Weekly Bulletin Articles
GOD’S KIND OF FAMILY (Part 2)
God’s kind of family has children born to Christian fathers and mothers. It is not a sin to choose not to marry. Neither is it a sin to marry and not have children. It is a sin to have children outside of marriage. Christian men have the responsibility to provide for their family. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Timothy 5:8) God never intended for children to be born to unwed parents and then the government have to be responsible to feed, clothe and provide for them. Godly men are to train their children to serve God. (Ephesians 6:4) Young people must be taught to follow the steps of Jesus. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21) Children must be taught and trained with kindness and love. “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” (Colossians 3:21) By continual faultfinding you can discourage and destroy a child. Christian women must love their children. (Titus 2:4) When the men are sorry and do not fulfill their God given responsibility, women must see that their children are trained to serve God. This was the case with Timothy, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” (2 Timothy 1:5) We will always be better husbands and wives, better parents, and better children by loving Jesus and serving Him faithfully.
If America is ever to turn back to the Lord it will start with our homes. I still have faith in God’s kind of family!
Govern your family and yourself by being faithful to God and fruitful in His service. Save your family by being busy working for God. Pray more. Read the Bible more. Our spiritual citizenship and our hope for a strong family, God’s kind of family, is through and because of Jesus, the Christ. To be saved from sin hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (Mark 16:16), repent of sins (Luke 13:5), confess Jesus as Lord (Matthew 10:32), and be baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3-4) We should all choose God’s way for our family because it has proven to always be the better way. I still have faith in God’s kind of family!
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037
GOD’S KIND OF FAMILY (Part 1)
Satan is doing everything that he can to destroy God’s kind of family. God loves the family as it is described in the Bible. But, Satan hates everything that God loves. The home, as described in the Bible, is the work of God. Satan hates the family as God designed it and he is doing everything he can to destroy it. Satan loves to find ways to break families apart; yet Go...d hates divorce. “For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.” (Malachi 2:16) God designed a family with a man as husband, a woman as wife and children being born to husbands and wives who are legally married to one another. It is a false way when men and women decide to just live together not married. (1 Corinthians 6:6-11) It is a false way to have babies outside of marriage. It is a false way for men to be married to men. “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22) It is a false way for a woman to be married to a woman. “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.” (Romans 1:24-26) God hates these false ways and with His help we can go out and defeat Satan, the home wrecker. “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” (Psalms 119:104)
God’s kind of family has a Christian husband and father. Godly men must love their wives, (a) Like Christ loved the church and gave himself for it, and (b) Like they love their own body, nourishing and cherishing it. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:” (Ephesians 5:25-29) Husbands are even to give their wives priority over their own parents. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” (Ephesians 5:31) Husbands are to honor their wives, understand them and treat them as the special being that they are. “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7) Husbands must also exhibit the right attitude toward their wife. “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” (Colossians 3:19) I still have faith in God’s kind of family!
God’s kind of family has a Christian wife and mother. Godly wives are to submit to their husbands. The wife must respect the husband as her head. She must be subject to him in everything. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” (Ephesians 5:22-24) Younger women must be taught to love their husbands and to love their children. (Titus 2:4) The wife must respect or reverence her husband. “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33) A woman may work outside of the home (Proverbs 31:10-31), however if she is married here primary role is that of a wife and a mother. I still have faith in God’s kind of family!
When we think of admirable qualities that we esteem highly in others or that we would like to see developed in ourselves, what are some that come to mind? Do we appreciate honesty, integrity, dependability, attention to detail, hard work, consistency, impartiality? Do we consider faith, kindness, meekness, temperance, joy, steadfastness, and a loving spirit to be traits that we hold in high regard?
When Peter, by inspiration, encouraged the first-century saints to build upon the foundation of faith, he instructed them to add to their faith virtue (2 Pet.1:5). Virtue is translated from a word that, at its root, indicates manliness. There is involved a sense of courage and strength. You might remember the words of encouragement that Jehovah spoke to the newly-appointed leader of His people, Joshua: “Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them” (Josh.1:6). As David lay dying, he gave instructions to his son, Solomon, who would take his father’s place upon the throne: “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man” (1 Kings 2:2). In his closing words to the brethren at Corinth, Paul would say, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Cor.16:13). The strength referenced in these passages has nothing to do with physical strength. The admonitions are given to be strong in regard to spiritual matters. This spiritual strength coupled with the courage to act upon what is right is what constitutes virtue. Some refer to this as “moral courage.” Others indicate that it involves vigorous activity or energy. I will submit that it is a combination of the two—the courage to do what is right and the willingness to exercise the spiritual strength necessary to act upon what is right. It is a mindset that is joined with action, much like the faith upon which virtue is to be built!
