Husbands and Wives in the making- By Shalom Brand

When my husband began looking for a wife, he had already decided that he wanted to be married to a smile, and so that is what he went looking for. He found a smile when he met my mom, and so, with a little deduction, he knew her daughter was the girl for him. He reasoned, if the mother is happy, the daughters are likely to follow suit.

In raising my little girls, I am conscious of the need to produce smiling wives who will be stable, secure, strong, confident, happy, submissive, and full of life.
It is readily apparent in three-year-olds what kind of wife or husband they will become. It is a broader way of looking at training. But we are not content to just train them to sit still and be courteous and obedient, never interrupting adult conversation. More important, are we instilling the personality and character that will make them good wives and mothers?

As my husband and I were traveling this past summer, we met lots of wonderful, obedient children. But if you project their attitudes and temperaments into grown bodies, there weren’t many that I would select as husbands for my daughters. It wasn’t because they were mean or obnoxious. They were something even more distasteful—many were sweet, kind, and soft “mama’s boys.” I know, some of you are about to say, “But that is how I wish my husband was; if he would just care more about my feelings or be more gentle, then I would be so much happier. I am going to make sure that I raise a son who will be loving and caring about a girl’s feelings, and be willing to sit and listen and spend time talking with me.” I have seen a few men like that, and, oh yes, they are sweet to the point where you wonder if they truly are men. God created men to be men and women to be women, so let’s take his cue and start raising men and women in the image which God intended them to be. That means mothers letting go and fathers stepping up to the plate.
I met many happy, beautiful young ladies while traveling, and they all said the same thing: “There are no men; just mama’s boys, and who wants to be married to that?”

We met one family that had a son who was all over the place; he wanted to do it all. He was the only son in a houseful of women; his dad worked out of the house. Yet this boy was a man all the way, and even at that young age it was obvious that he will be a real man, a leader, kind and strong at the same time. That is what you need to be raising for my daughters, Gracie and Laila. He already manifests leadership qualities—most notably, manly dominance.
I observed as he and Gracie were playing. She got into the driver’s seat of the play car. He told her that being the man, he was going to do the driving, but if she married him, he would give her a debit card. She readily agreed. Smart girl.
Every child I met was different. Some were shy. Some bold. Some weak, and some strong. We must be honest and objective in relating to our children. If your son is sensitive and caring, God can use him in some service or ministry that needs compassion. But do not let yourself cater to the sensitive and caring side of that child. Carefully and patiently steer him to be tough in order to be able to face the trials of life.

If your daughter is sensitive and gets her feelings hurt easily, starts coming to you for sympathy, complaining of ill treatment by others, just smile and say, “Well, that is his problem, not yours. We will try to help him have a better attitude.”

Show your daughter how wonderful life is by being an example of joy and creativity. Treat your little boys like men, and expect manly responses. Don’t demand that they be sensitive like girls.

If your daughter is not a servant by nature, you must give more time and attention in training her. Example is an indispensable teacher. When she sees you always serving Daddy, she will adopt your attitude.

It is sometimes hard for us as parents to see the weaknesses in our children. So never be afraid to ask a friend if they see something you are missing. My daughter will need a MAN in about eighteen years. I am particular. She will be too. So don’t come knocking if you are not training up a boy in the way a man should go.

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Hearts and Hugs

My man can be such a bear sometimes. For years, I stumbled around trying to get a grip on my emotions (anger, hurt, or disappointment), but it never worked. I could suppress them for a time, but then I would let go and erupt like a volcano, letting insults fly. Also, once emotions were let loose, it was easier to turn them towards the little ones when they misbehaved. That is not where I wanted to be as a mother.

Thankfully, I learned that I don’t have to live in this defeat. It was a simple lesson from one of my little girls that reminded me how I could win my husband’s heart in a more peaceable manner. It happened like this. Looking out the window, I saw my little girl responding to her “bad” big brother with the cutest outrage. Stomping her foot and putting her tiny hands on her hips, she told him, “You are a bad boy.” He could not help but smile. I remembered that when my husband and I first married, I would respond in a more natural “little girl” way, and it usually caused him to respond in a positive way toward me. I was ready to recapture our first love by acting like his sweetheart once again.

The next time my man came home in a bearish mood I did what I could to cheerfully serve him, but he was bent on a foul mood. So I became his little spitfire sweetheart like I was in the beginning. “You big bully, you’ve been picking on me all evening. Just because you are bigger and stronger than me doesn’t mean you can push me around!” Then I stomped my foot and turned around with a little wag. It worked!

That was the beginning of a nice new (old) way to vent my emotions in a constructive and often (for me) beneficial way. He actually thinks his little spitfire is cute and he modifies his behavior.

A Good pair of glasses —-By Debi Pearl

Women view life through glasses that see everything in terms of feelings, while men view life through glasses that sometimes seem to be without any feelings at all—just plain logic. We were laughing about it in the office the other day when the newest member of our staff told this tale. She was having herself a good cry. For most women a good cry is like a good nose-blow: when you have a cold, it just clears your head—most refreshing. Hearing her cry, her young husband came rushing in, wanting to know what was wrong. It is totally annoying to be forced to stop in the middle of a good cry to try to explain that nothing is wrong; you just need to cry. But the young wife did stop crying long enough to explain to him that when a woman cries there doesn’t have to be a rational reason. It’s just a girl thing. Of course, being a man, he didn’t have a clue. And, in addition, being a young man with little experience in the art of ‘husbandhood,’ he didn’t believe her; so she called his mother and ask her to explain it to her dumb son. He is learning ever so s-l-o-w-l-y. Men just don’t get it when it comes to emotions. Women are equally as out of touch when it comes to cold, clear logic. Most problems arise because our actions are prompted by our feelings rather than objective analysis.

