I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer

How could a loving God allow an innocent child to suffer? Surely he cares enough to prevent the suffering (if he didn’t care, he wouldn’t be very loving). And surely is able to prevent to suffering (if he couldn’t, he wouldn’t be very powerful). And yet we know that in this imperfect world children suffer. So does that mean there is no God? Or could God have good reasons to allow such suffering?

The Suffering (video game)

The Suffering (video game) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we talk about the reasons for suffering there is a real danger that anything we say will sound glib or even insensitive to those who have been bereaved. The mother who has lost a beloved child doesn’t want reasons, she wants her child back. Trying to intellectualise the problem will be cold comfort for such grief. Trying to explain away the suffering would be heartless. Because what possible reason could you give that would make the death of a child acceptable? What explanation would justify so great a loss? And that is the first thing to recognise. When we seek to understand the existence of suffering we are not seeking to give a reason for individual acts of suffering. Some acts of suffering, when considered in isolation, have no reason. They are not caused by God, they are not for some eventual gain, they are, essentially, meaningless. We do not live in a world where everything has a purpose, where everything happens for a reason. The Bible says God has subjected the world to “futility” (Rom 8:20), that is, God has purposefully made this world imperfect and subject to imperfection. God does not cause suffering, but has made the world where suffering occurs. The question is, why would he do that?

Step back and consider: what is the cause of so much of the evil in the world? Answer: human beings. Whether it is cold-blooded murder or just casual neglect, so much suffering and pain is caused by humans making bad choices. Sometimes people will choose to do something truly wicked, more often people just choose to do what is easy, but it is those choices that produces the suffering. God could have created a world without such suffering because he could have created a world without people or only with people whose minds he controls. That would have prevented a lot of suffering. There would be no murders, if God didn’t allow people the freedom to choose. But God has allowed people the freedom to choose. Because a world in which people have free will is better than a world without it. Imagine a world without free will. Sure, there would be no evil but there would also be no good. Without free will there could be no love and there could be no relationships. There could be no acts of kindness, no moments of generosity, and no real charity. The world would just be filled with choice-less robots, neither good nor bad, just behaving as instructed. A world with free will is better, and world where people freely choose to do good is best, but if people are truly free then that means they have the option to cause evil.

But this isn’t the whole answer. Murderers may choose to murder, but waves don’t choose to drown people, rocks don’t choose to crush people and viruses don’t choose to infect people. A lot of the suffering in the world is caused by natural processes, by the laws of nature operating as they always do, the victims just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Why does God allow such suffering? Well, imagine the alternative. Imagine that rocks would always fall down to the ground EXCEPT when a child was underneath. That might seem like a wonderful idea, but think of all the exceptions and kinks in the laws of nature that would be needed to make children invulnerable. Bullets would turn to jelly when fired at children, fire would become cool when a child was close by, man-eating tigers would become lovable kittens. Suddenly the ordered and regular world that we’re used to has become chaotic and difficult to predict. No longer could humans depend on things behaving like they always have and so could no longer make even reasonable guesses about the outcome of their actions. Without the laws of nature, without the regularity of nature, human free will cannot operate because without that regularity you cannot make informed choices.

Okay, you say, I understand that free will is a good thing and I understand that the laws of nature are necessary, but even so couldn’t have God made the world better? Couldn’t there be less dangers? Or couldn’t we be less vulnerable? Why not make humans impervious to harm so that we can carry on whatever the world throws at us? Of

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Preceding article: I Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell

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Additional reading:

  1. About suffering
  2. Foreword to suffering
  3. Choices to make in suffering
  4. Crucifixion for suffering
  5. God’s instruction about joy and suffering
  6. God’s promises to us in our suffering
  7. Importuning for suffering hearts
  8. Seems no future in suffering
  9. Suffering through the apparent silence of God
  10. Suffering continues
  11. Suffering leading to joy
  12. Surprised by joy
  13. Surprised by time in joys & sufferings
  14. Miracles in our time of suffering
  15. Offer in our suffering
  16. Temptation and its conquest
  17. Words from God about suffering
  18. Mission son of God perceived as failure
  19. Patient waiting
  20. Moving mountains
  21. Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?
  22. Attributes to God
  23. Disappointed with God
  24. God’s measure not our measure
  25. Full authority belongs to God
  26. God Helper and Deliverer
  27. God is Positive
  28. God’s design in the creation of the world
  29. God’s hope and our hope
  30. God His reward
  31. God’s promises
  32. God’s salvation
  33. Incomplete without the mind of God
  34. Is God hiding His Face when He is seemingly silent
  35. Jesus his answers about God’s silence
  36. Based confidence
  37. Chrystalised harmonious thinking
  38. Our way of life
  39. Life with God
  40. Nuturing a close relationship with God
  41. Concerning gospelfaith
  42. Epitome of the one faith
  43. My faith
  44. Hope
  45. Working of the hope
  46. Looking for blessed hope
  47. Hope for the future
  48. Expiatory sacrifice
  49. Content with the no answer
  50. Free will and predestination
  51. Meaning of life
  52. Death and after
  53. God’s Comfort
  54. A world in denial
  55. Fear and protection
  56. Because men choose to go their own way
  57. It is a free will choice
  58. Free will and predestination
  59. Let you not be defined by the effect of your wrong choice
  60. The Existence of Evil

