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“What does the Bible say about war?”

Answer:Many people make the mistake of reading what the Bible says inExodus 20:13, “You shall not kill,” and then seeking to apply this command to war. However, the Hebrew word literally means “the intentional, premeditated killing of another person with malice; murder.” God often ordered the Israelites to go to war with other nations (1 Samuel 15:3;Joshua 4:13). God ordered the death penalty for numerous crimes (Exodus 21:12,15;22:19;Leviticus 20:11). So, God is not againstkillingin all circumstances, but only murder. War is never a good thing, but sometimes it is a necessary thing. In a world filled with sinful people (Romans 3:10-18), war is inevitable. Sometimes the only way to keep sinful people from doing great harm to the innocent is by going to war.

In the Old Testament, God ordered the Israelites to “take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites” (Numbers 31:2).Deuteronomy 20:16-17declares, “However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them…as the LORD your God has commanded you.” Also,1 Samuel 15:18says, “Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.” Obviously God is not against all war. Jesus is always in perfect agreement with the Father (John 10:30), so we cannot argue that war was only God’s will in the Old Testament. God does not change (Malachi 3:6;James 1:17).

Jesus’ second coming will be exceedingly violent.Revelation 19:11-21describes the ultimate war with Christ, the conquering commander who judges and makes war “with justice” (v. 11). It’s going to be bloody (v. 13) and gory. The birds will eat the flesh of all those who oppose Him (v. 17-18). He has no compassion upon His enemies, whom He will conquer completely and consign to a “fiery lake of burning sulfur” (v. 20).

It is an error to say that God never supports a war. Jesus is not a pacifist. In a world filled with evil people, sometimes war is necessary to prevent even greater evil. If Hitler had not been defeated by World War II, how many more millions would have been killed? If the American Civil War had not been fought, how much longer would African-Americans have had to suffers slaves.


War is a terrible thing. Some wars are more “just” than others, but war is always the result of sin (Romans 3:10-18). At the same time,Ecclesiastes 3:8declares, “There is…a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” In a world filled with sin, hatred, and evil (Romans 3:10-18), war is inevitable. Christians should not desire war, but neither are Christians to oppose the government God has placed in authority over them (Romans 13:1-4;1 Peter 2:17). The most important thing we can be doing in a time of war is to be praying for godly wisdom for our leaders, praying for the safety of our military, praying for quick resolution to conflicts, and praying for a minimum of casualties among civilians on both sides (Philippians 4:6-7).

What does the Bible say about killing in war? Is killing in war a sin?

There are many wars mentioned in the Bible. Wars of conquest (Joshua 1:6), civil wars (2 Samuel 3:1), and even a war in heaven (Revelation 12:7). Of course, wars involve killing; there is no way around it. We know that murder is sin (Exodus 20:13). But what about the killing of an enemy combatant during wartime?

First, we know that notallkilling in wartime is a sin because there have been times when God Himself commanded battles to be fought. God told the ancient Israelites to possess the Promised Land; in fact, just before the conquest, the Lord appeared to Joshua as “commander of the army of the Lord”—a man of war (Joshua 5:14). God laid out the battle plans for the fight against Ai (Joshua 8:1–2). God told King Saul to “go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them” (1 Samuel 15:3). King David defeated the Philistines by following God’s strategy concerning the battle (2 Samuel 5:23–25). God never tells people to sin, so the Israelites who followed God’s commands to wage war were not sinning. Killing in war cannot be equated with murder.

This is not to say that killing in war has no effects. David wanted badly to build the temple in Jerusalem, but God did not let him. The Lord wanted a man of peace to build the temple, and David’s history had been anything but peaceful. God said to David, “You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood” (1 Chronicles 28:3).

There is no theocracy today. No nation has a command from God to wage war, and God is not handing out battle plans as He did to Joshua, Saul, and David. Yet wars continue to be fought. It is part a fallen world’s existence. The Bible never condemns the actions of a soldier following orders on a battlefield. In fact, the New Testament has examples of soldiers who had faith in God—Jesus commended a centurion’s faith inMatthew 8:10; and another centurion, Cornelius, was saved inActs 10. These men of war were not rebuked for performing the duties of a centurion, nor were they told they must change professions.

Most tellingly, some soldiers came to John the Baptist as he was baptizing in the Jordan River. The soldiers asked John, “What should we do?” This would have been the perfect opportunity for John to tell them to stop engaging in warfare, stop killing, or stop being soldiers. Instead, John replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay” (Luke 3:14). Being a soldier is not inherently sinful.

Paul uses the soldier life as an illustration of spiritual truth (see1 Corinthians 9:7and2 Timothy 2:3). Other references mention battles and warfare (see2 Corinthians 10:4and1 Timothy 1:18).Ephesians 6contains an extended comparison of the Christian life and warfare (verses 10–17). If being a soldier (and doing the things soldiers are required to do) were sinful, it is unlikely the Holy Spirit would have used soldiering as a metaphor for anything good.

Throughout the Bible, warfare is presented as a grim reality in a cursed world. There are forces of evil that must be stopped, and bloodshed is sometimes the result. Whether a Christian should serve in the military is a matter of one’s own conscience, but killing an armed combatant in the context of warfare is not sinful in itself. There is a time and season for everything, including war (Ecclesiastes 3:8).