Both feeling and logic are a necessary part of life. A logical man and a feeling woman can make a good team. If a man can borrow his wife’s glasses and get a view of the world from her perspective, it helps temper his perception of humanity. When a couple can work together, each knowing his or her gifts and abilities, and when they can trust each other, they can reach far higher together than either could alone. Logic tempered with sensibilities is like wisdom with compassion, judgment with mercy. “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven” (Psalm 85:10).

But sometimes we see problems between couples caused by a lack of balance. Sensibility strives with judgment. When a wife’s sensibilities displace a husband’s logic and judgment, what you have is caring without discernment. How does this imbalance occur? How do feelings triumph over facts?

When a man’s moral confidence is broken by his sin, by constant criticism, by the hard knocks of life, or when his morale is broken because he and his wife do not function as one, the husband may lose his resolve as a man. He doubts himself and loses his ability to see absolute truth and judgment; in which case the man will defer to his wife’s interpretation of life in many areas. He becomes the sensitive man, nearsighted, where feeling dominates, instead of farsighted where truth rules.

It is appropriate that a man should defer to his wife’s sensibilities when it comes to babies. Her motherly instincts toward the newborn are a compelling force of nature. Even in training children, especially with the younger children, husbands have a tendency to trust their wives’ instincts. But as children grow into the world of responsibility, they have a greater need for objective wisdom, which sometimes may seem unfeeling to the sensitive mother. If mother seeks to protect her children instead of deferring to her husband’s just rule, daughters grow sulky and sons grow effeminate and weak, leaving them both unfulfilled. Fathers are prone to reject sons that mothers protect.

Emotions, by their very nature, are poor indeed as a basis of decision-making. Sentimentality necessarily lacks judgment, and judgment is essential to the perception and execution of truth. Hearts cannot afford to be tender until justice has had its due.

The other day our daughter Shoshanna had made arrangements with a ten-year-old friend to come over and entertain their baby boy while she and her husband worked on a project together. Shoshanna gave her the time and made it clear that she was in a hurry, so she should watch and be ready to come immediately when she heard the horn. Shoshanna arrived on time, honked her horn . . . several times, waited 5 minutes, and then left. While Shoshanna was growing up, she periodically worked for the young girl’s father. He would come by the house at 5:00 in the morning and blow his horn. If she was not out the door in 60 seconds, she got left behind. Our family was raised to respect the time of others and to always be punctual. Leaving them behind when they lagged was the strongest tool in our training arsenal. You only have to leave them once or twice and they learn to be punctual. In speaking of it, Shoshanna said that in time she expects to have the girl working for her often, so now is the best time to train her to be disciplined. Shoshanna—as a female, emotional by nature—has learned to think with her head and not just her heart (in some cases). The next day she heard from the girl’s mother. She was deeply hurt because her daughter was so “bitterly disappointed” that Shoshanna was so “unfeeling” as to “break the poor child’s heart”—a typical emotionally driven female response. Of course the child’s father recognized the need for his daughter to learn the lessons he had taught Shoshanna many years before. After reflection, the mother could see the justice and the training in the situation as it had unfolded. Emotions can short-circuit wisdom and allow selfishness to take charge. Wisdom must be objective. Many conflicts that should have been dealt with by truth were sodden with emotions and stripped of objectivity.

Now here is the point of this article. It is a warning, a caution, a course correction. We see men who have laid aside their objective glasses and are seeing the world through female glasses. There has been a paradigm shift in the church. Modern Christian worldview has communicated the idea that sensitivity is spirituality, that passivity and unregulated compassion are the heart of God in every matter. The church as a whole has adopted a female worldview. Modern worship and preaching have effeminized the men. Even in cultures where women are not officially given leadership capacity, their sensibilities are in control—through the men. Much of the “praise” music is more like a weepy love song than marching, militant, warriors going to do battle with the devil, wearing the armor of God. We are seeing the fruit in the weak and sensitive sons.

A man of God is compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others, but he is first a man of truth and judgment. We are a whole being, made in the image of God. Our souls possess the three attributes of intellect, volition, and sensibilities, more commonly called mind, will, and emotions. Balance is found in order. Doctrine, truth, worldview, belief, and convictions all originate in the mind, not the sensibilities. To follow feelings before filtering them through truth is to yield to fantasy and personal pleasure. But that is where the church is today—and where the home is.

Wives must be careful not to feed the “feeling frenzy” by insisting that their husbands share their sensitive perspectives. Allow your husband to be a man without judging his spirituality when he acts out of objective convictions rather than touchy-feely sentiment. Do not interfere when your husband tries to make men out of your little boys. A good father must sometimes act a little bit like a Marine sergeant. If a child sees his mother’s hurt feelings, he will develop a chip on his shoulder and assume he is the victim and his dad is at fault.

The Bible recognizes the proper order when it says, “…speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things” (Ephesians 4:15). Truth directs love. Love, forgiveness and compassion cannot be indiscriminately given, or it will lead to injustice. To sympathize is not a luxury of truth.

I can see where some of what we have said can be taken out of context and used to justify the selfish responses of a husband and father. Nothing ever written is free from misuse. But a pure heart will see the wisdom and truth of the admonishment as it was intended. We call on you to resist this slide into the feminization of our culture, our churches, our homes, and most of all, our young men.

A wisw woman builds her house

A wise woman doesn’t allow herself to be a liability but strives to be an asset to the marriage bond. She looks for ways to make, save, and use money wisely. Her husband knows he is a richer man because she is his wife.

A wise woman seeks to be a part of her husband’s life. His interest becomes her interest. She looks for ways to help him in every endeavor in which he is involved. When he needs a helping hand, it is her hand that is there first.