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  • Why does God allow evil? (pastormikesays.wordpress.com)
    The Bible describes God as holy (Isaiah 6:3), righteous (Psalm 7:11), just (Deuteronomy 32:4), and sovereign (Daniel 4:17-25). These attributes tell us the following about God: (1) God is capable of preventing evil, and (2) God desires to rid the universe of evil. So, if both of these are true, why does God allow evil? If God has the power to prevent evil and desires to prevent evil, why does He still allow evil? Perhaps a practical way to look at this question would be to consider some alternative ways people might have God run the world:
  • God’s Gift & Our Response: Mercy & Worship (jamespaulgaard.wordpress.com)
    God gives us many good and wonderful gifts that we need. But a gift does not give its intended benefit if the one receiving the gift does not open the gift and use it. You could be given the greatest gift in the world, but if the gift sits in the corner unopened, that gift will have no benefit in your life. So through this series, we want to encourage you to reflect on the many gifts God has given you, and how you respond to those gifts. In today’s sermon we are thinking about God’s gift of mercy and our response of worship and the three points of the sermon
  • Why You Shouldn’t Teach Your Children That Hell is Real (patheos.com)
    If teaching heaven is bad, teaching hell is downright mental child abuse. There is no way around this one. You are telling a child that for bad deeds done, or not worshipping the right (or any god), you are going to burn in a lake of fire for eternity. Pure torture, unimaginable pain and it is forever.The myth of Hell needs to be destroyed faster than the myth of heaven by far. Children and countless adults fear any of their actions will result in them spending eternity in Hell. Why? It is such a childish and illogical idea. For starters, their almighty God created an evil angel, and instead of destroying him, gave him his own kingdom? And let’s not get started on the fact that if Satan is the one punishing the bad guys for their evil, doesn’t that make Satan the good guy? If Hell is for the most evil people in the world who listened to and or worshipped Satan, wouldn’t Satan be glad to have them? It simply doesn’t make sense and even Christians and other religious followers are deciding they don’t believe in Hell anymore. It seems that all the rest of their religion is true, but Hell sounds too mean, so that part is obviously just an allegory. So, just like the endless rape, murder, genocide and other atrocities of the Bible, let’s go ahead and cherry-pick Hell right out of it.
  • The Man or The Devil In The Mirror? [Part 1] (corbenstreet.wordpress.com)
    People must understand and know how to differentiate between the reason and the purpose of doing things. But because humans are always so good at taking things for granted, it is not surprising that whatever the reason and the purpose of using mirrors, it no longer means anything to everyone – anymore!
  • David Haines killing is ‘an act of absolute evil’, says Archbishop of Canterbury (christiantoday.com)
    The Archbishop of Canterbury is among the Christians expressing their sorrow over the killing of hostage David Haines at the hands of Islamic State militants.The 44-year-old aid worker’s beheading was shown in a video released on Saturday night.It has been strongly condemned by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has vowed that Britain will take “whatever steps are necessary” to keep the country safe and bring the killers to justice.Archbishop Justin Welby used his Twitter account to ask every church in the country to pray for Haines’s family, saying he had been “evilly killed in the place he was serving in love for its suffering people”.

    In comments to the BBC later on Sunday, the Archbishop described the aid worker’s murder as “an act of absolute evil, unqualified, without any light in it at all”.

    He said there was a sense that in places where militants have taken hold “the darkness is deepening”.

    “It’s being done in the name of faith, but we’ve heard already today faith leaders from Islam across the world condemning this,” he continued.

