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Hope for Prodigal Children

Burk Parsons:

As a pastor, I am often faced with the difficulty of counseling deeply saddened fathers and mothers with prodigal sons and daughters. Parents who enter my study for counsel and prayer are usually trying to come to grips with the harsh reality about a prodigal (lavishly wasteful) son or daughter. The child they have loved, prayed for, educated, nurtured, protected, and discipled has left everything to chase after the fleeting pleasures of the world, forsaking not only their father’s home but their father’s faith. There are likely many parents and grandparents reading this who have prodigal children or grandchildren, and they are greatly burdened for their souls, praying they would come to the end of themselves, trust Christ, and come home.

My greatest concern, however, is for those parents who are not burdened for the souls of their prodigal children. Because their children were raised in good families with good Christian principles, having been taught the way they should go in life, many parents have concluded that they are just fine despite their prodigal lifestyles and unbelief. They may rightly believe that God is sovereign and that He is the only one who can save their children, yet they have forgotten that God has ordained the ends as well as the means to those ends. As such, He calls parents of prodigal children of every age not to presume their salvation and pretend everything is spiritually fine, but to pray for their salvation, preach the gospel to them, and plead with them to repent and believe. When Christian parents don’t face up to the difficult reality that they have prodigal children who are wasting their lives by chasing after the temporal pleasures of the world, they likely won’t face their children with the truth of the gospel, and, what’s more, their children won’t face the difficult reality that they are facing eternal condemnation.

In His sovereignty, God uses parents to speak God’s truth and God’s gospel to the hearts and minds of their children. If parents, who are primarily responsible for training up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, choose not to admonish for fear of driving their faithless children farther away from home, their fear might ultimately reveal their own faithlessness as well. Parents must not give in to the temptation to presume their prodigal children are bound for glory, and neither should they ever give up praying for, preaching to, and pleading with their children to come to the end of themselves, trust Christ, and come home—where they will be overwhelmingly welcomed by the heavenly Father and by their earthly father, who will run to them with open arms and a prodigal (lavishly wasteful) celebration as they both rejoice coram Deo, before the face of God.

~Hope for Prodigal Children, http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/hope-for-prodigal-children/, Copyright by Burk Parsons, Ligonier Ministries, http://www.ligonier.org

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Do Christians Divorce As Often As Non-Christians?

And that's that

Not committed Christians:

People who seriously practice a traditional religious faith—whether Christian or other—have a divorce rate markedly lower than the general population.

The factor making the most difference is religious commitment and practice.

Read more: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/factchecker-divorce-rate-among-christians (note the astronomically lower divorce rate among practicing Jews!)

He Must Set Her At His Heart

Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Carlisle Wall (The Lovers)“The wife was made of the husband’s rib; not of his head, for Paul calleth the husband the wife’s head; not of the foot, for he must not set her at his foot. The servant is appointed to serve, and the wife to help. If she must not match with the head, nor stoop at the foot, where shall he set her then? He must set her at his heart, and therefore she which should lie in his bosom was made in his bosom.”

— Henry Smith

Source: http://christianquote.com/marriage-3/

 

My Parents Drugged Me

GOD BLESS THE PARENTS WHO DRUGGED US..

Jean Leon Gerome Ferris - The Railsplitter (1909)The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a Methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question.

“Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?”

I replied I had a drug problem when I was young: I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.

I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.

I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profanity.

I was drug out to pull weeds in mom’s garden and flower beds and cocklebur’s out of dad’s fields.

I was drug to the homes of family, friends and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.

Those drugs are still in my veins and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, or think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place.

God bless the parents who drugged us.

~Author Unknown

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/27080-My-Parents-Drugged-Me, Comment #1

The Nurseries of the Nation

A family in a drawing room 19c

“Families are the nurseries for church and commonwealth; ruin families and ruin all.”

~Increase Mather, A Call from Heaven to the Present and Succeeding Generations (Boston: John Foster, 1679), 91.

Family is a Vocation

R S Zimmermann Auszug zum Fischfang

Gene Edward Veith quoting Luther’s estate of the household:

“Likewise, those who are fathers or mothers, who rule their households well and who beget children for the service of God are also in a truly holy estate, doing a holy work, and members of a holy order. In the same way when children or servants are obedient to their parents or masters, this also is true holiness and those living in such estate are true saints on earth.”

Read more: http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&var2=881

Christianity Elevates Women From Birth

Albert Anker - Strickendes Mädchen, Kleinkind in der Wiege hütend

Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Christianity:

“The superior situation of Christian women vis-à-vis their pagan sisters began at birth. The exposure of unwanted infants was “widespread” in the Roman Empire, and girls were far more likely than boys to be exposed. Keep in mind that legally and by custom, the decision to expose an infant rested entirely with the father as reflected in this famous, loving letter to his pregnant wife from a man who was away working: “If—good luck to you!—you should bear offspring, if it is a male, let it live; if it is female, expose it. You told Aphrodisias, ‘Do not forget me.’ How can I forget you? I beg you therefore not to worry.” Even in large families, “more than one daughter was hardly ever reared.” A study based on inscriptions was able to reconstruct six hundred families and found that of these, only six had raised more than one daughter. In keeping with their Jewish origins, Christians condemned the exposure of infants as murder. As Justin Martyr (100–165) put it, “we have been taught that it is wicked to expose even new-born children…[for] we would then be murderers.” So, substantially more Christian (and Jewish) female infants lived.””

HT: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2015/05/our-worldviews-influence-the-way-we-live.html