A wise woman knows that his peace of mind (and sometimes, wise understanding) is something she can give or take away by her observations and conversation concerning circumstances or people. She limits her conversation to the positive.

A wise woman sets a joyful mood in the household. She uses laughter, music and happy times to stir the children to a positive, joyful frame of mind. She knows this light-heartedness helps take stress off her husband.

A wise woman gauges her husband’s needs. She seeks to fulfill his desires before even he is aware of them. She never leaves him daydreaming outside the home. She supplies his every desire.

A wise woman understands that her husband’s need to be honored is not based on his performance but on his position. She learns quickly to defer with enthusiasm to his ideas or plans. She looks for ways to reverence him. She knows this is God’s will for her life.

A wise woman is not pitiful, puny, or whinny. She seeks to be confident, capable and thankful.

A wise woman does not dream of what “could have been.” She sees clearly that she is not God’s gift to men; thus she is blessed in her present circumstances. She learns to be content.

A wise woman never expects anyone to serve her; therefore she is never disappointed. She is ready to help—a giver. By her example her children learn to serve cheerfully and energetically.

A wise woman doesn’t attempt to instruct her husband through feigned questions. Her questions are sincere inquiries concerning his will.

A wise woman is always learning. She is open to change. She is ready to hear. She wants to know. She doesn’t cloud her mind with the foolish folly of entertainment. She uses her time wisely.

What I want in a man

What I want in Man. Author Unknown Young Author.

These experiences have helped me figure out who I am today, and have been instrumental in showing me what I need in a husband.
When I was 17, my cousins and friends, who are a few years older than I, all started getting married. So I naturally thought, “Well, I guess I should get married, too, because it seems to be the next step in life.” But the guy I would have married then and the guy I would marry now are two completely different types of men. I didn’t even know myself yet, much less what I should look for in a man.
I think, as homeschoolers, we are raised with the idea that marriage is the next important step in the school of life. I believe that attitude limits a person. I want to do something significant with my life, including learning all I have a capacity to comprehend, all for the purpose of making an eternal difference. I encourage girls to think: What are your dreams, what do you want to do, what do you want to know? Get out and do something, whether it’s starting a business, (which could include homemaking skills) or buying a piece of land. Go help out a missionary for six months. It will give you a whole new outlook on life and an appreciation for missionaries! It will grow you, give you more confidence, and help you figure out what you need in a husband. Every man is attracted to a woman who’s busy with abundant life, someone who is on the front side of making things happen.
Years ago I was chatting with a married couple who are good friends of mine, and who know me well. They helped me to figure out what I personally needed in a man. I wrote a list that day of five things I most need in a man!
1. I know that I need a Strong Leader who’s not going to let me shove him around. I want someone who is going to stand up and be the man!
2. Yet I need someone who is Open-minded, who will listen to all my crazy theories about life!
3. He needs to be Passionate, so that whatever he does, he does it with a fire under his boots!
4. I want him to be Spontaneous, full of zeal about life, and not afraid to jump into an adventure. I am a very enthusiastic person, and I love to do things on the spur of the moment. I want to marry someone I can jump on board with!
5. And I must have a man who Loves and Honors God and is already actively serving the Lord and has a deep-seated vision for life.

What I am looking for in a wife

What am I looking for in a Wife?

I want a girl who’s interested in friendship first. I’ve run into three types of girls over the years—two of them make me chuckle, but with a hint of sorrow inside. The third class I’ve observed always makes me stop and think. And smile.

Just Say Hi But Don’t Be Ferocious

There are two types of young ladies, one at either end of the “girl spectrum.” The first is most prevalent in ultra conservative, homeschool settings. She ignores the existence of the guys around her, believing the lie that any interaction with a guy is either sinful or premature romantic involvement. That’s just wrong—God created both genders to edify and challenge each other!

I would say to that girl, just get over yourself, and say hi!

Then there’s the other extreme, the “ferocious females.” Now, I have to say that I appreciate energetic, engaging girls. What concerns me, however, is that with some of these young ladies, they display a sense of discontent with their singleness. “Need” is not attractive in a girl. When a girl already has an interesting life, she then has something to bring to the marriage.

Looking for Sarah

This brings us to the type of girl that is very appealing and attractive. I like it when a young lady I meet takes the time to both talk and listen, especially when God has given us similar passions in life. And I believe that mutual passion that has the power to keep us together for a lifetime. At least, I think so. Remember, I’m still single.

Beyond that, my attention is always piqued when a girl is walking in the freedom of Christ. The most attractive women I’ve met are those who are satisfied where they are, yet are open for more of what God has for them. This is a freedom only God can give. But I’m looking for one more thing: confidence. A girl who has placed her confidence in Christ, who isn’t “afraid with any amazement” (1 Peter 3:6) but resembles Sarah—that’s a girl who will make any guy turn his head. Including this one.

My happily married brother has wisely told me, “Find a girl who is willing to follow. But you must be willing to give up as much as you’ve asked her to give up.” That’s what Sarah and Abraham did. They followed God even when they didn’t understand what he wanted. Sarah trusted God despite Abraham’s deficiencies. Sarah wasn’t afraid. She was confident in God. Yeah, I’m keeping my eye out for Sarah.

When the Worst Happens

When the Worst Happens

By Michael Pearl

Woe is the day when a good friend rages, “My little girl said that your son…” Or worse, you walk in on your boys and a neighbor kid in a state of undress, experimenting with their bodies. The horrors of discovering that your young teenage boy is addicted to the worst kinds of pornography, or catching your girls trading lurid notes with other girls or boys! I could go on and speak of the things you may discover about your sons or daughters at various ages, beginning at three or four years of age, but “it is a shame to even speak of those things done of them in secret.”

