The Malleable Family of God!

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6 Modern English Version (MEV)

Being a parent is honestly the hardest job we will ever endeavor to take on. There is no rule book, no one piece of advice that is the magic bullet, and as much as we struggle it all comes down to our own abilities in how our children turn out. I say this because I work with children who are growing into young adults and listen to their parents who agonize over all their decisions and honestly are caught in the proverbial trap of social media and mobile devices that has shrunk our world. But I find this one proverb still holds a measure of truth from the moment it was penned to this very day, train your children in the virtues of God and they will never depart from it.

The next hardest job we are born into is being a sibling, a son or daughter, a cousin, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece. Each of these roles within a family help to shape the children within our family no matter the distance in time or space. Each role is important as their unique opinion or life experience can lend a helping hand to mold the malleable minds of every other member of the family from the oldest to the youngest. If done correctly a father can rely on a brother or sister to reach a child with a perspective that is different from that of the parent. A grandparent can approach the problem from a life filled with experience and wisdom. Cousins can speak about generational concerns with words more familiar. Each member of the family is important in their own way. Here is the downside: these are roles we must want to take on and take pride in their fulfillment.

I say these things to you my brothers and sisters to bring home the truth about God, one that is earth-shattering and so fundamental to our own growth and preparations in becoming parents ourselves. God our Father in Heaven is the only source of love and forgiveness. He alone gave the gift of love, demonstrated how it works, and proved he practices what he preaches in the forgiving of all our sins through Jesus Christ, his only son. So, in everything I preach, I always bring it down to love and forgiveness. I will always remind people that though we are not perfect in our obligations of being a parent, a sibling, uncle, aunt, son, daughter, a nephew or niece, and yes, regrettably there are times we say things and do things we wish we could take back. We must hold fast to our God who made us malleable, he constantly gives us opportunities to follow his lead, he never gives up, and he loves us even when we are at our worst. God our Father is our example and though we may not live up to this ideal all the time, there is no excuse not to try.

Being malleable means the following… ‘capable of being shaped or changed, whether physically or mentally.’Unknown Author. Within that definition, being malleable is being willing to learn, grow, understand, comprehend, love when you are upset, forgive when you don’t feel like it, challenging your personal paradigm, adapting to earth-shattering events, admitting there is a better way, giving credit where it is due, and last but not least being gracious and kind with your actions and words. Being malleable is being a lifelong learner and lifelong lover of God by living your life with purpose and relentlessly seeking the wisdom of our Father and Creator. In this lifelong practice, parenting becomes a little easier, being a sibling becomes more doable, and being a son or daughter a little more rewarding. So, being malleable is having an open mind, quick to love, and slow to anger.

In conclusion, I say to you my brothers and sisters, ‘1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches and loving favor rather than silver and gold. 2 The rich and poor have this in common, the Lord is the maker of them all.” – Proverbs 22:1-2. Write these words into your heart and know that if you practice being a good person with a good honorable name, unbreakable in faith, seeking God’s wisdom rather than riches your life will be filled with love. Your teachings to your children will bear fruit worthy of delighting in. But, if you ignore the fact God created us all equally and seek dishonesty and rudeness your children will be a misery to us all. Being a productive part of a family can be messy, can be filled with heartache, pain, and profound disappointment. Your parents may say or do things you disagree with, your siblings may be disagreeable in their actions, and our sons and daughters may surprise us with an unthinkable point of view. But in all the chaos if every member seeks understanding, is sincere in being malleable then there is no problem that cannot be overcome while maintaining a good name for everyone involved. But with equal effect, if you choose to remain quiet, unresponsive, and use silence as a weapon then the emptiness you plant will someday be harvested ultimately being utilized for an unproductive outcome that could tear a family apart. Again, my brothers and sisters God gave us free will and the minds to go our way. He constantly gives us opportunities that can change our lives for the better. We are all connected and all affected both positively and negatively in what we choose.

Let Us Pray!

Pray this in the silence of your hearts –

‘Dear Lord, I pray to always remain malleable in my words and actions, I ask for your strength to face my family with love, truth, and understand ready always to forgive. Be that sibling, father, mother, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew, or niece that is relentlessly seeking a good name by dedicating my life to learning your wisdom then actively applying it, teaching your virtues to my children. Dear Lord, open my mind make it malleable so you may shape me into the more perfect version of myself. Please do the same for all the members of my family so that they too may reap the rewards of unconditional love in your arms.’

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

May the Lord bless you, and keep you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

Amen.

Saint Joseph Pray for us.

Sancte Ioseph, Ora pro nobis

Reflection 2: Family of God – Broken Home, Broken Child

6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” ~ Proverbs 22:6

The responsibility given to all parents is to train up your children, if done they will be productive citizens, they will have a shot at happiness, they will be fruitful and happy.  But we all know this, or at least that is what is professed and yet ironically this is rarely done.  Why? I think to answer this question we must first understand what God intended for every person on earth, from every parent, and the responsibilities He places upon our children.  We also must understand that at every turn there is temptation and it affects our children just as profoundly if not more so than adults, their parents whom they look up too.  So what did God intend? 

