When spending time with this little paper, please consider this time as kairos [a proper time for action, an appointed or definitive time with God] and not mere chronos [a normal daily time quantity].
Also, when starting to read through this essay and you become so bored that you feel like losing your will to live; please try to persevere! There are hoping to be helpful and practical hints herein…
As part of the immoral “political correctness” of an apparent ‘modernism’, some claim to attest that God did not instate a marriage and so come up with whatever definition or version serves their wicked [twisted] desires. We will, of course, examine this, but as an introductory consideration.
Kindly observe the following:
1. The authority of The Bible is unsurpassed. Please refer to the paper entitled “The Bible”.
2. The statement in this same Bible that God, in the beginning, created the first man and the first woman (Gen 27-28; Mt 19:5; Mk 10:6-9), then gave authority on earth [away] to them [us] to multiply and form family units. Gen 2:24 explains the idea of a man [singular, male] bonding with a woman [singular, female] that [can] produce offspring and with this new unity, leave their respective parent’s homes to form a permanent [married] unity and from then on be faithful and committed to each other; and that the children born from their unity will be regarded as legitimate (Mal 2:10-17); and every notion or action against this institution is an abomination to God and will be judged accordingly (Mal 2:14-17; Mk 10:2-12; Heb 13:4; Rev 21:27). Ponder also Titus 1:10-16 but with Jn 3:17-21…
3. Observe that both the man and women (husband and wife) should then submit to each other and love each other so that a prophetic image of Christ and His followers can be portrayed, and then with a love that does not seek its own interest (1 Cor 13:5; Eph 1:17-23; 5:23-32).
The overwhelming stance against [sexual] immorality and sexual lewdness found in The Bible would be illogical if God did not intend faithfulness and commitment in marriage (one man with one woman who can produce legitimate offspring) and a prophetic image to convey of Christ and His followers (Eph 5:23-32). Concepts such as genealogy, lineage, heritage, [sexual] morality all only makes sense with the existence of marriage as defined by God. If not for marriage sexual immorality would be irrational.
This subject is very much related to our wholeness (God’s greatest requirement for us) which is really holiness (being dedicated, consecrated for God’s use). This wholeness (spirit as God-consciousness; and soul as intellect, emotion and will; and body as His temple and expression of our personality and life) has much to do with our response+ability and our leadership (Mt 5:14). We are to reflect a legacy (Lk 12:32; Mal 2:15,16; Heb 2:8-10). For this we have to understand [more than the world] what is involved in being a husband and a father; and a wife and a mother.
We will later look briefly at sonship and the role of parents and the covenantal family union. This all plays a major part in any child growing up and directs with [Godly] answers to the worlds enigmas of “Who am I?”; “Where do I come from?”; “What is my purpose?”; “Where am I going?”; and so on.
Marriage in general
First, look carefully at – and really contemplate – Ps 127:1; Heb 13:4; Eph 5:21-33; 1 Cor 7:2,10,11.
God instated marriage. He called Eve Adam’s wife in Gen 2:23,24; 3:20,21 (2 Tim 3:16). A marriage is thus designed by God for one man and one woman to be faithful and joined to each other as His prophetic image of Christ and His Church, the people who choose for Him to dwell in them constantly and continuously only (Eph 5:19-33). Not just like a date or a self-pleasing visit now and then [only for Sabbaths, or Sundays, or festivals]. Marriage is absolutely about faithfulness and commitment [agape Love]. God is this Love. He is absolutely faithful and committed. He also calls it being holy [consecrated for His use, pleasure, plan, dialogue, set apart for – Lev 11:45; 1 Pet 1:14-16; Phil 2:15; Rev 4:5]. Marriage can also bring forth life in the form of legit children (compare Jn 1:12,13; Rom 8:14; Mal 2:15-16; etc.) with a mother and a father bind, dedicated and anointed to raise their children – by example – in God’s ways.
Note that people of the same gender (homosexuals) can not bring forth children naturally between them, and is obviously excluded from what God intended in marriage. This is discussed briefly further on but in more detail in the paper “Homosexuality” – it is clearly an abomination to God! In Paul’s words, “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (Eph 5:6; reiterated in Rom 1:18-32; 1 Cor 5:5,11,13; 6:9-10; Rev 21:8 and so on). The word sodomy (homosexuality) is derived from God’s judgement on it on Sodom and Gomorrah.
Note. Our thought-life should be spiritual and paramount and part of earthly life in Truth (Mt 5:27,28; 1 Pet 2:4-10; Jn 14:6; Phil 4:4-9; and so on).
Mal 2:15-16; Jer 29:4-6; 1 Tim 4:3 and Heb 13:4 gives a good hint about God’s value on this prophetic image of a Bridegroom [Christ] and His Bride [Body, church, Zion, Jerusalem not build by man].
We are meant to have a habitual and continuous and fruit-bearing personal relationship with God Who created as a Father. A relationship that shows faithfulness and commitment, not emotional self-fulfilment and demands but continuous self-sacrificial giving and purposeful dedication.
Through accepting His unique Son Jesus as personal Savior and our righteousness, we become children of God, and then can call God Father. This means He is more than a generational God, He is eternal (Rom 8:14-17). He created man and a woman (Gen 1:26,27). God then blessed them and told them to be fruitful and multiply, and have dominion over all in and on earth [except other man, because God is Truth – Love that never manipulates]. Hence the wrong in rape, and any form of abuse and battering, and all hurt caused by control-freaks, and certainly that of a man psychologically afflicting his wife.
God designed a marriage to be a pleasurable covenantal unity [mutual submission, dedication, commitment] between one man and one woman (Gen 2:23; Mt 19:4-6; 1 Cor 6:16; Eph 5:31; Mal 2:15,16). This oneness, like His Church, His Body, His Bride, is a Christian fraternity (“brotherhood”). 1 Pet 4:11 also reiterates the principle of reflecting His Light, Truth and Love [Jesus Christ the Person and His Life everlasting] to the world accurately. This oneness then, does not imply that a man becomes like the woman or that a woman becomes like the man they are married to, but that they become ONE TEAM. One fulfils one part and the other something else, but together they stand as one prophetic image of a super-natural unity between two opposite genders operating as one team in Christ.
When we look at Love, we see faithfulness, commitment and a serving [sacrificial] character and ungrudging congruous nature but only in honesty and Truth. The Bride takes on the [last] name of her Bridegroom; Christ Jesus does not take on ours, we take on His. We see Jesus Christ, revealing God as Love. This is His agape love, that is not emotional. Emotion is self-conscious [self-centred] as part of the soul. This spiritual Love, is agape [not eros (sensual), phileo (friendship), or storgé (family)]. Agape is all about faithfulness and commitment, and is not dependant on any emotion [feeling, self-satisfaction] at all. This is why you enter a commitment by declaring before God [the Originator, Designer, of this institution] to remain faithful to that one partner for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for as long as we shall live… no feeling should therefore ever enter [hinder] this dedication, faithfulness [in your thought-life – Mt 5:31-32!], and commitment. Sex is designed for a marriage only, also because God seeks Godly offspring – Mal 3:15 (Mal 3:16,17; Prov17:13,15; 24:24). Having intercourse joins a man and a woman, and therefore can only be acceptable to God [the designer, Creator] between married partners [one man with one woman].