We get the ugly letters. Parents are shocked, angered, and then brokenhearted and finally despondent. In one very rigid family the parents discovered their teenage boys and girls were engaged in immorality, and the parents were so demoralized that they turned back to their pre-church, pre-homeschool days of drinking, smoking, and bar hopping. The whole family went to hell. But one of the girls, after several years of marriage, experienced the new birth through faith in Jesus Christ, and it is she who wrote their story, now dismayed for her wayward parents.

There is no safe place. You cannot move to heaven. Even our little church and tight community discovers untoward behavior among some of the children from time to time. The Amish and Mennonite community has its share of horse dung now and then. You can isolate your children from all outside influences, yet they will discover and cultivate the lord of the flies lurking in their own flesh. Most kids have had some sort of sexual contact before they reach puberty.

We parents expect the best of our children. We train them to do what is right and protect them from evil influences. We are concerned when we see moral tragedies all around us, awful failures, kids taking the short road to hell. We know something like that could never happen to our children, for we are Christians and our kids are brought up to know right from wrong. Yes, we should have the highest of expectations, but if the unexpected happens and the devil dumps on our doorstep, do we know how to respond? Sometimes our parental response to a child’s divergence into the profoundly ugly is the deciding factor as to whether it is a one time curiosity or a permanent turn down the road to perdition.

We hear too many stories from shocked and horrified parents. “How could this happen? I didn’t believe my son was capable of this. We did everything right.” And it’s true. You can do everything right and your children can still end up exposed to the sins of Sodom, the adultery of David and the fornication of Samson. The question is, have you gone beyond just “raising them right” to taking proactive steps to arm them against the day of dark temptation?

Innocence is no hedge

I am amazed at parents’ belief that they and their children are somehow immune to the depravity of the human race, that good is the default position in their family. If I didn’t have a Holy Bible, I would definitely believe in a sinful nature. Observable phenomena are indisputable. Universal depravity is more certain than taxes or death. Yet by the grace of God, through his Word and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be overcomers in this world, and we can train up our children in the way they should go so they will not depart from it, but such is the supernatural exception, common to those who fear God, not the status quo.

Children are not born with our values. They do not come into the world good. They come innocent. And innocence is a two way street, with no signs—only desire. Just as innocence provides no propensity to evil, it provides no protection from the false promises of the fun of experimentation. All options are equal in the mind of a child who has not yet come to a full knowledge of good and evil, something that comes to complete fruition by at least age 19. That which is morally obvious to us adults is to a child nothing more than two flavors. Why should one be eaten and the other shunned? They know not. So they taste all that is available until they develop a taste one way or the other. Eve couldn’t discern any difference between the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that led to death and the tree that would perpetuate life. She didn’t possess the experience and maturity to differentiate—as is the case with all children. But innocence is no hedge against the consequences inherent in any departure from the holy and pure.

The surprise and shock experienced by parents stems from children’s ability to originally conceive sin. Not all sins are copycats; not all spring from temptations without. Where children are concerned, there are many original sins. The natural appetites of flesh and mind are sufficient to account for the sins of youth. “A child left to himself will bring his mother to shame”, but even a child well guarded and properly instructed will, like Eve, be tempted to taste the forbidden fruit, knowing not that a flaming sword will part them from their garden of innocence.

Reverse trend

I have noticed a trend down through the years. Some parents are suspicious and distrusting of the flesh of their children and of the human race in general. They know their teen boys are going to, at the very least, take a mind trip down the road of immorality. These discerning parents know their young sons are going to come in contact with queer bait boys and grabbing girls. They are wisely suspicious of the preacher’s sons, the choir director’s girls, the old man teaching Sunday school, and the woman giving piano lessons. Then there are those parents who seem to trust everybody in the church and anyone who maintains a respectable lifestyle and has a good reputation. They act as if evil comes with a devil suit and a sign. They allow their children to run in a herd with other kids and believe evil resides on the other side of the tracks only.

If experience had not taught me something different, I would believe that parents who expect evil and take extra steps to guard their children are the ones who had rough pasts, and that parents who are naively trusting that their kids “would never do anything like that” are the innocent ones who have never seen true evil up close. Surprisingly, not so. Often parents who have come from the dark side of the tracks think they left evil behind and that their children could not possibly get involved in the things they experienced in the sick and seedy world of their pasts. Those of us who were brought up in the church and protected from societal evil can examine our own hearts and know that innocence is no haven against imaginations of the flesh.

Two- to six-year-olds

What do you do if you suddenly discover you have a child that has been dancing with the devil? This is the most important thing I will say to you, so listen carefully: When the worst happens, do not assume it is all over. Do not go into mourning. Do not persecute the child. Don’t give up. Know that there is yet plenty of hope.

I am not merely telling you to keep a positive attitude like the doctor might tell you to do after informing you that you have brain cancer. Hear me now. Statistically speaking, a young child who engages in shameful behavior is not by any means destined to be a pervert. Now think back to when you were a child. Did you ever get alone with a cousin or sibling and discuss the intimacies of what mommies and daddies do in private? Do you ever remember out of curiosity examining a member of the same or opposite sex? Did you ever view pornography? Did it make a pervert out of you? Did it totally destroy your life? A small percentage will say it was the first step to a downward road. For most it was just a passing discovery. I am not minimizing the seriousness of childhood participation in aberrant behavior, but I would like to minimize your emotional response, to prevent you from reacting in a way that is going to leave horrible scars where there would otherwise be quick healing, or maybe no wound at all.