The command to exhibit and exercise virtue in our lives seems very much out of place in our day, given the current moral and religious climate. After all, in a time when so many are focused on eradicating “gender inequality,” it seems very inappropriate to tell anyone to grow up and act manly. When society is seeking to do all it can to blur the lines of distinction between men and women, some are left to wonder just what being manly really involves. It has become more acceptable in our current culture for men to act like women and for women to act like men. No wonder, then, that virtue is not so virtuous anymore. Now, we are told, that those who “come out” in regard to their sexual orientation are courageous, and should be lauded as heroes. Sadly, our society has embraced immoral “courage” as something virtuous and praise-worthy. This flies in the face of what Peter instructs us to do as Christians. True virtue does not celebrate vice. Moral courage demands that we stand up for what is right, even when everyone else around us is unwilling to do so. This does not grant someone the right to be ugly or mean-spirited. It does, however, mean that we cannot give up the truth! Virtue refuses to be backed into a corner, to be silent when truth is being attacked. A foundation of Biblical faith demands that we act upon what has been revealed to us in God’s word (Rom.10:17). Fear stands in opposition to virtue, and we know where fear will lead us (Rev.21:8). Let us never be afraid to do what is right!
For a long time, I was under the impression that the most well-known verse in the Bible was John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” However, the more I hear and read from those around me, the more I am convinced that Matthew 7:1 has supplanted John 3:16 as the most well-known, and most quoted, verse in Scripture: “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Now simply because a verse is well-known or oft-quoted does not mean that it is well understood or correctly applied. Some want us to think that it’s simply a matter of “don’t judge me, and I won’t judge you.” But, that ignores the context of this passage, and does not harmonize with other teachings of Jesus throughout Scripture. What does this passage mean in its context? How can we make application of this to everyday living?
I am certain that Jesus did not speak these words so that we could remain comfortable in our sinful ways. Yet, this is precisely how so many attempt to use these words of the Master Teacher. Rather than give up thoughts, words, and deeds that are not in keeping with the will of God, many want to continue in sin. When our love of sin is greater than our love for God, almost any justification will placate us. Are we truly trying to overcome sin in our lives when we throw around the tired cliche of “Who are you to judge me? You have your own faults to work on. When you are perfect, then come talk to me.” Such is a childish defensive mechanism that in no way helps us to improve our lives and become more like Jesus.
It is the height of hypocrisy to use these words of Jesus to defend our pet sins. The point of the passage is to get us to examine ourselves to make sure we are striving to be what we proclaim to be! We are often hard on others, and yet we go easy on ourselves when it comes to sin. Jesus was denouncing hypercritical and hypocritical judgment! We must be willing to subject ourselves to the same standard of judgment that we expect from others. Herein is part of the struggle with this passage of Scripture. This passage does not condemn judgment altogether. Instead, when placed alongside other teachings of Jesus, he is instructing us to submit to a divine standard of judgment. In another place, Jesus teaches, “Judge not according to the appearance; but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). So in one passage we are told not to judge, and in another we are told to judge righteous judgment. Some would have Jesus contradict himself, for in their opinion, all judgment is sinful. If we are never to render judgment, then how would we fulfill the command to abhor that which is evil and cling to that which is good (Rom.12:9)? How could we ever help to rescue a brother or sister who is overtaken in sin if we could not judge (Gal.6:1)? The warning of Jesus in Matthew 7:1 is to beware of being hypocritical in our judgment. We must do all that we can to make sure we are walking faithfully with the Lord. We must work to remove the sins in our lives, so that we can then help our brothers and sisters to remove the sins from their lives (does anyone actually read verse 5 of this passage?). Since we are not righteous in and of ourselves (Rom.3:10), it is, therefore, absolutely imperative that we base our judgment on an objective, unbiased, flawless, immutable standard—the word of God (Psa.119:172). When we subject ourselves to this standard, we can be sure that our lives will be holy and righteous as we live by it. Holding others to the same standard is not being hypocritical. It is being consistent. Live by the standard that you expect to see in the lives of others!