Family Relationships

July 31, 2015

Mark 10:4-16
4And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. 5And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 10And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. 11And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery. 13And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. 14But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 15Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

Family Relationships

This is an interesting passage where Jesus is not only talking about marriage and divorce, but He is then addressing the importance of children and their part in the kingdom of God. One of the greatest maladies of this age is the moral decline we are experiencing as a society and as Christians because of the breakdown of our homes and our families. We have become either too busy or too broken in our marriages to give our children what they need. There are millions of homes with single parents struggling to make ends meet and millions of children growing up with a lack of love, discipline and mentoring that they need. Even those of us who have homes and marriages that are loving and intact often find ourselves missing the opportunities we need to take advantage of, in investing into spouse and our children’s lives.
I believe Jesus, in this passage is bring out the point that marriage and family are not about putting the ones you love aside. So often we get so caught up in the process of providing for our family that the means takes the place of the object of what our lives are about. We miss out on giving the greatest provision of all, our personal time and attention. If we spend all our resources to buy a farm, but never spend time working the fields, can we expect them to produce anything but weeds? A family is an investment of our lives and it continues on even when our kids are grown and we have grandkids. The most meaningful memories we have from our childhood are probably not what mom or dad bought us, but those special one on one times that we had with them that were special and meaningful. Sometimes we don’t realize the little things that we do or give that are the most significant. God wants us to know that the most precious gift we have to give is our time and ourselves. Passing down memories, teaching and instructing our children and grandchildren are the things that matter. I have felt the Lord’s conviction on my own life that it won’t matter so much whether we were rich or poor, but where we invested our time and our love. Perhaps nothing says more to someone about how important they are and how much we love them than the personal time and attention that we give them. Seize those moments when you can have special time with your family and the ones you love. Few things are more important.

Blessings,
#kent

Be still and know that I am God
Psalms 46:10
Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

One of the most difficult things for us to do in our busy lives with all of its demand is to really be still before the Lord. Even in our prayer life, don’t we tend to want to say our peace to God and then move on? Most times we don’t want to take the time just to be still in His presence, to listen for His voice and meditate on His wonder and greatness. Psalms 4:4 says, “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah”
We tend do with God what many of us are guilty of doing with our loved ones, “I would really like to talk with you about it, but I’ve got to run. Maybe we can talk later.” Is that similar to the words that come out of our mouth sometimes? It is often really hard for us to be still, but until we do, we often don’t really hear the things we need to hear. Ecclesiastes 9:7 says, “The words of wise [men are] heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.” Even in our human and family relationships, we don’t really hear their hearts until we are willing to take the time to really interact with them and listen to them. The greatest mysteries, the greatest truths, the revelations we receive are most often heard in the quite and still places. Those are the places and times when our minds are at rest and peace and we take time just to listen and focus. We all really need that time every day with our God and with each other to stay in tune and in touch with the ones and the One we really love. Perhaps one of the reasons we don’t want to sit and be still is because, even subconsciously, we are running away from facing issues or confrontations or unpleasant dealings we really don’t want to deal with. Maybe the reason those things even exist in the first place is because we don’t take the time on a regular basis to talk, heart to heart, on a human and a God level. We want the quick fixes of our present society and culture to handle our relational problems, but they don’t. They still take the investment of our time and our true heart to really deal with them effectively.
Our lives are incredibly busy and full, but we need to set aside those times every day when we can just be still and know that God is God and be able hear, should He wish to speak to us. More than likely He is speaking to us, or at least trying to throughout our day, but we aren’t tuned in to see and hear Him working in our lives and circumstances. The way we get ears to hear, eyes to see and a heart that is tender before the Lord, is to be still and really know that He is God in our lives. Don’t neglect the valuable time it takes to get quiet and be still before the Lord.

Blessings,
#kent

Our First Love

February 14, 2014

Revelations 2:3-5

You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

 


Our First Love


Many times our marriages and our relationship with Christ have a lot in common.  They both are built upon love and relationship.  They generally start out with great commitment, emotion and passion to love and serve the Lord or to love and serve our spouse.  Through the course of life with all of its trials and demands the polish and gold tends to wear thin on the feelings and commitment we first felt and lived toward the Lord and toward our spouse. Many of us have endured many hardships together and we have trusted the Lord through many of them.  

Even though we are good people, who have worked hard for our marriage and for our spiritual relationship the dynamics have changed.  We’ve somehow lost the closeness and the intimacy of relationship we once had.  

This word “forsaken” in verse 4 in the Greek means, “ to depart, as of a husband divorcing his wife, yield up, expire, let go, let alone, to disregard, to leave, to omit, neglect.”  Do any of these words speak to our hearts as to our relationships in our marriage and in our walk and relationship with Christ?  We are still here in body, going through the motions of marriage and relationship, but have our hearts left the room?  Have they grown cold with complacency?  Sometimes our marriages are measured by how well we tolerate one another rather than how well we really love and bless one another.  Even in our Christianity we so often get in the rut of being religious, going to church, giving our tithe or doing our duty, but our heart and passion are no longer in it.  