According to age and need

Our response should be measured according to the needs and age of the child. The key is to discern the heart of the child. Children under five may see their parents or someone on television making love. Be sure, like everything else the world offers, they are going to try kissing or fondling any other boy or girl, sibling or friend, just to see why adults find such delight in it. When they find it to be quite boring, they will give up the idea and try a different flavor of ice cream. Unless they are led on by older children who do find excitement and stimulation, the little ones will not be harmed by curious investigation of their bodies or of others their age. Their exploration is certainly not desirable and may be a warning flag, but it does not mean you have a sexually active four-year-old.

If you should catch your very young children in this kind of unseemly behavior, do not blow your lid and go ballistic. First, without any show of emotion (difficult, I know,) evaluate the scene. Do they display guilt at being discovered thus? If not, then just say, “Put your clothes back on and stop that. That is what mamas and daddies do, not children.” Show a normal amount of irritation or mild anger as you would at a common infraction of the rules. Then make a show of forgetting it. But don’t forget it; keep an eye on them and make sure that is the end of it. You don’t want to attach guilt or shame to something they will otherwise forget for lack of significance. Don’t make more of the event than they made of it. Then in your regular Bible story time with them, teach the law of God concerning adultery, incest, fornication, etc., but at an appropriate level to their age and understanding.

Now what if the young children respond with strong guilt or shame? Make sure it is not just a reflection of the shock and shame on your face. If it is a true reflection of their souls, chances are this is not the first time and they are deriving some kind of illicit pleasure out of the event. They are knowingly violating their consciences. You have a sinner in the house.

It is yet important to remain calm and in control. You need to separate the kids and talk to each one individually. As much as it pains you, get the whole story. It is now important to express controlled shame and disgust at their deeds, but not so intensely as to cause them to clam up. They need to see your sadness, your tears, your grief, but this will pass, so allow them space for repentance. Don’t create an atmosphere that will prevent them from feeling loved and forgiven.

I have suggested that if the small child seems to be doing nothing more than experimenting out of curiosity, don’t highlight the moment by making a big deal out of it, and wait until later to teach them about Sodom and Gomorrah and the sin and judgment of King David. But if there is great guilt and shame, if this is a secret sin to the child, the time to teach is right now. Again, stay calm and in control. They have a spanking coming. If there are children involved who are not your own, and you feel the other parents will share your approach to discipline, and they are immediately available, they should be called to participate in the “court proceedings.” If you feel the other parents are not going to sympathize with your approach, separate out any that are not your own children and then deal with your kids alone.

After briefly defining their transgression and telling them the evil of their deeds, with all of your children that were involved present, spank them soundly. If you are not in control of your emotions, save the spanking until you are. Do no harm to the child. That would be counterproductive. They need to see a dignified judge passing sentence, not an out of control personal response of violence. If they are expecting a spanking, by getting it out of the way, they will be more focused on what you have to say. Now sit them down for a serious Bible study on their sin and the consequences.

If there are other children in the house who are aware of the foul deed, and are old enough to benefit from the teaching, they should sit in on the session as well. As you teach, it will be appropriate to continue to express limited grief and sadness. More is caught than taught. You should have already been teaching these things to your kids in your regular Bible story lessons, but if not, now is the time. For those who feel completely inept at teaching, for two months I am making available, free of charge, an audio message that instructs kids in Biblical prohibitions against sexual sins. As a preventive measure, Deb and I addressed the subject to our children at least once a year, and from time to time they heard instruction and warning in sermons and adult Bible classes. All the children, of any age, sat in on the teaching.

Seven to twelve-year-olds

Even where it concerns older children, all is not lost. There will be better days. Do you remember the story we have told of the beautiful homeschooled girl, lying in an uninsulated one room shack with no water, electricity, or heat, delivering the baby of an empty headed boyfriend? Deb, my wife, functioned as her midwife and then brought her and the child into our home to recover. The offended and insulted parents had shunned her to hide their own shame and protect the rest of the children from her bad influence. But her life got even worse after she married the father of her child and he took her to live in his father’s house. It wasn’t long before she discovered dark deeds involving a stepmother and trade ups made in the night, things I cannot describe without being vulgar beyond bounds accepted in state prisons.

She took her baby and fled to where even we could not locate her. The parents were brokenhearted to the point of treating her as if she were never born. It took about two years for her to surface. Today, fifteen years later, she is happily married to a fine man and has several more children by him. She is still a lovely person and no one would ever know that she walked the valley of the shadow of shame. I do not know how she now relates to her parents, but I wonder if they wish they had acted with a little more grace and hope. I have seen too many parents deal with a crisis like this by taking on a permanent state of sadness and rejection. They end up destroying the rest of the family and drive them all out of the home early.

Teenagers can be amazingly volatile and foolish. They can scream they hate you and never want to see you again, disappear out of your life seemingly forever, and one year later be sitting at your kitchen table chatting like nothing ever happened. When they are thirty-five years old, married and with several kids, they will shake their heads in embarrassment at their foolish years. The question is, will you still be a part of their lives, or will you have responded with such anger and criticism that they chose to live without you?

So what does it mean and how should you handle it when a seven-to twelve-year-old diverges into some form of sexual curiosity or activity? The age brackets I discuss are not rigid. You must understand the principle and adjust to the needs of your child. First, know that at this age it has the possibility of being serious. You must get all the facts first. If you immediately show great anger, they will likely clam up on you. Try to appear calm and objective as you ask questions. If it takes an hour to wear them down to telling all, then stay with it until you are confident you have gotten all the details. “Has this been going on for a long time? When and with whom did it start? What other expressions have you indulged in? Why do you do it? What has influenced you to do this—television, videos, computer, a peek at mommy and daddy, seeing someone else, viewing pornography in a magazine, contact with an adult?”