The expression of [God’s] Love (1 Jn 4:16) is Jesus Christ, Who gave His Life for (to – Jn 14:6; 3:8b; Heb 2:9!) His friends (Jn 15:13-16; Ex 33:11; Jn 12:45; 14:9; 15:18-23; Js 4:4), His friends who collectively forms His Bride [family] (Jn 17:17,21,26; Rev 21:2,9). Heb 12:1,2 indeed.
Note at Eph 5:22. To help the woman [and the egotistical man] with the seemingly derogative or belittling referral to only the wife in Eph 5:22, get the following revelation: Read verse 21 again! Verse 22 is not an appointment to slavery; it is revealing a special unity and devotion that should exist in a marriage.
The word “submit” is from ὑποτάσσω (hupotassō, G5293) that means to be subordinate or subject to. Note however, that (G5293) is derived from not only G5259 (to be subordinate) but also τάσσω (tassō, G5021) that is a prolonged form of a primary verb (which latter appears only in certain tenses); that means to arrange in an orderly manner, that is, assign or dispose or appoint or ordain or set [to a certain position or lot of honor not disdain]; but even to addict that in fact means to be a fan, a devotee, an aficionado (an admirer but as in addicted or fanatically devoted to)! An addict will cling to and not let go and be willing to please and welcome attention [love] from the subject – hence a very strong bond! Remember that our Perfect God is a perfect Creator with a perfect plan (perfect ideas, but in Love leave our choices up to us with our free will so we can determine our own outcome – refer to the paper “The Will”)!
The “submission” therefore refers to a reciprocal [mutual, equal give-and-receive, shared, joint devoted and pure] relationship. The “submission” of a wife to her husband [not all men!], is not “have less value than” and so ties in with 1 Cor 11:6-7 (see note below). This “submission” means more than just not to be bickering and disruptive of unity [effective leadership]; but to actually be supportive to her husband and by implication, her children as well – but only in all that is Godly (context of Eph 5:1-17).
In defining “support”, the Collins thesaurus list words/concepts such as bear, bolster, brace, buttress, carry, hold up, reinforce, sustain, be a source of strength to, cherish, foster, look after, nourish, provide for, take care of… get the idea? It means that a wife as “support” must actually be STRONG and superlative! The pillars that supports a bridge, must not only be strong enough to carry its own weight plus that of the bridge (it supports), but the load that is on that bridge! The husband (and children) needs a wife (mother) that can support them as well as all their troubles! Any husband can take rejection from all woman in the world [including his own mother – Gen 2:24], but has to have the approval of his own wife. The unity then, demands a reciprocal respectful duty and the “submission” then refers to an acquiescence, consent, blessing, acceptance, conformity, obedience in all Godly matters (all that is according to the teachings and precepts of Jesus Christ). Her support is what will make her husband (and family) strong, and that will benefit her proportionally! Magnificent, is it not? What a God we serve! He truly knows about His creation and Love! And take special note that no man [son] of God will habitually or willfully afflict or manipulate his wife…
By the way, Eph 5:21 was quite revolutionary at the time. Women were considered inferior to men and were robbed of privileges by men, but Jesus changed all that for good (Jn 4:9-29; 8:4-12; Gal 3:23-29; Acts 10:34).
Occasionally books appear with absolute nonsense but are amazingly slurped up by Christians. One example is a book on “Love and respect” that essentially claims men require only [mainly] respect and the women [only] love. This is shallow, non-scriptural and ridiculous. Respect is one of many aspects and part and parcel of [agape] love. God is Love, so rather know God [Love] more accurately! This is what www.gospel-truth.co.za is about. The man must show respect to his wife (and children) – even in their absence – as part and parcel of his genuine love by consistently living his Godly convictions (1 Jn 2:4; Gal 1:6-9) out in such a way that he (and consequently his family) will not be put to shame. This is how also a man can truly love and honor his wife (1 Cor 10:31; Mt 7:12), especially in their absence. A lazy, dishonest, untrustworthy or fowl-speaking man is a disgrace to himself and all those he is connected with. A Godly man will prove to be habitually and consistently decent, hard-working, helpful, polite, considerate, kind and generous so that his loved ones are honored by it. Ponder again 1 Cor 13. We all equally need Love [God in us]. A spiritually immature and self-centered man [yet to truly be a reborn Christian, Jn 3:3], will be preoccupied with getting “respect” while not realizing that “respect” in fact will automatically follow the one identified with Christ inside of him. A Christian can demonstrate 1 Cor 13 [Love, Holy Spirit, God] inside of them, and without Love none of us (male or female) can amount to anything good (1 Cor 13:1-3; 1 Jn 4:8).
Note at 1 Cor 11:6-7. For quite a while in some “churches” (For “denominational” groups – perhaps reconsider 1 Cor 11:17-19 with Gal 5:17-20 and refer to the papers “Church”), this was merely a pedantic prescription (teaching) on wearing headgear (hats) in the Sunday service. Paul, however, pointed out to the actual meaning [intent, similar to Law as discussed in the paper “The Covenant and The Law) that they failed to grasp. Carefully contemplate verse 3. In verse 4 therefore, Paul rather seems to say that if clothing had anything to do with it, it would only be to symbolically illustrate the purpose of this tradition that if a man speaks anywhere (teach, refutes, reproves, admonishes, and comforts; as Jesus also referred to in Mt 7:15-23; 12:30-37); then he better reveal Jesus Christ [his Head] and not obscure [“cover”, misrepresent] Him! The woman [wives], Paul said in verses 5-6, should not dishonor their husbands [in public disgrace their “head”, i.e. husband and by implication their children or families, as well] by their talking. And if you still think 1 Cor 11 is liturgical prescription for clothing (externalism), try Jn 4:24; Rom 8:14; 13:12-14 for size! Selah.
Everyone that has had a personal spiritual contact with Jesus Christ gets a new name [title, purpose, identification]. For a NT follower of Christ, this name is “child of God” – Jn 1:12-13. In the OT Jacob became Israel, Saul of Tarsus became Paul that gave us most of the NT, don’t fall for lies of that dragon, that age-old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the seducer of humanity the world over; he has been defeated – Col 2:15]. This Satan is the father of all lies – Jn 8:44. Do not take his bait that sex outside a marriage can ever be “safe” – a piece of rubber or a pill does not protect against disobedience to God [distrust in the principles and precepts and teachings Jesus gave]. So notice how, in a Godly marriage [understood correctly by the husband and wife], the wife takes on the name [last name] of the husband [nature and character, you abhor what He abhors, you love what He loves – Jn 14:15; 15:14; Rom 8:14; 12:9]. Jesus Christ [our Bridegroom] cannot take on the old sinful nature (name) of His Bride; His Bride has to change and take on His new perfect name, the Name above all names. The new creature [Man] of 1 Cor 15:45-47; 2 Cor 5:17; 1 Cor 6:15-20 (Jn 3:3-7)! His will/Testament. That law-era has ended with Christ crucified (Rom 8:1-4; 10:1-4) and we are supposed to enter immortality with who we are intimate with – in Christ. Guard your heart (thought-life) and put on God’s armour (Eph 6:12 points to Rom 13:14). Bad thoughts (demons) that are tolerated, actually approve, instruct, intend… Hence warnings/advice like Is 54:13-17; 2 Cor 10:5; Heb 12:2; Eph 4:23; Mt 5:27-48; 6:21-24.
