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It's Not Too Late to Save Your Marriage

In a new book they co-authored, pastor John Hagee and his wife, Diana, deal boldly and honestly with issues that are destroying families today

 

Christian marriages are being torn apart today--by alcoholism, pornography, immorality, materialism and selfishness. But Texas pastor John Hagee, who has officiated at hundreds of weddings in his 46 years of ministry, knows that couples can stick together for life if they are willing to follow biblical principles.

In a unique new book What Every Man Wants in a Woman; What Every Woman Wants in a Man (Charisma House), Hagee and his wife, Diana, tackle some of the toughest issues facing married couples today. Written as two messages in one, the book addresses both men and women with candor--sharing wisdom from a couple who have been happily married for almost 30 years. We talked with the Hagees about their views on marriage in America and how Christian couples can avoid divorce and develop fulfilling, intimate relationships.

Charisma: It's no secret that Christian marriages are in trouble today. What's happening to us?

John: It's unbelievable to me that the courthouse will give any human being with brains enough to find the front door a license to get married. My father, who pastored for 53 years, often said, "If you have half a mind to get married, do it; that's all it takes."

You can't cut someone's hair without a license. You can't fish without a license. You can't go hunting without a license. But to get a license to get married, a license that empowers you to create new life, destroy your life, or crush the dreams and hopes of your spouse and family, all you have to do is have $25, and you are an instant player.

Charisma: So you're saying many marriages fail because people aren't ready to marry?

John: There's more to marital readiness than a blood test. How sad that we spend so many years training for a career and so little time preparing for marriage. A hasty courtship can often lead to a marriage that is a disaster.

Delaying your marriage by choice or because of financial or educational circumstances is usually beneficial. The passage of time allows all infatuation to die, while it tempers and develops true love and spiritual attraction.

Trying to escape from an unhappy home via marriage is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. More than 60 percent of teenage marriages end in divorce. The more mature you are at the time of your marriage, the greater the probability of your success in marriage.

Charisma: You say in your book that premarital sex is a big reason why many marriages fail.

John: I have never seen a marriage built on sexual excitement that was successful. If you are building a dating relationship on sexual excitement, you are violating the laws of God as a fornicator, and your relationship in the future is doomed without total repentance and reformation.

When you become romantically involved, you experience an intense adrenaline and endorphin high. Romantic love can be very exciting. Sex ups the ante even more.

However, the body can keep the flow of adrenaline and endorphins going for just so long. Soon you become exhausted, depressed and bored.

The relationship is dumped, and you go on to someone else who will give you that same excitement. But soon that new relationship dies, also, because it has a faulty foundation.

Almost everyone has experienced the physical sensations of romance--the pounding of the heart, butterflies in the stomach, goose bumps, chills, tingling, trembling and sexual excitement. That is not love; it is romance.

Many people become addicted to romance. As a result of such an addiction, there are many disappointments in love, and many marriages fail. Relationships built on the excitement of sex alone are doomed to failure.

Charisma: You say marriage is not just about sex. But in your book you place a lot of emphasis on the importance of a physical relationship.

Diana: I tell women it is very important to show affection to your husband every opportunity you get. Take his hand when you are walking together, or pat his shoulder as you pass by him. Kiss him often. Even if it hasn't been part of your past behavior, try beginning anew by giving him what it is you want in return.

One of the most beautiful pictures of romance I have ever seen is one I witness every Sunday morning at Cornerstone Church. On the front row center of the second section sit a wonderful man and his precious wife. They are in their late 80s. They sit so close to each other you couldn't get a sheet of paper between them. Every Sunday they hold each other's hand. These two wrinkled and gnarled hands are clasped tightly, and the other two hands are raised in praise and worship to the Lord.

What a statement they make! The message of romance they send every Sunday is a memorial to the love they have for each other and the love they have for God.

Charisma: You point out that men, in particular, don't realize that women need intimacy that is not always sexual.

John: Emotional intimacy includes touch, caressing, hugging, kissing and romancing. There are approximately 5 million touch receptors in the human body. More than 2 million receptors are in the hands alone.

The right hand of touch releases a pleasing and healing flow of chemicals in the bodies of both the toucher and the touched. Studies have shown that even the tender touch of a pet dog or cat can cause people to get healthier.

