Category: Love, Marriage & Family

The Importance of Premarital Counseling

The rising increase in the divorce rate not only within the secular world but also within the church is a clear indication that many people are entering into marriage without understanding and also without the mental, social and spiritual preparation.

A marriage can often begin well, but then end up in disaster.
Therefore one of the purposes of premarital counseling is to educate and address any misconceptions or preconceived ideas about the marriage covenant.
Another purpose of premarital counseling is to help the couple to understand and be prepared for the realities regarding the kind of challenges and issues that occur within a marriage relationship.
In any marriage relationship it is inevitable that there will be disagreements, annoyances and all sorts of challenges and problems.
Marriage can be hard work in which both spouses must participate and contribute to its success.

The marriage relationship is so unique and so intimate above any other human relationship in that both the husband and wife will become one flesh (Genesis 2:21-24). Marriage is a relationship between 2 people who will intimately know each other more than they will ever know any other person.

Premarital counseling also helps a couple to understand God’s role within a marriage.
True Biblical marriage will always consist of God, the husband and the wife.
Therefore because God is the Creator of marriage since the beginning of creation, it is therefore necessary for a husband and wife to have God to be the centre and ultimate leader of every marriage.
A strong marriage must be governed by Biblical principles and guidelines if it is to overcome various relationship challenges and trials.
Therefore premarital counseling will also reveal the value of a couple remaining unified through both the good and difficult times in life.

Premarital counseling also helps a couple to set realistic and practical goals and objectives for their marriage relationship. There are many factors and circumstances in life that can cause confusion and disunity within the relationship.
When a couple sets agreeable goals and objectives before marrying, it may help set the direction of the overall relationship and help a couple to overly remain unified during the marriage.

Therefore specific areas such as the roles of the husband and wife must be discussed and understood (Ephesians 5:22-33).
The caring of children and issues related to finances and career plans are essential issues to discuss and plan.

 

Sources for Premarital Counseling
The most important kind of premarital counselling must have Biblical principles and guidelines.
Biblical premarital counseling enables a couple to differentiate between God’s view of marriage and the secular world’s view of marriage.
God’s word is the best source for providing us with how we should conduct our relationships with one another including marriage.
Marriage is a covenant created by God and therefore the principles and foundations of how a marriage ought to function should come directly from the word of God.
God’s word clearly outlines such things as the role of the husband and wife (Colossians 3:18-20); God’s view of divorce (Matthew 19:1-9); God’s view of sexual immorality or adultery and the like (Hebrews 13:4).
God’s word also commands us to be motivated by love in how we conduct all our relationships.
Therefore in all situations and relationships the Bible is God inspired and necessary to teach, reproof and correct us in all areas of life including marriage (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Proverbs 15:22 says “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Proverbs 11:14 says “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”

Within Christianity premarital counseling can be done by a multitude of counselors from a pastor, an elder, parents of the couple or any elderly and mature Christian person who can be trusted to give sound Biblical counsel (Titus 2:1-6).
However, one of the main criteria is that anyone who counsels, is that his/her own family and household must be in good order before he/she can counsel or advise anyone else according to 1 Timothy 3:4-5 and Titus 1:7.

In Titus 2:1-6 says that older women are to “train the younger women to love their husbands and children… and to be submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled”

Parents of the couple must also play a major role as they have a duty to counsel their children as they grow up.
Therefore from childhood to adulthood, Christian parents always have a constant opportunity to train up a child concerning all areas of life including marriage (Proverbs 22:6).

Therefore premarital counseling provides the basis for Biblical understanding; for preparation and for the creation of Biblically sound foundations in order to make the marriage relationship work and function for the glory of God.

 

 

What Does The Bible Say About Dating & Courtship?

The words “dating” or “courtship” are not found in the Bible. However, practically if any person desires to seek a meaningful and loving relationship with the opposite sex, then a form of dating or courtship is necessary. The decision to choose a spouse cannot be made instantly or irrationally. Choosing a future husband or future wife is one of the most important life decisions that anyone can ever make.

Dating is meant to seek out someone who you think could be a potential spouse. It is an activity of discovering each other’s personalities and background and there is no commitment to marriage.
The person you are dating might be the right person or he/she might actually be the wrong person for you. However, the aim of dating is to find out whether the person you like could become more than just a friend, but potentially be the one whom you could spend the rest of your life with.

