In Times Like These:
Solidifying the Home
by Godly Fathers
Times Like These
To what does the phrase, “In Times Like These,” refer?
What negative impact does our society have on our children that godly fathers
must counteract it? Further, are “Times Like These” significantly
different from earlier times?
We live in an age where human life has been cheapened.
The most prominent disregard for the sanctity of human life is abortion
on demand. About a million and a half babies are murdered in America each
year since the legalization of abortion on January 22, 1973; around the
world, about 50 million babies are aborted annually. Doctor assisted
suicide has proved newsworthy in recent years. (Be wary of any gift
certificates redeemable by Dr. Kevorkian!) Teenage suicide continues
to increase; many American youths believe they have no reason to live.
Gang violence, ghastly crimes committed by children, television and movie
violence all are indicative of a devaluation of human life in our nation.
To what lengths is euthanasia (mercy killing) likely to go? In view
of earth’s several billion population (which increases about 270,000 per
day), some people advocate taking the life of this world’s less productive
and less educated people. Their concept is not much unlike thinning
the deer population “for its own good,” and frighteningly similar to Hitler’s
campaign of extermination against people he viewed as inferior to his so-called
Increasingly America is becoming amoral (unaware of any
authoritative code of ethics or moral conduct of which one is in violation).
There was a time generations ago that even immoral people realized that
they were immoral for violating what they knew to be morally right.
Homosexuality is openly advocated and practiced.
Single-parent homes (largely due to illegitimate births and rampant divorce)
are rapidly replacing two-parent homes as the national norm. Widespread
corruption in politics is generally conceded. Religious leaders are
routinely embroiled in scandals. The religious community is confused
and often apathetic. The heinous doctrine of humanism has infiltrated
virtually every public and private institution throughout our nation and
much of the world. Hedonism, our nation’s interpretation of the constitutional
right to “the pursuit of happiness,” is the primary and all encompassing
goal of nearly every man, woman and child — including Christians.
Treason is commonplace. Taxes are burdensome. Even many of
our poor people enjoy an affluence superior to the majority of this world’s
population; our prosperity has corrupted us. Americans often have
too much idle-time, during which they play with new toys to commit old
sins; essentially man sins through “the lust of the flesh, the lust of
the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:15-17). Pornography is
everywhere (books, videos, computer, live sex shows [i.e., in West Virginia
total nudity is legal — and proponents of such say that it cannot be stopped]).
Our nation has practiced democracy to a fault; everyone has so many rights
that essentially no one can be assured of any rights. We are approaching
a new milestone in legalized chaos and debauchery. Our democratic
way of life has even affected our concept of the Gospel (i.e., we would
rather refer an item to a popular vote, if it is a matter of expediency,
instead of allowing elders to determine the course of action, or if it
is a matter of doctrine instead of turning to God’s Word). In all
these things, the typical citizen of our nation consents to follow a multitude
to do evil (Exodus 23:2).
Have “times” ever been as bad or worse than “Times Like
These”? Yes! Both biblical and secular histories acknowledge
the atrocities enacted upon mankind by his fellow man. Repeatedly
man has demonstrated a moral bankruptcy. None of our contemporary
sins are new. Have “times” been better than “Times Like These”?
Yes, again. What we notice is that “Times Like These” today differ
from past generations, such as those portrayed on “The Waltons” or “Little
House on the Prairie.” The “times,” then, are worse than we or our
parents or our grandparents recall. Godly fathers must solidify the
home in times like these.
Godly Fathers Solidify the Home
“In Times Like These,” fathers need to accept the responsibility
(for which God holds them accountable) to guide the home. How wonderful
it would be if what God said about Abraham could justly be said about Christian
fathers today. “For I know him, that he will command his children
and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to
do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which
he hath spoken of him” (Genesis 18:19). Commenting on Genesis 18:19,
Joseph D. Meador wrote:
. . . God chose Abraham to become the father
of the nation of Israel because he took seriously his own role as a father
to his own children. . . . The answer to Abraham’s effectiveness as a role
model and family leader lay in the fact that he practiced what he taught
others to observe. . . . Abraham provided leadership through his own consistent
behavior. . . . Abraham provided spiritual instruction to his children
and household, he also provided them with clear spiritual goals. [Joseph
D. Meador, “Q&A,” Firm Foundation, Vol. 112. No. 6, June,
1997, pp. 26-27.]
