Answers to Family Questions

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I lost my virginity and now I'm a believer, what should I do?

What if someone broke your virginity and you were not a believer in Christ; so now you have been preached about a gospel and follow Jesus and you leave that guy? Let say he don’t believe in Him but is the one who broke your virginity what to do or you just move on.

Answer:

 

It is important that you explain to the guy you have had sexual relations with that you are a new creature in Christ. This means you think differently now and you have new values.  The desire of your heart is now to obey Christ.  The Bible strongly forbids sexual relationships outside of marriage so you cannot continue the relationship the way it was.  You can remain friends but should eliminate all physical contact.  In addition, the Bible warns Christians against relationships where one partner is a believer and the other is an unbeliever. (2 Corinthians 6:14).  According to his scripture, the Christian should not even pursue engagement or a dating relationship with a non-believer.

 

I hope this clears up some of your questions.  For new believers, we recommend the book, The God You Can Know by Dan DeHaan.  As far as understanding God’s perspective on guy-girl relationships, we recommend, When God Writes Your Love Story by Ludi  or The Sacred Search. We also have a site designed for couples who are considering marriage. www.PreparingForPartnership.org. This site trains couples in what the Bible says about marriage and analyzes their personal data to offer suggestions for preparing a foundation for marriage centered on Christ.

 

Is it okay I write him and let him know that God said he was going to be my husband. I shared with him how I believe what God said and I’m obeying the voice of the Lord. I shared with him when God showed this to me.

 

 

Answer:

 

When it comes to relationships, the most important and wisest steps a female can take is to observe the life of a guy and determine if he is pursuing Christ and if he has the character attributes of a person who will lead a family in a God honoring direction. If a potential partner is not a believer in Jesus Christ, 2 Corinthians 6:14 warns Christians not to get involved.  If a guy lies or cheats or displays a hot temper or laziness, his current behavior does not exemplify the leadership qualities of a good husband.

 

God has designed the male to be the leader in the relationship, so normally it is advisable to allow the guy to be the one that brings up marriage. In the case of Ruth in the Old Testament, she worked with Boaz and observed his life for a period of time. Under the direction of  her older godly mentor who knew the Word of God, she eventually approached Boaz to let him know she was open to marriage because under the circumstances (his age and the other redeemer that was legally first in line for marriage), Boaz did not think Ruth would consider marrying him. Again this was under the direction of an older godly person who was very meticulous to handle the situation God’s way.  Females must be cautious not to jump ahead of God and push themselves on a guy.

 

Since you have already approached your friend, you will need to leave this in God’s hands.  The ball is in the guy’s court.  It is now up to him to respond. Some helpful resources are:

When God Writes Your Love Story

The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas

 

 

When you are dating someone, how do you know if this is the person that God wants you to be with?  When you think you know how do you know for sure that it is God telling you that and not just you telling yourself?

Answer:

These are probably some of the most important answers you will ever seek.

 

In Genesis 24, God reveals some key principles to follow in determining a mate.  We suggest that you read this chapter several times and ponder the things that God may cause to stand out to you. In the passage, Abraham instructs his chief servant to find a wife for Issac (v 3-4).  Notice the urgency that the wife be from Abraham’s family.  Abraham presently lives in a land of unbelievers.  The people that believe in Jehovah, the one and only true and living God are Abraham’s family.  The first principle in determining a mate is to verify that the prospect has a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Their relationship should be intimate, not just church attendance, but a life that exhibits a dependence, respect and longing for the Lord.

 

Abraham again warns the servant not to expose Issac to unbelievers (v 8).  The principle here is that a Christian should never enter even a casual dating relationship with an unbeliever.  The risk is too great that you might fall in love.

 

The servant moves in the direction that God has given him.  He goes to the country that Abraham is from and goes to the place that the young women will come—the well.  As he moves in that direction, he utterly yields himself to the further guidance of the Lord in his prayer (v 12-14).  He does not want to make the choice for himself, but in all sincerity wants to verify the proper choice as coming from God.  If the person you are dating has a vibrant relationship with Christ, then this sounds like the point that you are at.  The principle is that you be willing to let God confirm the right girl to you.  Pray that he will show you.  Be ready to accept his choice. Notice the things that the servant prayed.  He was actually asking God to reveal character traits to him.  The girl needed to be kind, considerate and thoughtful.  She needed to be willing to volunteer her services when someone needed help.  She needed to be a hard worker.  Camels drink lots of water.  Water is heavy.  This was not an easy, quick task.  The principle is that you need to pay attention to character traits.