Take special note here that God is not saying that we [man or wife] should only get everything our way and for that reason change our spouse [their personality and free expression when they are in Christ, already following Jesus’ precepts and Voice]! We remain entities, but become one team. Man stays man, woman stays woman, but together can have children! And neither is God saying that you leave your parents for good [stop seeing them], it is saying that the bond [covenant of dedication, faithfulness and commitment] is now with each other. You still have to visit your in-laws, as a matter of fact, you should even visit your outlaws! (Mt 26:43, with help and ministering care, not to help them escape prison! We must escape self, not responsibility)!
“… And Adam “knew” his wife, and she became pregnant and bore Cain…” (Gen 4:1). In Mt 7:21-23 (7:17-24) Jesus was revealing the Truth behind Jn 14:15 and 15:14. See what He said to that Samaritan woman [future Bride] at the same well Isaac’s servant [Holy Spirit of Servant- King Jesus Christ] found his wife Rebekah (that proved she could serve, be useful to him, there) 1 500 years earlier (Gen 24:11-21; Jn 4:4-18). Jesus said to her that she has spoken truly: that the man with whom she was [just] living [existing], was not her husband… He [Jesus] would be, all she had to do was drink of that Living water [Spirit Word] He had to offer, then worship Him in Spirit and in Truth [He in her and she in Him] – Jn 4:22-24. Yes, I do believe Jesus will return and join His Bride that was prepared… to work WITH Him and Live abundantly! He will unite His Body with His Bride and become one. We will receive the same [similar, but] glorified bodies He rose with from that grave. What a glorious prophetic image of ultimate hope and gentle merciful Love to reflect to the world (Mt 5:13-16; but also verse 20 with Jn 15:1-11…). Now, live out 1 Cor 10:31 and Col 1:10; 3:17. Know the VOICE of Dt 28:1-14 (Jn 10:27), and experience Rom 8:14 and verse 28-36… When you truly belong to Christ, your body is not your own anymore [to sin with] – 1 Cor 6:15-20. So, sex outside a marriage is an abomination to God, also the outrageous rebellion of man to institute “homosexual marriages”. To reason for it, is ludicrous.
“Homosexuality” is condemned by Scripture [God] – Lev 18:22; 20:13; 1 Ki 14:24; 15:11-12; Rom 1:26-28. Even the idea of parading [dressed] as the opposite gender (Dt 22:5). Contemplate also the lesson and reason in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra. [Sodomy = homosexuality] – in Genesis 6. “Homosexuality” is contrary to the Gospel – 1 Cor 6:9; 17-19; 1 Tim 1:10,11; 1 Thess 4:4-7. “Homosexuals” can, however, repent [get a new mind] and be saved, like all sinners [from themselves] – 1 Cor 6:11; 1 Jn 1:9,10; Eph 4:23-25 (Rom 8:7,8). The reader might want to peruse “Homosexuality” on www.gospel-truth.co.za.
To have sex outside a marriage when not married is called fornication in the Bible, and is a union considered as marriage. Sex outside a marriage when married, is called adultery.
|Note at Mt. 5:32: Just as with murder (vv. 21-22) and adultery (vv. 27-28), Jesus is taking divorce one step further than the Mosaic law did. Under Moses’ law, the people were allowed to get a divorce for any reason (Mt 19:3; Mk 10:2-4), much as we see today. Divorce was permitted under the Old Covenant (as was polygamy) because of the hardness of people’s hearts, but Jesus revealed that this was not God’s original plan (Mk 10:5-9). Jesus permits divorce under the New Testament for the sole reason of adultery simply because the adulterer has already broken the union. But this is not the will of God, but the will of man… (Consider reading the paper entitled “The Will” by the author).|
We are to witness to the world the Truth of God, not join the world in rebellion against God. So think carefully what you associate with [are tolerant towards] in word and deed (Mt 3:8; 12:35-37; Rom 12:9). Your actions and words are either life or death, and you shall reap what you sow – Prov 18:21; Gal 6:7,8; Dt 30:19; but in the way Prov 8:32-36 explains. Our marriages must be exemplary.
As for thoughts of divorce, take also careful note of 1 Cor 6:10-17.
A Practical example of basic respect (consideration) that can avoid an eventual huge conflict
We all want to be right and respected.
Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss (01.07.1888 – 13.08.1865) was a Hungarian physician, now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Described as the “saviour of mothers”, Dr. Semmelweis discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever (“childbed fever”) could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection in obstetrical clinics. Puerperal fever was common in mid-19th-century hospitals and often fatal. Despite various publications of results where hand washing reduced mortality to below 1%, Dr. Semmelweis’s observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community. They argued that Dr. Semmelweis could offer no acceptable scientific explanation for his findings, and some doctors were offended at the suggestion that they should wash their hands. Only years after his death, when Louis Pasteur confirmed the germ theory and Joseph Lister, acting on the French microbiologist’s research, practiced and operated, using hygienic methods, with great success, Dr. Semmelweis was post-mortem acknowledged to being right regarding sanitation and hygiene. Sadly, Dr. Semmelweis was committed to an asylum in 1865, probably due to the profession’s resistance to his findings, where he died at age 47, ironically of pyemia (a type of septicaemia), after being beaten by the guards only 14 days after he was committed.
Just by the way, it might offend you, but it is possible in the heat of a moment, to forget to properly wash your hands after visiting the toilet, changing a diaper, discarding trash or preparing raw fish or poultry… many a serious health upset are still caused by a lack of basic sanitation and hygiene!