  • William Lane Craig vs Walter Sinnott-Armstrong: evil, suffering and God’s existence (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    This is one the top 4 best debates that William Lane Craig has done in my opinion. (The other two are Craig-Millican debate and the first and second Craig-Dacey debates) This one doesn’t seem to get a lot of play on the Internet: there’s no video, transcript or anything. But it is a great debate, and on a problem we are all concerned about: the problem of evil and suffering. One other thing – Sinnott-Armstrong is also a very courteous, respectful and intelligent scholar and he is very good at defending his side. This is a very cordial and engaging debate, and because it was held in front of a church audience, it was targeted to laymen and not academics.

Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit

Spirituality and “the Fruitage of the Spirit”

Gospel writer Luke stated that God’s holy spirit was poured out on Jesus at his baptism and that Jesus was “full of holy spirit.”

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ

John the Baptist baptising Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus too was baptized.+ As he was praying, the heaven was opened up,+ 22 and the holy spirit in bodily form like a dove came down upon him, and a voice came out of heaven: “You are my Son, the beloved; I have approved you.”+ (Luke 3:21, 22)

4 Then Jesus, full of holy spirit, turned away from the Jordan, and he was led about by the spirit in the wilderness+ (Luke  4:1)

32 John also bore witness, saying: “I viewed the spirit coming down as a dove out of heaven, and it remained upon him.+ 33 Even I did not know him, but the very One who sent me to baptize in water said to me: ‘Whoever it is upon whom you see the spirit coming down and remaining,+ this is the one who baptizes in holy spirit.’+ 34 And I have seen it, and I have given witness that this one is the Son of God.”+ (John 1:32-34)

Jesus, in turn, impressed upon his followers the importance of being guided by God’s holy spirit, or “active force.”

Now the earth was formless and desolate,* and there was darkness upon the surface of the watery deep,*+ and God’s active force*+ was moving about over the surface of the waters.+ (Genesis 1:2)

So I say to you, keep on asking,+ and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.+10 For everyone asking receives,+ and everyone seeking finds, and to everyone knocking, it will be opened. 11 Indeed, which father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent instead of a fish?+12 Or if he also asks for an egg, will hand him a scorpion? 13 Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!”+ (Luke 11:9-13)

 For I will pour out water on the thirsty one*+ And flowing streams on the dry ground. I will pour out my spirit on your offspring*+ And my blessing on your descendants.(Isaiah 44:3)

17 Every good gift and every perfect present is from above,+ coming down from the Father of the celestial lights,+ who does not vary or change like the shifting shadows.*+ (James 1:17)

Why is that so important? Because God’s spirit has the power to transform a person’s mind, so that it begins to resemble the mind of Christ.

12 Therefore, I appeal to you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies+ as a living sacrifice, holy+ and acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason.+ And stop being molded by this system of things,* but be transformed by making your mind over,+ so that you may prove to yourselves+ the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ((Romans 12:1, 2)

The holy spirit produces in a person such qualities as “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.” These qualities — which the Bible calls “the fruitage of the spirit” — mark a truly spiritual person.

22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,* kindness, goodness,+ faith, 23 mildness, self-control.+ Against such things there is no law. 24 Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed to the stake the flesh together with its passions and desires.+ (Galatians 5:22, 23, 24)

for the fruitage of the light consists of every sort of goodness and righteousness and truth.+ (Ephesians 5:9)

17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,+ then peaceable,+ reasonable,+ ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits,+ impartial,+ not hypocritical.+ (James 3:17)

In short, a spiritually-minded person is one who is guided by God’s spirit.

Jesus displayed the fruitage of the spirit throughout his ministry. Such qualities as love, kindness, and goodness were particularly evident in the way he treated those who were considered lowly members of society.

36 On seeing the crowds, he felt pity for them,+ because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.+  (Matthew 9:36)

Note, for example, an incident described by the apostle John. We read:

“As [Jesus] was passing along he saw a man blind from birth.”

Jesus’ disciples also noticed the man but saw him as a sinner.

“Who sinned,” they asked, “this man or his parents?”

The man’s neighbours also noted the man, but all they saw was a beggar.

“This is the man that used to sit and beg, is it not?”

they said. Jesus, however, saw the blind man as an individual who needed help. He spoke to the blind man and cured him.

