Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pray, Daddy, Pray!

There have been a few surprises in the results of our teen questionnaire, but I believe this week's question surprised me the most. Taking into consideration that we polled Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) Church's young people, I found the following quite surprising:
How many times have you heard your father pray at home?
A. Never 30%
B. Every day 52%
C. Occasionally 18%

I figured the "every day" to be a little higher, the "occasionally" to be much higher, and the "never" to be almost 'o'. To my surprise, 30% of our IFB teens have NEVER heard their daddy pray at home.
Now for certain, there will be some teens whose fathers are not saved and this would be understandable, but in light of other answers and the types of homes that were surveyed, this is an unbelievable statistic!
I believe this is a result of the demasculizing of men and the loss of understanding what true Biblical manhood is.
I heard a preacher this week define modern manhood as being defined by our culture as the 'three B's': Ballfield, Bedroom, and Billfold. Today's man is defined by those three in the world, and sadly in most Christian homes. How a man performs and how wealthy he is seem to be the epitome of what a man is today. In the Bible this is NOT SO!
A Biblical man is one who does the following:
1. Teaches His children the Word and Principles of God (Deut 6:1-8)
2. Loves His Wife (Eph. 5:33)
3. Works Hard (Luke 13:14)
4. Is a Godly testimony (Titus 2:2)
5. Does not provoke his children to wrath(Eph. 6:4)
6. Admonishes or encourages his children (Eph. 6:4)
7. Nurtures his family (Eph. 6:4) The word 'nurture' found in this verse means proper discipline and training of mind, moral, and soul. These are what a Biblical Father does! A man cannot accomplish any of these without a consistent prayer life!
It is no wonder that so many of our young people see their mothers as the leaders in the home (32%) when men are not taking their responsibility seriously! It is the father that should lead in family devotions, the father that should lead in prayer in times of great need, the father that prays around the supper table, and the father that is seen consistently on his knees in personal prayer. We need praying fathers!
Now, please don't misunderstand me; I believe a mother should be seen and heard praying as well; but it ought to be understood that daddy is the "prayer leader" of the home.
We are losing a generation of young people to the world, and a sure fire weapon to battle this trend is a father who intercedes and prays with and for his family.
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
Job 1:1-5

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Are we having fun yet?

This is seemingly a pretty simple, cut-and-dry topic. As a parent, your child should sit with you, end of story. However, knowing the society in which we live, where the child often dictates to the parent instead of vice versa, it is no surprise that the young person often sits anywhere they please. So what's the big deal, you may ask. At least they're in church; that's the important thing, right? Well, let's look at it from the opposite perspective. Why would they not want to sit with their parents? They can get away with more; they can pass notes or "text"; they can slouch through the service; they can skip the singing; they can stare at the ground during the preaching and not pay attention. You're right - there is absolutely no reason why we should not let our children sit where they please. But, you may argue, my child wouldn't do that. Perhaps, but how do you know if you're not there to watch them? Here's the real bottom line - in churches today, generally the focus is on feeling good, and having fun. With this mindset, we want our young people to "enjoy the service", and so we let them do what they want. Problem is, where is that philosophy found in Scripture? It's not. Church is not about having fun. I know that sounds great, but it's true. Can you enjoy going to church? Yes, if you go with a desire to learn, and hear from the Lord, church will be a blessing. Unfortunately, many go with a welfare mentality, looking only to get what they can. The more I study the Bible, the more I see God blesses when we put out an effort, when we purpose to seek Him, when we begin to hunger and thirst after righteousness. We've been so conditioned in our society to expect something for nothing, that we have taken that attitude to God. God, however, lives beyond our culture, His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. It's time we stop trying to bring God down to us, and lowering His standards to fit our comfort zone. In closing, working with young people, I have found a very important truth - those who are in submission to authority and are right with them, have a good time no matter what they do; those who are not, always seem to struggle to keep a smile on their face and are always searching for something new and exciting to satisfy their desires and passions. While it is no sin to sit with a friend, it tells a lot about the condition of the heart, and as it says in Proverbs 4:23 - Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.