Then ask them how they feel about what they were doing in secret. You want to discover how deeply they are violating their consciences. If you have not exposed your children to teaching against sexual promiscuousness, and have not taught them Bible stories that warn against such, then they may consider it not much more than stealing a cookie. If you determine this to be the case, it does not lessen the ramifications of the events, but it does modify the way you respond. Now is the time to show grief and sadness while you teach and instruct them against such practices. Commence a daily Bible study in which you teach the stories of God’s displeasure and judgment against sexual sins. Teach on sexual sins every day for about two weeks and then leave the subject and teach the greatness of God and his goodness and mercy and forgiveness. Teach the book of John or Mark, story by story all the way through. Teach the Psalms and especially Proverbs. As you come to the subject in Scripture, teach against sexual promiscuousness at least once a month.

If, before the events, your children have been well taught about the sinfulness of their deeds and they have indulged anyway, the problem is much more serious. They do not fear God and do not believe his Word. Ask yourself why and remedy that problem in the future. Willful sinners, of any age, who turn away from their consciences are on the road to addiction and perdition. You need to bring the Biblical truth to bear in such a way that they fear to walk the dark path. In your teaching time, recount the horrors of hell and eternal suffering.

Children who have violated their consciences will need to be soundly spanked after they have understood the awfulness of their sin. Their souls need the release that judgment brings. This will be one of those rare times when you give them more licks, distributed over a wider area so as not to bruise or damage the skin. They need to know this is an especially dark deed deserving of special judgment.

How should you respond when post puberty children engage in sexual conduct?

I know you understand this is a different matter altogether. Girls do not just grow into sexual interest and passion. They must be conditioned to it by some outside influence. But boys develop sexual passion by just going through puberty. No one need tell them anything. It is their destiny. Parents and the church must prepare boys for the transformation and temptation their hormones will bring. If a boy just follows his drives, he will become a predator and quickly develop into a deviant. Passion, fire, aggression, and violence are in the members of all fourteen-year-old boys. Only though self-restraint and discipline can a young man contain his passions and wait his turn to “possess his vessel in sanctification and honor”. I know of only two things that can constrain a young man—the morals and restraints of community, and the Word of God.

All that we said concerning your response to a pre-puberty child is true here, but there is an important added element: you are now dealing with an adult—in various degrees, depending on age and maturity. The only restraint will be self-restraint. The kid must repent, change his mind about his actions and choose to suffer the pains of temptation in self-denial. Only by the power of the gospel in his life will this happen. Once the flower blooms there is no putting it back in the bud. The trick is to now keep it in the flower stage until it can be taken to a wedding.

How should we relate to children other than our own?

Once, a parent came to my wife shocked and upset. Her five year old son came to her telling how another boy, eight years old, had cornered him in an aggressive manner and demanded to see his “PP.” The five year old was afraid of the older boy but refused to expose himself. Good training! The mother acted as if she had just lost her innocence. “How could this happen among good Christian families?” Probably because they are sons of Adam, made of flesh. If you think otherwise you are naive at best.

Now how should this mother and father relate to the family with the PP-peeking pervert? The short answer is, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17-18). Look at the wording, “mark them.” Put a mark on them so you and everyone else can “avoid” them.

As far as your children are concerned, the offender is as taboo as a rattlesnake. The offender will probably grow up to be normal, but know that he is part of the pool that will produce the small percentage of perverts that decorate the walls of post offices and occupy the cells of prisons. You should have compassion for the offender, and if you are in a position to minister to him, do so, but your first duty is to protect your children from rattlesnakes by never allowing them in the same yard together. That is not to say that you take your children and go home if the offender’s family ends up at the same gathering as yours, but it does mean that by all means you quietly and inoffensively take whatever steps are necessary to keep your children from ever spending five seconds alone in his presence. By alone I mean standing and talking within sight but out of hearing.

We want to be balanced and compassionate. What if you are the parent of the offender? Would you want others to just throw your son away? Would you want the church and community to publicly mark him as a pervert? Of course not. Then do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You have two separate responsibilities. You must first assure the protection and sanctity of your son, and then you must do what you can to save the offender from his untoward behavior. Keep in mind that the offender will most likely grow up to be quite normal. It could have been just a moment of curiosity. We do not want to publicly destroy the young boy or girl and thereby force them into a life of isolation and anger.

On the other hand, even if the event (and possibly several others like it) does not cause the boy to grow up to be a pervert or a predator, know that his possibly passing display of voyeurism or curious moment of exploration could have much more negative consequences on those whom he infects. He might grow up to be normal while he leaves behind weaker souls who grow up to hang out in the men’s rooms at interstate rest stops. We must be protectors first and healers second—but never persecutors.

Repeat offenders

If a nine-year-old is a repeat offender and has on more than one occasion tried to see the private members of another boy or girl, it is obvious that he has a chronic problem. Mark him to your children, by discussing the evil of his ways. Let your children see an attitude of disgust on the one hand and compassion and pity on the other. During your family worship time and in your bed time prayers, pray for the offender’s lost soul.

Never allow your children to play with or even talk to the child. It won’t do any good to change churches. Kids everywhere are offenders. Where you are now, at the very least, you have identified one offender. There are others in the same group—in any group, without exception.

Deb spotted two post-puberty Amish girls in the creek feeling each other. When she confronted them they confessed that several of the girls carried on in such a manner in the two stall privy at the one room school house. When Deb had them confess to their parents, the parents were so uncomfortable discussing it that they dismissed her and buried the whole thing with silence. The girls appear to have grown up to be “normal,” except one.

Pretend it never happened

Many parents will pretend it never happened, or if it did happen it doesn’t mean anything. Once, in our own church service, a visiting girl who is homeschooled but attends a public church passed a note to one of our girls who has been known to offend. The note said… I can’t tell you what it said, but it had the strongest of lesbian content. The parents brushed it off with a smile and the remark, “Oh, you know, kids will be kids.” Yeah, and kids will be little Sodomites and fornicators as well. Remember, children died in Sodom and Gomorrah just like the adults. And when God sent Israel to possess wicked Canaan, he told them to kill every man, woman, and child. Yes, they could not adopt one of the beautiful little two year old girls, for the whole nation was conditioned to great immorality and infected with disease.

