The Importance of Praying With Your Spouse

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Featured, Leadership

The Importance of Praying With Your Spouse

couple-praying

This article is a part of the new 30:1 Marriage Devotional series.

If there were one topic in all of this devotional series to write about, this one would perhaps be one of the top three. Hands down, as it’s enmeshed in all of the topics. There is no more of a time when we are brought into the right position and relationship with one another and with God, than in prayer. I have counseled many different couples who were in need of marriage reconciliation. I stressed their growth forward must contain unified, hand-holding, undivided prayer time.

God has uniquely and spiritually placed two people’s body into one flesh, and unified prayer is essential for a healthy marriage. Praying together is a form of communication. While it is right and we are to individually enter our prayer petitions and supplications, we also need to do this with one another; this is when we find out the heart and soul of the person—we hear their hurts, their joys, and their needs for wholeness. I know that the times when I am praying with my wife that we may have some similar requests to our heavenly Father, but then I will also notice some which are different or would not have thought about.

Praying for our spouses is one of the duties of being a good and faithful husband—we are supposed to be invested in our wife’s spiritual and emotional maturity and health. As I have stated to quarreling couples, when we come into the presence of God together, hand in hand, it is impossible to still hold onto our sins, grudges, and biases—the Holy Spirit will not allow it—or you will have to back away from the prayer time, which will convict your own heart.

I can vividly see the picture of the time when my wife and I were on our knees together in front of our sofa, weeping; we had submitted our goals, surrendered our needs and wants, and asked the Lord to show us His will and unified plan for our lives, for the Kingdom’s sake. It was such a beautiful moment and a defining one. I think most couples miss out on these times. While the husband and the wife have an individual prayer life, most do not have unified prayer time—this should not be.

There is power in unified prayer and especially within the spiritual union of two souls working and living as one flesh. Sometimes our individuality gets in the way of our unique combined DNA. Each married couple has a specific God-given DNA. This is why some couples are exact opposites, some are alike, or weird, or passionate, or any other attribute, but the bottom line is that the two individuals are knit together by God, as He creates an exclusive unified DNA. When this DNA prays to the Creator, I believe things change within a marriage. No longer is life about self, but about serving the Creator through a unified flesh.

This post first appeared at Men’s Daily Life and is posted here with permission.

Reflection

• When was the last time that you held hands and prayed with your wife—besides saying the blessing before a meal?

• “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7). This does not mean weaker in intellect, but in strength. It is obvious that most women have smaller frames. As husbands, we respect, protect, and honor our wives as companions in the journey through life.

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Older Men Speaking into Younger Men’s Lives

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Featured, Leadership

Older Men Speaking into Younger Men’s Lives

Bible-Reading1Young Christian men need older, seasoned, godly men in their lives. In the past year, I’ve been meeting regularly with an older, godly, seasoned man from my church. In addition to this, I’m in regular communication with one of the pastors because of my role in the Men’s Ministry. Who they are isn’t as important as the fact that they pour God’s grace into my life and are a tremendous encouragement to me. In this article, I want to convince and persuade you, young men, to find a godly older man to speak into your life.

Moses was a very busy man, after all he was leading Israel from bondage in Egypt to the Promised ­­Land. He was leading a massive number of people. Moses needed his father-in-law (Exodus 18) to speak into his life, although he didn’t realize he needed it. And yet his father-in-law’s advice was timely. The same is true for us today. Young men, you need older men in your life. Don’t assume that you don’t need this, because if you think that you don’t, you are simply being prideful. Older, godly, seasoned men have much to impart to your life, not only knowledge of the Word of God, but also experience with God that they have gained through many trials and experiences. They also have life knowledge that you may one-day need. Don’t resist this knowledge and experience; heed their rebukes and be wise.

When I was a teenager, like most teenagers, I thought I knew everything. But at this time in my life, however, I realize that I don’t know everything. I resisted my parents’ instruction and was foolish, often even as I heeded other older men’s speaking into my life at my local church. Young men, we need older men in our lives for the simple purpose that they know more than we do. I don’t care if you’re like me and have a long list of titles after your name, or if you’re 30-40 years old, and have been in ministry for 10 plus years as I have. You still need older men in your life! I don’t care if you’ve been a Christian for the majority of your life, as I have been. I qualify under all those categories. I have multiple Masters Degrees and have been a Christian my entire life and I still need older men. I still have many areas where I need to grow. Young men, be humble—God uses humble men who are still repenting for His glory.

