Tag Archives: Parenting

GOD, THE FATHER

July 1, 2019

When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. Ps. 27:10

The recent Father’s Day weekend was the time to talk about fathers and I wrote about it but there is so much more to this topic that it deserves much more time.  Much of what is wrong with us personally and in the world can be traced back to the wrong image of the father.  Men in our society as husbands, fathers and leaders are upset because they want to rule our world and they want women to sit down, learn from them and do what they say.  The problem is though if you do not have the right image or relationship with Father God, you are in no position to lead but God is faithful to send leaders help in various forms.  Even though Adam fell in the Garden of Eden, God had already instructed Adam regarding leadership, relationships and authority.  True knowledge comes from God (Pro. 2:6).

The nation of America today is in dire need of the Father’s image and the revelation of His love.  Though oftentimes men believe their problem is the women, they have held the reins of authority for millenniums and yet have produced world wars that destroyed multitudes.  God, as Father, has revealed Himself as, not only strength, but loving, caring, sharing, protecting and sacrificially giving of Himself.  So many men of our generation in top levels of society are reflecting God and authority as the complete opposite of His nature by emphasizing taking rather than giving, abusive of the weak rather than defending them, and demanding respect while revealing contempt rather than love.  Churches with better knowledge and spiritual insight promote a prosperity message with a wrong focus on spiritual leaders gaining their tangible wealth while promising wealth to others. We have a president as the head of our nation who is ill prepared to represent the concepts of fatherhood and family to society.  We have men in politics, businesses and churches who are trying to hold up his position as proper authority because he represents their authority as well; but it is an impossible task.  God is being misrepresented by many men of authority in our society.  How can the world be right if its teachers are in error?  Jesus’ mission to Jerusalem brought correction of the wrong image of God, showed proper authority and revealed the Father in truth.  We have a loving Father who rules in mercy and who Lords over every aspect of our lives with love; and He expects a proper reflection His image.

Our society is full of broken vessels trying to mend others when they do not possess a true image of God, family and wholeness.  God wants to heal the brokenness of leaders before they set a pattern for others.  The image of wholeness, as a person, family and society comes from the knowledge of God who created all these relationships.  When men who lead do not submit to God as their leader and instructor and then fail to receive the help and warnings God sends, that is a recipe for disaster.  Leaders with a broken image of life are still in position to demand conformity to their authority even against the better instincts of those they lead.  People tend to resist that which is unnatural and against their conscience of right and wrong.  This type of conflict produces causes a warring in relationships, families, churches, societies and nations as we are now seeing in our everyday lives.   But “when a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Pro.16:7).  Man out of alignment with God causes disruptions in our society.

 The cure for what ails us was provided from the beginning. God, who talked to Adam continually about how to be a husband, father and caretaker, has always been available to teach all men.  Men are expected to lay a sound foundation on which a home and family is built.  If the floors sink or the walls lend, it can be traced back to the man who laid a bad foundation.  Brute men may rise up to force their ways upon the weak in society and nations, but God, who defends the poor and needy, intervenes in family disruptions and wars between countries to pull down aggression and restore peace.  God watches over all our relationships intervening when necessary to preserve the meek that trust in Him and His creation.

 What if we understood that this is the missing link?  What if we understood that returning to the knowledge of God the Father would restore things in proper order?  What if fathers got saved, returned home and restored their families.  What if leaders heard the warning God sends and realized that they needed God’s help to lead?  What if we all woke up and experienced a longing to commune with the Father, accepted Christ and sought out restoration?

Do men realize that the longing for sexual love beyond their wives is a longing for the love of God?  Do they realize that their desire for power is a God-given gift to rule their portion of the earth in the right way?  Do they realize that their yearning for more and more wealth is a longing for recognition and approval that only Father God can give them?  Do they realize that the lack of appreciation they experience within the family is a symptomatic of their failure to love with the love only God can give for a reciprocal love?  What if we understood all these things that God, the Father, has been trying to teach us?  What if man, who is the head, obeyed his Head (God) and used authority in a fatherly love?