Judge and Jury

Do not become a persecutor of the offenders. Don’t act vindictively. Don’t despise the parents. Put yourself in their place. You could be there three years from now. Have compassion. Be sympathetic. By all means, protect your children, but don’t give your own kids cause to see you as hostile. You may generate sympathy for the offender and render yourself dislikeable in the eyes of your own kids.

Fourteen to eighteen-year-olds

There are two kinds of teenage offenses—consensual and predatory. Our response should reflect that difference. Predators should be reported to the law and incarcerated. It will be the end of their moral life, for they will be placed in a government institution with other perverts where they will prey on one another and learn all the foul arts of Sodom. It is sad, but under Mosaic law they would have been stoned to death.

If you have teenagers that descend into the dark pit of sexual promiscuousness, it is too late to parent them into a course correction. When the member gets out of the pants it cannot be put back in except by the crucifying power of the Holy Spirit. (See my series, Sin No More.) Your job will be to manage them in a manner that minimizes the impact of their sin upon the rest of the family and upon others with whom they come in contact.

If they are cooperative and repentant, thank God and show mercy and forgiveness. Offer support and try to normalize the relationship.

If you become aware your child is involved in consensual sexual activity with a child about the same age, you must view both of them as equally guilty even though one of them may have been initially the experienced predator. There are too many variations for me to cover all the possibilities.

Extremes

My readers come in a variety of extremes. I know that it is impossible to communicate clearly with all of you. Some are so “compassionate” and afraid to offend that they will believe the best, cover sins with silence, and ignorantly act as if all is well, giving evil the cloak it needs to continue its insidious, undetected infestation. Other of my readers are “fearless defenders of the truth” who pride themselves in their stand for righteousness. They will recklessly condemn the guilty and mark in bright red the offenders, hounding them with condemnation until they are driven out of the company of “decent folks.” I would have to speak in the extreme, one way or the other, to reach the radical left and right on this or any issue. I am sad to confess that most of my readers will only remember those words that enforce their already preconditioned perspectives. The compassionate will avoid judgment and the judgmental will refuse to show compassion, as has been their manner all along.

Conflicted

I must confess that I am conflicted. Part of me would like to mark all the sinning children, separate our families, and shun the offenders altogether. But there is another part of me that wants to redeem the sinning children and weep with parents who must deal with these issues. One of the things that gives me hope is my many years of experience. God is merciful and longsuffering, and I have seen him forgive people I wouldn’t have buried with my dead dog. I have observed as God lifts a piece of trash from the ground and holds it to his heart. As I watch in awe, it turns into a lovely son or daughter of God. The useless is united with heaven itself, and he is not ashamed to call them brethren. I don’t want to get to heaven and find God hugging something I threw away.

So, I say again, first protect your children, and then reach out in compassion to lost souls of any age. Secure the safety of your family and then become missionaries to an evil world. Just because the devil is clutching something, don’t fear to reach for it with a hand of mercy and a heart of grace. The blood of Jesus Christ covers a multitude of sin. (See my teaching from the book of Hebrews.)

“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6: 11).

Help Me Help You

There is so much I didn’t say and couldn’t cover in the space allowed. I am no expert on the subject. I am not a counselor on sexual matters. I would be glad to leave this subject to those more qualified, but there is a vacuum I have tried to fill. I welcome your input. It may well be that I am blind to some of the issues or have overlooked good solutions. As you share your perspectives I will learn from you and take that into consideration when addressing this subject in the future.

Be,do have. – A repeat serries.

By Ozias Mucheriwa

This is the order of life and of every other form of achievement. Be, do and have. In life you get what you are. This might be a bit hard for me to explain but I will try. You cannot have what you are not. In life we always get what we are. This truth manifests itself in relationships, business and life in general. Your surroundings and circumstances are usually a reflection of what you are. A realisation of this profound truth can result in a significant leap into the world of success and happiness.

It is not what we get that is important but what we become. Becoming is the most important science that any person aspiring to develop a self-propelled upward spiral should strive for. Many people when offered opportunities to handle huge and challenging projects, are quick to ask, “What’s in it for me?” That is the last question a focussed person should ask. The right question to ask is, (and I’m giving you this for free), “What am I becoming?” It is what you become that determines your success in life, not what you get. Once you become, getting becomes inevitable.

Let us start with relationships. Finding the right person in a relationship is not dependent on some mysterious compatibility quotient. It is found in being the right person. Being the right person is a matter of working on yourself to become that kind of person your partner cannot only live with but cannot live without. You obviously have some bad elements that can drive your partner off the wall and only you has the power chisel them out. Sometimes you could wish to change your partner when it is actually your bad habits that cause him or her to behave in the manner they do. Instead of fighting to change someone, changing yourself can play the trick that you’ve been yearning for, for years. After becoming the right person no force that can impede your reception of good and harmonious relationships.

In business you can become a prosperous business person but that starts again with becoming a success. As a man thinketh so is he. How you view the world of money and business. You need to peel folklore from history and from fact. Avoid opinions such as:

•Success in business calls for a degree dishonesty
•For you to gain, others have to lose
•You have to be a skinflint to succeed in the world of business
You become a success first before it manifests in the physical. This is because premature wealth always leads to misery and regret. You should not get rich above your level of self-development as this is bound to make the riches think for you making you a slave of riches. Before you run helter-skelter looking for wealth work on developing yourself to become a better person.