What Does The Bible Say About Lying

As the moral climate of our society has been deteriorating, lying and deceit have become major problems. The business world is particularly plagued by this problem-men’s dishonesty with each other, meetings “forgotten”, company theft, promises not kept, contracts broken, etc. Lawyers have increased in numbers over the last decade, mainly because of irresponsibility and broken contracts among men due to lying and deceit.

The Lord has put on my heart the past few weeks a desire to learn more about the subject of lying and deceit. In the brief time I have studied it I have discovered that there have been volumes of material written on the subject of lying, not to mention the ethics and moral issues regarding lying. Therefore, in the time we have tonight, I can only scratch the surface on the subject of lying. What I have to say can no means be construed as the final say on the subject. I am not an expert, but the goal of my instruction tonight is to:


Look at the definition of lying


Determine at least one principle truth about lying which everyone would agree. We will do that by examining Scripture and looking at a couple of illustrations, one secular and one biblical


Show how applying this principle of truth can help us guard against a couple of common mistakes as to what constitutes a lie


Offer a couple of points of application


What does the Bible say about lying?

Col 3:9-10
9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,
10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him

Lev 19:12
12’And you shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the LORD.

 Prov 25:18
18 Like a club and a sword and a sharp arrow Is a man who bears false witness against his neighbor.

Zech 8:17
17’Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the LORD. “

Prov 14:5
5 A faithful witness will not lie, But a false witness speaks lies.

1 Kings 22:16
16 Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?”

Prov 19:5
5 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will not escape.

Deut 19:17-19
17 then both the men who have the dispute shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who will be in office in those days.
18 And the judges shall investigate thoroughly; and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely,
19 then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

Rev 21:8
8 “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Prov 19:9
9 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will perish.

Prov 24:28
28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, And do not deceive with your lips.

Ps 58:3
3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth.

James 3:14
14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

Ex 23:1
1 “You shall not bear a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.

Prov 12:19
19 Truthful lips will be established forever, But a lying tongue is only for a moment.

A lying tongue is not only something God hates, it is also something that is an abomination to Him.

Prov 6:16-19
16 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil,
19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.

So, if a lying tongue is something that is an abomination to our LORD, then would it not behoove us to understand what constitutes a lie?

Let us first give a definition as to what a lie is according to Webster’s dictionary:

  1. To make a statement that one knows is false, especially with the intent to deceive.

  2. To give a false impression or action or false statement, especially with the intent to deceive.

  3. To make a false statement in order to evade the truth.

  4. The invention of a false story or excuse in order to deceive.


lie (linoun

  1. A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.

  2. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

ly·ing (li ing), lies


  1. To present false information with the intention of deceiving.

  2. To convey a false image or impression: Appearances often lie.


To cause to be in a specific condition or affect in a specific way by telling falsehoods: You have lied yourself into trouble.(1)


de·ceive (di-sev) verb


  1. To cause to believe what is not true; mislead.

  2. Archaic. To catch by guile; ensnare.

To practice deceit.

Synonyms: deceive, betray, mislead, beguile, delude, dupe, hoodwink, bamboozle, double-cross. These verbs mean to lead another into error, danger, or a disadvantageous position, for the most part by underhand means. Deceiveinvolves the deliberate concealment or the misrepresentation of the truth: “There is a moment of difficulty and danger at which flattery and falsehood can no longer deceive” (Letters of Junius). Betray implies faithlessness or treachery: “When you betray somebody else, you also betray yourself” (Isaac Bashevis Singer). Mislead means to lead in the wrong direction or into error of thought or action: “My manhood, long misled by wandering fires,/Followed false lights” (John Dryden). Beguilesuggests deceiving or misleading by means of pleasant or alluring methods: They beguiled unwary investors with tales of overnight fortunes. To delude is to mislead to the point where a person is unable to tell truth from falsehood or to form sound judgments: The government deluded the public about the dangers of low-level radiation. Dupe means to delude by playing upon another’s susceptibilities or naiveté: Gullible shoppers are easily duped by unscrupulous advertisers. Hoodwink refers to deluding by trickery: It is difficult to hoodwink a smart lawyer. Bamboozle less formally means to delude by the use of such tactics as hoaxing, befuddling, or artful persuasion: “Perhaps if I wanted to be understood or to understand I would bamboozle myself into belief, but I am a reporter” (Graham Greene). Double-cross implies the betrayal of a confidence or the willful breaking of a pledge: New members of the party felt they had been double-crossed by the old guard.(2)

Augustine, Aquinas, and many early church fathers defined lying as a statement at variance with the mind. In discussing the ethics of lying they found it helpful to make a distinction between (1) injurious, or hurtful, (2) officious, and (3) jocose lies. Jocose lies are told for the purpose of affording amusement. It is implied that what is said in a joke cannot be a lie: in order to have any malice in it, what is said must be naturally capable of deceiving others and must be said with the intention of saying what is false. An officious, or white, lie is such that it does nobody any injury: it is a lie of excuse, or a lie told to benefit somebody (these are the types of lies that give the most problems to ethicists and moralists). An injurious lie is one which does harm. (; Catholic Encycopedia: Lying)

Now, according to these definitions, what would you understand to be the basic, defining characteristics of a lie or deception?

Perhaps it would be helpful to compare the malice in lying with the malice in hypocrisy. A hypocrite pretends to have a good quality which he knows that he does not possess. A hypocrite acts out that which he knows not to be the truth in his inner person. There is the same relation between a man’s intents and his external expression of it that constitutes the essence of a lie.