Too many fathers have abdicated their leadership roles in
the family. However, the para-church, denominational to-the-core,
false doctrine propagating organization called Promise Keepers is not the
resource to which Christian men should appeal to refresh themselves on
responsible fatherhood. All fathers, instead, need to turn to the
Bible to learn how to be better fathers, “In Times Like These.” “Fathers,
provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Colossians
Godly fathers must thoroughly and continuously instruct
their children in spiritual matters. “And thou shalt teach them diligently
unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou
risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:7). A marginal reading indicates that fathers
are to “sharpen” their children. Fathers may not reveal something
new each time they teach their children. However, each spiritual
lesson can increase a child’s proficiency in biblical matters of which
he was previously informed.
Fathers make a grave mistake if they permit their children’s
biblical education to be limited, at best, to four one-hour segments of
Bible class and worship per week. An unsigned bulletin tidbit reads:
“No man ever really finds out what he believes in until he begins to instruct
his children.” Some fathers, then, must not believe much, for the
little to nothing they teach their children about God’s ways.
The home has sometimes been called “The Laboratory of
Life.” What children experience in the home will make them respectively
fit or unfit for their later physical, psychological, social, spiritual,
intellectual and economical lives. Children, among other lessons,
must be taught that learning how to live is more important than learning
how to make a living. Our children, of course, need to learn both,
but they must be taught about priorities. Christianity is a way
It is in the home that fathers must teach children law
and order. Learning how to abide by rules and regulations in the
home prepares children to abide in the rules and regulations of both God
and man (government). Responsible discipline is essential to successful
parenting (Hebrews 12:5-11; Proverbs 13:24; 23:13-14).
This, though, is an area in which society and the legal
system challenge Christian homes. Children may be taken by the State
if parents administer corporal punishment (spank). It has happened
and it will doubtless happen again. Further, promoters of children’s
advocacy or children’s rights would have children evaluate their parents,
their home environment and religious training to which they are subjected.
Children may then inform on their parents or sue to divorce their parents.
Even godly parents are at legal risk for the whims of an unruly child.
It is in the home that fathers must ensure that their
children learn to practice reverential public worship. Our children
need to know what worship is (incidentally, although some self-styled “scholarly”
brethren apparently know little about New Testament worship). Further,
our children must come to know God — He who is worshipped.
They must know how to worship. Again, Christianity is very much supposed
to be a way of life — of which reverential, public worship
is a necessary part. The home and public worship complement each
other and contribute to fortifying our children in the face of many perils
to their faith.
Perils to Our Children’s Faith
In an excellent tract, “What’s Happening To Our Christian
Homes?,” Robert L. Waggoner wrote:
. . . Christian parents . . . must be more knowledgeable
of the problems their children will face in this world, and they must be
more purposeful to achieve their desired goals of child raising. [Robert
L. Waggoner, What’s Happening To Our Christian Homes?, Haun
Publishing Co., p. 17.]
Obviously, unless we recognize and are alert to the problems
that buffet them, we are ill-prepared to help our children keep the faith.
The sources of these perils to faith surround us. The primary vehicles
through which the Christian faith is confronted in our society are public
schools and the media.
The father of American education, John Dewey, instilled
atheistic humanism in our schools, beginning with teacher training colleges
through and thereby every grade of school life. Christian principles
on which this nation was established were pushed out of our educational
system long ago. As Waggoner observed:
. . . subtle and deceptive . . . techniques as
role-playing, survival games, encounter group sessions, daily journals,
sensitivity training, etc. the public schools are turning our children
away from God, and destroying our Christian homes. [Ibid.,
(Employers sponsor classes in which their employees who may
have escaped the indoctrination to which the schools subject children,
are fed humanism on the job. Role playing, survival games, encounter
group sessions and sensitivity training are the fad of corporate America.)
Further, “. . . sex education is taught without moral
values.” [Ibid.] Teaching “safe-sex,” irrespective
of and sometimes promoting experimenting with either heterosexual or homosexual
intercourse, may include dispensing condoms — at school.
For “unfortunate” pregnant girls, a school counselor may be their first
stop to an abortion clinic. Often, parents are not welcome
to participate in any area of our children’s education, unless it is explicitly
manipulated by the public schools.
Several years ago, my family served a congregation where
in that school district the required physical education class was co-ed
swimming. We refused, for religious conscience, based on biblical
principles, to allow our teenage daughter to participate or be present
for that activity. The local school board overruled our religious
convictions, and added that, “Members of the church for which you preach,
including past ministers, sent their children to school here, and not one
of them ever had a problem with mixed swimming.” Our appeal to the
State School Board was unsuccessful; we were ordered to submit our daughter
to the prescribed physical education class. Bonnie and I refused
and told the superintendent that we would meet him in court —
after which to my surprise the educational system relented.