Courtship however is more serious and reflects more commitment than dating. Courtship is meant to show the one you love that he/she is your true love and you have the genuine intention to marry. Courtship reveals that you have found the one whom you want to spend the rest of your life with and you are making practical life steps to get married to that person in the future.

 

Dating & Courtship Must Be Biblical
It is important to understand that the way the world views dating and courtship is totally different from how Christians should view dating or courtship.
Romans 12:2 says that we should not be conformed to the standards or patterns of this world.
Therefore the world may believe in ungodly principles such as premarital sex or adultery. The world may also believe in dating or courting more than one person at the same time.
However, the Christian / Biblical principles regarding dating or courtship are opposite to the standards of the world.
Therefore during courtship or dating, it is important that a couple abstain from sex until they are married. There are many verses in the Bible that declare sex before marriage to be a sin. For example, Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 5:3, Mark 7:21 and Colossians 3:5.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 says: For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
Therefore sex was created by God in order to be enjoyed only within the confines of marriage and Christians are not to follow the path of the world.

One should date or court a person who is genuinely single and not married. It is adultery for a married person to be in a “courtship” or “dating” relationship with a person who is not his/her spouse (Deuteronomy 5:18).
God says that we should not covet or desire another man’s spouse (Deuteronomy 5:21).
Therefore courtship and dating must be among two people who are genuinely single.

A Christian must date or court another Christian believer. There is a principle reflected within the scriptures that Christians should avoid getting married to people who are unbelievers in order to avoid being corrupted or deceived by a partner who does not believe in the Christian faith.
2 Corinthians 6:14 says: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character”.
Therefore when a Christian dates or courts a non-Christian, this could eventually lead to future problems within the relationship or marriage due to a difference of values and beliefs.

 

Involve God Regarding Dating & Courtship
Biblical dating and courtship requires godly wisdom. It is important to always be prayerful and involve God in every relationship decision that you make. Without God it can be impossible to make the right decisions regarding specifically who you should or should not marry.
Proverbs 16:1 says “To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue”.
Proverbs 16:3 says “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed”.
Therefore God is able to choose the right person for you to marry but it is important that we trust Him and involve Him in all of our plans and decision making.
Furthermore, our commitment to loving God is very crucial and important in our life. We must love God more than we love others (Matthew 10:37).
When we love God above others, then we will learn to love others with the love of God and we will live our life according to God’s principles and values. Jesus said that if we love Him, then we will obey His commandments (John 14:15).
Therefore courtship and dating must be Biblical because we are motivated by the love of God.

 

My Husband Is Not A Christian… HELP!!!

When a Christian woman is married to an unbeliever it can sometimes be socially and spiritually difficult for a husband and wife to get along. The relationship can be tense, hurtful and full of opposing views and fighting.
Marriage is the joining together of a man and a woman so that both become one flesh (Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:31). Therefore a husband and wife are supposed to be united in all aspects of their life.

However unity is difficult to maintain whenever one spouse is born again and the other is not. Therefore when a Christian woman is married to an unbelieving husband there is a social, psychological and spiritual disunity that takes place within the relationship.
So how should a Christian woman relate with a husband who is not a believer? What can she do to help create peace in the home and minimize tension?

 

1. Pray For Your Husband
Learn to get into the habit of regularly praying for your husband and praying for his salvation. Even though you don’t agree with many of his ungodly beliefs and even though you have opposing values – pray for him and pray that his heart may be open to the things of God.
Interceding for your husband is an act of love. When you pray for him, you are releasing your husband into God’s hands and believing that God is ultimately sovereign and in control of all situations within your relationship. Therefore, there are many aspects of your husband’s life and behavior that you cannot control – but only God is the one who can control and intervene.
Therefore interceding for your husband reflects that you desire God’s intervention and counsel in your husband’s life and in your marriage.
You can also have friends and family join you in prayer for your husband that he may be saved and that God may give you wisdom and strength in your relationship.
1 Timothy 2:1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people

 

2. Honor Your Husband
Every man, whether he is a believer or unbeliever desires to be respected by his own wife. This desire for respect by their wives is spiritually inbuilt in men.
1 Peter 3:1-2 says: Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives— when they see your respectful and pure conduct.
One of the ways a wife can win her unbelieving husband to Christianity is by her godly and respectful conduct in the home. Such conduct must be consistent and genuine.
The people who know us the most intimately are the people whom we live with.
The Christian life is not only about honoring God with our lips, but it is also about conducting ourselves in a manner which gives glory to God even in the eyes of an unbeliever.
Therefore an unbelieving husband will not only look at what you say – but he will look at how you behave.