 

The girl came and started exhibiting the character traits that the servant was looking for.  Without speaking, the servant carefully observed her.  This will be the main way that God reveals character to you.  You need to observe how the person responds to others, what her disposition and attitude is.  Is she honest, kind, hard working, cheerful?  In principle you should observe and watch for these characteristics even before a dating relationship.  You can learn a lot about a person through quiet observation.

 

When the servant observed that the girl exhibited these characteristics, he took another step in the direction of pursuing her.  God seemed to be answering his prayer, so he gave her some gifts for helping him (v 22).  He then investigated another requirement (v 23).  He needed to find out if she was from Abraham’s family ( or if she was  a believer on the same page with him).  God confirmed this requirement and further confirmed that he was a part of this plan when Rebecca offered him a place to stay (v 24-25).  The principle here is that you pay attention that not only important character traits are met, but that God also is confirming through other circumstances.

 

As the Lord confirmed that he was working in this relationship, the servant stopped and worshiped the Lord with praise for his faithfulness and kindness (v 26).  The principle to follow is that as you seek the Lord’s direction, that you pause and worship Him for the attributes that he displays to you personally during the process.  God inhabits our praise.  You will be more aware of his presence and his answer as you praise Him.

 

Rebecca ran home, eager to present the servant to her family and the family responded to him very graciously (v28-32).  The next consideration is the type of family that she comes from and your relationship to her family. You need to consider her family background and decide if you are willing to accept the things that have been engrained in her.  You need to consider how they feel about you.

 

The servant did not allow himself to be distracted from seeking God’s answer (v33).  Beware—You can enjoy the benefits of knowing a girl so much that you cloud the issue of whether God wants you to pursue the relationship.

 

The servant explained his intent and explained how the events of his trip had unfolded (v34-49).  He was very bold to point out his personal dependence upon the Lord and to honor the Lord for His faithfulness .  The principle here is that a guy needs to approach the girl’s parents and make his intent in the relationship clear.  You need to let the girl’s parents know that you are approaching the relationship with a purpose of marrying or determining if she is the right girl to marry. It is important that you be bold to express you faith and trust in the Lord, to be able to explain the ways that God has personally confirmed your choice.

 

Another principle within these verses is that the servant was able to verify that Issac had the finances and assets to adequately care for Rebecca.  You need to be able to provide for a wife financially.

 

The family agreed that the two should get married (v 49-50).  If her family does not agree, you need to continue to seek the Lord or consider whether the timing is right. When the family agreed, the servant worshipped again (v 52).  Worship should continually be a part of your pursuit. The servant gave costly gifts to the family (v53-54). He ate with them.  The principle is that you be willing to truly become a part of her family – that you make an effort to become involved with them.

 

Rebecca chose to leave her family (v 55-61).  Although she loved, respected and honored her family, she was ready to from a new family unit—a new core loyalty.  The fiancé needs to be willing to leave her parents physically and financially.  She needs to realize that she is agreeing to adapt to your life and that she can’t run whining and complaining to them when the two of you face a challenge. She needs to realize that although she will visit occasionally and express love and concern for her parents that now the two of you will make your own decisions.  Her responsibilities will now be to meet your needs and to enjoy her life with you.  Like Rebecca, she needs to specifically make this commitment.

 

When Rebecca saw Issac, she maintained her modesty until she became his wife (62-65).  The principle is that until you are married, the two of you should avoid an intimate physical relationship.  Being involved with a girl physically outside of marriage will severely cloud your judgment as you seek God’s answer.  Premarital sex not only is disobedient to God, but statistically opens the door for various sexual problems after marriage.

 

The servant (  who is a picture of the Holy Spirit)  confirmed to Issac that  Rebecca was God’s choice by again reciting God’s involvement in the selection process (v 66).  With this confirmation, Issac was able to completely love and care for his new wife (v 67).

How am I to Respond to Ungodly Behavior by Family Members?

My sister (15 months younger than me) has just informed the family that she is leaving her husband of 31 years.  They are both Christians.  She has been the choir director and a SS teacher at her church for years.  He has been active, also, at church and in men’s Bible studies.  He’s a quiet, stable kind of guy.  My sister knows she has no Biblical grounds for divorce, but she is the one initiating this action.  My heart is so heavy.  I guess my question to you is, “What should I say?  How do I respond?”  I hate to even say this, but my sister has been distant from my brother-in-law for quite some time.  She goes away many weekends with her girlfriends.  She loves to hike and canoe and is very independent.  The hardest part is the kind of gals that she has chosen to spend her time with.  Several of them live an alternative lifestyle.  I don’t know if my sister has been involved in anything lesbian, but the appearance has not been good.

