Friday, February 12, 2016

What is True Romance?

If you grew up watching movies, you knew you wanted a romantic husband. One who would give you flowers and candy. One who would always encourage you and tell you how beautiful you were. One who would write love letters to you telling you how special you are. After we got married and Ken didn't do these things {he was in seminary and working a lot}, I tried to manipulate him in doing them by being upset, nagging him, etc. It sure didn't work!

Now that we have been married 35 years, I know the romance that Hollywood portrays isn't true romance. Romance is Ken sitting by my hospital bed in ICU for hours on end and even sleeping in the car a few hours to get some much needed sleep. It's being there to tell the nurses that no, she doesn't need a big vial of antibiotics before they even knew what was wrong with me. No, she doesn't need shots in her stomach to prevent blood clots. It's also playing with the grandchildren and caring for them. It's loving his children and wanting to help them anyway he can. It's helping me when I need something heavy lifted, the trash taken out, and many others things I can no longer do. It's sticking by my side for 35 years through the ups and downs and still loving me.

If your husband gives you candy, flowers and sends you love letters, this is wonderful but it is not what makes a marriage. Deep, abiding and faithful love is what makes a marriage. If your husband isn't romantic the way you or Hollywood defines it but works hard to provide for your family, is faithful to you, and loves you, this is what is important.

What about husbands who forgets birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine's Day? Are they bad husbands? I have seen women so upset that their husband didn't give them this or that that they wanted. They are very upset if they don't remember. Men can't read our mind and they are usually not good with the details such as these. Remind them! Even tell them what you would love to get as a gift, as long as it is not too extravagant. However, if they don't get if for you, so what. Forget about it and love them any ways.

True romance is loving each other through the good times and bad times, through sickness and health. It is being committed to each other until death do you part and being a vow keeper. It is being a living sacrifice to your spouse and learning what pleases him. It's not keeping secrets from him and quickly apologizing when you are wrong. Flowers, candy and romantic dates are all nice but they are not what marriage is about. Remember that this Valentine's Day, will you?

Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Matthew 19:6

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Living a Life of Repentance?

Christians often speak of living a life of repentance. After my study of Romans and understanding that we are dead and freed from sin, I decided I was going to look up all of the verses having to do with repentance and see if there were any that said we needed to live a life of repentance. {I will only study those verses in the New Testament.}

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish {Luke 13:3} Yes, in order to be saved, we must repent of our evil deeds and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. After doing this, we are saved for eternal life.

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost {Acts 2:38}. This is the same thing as the previous verse. Repentance is a one time act of confession and believing that Christ has paid for ALL of our sins. Once we believe, we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; {Acts 3:19} One time act again. When we repent and believe, our sins are blotted out, meaning they are remembered no more!

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? {Romans 2:4} God's goodness leads us to the repentance of our sins and we then begin a life as a saint; cleansed in the precious blood of the Lamb. This is a one time act and it is finished. We are made righteous and have been given the salvation of our souls.

Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance. For you were grieved as God willed, so that you didn't experience any loss from us. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death {2 Corinthians 7:9, 10} Here is how Matthew Henry's commentary explains these verses, "Sorrow according to the will of God, tending to the glory of God, and wrought by the Spirit of God, renders the heart humble, contrite, submissive, disposed to mortify every sin, and to walk in newness of life. And this repentance is connected with saving faith in Christ, and an interest in his atonement. There is a great difference between this sorrow of a godly sort, and the sorrow of the world. The happy fruits of true repentance are mentioned. Where the heart is changed, the life and actions will be changed." Again, this repentance is a one time action that leads to the salvation of our souls and changed behavior for true repentance changes us.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance {2 Peter 3:9}. God wants all to come to repentance and not perish; a one time event that saves our souls.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness {1 John 1:9}. A one time event that Jesus' death on the cross does for us after we repent; He makes us righteous by cleansing us from all unrighteousness. The next time we sin doesn't make us unrighteous again. No, once we repent of our sins, we are made righteous. It is a one time finished work in us. It is a miracle.

Therefore, there is nothing in the Bible that says we are to live a life of repentance. No, once we repent of our sins and become righteous, God asks that we be thankful and grateful for all He has done for us. If we sin against someone, we quickly apologize to them and ask for forgiveness {Matthew 5:23}. If we have a sin in our life, we confess it to others and pray we'll be healed from it {James 5:16}. 

Yes, we are sorry when we sin but then we remember that He cleansed us from all unrighteousness, we are dead and freed from sin and we thank Him once again for the marvelous work He performed in us on the day that we repented and believed in His finished work for us! This is what we should be focused upon instead of living a life of repentance. Faith is believing what you can't see nor understand; how sinners like us are called righteous, called saints and given eternal life.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Beautifying Your Home

It doesn't matter if you live in an old runned down condemned building like my parents lived in when they were first married or a large suburban home with all the new and updated appliances; it is our job to make our homes beautiful for a good wife is a good housekeeper. When the Bible commands older women to teach younger women, one of the components is to teach them to be keepers at home. This doesn't mean they spend their time at home lounging around watching soap operas, reading romantic novels or spending a lot of time on the Internet or smart phone. It means taking good care of the home the Lord has blessed you with.

"The wife who would be happy, and make her home happy and permanently beautiful, must work with her hands at the housewifely tasks which the days in turn bring to her...In other words, good breakfasts, lunches and dinners, a well-kept house, order, system, promptness, punctuality, good cheer...There certainly have been cases in which very tender love has lost its tenderness and when the cause lay in the disorder, the negligence and the mismanagement of the housewifery" {J. R. Miller}.

