Christian Marriage: Missing the Fear of the Lord

“Day in, day out, we must be pointing our little ones back to the Word of God for the measure of  their actions.  This is not cutesy pre-school activities to fill the day.  This is major warfare, right here in our homes, Satan fighting to “kill, steal and destroy” the next generation, and us, placed providentially as their compass to point them to truth!”

Adults are grown-up children.   We often fail to make this vital, so-obvious-we-miss-it connection.  Lately, we’ve witnessed a plethora of failing marriages, even in the body of Christ, and we’re left scratching our heads, heart-broken and talking a lot to our children about a life that’s hidden with Christ.

Because adults are grown-up children, the careful, deliberate upbringing of children is paramount if we wish them to behave in accordance with God’s will as adults.

I’m amazed at the notion we seem to have in this culture that children will just become responsible, selfless, loving spouses, the minute they say “I do”.  That it doesn’t matter which habits and character traits were cultivated or left uncultivated.

News flash:  IT MATTERS!

This is my heart’s cry:  to spur mothers on to perseverance, long-suffering and the giving of themselves to propel the next generation to carry on the purposes of God’s Kingdom.

That which we sew we will also reap.  The investment we make to cultivate the fear of the Lord into our children’s lives will be returned; the lack of investment will be sorely felt.  And not just inside one family or one marriage–but as a continuing lineage.

Yes, “the fear of the Lord”. It seems the blaring trend among even Christian marriages (you must see it too?) is the justification of behavior based on my *feelings*.  There is no fear of the Lord as it concerns, “What does the Lord require of me?”  There’s no stepping back from emotional involvement enough to ask, “What is the right thing?”

God has given clear directives from His Word concerning all of life and we brush it aside and act as if the God of the universe hasn’t spoken.

In a nutshell, there seems to be a vast population of grown-up children still acting like children.

Day in, day out, we must be pointing our little ones back to the Word of God for the measure of  their actions.  This is not cutesy pre-school activities to fill the day.  This is major warfare, right here in our homes, Satan fighting to “kill, steal and destroy” the next generation, and us, placed providentially as their compass to point them to truth!

How do we instruct them when they treat a sister poorly because “she did it first“?  We point them to the standard:  “Do good to them who spitefully use you…”

How do we instruct them when they are wronged?  When they feel unappreciated?  Are we teaching them that life is about their happiness, or that life is about “laying it down daily”?

(I know I must insert the disclaimer:  there are certainly extreme cases in marriage where “laying it down” might not exclude physical separation for a time.  I’m not addressing extremes here.)

Because whatever we do or don’t instill into their hearts as the measure for living, they will take it with them into marriage.  Only then, the stakes are too high and the fall too hard.  Feelings will, at some point, clamor for power over what is right.  Will they be ready to say, “Not my will, but Thine be done”?

Written with fervor,

14 Responses to “Christian Marriage: Missing the Fear of the Lord”

  1. Kelly L says:

    So agreed! I have two thoughts in addition to your great ones. 1st, grace from God also means empowerment (STRONGS). It means He empowers us to do the same as He did on Earth. We haven’t received that or accepted it, and therefore live like the world lives: without the supernatural power of Christ to do all He asks of us.
    2nd, take time to reveal the dirtiness of your flesh to your children (within age appropriate reason). What I mean is this: Show them what you struggle with. For me, yesterday, I was mad at the Lord (for about 2 hrs) because He took over my day with His schedule. I loved His schedule, but wanted mine also to get done. I loved mine more. As my daughter and I were driving, she asked me why I seemed so down. I told her how I was happy to do what the Lord had for me, I wanted to just do “my” stuff too. Saying it aloud brought me to tears. I began rebuking the heart in me aloud for her to hear, and then began repenting and receiving forgiveness from the Lord in front of her. I am in no way great (although it usually doesn’t take 2 hours to break my heart for Him–that was a long one). But this lesson will stick with her forever, and when she is tempted to behave in a similar way, will remember how I hated that action in me because I idolized my time.
    I would recommend that we parents openly repent in front of our children. They won’t have some false idea of Christ and they will gain the benefit of our knowledge and repentance.

  2. Word Warrior says:

    Excellent thoughts, Kelly.

  3. robin says:

    Well said Kelly,
    knowing your heart, feeling the loss as well…

    love,
    rob

  4. Mrs. Santos says:

    Good words. Not only “fear of the Lord” in our marriages, but also the realization that “our life is not our own.” (Similar to Kelly L’s comment). We have been bought with a price and it is no longer us who live but Christ in us…right?