The application for us, as the other papers on this website expand on, is that we have to acknowledge that our biggest problem is usually just the self. Self-righteousness makes us opinionated before properly examining the other person’s perception. For example, do most wives after having prepared a meal expect the husband (and children) to attend immediately. She wants to avoid rejection by not wanting them to criticise cold food and the husband (family) probably will have something to finish first. Instead of a big argument to prove who is right, that typically ends with hurtful comments, simply make an arrangement beforehand to give a time when all should be seated for the meal… As easy as that! Note the crux of such issues boils down to the self, hence Scriptures such as Mt 7:12 or Prov 15:1; 29:19-20…
There is the principle, as even included in the Geneva Convention that a clear warning should be issued first before shooting. Even at home, one shouldn’t just attack someone’s person without giving the other person time to prepare for the critique they are about to receive; as such introduction to a statement will make it clear that our fragile self is about to be shown a fault, oversight or mistake, So, try to ask permission first with a respectful, “May I say something?” The outcome then stands a better chance to find a good resolution. Do ponder [the requirement for] 2 Tim 3:16-17
Fatalism – starting with a wrong insight
Note on “The will of God” concerning your spouse – Are you wandering, “Who is my mate?”…
God [Love] is not a manipulator and will therefore not “arrange” your marriage and is unlikely to leave you with a quest to find that single person on this planet (You just hope they have not died or married someone else before you get to them!). “Churches” have preached this idea that is based on a wrong teaching about God’s sovereignty (see the paper called “The will” – if you will!). This author believes that the authority God gave us on this NT earth includes the free choice who to marry [and who not]. This means that there are many possibilities but possibly [logically] only one best choice. This also implies that there are many who will be so close to “perfect” to you – and your children – that you would never know the difference while you are married to them because you could only make a comparison with a perilous imagination and by speculation. Remember that God’s Kingdom is about authority [powerful control over evil thoughts and adversity on earth through a relationship with Father-Creator-God] and [humble, wilful by choice in love] submission; but the world offers only a lesser copy of [manipulative] control and [forceful, choice less, dictatorship] subjection.
So who will your soul-mate be, how will you know?
According to Jesus (Jn 14:23-27) you, by choice, could have Him (Jn 4:24) indwell you [permanently, continuously, habitually, lasting] and He can guide you… and teach you… and strengthen you… and comfort you… Also because it is likely that someone will not appreciate any of this (and neither will they appreciate you) and then you move on… You should/can here ask for wisdom (see Js 1:5 and the paper entitled “Prayer”). It is a precarious situation – by choice – to “wait” on someone while they claim to be getting their life “in order” while it is clear that someone is just misusing/abusing you. In all honesty, does obedience to God take but a moment, not years of messing up everyone around them in selfishness.
Perhaps you should first honestly reflect and decide what it is you expect from your marriage. If you feel like marrying someone because they will make you look good, or stroke your ego (“self” seeking pity + praise or worldly status or fulfil lust + greed), you will probably make a tragic choice with catastrophic results. If I may use my own marriage as an example, my wife and I have been happily married since 1985 (continuously since the ceremony, not intermittent stages connected by random interspersed moments afterwards). She could very possibly have had a much better spouse but then there would not have been a Juan or André [with our DNA]. Likewise could I have married someone else and also could have had a great [successful] marriage. But, again, your own attitude, your own faithfulness and commitment [dedication] determines your happiness, rather than [only one factor as] the individual you call your spouse. Remember that only “self” [soul] can be offended, not the spirit.
All bad is self-inflicted by mankind (Is 5:18-21). Remember that Love [God] never manipulates!…
(For two casual observations here, see the footnote.)
Notes at Mt 19:4-6. Jesus is speaking. Verse 4 rules out Evolution completely. Verse 5 rules out same-gender marriages completely. Verse 6 rules out sex outside a marriage completely. Note in v6 that God does not “arrange” [pre-fix] marriages, but that He gave us a free will (See paper “The Will”), and with this free will He gave us as Love, we may choose our own husband or wife and that union will be “…what God joined together”. This arrangement is what “… no man can put asunder” (Mt 5:33-37). Man can physically apply his will and alter his [social] status but ultimately [literally] cannot alter (put asunder) the absolute Truth [God, Jn 14:6]. This misapplication of a man’s will will then apply as in Jn 3:17-21. i.e. Man should be prudent and not attempt to “put it asunder”, by either unfaithfulness nor by re-defining [the Godly concept and purpose of] marriage. This God-given will, misapplied, will in effect be equal to a “dare” to God and what we will ultimately do full account for – and rightly so.
So what is wrong with “living together” (whilst unmarried)?
Here are a few reasons:
- It rebels against God. Fornication is sin (1 Cor 6:18). Paul (in 1 Cor 7:8) apparently had a “gift” to not desire sex. If you can be like Paul, not desiring sex [as a main goal to a form of self-satisfaction], then you have an advantage over married people [who have to please their spouse and please God without distraction], because you can more easily be consecrated to God only. This does not say sex inside a marriage necessarily distracts you from God, but it does say that there exists a fine line between potentially becoming fleshly [un-spiritual] in your thinking (Rom 8:7-15). It is about self-righteousness vs God’s Righteousness (Phil 3:9).
- By just living together, you hinder the [emotional] development of your spouse when you later get married. You ignore the gift to grow with you because of selfishness (immediate lust).
- You destroy the idea [true concept, necessity, belief] of commitment and dignity and respect.
- You risk having illegitimate children (Mal 2:15). Think of Jn 1:12; Rom 8:14…
- You are oblivious to the prophetic image of Jesus Christ [The Bridegroom] and His Bride [Body, Church, City in which He dwells]. Respect is impossible without trust [faith] first.
- Statistics show cohabitation is closely linked to high divorce rates.
- If you cohabit to save money, try to calculate the cost of lost morals or virginity.
- Economics do not determine right or wrong.
- If you reason you are just “test-driving the car”, stop thinking from the driver’s [self-centred] point of view, and imagine being the [later rejected] car.
- You do not want a car with someone else’s fungus shoes in the trunk.
- It “doesn’t hurt anyone”? Try and think again.
- It is “nobodies business”? Try and think again! (there are birth and health issues, for a start). Then think about your omnipresent Creator-Father – do you hear HIS Voice?
- It is alright because we are “in love”? No, this is lust. Love is to not be thinking of yourself only. Scripture says [agape] love is patient and kind, and does not seek to please itself, nor does it delight in evil, but is always hopeful (1 Cor 13). Love can show faith [trust, patience].
- “But we are getting married anyway”? This is presumptuous and naïve. If you cannot resist moral temptation prior to marriage, you have a problem after marriage also. You cannot fool God, so stop trying, rather start realizing Who He is.
- The Bible is not silent on cohabitation prior to marriage (1 Cor 6:9; Gal 5:19-21; Rev 21:8; Heb 13:4…).
A few good tips to the husband:
- When having an argument, never say “I’ll leave home”! You have one home – Gen 2:24!
- Regularly [often] tell, and continuously show your wife you really love [cherish] her
- Regularly set time apart for the two of you, without friends or children
- Communicate-, chat-, converse-, talk-, discuss with her, ask her opinion
- Listen, hear what she is saying. Be attentive and genuinely interested in her interest
A few good tips to the wife:
- When having an argument, never say “I’ll go home”! You have one home – Gen 2:24!
- Support him in all that is not against God’s will, defend him, stand by him
- Be soft, caring, loving. Help him right in private and in love
- Listen, hear what he is saying. Be attentive and genuinely interested in his interest
- Give him good home cooking, help him live and dress well. He needs you desperately.
Don’t use each other, be dedicated to each other. This is the message a Christian portrays to the world about Christ and His Church, about a Husband and His Bride. Live His Gospel [good news]!
The point [purpose] of marriage is this: as a prophetic image of Jesus Christ and His Body [one united church in Christ as His city set high, whose Light shines to all the world], we will do well to ask ourselves the following questions:
- Do we want to be His Bride, only to use His Name for our benefit [in selfish self-fulfillment and self-satisfaction, for self-glorification and power and own benefit]?