Yes, it's a tall order to keep a home running smoothly, plus being clean and tidy. However, if women would stop doing those things to entertain themselves and instead do those things that the Lord has called them to do, their homes would be beautiful. The Lord commands that we be lovers of God rather than lovers of pleasure. This includes keeping our homes beautiful, even if you have very little money. It is not gorgeous window coverings and expensive furniture and appliances that make a home beautiful; it is cleanliness and order. Clutter and dirt make even a perfectly decorated home ugly.

Therefore, it matters not how much money you have for even women in the olden days who had very little money, like my mother, could keep their homes beautiful by keeping it clean and uncluttered. This is your job from the Lord, women, so don't take it casually. Take it seriously and do your work as unto the Lord; being thankful and praising him that you have a home to beautify.

When you have small children, it is almost impossible to keep it orderly all of the time but teach your children from a young age to put back their toys right after they play with them. Teaching them to be clean and tidy will be a discipline that they will appreciate all of their life. Teach them to put their dishes in the dishwasher as soon as they are able. Don't buy a lot of toys and plastic junk for them. All children really need are balls, games, puzzles, crayons, coloring and reading books and a special doll for the girls. These things would keep them plenty occupied, plus a lot of time outside when possible.

Everyone loves going into a clean and tidy home, a beautiful home. As I have written in the past, a sedentary life is bad for your health. God created us to move. Use your moving to keep a beautiful home and a home of order. We weren't created to sit all day as many do today. We were created to move. If you are moving, you will create a beautiful home. This isn't optional, women. Keeping your home means to work hard in your home. If you work hard in your home, it will be beautiful.

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, 
as to the Lord, and not unto men.
Colossians 3:23
photo source

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

In Defense of "To Train Up a Child"

We never once pulled our children's hair or ears. We never slugged them anywhere or slapped them across their face. We rarely yelled at them. We never cussed at them and we never called them names. I was home full-time with them. I taught them all about Jesus and His Word. I made sure they were warm and well-fed. Ken worked hard to provide for them. He coached their sport's teams and taught them that life was not fair and other things they needed to know. We taught them that Alexander's don't fight with each other but loved each other instead. We loved our children deeply and sacrificed for them. They are all adults now who love the Lord and are happily married. We are close to all of them. Yet, some people believe we abused them when they were young because we gave them a few swats on their fanny when they were disobedient. This is how warped our culture has become.

Some countries have forbidden spanking a child; our country will be there one day soon unless there is a revival. The farther away the people of a nation stray from God's Word, the bigger and more powerful a government becomes and begins taking away freedoms from its people. They take away parent's freedom because they believe they know what's best for children instead of the parents.

The purpose for spanking a child is to train them to be obedient. When you ask them to do something, they should obey the first time you ask. The sooner you train them to obey you, the easier child raising will be for you. You don't want to have to count since this won't work if they're running into the street in front of a car or about to touch a hot stove. As soon as you say, "Stop!" they should stop. Train them to obey you the first time! It may save their life someday.

Many people who hate the Pearls send me links of what others have written about the Pearl's form of teaching saying they teach abuse. They never give me quotes directly from the book to state their case. Here, let me give you a few quotes from To Train Up a Child.

"Disciplinary actions can easily become excessive and oppressive if you set aside the tool of training and depend on discipline alone to do the training." {page 9} Training takes a lot more than a few swats on the bottom. It takes time talking to them and explaining right from wrong. It's teaching them the Word of God and having them hide it deep in their hearts. We only spanked our children when they were very young and it was only when they were disobedient so they would begin obeying us. By the time they were five years old, they were obedient to us and happy children. Children need and want boundaries. They want to learn self-control for without it, life is much more difficult. In fact, women from the chat room have thanked me for keeping boundaries in it. Everyone appreciates boundaries in their lives for without them, chaos reigns.

"The average parental response to a disobedient child is to lecture him, shame him, or deprive him of some privilege. His parents may make him go to his room or sit in a corner, or jerk him around and administer a few hasty slaps. Finally, they top it off with a threat and dismiss him with a scowl. A child thus denigrated will not be released from his guilt or rebellion. On the contrary, it will only provoke him to react in anger and make excuses. Accusations, threats, and ridicule, which are forms of intimidation, may cause the child to yield temporary compliance, but his heart of uncleanness remains, and his self-image degrades. He may fall in to a pattern commonly labeled 'self-loathing.'" {page 43} We never did any of these things when our children were disobedient. A few swats on their behind that hurt. They clearly knew what they had done wrong. They felt remorseful and repentant afterwards and it was over. There was no more guilt and they went happily on. It was dealt with quickly and was over. There was no abuse here. Many parents end up abusing their disobedient children while they are growing up with no discipline so they threaten, ridicule, jerk them around, etc. All of which are not profitable at all and don't train a child to be obedient.

"There are always some who act in the extreme. These individuals are capable of using what has been said about the legitimate use of the rod to justify ongoing brutality to their children." {page 50} This is why the Pearls were never persecuted for the deaths of the children whose parents had their book in their home. They clearly teach against abuse.

"The rod should never be a vent for parents' anger...Where the supreme motivation is anything other than the child's good, it is inevitable that such behavior by the parent will assuredly create problems." {page 51} Many people today have deep-seated anger problems from their childhood. Divorce causes anger. Lack of disciplining from childhood causes anger. Not being loved as a child causes anger. If you can't spank your children without anger controlling you, don't spank. The whole premise of this book is to TRAIN your child to one day be a self-controlled, hard-working adult who loves the Lord. 

If your children don't obey you; if you don't enjoy them; if you're at a loss as to how to discipline and raise them, I encourage you to read this book. It is full of biblical wisdom and has raised generations of disciplined and happy children!

Train up a child in the way he should go: 
and when he is old, he will not depart from it 
{Proverbs 22:6}. 

***On another note, here is the schedule the CDC has for vaccinating your children. Please be very wise when it comes to putting this many vaccinations into your child's body!