Illustrations of a principle truth

This can be illustrated with a current political debate that is taking place. John Dean, a FindLaw Columnist, says in a June 6, 2003 Special column on

Read excerpts from printout.

Hopefully, you can see that even the secular press recognizes that the challenge it faces is that in order to call President Bush a liar, it must be proved that he “deliberately misled the nation”; that his “misstatements may actually have been intentional lies”; that he manipulated or deliberately misused national security intelligence data to defraud the United States.

A biblical example of lying and deceit is given in Acts 5

Acts 5:1-11
5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property,
2 and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet.
3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land?
4 “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God.”
5 And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came upon all who heard of it.
6 And the young men arose and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.
7 Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
8 And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.”
9 Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they shall carry you out as well.”
10 And she fell immediately at his feet, and breathed her last; and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
11 And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things.

 Now, according to these illustrations, what would you understand to be the basic, defining characteristics of a lie or deception?

Common mistakes

So, I now ask the question: Is it true that anything that is not the truth is a lie? Let me ask it another way. Is it always a lie when we speak an untruth?

Augustine doesn’t think so. Augustine wrote quite extensively on the subject of lying. He says,

For which purpose we must see what a lie is. For not every one who says a false thing lies, if he believes or opines that to be true which he says. Now between believing and opining there is this difference, that sometimes he who believes feels that he does not know that which he believes, (although he may know himself to be ignorant of a thing, and yet have no doubt at all concerning it, if he most firmly believes it:) whereas he who opines, thinks he knows that which he does not know. Now whoever utters that which he holds in his mind either as belief or as opinion, even though it be false, he lies not. For this he owes to the faith of his utterance, that he thereby produce that which he holds in his mind, and has in that way in which he produces it. Not that he is without fault, although he lie not, if either he believes what he ought not to believe, or thinks he knows what he knows not, even though it should be true: for he accounts an unknown thing for a known. Wherefore, that man lies, who has one thing in his mind and utters another in words, or by signs of whatever kind. Whence also the heart of him who lies is said to be double; that is, there is a double thought: the one, of that thing which he either knows or thinks to be true and does not produce; the other, of that thing which he produces instead thereof, knowing or thinking it to be false. Whence it comes to pass, that he may say a false thing and yet not lie, if he thinks it to be so as he says although it be not so; and, that he may say a true thing, and yet lie, if he thinks it to be false and utters it for true, although in reality it be so as he utters it. For from the sense of his own mind, not from the verity or falsity of the things themselves, is he to be judged to lie or not to lie. Therefore he who utters a false thing for a true, which however he opines to be true, may be called erring and rash: but he is not rightly said to lie; because he has not a double heart when he utters it, neither does he wish to deceive, but is deceived. But the fault of him who lies, is, the desire of deceiving in the uttering of his mind; whether he do deceive, in that he is believed when uttering the false thing; or whether he do not deceive, either in that he is not believed, or in that he utters a true thing with will to deceive, which he does not think to be true: wherein being believed, he does not deceive though it was his will to deceive: except that he deceives in so far as he is thought to know or think as he utters (Augustine, Retractions, Book 1. last Chapter, from the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1, Vol 3).

There is another question that confronts us in this issue of understanding what it means to lie and deceive. Are we guilty of lying when we do not keep our word?

It is certainly true that if we knowingly tell someone that we are going to do something while at the same time knowing that we have no intentions of following through on our promise or commitment, then, we are guilty of lying – there was intent to deceive that person. But if we do not follow through on a commitment or promise, it does not necessarily mean that we lied. Too often we are just too quick or rash with our mouth. One who is “hasty in word or impulsive in thought” doesn’t take enough time to think about what they are saying. They usually don’t have too much thought behind their words.

Prov 10:19
19 When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.

Eccl 5:4-5
4 When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it, for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow!
5 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.

Usually making senseless vows or commitments is a result of talking too much. We tend to think in financial terms when we think of making vows, especially since Solomon says to “pay what you vow”. But much more is in mind here. The point in verse 4 is to warn us not to delay in fulfilling commitments we make to God or to other people. It’s especially dangerous for a person to make vows, especially to God, if the person has no intention of keeping the vows.

The instructions concerning vows were given by Moses in Deuteronomy 23:21-23 and Numbers 30:2-5.

When vows are made to God, there should be no delay in paying them; God has a right to require payment in full, and to not pay is considered sin before God. It is better not to vow, in which case the person will not be held guilty.

Matt 5:33-37
33 “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’
34 “But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
36 “Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
37 “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ {or} ‘No, no’; and anything beyond these is of evil.

James 5:12
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no, no; so that you may not fall under judgment.

The point is that our words should mean something. Our words should be well thought out and our words should be few.

For example, if we tell someone that we will call them back tomorrow, and we have no intention of calling them, then we have lied. This excuse is often used with a deliberate intent to deceive. The person does not call back at the appointed time and will call back at a much later date with excuses of why they were unable to call which usually goes something like: “I just was so busy, I meant to call , but did not get around to it.” We all have been guilty of this, but we need to realize when we say we will do something we need to keep our word. We do understand there are legitimate reasons that make it impossible at times to keep our word and in those circumstances we are not guilty of lying. But it might be better not to make this promise or to say, “I will try to call you back tomorrow.” (What does the Bible say about Lying?,

I could list numerous examples. The point is any time we say the words “I will” we need to be responsible to do it. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have lied if we fail to act. We all, on occasion, fail to do the things we have good intentions of doing or we are hindered in some way and can’t do them. However, if we are unable to keep an appointment we should be thoughtful enough to call and cancel, or tell of our delayed arrival. We are living in an age when there are so many uncaring attitudes expressed. Too often, these careless attitudes, if left unchecked for too long, can be construed as lies and deceit. As Christians, we can be good witnesses by being different.