- Do we want to be His Bride, only to be saved from hell and calamity?
- Do we want to be His Bride, only for benefits we can get through Him [such as providence, untouchable status, protection, comfort, shelter for us alone]?
- Do we offer our intimacy with Him as a manipulative bribe, to “move” Him into giving us what we want [for our own selfish reasons]? Do we know Who He is? Really?
- Do we only talk to [not with] Him when it suits us in our busy self-centred lives?
- Do we believe [trust and cling to] Him, or the people who talk about Him?
- Do we love Him for who He is, and not because who we think we are [for Him]?
We should be careful to think we can bluff the One Who knows our hearts, and Who knew our names [character and minds] before we were formed in our mother’s womb. The One Who laid down His Life for us, when we were not on the scene yet, and so overpaid with His blood on His cross so that we can enjoy an abundant Life everlasting. And who do we trust? Who do we believe? Thieves [who steal your sonship], or Jesus Christ? Whose name is the Name above all names? Who has the highest authority in the entire universe? Did you know that “uni-verse” means “one spoken sentence”? God’s message is this: I love you, I AM your righteousness! And in the beginning, God said …
A few thoughts on sonship and the role of parents
God does nothing without commitment and faithfulness (a “Covenant”). This gives security, protection and is trustworthy, meaningful and empowering. We need to grasp this correctly.
Divorce is breaking your word, your covenant, and should never be an option. Again see Mal 2:13-16. Mankind seems to have lost the meaning [NT value] of permanency in everything. But know that God does not reject the “innocent party” (Mt 5:32; 1 Cor 6:9). We must just be cautious to not be blind [self-righteous] to our own part in any catastrophe. We must be able to repent and truly forgive! We must guard against hardness of heart (Mt 19:8).
The Bible shows an inheritance to “sons” only. This is not gender limited, but speaks of a legit full impartation. Paul describes a path in 1 Cor 13:11 like a “rite of passage” where slavery prohibits a birthright blessing. Consider Gal 4 – 5. Take special note of Gal 4:1,7; 3:26-29; Rom 8:14-17,29-39.
In Jesus Christ (Jn 1:12-13; Col 1:13-20) you inherit a testament (Heb 9:16-18) as a son in faith of what Jesus Christ taught and accomplished on His cross (Gal 3:26). Now read 1 Jn 3:1 and Jn 1:12-13 again. This adoption is a spiritual placing where we receive our legacy of blessings (Eph 1:3-11; 2 Pet 1;3-11). This blessing reads like this: Jer 1:5-8; 1 Cor 2:9; Eph 1:11; 2:10. We were not “evolved” or an accidental biological product like complete and utter fools suggest, but we are designed and specifically created by God (Ps 139:14; Gen 2:7; Rom 8:29-30). You are destined (Rev 2:17) by the Source of Love (Eph 3:14-21). Did you notice that God the perfect Creator-Father-God does not love you like a human [in a religious, conditional, sense] but that He loves you perfectly because of Who He is (Rom 8:35-39)?
The fist-born, in the Old system (Heb 8:13) are mentioned in scriptures like Ex 13:2,12; 22:29; 34:19; Num 3:13; 18:15,17 and once more show the grace and mercy of God as a perfect Father in Jesus Christ because we can read, in the NT, scriptures like 1 Cor 15:45; Heb 2:10-18 and Rom 8:17! Thus, did Jesus Christ redeem us from the law of primogeniture (governing the special inheritance of the first-born) by being our eternal First-Born and by taking us as His Bride, His City in whom He dwells – if we let Him! Now the position [rank, standing, privilege] we see in Gen 27:27; 43:33; Dt 21:15-17 disappears in the confirmation of Acts 10:34-36 (Gal 3:16,24-29; Rom 10:8-12; 1 Cor 6:14-20; etc.)!
So then will you observe that that law of primogeniture could protect the rights of a first-born, but not protect that person from himself. Rueben lost his through his sin (Gen 35:22); Esau sold his through profanity (Heb 12:16); Eliah and his brothers lost theirs to David (Ps 89:27 NIV); the older brother to the prodigal son (Lk 15:1-32). What’s more, do we find that Isaac was given precedence over Ishmael (Gen 22:2) and so Joseph over his ten older brothers (Gen 37:2-11); and Ephraim over Manasseh (Gen 48:5,13-20) but note here the pointing to Mt 13:24-30; 20:16; Mk 10:31; Rom 9:24-27 and ultimately 1 Cor 15:45 (Gal 3:16,29)! See the paper called “Israel-racism” for more on this subject, if you will… Jesus Christ is our Firstborn (Col 1:15-18; Rom 8:29). David as a fore-shadow of Christ, was not the first king of Israel nor the firstborn to his parents, yet God appointed him to the position of firstborn (Ps 89:27) building to the authority in Christ (Mt 28:18; Phil 4:13; Rom 8:11,14-17). Notice also, how we can come of age (Lk 15:11-32) and inherit through a genuine desire (Rom 12:9) to share in God’s purpose and leadership in a family. This prodigal son got his identity (robe), destiny (sandals) and authority (ring) by a Father that accepted him back with open arms [no penalty, grudge, stipulation].
To create and experience something beautiful is an immensely positive contribution and help give meaning and pleasure to life. Parents have the wonderful opportunity to instil good values, perceptions and attitudes in their children through the example of sharing proper Love, affection and support.
Abundant statistics and an honest general knowledge show that the wholeness of a child depends greatly on sound parenthood [Godly image of a father and mother in the right relationship as a prophetic image]. It is like a covenant of peace (Is 54:1-2,10; Mal 4:5-6). Being without a father is a “curse”. (Do you see a resemblance between Mt 24:12 and Js 1:27)? Part of this fatherly abdication is seen in the symptoms such as feminism and homosexuality (see the paper so titled by the author). Fathers should take special note of scriptures such as Col 3:21; Eph 6:4 and be aware of a unique anointing to protect the spirit of his child. Failure to accomplish this makes the child prone to become yet another wounded spirit that identify wrongly with his perfect Father God due to the unfortunate bad image of a bad dad. It takes tenderness and depth of trust to call a father “daddy”. Now read Jn 10:30; 14:23-27; 17:3,15-26.
Observe that homosexuals cannot adopt children and claim to have a [Godly] family, as this screams against what God instated [is His intended will for us]. See the paper “Homosexuality” for a fuller exegeses but for now, perhaps again consider scriptures such as Gen 1:27,28; 2:24; Mal 2:12-17; Mt 19:5; Rom 1:18-26-32; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Rev 21:8; Eph 5:31; and so on).
Family activities and customs
It is an excellent idea to (i) regularly and habitually have meals together as a family at a table and (ii) have a weekly get-together in the form of an informal family meeting, and (iii) talk every night in person before going to sleep; and (iv) go and have fun [adventure] together somewhere outdoors. These times together (a) bonds, (b) show genuine interest and affection, (c) is the ideal platform and environment for discipline and guidelines.
