Titus 2 Moms

Image result for titus 2 moms

Titus 2 Moms

“Teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”  Titus 2:3-5 (NIV)

We have discussed this portion of scripture in previous mailings, but as I pondered on it the other day, I saw it in a whole new light.  When I have studied this before, I always thought of it as meaning that the older women of the church should be teaching and mentoring ladies like us, who are in the midst of raising our children.  And yes, that is true.  But let’s look at it from a new perspective.  If we are mothers of daughters, then WE are the “older” women, and the daughters are the “younger” women.  (For those of you who have sons, please continue reading.  You will find some information that can be applied to sons as well.)

We teach our daughters more by example than by our words.  We have all heard that phrase “actions speak louder than words.”  Children are smart, and they can pick this up at a very young age.  So, we need to be very careful of what our actions (and our words) are teaching them.  Are we modeling a good example of Biblical love to our husband?  If not, then dear daughter is learning an unbiblical way to love her future husband.  Are we careful to honor and respect our husband?  If not, we are teaching our little ladies to do the same thing when they are older.  Do we whine, nag, and manipulate to get our way with our husband?  If so, then by our poor example, we are teaching our daughters to do the same thing to get what they want.  Do we find ourselves screaming most of the time?  If we are, then we are teaching them to react to situations from their flesh rather than responding to them through God’s Spirit who lives in us.  Do we refuse to submit to our husbands?  Here again, if we struggle in this area, we are showing a poor example to our children.

It is very important for daughters not to be allowed to back talk to their fathers.  They must learn to respect Daddy.  If we don’t train them to respect him, then how can we expect them to respect their future husband?  If we don’t take a strong stand in this area, then they will perceive that this behavior is acceptable in a marriage.

Sons must not be allowed to walk all over their mothers or be disrespectful toward them.  This is a critical thing for them to learn.  If we don’t train them correctly in this area, we may end up raising a son who could lean toward being abusive to his future wife, be it verbal abuse, mental abuse, or physical abuse.

Let’s keep in mind that a child left to himself/herself disgraces his mother.  (Prov. 29:15)

I have read many times that the person who has the most influence on people is their mother.  That is a heavy load for each of us to carry.  That is why it is so important for us to learn to stay connected to the vine.  (Jn. 15)  We must remember that apart from Christ, we can do nothing.  (Jn. 15)  But, with Christ, we can do all things!  (Phil. 4:13)

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Motherhood – A Labor of Love

Motherhood – A Labor of Love

I have always been fascinated with pregnant women, so when I became pregnant myself, I was even more fascinated.  I loved being pregnant, and was constantly looking in the mirror at my growing belly!  How awesome that God chose women to have the blessing of carrying a child.  Even so, when it came time to deliver, well that is another story!  Those labor pains were no fun at all.  Thankfully, I only had hard labor about 30- 40 minutes before they rushed me down for an emergency c-section.  I have heard many stories of women who were in labor for over 30 hours.  I’m sure that some of you have your own stories about labor!

While I was pregnant, I kept having an intense burden to pray for Dennis Rodman (a former NBA star).  It became a joke that my “focal point” during labor would be a picture of Dennis Rodman.  Believe me, when those hard labor pains hit, looking at a picture of him was the last thing on my mind!  I so clearly remember that while in the middle of a big contraction, I heard the words “the baby is breech, we have to get her to surgery right away.”  My immediate thoughts were “Thank you Jesus!  I’m not going to feel pain much longer!”

I looked up the word “labor” in the dictionary and it said, “physical or mental exertion; work, to work hard, to move slowly and with difficulty, to suffer, to be in childbirth.”  It is obvious here that when the labor pains stop, the real labor is only beginning.  It is very hard to adjust to getting up several times every night to feed a new baby.  It’s a lot of work, just trying to get out the door with an infant.  There is always so much that needs to go with you besides just the baby!  Then there is all of that extra laundry that a wee one can cause!

As the baby gets older, there is the teething stage, then the separation anxiety stage, and then the potty training stage, and the list goes on and on.  I remember how every Sunday I would literally have to peel Rachel off of me to leave her in her class.  It was such a battle that by the time I got to my class, I no longer felt like being there.