Thank you for your thoughts and insights. I value them.

Answer:

 

I prayed about the response that God has for you.  He brought me to these verses:.

Colossians 4:2-6

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. 5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

 

Verse 2 challenges us to be alert and earnest in prayer and as we pray to be full of thanksgiving.  This year, the Lord has taught me to be alert and to listen to him as I pray.  He used the book that Sam gave to you, QUIET MOMENTS IN PRAYER to expand my understanding and to deepen my relationship with Him.  After studying that book, I delight in prayer and I eagerly anticipate my time with the Lord each morning, because I know that He is going to speak to me personally.  I am now repeating the 30 days of prayer for the third time.  Through this daily prayer experience, the Lord has revealed attitudes that I needed to confess and forsake.  He has granted me liberty to grow and enjoy life, but He has particularly changed my perspective of intercessory prayer, especially for my son whom I am so concerned about.  The scriptures that are referenced during the prayer time fill me with confidence and hope for my son.  I hope that the book will encourage you in this way also.

 

Verse 3 is the verse that I pray for you as a missionary, but also in your relationship with your sister– that He would grant you a door of utterance–just the right opportunity when her heart is open to listen to you.  Verse 4–I pray that as you speak to her that the character of Christ– his goodness, his love, his righteousness, his majesty would manifest itself in you and your words.  Verse 5 tells us to walk in wisdom toward those that are outside of the faith–that includes your sister since she is not seeking the Lord at this time.  She is alienating herself from the Lord (not eternally but in everyday life).  You are to be wise and redeem your time, to respond to any opportunity that the Lord presents to you.  Verse 6 says that your speech toward her should be filled with grace.  In order to speak full of grace, you must be overwhelmed with the goodness and love and faithfulness of God in you own personal life.  The scriptures in the book, QUIET MOMENTS will consume you with this perspective.  You must view your sister–not as she is but as how God wants her to be.  The overwhelming message of the words you speak to her should convey that she is precious and dearly loved by God who is her deliverer.  Your message will then be grace.  It will need to be seasoned with salt.  Salt is truth that will open her eyes to the error of her ways, but the message is only seasoned with this salt.  The main message is grace.  Compared to the message of grace, the salt should be only a small portion of the message.  Your message should offer deep concern but great hope.

 

Pray over these scriptures with her in mind so that you will know how you ought to respond to her.

 

I think that Sam gave you a copy of our book, “What is Marriage?”  I encourage you to read that so that God will prepare you mindset before you talk to your sister.  If your sister and her husband would read the book, I believe that God would challenge their hearts.

 

Don’t forget about your brother-in-law.  If your sister is not willing to let God work in her life, God may work in the relationship through your brother-in-law first.  Encourage him to grow in the Lord. Pray with him. Encourage him to read books that will increase his intimacy with the Lord.

 

Hope that gives you some insight. May you become fascinated with the person of Jesus Christ and may that fascination overflow to inspire your family and friends.

How Can I Rebuild Trust in my Marriage?

I have failed to keep a level of trust up in our marriage.  I have tried to cover up minor mistakes (saying I did like something when I did not like to do it).  Further I have been short with the kids because my wife gives more attention to them than me. Now my wife has little desire for intimacy.  We had a painful honest heart to heart discussion this past weekend I know I must be less selfish, build up trust again, and be patient. I know that she still cares and loves me but I must find a way to rekindle that love spark.

Answer:

 

God has shown you an essential truth in relationships.  They are built on trust. Admitting your failures is a definite beginning to rebuilding trust, but true repentance is a change of mindset that totally forsakes the habits of making excuses and cover-up lies with transparency and light.  Darkness covers up the truth and produces a foggy, unsettled life.  Light not only exposes dirt and spots, but reveals clear direction–a new way of responding to life. However, this is easier said than done because deception is much easier at the moment of response to a challenge.  It seems to suit our immediate purposes more quickly than complete honesty.

 

“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” John 3:19-21

 

The solution to overcoming a deceptive lifestyle is to “practice the truth”.  Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Practicing the truth does not mean that you live a perfect life, but that you surrender to the person of Jesus, that you seek Him and respond to what He shows you.  You come to His light.  When he exposes sin or wrong thinking in your life, you immediately admit the truth and respond accordingly.  This should become the new habit in your life that replaces the old habit of deception.