9 As he was passing along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. And his disciples asked him: “Rabbi,+ who sinned, this man or his parents, so that he was born blind?” Jesus answered: “Neither this man sinned nor his parents, but it was so that the works of God might be made manifest in his case.+ We must do the works of the One who sent me while it is day;+ the night is coming when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the world’s light.”+ After he said these things, he spat on the ground and made a paste with the saliva, and he smeared the paste on the man’s eyes+ and said to him: “Go wash in the pool of Si·lo′am” (which is translated “Sent Forth”). And he went and washed, and came back seeing.+

Then the neighbors and those who formerly used to see that he was a beggar began to say: “This is the man who used to sit and beg, is it not?” (John 9:1-8.)

What does this incident tell you about the mind of Christ?
First, Jesus did not overlook lowly ones but treated them with tender compassion.
Second, he took the initiative to help others.
Do you see yourself following this pattern set by Jesus? Do you see people as Jesus did, giving them the help they need to improve their life and brighten their future? Or do you tend to favour those who are prominent and overlook those who are not? If the former is the case, you are doing well in following Jesus’ example.

12 For he will rescue the poor who cry for help, Also the lowly one and whoever has no helper. 13 He will have pity on the lowly and the poor, And the lives* of the poor he will save. 14 From oppression and from violence he will rescue them,* And their blood will be precious in his eyes. (Psalm 72:12-14.)

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Preceding articles:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ

Looking for True Spirituality 4 Getting to Know the Mind of Christ

Next: Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer

Dutch version of this article / De Nederlandse versie van dit artikel:

Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 5 Vrucht van de geest

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Find also to read:

  1. He has given us the Pneuma, the force, from Him
  2. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  3. Followers with deepening
  4. Bearing fruit
  5. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone

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File:Worcester Black Pear - geograph.org.uk - 1559141.jpg

Worcester Black Pear. On a tree at Hartlebury Castle- The tree bearing fruit appears on The Worcestershire county coat of arms. The pear itself appears on the Worcester city coat of arms. The fruit is very hard and if stored carefully will keep right through to the following spring. It needs to be cooked slowly. (Photo: Bob Embleton)