My mother was a person who could hug you and make the world go away. From my earliest childhood, I watched her reach out and hug all the people she loved, and many others, too. I adopted that practice as a teenager, and I practice it to this day. I believe it's beneficial for every person to receive affection from another person through touch.

I tell men: Without the emotional intimacy of touch and warm personal communication, sex with your wife is little more than domestic rape.

Charisma: A lot of couples say they divorced after enduring years of living together without any passion. What can a couple do if the fire has gone out?

John: The first step is to determine that both of you want to improve your marriage. Every marriage can be a better marriage.

Turn off the football game. Put down the newspaper and plan a date night. Sit down and make a list of exciting things you would like to do together, and then do it. "Insanity" defined is "doing the same things the same way and expecting a different result." Your marriage can sizzle, but not without planning to make it happen.

Charisma: How can a couple safeguard their marriage from adultery?

Diana: In his book His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage, Willard F. Harley Jr. refers to the high expectations men and women have for their marriages. Both want their needs met, yet seldom do they communicate those needs to their spouse or take the time to know the needs of the other.

I have found that many individuals try to learn to "do without" having their needs met. They would rather do without than attempt to convey to their mate their true needs. There is no greater fear on Earth than to stand emotionally naked before the one you love most in life, fearing that person will laugh at your desires or refuse to give you what you desperately want.

A man who lists sexual fulfillment as one of his needs, and whose wife fulfills this need, makes his wife a continual source of intense pleasure, and his love for her grows stronger.

Charisma: Is there anything that women, in particular. can do?

Diana: Adultery does not occur overnight. The man usually begins by conversing with a close female friend, someone at the office or a neighbor.

The "conversation only" friendship then develops into a deeper relationship of trust and desire. One step at a time the marriage is compromised by deeper feelings of trust in and emotional dependence on the third party, and if he does not stop himself, adultery will result.

We women must ask ourselves these questions: What are my husband's needs? What am I doing to meet his needs? What am I doing to create frustration in him? Have I communicated to him what my sexual desires and needs are?

Charisma: John, what have you done over the years to cultivate the spark in your marriage?

John: Diana and I have something between us we call O.W.E. It's an acronym for One Way Everyday. One way, every day, I seek to find a way to make Diana feel good about herself or to help her accomplish a task that is becoming overwhelming.

Last night we washed dishes together. Some days, it's a rose from the rose garden. Other days, it's a card. Other times, there is a date night. But one way, every day, there has to be the transmission of my effort to make that day a better day.

Charisma: Diana, you spend a lot of time in your part of the book talking about honesty and communication.

Diana: So many times we hear men tell us that we are so much more "emotional" about the events of our lives than they are. Because of that, it is sometimes easier for a wife to keep her emotions hidden from her husband.

But it will be difficult for your husband to give you the emotional support you want and need from him if you cannot openly express your emotions--positive and negative--to him.

Because you have not given him your emotional honesty, he will disappoint you by his lack of understanding the emotions you are feeling.

I used to hide my feelings from John. Well, that has changed!

I am so honest with what I need and want from him now that I write it on the bathroom mirror with lipstick! I leave notes in his briefcase and in the pages of his sermons! Notes are left on his office calendar: "Diana needs a date night--now!"

Satan is present to destroy the works of the Lord in His people. He wants to keep you from communicating honestly with your husband. If you are dishonest, you will be falling right into the evil one's trap to rob, kill and destroy your marriage.

Charisma: You give some amazing testimonies about how various marriages have been repaired--including those that were torn apart by addiction and unfaithfulness. You even describe a couple who were about to divorce because the husband had a gay affair. Is reconciliation in such cases truly possible?

John: Let me tell you the story of Robert and Rachel. Robert was a very successful stockbroker. He had feminine characteristics, and he was homosexual. He came to the church and confessed that he wanted to make a change in his conduct and become a Christian. He began to serve and serve well in a number of ways in our church.

He met Rachel, who was far more successful in her business than Robert. Rachel was extremely intelligent, a type-A, turbo-charged woman who lived in a man's world and was extremely successful. They met and were married within six months.

For the first year, life seemed to be a thing of beauty. And then the thing that I had feared from day one began to manifest itself. Robert told Rachel he was having an affair with a man.

