Monday, June 24, 2013

The Need for Blessing

Mark 10:13-16

Last week - Father's Day - discussed fatherless homes - problems?  lack of discipline?  direction?  lack of a masculine model?  The greatest social problem today is Fatherless homes.

The general answer for the resulting issues is:  children "missed their blessing"

Definition of Blessing:  1) to pray down God's divine favor (prophet, rabbi, patriarch) so that would result in
                                  2) to cause to prosper:  to promote wellness or well-being: may be physical, psychological, spiritual, relational, etc.

People desire (and need!!) to know that they are loved (lovable), valued (valuable) significant (special/matter).
To communicate this constitutes "Blessing"
(on one hand it's hard to define.  on the other hand, all know when they experience it)
When people miss a blessing, it makes a difference in their life.

1)  All people long for blessing.
(innate, inherent - known long before can define it)

2)  Blessing is especially important in Formative years.

3)  Blessing (or lack thereof) carries into adulthood.  According to stats:  when person receives blessing, results in their being more mentally, emotionally, relationally, socially stable!!

4)  Most effective time for blessing is childhood.  Called "formative years" because that's when feelings, attitudes, world view, etc. is being formed.
BUT this is NOT the only time!!!

5)  Most effective arena for blessing is home/family
BUT this is NOT the only arena!!!

6)  It is within your power to bless - not only for Rabbi, etc.

Some are gifted with the gift of blessings, but even if not, doesn't take away the responsibility to do it.

So...... A FEW simple but effective ways to Bless.

#1.  the most powerful, most effective - With Words.  Prov. 18:21 (a) - ---> Matt. 12:36
ie:  words of Praise, Encouragement ... "to speak well of"
Note:  this does not negate need of discipline/correction...  ( Heb. 12:11 )
Summary verse:  Eph. 4:29

#2.  With appropriate touch - (touch conveys a lot!!)
Mark 10:13  Mark 1:40-42
*touch works both ways -- ie. bless/curse

#3.  With apology (more than apologetic words -- but heart!!)
importance??  Matt.  5:23-24
(Kids need this from adults!!!)

#4.  With forgiveness (even blessed by forgiveness??  Eph. 4:32 )
Forgiveness = A.  release from guilt/debt - (and the burden thereof)
                      B.  removal of barrier between parties

#5.  With an Education in God's Word
(contrast exposure to His Word) - ie.  TAKE to Sunday School, AWANA, Day Camp - vs. living and educating by actions in daily life.
NOTE:  temporal blessings are of some value!!!  but not magic.
             eternal blessings are of great value!!!  

1)  No all will recognize your blessing.  Compare to God's Salvation - available to all but not all will accept.  Our responsibility is to OFFER - Prov. 3:27

2)  Remember - when you bless, God blesses through you!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Importance of DAD in the Home

Father's Day -
Recent decades - "fathers not that important in the home". 
Answer:  In the Jewish World Review - "Lunacy 101:  Questioning the need for fathers"

Recently, from surveys, stats, and study - point/conclusion - FATHERS ARE IMPORTANT  (= influential/make a difference)

Doesn't mean - all fathers are good  - means all are influential, make a difference, good or bad

Also, doesn't mean mothers are not important - (if had motherless homes, would be looking at stats about that).  But, reality is that there are a LOT of fatherless homes in our country.

Kids - doesn't mean you can't develop, mature without your father's presence

Dads - doesn't mean your kids cannot develop, mature without you.

Single Moms - doesn't mean your kids can't develop/mature under your care, influence, tutelage

It just mean:  1)  generally speaking ... it's much better for the home if dad is in the home.
                     2)  it is especially  better for the home if there is a godly dad in the home.


I.  MEN - fathers/fathers to be.
A)  Your influence is huge ( plus or minus) - good or bad
B)  This is by God's design
C)  Can ignore, deny, shirk BUT can't change the fact

3 Scriptures:  Mal. 4:5-6
                     Luke 12:48 (b)  ...... from everyone...."
                     I Tim 5:8
On one hand, not gonna get it all right.  - Rom. 3:23
On the other hand, should be motivated by the influence and the urgency.

II.  WOMEN - wives and mothers to be.
Gen. 2:18 - "help mete/suitable helper"
On one hand, hubby often wants no help, refuses to be, become.
On the other hand, be careful!!!  to examine:
      a)  your methods:  helpful?  or detrimental?
      b)  your motives - want him to be what God wants him to be/  or you want him to be???
Touchstone verse:  Prov. 14:1 - "wise woman" -  examines methods and motives

III.  CHILDREN - (of all ages) - Ex. 20:12 ---> Eph. 6:2-3 - 1st. commandment with promise
1)  give him (them) the honor due
2)  give him (them) fair/balanced consideration when determining what honor is due!!  Use head, not heart!!!
3)  don't let his dishonorable decisions destroy you!!!!
Psalm 68:5 (a)   Psalm 27:10

BABY DEDICATION - a formal ceremony wherein a child is dedicated to the Lord.

The idea is NOT hand off the child or the responsibility

BUT - #1.  A public statement of recognition and thanks to God - "this child is from You"

          #2.  A public statement of intent - to raise this child - a) according to God's word
                                                                                          b) in hopes he/she will follow the Lord

(Public statement ---- compare to marriage vows)  very serious

         #3.  A request for God's blessings - a) on the child  b) on parents' efforts

Note:  Blessings sometimes bestowed, sometimes accomplished - but usually a combination of the two.