When we were potty training, my mom commented that Rachel was the only child she ever saw who was literally potty trained away from home.  For some reason, she was very fascinated with public restrooms.  (I didn’t understand it then, and I still don’t understand it!)  Of course, we never had her little seat with us that would attach to the toilet, so when I sat her down, I would take my hands and hold onto her legs so that if she would start to fall, I could grab her very quickly.  Then, if I needed to use the bathroom, she just had to mimic me, and put her little hands on my legs so that mommy wouldn’t fall into the potty!

As mothers, we are truly life-givers.  Not just by giving birth, but it is something that we do every day.  We do it with our words, through keeping a warm, inviting home, by being tender and loving in our actions, by imparting wisdom and instruction, to the food on the table.

Sometimes the growing which our children do can cause us more “labor pains.”  Like when given their first haircut, and suddenly the baby is no longer a baby, but a little boy or girl.

Later, there is the time that they want to leave the yard and go play with the other kids in the neighborhood.  Suddenly, I’m not the one she wants to be with all the time.  It was bittersweet.  I finally had a little more time to do other things, but I wasn’t so sure that I was ready for her to be out and about with the other kids in the neighborhood.  That meant that she was growing up!  What happened to my little baby?  She was just here a few days ago, and now, well, she’s growing up.  The pain of labor hits again.

Although I homeschool, I have heard the stories from other mothers about sending their child off to school for the first day.  There’s the labor pain again.  Later, we will probably all experience that labor pain of watching our child go off to college.  Does this labor ever stop?  NO!  As long as we are mothers, we are going to have some labor pains.

All mothers, at one time or another, are going to go through some suffering.  Romans 5 in the Message Bible tells us that we continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.  In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged.  Quite the contrary, we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives! — God will use motherhood as a real pruning time for us.  I have grown more in my walk with the Lord since I became a mother.  It is the thing in my life that has caused the most sacrifice from me, but it has been worth EVERY bit of the sacrifice.

I remember hearing a lady on the radio talking about all the things which mothers do.  She used a term that I just loved!  She said that our title should be “domestic goddess.”  Don’t you just LOVE it!?  Shortly after hearing that term, I got a paper to fill out for jury duty.  What do you think I wrote down in the job title section?  You guessed it!  DOMESTIC GODDESS!  When I got called for jury duty, both attorneys commented on my response.  They both thought it was really funny.  — A quick side note here.  With everything going on at the time that I got called for jury duty, it would have been easy to question the Lord in why He was allowing me to go through that experience.  He knew good and well what He was doing.  It was a civil case that lasted three days.  It was very interesting to observe, not to mention that within a month of having done my civic duty, I was attacked by a pit bull.  You don’t find too many attorneys in church, but because God allowed me to serve on that jury and observe these attorneys, there was no question about who I was going to call to represent me.

Let’s look at some of the examples for ways in which we mothers labor.  Our job titles could be:  meal planner, chef, pharmacist, nurse, laundry attendant, chauffeur, teacher, personal care attendant (giving baths, etc.), bathroom attendant (wiping bottoms), maid, butler, bargain hunter, hazardous waste removal specialist (taking out the trash), germbuster (disinfecting the house after illness has been present), cheerleader (encourager), motivational speaker, accounts payable manager, scheduler, secretary, organizer, seamstress, inventory manager (writing grocery lists), snow removal person, lawn care attendant, arbitrator (settling arguments between the children),  principal (disciplining the children), life skills instructor, language interpreter (figuring out why the baby is crying), and finally, one which is critical for us to be:  the prayer warrior.  (I am sure that I left out many more job titles.)

Do you see it?  YOU ARE AWESOME!  Look at all of the things which God has entrusted us to do for our children!  He sees us as very capable or He wouldn’t have entrusted us with it.  Phil. 4 says that I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me.  THROUGH HIM WE ARE ABLE TO DO ABSOLUTELY AWESOME THINGS!