Rachel came to my office shaken but committed to solving the problem. She said, "If it were another woman, I know how to fight that fight. But how do you fight a relationship with a man?" I had no intelligent answer.

I asked Robert and Rachel to come to my office together, and I asked Robert the question I have asked everyone in the first five minutes of the first counseling session: "Do you want to save your marriage?"

Robert said yes, and we began to work toward removing the roots in his past life that would bring him to reconciliation with God and Rachel. What we did and said and experienced is in and of itself worthy of a book, but the point of this story is to say that, years later, Robert and Rachel are living together in divine harmony with their children without another homosexual manifestation. Yes ... a marriage can survive even homosexuality.

Charisma: How important is it for couples to pray together?

John: A man and a woman talking to God, bound together in prayer, is an unbreakable union.

Diana: My husband and I have prayed together for almost 30 years. When we pray together, we get answers from heaven. And it is simply not possible to be angry with each other when you pray.

I tell couples to make a prayer list and to find a private time and place for prayer. John and I like to have our prayer time while we walk. We are away from intrusions and able to call on the Lord in freedom.

First, we come into a time of repentance, asking forgiveness for anything we have said, done or thought that has grieved the Holy Spirit.

Our list then begins: We pray for our children by name, their spouses and our grandchildren. We pray for the protection, direction and prosperity of our church, TV outreach, and school and for everyone associated with them.

Then we submit any personal petitions we may have. Finally, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem and end in a time of praise for our Lord and His blessings.

Learn to pray in agreement, not in competition. There is a sweet sound in heaven when a husband and wife are in harmony before God.

The more this divine communication occurs, the more you will want to talk to each other about other things. You will find that the "things" you speak about will not include gossip or tale bearing. Your conversation will concentrate on your petitions and the testimonies associated with those prayers.

You will share the dreams and aspirations each of you has as you come into agreement. Your children will know that when Mom and Dad pray, things happen.

This teaching is far greater than any book or class you will ever enroll them in. Without communication, your marriage will become dry and wither, just like the soul when it has no time with God. .

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What Every Man Wants in a Woman
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The following is a study on the role of Fathers in the home. For those of you who are not married, this study can still be beneficial for you if you ever plan on getting married. If your children are raised, there is a great need in the body for those who are willing to teach these things to the younger men and women. 

In my search and desire to raise my own family in the way Yahweh desires, I encountered others who have written similar studies on the home. They have greatly influenced some of the points made in this study. I should also mention that I do not count myself to have already attained, but I desire to press on and take hold of the standard to which we are called (Phil 3:12).

 

An Opportunity

Imagine for a moment that Yahweh came to you in a vision and pointed out a particular man in your community to whom He was going to give permanent amnesia. All his past memories were to be permanently erased. In this vision, you were commissioned to care for this man and to teach him all he needs to know about the ways of Yahweh. You would be entrusted with this man's salvation, with how he views the world and how he views Yahweh. How seriously would you take this responsibility? Would you ignore it and find other things to do or would you pour your heart and soul into this effort? Assuredly I say to you, that if you are a Father you have been entrusted with this responsibility. But this isn't a man from the community that you are being entrusted with, it is your own dear child

It is upon the men that Yahweh has laid the responsibility of leadership, guidance and direction. Yahweh will hold the men accountable for the outcome of the family


How Important it really is

For most people, family is the very core of existence. It is the testing ground. It is the place where we can become a hypocrite, or a light to all nations. Do you want to know the true character of a man and his wife? Observe their children and you will usually know. Children often mimic what they see going on at home. Many can appear righteous unto men, but who can still be found righteous in their home, behind closed doors?

How important is our family life to Yahweh? How important is it that we teach our children the ways of Yahweh? How important is it that we each fulfill the roles that Yahweh has given? Let's consider.

Although the modern arrangement or division of the Scriptures may not be inspired, it is certainly interesting that the very last word in the last "Old Testament" prophetic book is none other than "Curse". This chapter is a prophecy for the end times. Let us see what the source of this curse may be: 

Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith Yahweh of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 

Notice that we must fear Yahweh's name to inherit this promise.

3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith Yahweh of hosts. 