  • The Gift of the Holy Spirit (shoutingthemessage.wordpress.com)
    The Holy Spirit endows us with marvelous attributes if we allow Him to work in our lives.  These are known as “the gifts of the Spirit”.
  • Fruit of the Holy Spirit (fropuff7.wordpress.com)
    The ‘Fruit of the Holy Spirit’ is a biblical term that sums up the nine visible attributes of a true Christian life written of by Paul in his letter to the Galatians chapter 5. The 9 Fruits are coming from the Holy Spirit and not from the Christian. The word Spirit is a capital S which is referring to the Holy Spirit and not the human spirit. The Fruit of the Holy Spirit are God’s divine personality and character traits that are worked in over time into the Christian human spirit.
  • Anointing in the Holy Spirit (loopyloo305.com)
    Take any vessel that you can think of, if you mix water into what ever is already in the vessel, what you have is no longer water, instead it is a diluted version of what was already there. And yet if you totally empty the vessel and fill it with pure water, then that is what you will have. So many times we are not allowing ourselves to be emptied to the fullest, we hold a portion back, for what ever reason, and therefore, we are not filled with what God wants to give us, but instead a weaker portion of what we already are.
  • Allow God’s Holy Spirit to cover you (examiner.com)
    The gentle snowfall, which is blanketing where we live in the Midwest, should remind us of God’s Holy Spirit, Who is at work upon the earth. The treasure of Heaven, Jesus Christ, was broken for us, so that His Holy Spirit could be released from Heaven upon the earth.We have God, in the Person of Holy Spirit, with us today on the earth and in our spirits, to guide, counsel, help, and protect us and intercede on our behalf.
  • The Art of Evangelism (faithandencouragement.wordpress.com)
    I think that when many Christians consider evangelism, they start to break out in a cold sweat.  “What will I say?  What will they think of me? I don’t know what to say or how!”  Evangelism is akin to public speaking in many Christians’ minds: high up on the fear list.  I don’t say this to condemn or even criticise; I just think that it’s important to recognise that many people feel that way so that we can encourage them.
  • Believing in Jesus: A Deeper Meaning (phenum01.com)
    It is conceded that everyone who is begotten of the holy Spirit is imbued with the hope of a Heavenly birth. We are called in the “one hope of our calling” (Eph. 4:4). In the natural realm, all begotten do not come to birth. Miscarriages are very common. Some fetuses may be carried to birth and then be stillborn. Hence, everyone who received the begettal of the holy Spirit had a legitimate hope of a spiritual birth, but not a guarantee.
    The logical question is, has anyone ever received more than the Pentecostal converts did? There is no reason to believe so. Anything more is not possible. To receive the free gift of “justification” and to be imbued with God’s Spirit of sonship is unspeakable grace. This is the starting place where disciples are enrolled in the Christian racecourse. Paul says, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Cor. 9:24-27). “Many are called, but few are chosen” and fewer still remain “faithful” (Matt. 22:14; Rev. 17:14).
  • Holy Spirit is on a Mission! (hisfreedomnow.wordpress.com)
    He is eradicating religion, tradition, dead works and every false doctrine and “every proud and lofty thing that raises itself up against the knowledge of God.” He is breathing death on everything in the church that does not originate in Him and is not sustained by Him.
    +
    He is releasing the anointing of His fire and Jesus wants everyone to be baptized and unified with it, set truly free by it and staying free in it!
  • Narrative Lectionary: Not! (John 1:19-34) (revgalblogpals.org)
    John proclaims that Jesus has come to take away the sins of the world, making a theological claim about Jesus’ purpose, and the sacrifice of his life.  Some people believe this was Jesus’ saving mission, while others are more inspired by his life.  Others find salvation in Jesus from our selfishness, our petty concerns and our self-absorption, and a call back to a Spirit-filled life.  “Yes, Jesus, save me from myself,” Marcus Borg has said.  Whether it’s salvation from sin, or from our old way of life, John recognizes Jesus as the one who comes to call us back to God in a new way.  John the messenger follows the birth of Jesus, and proclaims that Jesus has come to connect us to God in deeper ways.  Out by the river, far from the painstaking rituals of the temple, John sees that God is doing something new, through someone new.  In the same way, as a new year begins for us, we can hear John calling us back to God.
  • The Greatest Herb
  • Sown
  • It’s Not What It Seems To Be!
  • Where Are You Sowing Your Seeds of Spoken Words?
  • Bad Soil
  • Power of Choice (Part 2) using the Parable of the Soils
  • The Place Where Words Are Sown?
  • To Flower in Countless Lives
  • Open Heavens Devotional – Sunday – 22/12/2013 – Bad Soil by Pastor E.a. Adeboye
  • It Seems Unfair
  • Ephesians 4:7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
  • We Are the Sons of God
  • Mystery of the Cross
  • Revelation 2:4 – Have You Left Your First Love?
  • 2 Corinthians 8:9 For your sakes he became poor.
  • We Can Do Nothing Against the Truth
  • 36 Amazing Things
  • Who Am I ?
  • What Can the Devil Steal? Part 2
  • Pruning the Branches
  • September 23 – Fruitfulness
  • Bearing Fruits
  • Part 2: Stay intimate! ‘I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I
  • The Bare Tree…
  • Reflections… (evicolson.wordpress.com)

Importance of parents 2

In our ever changing world coming closer to the End of Times, much more things would go wrong and disturb many people. the world evolving to go to the wrong end makes the position of the parents, the guides of the next generations more important.

Parents

Parents (Photo credit: leef_smith)

The parents would not be able to escape from the consequences things which happen in the world. It is possible their family would also be tested be what is going on. How can you keep these problems from arising in your family? Clearly, every member of every family needs to learn and to value some principles that rule out abusive and wrong conduct. The best place to find that kind of guidance is in God’s Word, the Bible.

The parents are the once who should take care in the first instance of the children they brought on to this earth and should raise. True Christians realize that the Creator God has provided a manual for the world. It is available for all those who like to know how the world is, what the world can do and how the world is to evolve. The Originator, Creator of all things gave His Guide to the world, with all His principles. Those full instructions are recorded in the Book of books, the Bible. God his Word has not changed, though the world has changed a lot and tried everything to destroy that Word.

God sees every deed we carry out, even those that are hidden to most humans. The Bible says:

“All things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of him with whom we have an accounting.” (Hebrews 4:13)

“Love,” the Bible tells us, “is a perfect bond of union.” (Colossians 3:14)

As described in the Bible, love is not simply a feeling. It is defined by the way it motivates — by the conduct it prompts and the deeds it forbids. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) By love man and wife should come together and unite to be with child. Making children out of love, they shall have to receive the full love parents can give. In the family, showing love means treating each member with dignity, respect, and kindness. It means living in harmony with God’s view of each family member. God gives each one an honourable and important role.