Lord, I know how overwhelming life can be at times, even though I only have one child.  Many of my sisters have more children than I do, so I know that they get weary and overwhelmed at times.  Help them to remember that it is only through You that we can accomplish Your purposes in our homes.  Help them to get their focus on You each and every day, and to be faithful in not only asking for Your help, but in looking to see how it is that You are helping them.  Help them to see You right there with them each and every day.  Help them to see Your tender mercies, which are new every morning.  Amen.

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Homework

Homework

Some of you may ask why I bring up this subject when school is out for summer break.  I’m not referring to school work, but to our work in the home.  Titus 2:4-5 gives us an assignment for our home work.  It says that we are to love our husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, also to be busy at home, kind, and subject to our husbands so that the no one will malign the Word of God.

I am going to be sharing a lot from my personal experience in trying to live out the above scripture.  It was not an easy transformation, and I still have struggles at times, but it is an assignment that I am willing to continue doing because I have seen the fruits of putting it into action.  I hope that some of you are able to learn from my mistakes.

1.   We are to be busy at home.  (Titus 2:5)  As a new mom, who was used to working full time, this was really hard for me.  I craved time with adults.  Often, if I wasn’t leaving to go visit a friend, I was at least spending a large amount of time on the phone talking to friends.  While it’s not bad to converse with friends, many times I found that the conversations were going in a direction that wasn’t good.  Yes, I admit it, we were gossiping.  (I really don’t like that word!)

I was feeling isolated, trying to stay at home.  Part of the reason I was isolated was because I was out of God’s will.  The Bible tells us that we are to be busy at home, not to be busybodies!  The isolation was because I wasn’t obeying what God said.  As I began to read Proverbs and several books about women’s issues, it was becoming so clear to me that I was out of God’s will in several areas.  To try and stay home more was going to take a lot of work!  I began to ask the Lord to help me learn to be content at home (in all circumstances).  Phil. 4:11

2.   We are to love our husbands and our children.  (Titus 2:4)  To do this, you can’t be running on empty all the time.  I found that I was leaving home to go shopping or going to garage sales on a frequent basis.  There’s nothing wrong with doing these things, but if they become our focus, we get ourselves into trouble.  I found that on the days when I did so much running around, Rachel and I were both cranky.  We were both tired and I was very stressed.  I have found that running errands or going shopping are big users of my energy!  When evening came, I didn’t feel motivated to fix a big meal, nor did I feel like being too kind to my husband.  I wanted him to come in and take care of Rachel so that I could have a break!  It sure wasn’t a good way to show love to him or Rachel.  I’m sure that it often left him feeling like he was being taken for granted.  As I continued to pray for God to help me learn to be content to stay at home, I quickly saw that on the days when we did stay home, the atmosphere was MUCH more peaceful for all of us.  My stress level greatly decreased.  It quickly became my heart’s desire to be home as much as I could.

3.   Be self-controlled.  (Titus 2:5)  If we aren’t self-controlled, then our home work is going to haphazard at best.  I saw in Prov. 1 that the Proverbs were written for attaining wisdom and discipline, for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right.  I want to focus on the word “prudent.”  It refers to one who is exercising sound judgment in practical matters, who is cautious in conduct, and manages carefully.

I had begun to spend more time at home, but was feeling no real sense of purpose, beyond changing diapers, being a built in milk factory, and personal laundry attendant.  As I pondered on the word “prudent,” I came up with the idea of checking out the prices at several grocery stores.  I found out that I had been shopping at the most expensive store in town.  To use “sound judgment in practical matters,” I began to revise how I did my grocery shopping.  I was very quickly able to save us at least $20 to $60 a week.  I found a real sense of purpose in what I was doing.  I saw that I was putting some principles from Prov. 31 into practice by doing my husband “good, and not harm.”  I saw that my “trading” was profitable because it was stretching the money which my husband was earning.  I had a new sense of purpose and a joy in my heart because I knew that I was starting to live out more of the principles found in the Word.