 

3. Prioritize Your Husband & Let Him Know That He Is Special To You
Even though you love God and you love church – your husband also needs to know that you love him and that he is special to you. An unbelieving husband does not like to feel as if he’s in competition for your attention with your church or with your church activities.
The last thing your husband would like to know is that you find the church leader to be a priority over him. Therefore no other man should be a priority above your own husband.
Ephesians 5:22 says: Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
1 Peter 3:1 also tells wives to be subject to their own husbands.
Therefore (in Christ or within reason) a Christian wife is expected to respect her husband above other men.
He therefore needs affirmation from you that he is special in your life by your words and by your actions.
In the life of a Christian, God comes first, family comes second and church activities can come third.
For example, before going to church, make sure that that meals are prepared, the house is in order, and the children’s needs are met.

 

Conclusion
Therefore, as a Christian woman, you have the opportunity to show the nature and character of Jesus Christ to your unbelieving husband. Every situation in your relationship is an opportunity for Christ to be magnified and glorified.
Your life can be a testimony of who Jesus Christ is to your husband and why Christ is so important in your life.
Your home is therefore a place where your husband can be ministered to because of the godly way that you are living and conducting yourself in the home.

 

The Difference Between Love & Infatuation

Have you ever been in a relationship where you thought you loved someone and you thought you were going to spend your whole life together, but only to be heartbroken?
Have you ever been in a relationship where you thought you married a perfect loving person but only to discover that your loving relationship was not as “perfect” as you think? The person you once loved has become the person you hate or desire to break-up with.

It’s amazing that one of the most misunderstood words when it comes to the subject of relationships is the word “love”.
Many people want to be loved and many people want to be in love. However, it seems as if very few people understand the true meaning of love. Furthermore, few people are able to differentiate between love and infatuation.

What is Infatuation?
Infatuation is defined as an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for someone or something.

  • Therefore infatuation doesn’t last long; it happens instantly and quickly.
  • Infatuation is driven and fueled by lust; it is all about sex pleasure and physical affections
  • Infatuation believes that your partner or the person you desire is “perfect”; it makes you believe that you are in love with a someone who can do no wrong when realistically none of us are perfect
  • Infatuation makes you feel like you know everything about your partner but yet you have known your partner for a short time and most certainly may know very little about him.
  • Infatuation is interested in self-gratification or self-satisfaction; your passions are not about what you can give or contribute to the relationship – but your passions are about what you can get from the relationship
  • Infatuation can consist of pure intense feelings and very little volitional or rational thought. Therefore decisions are made purely out of feelings and emotions rather than rational reasoning.
  • Infatuation is therefore like a roller-coaster; One minute the relationship is great and the next minute the relationship is bad and then later its great again
  • Infatuation makes one overly jealous and over protective; it desires control but also fears loss
  • Infatuation cannot be satisfied; it usually wants more and if it does not get what is wants, it will look elsewhere which results in broken relationships.

 

 

What is Love?
Love is exactly the opposite of infatuation. Love is more than just feelings and emotions – but love is also about actions and principles.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says the following about the subject of love:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

The truth is that all kinds of relationships will face tests and trials. There is no loving relationship that is immune to challenges and problems. The thing that binds relationships together is true love.
Any relationship that is bound by infatuation alone will never last.
However, love is what binds people together especially through trials and challenges in life. True love remains faithful through all situations. True love sees the flaws of others but still loves them regardless.
True love will always help to ensure that you try to do the right thing within your relationship. True love gives; it is not self-centred. It respects others and does not look for its own personal gain but it focuses on others.

Therefore understanding the difference between love and infatuation is one of the most important things in any relationship.

The Problem with Sexual Infidelity

It is estimated that more than 30% of all married individuals (in any country) will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage.