The parents do have to rip the cover off those frauds in this world and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ. they have to wake up from their sleep they perhaps had previously in this world full of many traditions not according to the Will of God. Uniting man and woman as wife and husband they should try to find the light Christ will show them. They have to watch their steps and use their head. They shall become confronted with many opportunities and will have to make the most of every chance they get.

These are desperate times! Therefore we must be observant and not live carelessly, unthinkingly. Parents have to make sure they understand what the Master wants. The apostle Paul gives advice like not to drink too much wine, which cheapens the parents their life. They better drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of Him.

Jesus Christ has given the world his good example how to behave. Out of respect for Christ, they should be, like every person who calls himself or herself a Christian, courteously reverent to one another. Wives, should understand and support their husbands in ways that show their support for Christ. The husband who provides leadership to his wife, should do this in the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. Husbands, should go all out in their love for their wives, exactly as Christ did for the church — a love marked by giving, not getting. As Christ’s love makes the church whole, his love makes also the family to one unit, blessed in his name. His words evoke not only the beauty of the church, the ecclesia or parish, but of every member of the household. Everything Christ did and said was designed to bring the best out of his followers. In the same way parents should, as part of the body of Christ, carry the unselfish love with them, dressing each other in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness.

As the family head, the father is to take the lead in showing love. He understands that a Christian father is not given license to be a tyrant, abusing his power over his wife or children. Rather, he looks to Christ as his example in headship.

21 Be in subjection to one another+ in fear of Christ. 22 Let wives be in subjection+ to their husbands as to the Lord, 23 because a husband is head of his wife+ as the Christ also is head of the congregation,+ he being a savior of [this] body. 24 In fact, as the congregation is in subjection to the Christ, so let wives also be to their husbands in everything.+ 25 Husbands, continue loving YOUR wives,+ just as the Christ also loved the congregation and delivered up himself for it,+ 26 that he might sanctify it,+ cleansing it with the bath of water by means of the word,+ 27 that he might present the congregation to himself in its splendor,+ not having a spot or a wrinkle or any of such things, but that it should be holy and without blemish.+

28 In this way husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself, 29 for no man ever hated his own flesh; but he feeds and cherishes it,+ as the Christ also does the congregation, 30 because we are members of his body.+  (Ephesians 5:21-23- 25-27)

Parents Cerebral Palsy - Children both NO C.P....

Parents Cerebral Palsy – Children both NO C.P. * Spring 1978 (Photo credit: Whiskeygonebad)

Though parents must be cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16) should in their wedding flee from the desires incidental to youth and should start pursuing righteousness, faith, love, peace, with the willingness to share everything with their partner and the offspring. (2 Timothy 2:22) They should do nothing out of contentiousness or out of egoistic intentions. In the household nothing may be done through strife or vainglory, but should be done in lowliness of mind letting each esteem the other better than himself. (Philippians 2:3)

So the man must be tender and loving with his wife and patient and gentle with his children. He loyally should protect them and give his all to prevent anything from happening that might rob them of their peace, their innocence, or their sense of trust and safety.

Likewise, the wife and mother has a role of vital importance and dignity. The Bible uses the protective instincts of mothers in the animal kingdom to illustrate how protective Jehovah and Jesus can be.

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets+ and stoner+ of those sent forth to her,+—how often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks together under her wings!+ But YOU people did not want it. (Matthew 23:37)

A human mother, bound by law to her husband while he is alive, (Romans 7:2) should likewise be staunchly protective of her children. Lovingly, she is quick to put their safety and well-being ahead of her own. The parents do not allow abuse of power, bullying, or intimidation to enter into their dealings with each other or with their children; nor do they allow their children to use such tactics on one another.

Parents should take the Word of God at heart and should also let their children know that infallible Word. In the Bible they can find the basic principles that can help. Many fathers have found that they and their families benefit when they follow the wisdom found in the Bible.

Surely there are many things parents can do for their children, including the sacrifices they shall have to make to feed them and provide them with an adequate home. Parents would not do such things if their children were not important to them. Yet, if they do not spend significant amounts of time with their children, they might conclude that the parents care more for other things, such as their job, their friends, or their hobbies, than they do for them.

Parents should be aware of those feelings of the children and should take care that the children always shall be able to feel that the parents are there for them. Marriage is a Divine institution and each person playing a role in the unity God wanted to see, from the beginning of the world, should make the best out of his role working for the other and being ready for the other, out of love. Today we can find couples of the same sex, but originally God provided the first act of marital union so that there may be a further population. The basic pattern by the creation given is simple – a man (male) will leave the confines of parental authority (again male and female) and cleave to his wife (female) and thus become one flesh.