But what defines who is wicked and who is not? Let's keep reading:

4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. 

Remember the law of Moses? Yes, remember the law of Moses with all the statutes and judgments; even in the latter days. I tend to think that this is part of the EliYah message, to remember the law of Moses. 

5 Behold, I will send you EliYah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh. 

EliYah the prophet was the one who said:

1Kings 18:24 And call ye on the name of your elohim, and I will call on the name of Yahweh: and the Elohim that answereth by fire, let him be Elohim. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken

So we must also call upon the name of Yahweh. In fact, the name "EliYah" means "Yahweh is my Mighty One". I tend to think that this is another part of the EliYah message. But there is a third and much more clearly defined part of the EliYah message that we should pay very close attention to:

6 And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse."

According to this scripture, a curse will fall upon the earth when it has fathers whose hearts are not turned to their children and children whose hearts are not turned to their fathers. So, although at least part of the EliYah message is "My Mighty One is Yahweh" and to remember the law of Moshe, the great duty of the EliYah message is turning the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers! I believe that this message is greatly lacking today.

According to statistics, in the United States of America, at least 4 out of 10 children will go to bed tonight without their father in the home. In most homes where the father is there, children are abandoned spiritually and emotionally. Children are a status symbol or a nuisance rather than a blessing. Children are something to be ignored rather than human beings who desperately need to be shown and taught the ways of eternal life.

O Fathers, where are you??? 

They are probably at work, with friends, playing with their toys or on the golf course. But what is Yahweh's expectation for Fathers? How important is the role of fathers in their children's life? What does Yahweh say? 


The Role of Fathers

Yahweh's plan is for us to communicate His mighty works to our children. For this to be done, a Father must have his heart turned to his children. If it is, this will build a kingdom. The Father has the authority in the home because the Father has the responsibility

As we read earlier, we should "Remember the law of Moshe". It should be evident to any student of the Torah (Law) that Yahweh demands Fathers to teach His ways to their children. In the Torah (law) of Yahweh, there is one thing that is commanded several times over. That is the command to teach our children the word of Yahweh:

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 " Hear, O Israel: Yahweh Elohenu (our El), Yahweh is one! "You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. "You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. "You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

In the famous "Sh'ma" passage, we see Yahweh's desire for us to teach His commandments diligently to our children and to "talk of them when we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down and when we rise up". We are not only commanded by Yahweh to teach them to our children, but to teach them diligently to our children. We are not only to teach them, we are to talk of them all the day long. They are to be in in our hearts and in the hearts of our children. Not only is Yahweh "Echad" (ONE), He wants our families to be "Echad" with one another and with Him. It is written again: 

Deuteronomy 11:18 " Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 "You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20 "And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,

Again, we are to talk of them all the day long. But today, the question must be asked, "How can we talk of them to our children when sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down and when we rise up if we rarely even talk to them at all? How can we talk of them to our children when sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down and when we rise up if we are rarely ever home and we send them away to the government schools every day? How many Fathers are truly fulfilling this commandment? 

Too often, the adults at various assemblies and meetings engage in high level conversations with one another about the scriptures while the children just sit there bored, squirming in their seats and getting into trouble because they have no clue what is going on or what anyone is even talking about. While some conversations may be above the capabilities of a child, too often it is because they don't know the scriptures. By the time they reach teen-age years, it is often too late because the prime age of influence and impressionability is long gone. At various gatherings, the teens should be with the adults. If they are taught properly, they will be learning and listening because they have a true interest in Yahweh's word just as the adults do. But too often, teens are out playing and learning the ways of other teens rather than learning the ways of Yahweh. Fathers need to wake up!

Deuteronomy 4:8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? 9 " Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren, 10 "especially concerning the day you stood before Yahweh your Elohim in Horeb, when Yahweh said to me, 'Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.'

Notice that Yahweh wants us to teach them to our children and He also wants them to be taught to our grandchildren! Also notice in verse 10 that one of the intentions Yahweh had when giving His commandments in Horeb was that Israel teach them to their children. 