 

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  1 John 1:5-8

 

We do not know if you have a relationship with Christ, but He is our hope and light.  His intent is that you would have a vibrant, loving marriage centered on Him.  Please read and reread the scriptures that we pointed out.  Let God show you their value in your present situation.  The first thing that you need to do is confirm that there has been a time in your life when you surrendered all of yourself to Christ.  If you have never done this or are uncertain what we mean, please re-contact us and explain your perspective.

 

We have written a book entitled, “What is Marriage?”  It is a very small concise book that covers the basic essentials for marriage.  It would lead you back to the basics of a trusting relationship as you work to rekindle your relationship.

How Do I Deal With a Rebellious Step-Daughter?

My husband and I got married almost two years ago. His previous wife walked out and left him with two daughters now aged 19 and 16. The younger one has had a change of attitude towards me and I do not know if it is jealousy for her dads attention or another reason I do not know about. The fact is that she hates being asked to clean up her dishes which she constantly leaves on the sink for her dad or me to clean up. A helping hand in the house is not on the agenda. I have spoken to her dad who has approached her to clean up behind herself, I have tried as well. It seems to me she is doing it just to annoy me. I have asked her to put the soap on the soap dish in the bathroom to avoid it melting on the wet hand basin, which she also chooses to ignore. I am at my wits end and it is causing tension in the home. There are many other things that she does to irritate me and I feel like one day I am going to explode and say something I will regret. I asked her dad to tell her that if she does not clean her mess that she will be called back in from her friends and told to stay in for the evening, until she learns to obey what is asked of her. I feel he is too soft and to avoid conflict washes her dishes himself. He cleans her bedroom too, I feel she should take part in doing chores in the house as mine did. What can I do? Please could you advise me on this sensitive issue?

Answer:

 

The challenges with your step daughter are very common in second marriages.  It’s the merge of two different families with two different perspectives.  I am always reminded of the apostle Paul.  He was continually working to merge converted Jews and the converted Gentiles into one family of God.  There always seemed to be a wall between them even though they were both Christians.  In the book of Ephesians, his goal is to get both sides to focus on Christ who will break down that wall or partition that is separating the two sides.  This applies directly to family relationships.  If different family members are growing in their relationship with Christ and are finding their individual identities in him, the walls will dissolve or at least come into a more reasonable perspective.  I understand that you cannot force your step daughter to focus on Christ, but if you take the time to meditate on Scripture and find fulfillment in a relationship with Christ, you will have grace to deal with the problems without getting as stressed.  This will also keep the challenges with your daughter from distorting your perspective with your husband and other family members.  As she notices the new joy and peace in you, the door will be more open for her to listen to you.

 

I challenge you to read these scriptures several times and see if you note the similarities.

 

For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.   Ephesians 2:14-22

 

It is very reasonable and important to train a son or daughter to clean up after herself and to help with chores.  In order to find fulfillment in life, they must become responsible adults and helping out with chores is learning responsibility.  You must be very aware of your attitude and make sure that you are not being hateful as you request this.   This issue is not about you; it is about doing what is best for your step daughter.  It is best for her that she learn to be respectful and helpful. It is critical that your husband be on the same page with you.  Because you are the alien in this family, your husband may have to step in and handle more of the training than you. I strongly recommend that both you and your husband read the book, Age of Opportunity by Tripp.  It is a relatable, informative book on parenting teens.  I keep it in by bathroom and read it over and over because I want the principles to become my mindset.

 

I also suggest that you go out of your way to do some nice things for your daughter that she is not expecting.  For example leave surprises on her bed, —- a cute “thinking of you” card with a Starbucks or I-tunes gift card inside, or a small bag of goodies like gum or tic tacs with a note from you, a picture frame or a new pair of socks.  Do not expect a loving response, but sporadically have fun doing some little things. Find joy in the fact that you are reaching out even if she is not letting you in.  You want your step daughter to get the message that you are on her side no matter what—whether you are training her or attending her school activities or preparing her meals. You want her to have a great, fulfilling life.

 

Pray very fervently for her.  I suggest the prayers that Paul prays in Ephesians 1:16-19 and Ephesians 3:14-21.  Make the words of these passages your own and pray them specifically for her.