None of us likes being lied to. None of us likes being falsely accused of lying. The reason is because truth is primarily a self-regarding virtue. In other words, it is in our own best self-interest to see things as either being true or untrue. If we wish to walk carefully through life, to do so we must be able to calculate our true position. When you lie to me, you know your position but you have given me false data which obscures mine. When I lie to you, I create a situation in which you have a false view of reality and you may lose your way. (Jonathan Wallace, Lying, The Ethical Spectacle, May 2000,

 The implication of this is that no one who has any regard for his own dignity and self-respect will be guilty of the immorality of a lie. Even a liar does not like to be lied to. The one principle of truth that I have tried to demonstrate tonight, is that lying must always involve malice (the desire to harm others). In addition, it is possible for an honest man to understand truth such that he might make an error without any intention of deceiving. Such an honest man may prove himself to be inept, but not a liar. Just as the hypocrite is justly detested and despised, so should the liar be. However, as no honest man would ever consent to play the hypocrite, so no honest man will ever be guilty of a lie.

What kind of witness are we to those around us? As Christians we need to ask the Lord to forgive us if we are guilty of lying or deceit. Not only do we not want to lie, but we also want to keep our word so that people know we are honest and trustworthy. On the other hand, before we point our finger at another for being a liar, we need to make sure that we can prove malice or intent, lest we be deceived and become liars ourselves. As Christians, we want to represent our Father well in this life and be honest and free from fabrication and false accusation. We can only do this through the power of the Holy Spirit as we seek to be like Jesus.

Jesus always kept His Word. God still keeps His Word and is faithful to keep every promise He makes in the Bible. That is why He is reliable and we can trust Him. We are called to be like Him.

What the Bible Says About Stress (Overcoming It)