So.... parents ...note!!! The dedication of the child is meaningless without the dedication of selves  (children don't need to be dedicated, but to see dedication)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dealing With Emotional Baggage

We have addressed "gender differences", so now are moving on to "Emotional Baggage in Marriage".

Counseling scenario often = 1) typical marital issues, or 2) personal/emotional issues - brought into marriage

Marital Issues = problems caused by or inherent to  a marriage relationship.
ie:  problems that didn't exist until the union

Examples:  money management by 2 people, sexual compatibility, child discipline, dealing with in laws
Maybe gender differences, personal preference, issues of teamwork and cooperation

Marital Issues are:  common (are some in all marriages)
Therefore:  relatively easy to diagnose and address

Emotional Issues - Emotional Baggage - not problems caused by the union, but rather - unresolved issues brought into the union
Examples:  passion --> frigidity (many times because of childhood sexual abuse)
                 lying and deceitfulness - (formed in foster system/survival)
                 Vow of "no woman will control me" - (because of domineering mother)

So..........Emotional Issues/Emotional Baggage - on one hand causes problems in the marriage
But, is not caused By the marriage.
Princess Attitude
Entitlement Attitude
Helpless Victim Attitude/Defeatist Attitude
Better than others Attitude - extreme pride
Inferior to others Attitude - low self-esteem/insecurity
Suspicious of others Attitude
 Chauvinism/feminism/sexism/racism ---> "all women are deceitful"/"all men are domineering"
(Therefore:  suspicion of spouse!!)
Control issues - no woman/man/______ will tell me what to do!!!!

Fear of bonding - (if get close people will use you/hurt you...)
Fear of sex - (duty, vulgar, nasty, harmful) (painful!)

Whatever the cause, it's created issues like:
Contempt for others - contempt for rich/poor/jocks/cowboys
Stubbornness/hard heartedness/Pigheadedness
Social withdrawal -->socially inept
Being overly sensitive - and showing it or hiding it.

Creates:  insecurity, anger, bitterness, hatred, envy, jealousy!  unwilling to see/admit a problem.
Creates inner vows - "I'll show them" w/money/accomplishments/guns/bomb!!

"My parents made me go to church.... and I'll never....." etc., etc., etc.


1)  Baggage - because brought it with you (unpacked in the relationship)

2)  Personal - because it's yours, belongs to you
Causes problems for spouse, but NOT the spouse's problem - it's YOURS!!!

3)  Emotional - because it's deep-seated/solidly rooted feelings!!
"I'm a decent person and feel strongly about this so it must be right!!!

4)  Mental - because affects how you think/see/perceive - (world view)
AND how you think and feel leads to how you act/react/respond

5)  Unresolved - because problem is not past experience(s)
The problem is past experience(s) not having been resolved/dealt with/cleared up

6)  Issues/Problems - because = problem!!! - and creates more problems.
Your feelings/conclusions are contrary to God's will for you.... so
A) hinder growth/maturity  and B) hinder your ability to give and receive love.

may be inherited, learned, environmental, introduced (by trauma), these are Real causes,
BUT, may even be perceived/an imagined cause

POINT: = these (any) unresolved emotional issues =
1)  Contrary to God's will and intent for you
2)  Hinder your growth/maturity
3)  Hinder your ability to give and received in a relationship.  Christianity is about relationships.

In summary:  1)  it's sin/wrong/detrimental!!!
and               2)  you  have to be the one to deal with emotions!

1.  We all have emotional baggage - everybody has some!
Because - we are sinners - raised by sinners - in a sinful world

2.  Emotional baggage comes in all levels of intensity
          Some = minor - prejudice against little dogs
          Some = major - prejudice against little boys/girls!!!
Most issues and not big but compare to a thorn in yr. shoe!! - may not be terrible but can change the way you walk, etc. till it's removed.

3.   The emotional health of a marriage cannot exceed the emotional health of the individuals within the marriage.  A ___________ marriage is made of __________ people.  Fill in the blanks.

4.   The emotional health of one cannot (fully) compensate/offset the emotional baggage of the other.
Can make a difference/ can help, but cannot make the relationship what it should be.

5.   Emotional issues in one tend to create emotional issues in the other. - Example:  abusive alcoholic --> wife=???

6.   Emotional issues in parents tend to create emotional issues in the children.
Example:  who is more likely to be physically abusive???
                                                     sexually abusive??
                                                     Domineering???  etc

NOTE:  most of the illustrations are radical for the sake of illustration.
But, remember, emotional issues come in small doses more often than in large doses.
Example:  termites destroy more homes in a year's time than do tornadoes, so why isn't the news media all over that????

Application:  Note - the message = dealing with emotional baggage in marriage.

How Not to Deal With It
Denial   Indifference    Stonewalling    Blame Transfer   Defeatism (helpless victim)


#1.  Admit generally - Rom. 3:23 - you are a sinner/raised by sinners/in sinful world....

#2.  Assess continually - (doesn't mean all day, everyday.... But ongoing!!!)
Note:  emotional baggage = very easy to discern .... IN OTHERS!!!

"Need Objective measure" - ie:  The Word - 2 Tim. 3:14-16 - don't measure by feelings but by the truths in God's Word.
Note:  (therefore)  Value of  a) Bible Study   b)  preaching and teaching   c)  exposure to the Holy Spirit

#3.  Admit specifically - 1st. step in AA?  - "I am an alcoholic".  Say the same thing God says about.

#4.  Respond Scripturally
Confess/apology/forgiveness/repentance  - John 8:31-32

Prov. 14:1   Prov. 24:3-4