 

Purposefully make sure that you and your husband consistently do some very enjoyable activities together where you are not even thinking about this challenge.  I suggest that you read our book, What is Marriage?  Work at your marriage.  Enjoy each other.  Do not let anything harm your relationship.  View these challenges as a way to grow stronger together.  If the tension continues, schedule an appointment with a minister so that you can get an outside perspective and make adjustments in your relationship if necessary.  Nothing is worth damaging your marriage.

 

I guess you’ve noted that I have responded to this from a Christian perspective.  I was not certain from your email if you have a relationship with Christ.  He is a relational loving heavenly Father and a relationship with Him gives understanding to earthly relationships.  If you have questions about this aspect, just email me again.

 

I challenge you personally to read and reread and meditate on the book of Ephesians.  It will help you to think like Christ regarding challenging relationships.  The books I mentioned are available on our online store.

How Do I Deal With a Straying, Rebellious Son?

My husband and I have been married nearly 24 years.  We have three beautiful boys, ages 21, 19 and 13.  Our oldest is mentally and physically handicapped and a real jewel.  The 13 year old is a real sweetie.

 

Our problem is our 19 year old.  He graduated from high school last June and is playing junior hockey this year and hopefully next year.  It is a dream he has had and he tried out and made a local team.  He then later asked for a release and signed with a team 2 hours away.  He is living with a host family.  Andrew is such a delightful young man with much talent and potential.  He plans to attend college if no athletic scholarships come his way.

 

We have raised our children in church.  It is a very large part of their lives.  All have made professions of faith.  This son, however, seems to be very distant from the Lord. He is extremely talented and could be used in the church greatly.  He seems to have no interest.  I believe he may have been hurt in the church and turned off.   At any rate, he has exhibited some very disrespectful behavior towards my husband and myself.  He can say some very harsh things that are hurtful.  Things like, “I don’t have to answer to you” (to his father) or “mom, quit nagging me” in a shouting voice are just a couple of the attitudes displayed.  These are very disturbing to us.  He had a couple of rough days when he came home for Christmas and then was just as sweet as he could be and very helpful.

 

I don’t know if I am overreacting but he needs to know we are tired of his disrespectful ways.  My husband and I have considered pulling all financial support so “he does not have to answer to us” any more, but as a mother I hurt so deeply in my heart when I think of this.  He is in the process of getting a job and helping with expenses.  He has 3 promising prospects.  We still need to make him understand that disrespecting us will not bring blessings.  When we have spoken to him in the past about this he takes it in and then seems to forget it.

Answer:

 

I can relate very closely with your struggles.  The biggest challenge that we have experienced over the past five years has been with one of our sons.  We found ourselves in an intense spiritual battle for him.  His behavior went way beyond disrespect.  Please be encouraged, we have seen God work in some great ways this summer.  I hope that I can help you by relaying the things that I learned from this experience.

 

1. Keep focused on the majesty, goodness, love and hope of Jesus Christ. Whenever I found myself concentrating on the disappointments or frustrations or helplessness, tenseness would be displayed in my countenance, not just when I was dealing with my son, but in all areas of life.  It would affect my relationship with my husband, my other sons and my ministry.  I found that it was critically important that my son and others witness the peace, hope, joy and stability that only Christ can provide.  These are fruit of the spirit that cannot be faked.  I had to continually read about, study and embrace the character of God.  When God revealed himself to me, I had to respond to the specific attribute that he was revealing.  Some great books that are full of scripture for this are Desiring God by John Piper and Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. Joy and kindness are like magnets to someone who is searching, so please don’t loose your joy.  “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”  Psalm 37:4

 

2. I know that you are praying for your son.  I always pray scripture over my sons because there is so much more power in the Word of God than in my limited mind.  The general passages that I  pray are Paul’s prayers for other people.  I just add my sons’ names and change the words to fit their exact situation.  My favorites are Eph 1:15-21, Eph 3;14-21, Phil 1:9-11, and Col 1:9-12.  As I prayed and studied the Word, God gave me some very specific promises directly for my son.  I would pray those scriptures also.  When I found myself falling into despair, I would read those promises out loud and trust almighty God to fulfill them.  I pray that the Holy Spirit will direct you to specific promises for your son as you dig into his Word.

 

3. Daniel 2:22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.  Deut 29:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

 

God knows all things.  I praised him for that and I praised him as the one that reveals.  I asked him to reveal anything in my sons life that we needed to know.  Many times kids are defensive because there is something going on in their lives that they are struggling with.  God in his own way and timing revealed some incidents from our son’s past that he was in bondage to.  We helped him faced those things, but the struggle continued until he later surrendered his will to the Lord.

