Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 17 Number 10 October 2015
Page 5

Making a Difference in the Family

Gary C. HamptonGod gave each member of the family a role to play. Each one playing his or her part will make a difference in the family, as can be seen in Paul’s instructions to the saints in Ephesus.

Christian wives are to place themselves under the control of their husbands as one means of showing that they are yielding to the Lord (5:22). God made man the head of the family, foreshadowing the relationship of Christ to the church. Jesus demonstrated His love for the church by giving His life for her. Husbands should be ready to sacrifice their lives for their wives (5:23-25). The self-sacrificing nature of the Savior is a perfect example for each husband to follow. Wives whose husbands are willing to die for them have little trouble with submission.

Children are instructed to keep on obeying their parents (6:1-3). The only limitation to this is the expression “in the Lord,” which means a child may refuse to obey his or her parents if asked to do something wrong in the sight of God. The fifth of the Ten Commandments reads, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:5). Paul described it as the “first commandment with promise” because obeying and honoring one’s parents is well-suited to developing a character that will cause one to live a long life on earth. Obedience requires one to grow in self-control, self-discipline, recognition of authority and a teachable spirit, all of which are necessary ingredients for a good life.

Fathers can facilitate the obedience of their children by not provoking them to wrath (6:4). Discipline is an important part of the parent and child relationship, but harsh discipline can cause a child to strike back. Inconsistency in discipline can lead to outbursts of anger. Fathers do not need to laugh about things a little child does and then spank for the same action when the child is a little older.

You can make a difference in your family! Godly parents can make a positive difference in their family.

What Will Our Children Remember?

Ernest S. UnderwoodChildhood memories are some of the sweetest of our lives – that period of time from birth till we leave our homes to go out into the world. When a young person leaves home, he many times becomes homesick, and that homesickness has to do with his memories of home life. Dare any of us say that we have had no such experiences? In this article, we will explore the subject of what our children will remember, not only about home life, but about church life also.

What will our children remember about their home life? Sadly, there are those who will remember a father who was a tyrant and a mother who cared more for the world than she did for her home and family. Some will remember parents who were quite frequently drunk or under the influence of illegal drugs. Some daughters will even have terrible memories of a father who sexually molested them. Hopefully instead, most children will have pleasant memories of home and family.

However, will our children remember those happy times when the family prayed together? Will that precious daughter and son have that memory of hearing their parents call their names before the throne of God? When they are far away from home, facing the events of everyday life, will they be strengthened by the knowledge that it was the habit at home to have family prayer where each child was mentioned and for which prayer was made? Away from home, will they know that the rest of the family is still remembering them every day in prayer? Will our children remember those times when the Bible was read and discussed each day, perhaps as the family either was ready to go forth for the day or was settling in for the night? Will our children and grandchildren be able to say as it was said of Timothy: “…that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15)?

Or, will our children remember that much more emphasis was put on getting good grades in school, thus preparing themselves to make a living, rather than the emphasis being put on a study of the Scriptures, faithful attendance to all of the services of the church, thus preparing them to be able to withstand temptations and to make a life, a life that is prepared to meet God? In short, will our children remember that the church came first in the life of the family, rather than things of a temporal nature?

What will our children remember about the church where they attended? Will they have memories of a group of people who truly loved and appreciated one another, people who had faults, but were doing their best to show forth Christ in their personal lives? Will they remember that the preacher and the Bible School teachers were students of the Word of God, and that they presented the Gospel message in firmness and in love? Or, will they remember church services as a time of “fun and games” where little was taught or learned about the “greatest story ever told.” If, when our children leave home, they are asked why they are members of the church of Christ, will they be able to give a scriptural answer? Will our children be able, after growing up in their local congregation, to know – really know – what the work of the church actually is? What will they, in turn, teach their children?

If it is true that the church is always only one generation away from apostasy, then shouldn’t it be the desire and goal of every parent and every congregation to implant into the minds of our children those memories that will cause them to have a deep and abiding respect for God, Jesus Christ, and His precious body, the church?

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