In today’s world it is virtually impossible to avoid stress. Almost everyone is carrying some amount of it, in varying degrees. Many find it increasingly difficult to simply survive in the world we live in. In desperation, people are seeking relief for their problems through any remedy they can find. Our culture is inundated with self-help books, therapists, time-management workshops, massage parlors, and recovery programs (to name just the tip of the iceberg). Everyone talks about returning to a “simpler” way of life, but no one seems to even know exactly what that means, or how to attain it. Many of us cry out like Job: “The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me.” (Job 30:27).
Most of us are so used to carrying the burden of stress, we can scarcely imagine our lives without it. We think it is simply an unavoidable part of living in the world. We carry it like a hiker trudging out of the Grand Canyon with a huge pack on his back. The pack seems to be a part of his own weight, and he can’t even remember what it was ever like to not be carrying it. It seems that his legs have always been that heavy and his back has always ached under all that weight. Only when he stops to rest for a moment and takes off his pack does he realize just how heavy it really is, and how light and free he is without it.
Unfortunately, most of us cannot just unload stress like a backpack. It seems to be intrinsically woven into the very fabric of our lives. It lurks somewhere beneath our skin (usually in a knot between our shoulderblades). It keeps us up late into the night, just when we need sleep the most. It presses in on us from all sides. Yet, Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28-30). Those words have touched the hearts of many, yet they are only words that merely sound comforting and are in essence, worthless, unless they are true. If they are true, how can we apply them to our lives and walk free from the burdens that weigh us down so badly? Perhaps you are responding, “I would love do that if only I knew how!” How can we receive rest for our souls?
Come To Me…
The first thing we must do to be free from our stress and our worry is to come unto Jesus. Without Him, our life has no real purpose or depth. We simply run from one activity to another, seeking to fill our lives with purpose, peace, and happiness. “All man’s efforts are for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied” (Ecclesiastes 6:7). Things haven’t changed much since the days of King Solomon. We work ourselves to the bone for the things we desire, only to crave more.
If we do not know our real purpose in life; our reason for existing, life is very meaningless indeed. Yet, God created each of us with a special purpose in mind. There is something that needs to be done on this earth that can only be done by you. Much of the stress that we carry springs from the fact that we don’t know who we are or where we are going. Even Christians who know that ultimately they are going to heaven when they die, are still anxious in this lifetime because they do not really know who they are in Christ and who Christ is in them. No matter who we are, we are bound to have tribulation in this life. It is unavoidable, but having trouble in this life is not the issue anyway. The real issue is how we react to it. That is where stress is born. The trials we face in this world will either break us or make us strong.
“I will show you who he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them in to practice. He is like a man building a house who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came the torrents struck that house but could not shake it because it was well built” (Luke 6:48). Jesus didn’t say that once we built our house on the rock that everything would be perfect. No, He said that a flood came in torrents smashing against the house. The key is that the house was built on the rock of Jesus, and the rock of putting His words into practice. Is your house built on Jesus? Did you dig your foundation deep into Him, or was the house hastily erected? Is your salvation based on a prayer you prayed once or is it growing out of a committed relationship to Him? Do you come to Him every day, every hour? Are you putting His words into practice in your life, or do they lie there like dormant seed?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2
Until you have fully committed yourself to God, until your foundation is dug deep into Him, you will never be able to discern what His perfect will is for your life. When the storms of life come, as they are bound to do, you will only worry and fret and walk around with an ache in your back. Who we are under pressure reveals who we really are. The storms of life wash away the thin veneer that we present to the world and expose what lies in our heart. God, in His mercy, allows the storms to hit us so we will turn to Him and be cleansed of the sin that we were never able to perceive in times of ease. We can either turn to Him and receive a soft heart in the midst of all our trials, or we can turn away and harden our heart. The hard times in life will either make us pliable and merciful, full of faith in God, or angry and brittle, full of doubt and unbelief.
Fear or Faith?
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Ultimately, there are only two motivating factors in life: fear or faith. Until we truly know that God is for us, loves us, cares about us personally and hasn’t forgotten us, we will base our life’s decisions on fear. All fear and worry stems from a lack of faith in God. You may not think you are walking in fear, but if you aren’t walking in faith, you are. Stress is a form of fear. Worry is a form of fear. Worldly ambition is rooted in a fear of being overlooked–of being a failure. Many relationships are based on the fear of being alone. Vanity is based on a fear of being unattractive and unloved. Greed is based on a fear of poverty. Even anger and rage are based on the fear that there is no justice, no escape, no hope. Fear breeds selfishness, which is the exact opposite of God’s character. Selfishness breeds pride and indifference to others. All of these are sin and must be dealt with accordingly. Stress arises when we try to serve both ourselves (our fears), and God at the same time (which is impossible to do). “Unless the Lord builds the house, it’s builders labor in vain…In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat” (Psalm 127:1-2).
The Bible says that when everything else is stripped away, only three things remain: faith, hope, and love–and that love is the greatest of the three. Love is the force that drives out our fear. “There is no fear in love but perfect love drives out fear, for fear has a torment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). The only way we can get rid of our anxieties is to look them in the eye and deal with them at the root. If we desire for God to make us perfect in love, we will have to repent of every bit of fear and worry that we have clung to instead of Him. We may not like to face some of those things that are in us, but we must if we are ever to be free from them. If we are not merciless with our sin, it will be merciless on us. It will drive us like the most wicked of slavemasters. Worst of all, it will keep us from communion with God.