Thanking those who are godly and take the time to speak into our lives is so important. Not only is it important in terms of thanking them for how the Lord is using them, but it is another way of honoring our elders for their godly example. This is sadly an often neglected aspect of ministry towards the saints.

In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul tells the Corinthians to follow him as he follows Jesus. The Corinthians are to follow the apostolic pattern of life that Paul has set before them. We, as young men, need to follow the example of godly men who are farther along than us. As a young man, you may think you know everything, and I understand that feeling. You may think you know more about God than those who are older, and you may very well. Yet you still don’t know everything. People may come to you to ask for answers from the Bible and guidance for life all the time. If you’re like me you can answer dozens of questions about systematic theology and can rattle off the meaning to more doctrinal and theological words than you’ve experienced in your own life, yet you still have need for godly mentors. If you don’t think you do then you are misguided, arrogant, and prideful. In 1 Timothy 4:11-15 young men are told to make their progress evident to all. One way we do this is by being in submission to those who are older than us, especially to our pastors and elders who will have to give an account to the Chief Shepherd the Lord Jesus Christ.

To wrap up this article, please allow me, to summarize, a few points. First, be humble because of the grace you’ve received in and through Christ. You don’t know everything, and that’s okay. To acknowledge that you don’t know everything is to admit that you still have areas to learn and grow in; the word disciple, after all, means “learner”. We are to learn from Jesus and one another. This requires living in humble submission to Jesus and to those who are older and more seasoned than us.

Second, it requires that we minister from a place of neediness of God’s grace. Since humility is, as Augustine and Calvin said, the definition of the Christian life, it goes to reason that we have a great need for Jesus all the time. As Charles Spurgeon said, “I have a great need for Jesus. I have a great Christ for my need.” Jesus is what we need and He lives to make intercession for us at all times because He rules and reigns now, as our High Priest and Intercessor.

Finally, you need godly, older men because you need to live in community with God’s people. You need to see how these older men live their Christian lives. You need to consider the outcome of their doctrine and way of life. We live in a culture that devalues all of this, and I realize that the message of this article is countercultural, but it is biblical. You need Jesus and other godly, mature, seasoned men in your life. If you are serious about pursuing ministry of any kind, for any length of time in your life, I plead with you to consider what I’ve said in this article. If you want to last in ministry, you will need the counsel and friendship of older men. You need to learn now from their failures and their successes. You need to consider their doctrine and the patterns of life that flow from their doctrine. If you don’t, the consequences could be great and your faith will suffer.

Make no mistake, I’ve been a Christian since I was four years old. I’ve seen many, many Christian pastors and leaders come and go in the 30 years I’ve been a Christian. One way to avoid failing and destroying not only your life and ministry, but also the lives of many people around you, is to have older men speaking into your life.

Older men speaking into younger men’s lives is God’s pattern of ministry. Intergenerational ministry is not optional, it is God’s means of grace to you. It is a help to you; accept it, don’t fight against it. Gladly accept this means of grace in your life, rejoicing in the God who provides wisdom to you through the examples of godly men. Learn from them, seek them out and follow their pattern of life and doctrine as they follow Jesus. I plead with you, young man, to abandon your life of impurity and ungodliness, and consider the standard of God in His Word. Follow your leaders as they follow Jesus. Seek the Lord and His righteousness. Consider what the Bible has to say about true wisdom and how it is dispensed from the older to the younger. Consider how our God places people in your life; consider all He has said and you will see that God does use older men in powerful ways.

Older men, be gentle with the younger men in your local church; we need your rebukes and your love for Jesus. We need your wisdom, and most of all we desperately need your prayers. We are a generation that is hurting. We are the generation of the father-wound: those without fathers. Pray for us and love us with the love of Jesus. And, young men, as you heed the counsel of older godly men who have “been there and done that”, God will use you. Those who decrease are those who are growing in the grace of God. I believe the Lord will make these things plain to you, young men, who earnestly desire more of Jesus and less of yourselves. May the Lord richly bless you young man as you seek after His righteousness.