This creation ordinance was also affirmed in the teaching of the Nazarene Jesus Christ. When questioned on the issue of the validity of divorce, he reminded his audience that the first couple were male and female and then quoted Genesis 2:24.

24 That is why a man will leave his father and his mother+ and he must stick to his wife* and they must become one flesh.+ (Genesis 2:24)

The master Jesus said:

5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother+ and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh’?+ (Matthew 19:5).

Man and woman were to be united, joined to be one body, to “be one flesh”. (1 Corinthians 6:16)

Today we should still have the continuance of this Divine design of marital union where man and woman, becoming parent should not depart from each other until death comes in between.

31 “For this reason a man will leave [his] father and [his] mother and he will stick to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”+ (Ephesians 5:31)

4 Let marriage be honorable among all, and the marriage bed be without defilement,+ for God will judge fornicators and adulterers.*+ (Hebrews 13:4)

10 To the married people I give instructions, yet not I but the Lord,+ that a wife should not depart from her husband;+ (1 Corinthians 7:10)

We all should try to become good parents, fulfilling the Wish of God and His creation.

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Preceding articles:

Importance of parents 1

Father and motherhood

Poverty and conservative role patterns

Connection between women and environmental sustainability

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Find also:

  1. Time of the end
  2. A learning process for each of us
  3. Bible Guidelines for a happy marriage
  4. Companionship
  5. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
  6. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #4 The Family pact
  7. Parenthood made more difficult
  8. Having children interferes with work
  9. Connection between women and environmental sustainability
  10. Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive
  11. Gender Roles, What?
  12. Dignified role for the woman
  13. Gender roles and Multitasking parents
  14. Surviving Motherhood: things to get excited about, right now
  15. Avoiding the big questions
  16. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  17. Life and attitude of a Christian
  18. Commit your self to the trustworthy creator
  19. God helper and deliverer
  20. The Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom
  21. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  22. Choices
  23. Wishing to do the will of God
  24. Each choice we make causes a ripple effect in our lives
  25. For those who make other choices
  26. Bible Guidelines for a happy marriage
  27. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  28. Thirst for happiness and meaning

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Also of interest:

  1. Men and Women: Equal yet Different
  2. What The Bible Says About The Role of Women
  3. Commentary on Staying Married Is Not About Staying in Love, Part 1 by John Piper
  4. A Right Understanding of Marriage