Jesus said in Matthew 13:22, “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.” It is extraordinary what tremendous power there is in even the littlest things to distract us from God. We must stand our ground, and refuse to let the thorns choke out the seed of the Word. The devil knows that if he can distract us with all the cares of this world, we will never be a threat to him or fulfill the call that is on each our lives. We will never bear any fruit for the kingdom of God. We will fall far below God’s intended place for us. Yet, God wants to help us to do our best in every situation that we face. That is all He asks–that we trust in Him, put Him first, and do the best we can. After all, most other circumstances that we worry about are beyond our control anyway. What a waste of time worrying is! If we only worried about the things that we have any direct control over, we would reduce our worrying by 90%!
Paraphrasing the Lord’s words in Luke 10:41-42, Jesus is saying to each one of us, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Choose what is better and it will not be taken from you.” Isn’t it wonderful that the only thing that cannot ever be taken from us, is the only thing we really need anyway? Choose to sit at the Lord’s feet and listen to His words and learn from Him. By so doing, you are putting a deposit of true riches into your heart, if you guard those words and put them into practice. If you are not daily spending time with Him and reading His Word, you are opening the door of your heart to the birds of the air who will steal the seeds of life deposited there, and leave worry in their place. As for our material needs, they will be taken care of when we seek Jesus first.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow will take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:33
God has blessed us with a most powerful tool; His Living Word, the Bible. If used properly, it is a spiritual sword; separating our faith from our fear, drawing a clean line between the holy and the vile, cutting away the excess and bringing forth the repentance which leads to life. Stress merely indicates an area of our life where our flesh is still on the throne. The life that is totally submitted to God is marked by the trust born out of a thankful heart.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 (KJV)
Take My Yoke Upon You…
How it must grieve God to see His children walking around in such misery! The only things we really need in this life, He already purchased for us at Calvary through a terrible, agonizing, and lonely death. He was willing to give everything for us, to make a way for our redemption. Are we as willing to do our part? Are we willing to lay our lives down at His feet, and take His yoke upon us? For if we do not walk in His yoke, we are bound to walk in another. We can either serve the Lord who loves us, or the devil who is bent on destroying us. There is no middle ground, nor is there a third option. Praise God that He made a way out of the cycle of sin and death for us! When we were completely helpless against the sin that raged in us and compelled us to run from God, He had mercy on us and ran after us, though we only cursed His Name. He is so tender and patient with us, not willing for even one to perish. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out. (Matthew 12:20). Are you bruised and broken? Is your flame dimly flickering? Come to Jesus now!
Come all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend your money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me that your soul may live! Isaiah 55:1-3
Bless The Lord, O My Soul
When all is said and done, there are still times when we all face incredibly difficult circumstances that have an awesome power to destroy us. The best way to counteract stress in those times, is to begin to praise God and thank Him for His countless blessings in our lives. The old adage “count your blessings” really is true. In spite of everything, there are so many blessings woven throughout our lives that many of us do not even have the eyes to see them. Even if your situation seems hopeless, God is still worthy of all your praise. God delights in a heart that will praise Him no matter what the bankbook says, our family says, our time schedule says, or any other circumstance that would try to exalt itself against the knowledge of God. As we praise and bless the name of the Most High, everything else in this world begins to pale and fade away against the sheer loveliness of who He is.
Think of Paul and Silas, feet bound in stocks in a dark prison with a jailer standing guard over them. (Acts 16:22-40). They had just been severely flogged, ridiculed and attacked by a huge crowd of people. Instead of fearing for their lives, or becoming angry at God, they began to praise Him, singing out loud, careless of who might hear or judge them. As they began to praise Him, their hearts were soon overflowing with the joy of the Lord. The song of those two men who loved God more than life itself began to flow through them like a river of liquid love into their cell and out into the entire prison. Soon, there was a flood of warm light bathing the whole place. Every demon there began to flee in utter terror of that praise and love to the Most High. Suddenly, an amazing thing happened. A violent earthquake shook the prison, the doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose! Praise God! Praise always brings freedom, not only for ourselves, but for those around us who are bound up as well.
We must get our mind off of ourselves and the problems we face and onto the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. One of the miracles of a life transformed by God is that we can be thankful always, and praise Him in all situations. This is what He commands us to do, for He knows better than we do that the joy of the Lord is our strength. God does not owe us anything, but He has made a way for us to receive every good thing anyway, because He loves us! Is that not a reason for celebration and thanksgiving?
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer and enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:17-19
Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy soul with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5 (KJV)
Won’t you take some time right now to re-commit your life to the Lord? If you don’t know Him, ask Him into your heart. If you do know Him tell Him that you want to know Him better. Confess your sins of worry, fear and lack of faith and tell Him that you want Him to replace those things with faith, hope and love. No one serves God by his own strength–we all need the power and the strength of the Holy Spirit to permeate our lives and continually lead us back to the precious cross, back to the Living Word. You can make a fresh start with God, starting this very minute. He will fill your heart with a brand new song, and joy unspeakable and full of glory!
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up (leap) like calves released from the stall. Malachi 4:2 (KJV)