Take careful note that discipline is not to be confused with punishment. Punishment [correction] is a totally different issue than discipline [systematic, methodical order]. Punishment should not be uncontrolled or applied at random places and never be cruel, excessive, or to belittle or embarrass. The house should be a safe place associated with Love and care. Send (not shout) the child to the bathroom and let them wait [until you have cooled off]. Then give a proportionate, controlled minimum force punishment. Let the child cry. Then wash the child’s face and sit him/her on your lap and lovingly explain your rationale. Let them understand what is acceptable/unacceptable and why. Be kind.
This means the parent must be mature. At the very least this maturity must include the following:
- Your own growth and development must be important to you – intellectually, emotionally, socially, and in your relationship with Jesus Christ [Holy Spirit – Jn 4:24; Rom 8:14; Mt 7:12].
- Know and respect yourself so you can be modest and respect other people as well.
- Be benevolent, kind, friendly, humorous (fun), helpful and generous.
- Be genuine, natural, honest, tactful but straight and unpretentious.
- Emotionally stable (secure and calm) and independent (not seeking esteem).
- Focus on resolutions for external problems and have powerful convictions based on Scripture.
- Know and remember that we all have shortcomings.
Parents must also realize that their children have needs and understand them. Behavioral “problems” are often merely a case of children trying to compensate or addressing a perceived unfulfilled need. Watch for exaggeration, withdrawal, or any (even negative) attempts at getting attention.
- Physiological needs. Not only food, shelter and water, but also rest. A shortfall in any of these areas will have detrimental effect for the child at school and elsewhere.
- The need for safety/security. A child that is fed and snug might cry because of fear. No child will feel secure and safe with parents that are at each other’s throat or is distant or cold.
- Need for Love. A lack here will be disastrous. Especially if alternates are seek elsewhere…
- Need for acknowledgement. We all want to feel useful and do/say what is meaningful. Ask their opinions. You might just be pleasantly surprised what it means for them and yourself.
- Self-fulfillment. To reach your potential and express talents and interests. Develop, encourage and motivate this. Help them become strong and balanced, fulfilled, mature adults.
This is absolutely crucial between a parent and a child, especially when a problem exists.
The problem can be with the parent or the child, or both. It is difficult for parents to grasp that they (as parents) can have a problem. Note that in this context this does not mean that the parent does not know what to do in a circumstance, or that the parent has faulted or is a failure as a person; it means here that the child has done something that made the parent unhappy, worried, disappointed, irritated or angry.
The problem with the parent is probably due to parents thinking they have a “problem child”.
Examples where parents have a problem are:
– The child keep interrupting you while you are talking to a friend
– Siblings fight over who has to sit in front with you when you take them to school
– Your child forgets tasks such as feeding their pets
– You have to keep asking your child to get up in the mornings to be in time for school
Examples where the child might have a problem, are:
– The son is unhappy because he wasn’t selected as the first team rugby captain
– The daughter sulks or cries because her friends have been ugly towards her
– The son getting angry because he can’t solve his math problems
– The daughter withdrawing because she thinks boys don’t like her
– The son being angry because he feels his teacher punished him unfairly
Examples where both the parent and the child have a problem, are:
– It is important for you to have dinner at the dining table as a family, but clashes with TV programs that are popular with the children.
– Your child wants a puppy, while you feel it’s too expensive and your house (apartment) is not suited for pets. You are of the opinion that you will anyway end up looking after it.
– Your son wants a motorcycle. You think it’s a waste of money and too dangerous.
What to do? (a) Be honest and probing. Ask questions without bombarding the other person, to gain applicable information regarding motives and to predict the results of actions/decisions. Discuss this. (b) Be supportive. Motivate and say things such as “You’ll feel better tomorrow”, “I’ve also had that experience/feeling, but it will be better soon”, etc. (c) Interpret. Teach them how to analyze and probe their motives, reasonableness and realism. (d) Show insight and acknowledgement that they are unique. Respect is worthless if it has to be earned – it should be given! (e) Create a climate for your children to trust you because they know they can approach you without you flying off the handle or shunning them. (f) Give praise (don’t flatter) and complements. However, remember that you must always accentuate the performance and not the person if you want to build them up! For example, it is more desirable to say, “Thank you for washing the car for me, it looks as good as new”. (The communication is that the child has done a good work that is appreciated). It is less desirable to say, “You are an angel”. It is more desirable to say, “The shelve you made, looks great”. (The communication is that the child can make something decent/properly). It is less desirable to say, “You are a master carpenter”. And so on. (g) Prejudices (the way you view others) may lead them to behave a certain way, influenced by your subtle messages – that you’ll interpret as “self-fulfilling prophecy”! Observe here the principle in Job 3:25.
An excellent technique is to use “I-messages”. This is avoiding judgements on the person (see paper by this author entitled “Judging” on www.gospel-truth.co.za); and instead teaches the child how to think of himself and realize consequences (responsibility). It avoids conflict situations where the child could get into a power-struggle with the parent.
Mature leadership is assertive but not aggressive nor passive. Effective techniques focus on what is factual (what you observe), and your expression (articulation, verbalisation) of what you would rather have liked, or spelling out the consequences you foresee. By the way, to help control emotions, use these guidelines: (i) Think (pause, consider the outcome of your options), (ii) Ask focussed questions, (iii) Visualise both positive and negative consequences.
Examples would be the following:
- “It would be fun to go and swim right now, because the weather is great. I understand that. However, I don’t like it when you keep on asking the same question after I had said ‘no’ – it makes me cross.” (The communication is that the people the child live with every day, also have feelings, reasons and points-of-view that have to be respected if they want to maintain good relationships. Also, that all things can’t always go your way. The child will not get the idea, however, that he’s being a nuisance [an unacceptable person], that would have been the case if the parent would have said ‘You damn nagging child! Why are you going on like this? Only disobedient children carry on like you! Do it again, and I’ll give you a damn hiding!”).
- “I understand that it was fun to have hot chocolate after watching the movie and that your friends would think it weird if you didn’t join them; but I was worried about your safety when you haven’t arrived home at our pre-arranged time. My reasoning was that you could have phoned (text) me if you were fine and that I wouldn’t know where to find you if you were in trouble”. (You may even ask the child what they would have done in your situation).
- “You are in a hurry to ride your bike because you like it, but it makes me dejected if you do it with your step-out clothes that are expensive. I don’t have the money to buy new ones every day.”
- “I am concerned about your safety. Are you careful and alert riding your bike?” Instead of “You have no experience and are not as good a rider as you think! You children are just an accident waiting to happen but think the world about yourselves!”
At heart, the parent should therefore listen well and truly, with effective questioning, active listening, and all while being careful with your body language. The golden rule is, “I will listen until I understand you”.
Basically, the attitude of the parent can be one of the following:
- Judgmental. Will hardly ever produce good results if done with prejudice, emotion or overriding self-interest. See the paper “Judging” on www.gospel-truth.co.za.