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Loving God and Your Spouse: Six Ways Christ Instructed Husbands to Love Their Wives

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Featured, Godly legacy, Love

Loving God and Your Spouse: Six Ways Christ Instructed Husbands to Love Their Wives

382606905_640-300x1681Have you ever felt like you don’t know how to show your wife love? More than one study has shown that men have a hard time loving their wives, despite the fact that the Scriptures require it. Five times in typical English translations of the Bible (and six times in the Greek) in Ephesians 5:21-33 Paul exhorts the Christians to love their wives. As Paul often does, he builds upon the teaching of the rest of the Bible to support his case. After all, Jesus teaches that Christians are to love Him and love their neighbors (Matthew 22:37-40).

Early on in my marriage I was one of those men who struggled to figure out how to love and care for my wife. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my wife either—I did and still do very much. But we’ve been taught that “love is often fickle”. People often think if they don’t feel like loving their spouse then they don’t have to. That isn’t love, that’s feeling—“warm fuzzies” to be exact. The love that Paul speaks about in Ephesians 5:21-33 is based on something more than feelings; it’s based on the sovereign work of God’s grace. In other words, the “love” being spoken of in Ephesians 5:21-33 is based on covenant. Marriage is a covenant between God, one man, and one woman, seeking to live life together under the authority of the Word of God.

It’s popular in our day to hear others say to married couples, “If you’re not happy in your marriage you can just leave or get a divorce.” The sad thing about that statement is the fact that it’s not only unbiblical, it’s also wrong. When a couple gets married, they sign up for life together—not just when they feel like it, but to stick with it and work at loving each other. After all, the man and woman have both said “I do” in front of family members and friends. They have pledged that they will love, cherish, and take care one another. The sage wisdom of the world in regards to love is nothing more than foolishness before God’s Word.

Men, what our wives need more than anything is for us to understand that they need the “love tank” of their hearts to be filled. You may not have thought about loving your wife as filling her “love tank” before, so let me elaborate on what I mean. As I mentioned earlier, loving our wives is not optional, it’s a command. Jesus empowers His people to do that which He commands; theologians call this the indicative (what Christ has done) fueling the imperative (what we are to do).

Men, if you were to stop reading this article right now and ask your wife what she wants the most, I think what she (or most wives) would say is to know that she is loved and cared for by you (or maybe for you to take out the trash…kidding). Men, as you know, we live in a culture that encourages us to not be proactive in our marriages or relationships with others. Instead we’re encouraged be passive, rather than to actively lead. This idea reinforces our sinful (fleshly) propensity to be apathetic. This is why, if you’ve not tended to your wife’s heart in some time, she may seek comfort and affection—which she needs and desires—from other sources, like friendship with other men, her job, a romantic novel/show/movie, or other “filler” things. Yet, what God calls men to do is to tend to the garden of her heart, thereby filling her “love tank”.

You may ask, “But how do I do that?” The answer is simple: we do that by speaking true and godly words to her, filling her heart with Jesus’ love as you are likewise filled. Since I minister to men on a weekly basis from all across the country via email—both in full-time ministry and secular jobs and at my local church—I know well what men are struggling with. My purpose here is not to shame you, because chances are you already know the weight of guilt and shame in this area of your life. Instead, I want you to look to the One who can take away your guilt and shame—Jesus Christ. Jesus died in our place and for our sins, to remove our guilt and shame before the Father. He stands as our Advocate now and pleads our case before the throne of God. He intercedes on our behalf whenever Satan accuses us. And it is through His shed blood that we are forgiven, and by which Jesus serves as our High Priest.

You may not feel like you have love to give today and that’s okay. Love is more than a feeling, and through Jesus you can love your spouse. I encourage you to pray and ask Jesus to fill you with His love. This is a prayer that He will always answer. Paul tells us this in Ephesians 3:16-19:

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

God desires to fill us with His love after all, which He spilled for us when He died on the Cross.

I realize that you may not feel entirely loving all the time, and I want you to know that it’s okay. Real love is sacrificial, but it also recognizes its own limits. By recognizing that you’re a work-in-progress by His grace, you can come to understand your wife’s need, which is the same as your own: more of Jesus. You may think that you have enough of Jesus in your life, but the truth is that we always need more of Him. We need more of His care, more of His grace, and more of His love.