4.   We are to be kind and pure.  (Titus 2:5)  I found that part of putting this into practice was by being cautious in friendship.  (Prov. 12)  Going again to the word prudent, we are to be cautious in our conduct.  I knew some people who were constant gossips, one of whom was constantly talking about her husband in a bad way.  It wasn’t like she talked about him to get me to keep him in prayer, but she just felt the need to give him a tongue-lashing, even when he wasn’t present.  I was striving to be kind and pure in my walk with the Lord, so I quickly began to find different friends.  I didn’t need a “friendship” that was going to suck the spiritual life out of me in just a matter of minutes.

Another way of being cautious in friendship is just by being mindful of how much time you spend with your friends.  You don’t want to cause your friend problems in her own family by the amount of time which she is spending with you.  I still visit my friends, mainly because it gives my only child a chance to play with other children.    Even then, we don’t do it more than once every 7-10 days.  The Lord has helped me to achieve a good balance there.  I also picked friendships that were like “iron sharpening iron,” mentioned in Prov. 27:17

5.   We are to be subject to our husbands.  (Titus 2:5)  Part of being subject to our husbands is learning to do what pleases them.  I don’t know of any man who desires to come home to a house that is dirty or cluttered.  Going back to being prudent, one who manages her home carefully is going to be one who manages to stay home to see that the work gets done.  Every day there needs to be a time set aside for tidying up the house before our husbands get home.  We also need to be mindful of how hard they work to make an income.  That requires sacrifice on our part at times — like staying away from the malls.  They are often a deceptive tactic of the enemy to cause us to be filled with discontentment.

6.  We are to teach what is good.  (Titus 2:3)  We are to be diligently teaching and training our children.  We are to be instructing them in righteousness.  I found that as I learned to stay at home more, I had much more energy, not to mention more time, to teach Rachel about the Lord.  We still often talk about God while we are running errands, but we are also spending a lot more time reading devotions together.  At bedtime, we are getting into the habit of reading the Word before we go to sleep.

Proverbs 19:16 tells us that she who obeys instruction guards her life.  The instruction for me, as a stay at home wife and mother was becoming much clearer.  (Although I haven’t really even touched the surface of it in this message.)  As I began to put this into daily practice, I found a new joy and contentment in my heart.  Granted, we aren’t at home all the time, but our days of errand running are down to only one or two days a week now, instead of three to four days.  I have much more energy for the tasks that are before me.

Yes, ladies, we have much home work to do, and if we allow God to teach us how to do it His way, we will find that godliness with contentment is GREAT gain.  (I Tim. 6:6)  This kind of home work may not earn us a diploma, but it may earn us these words:  “Well done, good and faithful servant.  Enter into the joy of the Lord.”
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Impressions

Impressions

God knows how impressionable our children are.  That is why He told us to talk about His ways when we sit, walk, lie down at night, or rise in the morning. (Deuteronomy 6:7)  Young children are like sponges, soaking up everything they see and hear.

If our children observe us gossiping, what impressions are we leaving on their little hearts?  Rather than gossiping, if we would turn to intercession, we would impress upon them that God is the first one to run to in a crisis.  We will teach them to daily take their needs to the Lord.

If we criticize the pastor, we impress on their heart that this man isn’t to be respected.  On the other hand, if we talk excitedly about something we learned from the pastor’s message, we teach them that church is an exciting place to get new insights about our Father.

If we speak critical words about the music they play at church or the songs they sing, we impress upon them to look for the negative.  If we talk about how the music touched us and replaced our worry with God’s peace, we place an impression on them that could last for years.  They will learn that godly music can be a healing balm to frazzled emotions.

If we frequently act out of our feelings, rather than God’s truth, we place a strong impression on their hearts that will steer them to do the same thing.  It could lead to years of living a very unstable life, being a constant slave to their emotions, rather than using God’s Word to master those runaway emotions.  Yet when we speak forth God’s truth and stand on the Word no matter what our feelings tell us, their impression will likely lead them to stand firmly on the Rock.

What impressions are you making in the hearts of your children?

© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

The House on the Rock

The House on the Rock

When my daughter was a toddler, we frequently sang a song about the wise man and the foolish man.  She loved doing the hand motions for the house that was built on sand.  I had no idea how the truths of that song would affect me in years to come.