 

4. If we were aware of a sin in our son’s life, most of the time we prayed and confronted him about it because the truth will set you free.  We were very careful to express lots of love so that hopefully he would not feel condemned.  We always stressed that our desire was not to limit his life but to help him to soar.

John 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Ephesians 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

It is important that you speak the truth when your son is disrespectful.  Ask him if you have offended him in any way.   Make sure that you are loving and firm, but not condemning or nagging

 

5. We did reach a point since our son was not in school, where we did not support him financially.   We never forced him to leave our home.  He moved out on his own.  As long as he lived in our home, we required respectful behavior.  You must pray about this because your situation may be different because of the hockey.  He does need to learn to be financially responsible and accountable.

 

6. I highly recommend the book, Age of Opportunity by Tripp. It is the best book I have ever read about parenting teens.  Most of the relationship principles still apply even as your child grows beyond the teen years.  Sam read this book before I did.  I could tell a difference in the way he dealt with our boys immediately.  A friend of ours bought the book from us, then came back and bought 20 copies.  She said everybody she knew needed to read this book.

 

Those are the main things that come to my mind.  I hope they are helpful.  Our son’s behavior was more alarming that what you described.  We prayed believing that God would work.  We always let him know that we wanted what was best for him, but we were committed to the Word of God.  This summer, my son injured himself and ended up having 2 back surgeries.  We encouraged him and cared for him.  After the second surgery, he realized he needed to seek the Lord and depend on Him.  He had always attended a College and Career Bible Study that we have in our home every Wed night. After his surgery, the group studied the book,  The Grace Awakening by Swindoll.  The book examines the book of Philippians.  This study had a dramatic affect on our son’s life.  He is a different person now, although we still have some concerns.  If he stays focused on the character of God, he stays on the right path.  One of the promises that the Lord had given me in the middle of those intense struggles was that he would come back to “life” like the son of the Shunamite woman, but he too, would “wax warm and sneeze seven times.”  In other words, this work of God would come in stages—seven sneezes.  I remind myself that God is working, but that the sneezes are not over.

How Do I Deal With an Unreasonable Husband?

Occasionally we receive an email that addresses a specific question that is often asked. Such is the question asked below.
I have been married for 3 years.  We are both 56 years old & probably very set in our ways, but how do I respond biblically when my husband is a controlling person?  I have never bought a roll of paper towels nor have I had a hot shower in the winter…..He controls it all!  It turns out that expressing a different opinion causes a real verbal attack from him…He is a Christian but feels that he is the high priest & I am to be totally in submission.  When you preached at our church last week I was so happy to hear that the husband is to help glorify the wife in her Christian growth…The only thing I hear after Sunday School is how I need to correct something in my life….I am very frustrated & do not want to talk to my husband at all anymore…..My Sunday School kids are more loving & encouraging than my legalistic minded husband…
I have counseled with my pastor & a lady Christian marriage counselor….Getting basic respect & kindness are all I want!!
I am thankful for your ministry – Hope to hear from you whenever you can…..

Answer:

I am glad that my husband’s messages encouraged you.  Please delight in the fact that the Lord was encouraging you and confirming His character to you.  The home life that you described is hurtful and not according to God’s plan.  You stated that getting basic respect and kindness is all you want.  These things are certainly reasonable desires, but it appears that your husband is not willing to meet these desires at this point.  This is a major disappointment in any marriage, but because we have Jesus, we can confidently know that He will subjugate this trial and force it to do good for you when you are loving Him and delighting in Him (Romans 5:1-5, 8:28).  When you conveyed that your Sunday school kids are the ones that show you love, I thought about Jesus and how He can relate to your struggles.  He did not receive respect or kindness from the legalistic authorities surrounding Him, but only from His students—His disciples.   Jesus understands your disappointments, because He has experienced them Himself. His purpose is to use these challenges as an opportunity to grow in intimacy with you by conforming you to His image.  If you desire this intimacy, I suggest that you intently study the person of Jesus Christ and delight yourself in Him.  This will energize you and protect you from bitterness.  I suggest the book, The God You Can Know by Dan DeHaan.  I have also discovered that when I preach the gospel to myself by continually reminding myself of my hopeless condition that was amazingly and dramatically rescued by My Redeemer, I can face trials victoriously.  For the last ten months, during my quiet time, I have daily read a section in the little book, A Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent. Utilizing the insights in this book to incorporate the gospel into every aspect of my life has greatly strengthened me to humbly, but confidently respond to trials.
As I mentioned above, desiring respect and kindness from your husband is a reasonable desire, but I caution you to restrict these desires to being desires.  When good desires develop to the point of being viewed as needs, our lives can begin to downward spiral to a despairing focus that robs us of our joy and consumes us with self centeredness. To counteract this tendency that each one of us faces, I suggest that you ask the Lord to nudge you anytime you are concentrating on irritations concerning your husband.  If you concentrate on the irritations, you will become an irritating person.  “Philippians  4:8” your husband instead.  Whatever you can think of that is pure, lovely and of good report concerning him, concentrate on those things.  Replace the irritating thoughts with kind thoughts and also thoughts on the goodness of God.  I very strongly recommend the book, When Sinners Say I Do by Dave Harvey.  This book very practically teaches how, within marriage, someone as inadequate as me can be transformed to gracefully respond to anything from minor irritations to deep, hurtful sinful actions in a spouse.  The reader is helped to recognize and adjust any personal attitudes or actions that may be provoking a spouse to sinful behavior. The material covered also offers insight as to when to overlook a transgression or when to confront by speaking the truth in love.
Your husband is missing the joy of Jesus in His life.  As you begin to daily meditate on gospel truths, you will long to see him experience the fullness of the Lord.  Milton Vincent says, “The more I rehearse and exult in gospel truths, the more there develops within me a corresponding burden for non-Christians to enter into such blessings.”   Rather than praying with the intent of receiving personal relief, the motive for this longing will switch over to be for his benefit. I am sure that you pray for your husband.  Start praying scripture over him.  Daily, pray the following scriptures and insert your name into them. Pray them again and insert your husband’s name into them (Ephesians 1:15-20, Ephesians 4:14-21, Colossians 1:9-10, Philippians 1:9-11). These power-packed prayers entreat that the person prayed for will grow in a deeper awareness and understanding of Jesus through personally experiencing His love.  The Bible teaches that the Lord reversed the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his critical, arrogant friends (Job 42:10).
May the grace of God flood you and fill you with joy and peace.  May His love shine through you and be used to draw your husband to the Lord.  Remember 1 Peter 3:1.  Husbands are influenced, without a word, as we allow the joy and the love of the Lord to abound in us and affect them.  It will not be your elaborate explanations or subtle hints that will influence your husband, but rather your joy.

How do I use the Rod in child discipline?

I wanted to ask a question about the mechanics of child discipline. My wife and I have 3 sons, ages 8, 7 and 4. We recently realized how we had not done discipline the way the Bible requires with our sons. We implemented spanking only 3 months ago and after I found your website, I wanted to know the mechanics you use when you had to use the rod. My oldest son who I had to spank said the spankings didn’t hurt him. It has not deterred him from changing his defiance. When I spanked him I reviewed what he did and I spanked him with my hand while he was bent over my knee and after wards he rebelled by saying that didn’t hurt. Can you give me advice on the mechanics of using the rod? Thanks.

Answer:

I appreciate your concern to discipline your children according to God’s principles in His Word. Certainly the Bible does both endorse and encourage parents to use “the rod” as part of the discipline of our children (Proverbs 13:24, 22:15, 23:13-14).The rod spoken of in the Bible is thought to be some type of switch that has flexibility and will therefore sting the child or make the child temporarily sore, but not abuse the child (a belt or a hard wooden object that is often used can bruise the child or even break a bone which is abusive). Therefore, I believe that God’s intention is for the parent to use something like a switch that has flexibility and will sting the child but not hurt them. In Proverbs 10:13 The Bible even indicates the location, “the back”, where the rod is to be administered (the back refers to the rear end of the child where there is padding). I also believe that it is inappropriate for a parent to use their hands to spank a child as the hand should be used to hold, hug and caress the child.
Practically speaking, if your son does not respond to the use of the rod in discipline, it could be that you are not getting to the point where you are actually stinging the child (his jeans may be up and covering him, therefore it does not sting) or you may not be giving enough strokes or enough velocity. Hebrews 12:11 shares with us that correct chastening should yield peaceable fruit. That is after the chastening of your child they should show repentance that leads to them having a good attitude. Depending upon how strong willed your child may be, you may have to either administer additional strokes or spank them additional times for it to yield peaceable fruit. It is also very important that the child knows why you are spanking them before you spank them. Also you must make sure that you are in control of yourself and are not taking out your frustration on the child (Eph. 5:18).
I suggest that you pray and ask God to work through this process.  Ask that He would break your child’s heart and open his eyes to realize that his defiance or rebellion is evil and that you want to protect him from evil thinking. Some children are tougher and have a higher threshold of pain.
Ask for wisdom.  In addition to the rod, it is many times appropriate to also revoke a privilege.  This can sometimes cause a stroke to have more effect.
As you pray, ask the Lord to reveal any attitude, words or tone of voice that could be invoking your child to this stubbornness. I also challenge you to monitor any TV or video programming that encourages stubbornness or defiance.
In your disciplining, remember to be consistent, be firm, and be loving. When you correctly administer the rod for defiance and rebellion, you yourself are being obedient to the Lord and His word. This is an act of faith on your part. You are not in this alone. You have the power of God within you to work in the heart of your child.