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  • Equal? (dizzydaisydoo.wordpress.com)
    Are men and women a) equal in the full definition of the word, or b) are they equal with different roles, or c) are they not equal?  (okay, it’s definitely not c.) If you think it is, you really need to re-read the Bible.)
  • A Comparison Of Rahab In Bible (dwilliamcruise.wordpress.com)
    Surely, a quality Christian education may be the most valuable gift any child can receive. Through the guidance of Christian parents and teachers, children will become mature Christians, devoted to a life of loving “the Lord thy God with all thy heart, together with all thy soul, and just about all the thy mind” (Matthew 22:37b), reflective of Christ’s love that dwells within them.
  • Why does God hate divorce? (altruistico.wordpress.com)
    Malachi 2:16 is the oft-quoted passage that tells how God feels about divorce. “‘I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel.” But this passage says much more than that. If we back up to verse 13, we read, “You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, ‘Why does he not?’ Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.”
    +
    God clearly explains His reasons for esteeming marriage so highly. He says it was He who “made them one” (Malachi 2:15). Marriage was God’s idea. If He designed it, then He gets to define it. Any deviation from His design is abhorrent to Him. Marriage is not a contract; it is a covenant. Divorce destroys the whole concept of covenant that is so important to God.
  • Does the Bible Say that Women are Distinctly Under the Authority of Their Fathers? (afittinguncertainty.wordpress.com)
    As both experience in the world and the Bible testify, the instruments of interpretation (humans) are at our best bent, and at our worst self-servingly disingenuous to the facts in front of us. I think that true humility consists in an understanding of our own fallibility when it comes to matters of interpretation (that goes for all interpretation, and it gives rise to this blog’s title).
    +
    Within the Christian context in which I was brought up, people believe (I would even call it an assumption) that the father of girls has a specific authority over that girl that is distinct from what he has over boys. There’s nothing “creepy” about it–the (well-meaning) idea is that the father is supposed to protect his daughter by keeping bad boys away from her (this mostly crops up during discussions of relationships). This comports with experience up to a point–most people think that young girls (like 13) do need to be protected to a degree (experience differs about whether this is distinct from the protection of, say, a 13 year-old boy, but that’s not the point of this post). But I have heard it (and seen it acted on) many times, that before a girl can date a guy (or “court” or whatever you prefer to call that), the guy has to get the approval of the girl’s father. This includes the father’s ability to say “no” when both the girl and the boy want to date. I have seen guys “date” their hopefully future girlfriend’s dad, where the dad hangs out with him, makes him read books, etc, to “vet” him. Note that there is no corresponding “vetting” of a girl from the boy’s parents, which is why I frame the question the way that I chose to (“Does the Bible say that women are distinctly under the authority of their fathers?” The “distinctly” is doing a lot of work in that sentence, as it does in practice).This leads to my question: Where does the Bible proscribe, or even describe, this practice? This practice does not pass my definition of compelling. There is no text, or stream of texts, or coherent theme throughout Scripture, that rules out a mutually exclusive conclusion (such a conclusion would be: the Bible has nothing to say about a distinct authority fathers have over their daughters, so it is up to the conscience of the individual family–I did not say “father” because that presumes that fathers have a distinct authority for such decisions–determine what that means). In other words, this idea that women are specially under their fathers’ authority (until marriage) is pretty far into the “interpretation-dominant” area of the compelling spectrum.
  • What’s “Biblical” About It? (kingdomventurers.com)
    Regarding male and female behavior I’ve come to the conclusion that masculinity and femininity are social contrivances or social regulators which help us navigate our relationships.  Again, the Bible does not tell men how to behave like a man or a woman how to behave like a woman.  The Bible does tell us in very simple general statements how we as men and women are to relate to the opposite sex and to each other.  The Bible also provides us with examples of what men find attractive in a woman (e.g., the Shulammite woman of The Song of Solomon & the industrious woman in Proverbs 31) and what women find attractive in men (the Ruth/Boaz story). Masculine or feminine qualities, if there are such things, are worked out between each man and woman in the give and take of relationship. They certainly are not the rubber stamping of contrived gender roles promoted by such “Let’s-Get-This-Nailed-Down” Conferences.
  • Godly Parenting & the Bible by J. C. Ryle (ilyston.wordpress.com)
    See that your children read the Bible reverently. Train them to look upon it, not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, written by the Holy Spirit Himself—all true, all profitable, and able to make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ.
  • Sharing Jesus with Your Children (ourdailybread101.wordpress.com)
    This is the mistake so many parents are making today. They spend their time telling their children “Don’t do this. Don’t do that. That’s wrong.” By such behavior, these parents are failing an entire generation. Many times, children are never shown the riches of Jesus Christ. In every 24-hour cycle, there are a multitude of teachable moments for sharing and modeling life in Christ.
  • Controlling Our Children? (yesihomeschool5.wordpress.com)
    The most recent idea I have run across is the thought that we cannot and should not control our children, but rather, only the Holy Spirit can do such. I believe that is completely unbiblical hogwash! Of course the Holy Spirit can guide and direct a saved child that is learning to be a spirit filled believer, however, the Bible also teaches not only that children are to obey their parents, but, that the parents are, in fact, to demand the obedience, and yes, to control their children.
  • A Terrible Parent…. (derrickskelton.wordpress.com)
    Here I am a Children’s Pastor, weekly sharing the importance of God’s word to kids and families… and I haven’t purchased by own kid the appropriate Bible. While this made me feel like a “Terrible Parent”, I was reminded of how we all are imperfect which is why there is a need for God…. As parents we all make mistakes.. WE have days we wish could be erased in our parenting… But how great it is to know  that God knows where we are and exactly what we need…. and even more HE knows what our kids need…. I pray daily that my failures in life will not be my kids failures… And when they see me fail…they also see me “get back up”…..
  • Version 40.4: The Bible: A Word For All Ages (lie77.wordpress.com)
    Regardless of your age, become a “little child” for a minute. Come to Jesus as one would to a loving parent. No requests. No expectations. You don’t have to brush your teeth or comb your hair. Simply come and linger in His presence, experiencing His love for you. Why not take a moment to do this right now? Learning from the Bible is the best way to build a “rock-solid” spiritual foundation. From the Bible’s inspired pages you will learn who God is, how He wants you to live and how He will guide you.