Part of keeping our house on the rock is to make sure that we don’t choose the better over the best.  Sometimes I see the need to give up some very good activities so that I am able to grab hold of the best.  In my quest to try and keep my house built on the rock, I will frequently assess the activities in my life.

For instance, I was looking forward to attending a dinner for our women’s group at church.  It was the first opportunity that the ladies would have to hear our new pastor’s wife speak.  That same evening my daughter had gym class.  This was only the second time our homeschool group had met to have this class, and my daughter was really looking forward to participating.

I had to make a choice.  I could serve myself and enjoy the women’s function, or I could set my own needs and wants aside and serve my daughter.  Since my daughter is higher on my list of priorities than the women’s ministry, I chose to take her to gym class.  This helped me to keep my house on the rock because I chose to invest in my daughter, showing her that she is more important to me than the women at church.

My normal habit is to attend church on Wednesday evenings.  However, one Wednesday, I could tell that my husband was incredibly stressed.  Since he is higher on my priority list than my church attendance, I decided to have a friend take our daughter to church so that we could have some alone time – a huge rarity in our house.  I wish you could have seen my husband’s face when I made the arrangements for Rachel to attend without me.  He was very pleased.  Later when we were alone, I got out the massage oil and gave him a wonderful treat that he didn’t soon forget!  Once again, my choices helped me keep building on the rock, rather than shifting sand.

Another opportunity came when I found out that my friend’s son had a cyst on his brain.  I had not been able to get in touch with her, so I left a message on her answering machine, asking her to return my call.  Since she knows that I am adamant about not taking calls during our homeschool hours, I also told her that I would pick up the phone if I heard that it was her.  Now, while homeschooling is very high on my priority list, that particular day, I felt the need to drop it down a bit so that I could minister to my friend, as well as find out the details on what was taking place with her son.

Writing devotions is a passion of mine; however, I must not make the mistake of allowing it to come before the Lord.  Nor can I let it come before ministering to my husband, my daughter, or even keeping the household running.

Recently, I went through a season where I wasn’t writing at all.  Other things were just consuming my time.  During that time, it would have been very easy for me to become frustrated over not having any new material ready to send out to those on my mailing list.  Instead, I focused on continuing to build my house on the rock.  I knew that if I kept my priorities in order, God would honor those decisions.  Finally, I sat down one evening and grabbed my pen and paper.  Very quickly, I had written and typed up six devotions.  I was even able to write four more the next day.  I couldn’t seem to write fast enough to get my thoughts on paper.

As I’ve had to set aside a few of the things that I really wanted to do in order to choose God’s best for our family, I’ve had no regrets.  God is so faithful in pouring out His peace and joy when we are obedient to His Word.  The sense of balance that I have felt when I know that I have made choices that honored Him has been marvelous.  It makes it easier for me to say “no” to shifting sand.

Are you making choices that help you to build on the rock?

© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

Homeland Security

Homeland Security

In pondering on terrorist attacks, I realized that not only do terrorist attacks come into our home, but we are capable of launching them ourselves.  Just as our own country now has a department called ‘Homeland Security,’ we also need to devise a spiritual ‘Homeland Security’ plan.

Many of us are entering that stage of life where we may see our husband go through a mid-life crisis.  As men reach the stage of life where the hair begins to thin and the waist begins to thicken, they may suddenly realize that as they go walking down the street, they no longer draw the attention of women.  Ladies who may likely do a double-take when they see a good-looking man, don’t even acknowledge that he exists.  They may get that sudden panic-stricken feeling of realizing that their youth is quickly fading before their eyes.  To top it off, they come home, only to hear the following kinds of comments:
‘Dad, can I have an increase on my allowance?’
‘The washer quit working today, and the car is acting up.’
‘Did you remember to stop by the store and pick up some milk?’
‘Dad, did you write out the check for church camp registration?’
‘I need money so that I can pay the bills.’
‘Junior got put in detention for the second time this week.’
‘Janie got a D on her report card.’

Suddenly, not only does he feel old and fat, but he feels very unappreciated and unloved.  Part of devising a homeland security plan is to be very strategic about the timing of these kinds of issues.  We also need to teach our children to be mindful of how and when they approach their father with these kinds of requests.