- Interpreting (test your understanding, be rational and emotionally mature)
- Investigative (show genuine interest and love for the person)
- Supportive (Give recognition and encouragement)
- Accepting and understanding
- Accommodating (Ask for suggestions, opinions, create opportunities for discussions)
- Directive (Give suggestions, opinions, clarification. Set follow-up date for review purposes)
Please know that these very brief discussions are not implying that it’s the last word on this complex issue of raising children or family relations, the idea is to get the reader interested to do own research and self-improvement in this area because it is so vitally important for a sound and happy family life.
So then, for family problems, try the following: Have a family meeting. This is to solve problems, not to issue instructions or hand out tasks. Children must be part of this from a very young age.
In these meetings, follow these steps:
1. Identify the conflict. Be specific and use “conversation-pieces” and “I-messages’.
2. Formulate as many solutions as possible. “Let’s see what solutions we can get”. Encourage children to participate. Never belittle and don’t discuss proposals yet.
3. Evaluate the proposals. “Now, which one looks the best?”; “Why?”; “Let’s discuss this”…
4. Decide on the best solution. In step 3 pros and cons are considered, in step 4 the choice is made.
5. Implementing the solution. Every family member must know who is responsible for what.
6. Follow-up. Not all decisions will be perfect and might need revising. Ask the children how they are coping and get the feed-back (opinions) from every family member.
Usual doubts about [arguments against] the family meeting are unfounded
- It is too formal. It should be as casual as possible – honest, natural, fun, useful.
- It takes too much time. Don’t underestimate the value of these gatherings for the family and every individual involved – it by far surpasses the casual estimation.
- My children will lose their respect for me. This thought shows a poor understanding of the difference between respect and fear. Your children will probably fear you less but have more respect for you. It rests on the principle of reciprocal effect (Very few people will not return friendliness and respect with exactly the same). The family meetings will show your children that you value them and their opinions, and will cause them to respect you more.
Common mistakes made with family meetings
- Monopoly/domination by one or two individuals. All must be included equally.
- Too irregular meetings, or they last too long [are stretched out and made boring]
- Too much focus on complaints, critique, or problems
- Meetings start when children are too old already
- Too great expectations from the first meetings. It is a process/avenue not a single solution.
The bottom line is to be involved with all your family members, showing interest in the development of the whole person in body, soul and spirit; to respect them all and to love them all intelligently in a mature way. Especially in a spiritual, scriptural correct way; be fully involved but be fun too.
When reading the following paragraphs on parenthood, you might also consider looking at the paper “Kings, Prophets, Priests” by the author, for a better understanding who we ought to be in Christ…
The role of a father
At the very least, a Godly father will be available, involved, protective, caring, loving and loads of fun. He will be the strongman of his house (Lk 11:21). A dad is also the priest who knows and reflects God accurately as a teacher and a gentle, fair and positive “lawgiver” [principles] through example that provides moral leadership and not unrealistic and short-sighted rules. He will invoke blessings and impart spiritual sustenance. He affirms, commends, encourages and cares. He shows a prophetic leadership that accurately conveys Father God’s directives and demonstrate Who – inside of you – is your Guide, Counselor, Comforter, Teacher, Friend (Jn 11:26). He watches against defilement and pending danger (Prov 19:23; Is 54:13-17, Job 1:5). He knows there is no such thing as a “Liewe Heksie” and knows Harry Potter is of the devil (2 Cor 6:14). God is not silent on witchcraft [that shows distrust in Him and the authority He paid for in Jesus Christ – Rev 21:8; 5:9-10; Mt 10:8]. He is a king that wins a war and shares the spoils, providing all the material needs, as well as the emotional and spiritual. He determines the quality of life and standing of his family. He governs the identity of his family. He presides over celebrations (Lk 15:22-23; Dt 6:4-9). He shows discernment and judges correctly (see the paper on “Judging”), and can discipline correctly (Heb 12 and Jn 15; Prov 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13; 19:15,17; Gal 6:1-8; Rom 6:23).
Consider the paper “Pornography, witchcraft”… and check your own heart (thought-life, Rom 12:9)…
Finally, it has been said that the greatest thing a father could do for his children is to love and honour their mother with abundance (Eph 5:25,28,33; 1 Pet 3:7).
The role of a mother
Gen 2:18 relates to the assistance a wife gives to her husband as a father. She is indispensable in this role (the father should acknowledge this). The “weaker vessel” (1 Pet 3:7) is actually the strength of her husband (2 Cor 12:9a; Prov 12:4a)! We discussed Eph 5:33 already, so suffice to note the team-effort and that support can only be called support if it is at least equally strong as what it is suppose to support!
There is probably none as beautiful and mightily enchanting in this world than a woman such as 1 Pet 3:4 (vv. 1-6) or the ideal woman of Prov 31:10-31. Her role for/to her children is also irreplaceable.
Children will soon realise and observe the lessons of Eph 6:1-2; Prov 20:20; Gen 4:9-10; even that sibling rivalry (Gen 4:1-10; 25:26-34; 1 Jn 3:15) only reveals selfishness, anarchy, and an angry heart. This angry [envious] heart shows offense, distrust, irresponsibility and self-righteousness (Gen 4:7)! Learning to submit to godly parents opens your heart to be established in authority yourself (Lk 7:6-9; Js 4:7)! But to be trustworthy parents need to be consistent, genuine, unselfish, informed and fair…
As Godly parents you should see that “the age of reason” is ridiculously haughty and foolish and self-destructive (Prov 8:13; 9:10; Rom 1:18-22; 8:6-8,13; 1 Cor 8:1-2). False perceptions by a “scientific community” that dictates that everything is relative (no submission to God, no absolutes, etc.) and that idiotism such as evolution is true [“scientific”… with only ideas and without proof], strips humans of their uniqueness based on our God-given capacity for a relationship and partnership with Father-God.
A few good tips for parents
- Never be a weakling [be honest at all cost]. There is no such thing as a “little/white lie”! If you lack the moral fibre and conviction to give [get] the facts on minor matters straight, how much less do you think will you do so with a major issue? They will also ask these types of questions as they wizen up. (a) God will never tell you a “small” or “innocent” lie (Jn 1:12; 8:32,36,42-45; 14:6)! Once your children have learnt to later “adjust” your statements, they will lose confidence in you. Respect is earned and only then can they trust you. And you will want them to trust you later in their lives… (b) “White lies” only reveals the fear to lose your [momentary] popularity, but they will dislike [disrespect] you more later when their misinformed ideas embarrass them in public and they discover that you placed your idea of self-glorification [likeability] above their best interest [being equipped with truth] – Prov 12:19. The opposite is also true. Imagine how proud and empowered they will feel to tell their little buddies the news that pumpkin does not make their hair curl and “father Christmas” is a hoax [that they were tricked by a lie]! This is not as benign as you may think. Be consistent in this principle and reap the fruit later when they encounter bigger problems and issues during adolescence and early adulthood… More potent matters such as lies of evolution, or religious self-righteousness…
- Do not abdicate your own authority. Remember what we discussed earlier regarding a husband and wife being a team? (a) Never argue [disagree about moral issues] in front of your children. Excuse them (or yourselves) and clear your policy out first, then address them as a unit of solid parenthood in authority from God [anointing]. The Bible is full of guidelines in order for you to be a Godly parent. (b) Teach them by demonstration, not political preaching. If you want to introduce them to Jesus Christ, have Christ inside of you permanently first. Be a mentor, you are not supposed to be their little matey. You have a higher placing in their lives.
