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Deuteronomy Dads: A Vision For My Family

By Tom Bushnell -  NATHHAN NEWS Spring 1997

    I would like to share with you Godís idea of what a family can be. This vision is far away from the worldís view of an ideal "family", but it is the Biblical standard and one we should all work towards.

. A home where the husband loves his wife and truly endeavors to please her without regard for any selfish wants he may have. He loves his wife even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. ( Eph. 5:25)

. A home where the wife submits to her OWN husband as to the Lord (Eph.5: 22), not to a dynamic teacher, caring pastor or counselor.

. A home where children obey their parents in the Lord for they know this is right (Eph. 6:1). They obey with joyful hearts because they really want to please their parents.

. A home where parents love their children enough to protect them from influences of the unGodly where ever those attitudes may be found. Sheltering our families from unGodly "real life" such as swearing, coarseness, adultery, pornography and all other evil is a good thing, according Godís Word.

. A home where all family members put God first and others before themselves. Parents that take time to train their children in how they should obey.

Does all this sound nice in theory, but far away in practice? How do we get there from here? I am learning that for this vision to be a reality in our home, its starts in my heart as a father. My nine-year old son, Jordan, has Down syndrome. He prays, "Dear Jesus, please help me to obey quickly with a happy heart and to be kind."

I have a few years on Jordan, but I pray the same thing daily. We fathers must take the lead. We need to model Godly behavior for our children. If we live as hypocrites, our children will know. For lasting change in our behavior, we must make the adjustment in our hearts. A home atmosphere such as this is possible even in our "me-first" generation. This is the kind of home the Lord wants to build with all families. The Lord would have us men start with three things:

           1.) We must take a look at where we have been putting our own comfort and pleasure. A couple of examples might be: not taking the time to train our children, but just reacting to their misbehavior or being short and curt with our wife. Discovering where we fall short and correcting our hearts is an ongoing process. When the Lord reveals to us an area in our lives we fall short in, then we must repent.

2.) We must turn from our selfish ways and choose Godís ways. The Bible says that we are to always put God first in our lives by obeying Him. This means not only taking time for daily prayer and Bible study, but also putting into practice what the Lord has taught us. "Godís ways" are for us to always put others before ourselves. This begins in a manís own home with his wife and children. It then moves to others in the church, people at work and people whom we do business with.

3.) It is not by our might or strength that we can do any good thing. We need to be able to receive forgiveness and grace from God to walk in His ways. When we choose to take the narrow way, Jesus promised us that we will run into opposition. Contrary to what the world may espouse, there is nothing wrong with high standards. The Bible encourages all those who call upon the name of the Lord to accept His standards as the norm. We must be firm in our convictions. Be courageous. Take a stand. I know not the course others may choose, but for me and my house we will serve the Lord!