Ladies, if we aren’t careful, we can launch a terrorist attack of infidelity.  You see, we are told in Eph. 5:33 that we are to respect our husband, to notice him, prefer him, praise him, compliment him, and admire him exceedingly. (Amp.) When we fail to do this, it can further launch him toward the temptation of an affair.  The other woman never brings him problems (like a broken washer, car repairs, etc.), but she plays up to his ego.  She compliments him, admires him, praises him, notices him, and she even takes the time to listen to him.  She does what we may have failed to do.  When we take the time to give our husband what I call ‘positive strokes,’ we launch a homeland security plan that keeps him coming home to us, rather than looking to another woman.

Continuing on the subject of homeland security, keep in mind that when your husband has been out working all day, he likely sees dog-eat-dog competition, and hears negative talk, criticism, and backbiting, not to mention a lot of ungodly talk in the form of dirty jokes and foul language.  A perfect solution for this would be to give him some time to read the Word when he first gets home.  However, I have heard from many women that their husband won’t take the time to read the Word.  The blood of Jesus cleanses us from our own sin, and the Word cleanses us from the dirty things to which we are exposed on a daily basis.  So if our husband isn’t taking time to read the Word, letting it cleanse him from the filth that he’s dealt with all day long, how can we launch a homeland security plan to help him?  We need to counter all of that negative ‘stuff’ when he comes home.  If he isn’t in the habit of reading the Word, we can try to offer a pleasant, wholesome atmosphere in our home.  We can be diligent about reading the Word ourselves, and then sharing in conversation with him the things we are learning, or even letting him know how we are being challenged in our own walk.

Many times in our marriage, our spouse may say something that angers us.  If we don’t quickly crucify our flesh, we will launch an ungodly terrorist attack by lashing out in our anger and bringing up past issues and past hurts.  That kind of attack may cause damage to our marriage that is similar to the Twin Towers when they came crashing down. The very foundation was destroyed.  Rather than destroying the foundation of our marriage in the heat of an argument, let’s determine to have a homeland security plan that shows us to be peacemakers, showing ourselves to be true daughters of God. (Mt. 5:9) We are to make every effort to live in peace with ALL men, including our husband. (Heb. 12:14)

Another homeland security plan that I have enforced is by teaching my daughter that we are to be different — aliens and strangers on this earth. (Heb. 11:13) We don’t dress in hip huggers or low-cut, tight-fitting shirts because as Christian ladies, we are to be self-controlled and chaste in our actions, deeds, and our manner of dress so that God’s Word won’t be blasphemed or exposed to reproach.  (Tit. 2:5) We are to control our bodies in purity, not dressing like the ungodly who purposely dress with the intent to get men to lust for them.  For when we dress and behave immodestly, we defraud young men by getting them to think that we can provide satisfaction for them, and it’s GOD who should bring ultimate satisfaction to them.  God doesn’t take this matter lightly either — rather, He will punish all (wo)men for such sins. (I Th. 4:4-6) By starting the teaching on modesty and proper behavior at a young age, we have engaged a homeland security plan that may help to keep our daughters pure in body, mind, and spirit.  It can help to destroy the terrorist attacks that are so prevalent in the lives of many young ladies in this day and age.

Many times when our hormones are all out of kilter, our tongues can unleash a vicious terrorist attack.  One plan to keep the homeland safe during these times is to meditate on Phil. 4:8.  If we find that our thoughts aren’t true, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, or praise worthy, we can go to war and take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. (II Cor. 10:5) There is nothing wrong with taking some medication to help us during those time of crabbiness.  I’ve taken herbal medicines, as well as a generic premenstrual medication to help soothe my raging hormones.  I also go on the offensive and warn my family that my hormones are acting crazy.  I ask them to please try to bear with me.  I let them know that if I’m short-tempered and cranky with them, it’s not their fault.  They are much more likely to grant me grace in those times if I simply forewarn them.

In this final lesson on homeland security, we will be discussing how to launch a plan to teach our children faithfully about the Lord.  We will also deal with the overwhelming issue of suffering through depression, even when you have been faithful to read the Word of God.