3 “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'” ~ Jeremiah 31:3

God loved us even before He created us, hence the words “with an everlasting love.” God gave Adam life, he gave him dominion over the animals and a perfect garden to live in filled with everything Adam would ever need. God even gave unto Adam his wife Eve so that he would not be lonely and all of this God did out of everlasting love. Therefore, it’s not to big of a stretch to imagine that from God’s love He wanted man and women to be happy. If you take the total sum of all of God’s gifts to man they can all be traced back to love. God so loved mankind that He gave us free will, He gave us emotions so we could experience things far beyond that of mere animals. He gave us power and great responsibility, in that He also  gave us the power to create and to destroy.  Clearly God has not enslaved us but yet wanted every man to be free and happy. God also wanted us to be part of His divine family; enter His son Jesus who died on the cross for our sins so we could be part of that glorious family in heaven, again this comes back to love and happiness. God wanted us to experience His love, because love fills our hearts with happiness. So in truth God intended mankind to love and be happy and to be fruitful abiding in His love forever and ever. All of this is self-evident in our children who are naturally happy until we saddle them down with our sinful world. Moreover, along with all the responsibilities God gave to mankind, (many we have failed to uphold),  he endowed man to educate the children in His divine ways.

18 “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” ~ Deuteronomy 11:18-19

The truth and mercy of God was to be taught to our children so they too could have hope, and become part of God’s family, and again we seem to forget this simple fact as is evident in our own laws which stifle and confuse the parental role, and tie our teachers, parents, and guardians hands behind our backs.  Mankind seems to want to force suffering upon ourselves and our children with all the horrors that the hell which we have been exposed at every twist and turn. Mankind seemingly sees ‘s fit to crush love and happiness through our actions, setting a disastrous precedent for our children who are watching every word and move we make. It is like God wants us to be happy but we are saying through our actions and word, “Leave me to my misery, “ just as Job had once said to God.

“Let me alone, for my days are but a breath. What is man that You should exalt him, that You should set Your heart on him, that You should visit him every morning, and test him every moment?” ~ Job 7:16-18

Did Job have it right, is man worthy of such love and happiness, or should God leave us all alone in our misery? Job calls out to God, that His days, (our days), are but a breath to God and so how insignificant we are in comparison. Who are we that God should test us day and night? To take this inquiry further, why should God even care after our many failures and broken promises? I know it is hard to imagine that God would love us so much and that He would go to such lengths as to save us, exalt us, and be so proud of us and then to show us mercy over and over again. There are some moments in my life where I am just astonished at God, I am so taken with His never-give-in attitude and deep down inside I know that is the kind of attitude He wants all of us to exhibit towards one-another.  In thinking long and hard about this miracle called God, I feel so inferior, so unworthy, so flawed and because He has seen fit to forgive me I am able to forgive myself. His forgiveness extends to everyone around me, (oh how He calls to me to just forgive)! I must admit it is always a work in process, but the end result as God so promised is happiness within my heart and soul. It’s crazy but I can feel God smile down upon me in those moments. For it, all, in the end, leads to overwhelming happiness.

14 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:14-15

None of the above would be possible without faith in Christ, thus happiness comes from faith through God and His everlasting love. Our salvation is hinged upon this and the ability to teach Gods message is how this message survives from age to age. With this being the will of God, why then have we, (modern man), been so resentful, so rebellious in teaching Gods divine word to our children? Why is it that we, (modern man), create roadblocks that prevent the message of God from taking root in our children? Simply put only moronic fools would be so rebellious and be so vengeful in their prosecution of such evil defiance of God, does this also sound oddly familiar? Satan is the real mastermind in getting modern man to rebel, to create the roadblocks, (laws), which prevent the teaching of God to take place as God himself had instructed for man of all ages to do with and for their children. But we also carry some blame, and will ultimately pay the final consequence for such evil doings.

15 “But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts,‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they were indignant. 16 ‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise?'” ~ Matthew 21:15-16