It is a time for stirring up the embers and throwing on some new wood.  It is a time we must blow and breathe new life back into the fire of our relationships.  I’ll admit I have been bad about becoming so caught up in my business and the things that concern me, that I have neglected the weightier matters.  Somehow we come to take for granted that this loved one will always be there and everything will be fine, meanwhile we allow the foundation to rot out from under us.  One day we wake up and our house is in ruin.  The signs were all around but we didn’t heed them until our lampstand had been plucked from us and suddenly we found ourselves shut out.  

Here the Lord is warning us about our relationship with Him and also what can happen in our marriages.  We must return to that first love, the courting, the dating, the intimacy and attention that we gave to our partner then.  It can be no less with Christ.  It is not our works that save us in our marriage or our Christianity, it is the relationship that we maintain and cultivate with the one that we say we love. For me, it is often my communication that fails the most.  I get caught up in my own little world and when I fail to communicate, I find I am failing in my relationship.  That communication, especially that which shares my heart, is what my wife needs from me.  She has to feel that connection with my heart to feel close to me and a part of me.  I think this often comes more naturally to women as a general rule than men, but it doesn’t mean that we as men can neglect it.  We have to cultivate it, even when it doesn’t come naturally to us.  It is always remembering that love is not about us, it is about the object of our love.  When we love the Lord or our spouse the way they need to be loved, we will find that our needs are met in our giving and loving.  Let us endeavor to return now to our first love, not just in word, but in deed and with all of our heart. 

 
Blessings,
kent

Patience

August 15, 2013

Patience

Luke 21:19
In your patience possess ye your souls.

You may possess many attributes of the Spirit, but one we must develop and hold fast to is patience. Patience is something we deal with daily on a small scale. In the midst of life’s demands and our busy schedule we often find ourselves running out of patience. People with their different personalities and often seeming indifference to our time constraints stretch our patience.
These are the little areas that play into the larger picture of what God wants to develop in us concerning patience. Patience in the Word of God concerning our walk carries the meaning of steadfastness, constancy and endurance. It is often perseverance in the face adversity and trial that holds our faith constant and undeterred. The promises of God are often only possessed after much faith and patience. If we can’t wait on God, then we are going to have a hard time making it, because He moves in His time and season and not ours. It is the daily tribulations that work the higher patience in which we possess our souls. The waster and destroyer is ever scheming and undermining us, trying to get us to just give up. Sometimes we grow weary in our constant uphill battle to live faithfully to Christ. Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” The race is often not to the swift, but to the one whom, with patience and endurance, finishes the race.
Let patience have her perfect work in us today, that we may endure and stay the course, for in it we possess our souls.

Blessings,
kent

Farsighted

December 7, 2012

1 Chronicles 16:43
Then all the people left, each for his own home, and David returned home to bless his family.

Farsighted

Farsighted is when you can see things well at a distance, but things up close are much harder to bring into focus and clarity. When I look at the life of David I see a powerful, humble and anointed leader that was like a king among kings. David probably stands out in the Bible more than any other leader in the Old Testament. He truly operated in more than the office of king, he actually operated as prophet, priest and king. God had taught him and anointed him to be a leader among men and to reveal God’s heart for His people.
God is faithful to show us both the strengths and weaknesses of His chosen. From that honesty we can glean wisdom and correction for our own lives as we make application to them. We also are made up of strengths and weaknesses. Some, I guess, are inherent in our character, but that doesn’t give them permission to stay there if it doesn’t line up with the character of God which we should desire to be conformed too.
When I look at David’s life, one of the areas I see him have the most struggles with, is his own family. Of course, he had multiple wives, which probably only compounded his problems. I figure if I can keep one woman happy I am doing exceptionally well. One of the things that happens to so many of us, maybe more to men than women, is that we, like David, can be farsighted. We can be good at what we do out in the world or with ministry, but perhaps our greatest struggles are at home. We lose focus sometimes of our first and foremost priority, our spouse and children. Often in our sacrifice to help and meet the needs of others we are sacrificing them as well, because they may have lack in order that others might benefit. David, in leading his nation, didn’t always lead his family with the same diligence, love and correction. Some of his greatest advisories, like Absolam, were those of his own household. I am sure he probably blamed himself for that and maybe all that led up to it.
We can’t change the past mistakes that we have made, but we can ask God to correct our vision through the Holy Spirit to see more clearly how to address the needs within our own homes and families. With both husband and wives working and many children growing up in single parent homes, children today often get neglected. It is most often not intentional or deliberate. Parents come home tired and exhausted from their day. They have probably been pouring out in their jobs and then their is the home to maintain along with all of the chores of a household. Often our wives, husbands and children only get the leftovers of what we have left to give, if anything. Ironically, they are the ones we are supposedly killing ourselves to provide for and make a better life. Their life can’t be better unless we are in it, no matter how rich we are. Often this balance of our giving to our family and spouse is a hard one to navigate. Many demands and responsibilities are upon our lives, but I know that there is no more valuable investment that we can make than what we put into our families with our personal time and attention. We can’t lose sight of the reason why we got married and had a family. They are our first priority, because they are the ones that will carry our faith and values to the next generations. They will most likely model before their children the example you modeled before them.
The scripture I chose is one where David had just brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and it had been an intense time of activity and ministry, but I loved what I read when he had finished, “and David returned home to bless his family.”
I pray God will help you and me not to be too farsighted that we lose focus of the importance and priority our family needs to be to us. May He give us spiritual vision that is in focus, balanced and complete.

Blessings,
kent

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