How do you fill your wife’s “love tank”? First, by recognizing your need for Jesus. Secondly, by speaking true and godly words to your wife. Focus on not being sarcastic and poking fun at your wife, but instead on building her up, focusing on what God is doing in her life. This will require you to get into the trenches and build your relationship with your wife, using intentionality and hard work. This brings me to my fourth point—filling our wives’ “love tank(s)” requires us to be the shepherd leaders of their hearts. And lastly, filing your wife’s “love tank” will require you to sometimes speak hard, but truthful, words. As you do this, keep in mind that your wife isn’t “one of the guys”. This means you shouldn’t shoot from the hip. Your wife, while she may appear to be tough on the outside, is soft and tender. She needs your words to be tender, caring, and affectionate, not harsh and cruel.

While you might think that all this “love tank” business is nonsense and that you don’t need to do it, I encourage you to understand the work of God’s grace in your own life. You don’t deserve to be shown mercy when you fail, rather you deserve the full wrath of God. Instead of having blessing after blessing poured into your life, you deserve to feel the full brunt of His wrath. Instead of air in your lungs you deserve to be six feet under. Everything in our lives is truly a gift from God, and if we’re honest, deep down we know we don’t deserve anything in life. Everything that we receive is a gift of God’s grace. If we really think about it in the way I’ve described in this article, we will come to see that not only do our wives “love tank(s)” need to be filled up regularly, but ours do as well. After all, Jesus said in John 13:35 that “the whole world will know us by our love”. So let’s abundantly display the love of God in our lives, in our marriages, and in our ministries—to the glory of God. By doing this, not only will our marriages improve, but so will our relationship with God and others. This is why Paul lists LOVE as the first of all the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Love should be a natural overflow in our lives, since it is the fruit of the love we have is received is from God. Therefore, let us demonstrate to our wives (and others) the great love of God.


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Send Him on His Way: Sons and Vocation

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in Fathers

Hint: Yesterday’s article focused on daughters. Today’s focuses on sons. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take all this stuff here and apply it to your daughter. Everything below I’ve done with my two daughters as well.

Hammers, saws, guitars, drums, stethoscopes, and Bibles are all things my son sneaks into his backpack to take to preschool. They are his go to pay items: I mean, besides Iron Man, Captain America, Spiderman, Tigger, and Pluto.

And almost every day he tells me one of three things. I want to be at Grandpa and Grandma’s. I want to be at Disney World. Or I want to be…Handy Manny, a doctor, a guitar player, or a pastor.

I guess this could go any number of ways. He could do a combo of doctor and handy man and be a surgeon. I’ve suggested that. He’s got a really steady hand, but he doesn’t like the idea of cutting into flesh. I’ve suggested a worship pastor. He’s still trying to wrap his brain around what that is. He is only three after all.

No matter what he does, I’m going to be super proud of him. Why? Because he’s my son. You know what I mean.

As I think about helping your son figure out his vocation — I can’t help but think that it doesn’t matter how young they are — they’re never too young to coach them and help think through what they love to do and what they might do for a lifetime.

Here’s a few things I’ve done with my three year old boy.

1. Take him to work.

Remember to take your kid to work day. I do. I loved doing this with my dad. A couple times a year, I’ve taken Asher with me on a road trip of meetings. Last year we went to Evanston to meet our churches church planter there. This year I took him on a tour of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and to meet a friend of mine in Libertyville that also is interested in church planting. Both times were a lot of fun for the two of us. He loved being with dad for a day, and everyone we met loved seeing him. It was fun.

2. Encourage him with his interests.

Is your son interested in tools, musical instrument, books, planes? Whatever he is interested in make sure to reinforce it by giving him access to play, imagine, create with those things. Let his excitement grow and see what stuff he holds interest and what stuff he loses interest in. It’s entertaining to see the cycles, to see what enflames their interests, and help them manage the feeling when interest wanes.

3. Show him the opportunities.

When your son develops interest in a new hobby or has a new idea about a vocation, find ways to open up his world to that hobby or vocation. Look for YouTube videos or shows that talk about that vocation or hobby. Take him to see and meet real people doing that work. When you’re driving and he sees a firetruck, dump truck, train, or plane, go vocation chasing with him. And if he wants to be a storm chaser, use caution my friend. Don’t get too close to a twister.

And don’t forget to expand his world on vocations. Show him about space because we’re going to Mars now and we need more pilots to get us all there. Help him see the power of computers, engineering, the sciences, and the arts. Take him to museums, the zoo, amusement parks, and sporting venues. A lot of these things you might already be doing. Just do them and plant seeds as you do. Ask questions about his interest or what he thinks about the profession or event. Find out what sparks his interest more.