Jesus the son of God calls His praise from the voices of the children, and it is through our children His kingdom shall reign.  With this the responsibility is ever present and for parents it is one we cannot ignore.  As teachers of the message of God must be the center focus within every lesson and for all adults, our burden is none the lesser as the message of God must be written within our hearts.  But, and this is a big “BUT”, we must realize that for every law we make that is supposed to protect our children we also have empowered a system that has no natural connection to them and this system grows more powerful and takes from us more rights as parents, thus creating roadblocks to this specific teaching.  There are many people who say we need to protect our children from all kinds of sinful morally inept criminals and this is true, but for every law with good intentions, there are a million unintended usages that will be exploited by crafty lawyers and kangaroo courts!  Laws at every level and in every department of our justice system which is supposed to protect our children and give them rights there are a million drawbacks that could rob you of your children!  In our liberal world we have put blinders on and seem to think by empowering our children to become more powerful than the criminal, we forget that this could be taken also to become more powerful than their own parents.  Litigation is a twisted mess for grownups let alone for our children and yet if one crafty parent gained the upper-hand and wanted to legally separate the child from the other parent it is all too easy in our Family Courts to make happen!  Consider this,  a seemingly harmless provision which allowed a move-away, could become the final tool to destroy and disenfranchise the target parent and if the child was old enough and prompted by that parent which held the legal advantage they could, (child caught in the middle),  indirectly, (without knowing it), chop of the head of the target parent in court with as little effort as a sword slicing off the head of a criminal in mid-evil times.  The end result, of course, is one parent dominates all the child’s time and dictates what they like, how they like, when they like. This goes against God’s most basic plan and divine law of a two-parent family.  Believe me, when I say, God does not want men and women taking personal problems to court no more than He wants children involved within the courts’ nasty triangle.  With God there is mercy, with His divine laws there is mercy, but with our Justice System there is no mercy for the family and in its bowels, nothing can survive that resembles the plan of God.  For within this liberal, legal, and cesspool of man’s own making the only outcome is a broken home and broken child.  This is far and above what Matthew wrote and what Jesus Himself said,have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise?” I say again, there is no praise in court, there is no praise in destroying families, and there is no praise in using your children as lethal weapons sent to assassinate a parent they love!  We must rethink our laws and make every parent important and vital to the parenting process and “move-away” orders do not make that happen; they do the exact opposite!  Any parent with a specific goal of separation and is willing to expend considerable effort toward achieving it, then is no parent at all but rather nothing more than a selfish thug acting outside of God.  On the other hand, any parent with a specific goal of unity and is willing to expend considerable effort toward achieving it is, in fact, acting within God’s framework of a two-parent family scenario. As of yet, the courts have no measure in which they can discern the difference between the two vastly different types of parents and because they don’t they destroy rather than build.

127 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. 3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” ~ Psalm 127: 1-5

Every child is a heritage given to us by God. They are not weapons of mass destruction, nor are they to be used as such! They are not tools to be used for selfish reasons, nor did God give them to you for such an activity!  No, God gave to us children to be raised with His word burned into their hearts and they are to be taught in such a manner.  God made every human being responsible for the care of all of His children thus they are to be raised by both parents, grandparents, and extended family members. Good is to be taught unto them, and evil is to be shunned by every family member as an example for the child.  Love an honor is to be instilled and there is no difference or distinction of which parent to respect more, or which elder to be heard more, rather every member is important. I have yet to find a law that states this with conviction and which a lawyer will uphold it or a judge will rule by it. The fact remains that children are not more powerful than their parents, but our legal system, enabled by the voters have made this a reality through ignorance. Can a baby feed its self? Can a child teach it’s self-things which they do not know? Can a teen exhibit enough wisdom as to not need guidance? Before you answer know this,  our American wisdom has now made the obvious answer that once was “NO”, and has made it an emphatic “YES”.  Either we have so much faith in our child’s abilities to raise themselves or we are so selfish we would rather nature do all the heavy lifting, really I can’t tell which it is.  But our psychobabble is incoherent and is notwithstanding God’s gift of children. Children need love, forgiveness, kindness, discipline, they need role-models, and above all, they need parents, not one… but two parents (i.e. father and a mother). Anything short of that the child is not whole, they become rebellious and broken adults. They have children without a clue of how to raise them, and their children become broken and disillusioned, and they too grow up and have children and the cycle continues.  Our children then embrace ungodly teachings of the world and they could not even if it was before them, could they see the light of God, could they see the truth of God, could they see the love of God.  Indeed there are many people who are in this predicament today, they come from fractured homes, they experienced evil at every turn, and by and large, they are ultimately lost.

The following is the statistic of children who come from broken homes:

Found online at; http://m.timesdispatch.com/mechlocal/opinion/letters/stats-of-effects-in-broken-homes/article_ba88da2c-6af8-11e2-9f38-0019bb30f31a.html?mode=jqm)

Did you know that more than 3 in 10 children grow up in broken homes and children from broken homes account for:

  • 70 percent of those in juvenile detention.
  • 57 percent of all prison inmates.
  • 63 percent of teen suicides.
  • 71 percent of teen pregnancies.
  • 90 percent of homeless juveniles and runaways.
  • 71 percent of high school dropouts.
  • 75 percent of all drug users.
  • 85 percent of behavioral disorders.

From the FATHERLESS GENERATION, the follow stats are found;

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average.  (Center for Disease Control)
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average.  (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average.  (National Principals Association Report)

A nation that destroys its families will crumble, crime will rise, unhappiness reigns and our children will suffer outside of God’s Family, for there is nothing but a broken home, broken child without God.

Become a better parent by investing in yourself and in the message of God;  

Parenting by God’s Promises: How to Raise Children in the Covenant of Grace, by Dr. Joel Beeke – Get Your Copy today! Click Here

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Amen,

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Brian Keith

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God Bless,

Brian Keith

P.S. NEVER GIVE UP!

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