My wife and I have not abdicated our parental responsibility
to the public schools. Thousands of parents today homeschool because
they, too, refuse to surrender their parental responsibilities to the public
schools, especially considering the humanistic, anti-Christian dogma so
apparent in education, “In Times Like These.”
Please do not misunderstand. We do not despise education.
Further, surely there are many good teachers who do not push humanism,
etc., some of whom are Christians. Our daughter is a school teacher.
God and prayer are banned from school, but the religions
of humanism, atheism, mythology and New Age are invited to school.
Moral purity and chastity are old world hindrances to popular, personal
expression, while “safe-sex” and experimenting with homosexuality are exciting.
Television, movies and music present no less a peril to
the faith of our children than the schools. The detrimental affect
of television and movies as they glorify illicit sex and senseless violence
is barely veiled at all. The danger of rock music may be suspected
by some parents to be harmful, but country music is no better. The
lyrics of either type of music often are ungodly and hardly supportive
of Christian values. On whatever our mind feasts it will thrive.
Paul by inspiration directed: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things
are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever
things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of
good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think
on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
“Christian parents cannot build strong Christian character
in their children unless these influences are greatly minimized.” [Ibid.,
p. 12.] Though we may not fully appreciate the Amish and Jehovah’s
Witnesses for their religious error, among some admirable traits is their
respective minimization of society’s affect on their children. We
cannot fully embrace all that society offers and expect to minimize its
affect on our children — and ourselves.
Some Biblical Portraits of Fathers
Fathers who made obvious mistakes (sinned): Noah (Genesis
9:21), Lot (Genesis 19:33-38).
A prime example of a good father and an obedient son:
Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:7-19).
A spiritual father and son team: Paul and Timothy (1 Timothy
1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1).
A father who was blameworthy for the sinful lives of his
children: Eli (1 Samuel 2:13, “For I have told him that I will judge his
house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made
themselves vile, and he restrained them not.”).
A father who was not responsible for the sinfulness of his
children: Samuel (1 Samuel 8:1-5, “And it came to pass, when Samuel was
old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his
firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges
in Beersheba. And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside
after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. Then all the
elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto
Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk
not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”).
Fathers who love their sons in spite of their sons’ wickedness:
David and Absalom (2 Samuel 18:31-33), the prodigal son and his father
A rash father: Jephthah (Judges 11:30-39).
A father who chastises his son because he loves him: God
the Father (Hebrews 12:5-12).
“. . . [T]he Christian home is deteriorating today, because,
among other reasons, it is being less effective in establishing a strong
Christian faith in its children.” [Ibid., p. 4.]
When should we start, in the home and in the church, to teach children?
From the cradle! “There was not a word of all that Moses commanded,
which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women,
and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them”
(Joshua 8:35). With whom did Israel leave the babies if everyone
We have our Sodom and Gomorrahs. We have idolatry
(idols fashioned from the imaginations of men — denominational
gods). Yet, there is hope. Sinners can be washed, sanctified
and justified (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Though all have sinned (Romans
1:18-32; 3:23), sinners can obey from the heart and be made free from sin
What Is A Home?
A roof to keep out the rain. Four walls
to keep out the wind. Floors to keep out the cold. Yes, but
home is more than that. It is a laugh of a baby, the song of a mother,
the strength of a father. Warmth of loving hearts, light from happy
eyes, kindness, loyalty, comradeship. Home is the first school of
young ones, where they learn what is good, what is right and what is kind.
That is a home, May God Bless It! (Anonymous)
The Parents’ Faith
We believe our children are a gift of God —
the hope of tomorrow.
We believe that immeasurable possibilities lie slumbering
in each son and daughter.
We believe that God has planned for their future,
and that His love shall always surround them; and so . . .
We believe that they shall grow up! —
first crawling, then toddling, then standing, stretching skyward for a
decade and a half — until they reach full stature —
a man and a woman!
We believe that they can and will be molded and shaped
between infancy and adulthood — as a tree is shaped by the
gardener, and the clay vessel in the potter’s hands, or the shoreline of
the sea under the watery hand of the mighty waves; by home and church; by
school and street, through sights and sounds and the touch of our hands
on their hands and Christ’s Spirit, through His Word, on their hearts!
O, God — We believe in our children.
Help us so to live that they may always believe in us — and
so in Thee. (Anonymous)
- We believe that they shall mature as only people can —
through laughter and tears, through trial and error, by reward and punishment,
through affection and discipline, until they stretch their wings and leave
their nests to fly!