Proverbs 22:6 and Vocation

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

Your role as a dad is helping your children in the way that they should go. Yes, altogether too often this text is compartmentalized to the aspect of vocation. That is grievous. This verse is about so much more than vocation. It’s about being a son of God, a husband, a father, and a worker. It’s a holistic verse that covers all of life.

Nonetheless, it is not that it has nothing to do with vocation either. This verse is critically point to the role of a parent to love his or her children and raise them to honor God and his or her family. That includes finding a vocation and following the call of that vocation.

This post first appeared at Joey’s blog and is posted here with his permission.

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When She Asks, “Daddy, How Do I Look?”

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in Fathers

“Daddy, how do I look?”

This is a common refrain of any little girl. She’ll say this after dressing up in her favorite princess dress, putting as many bows in her hair as possible, and all of the costume jewelry she can find. After having completed her adornment she’ll traipse up to you and sweetly but inquisitively ask this question.

You’ll experience a whole cycle of princess dresses from Snow White to Elsa. Those early times of inquisition you’ll be delighted, attentive, affirming.

“Oh my, what a beautiful princess!”

You’ll hem and haw over her. You’ll fill that much needed tank of approval. She’ll squeal with delight and go back off to her room for another wardrobe change, just to play it all over again for you.

Over time, over the years, the scenario begins to play out even more. But both of you will see it differently. It’s possible that she’ll notice you’ve become less enthusiastic, less attentive. You didn’t mean for it to be this way. You’re not any less affirming then you’ve always been. You’re simply distracted.

You’ll probably be sitting at the kitchen table some morning, scarfing down a quick bowl of cereal and burning your throat as you chug down a hot cup of coffee.

You’ll likely be thinking, “I need to get out this door and get to work. I’ve got a long day ahead.”

And then here she comes. But now she’s not in a princess dress. She’s in a blouse with a cardigan, a very cute and ruffly color-coordinated skirt, a pair of tights, her most recent size of winter boots, all accented with an infinity scarf. She’s dressed both smart and modest, sophisticated and stylish.

She might be 5, 5th grade, or fifteen. Regardless, what you say and how you give her attention in this moment matters. If you’re fortunate, in the moment of your distracted breakfast when all this takes place, you’ll have an equally loving wife in the background to remind you:

“Honey, always remember, always remember, how you respond to her when she asks that is crucial.”

And it is crucial! Your daughter craves your approval. Not because that’s where she gets her significance, but because it is a storehouse for honor. She brings honor to you and your family when she models modesty and beauty in tandem. She reflects your family’s values. She reflects her desire to honor her King.

You dad, are given these opportunities, not just to approve your daughter, but to approve and applaud God for the beauty found in one of his precious creatures.

She’s not a distraction; she’s an attraction.

And if you, dad, have emphasized noble character, including modesty and beauty, internal and external, then she will not attract to herself. She’ll attract others to God.

Approve and applaud loudly, enthusiastically, and with gusto every day of your life. She’ll keep returning to this well for water and will not seek after another.

This post first appeared at Joey’s blog and is posted here with his permission.

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Five Ways Parents Can Speak to Their Children About the Evils of Pornography

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Featured, Godly legacy

Five Ways Parents Can Speak to Their Children About the Evils of Pornography

Kayaking_in_Glacier_Bay_Alaska1-1024x744-300x217-27601_300x200For all you parents out there, please pay attention to this post as I am going to share something that is quite frightening, something, which you might be turning a blind eye to or are completely unaware could be taking place in your home. What is this horrible issue you might ask? Your child is almost assuredly being exposed to porn.

I hope that caught your attention. Now an understandable response is “That is impossible. We do not watch porn in our home and we ensure that no inappropriate programming is allowed.” I get that; however, your child is almost assuredly being exposed to porn. How can I make that claim? I can make it from personal experience.

In my home, we do not even have cable or satellite television. Late in 2014, we made the decision to view whatever channels we could obtain via an indoor television antenna. We also subscribe to Netflix and Amazon Prime which allows us to oversee and monitor what is viewed in our home. Even with those moves and this level of oversight, the ability to access porn remains. We are big users of mobile electronic devices, specifically the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. My wife has one. I have one. Our daughter has one. The good news is they are all connected to the same account and thus, we have the ability to monitor what has been viewed. It came to our attention that the filtering and parental controls on this device are insufficient when it comes to blocking unsavory content.

