You might like to read:
Part One: Child-Rearing … Taking Responsibility
Part Two: Being Different … It Isn’t A Bad Thing!
Remember I mentioned that our family has always been different than most others around us? This isn’t a bad thing … this is a good thing! When we search the Scriptures, we find that YHWH’s people are supposed to be different. After all, didn’t YHWH choose Israel to be His people out of all the nations and give them a set of rules to follow which were very different than those around them?
“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:” Exodus 19:5
“For thou art an holy people unto YHWH thy God, and YHWH hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth” Deuteronomy 14:2
“And YHWH hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;” Deuteronomy 26:18
If, through the blood of Messiah, we have been brought into the commonwealth for Israel (Ephesians 2:11-22), then aren’t these words for us too? The Hebrew word for peculiar, means “possession, valued property, treasure”. A similar Greek word is used in these passages:
“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:” 1Peter 2:9
The word peculiar in those texts means, “that which is one’s own, belonging to one’s possessions, a people selected by God from the other nations for his own possession.”
How are we to be His “peculiar treasure”, “holy people”, “chosen generation” and “royal priesthood”? Do we not have the answers in the verses above … that we should “keep all his commandments” and “shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light”? It is with that conviction that my parents chose to look into the Scriptures for daily instruction and standards and taught us children to do the same.
All of us are probably familiar with verses like these:
“whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God,” 1Corinthians 10:31
“whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17
Do we really believe and practice that?
When facing decisions, in situations both life-changing and normal everyday life, we need to ask questions like …
“Does this glorify the Heavenly Father?”
“What is right about this?”
“How will this benefit us spiritually?”
“Is this gratifying the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life (see 1John 2:16), or is it cultivating righteousness and holiness?”
“How will this affect us in the light of eternity?”
These are some tough questions and one might get the idea that I am encouraging a super-spiritual lifestyle where everything is dictated rules and regulations and we aren’t allowed to relax and enjoy ourselves. On the contrary, I think we have one of the happiest families around! We enjoy a good sense of humor … my father is one of the funniest men I know and laughter is a big part of our family life. We love to joke with each other and have a good time. Playing games and making music is a highlight. Sometimes we’ll even watch a good movie together.
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
It is a good thing to be happy and joyful, but we must beware that our joyfulness is acceptable in His sight. There is a huge difference between the joy of YHWH that is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) and what the world calls “fun” and “having a good time”. How can we be a holy people if we take our cues from the Godless society that we are surrounded by?
My dear friends … those of you who do not yet have children of your own, please prayerfully consider how to live righteous lives now and prepare to be a Godly example to your children. Learn now what it means to train up children in the way they should go and prepare to do just that, no matter the cost. After all, what are all the worldly pleasures worth, compared to being able to lead a child to the Heavenly Father?
To the parents who have read this … please hear me say how grateful I am for my parent’s protection. I am so thankful for the way that they have sheltered my siblings and me. I am not experiencing the painful consequences of a sinful lifestyle. I can go to sleep each night with a peaceful heart and without regrets, knowing that I am not perfect but in being made free from sin, I have become a servant of righteousness (Romans 6:18).
Dear parents, this is the greatest gift you can give your child … loving them enough to say no to ungodly influences and choices and directing them in the narrow way that leads to life.
“For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.” – Matthew 7:13,14