Leaving AND Honoring Parents Are Biblical Commands

For better and sometimes for worse, our parents and in-laws are a part of our lives. God designed it that way. We are told to honor our parents so that life will go well for us. We are also instructed to leave our parents when we get married.

This ‘leaving’ means a change of allegiance. We must see ourselves as a new unit after marriage. The husband is committed to his wife and she to him. However, ‘leaving’ does not mean that we abandon our parents. Rather, we are to honor them. The word honor means to show respect. It means treating parents with kindness and dignity. Leaving parents and honoring parents are both biblical commands.

Life’s Meaning Is Not Found In Possessions

In the midst of hard financial times, one wife said, “What we have discovered is that we can live on a whole lot less than we thought. It has really brought our family closer together. Now that we no longer have cable TV we are pulling out the games we used to play when the children were young. We’re all having great fun and we are building memories.”

This family demonstrates the biblical truth that life’s meaning is not found in possessions, but in relationships. It is my prayer that in the economic hard times we are having, people will turn again to God and to family. Then, with true satisfaction, we will reach out to minister to those who have even less than we. Serving others in the name of Jesus is the role of the Christian.

Our Security Is Not In Money, But In A Faithful God

Many would agree that these are troubled financial times. Many families are living under financial pressure. But for the Christian, money is to be our servant, not our security blanket. For many non-Christians, money is a sign of success.

All of their decisions are made in response to the question, “What offers the greatest financial advantage?” For the Christian, some things are more important than money. We have all learned that money can be ‘here today and gone tomorrow.’

But God is always ‘here’. He is never ‘gone’ today or tomorrow. So in hard times, we put our hand in His, and use whatever money we have to feed or families and help others. Our security is not in money, but in a loving and faithful God.

Our Trust Is In God

One of the benefits of trusting in God is that we don’t have to worry about money. Jesus made this abundantly clear when He said, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear….Your heavenly Father knows what you need. But seek first His kingdom…and all these things will be given to you as well.” God is committed to caring for His children.

This does not mean that we are to sit back and expect God to do everything. There is an old German proverb that says, “God gives the birds their food, but he does not throw it into their nests.” We are to use the mind and body He has given us, but we are to do it in co-operation with Him. Our trust in is Him, not in selfeffort
and certainly not in government.

God As Your Business Partner?

Have you ever considered making God your business partner? Many couples have made foolish financial decisions because they left God out of the process. Those who seek God’s wisdom and make financial decisions based on principles revealed in Scripture will save themselves much heartache.

We are at our best when we cooperate with God. R.G. LeTourneau, one of the industrial giants of the
last generation said that when he made God his business partner, he went from a struggling business to a highly successful business.

The scriptures are clear: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all who ask.” Let prayer be your first order of business, not the last resort.

In God We Trust

In today’s economy, it might be helpful to remember the words that are printed on our money. “In God we trust!”

No matter how much money we have, it is still “in God we trust.” To trust in money to give life meaning is to trust in an idol.

C.S. Lewis said, “One of the dangers of having a lot of money is that you may be quite satisfied with the kinds of happiness money can give and so fail to realize your need for God. If everything seems to come simply by signing checks, you may forget that you are at every moment totally dependent on God.” Life’s meaning is not found in possessions, but in relationships – first with God, then with family and friends. “In God we trust.”

More Than Just Sorry

What do you say or do when you apologize to someone? For some, it’s “I’m sorry.” To them, that is an apology. To others, “I’m sorry,” is just getting started. They want to hear, “I was wrong. I should not have done that. What can I do to make it up to you? I want to find a way that I will not repeat this behavior next week. I do hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me.” After two years of research, Dr. Jennifer Thomas and I discovered that there are five ways that people typically apologize. We called them the five languages of apology. Most people only speak one or two of the languages – the ones we were taught as children. In order to apologize effectively, we must learn to speak our apology in a way that the other person will understand.

Apologizing Enhances One’s Self-Esteem

People who grow up with low self-esteem, often find it difficult to apologize. To them, an apology seems to be a sign of weakness. In reality, apologizing enhances one’s self-esteem. People respect the man or woman who is willing to take responsibility for their own failures. Receiving the respect and admiration of others thus enhances how we feel about ourselves. On the other hand, those who try to hide or excuse wrongful behavior will almost always lose the respect and affirmation of others. A sincere apology is always a sign of maturity, not a sign of weakness. Apology opens the door to forgiveness. And forgiveness means that we can now continue to grow in our relationship. It’s never too late to learn to apologize.

Some People Almost Never Apologize

When Dr. Jennifer Thomas and I wrote the book: The five languages of Apology, we discovered that some people almost never apologize. One wife said, “My husband rarely apologizes, because he doesn’t see a lot of what he does as wrong. He finds it hard to admit that he makes mistakes.” This husband is living in an unrealistic world. All of us sometimes make harsh, critical, and unloving comments. When we are unwilling to accept responsibility for our words or behavior we erect a barrier between us and the person we hurt. Barriers are not removed without apologies and forgiveness. In fact, you cannot have a growing marriage without apologies.

Why is Apologizing so Hard?

Why is apologizing so hard? One husband said, “I know I did wrong, but so did she. In fact, she precipitated the whole thing. Why should I apologize when she’s the one who started it?” The problem with the waiting game is that the average life span for men and women is 75 years. How much of your life do you want to spend in a ‘cold war’? I’ve know people who have spent 30 years living in the same house, waiting for the other person to apologize. Why would you do that? I know it’s not all your fault, but some of it is. Apologize for your part and see what happens. The first step is often the hardest. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. Take responsibility for your failures and request forgiveness.

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