Deuteronomy 6:18 And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of Yahweh: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which Yahweh sware unto thy fathers, 19 To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as Yahweh hath spoken. 20 And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which Yahweh our Elohim hath commanded you? 21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and Yahweh brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand: 22 And Yahweh shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes: 23 And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers. 24 And Yahweh commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear Yahweh our Elohim, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. 25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before Yahweh our Elohim, as he hath commanded us. 

Deuteronomy 32:46 And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.

So Yahweh's expectation is that our children are diligently taught His ways. Consider also one of the purposes of the observances He commands:

Exodus 12:26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? 27 "that you shall say, 'It is the Passover sacrifice of Yahweh, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.' " So the people bowed their heads and worshiped. 

Exodus 13:7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters. 8 "And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, 'This is done because of what Yahweh did for me when I came up from Egypt.'

Exodus 13:14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand Yahweh brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:

Exodus 10:1 And Yahweh said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him: 2 And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am Yahweh.

Leviticus 23:42-43 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your Elohim. 

Deuteronomy 31:10 And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 11 When all Israel is come to appear before Yahweh thy Elohim in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear Yahweh your Elohim, and observe to do all the words of this law: 13 And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear Yahweh your Elohim, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.

Can we see again the expectation of Yahweh here? One of the reasons Yahweh has these feasts is so that our children will know and remember His law and His mighty works. Teaching children should therefore be a major focus of any feast we have. The children should not be ignored and sent off to play during the feasts. Nor should the parents expect others to do their job of teaching their children during the feasts while they find other things to do. While the world is successful in keeping their children tied to pagan holidays by appealing to their carnality via gifts & candies, we ought to find ways to tie the strings of our children's hearts to Yahweh by truly fulfilling their spiritual needs when we observe the true holy-days of Yahweh. 

Of Abraham it was said:

Genesis 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of Yahweh, to do justice and judgment; that Yahweh may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

We can also be known by Yahweh as that kind of a father! Within the Torah alone, there were at least 11 times where Yahweh gave a command, admonition or spoke about the need to teach our children His ways. This concept is repeated in the book of Psalms:

Psalm 78:1 Give ear, O my people, to my law; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, 3 Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of Yahweh, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. 5 For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; 6 That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, 7 That they may set their hope in Elohim, And not forget the works of Elohim, But keep His commandments; 8 And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to Elohim.

It is clearly Yahweh's expectation that we teach His ways to the next generation. Yahweh wants a righteous generation to be brought forth from our homes. Indeed, He has indicated that this is one of the purposes for marriage:

Malachi 2:13 And this have ye done again, covering the altar of Yahweh with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand. 14 Yet you say, "For what reason?" Because Yahweh has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant. 15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks righteous offspring (In Hebrew literally, Seed of Elohim). Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. 16 "For Yahweh Elohim of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one's garment with violence," Says Yahweh of hosts. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously."

So are we going to raise up a seed of Elohim or children of the devil? Will our children's works advance the kingdom of the devil or the kingdom of Yahweh? Indeed, Yahweh has placed a large part of this responsibility into the hands of the fathers. We have the greatest influence as to the outcome. We can be a stumbling block or a stepping stone to the paths of righteousness. If we are a stepping stone, great is our reward:

Matthew 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold [water] only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. 

If we are a stumbling block, woe to us:

Matthew 18:5-7 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! 

The Proverb indeed says:

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Contrary to popular opinion, this scripture does not say, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is grown up, he will abandon Yahweh and sow his wild oats, then come back to Yahweh and not depart" yet this is what many would have us believe! 

Much of the book of proverbs is about a man who, in obedience to the scriptures is teaching the wisdom of Yahweh to his son. For example:

Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. 27 For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. 28 She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men. 29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.

We see the strong desire in this father that his son would not be ensnared with wine and women. This father was committed to the idea that his child would not depart!

It is high time we raise up a righteous generation that fears Yahweh and keeps His commandments. It is high time that fathers forsake their toys and pursuits of worldly gain and instead focus on raising a righteous generation that will magnify the name of Yahweh! It is high time that Fathers have a vision of what it really means to be a man of Yahweh.