    It doesn’t matter what your spouse’s response is (or your children for that matter) What am *I* doing to live out my faith, to let the love of Christ reign in *my* life? Lately, I have had many opportunities to forgive…it is so painful. I get tired of it. There must be a limit…I mentally add it all up 70 times seven equals…still every day, several times a day, I am faced with forgiveness or bitterness. And more is “caught” than “taught.”

    I was faced just yesterday with ‘stuff’ that infuriated me. I clenched my fists and ground my teeth together and just grunted. My little six year old came up quietly behind me and said, “Momma, you said we are supposed to forgive and let God defend us.”

    BIG SIGHS! I held her for a minute and said “thank you for reminding me of the truth.” This is sometimes how we bring up our children deliberately…by our own obedience.

  5. EmSue says:

    Yes, this is totally necessary, but so difficult at times. Whenever I start to get lax, I feel like I’m in one of those dreams where you’re trying to run from someone but getting nowhere- I can see the impending danger, but feel inadequate to escape it.

    Does this mom thing get easier? I mean, do you eventually doubt yourself less, or is doubt sometimes a good thing because it makes you strive harder? – My oldest is 3, still kinda new at this 🙂

  6. BC Lord says:

    How I found great hair bargains…

    As mentioned on “» Christian Marriage: Missing the Fea…”…

  7. Kim M says:

    Thank you for this challenge. The “but it’s hard” excuse reigns in Christian culture. My prayer is that the Lord will give me wisdom to teach the right way to my children!

  8. Kim M says:

    Em Sue, I still doubt myself (my oldest is 10). I think the enemy tempts us mothers to beat ourselves down and give in to the pressure to follow what society says is the right way to parent.

    We ARE inadequate in ourselves; I think if we trust the Holy Spirit to guide us, we can rest in the fact that He is Sovereign.

  9. Mrs W says:

    Wow this is good!

  10. Brenda says:

    I hope this question doesn’t drift to far from the main message but I’m in a situation that I’ve been praying for guidance on. Maybe some of you might have some wisdom to offer?

    My born again older sister is leaving her marriage of 22 years. She does not have biblical grounds for divorce. She says she loves her husband but is no longer “in love” with him. We hear that alot these days don’t we? She is actually seeing another man although she claims there’s nothing physical. (Still cheating in my book).

    So the question is, how do we treat her now? My kids don’t know how to act around her. Do we act like nothing has happened and like everything is ok? I’ve been absolutely furious with her for several weeks. The Lord (through much prayer) has softened my heart toward her and has given me compassion toward her as a lost sheep, but none of my kids feel like they want to go “hang out” with her anymore. It brings my mother pain that her family is going separate ways but I just don’t know how to ignore this elephant in the room. I wanted to address the situation from a biblical perspective…show her the error and tell her she needs to repent and go back. But I was warned that she was ready to “cut off” anyone who got in her way and I needed to just keep quiet for the sake of unity in the family. Unity at what cost?

    Should I try and maintain a distance between her and my family or pat her on the back for the terrible mess she’s created for herself, her husband and kids?

    I feel terrible because I AM creating strife in the family by not acting like I’m ok with the situation. My parents, brother and another sister are all ok with it and want to support her. Instead of her being the guilty party, somehow I’ve become the bad guy for choosing not to support her decision.

    Should I support her or put some distance between us? Is there another option I’m not seeing. I just want to do what’s right.

    If you don’t want to discuss it here please email me at equine75@yahoo.com. I’m STARVING for some advice from some solid christians!

  11. Genieve says:

    Very well put. I am so encouraged by your blog, especially since I now have a little one at home and I so desire to raise him to be a godly man. Thank you for your challenging words. I am listening to a sermon series now on the godly home by Denny Kenaston. Have you heard of it before?

  12. Word Warrior says:

    Genieve,

    No, I don’t think I have. I’d love to hear how you liked it!

  13. Word Warrior says:

    Genieve,

    You know what…that name rang a bell–yes, a friend loaned me this series years ago! I remember liking very much what I heard…not sure if I ever finished the series. I need to see if I still have it!

  14. […] I’ve thought about that young man several times since that dance. I hope we weren’t the first long-married couple he’s seen still in love. I hope his parents love each other, and I hope they kiss, warmly, right in front of his eyes. Because when we married folks show our love for each other, not only does it nurture us, it also gives the young people around us a hope for a happy future of their own. – – – – Related: How did you learn to be married? Can you increase your own kids’ chances at successful marriage? […]

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