Our daughter likes to watch videos on YouTube that are about different ways to decorate her room. Even when she inputs a search for something completely benign, within a couple of clicks on various videos, more often than not, something perverted is available for the taking in the list of recommended viewing options. I hasten to imagine what would appear if our daughter searched for a meatloaf recipe.

After taking a look at the viewing history on our daughter’s Kindle, we noticed she had clicked on a number of videos that were far from something that glorifies God. We are convinced those viewing choices were not deliberate. Even still, it was disturbing, frightening, and disappointing all rolled into one bundle of emotions. This situation afforded us the opportunity to have a discussion with our daughter regarding godly and ungodly viewing habits and the reality that perverts in the world are preying on young people in an attempt to get them addicted to this type of material. Cleverly, those who peddle such perversion have purposefully tagged certain videos, which in turn results in their filth appearing as a viewing option even when the most innocent of search criteria is entered. Given the heart is exceedingly wicked and curiosity will often draw young minds to view such filth, the reality is your child will click on that garbage and will have their hearts and minds muddied by the grotesque and twisted waters of porn.

Outside of completely cutting yourself off from the outside world, what are the options for parents when access to porn is just a click away on any and every electronic device in your home? Is this a lost cause? Should parents just throw their hands up in defeat with the attitude that we cannot control everything our children do, so if they view such filth, we hope it is minimal at best? Or is there a better way, a more balanced approach that allows for access to technology yet ensures with the utmost care and oversight that our children’s viewing habits are not being drawn to the rotten garbage of porn?

I suggest throwing your hands in the air in a state of defeatism is not the answer. I also suggest that complete withdrawal from everything electronics related is not the answer. The answer is for parents to be parents, to provide guidance, oversight, and accountability for their children. Below are five ways to provide a needed covering to shield your children from porn. These five ways will provide opportunities to teach your children the difference between how to be holy in a world determined to suck your children into the dark side of pornographic addiction.

First, have an open and honest discussion with your children. When we discovered that unsavory material was being viewed by our daughter, we sat down with her and explained the dangers. We told her that it is our job to be the covering for her in all matters. This was not a yelling conversation. Make no mistake though, we told her that viewing such nonsense was wrong and that if we observed such viewing habits in the future, her access to the internet would be restricted. In addition to that, we used this opportunity as a teaching moment, a chance to help her better understand the world we live in and those who prey upon young adult minds. We talked with her about what godly behavior patterns are all about and the battle we all face with the temptation to walk down the path of unrighteousness.

Second, set the example. There is nothing worse that extolling the virtues of righteous living while you as parents do the complete opposite. If you are reading 50 Shades of Grey, stop immediately and burn that book. If you have inappropriate music and movies in your home that are not God honoring, destroy them immediately. Demonstrate to your children by your own actions what godly viewing habit are all about.

Third, utilize filtering software. This is something my wife and I will be exploring. Covenant Eyes does an excellent job from what I am told. Additional suggestions include using parental controls on devices such as iPads, Kindles, smart phones, and all other electronic devices. When you install such controls, make sure you discuss why you are doing this with your children. Ensure you have shared with them it is for their own protection.

Fourth, pray. It is of the utmost necessity that you pray for your children. We live in a world full of sinful people. As Christians, we are engaged against an enemy in Satan and his minions that has as their sole purpose in life, the destruction of your children. Do not turn a blind eye to that reality, thinking everything will be okay and that harm will never befall your children. Pray for your children and most importantly, pray with your children.

Fifth, be committed as a family to the reading of God’s Word. There is nothing better than turning off the television, shutting down the computer, or putting that gaming device on pause and spending time as a family reading, studying, and meditating on God’s Word. As the old saying goes – garbage in; garbage out. If we are feeding our minds and hearts with garbage, the desire for more garbage will be the result. Conversely, if we are filling our hearts and minds with the truth and light of God’s Word, we will be equipped as a family to identify truth from error. As parents in encouraging regularly Bible reading, you will be fulfilling your God given mandate to train up your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

Finally, this is a battle. Do not sit on the sidelines. Be active in the lives of your children by identifying what they are watching, what websites they are visiting, and what they are feeding their minds with regardless of the medium they are using. Talk with your children about the dangers of porn. The filth available to even the youngest of children today is addictive, destructive, and is within the reach of your children. Be aware, be active, and be godly parents. Your children deserve it and God commands it.

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