What the Bible Says About Pornography Importance of understanding what the Bible says about pornography

Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Foxes sometime in search of food would enter into the grape orchards and devour the grapes and spoil the crop. However, the little foxes were too small to reach the grape bunches so they would chew on the vines and it would kill the whole vine. Instead of the farmer just losing his crop, he would lose his vine which was more disastrous. Spiritually some things we do or allow that we might think are little or insignificant can also be disastrous for us.
One of the most devastating problems that has ensnared many good people is the sin of pornography. Many of these same people will testify that they were ensnared with just a “peek.” This one “little fox” led to their downfall. Many, out of curiosity, just went to a site to see what was there. This is one of the devil’s tricks to get people ensnared. Satan, is the power behind this attraction to forbidden sexual images. People that are trapped today can tell you there is an evil “drawing” that compels them to return again and again. Many are desiring to be free, but seem hopelessly gripped by this evil desire. We want to share the good news — there is a way out through Jesus Christ.
In the USA, as well as many other nations of the world, our societies have become the most sexually saturated societies in human history. Sodom and Gomorrah might be the only exceptions. America’s pornography industry is not only pervasive, but powerful as well. It generates more than $12 billion in revenue annually. In 1997, more than 665 million pornographic videos were sold. On the Internet, there are more than 72,000 pornographic sites. Sexually explicit “900 number” phone calls are a $2.4 billion-a-year industry. ¹
From the Internet to video stores to magazines and “900 numbers,” pornography can be easily accessed nearly anywhere in America. This involvement is not limited to world at large, as surveys reveal the Christian community is highly involved in this evil snare of perversion too. How did this happen? What can be done to help people get free from this bondage? What does the Bible offer as hope to those ensnared in sin?
God has called the church to be the answer to the problems facing those addicted to pornography. God hates this sin, but He loves the sinner and wants to set them free. Many marriages are being destroyed by this evil, as after the addiction of pornography has set in, then the normal marital relationship with their spouses is no longer satisfying. Many husbands then want their wives to partake in bizarre sexual behavior with them or use sexual toys as stimulants. Some couples even watch erotic videos together to arouse each other before they engage in sex. These abnormal approaches to what God intended to be a wonderful relationship, defiles them. Instead of finding satisfaction… guilt, shame, and dissatisfaction set in. True love and intimate sharing is replaced with raw lust. What God meant to be the most beautiful experience between two people becomes a hellish depravity. God can, and will restore this relationship if they will call on Him. There is absolutely nothing that is outside of God’s ability to forgive, deliver, heal and restore.
How Did This Happen?
How did our world arrive at a time in history that has so much emphasis on sexual perversions? This did not happen overnight. When the church failed to maintain a holy standard and example to the world, the world’s evil influence gained momentum and now has saturated our society. Little by little, the church lowered her standards. Instead of the church influencing the world, the opposite happened, the world influenced the church. The church began to watch movies that each year became a little more dirty, a little more violent, a little more immoral, a little more deviant, a little more crazy and a little more erotic. Now today, there are unspeakable things on film that come directly from hell. They were inspired by the devil himself. These “little foxes” are now raging wolves. Sin and evil are progressive. Several layers of gray have now become black.
An example of how this happened in the area of women’s dress, would be to observe the progression of women’s styles. Women’s hem lines have gone up while the necklines have gone down. It didn’t start by going from ankle length to above the knees overnight. It took years for the ladies in the church to gradually adopt this revealing attire that others were wearing. Most Christian women on stage look no different than those in Hollywood. I am not saying that we should wear our hair in buns with no make-up. However, we don’t have to look like the women of the world. We can be stylish and attractive without being immodest and lustful in our dress. Today young girls come to prayer meetings in shorts and crop tops and never think any thing about it. Before you call me prudish (I will admit I am old fashioned, yet in my school days, we didn’t experience the sexual violence that is happening today), let me share where I am going with this.
My husband and I, while pastoring the church, prayed with many young and not-so-young men, who were deeply disturbed as they were having problems keeping their minds on the Lord. The distraction —- pretty young girls who would attend services in shorts, ultra tight jeans, short skirts, or low cut dresses. The men did not want these lustful feelings and were sincerely fighting to keep their thoughts pure. Most of the young girls were totally oblivious to the fact that they could be contributing to a man’s temptation toward lust. I remember an incident when several people were gathered around a man to pray for him for healing. One of the young girls who wore a sleeveless and low cut top kneeled down at his feet while others stood in a circle around him to pray. I happened to be standing over her and looking down as we started to bow our heads and pray I could see her breasts above her low cut bra. The thought came to me how these young men must struggle to pray when they could see the same view as I saw.
What Can Women Do To Help Men Get Free From This Bondage?
Most of the indulgence in porn is done by men, although some women come under its power too. However, since this affects everyone in the family, it is a family problem. It must be addressed as a family issue. One of the things that I believe women are doing today, that is adding to this problem, is the way in which they dress. The goal of many young girls today is not dressing to be well groomed and attractive, but rather to be sexy. Sex crimes and rapes have soared in numbers and women’s dress habits have contributed to this problem. I believe because we have not taught our daughters to dress modestly it has contributed to these crimes. We must teach our sons and daughters morality and return to Bible standards if we are to see this problem reversed.
Men no longer have to go to houses of prostitution to see women’s unclad bodies. They can go to any beach or public swimming pool in the world or just watch the ads on TV It is really a disgrace to the church when our young daughters are allowed to wear bikini swimsuits and many of the mothers wear them too. I am not excusing men and their porno habits but we women must also change if we expect the men to get free from their sin. The Bible speaks about how women should be attired:
As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. Proverbs 11:22
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands. 1 Peter 3:1-5
How To Be Free From Pornography
You need to first of all repent of your sin and ask Jesus to come into your heart and cleanse you and deliver you from this evil. No sin is too black or wicked that the blood of Jesus cannot cleanse you from it. The Bible says in: 1 John 1:9-10, 2:1-2: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Because pornography is a spiritual problem you will need spiritual help in getting free from it. By partaking of this evil you have opened yourself up to demonic control. You may need someone who has the gift of the Holy Spirit to pray deliverance over you. You should seek out a Bible believing church that believes in deliverance and knows how to deal with demons. The Lord will lead you in this matter if you ask Him. Do not allow pride to prevent you from getting help and getting free if you need it. James 4:7-8, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
As you commit your life to Christ and obey Him you can get the victory because you are not fighting this battle alone, but you have access to the power of Christ and what He did for you. Romans 6:12-18: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
Today men and women must war in this culture to maintain their sexual purity. This battle is a battle in the mind. You must cast down imaginations that do not agree with the Bible and quote the Word of God over your body and mind. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
You must stay away from the area of temptation and destroy all videos, games, magazines, etc. that are pornographic. If you must use the computer in your work environment, you should employ a filter service for your ISP or software that filters out those evil invitations so they do not enter your e-mail and cannot be accessed by your browser. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20: “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Should you stumble or fall, do not stay down. Just ask the Lord to forgive you and start again in your walk with Him. Ask Him to empower you to overcome. You cannot do it in your strength. Just remember that in Him you can do all things. Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
If you need prayer we will stand with you for your victory. You can write us through the prayer room. You need not give your name. The Lord will know who you are. Remember, the Lord loves you and so do we. Blessings! Contact us through the Prayer Room.
If your life or marriage has been devastated by sexual addiction, we highly recommend a book that has been helpful to many called An Affair of the Mind by Laurie Hall. This amazing book is published by Focus On The Family and written from the first-hand perspective of a wife whose husband was addicted to pornography for over 20 years. This powerful book delves deep into many facets of sexual addiction. The principles in this book, if applied, can save many marriages and restore even those who are most bound to sexual addiction.


Throughout human history, the family has been the foundation of society. Within a strong, well-functioning family we can fulfill our physical and emotional needs. Strong family ties provide us the love and security we need for a happy life. Children grow into well-adjusted adults through example, instruction and discipline. Chores and responsibilities are shared for the good of all.

Marriage and Divorce

But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (KJV, Mark 10:6-9)

The family of biblical times had the husband as “lord” of the household and the wife as his helper. The husband worked diligently to provide material needs and protection while the wife worked diligently at domestic chores (Ward, pp. 92-94). In these New Testament passages, the need for a strong, healthy marriage is expressed in terms of the idealized family of the ancient world:

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (NIV, 1 Peter 3:1-4, 7)

Contemporary marriages may follow the biblical model or may be quite different. Regardless of how we divide the roles and responsibilities in our marriages, though, we must be sure the marriage fulfills its essential family functions and provides a loving environment for children to grow into responsible adults.

Unselfish love is the “glue” that holds families together. In marriage we must subdue our own egos and selfish pride for the sake of the family. The Apostle Paul states it eloquently in this passage from First Corinthians:

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (NAS, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Divorce is a genuine tragedy. It often leaves the marriage partners embittered and disillusioned. It robs the children of the love and security of a healthy family and denies them a good role model for their own future marriages. The expense of divorce may consume the family savings. The work and expense of maintaining separate households means more work and less time for ourselves and our children.