I hope these few comments are helpful. I suggest that you order the CD from our ministry store “How to Keep Dennis From Becoming a Menace”.

I am a Depressed Housewife, What Should I Do?

I want to care again.  Maybe it’s the result of the numbness you spoke of, I don’t know.  But even though good things have happened and I do feel that God has revealed sin to me, I’m still not right.

I want to care that the house needs to be cleaned, that laundry needs to be done, that supper needs to be cooked.  I want to care what I look like…That I need a shower or my hair needs to be washed.  I just feel like nothing matters. Is this depression?

Answer:

In answer to your question, the Lord has brought me to these verses to my mind.  I am praying these verses for you.

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4

As you delight yourself in the person of Christ, He will cause you to care again. You will not strive to perform these duties, but will take pleasure in responding to the Lord’s blessings and find fulfillment in the role God has called you to.

And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. 2 Cor 9:8

Because of the cross, because of his grace, because of his power, you will excel in these areas of life.

May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace,

encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word.

2 Thess 2:16-17

That is my prayer for you.

Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus–the great Shepherd of the sheep–with the blood of the everlasting covenant, equip you with all that is good to do His will, working in us what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Heb 13:20-21

Was Solomon Qualified to be an Example of a Godly Husband?

I’m sure you are very busy but I would like to tell you about what my co-worker said to me after I told him about the marriage seminar that I attended on Saturday. I was told by the co-worker that Solomon should not be the example since he had 700 wives. I don’t know why they used him as an example since he had multiple wives and concubines. I understand in Hebrew times they could do this, but it was not a requirement. The Bible teaches that we are to only have one wife. After talking to my co-worker (friend), I feel he makes a good point. Why would Solomon be praised as a good husband? I can’t understand this example given to us as a married couple since its a contradiction.

Answer:

First let me say that this is a very good question and one that is often asked. Let me briefly share a few reasons that Solomon can be and should be used as an example.

1. Solomon wrote this book when he was a very young man before he had additional wives and had not yet digressed into lustful polygamy. Later in his life he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes in which he often states that “all is vain” referring to the mistaken paths that he took in his life (including the additional wives who turned his heart from God).

2. God uses men in the Bible who have failed. David is a prime example as he committed adultery and murder, yet he repented and wrote the psalms. The apostle Paul killed Jews but was converted on the Damascus road and became a great apostle of Jesus Christ.

3. God is the one who put this book in his word for our admonition. To question the authority or legitimacy of God putting this book in the Bible for us to learn from about marriage is to question God.

These are but a few explanations that I could give to you. I hope these are helpful.

What is God’s Order of Authority in the Home?

What is your view of God’s order in family and why do you hold this view?

Answer:

God’s hierarchy for family order is :

God the Father

Jesus Christ

Husband

Wife

Children

Scripture References are:

1 Cor 11:3

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

Eph 6:1-4

1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Husbands and parents are to understand that biblical authority does not mean that they are dictatorial or tyrannical in their authority.  They are to die to themselves in order to do what is best for those under their authority.  A husband is to help his wife grow in glory by loving her, leading her and lifting her with encouragement.

Eph 5:25-28

25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

A wife is to voluntarily grant allegiance and loyalty to her husband out of devotion.  She is to adapt to the needs of her husband.  Submission has nothing to do with inferiority or superiority.   It is an act of faith in God and his word.

Eph 5:22-24

22) Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Whenever a husband or parent requests that the wife of child do something contrary to the Word of God, ( for example, lie, speed, cheat on taxes, participate in sin), they are to obey God rather than man.

Acts 5:29

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.