To broke vessels: God is reaching out to restore wholeness through giving us the right image of His nature.  I was a broken vessel (some may mock that I still am) but one day I met the Master, who has healed my brokenness by revealing Himself as Father.  When I heard God’s message and the sacrifice of Christ for my sins, I believed it.  I took hold of it like a hungry person stumbling across the desert finding a piece of bread. For those who know my life and wondered about certain aspects of it, just imagine again that hungry person and someone try to take that piece of bread away.  Imagine someone trying to take the life raft from someone sinking in the ocean.  God is our life raft in an ocean of trouble and we have to fight against all odds to separate us by holding on to the life raft. 

What’s wrong with the world is that some people are trying to repair it in their own way but have no knowledge of God.  It is very difficult to put a square peg into a round hole but some ministers, politicians, teachers, business leaders and other male leaders are trying to do just that.  They have changed the rules to reflect a wrong image and expect multitudes to follow.  When the head is properly aligned, the body will follow. Because men usually possess leadership positions, oftentimes there is no one able to tell them they are wrong and some leaders lack wisdom to ask or hear godly counsel.  The very natural of men causes them to persist in authority even when they are wrong or ill equipped. Hard-headiness is not the nature of God nor does it reflect leadership strength.  God listened to Moses and changed His mind when He was determined to destroy disobedient Israel.  When those being led rise up in agonizing protest because their lives are miserable, ruthless men try to shut them up.  That is not the way God modeled or designed leadership authority.  Not all men conduct themselves this way but too many do.  Jesus took time to hear, show mercy, instruct, and give examples to clarify messages to his followers.  Jesus is also the answer for followers caught up in bad situations.  I am so glad God restored my image of the Father against all odds.  I am glad I accepted Jesus Christ as Savior despite all attempts to lead me astray.  Father God is invested in us and our success and He will complete the work He has started in us.

Our nation and world is in trouble because of lack of knowledge and relationship with God, the Father.  God has been trying to tell us to turn around and do things the right way but people, set in their own ways, are refusing to hear.  Even the earth is crying out that it won’t work our way.  The nation’s farms, foods harvested from them and the very environment we live in are rebelling against what man is doing in the earth.  Mankind is substituting the artificial for the real to fill in gaps and voids to prolong their own false design that is destined to fail.  What if on Father’s Day men would renew a devotion to following the True Father?

God is still reaching out to all mankind and saying:   

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”  Ps. 32:8 

 Why won’t we listen?  Many people have become tone deaf to the voice of God that is still speaking.  For those that have no teacher, God promises to teach you.  Father God is available to all who will seek Him.  He will put away your sin and cover you with a veil of love.  When you have no father, God is Father (Ps. 27:10).  When you have no one to love you, God is love.  When you are in despair, God will pick you up.  He is the one that will never leave nor forsake you.  He has been trying to tell us individually and as a nation and world that He is still there for us and He loves us with an everlasting love.  He is willing to guide us through the storm and His arms are still wide open to receive us.  There is nothing wrong with the Father or His image but are we reflecting His true image?

And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Co 6:18

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Whippings and the Image in the Mirror

Whippings…are they legal? Are whippings recommended or permissible for parents to administer to their children? The topic of whipping is trending today in newscasts and social media. Whippings are nothing new particularly for the black community who often grew up under the whipping belt or switch. Many parents in the black community believed that sparing the rod by withholding a good whipping spoiled the child and they had scripture to prove it.

Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. Pro 19:18

There is no doubt that a parent can be abusive in administering corporal punishment and certainly discipline should not be done in an unreasonable manner. But there are some people who are appalled that whipping is done at all. They were not reared with this kind of correction and believe it to be inhumane. Prisons are full of criminals and children that got no correction at home but yet we debate the use of proper corporal punishment while crimes by children have greatly risen from homes without proper discipline.

In the black community, parents believed strongly in corporal punishment and, to make things all the worst, parents would tell the misbehaving child to go get his own switch off the tree outside. And if he did not get a sufficient switch then the parent would go get a proper one off the tree. Many of us learned quickly not to misbehave from mere mention of a switch or a parent’s look that promised a good whipping when we got home. We grew up knowing to do right or we would receive punishment. Teachers, neighbors or other children would report our wrongdoings and we would be dealt with when we got home. But within this generation are many children and adults who were not reared with this fear of punishment for doing wrong. Too many children were consoled with treats as reward if they would just do right or stop misbehaving. Some children are routinely sent to their room or a privilege taken away as punishment for misbehaving. There are many ways of correcting children. Modern instructors believe that corporal punishment is improper. Certainly not all methods are effective and we still debate today about the right way to get misbehaving children to comply. It is true that balance and proper instruction is needed in administering discipline to a child and not all children can be disciplined with the same method.