- Have lots of wholesome fun with them. Laugh a lot. Don’t be a drip, a retard or obnoxious. Go places and enjoy their company, don’t give them money [toys] to get rid of them. (Don’t fall for the lie of “quality time”. This is only a stupid attempt to excuse you from their little lives. You represent God, a perfect Father, Who always has time for us!). You should share in the excitement, more than your pompous labours at work, with the great news that your son just managed to ride his little bike without the side wheels on; or your little girl that had just made her first cup of tea. Your little children will have more fun when you play with them [teach them ingenuity] with the boxes the toys came in, than leaving them to “enjoy” expensive toys. As they get older, this ingenuity becomes more challenging and inspirational for all concerned.
- Never be mean. (a) Excessive force and sarcasm is condemnation [displeasure of them as beings] and also is embarrassing them in front of other people. Make private time [space] for this correction and discipline and show that you are there to protect [help and care for] them, not to illustrate your superiority and their uselessness. (b) This “over the top” behaviour will actually show them your insecurity, lack of self control [weakness] and unfairness [cowardice and inability to control greater outside forces and then take that frustration out on them that cannot stand up to you, like a bully]. No one gets taller by cutting the legs off those around him.
- Give them opportunity to make decisions. (a) Ask them for their opinions [progressively more as they grow older] and let them feel free to discuss it with you. Be a sensible, mature and loving guide. (b) Give them responsibility. Give them tasks and give them sufficient room to make mistakes and teach them how to correct those errors. Equip them to be analytical and responsible; to be humble and teachable but with strong Godly principles [know Jesus Christ]. (c) Encourage them to participate in physical activities (sport). Support them, be there for them.
- Do not make them hopelessly dependent on you. Help them become true, mature Christians.
Celebrate God’s plan for you and your family! Celebrate life everlasting!
Now, will you love Him? Then do it His way. It is self-destructive [Satanic] to do it your way…
And then brazen fools even claim… “I did it my way, and may I say, not in a shy way!”… This while Jesus Christ said, “Your will be done”, and “not My will, but Your will”. Jesus Christ said that if we believe Him, we believe the Father Who sent Him. Jesus Christ said that, if we love Him, we would obey His command [not laws, not “the 10 commandments”] – His command [word, teaching, precepts]. Jesus Christ said [to Paul] that if we love Him we would hate what He hates… falsity! Read Rom 12:9 with Jn 7:18; 8:44; 14:6; Num 23:19; Ps 101:7; Is 63:8; (Also Jer 7:4-7; 23:9-14; Hos 4:4-11; Ez 13:3,6!); Rev 21:8 …
Again, do we know Who He is [and who He is not]? Do we give [reflect] that accurate image accurately to the world [that has been bombarded with religious misrepresentations of God]?
Come on church, let us show the world what a marriage is, and what it is not. Let us prove to the world Who God is, and who He is not]. Be real, be genuine – for He is for ever so: genuine Love.
Abhor the “political correctness” that is morally totally wrong and demented! Consider 2 Tim 1:7.
Just by the way: why do you suppose, did Jesus fulfil the prophecy of being betrayed [bought] for 30 pieces of silver (Zech 11:12,13; Mt 27:3)? Mostly, a man-slave was sold for 20 pieces (Gen 37:28), and a woman for 30 pieces (probably because she could deliver more slaves). What if Jesus did not pay for Himself, but for His Bride [Church, us who He indwells]? They did not see it then, did they (1 Cor 2:7-9)? We love You, in return, Lord Jesus! Thank You, for Your Love [that You are Love]!
Live an abundantly joyous, immortal, everlasting Life and keep your hope set on Him Who remains the Author and Finisher of your faith [trust] – Jesus Christ.
May you be blessed in Jesus’ Name (authority – Jn 1:12-13; 4:24; Rom 8:14)…
 Gal 4:21-31; 1 Pet 2:1-10; Is 60:14; Mt 5:14; and so on
 Mk 10:42-45; hear Jesus addressing the religious manipulators in Mt 23…
 God is Spirit (Jn 4:24), you are a spirit with a soul inside a body (I Thess 5:23), even His Words are Spirit/Life (Jn 6:63; God = Love).
 Mt 10:8 (Jn 17:15-20)
Ps 23; Jn 10:1-10; Heb 8:13; 9:10c
 Relax, God is the Source of humour as well!
 (a) Having operated a successful wedding venue that hosted 260 weddings in seven years, it has been perceptible how many people, in their idea on the ideal seating arrangements, seem to reflect hidden thought processes similar to that mentioned in Mk 7:13. To my mind, a family should ideally sit at one table for a meal, hence the often long tables at big family gatherings. Also, when entering a restaurant in a group, the first question to the patrons will typically be “A table for how many?” Yet, when the ultimate family feast – a wedding – is held, people want to divide into little groups such as applies to certain corporate functions where strangers are represented in groups [companies, regions, etc.]. Sitting one third of the guests then back to back with much poorer ergonomics is overlooked by the perceived “better” tradition to all sit in little groups (large groups can sit at parallel long tables for practical reasons, but still effectively at one long feast table). Then many very piously name these little groups not numerically by table numbers but by the qualities of Holy Spirit in us mentioned in Gal 5:22-23. What is my point? The point is that a wedding/marriage is supposed to be a prophetic image of Christ and His Church [Bride, people whom He indwells], and that the enormously stern warning in Gal 5:18-21 is typically completely ignored by the religious. It says that a party-spirit operating is NOT OF GOD but of the flesh (Rom 8:5-13). And please, I’m not saying that a seating plan is evil or godly! I’m merely observing how we reason. This is just a typical manifestation of thought-process that makes people so susceptible to “denominations” – of what God nominated! Please refer to the papers called “Church” on this website for a discussion on this issue of ingrained self-righteousness and forming of splinter groups contradicting Eph 4:3-6.
(b) God, the originator and Designer of the idea of [a] marriage, has set the theme. It is unnecessary for man to “choose/set a theme” for a marriage [feast] to try and “spice it up”. In itself it proves to be interesting enough! Man might think it would, for instance, make the ceremony more “entertaining” if a [gypsy] theme is portrayed. But think about what that lifestyle represents and contemplate again Scripture such as Js 4:4,5; Mal 2:14-17; 1 Jn 2:15; Mt 22:29; 15:6; and so on.
 This “gift” is the deeper insight (1 Cor 6:17-20; Rom 6:11-14; 8:5-19; 1 Tim 3:15; etc.) to not place carnal desire [dictates] above producing Godly offspring in a marriage. The real gift of Father is the free will to can choose what we desire.