Another very pro-active homeland security plan is to be faithful to teach our children about God, and how God wants us to live.  So many times, parents leave the spiritual training to the church and the workers at the church.  Having worked in children’s church for quite some time, I can assure you that a lot of time is wasted during children’s church because of the rowdy children.  I know that many times the workers wonder if any of their message came across because of the myriad of distractions they face every week.  I know that we are all tired at the end of the day, and we just want to send the kids off to bed so that we can have some peace, but that is a prime time to talk with the children.  They are very open in those moments.  Don’t let a satanic terrorist steal those moments from you, never to be recaptured.  If you make this a habit, in only a matter of about thirty days, it will become an automatic habit and a good one!  You will never regret taking that time to talk with your children.  Sometimes the subject will get off target, but that’s all right.  Let them talk, and be sure to really listen to them.  If you don’t take time to listen and talk with them about the unimportant issues, they won’t talk to you later about the really important issues.

Too many people are quick to condemn those who suffer with depression.  They leave you with the impression that if you read the Word, it will take care of any depression.  While that is true in many case, it isn’t true in all cases.  Sometimes there are physical things wrong that need to be corrected through medication.  To those of you who may be on medicine for depression, I want to say, ‘Bless you for getting help!’ You may be facing guilt and condemnation from the enemy.  In fact, some of that guilt and condemnation may even be coming from your own church family.  I applaud you for realizing that you needed some help from a doctor.  Because of your wisdom in seeing this need, you may never realize what kinds of terrorist attacks you may have stopped just by simply taking medication to help your body function the way God made it to function.  You have launched an effective security plan for yourself, and for your family.  Don’t feel guilty about being on the medication.  After all, God is the one who gave doctors the wisdom to help you!

Sisters, do you need to start up some homeland security in your home?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Home Court Advantage

Home Court Advantage

I enjoy watching the Pacers play.  It’s always more fun to watch when they have the home court advantage because you get to sense the excitement of the crowd.  Most teams will do better on their home court because they know it well and are comfortable there.

Many of us have forgotten about home court advantage because we are too busy running the children off to ballet classes, gymnastics lessons, piano lessons, soccer practice, basketball or football practice, Bible clubs, Cub Scouts or Girl Scouts, or many other activities that are available to kids these days.  We also have the adult activities that we participate in, so when added together, it leaves very little time to have the home court advantage.  We are so seldom there that we never quite get used to ‘playing the game of life’ together, nor do we have time for ‘practice’ or ‘team meetings.’

The majority of families do not have meal time together in the evening.  If we are there, often the TV is allowed to fill that space, keeping us from talking and connecting as a family.  We are to be our children’s cheerleaders, but when we fail to take time to converse with each other, learning of the struggles or the victories, it’s hard to cheer for each other.

We saw early in the 2004-2005 NBA season what can happen when we are taken away from our home court advantage with the infamous ‘basket-brawl’ in Detroit.  Some of the players, and at least one of the coaches actually feared for their lives.  When we spend too much time away from the home court, our loved ones may wind up in a spiritual ‘basket-brawl.’  The enemy may be devouring them, but we are too busy with our activities to even take notice.  Just as there was a lot of trash and alcohol thrown at the Pacers when they were leaving the court, there are many people out there who would love the opportunity to pollute your child’s mind with trash and alcohol.

There are many advantages of being in our own home court:
1.    Close relationships will build between the parents and the children.
2.    Our lives will be much more relaxed because we won’t be on the run constantly.
3.    There is time for fun devotionals times that teach spiritual principles that will stick with the children.
4.    When we take lots of time to listen to our children, when they face things like sex, drugs, and alcohol, they will be more receptive to listen to us because we have invested hours in that relationship already.
5.    You may find that your children actually WANT to be with you!  Instead of seeing their parents griping about running late, needing to hurry off to the next activity, they can see that Mom and Dad actually know how to play games, joke around, and just have a good time.
6.    You may also find that you will have much less conflict during those turbulent teen years because you have shown your children that they are important, valued, and deeply loved.

How’s your home court advantage?
© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

Previous Older Entries