We need to make an effort each and every day to keep our marriages strong and not let them drift toward divorce. We must put aside our anger, forgive our spouse a million times over, always be faithful, subdue our own pride and ego, and always let love guide our actions.

In the Old Testament Law, a man was allowed to divorce his wife at will. (Wives did not have the same privilege.) Jesus saw the injustice and pain of divorce, though, and said that neither husband nor wife should separate from the other:

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (NIV, Matthew 19:3-9)

The Apostle Paul echoed Jesus’ sentiment:

Now, for those who are married I have a command, not just a suggestion. And it is not a command from me, for this is what the Lord himself has said: A wife must not leave her husband. But if she is separated from him, let her remain single or else go back to him. And the husband must not divorce his wife. (TLB, 1 Corinthians 7:10-11)

Adultery destroys marriages. The adulterer shows total disregard for the marriage vows and for his or her spouse. In this passage, Jesus reminds us that not only should we always be faithful, we should also avoid any actions or situations that might eventually tempt us into adultery:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. (NAS, Matthew 5:27-28)

Unfortunately, some marriages cannot and should not be saved. A viable marriage is a contract of mutual love and respect, as reiterated in Ephesians:

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (NIV, Ephesians 5:33)

When one partner seriously violates the marriage contract, as by emotional, physical or sexual abuse, the marriage cannot endure. None of us should feel obligated to endure an abusive relationship.

Parents and Children

The single most important function of the family is the raising of children. The family provides for the physical needs of children and teaches them how to grow into well-adjusted, responsible adults.

Schools can teach the knowledge and skills needed to earn a livelihood, but children learn their values primarily from the example and teaching of their parents. As parents we must both practice and preach our values. The author of this proverb speaks as a father would instruct his own son or daughter:

Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding, For I give you sound teaching; do not abandon my instruction. When I was a son to my father, tender and the only son in the sight of my mother, Then he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments and live; Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it; turn away from it and pass on. For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; and they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day. (NAS, Proverbs 4:1-5, 14-18)

Of course, the parents’ instruction does no good if the child rejects it. Our parents may not be perfect, but they have loved and cared for us, and they deserve our respect. The Bible advises children to honor and obey their parents:

Children, obey your parents; this is the right thing to do because God has placed them in authority over you. Honor your father and mother. This is the first of God’s Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the promise: that if you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life, full of blessing. (TLB, Ephesians 6:1-3)

Listen to your father’s advice and don’t despise an old mother’s experience. Get the facts at any price, and hold on tightly to all the good sense you can get. The father of a godly man has cause for joy– what pleasure a wise son is! So give your parents joy! (TLB, Proverbs 23:22-24)

In addition to instruction and a good example, children need discipline to grow into responsible adults. Through discipline, children learn the consequences of their actions and learn to control their behavior:

Discipline your son and he will give you happiness and peace of mind. (TLB, Proverbs 29:17)

Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it. (TLB, Proverbs 22:6)

Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. (KJV, Proverbs 23:13-14)

The verse above, and a few similar ones, are sometimes used to justify a harsh parenting style based on corporal punishment. However, the dominant theme of the Bible is not to beat one’s children, but rather to “teach a child to choose the right path” through instruction and discipline. Beating with a rod is an example of how discipline may have been practiced in Old Testament times. Unfortunately, beating and spanking embitter the child and teach him or her to control others by physical force. The child may change his or her behavior out of fear but does not learn self-control.

Fortunately, modern parenting methods offer us a better alternative. The methods of natural and logical consequences teach self-control and values without causing bitterness between parent and child (Dreikurs, Kober). In New Testament times, the harsh Old Testament teachings about discipline are replaced with verses such as these:

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. (NIV, Colossians 3:21)

And now a word to you parents. Don’t keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice. (TLB, Ephesians 6:4)

Jesus greatly valued children and the innocence of youth, saying we should humble ourselves before God the way a child does before an adult. He also placed anyone who would corrupt a child among the most despicable of sinners:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! (NIV, Matthew 18:1-7)

The enthusiasm and idealism of youth can be a potent force. Young adults are often able to see the simple truth of a complicated matter and are able to work tirelessly for a good cause. Paul gives this advice to Timothy, his young friend and associate:

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (NIV, 1 Timothy 4:12)

On the other hand, the temptations of youth may be a trap for those who have not yet developed a strong sense of right and wrong. Even children must take responsibility for their own actions. Wrong is wrong and evil is evil. It cannot be not justified because “Everybody does it,” or “I won’t get caught,” or “I won’t get punished,” or “I was mad,” or “I just felt like it,” or “I wanted it,” or “I did it to get back at __________.” (Fill in the blank: my parents, teacher, brother, sister; that bigot, bully, cheater, grouch, show-off, hypocrite, etc.:)

Run from anything that gives you the evil thoughts that young men often have, but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right. Have faith and love, and enjoy the companionship of those who love the Lord and have pure hearts. (TLB, 2 Timothy 2:22)

Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right. (NIV, Proverbs 20:11)

A strong and supportive family bonds husband and wife in a union of love and mutual respect. It is our refuge from the pressures and disappointments of the world and is the instrument for giving our children the things they need most: protection, love, training and discipline. The more we cultivate strong family ties, the more fulfilling our lives will be.

Related verses: Psalms 133:1-3Proverbs 3:1-35Proverbs 15:5Proverbs 18:22Matthew 5:31-32Matthew 18:21-221 Corinthians 7:3-51 Timothy 5:8.