Once you become, it becomes easy to act in a manner consistent with the person you have become. The fact is, once you become the deeds come on naturally and those deeds attract wealth. Acts of success follow a person of success. Do the acts that correspond with your being i.e. who you are or rather who you have become.

After passing these stages you can then have whatever you want. When you acquire things after you have become and done, you are sure to retain them. Following the order of things will take you far. I guess that is why Dr Stephen Covey had to dedicate a whole chapter in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective people to doing First Things First. The majority fight to have things that the rich have when they are poor in mind. The only area where poverty is recommend is in spirit but if you become poor in mind the results become interesting. Off the point. Never mind.

Be, do and have.

Tension in the home

Herbert Mtowo Tension in the home
When home life becomes sour, husbands and wives tend to fall into predictable patterns. While these are not universal they do have historic and Biblical recognition. So, I want to point out the patterns which you are tempted to fall into and the Biblical solution to wrong responses.
Interpersonal relationship is made difficult by the fact that it is “personal” – inter-personal. We look for close affectional bonds and relationships of mutual respect and trust. We want to be loved, appreciated, valued, empowered, given room to express ourselves and so on. These ideals are anchored deep in our “personal” self.
Stop Being Personal
When someone offends us or strains our relationship with them it is hard not to take that personally. When we take it personally we spiral into predictable patterns and responses.
The solution, then, is to stop being “personal” about life. But that’s like saying, “Stop breathing!” We are so distracted by our inner self and our hopes, dreams, insecurities, fears, longings, and so on, that it is hard not to be “personal” about them. In fact, for many people, EVERYTHING is personal!
You stop being “personal” about life, not by numbing or destroying your inner self, but by resolving and releasing your inner self. When you find true love, joy and peace, with wholeness, confidence, trust in God, faith in God’s Word, release from your inner slaveries, and similar spiritual impacts of walking with God, your inner self is realized and released. You can then soar above the regular or even more challenging issues of life, like an eagle soaring high above a storm.
You will “mount up with wings like an eagle”!
Back to Earth
Eagle Shmeagle! What’s the point of this talk about eagles when you live like a Turkey among a bunch of Turkeys?! While soaring above the problems is your ideal and the goal of your life, the reality is that most people can’t even jump, let alone soar above the issues.
Humans are incredibly useless creatures. We are tied up in the things of our “flesh”, such as our pride, lusts, evil heart responses, sin, weakness, selfishness, independence, and so on. Man does not have the key to unlock his problems or the wisdom to plot his own path.
“O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 10:23
That’s why New Year’s Resolutions generally don’t work. Those resolutions rely on flawed creatures, who can’t save themselves.
Man’s hope is not in himself. It is not in the strength of will or the force of personality. It is not in controls and regulations. Man needs the input of the Divine to empower him to overcome the limits of the Temporal.
Lead Feet
Your lead feet keep you on the ground. Your lead feet are those things that hold you to the ground and make it impossible for you to fly. And that includes all of your “fleshly” aspects. Your flesh buys into life at the level of your self-interest, lusts, pride and folly.
“And the LORD said, my spirit will not always strive with man, because he is also flesh….” Genesis 6:3a
Your “flesh” is your lead shoes. If you can die to your flesh, you can soar. If you insist on protecting your selfish interests (your fleshly focus) you will never escape your problems and your slavery.
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:24
Personal is Personal
Inter-“personal”- relationships are “personal”. They are ‘person to person’. The more open and honest each person is with the other then the deeper and richer the relationship. A formal relationship is not personal. And when one party is not interested in being open and honest with the other then deep relationship is not really possible.
Now, when an issue gets “personal” it is because it has impacted the personal limitations of one or other of the people. Something is only “personal” because it challenges the “person”. That’s why in some homes and communities certain things are discussed that others will never mention, because those things are too “personal”.
One person may speak openly about their failures while others take their whole life trying to hide any of their failures.
Personal Vulnerabilities
If you are full of personal vulnerabilities then just about everything will be personal to you. Those who are delightfully free on the inside don’t get personal about things that come up. They can face the issues without feeling their inner self compromised or challenged. They don’t have fears or shame to contend with. So the issue is a “light” one to them, while it is unbearably “heavy” to others.
So, the limitations upon interpersonal relationships relate directly to the quality of the persons involved. Tensions in the home result from each member taking things personally, based on their “flesh” perspective on life. The more pride, selfishness and unresolved issues a person has, the more things that come up will be “personal” to them. They will not be able to dismiss things or forgive others as freely as they should.
Predictable Patterns
Because humans are not free from their limitations there are predictable patterns which are repeated over and over again, through history. I will explore these patterns in greater detail in the next posts in this series. Allow me here to point out the predictable patterns which you will clearly recognize.
When women, especially wives, are offended or upset in a relationship, they tackle their husband or those they have taken issue with a tenacity that will not let the matter rest. Women tend to go on the offensive with words and persistence that may drive their husband crazy. He is likely to say, “She won’t let up!”
When men, including husbands, are offended or upset in a relationship, they tend to shut down and withdraw from the offender. If the offence is serious enough a man will erect barriers between himself and the offender. Those barriers can be completely impenetrable. A wife is likely to say, “He just shuts down and locks me out of his life!”
The Solution
The simple solution, and this is a perfectly real solution despite its simplicity, is to become free from “self”. When we live for God, outside our own selfish orientation, we can rise above the demands, foibles and limitations of our humanness and fleshly self.
We are not able to achieve that of our own will. We need God to make that possible for us. Don’t give up by saying, “I could never do that!” You are not supposed to do it. You are supposed to let God do it in you and for you.
So, no matter how much you have messed up your relationships there is a powerful solution. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. And it will be wonderfully effective. And all of this will be more fully explained later in this series.

Looking into the future.. Repea tserries.