Think about it, if you had just fasted for 40 days what would be the most important thing to you?
When Satan tempted Jesus to turn the stones into bread, I bet he thought he had Him. Knowing how hungry Jesus must have been, Satan might have been pretty confident that the most important thing to Jesus at that moment would be to eat.

Yet, here is how Jesus responded:

‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (KJV) p. 35 FD

In the following from my book, I explain the significance of examining fiery darts in the light of God’s Word:

Getting bread is not the most important thing in life! Obedience to every word of God is! Since Jesus had received no instructions from the Father to turn stones into bread, He would not act on His own and thus obey Satan, no matter how intense His hunger. FD, p. 36
You see, Satan would attempt to confuse us as to what we need in order to live. In examining this fiery dart perhaps we should ask ourselves the question, “How do we define living?” Just staying alive is not necessarily living! Jesus knew that to really live, is to be obedient to every word from God…FD p. 36

How does the above apply to our desire as parents to help our children achieve a happy life?

Christ defined living as being obedient to every word from God. Christ’ response was based on His familiarity with God and His Word. Therefore, one of the ways we can become savvy to the execution of Satan’s plan of attack in using fiery darts as we parent is to be able to clearly define happiness. As parents we must depend on God’s Word to define for us what happiness truly is. And we must understand that having a relationship with Christ and being obedient to God’s Word is the KEY TO such HAPPINESS.

Parent’s Alert!

Parents, may I have your attention?

   In my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, Chapter Seven deals with a phenomenon I refer to as ‘The Stirring’ which occurs during the time of adolescence,

 During the time of adolescence there is a stirring that becomes keenly apparent to girls early on and typically to the guys a bit later. It has been assumed by our society that this stirring heralds the beginning of “the search” for a future spouse and as a result girls and guys begin counting the days when they will become old enough to date…  p. 51 FD
…During this period, “the senses of our young people are quickened to anything that speaks of romance.” p. 51 FD

   Considering the vulnerability of our young people during this challenging but exciting time, never has it been more critical for us as their parents to become savvy as to the execution of Satan’s plan of attack in using fiery darts. I am awfully afraid we parents will need to allow the Holy Spirit to do some surgery on our own thinking before we will be prepared to guide our children safely through this adolescent period. In my opinion, Chapter Seven is as much for the parents as it is for the adolescent, for by reading and meditating on the information therein much of our own misconceptions regarding this period of life will be exposed. Then we will be prepared to guide our children over this tumultuous sea safely to the other side. 

…Our culture is quick to expose our adolescents to all sorts of romantic encounters on television, in movies, books and depending on the ability of the adolescent to access it, it can be pretty graphic. During these encounters our children are taught all about love and romance from society’s perspective; a society that pretty much rejects anything God may have to say about this subject. Then they file this misinformation away into their memory banks and draw upon it as they become more and more consumed with the search. p. 51 FD

   Over the next few blog posts, I will attempt to expose Satan’s plan of attack in deceiving parents as to what it is he is attempting to steal from our children. For God has some pretty wonderful plans for them in the area of relationships!