How important is it that our homes are in order and our children are taught Yahweh's ways? Unless one's home is right, they cannot be an effective leader:

Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the assembly of Yahweh?);

1Timothy 3:12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

Titus 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of Yahweh, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,

We have to be true believers at home, not just when others are watching. The requirements of a spiritual leader is that they have a righteous family with righteous children. Our family is the expression of ourselves and our life. If a man of Yahweh leads a family in righteousness, you can know you have one who is in righteous in his private life. See, our family gives us away. We cannot hide ourselves and what we are like. If Father or Mother are foolish or rebellious, then except by the grace of Yahweh so shall the children be. 

Abraham and Eli were leaders. As we read earlier, Abraham had his house right:

Gene 18:19 "For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of Yahweh, to do righteousness and justice, that Yahweh may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him."

Eli the priest did not:

1Sam 2:11 Then Elkanah went to his house at Ramah. But the child ministered to Yahweh before Eli the priest. 12 Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know Yahweh.

Eli apparently made the foolish decision to let his sons be corrupt:

1Sam 3:12 "In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 "For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.

Consider the differing end result of Abraham and Eli! Abraham and his descendants were exalted and blessed beyond measure, but Eli had his generations cut off and destroyed (1Sam 4:16). So let's ponder the question today, are we an Abraham or are we an Eli? 

Can we begin to see how important it really is? You see, Yahweh would never have been the "Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" if Abraham hadn't done his job! Will it be said of us that Yahweh is the Elohim of our children and grandchildren? Yahweh is seeking righteous offspring; a Seed of Elohim to walk in His ways. Yahweh desires that His people produce children of righteousness, children of Yahweh. 

Let's consider the scriptures which show the results of families who did not pass the truth of Yahweh onto the next generation:

Judges 2:10 When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know Yahweh nor the work which He had done for Israel. 11 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and served the Baals;12 and they forsook Yahweh Elohim of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked Yahweh to anger.

There were at least 7 times in approximately 335 years where the book of Judges records one generation that would serve Yahweh, and the next generation forsaking Him.  Imagine for a moment the great blessings that might have been realized had only the first generation taught their children to "Know Yahweh"! 

Judges 2:10-11 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not Yahweh, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. 11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and served Baalim: 

As a result of their failure, these rebellious children served false deities. Similar flip-flops are found in the books of First and Second Kings/Chronicles. There would be a generation that would finally repent and serve Yahweh, only to see the succeeding generation be exceedingly wicked. 

Is there a way to stop this destructive cycle? What about our children’s generation? What about in the nations that we live in? In recent history there has been a spiraling increase in wickedness. Consider some of the statistics one can find about conditions in the United States:

  • At least half of all marriages end in divorce. Remarkably, studies show that the divorce rate among denominational Christian churches is equal or higher than that. 
      
  • The Census Bureau states that in 1998, 58.7% of mothers with infants work outside the home. 61% of married women as a whole work outside the home compared to 6 percent in 1900 (US News & World Report, 12/18/00 pg 56).
     
  • According to CNN, Only 6.9 percent of men and 21 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 59 are virgins when getting married. 
     
  • The birth rate in the U.S. in 1997 was 14.6 per 1,000 population. The world average was 22.6. The birth rate in the U.S. would be higher, but approximately 1 out of 4 babies are murdered by their own mother before they even have a chance to be born. Of those that are born, 1 out of 3 are born out of wedlock. A child conceived in the United States has a 75% chance of either being murdered in the womb or not having their biological father and mother in the home at age 18. Yet, 47% of this nation goes to church every week and 85% profess to be Christian. 

What has gone wrong? 

The bottom line is that the principles given in scripture for the roles of husbands, fathers, mothers and wives are not appreciated, nor are they followed. Instead, many have chosen to follow their own principles, the principles in psychology & self-help books, and principles given in self appointed marriage experts. Meanwhile, people are suffering along with their little children. 

If only people would respect and appreciate the roles given to them by Yahweh! Yahweh, who created us from dust, surely knows the RIGHT way. But who will heed it? The people of this world have little or no vision or burning desire for righteousness within themselves, let alone for the next generation. But it need not be so for us. We need not be conformed to this world:

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of Elohim.

We see the sad state of affairs in this world. Many of us were raised in this age of rebelliousness, so what can we do? A most difficult sin to overcome is one that you cannot see. But I believe the word of Yahweh will make it very plain that few men in this age truly know what Yahweh desires our homes to be like. 


 

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