While we debate whether or not to use corporal punishment for misbehaving children, God has never changed His word or His practice of correcting His children. God believes in the whip. After all the Holy Spirit recorded this instruction for all posterity: “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Pro 19:18). The whip referred to here evidently was severe enough to cause pain and crying. God has used the whip through the ages to discipline Israel and the nations of the world.

I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 2Sa 7:14

A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back. Pro 26:3

O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Psa 38:1

And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them. Eze 4:13

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Rev 3:19

And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt: And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. Jer 24:8-9

The principles of the bible are timeless and given by an Omniscient God who Fathered the first children and disciplined them through several methods. Scripture reveal that God uses various methods of disciplining His children. One of the ways God show adults their sin is through their children. If we look closely we can see our own bad habits and sins in children’s behavior because they are like their parents, the very image. A looking glass shows us our own image so we can see ourselves the way others see us. We look in the mirror to correct a hair out of place or clothes in disarray. Other things can be a mirror for us besides children. Other people committing our personal sin can be a mirror that can sometimes cause us unknowingly to judge our sin as well. David condemned himself by looking at such a mirror supplied by God.

And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; …Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. 2Sa 12:5-7, 9-14

These scriptures reveal that God use mirror imagery to reveal sin. In this example, the sinner was told the crime and punishment during the discipline as a teaching process.

God still uses the whip on individuals and nations to discipline bad behavior. We see God using the whip today but many do not recognize it because they do not understand or believe in use of the whip or use of corporal punishment. When people believe they are good, they cannot fathom being disciplined. God is whipping our nation and parts of the world today but America does not understand she is being whipped. She wonders what is going on because she is hurting but is not use to being whipped. The African American population, of all people, should understand but many black people are not paying attention to world events or are unconcerned. A great deal of Caucasian parents did not practice corporal punishment with their children and cannot easily recognize or understand these signs. But nevertheless America is being whipped to bring about correction. While America has refused Christian guidelines for moral behavior, they are, nevertheless, polling each other in society over what is acceptable or ethical behavior. Here is what God’s word has to say about this practice.

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. 2Co 10:12-13

When a child is disciplined they are usually told the reason and given a chance to repent. Because many people cannot hear God speaking, He is telling America its reason for being whipped through the visual pictures brought about by various reporting through the media. People are debating punishment in the news without realizing it. They are debating how to punish wrongdoing or fight back. The worst thing one can do when being whipped by a parent is to talk back, argue the punishment or fight back which usually brings twice the punishment. It is important to be careful what is said while under judgment.

Some people are looking in the mirror at their own behavior through the lives of others but not recognizing themselves because they have no righteous standard by which to judge. We are observing our nation go through a costly and time-consuming process of trying to improve on God’s plan for mankind. The Ten Commandments and the Word of God provided in the Old and New Testaments were planned as instruction to provide mirror imagery that would allow judgment of our own actions. This biblical resource answers the questions that people are still asking:
• What standard really measures what is moral and what is not?
• Is a man’s home his own personal kingdom allowing him to do what he wants?
• Are all people equal?
• Are women less valuable than men?
• Were women intended to be a mere tool for man’s pleasure?
• Is it okay to profit from other’s labor without proper compensation?
• Is wife beating a family matter?
• Is police brutality sanctioned as proper authority?
• What can be done about political corruption?
• What is the proper use of guns?
• Why are teenagers and adults committing suicide?
• What is the worth of the unborn life?
• Should the rich make the rules and lord over the poor?
• Do we owe respect to people in authority?

So while we look at this issue of whipping, we must admit that whippings were intended to be used by parents toward children as discipline and judgment for unrighteous behavior that would bring the child back to right behavior. Consider for yourself: After many years of practicing your particular type of discipline, has it proven to be successful for producing righteous, mature adults, ready for society. We do not agree as a nation about what is righteous behavior so it may take a while for many to see themselves through the mirrors presented before them. Let’s still hope and pray that we as individuals and nation realize the imagery in the mirror and correct bad behavior.

Written: September 19, 2014