Some of the major reasons why people commit adultery is related to the following:
• People having had multiple sexual partners before marriage
• People having an abnormal sexual desire with different partners due to the influence of pornography
• People who have marital problems with their spouses
• People who spend a greater time away from a spouse
• People who have a perverted mindset and see other women as sexual conquests
• People who have been joined through an arranged or forced marriage

Sexual immorality and infidelity is a never ending problem in society and it is only growing worse.
The Greek word for “sexual immorality” is [Porneia] which means “fornication”, “prostitution” and “idolatry”.
Fornication is the sexual relations between people who are not married to each other. However, infidelity or adultery is the sexual relations between a married person and a partner who is not the lawful spouse.

The Bible speaks against all kinds of sexual immorality such as incest, homosexuality, bestiality, adultery and fornication (1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; Leviticus 20:13; Exodus 22:19).

 

The issue of infidelity however is a huge problem in society for several reasons.

Adultery Destroys Marriages & Families
Adultery destroys the marriage of the cheating spouse. More than 53% of marriages end up in divorce due to infidelity. This automatically results in destroyed families and children are faced with the emotional, psychological and social impact of being raised by divorced parents. Adultery is heart-breaking to both the children and the spouse who has become the victim of a cheating partner

 

Adultery Creates a Generational Curse
Nathan prophesied to King David because of his adultery in 2 Samuel 12:10-11: Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.

After David committed adultery, he may have been forgiven but David still experienced the generational consequences of his sinful actions. Bathsheba’s son died (2 Samuel 12:14) then Amnon raped his half-sister, Tamar (2 Samuel 13:14). Later Absalom kills Amnon for raping Tamar (2 Samuel 13:28-29) and escapes to a foreign land (2 Samuel 13:38). Absalom returns after 3 years and then attempts to overthrow his father David from the throne (2 Samuel 15:6).
Absalom also sleeps with one of David’s concubines (2 Samuel 14:28) and later has sex in public with 10 of his father’s concubines.
Another of David’s sons – King Solomon had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines, and his wives turned away his heart from God (1 Kings 11:3-4).

Adultery is an iniquitous sin that spreads within a family’s generation and becomes worse with each new generation.

 

 

Adultery is Rebellion Against God
Adultery is a sin that reflects the adulterer’s lack of respect for God’s union of marriage. The adulterer lacks an understanding of the purpose and origins of marriage. Marriage was originated by God and He desires that the marriage bed be respected.
Hebrews 13:4 says: Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
An adulterous person does not honor marriage and his unrepentant actions will eventually lead to God’s judgment.

 

Adultery Destroys Society
Destroy a marriage and you destroy a family. Destroy a family and you destroy a community. Destroy a community and you destroy a city. Destroy a city and you destroy a nation.
One of the major ways that the devil is destroying society is by destroying marriage and the family.
For a long time – the act of adultery has been normalized and virtually accepted as normal yet in God’s eyes, infidelity is a serious sin and it is an insult to God’s covenant of marriage.
The enemy therefore uses sexual immorality as a weapon against God and against mankind.
If there are many single mothers; orphaned children; broken relationships and divorced couples – it’s because these are all linked to the problem of sexual immorality.

 

Bible Verses on Sexual Immorality
• God created the body for purity not for sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:13)
• God hates divorce (Malachi 2:14-16)
• God does not support people who break-up other people’s marriages (Mark 10:9)
• God hates all forms of sexual immorality (Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:5, Revelation 22:15)
• God commands us to flee all forms of sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18)
• God judges the sexually immoral (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
• God commands that a sexual relationship occurs exclusively within marriage (Hebrews 13:4)

 

Should a Christian Date or Marry a Non-Christian?

Should a Christian date or marry a non-Christian? 2 Corinthians 6:14 says: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

2 Corinthians 6:14 gives an important principle about what all Christians should heed when it comes to having any type of binding partnership with a non-Christian.
Dating and marriage is a binding partnership that involves intimate feelings, emotions, thoughts and physical bonding. Marriage especially is not just a physical contract but it is a spiritual covenant which God ordained.
Therefore it’s important to make the correct Biblical choices when it comes to the issue of dating and marriage.

1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character”.
According to 1 Corinthians 15:33 it is a deception to believe that a Christian can be in a binding relationship with an unbeliever and not be affected.
When a Christian dates or marries an unbeliever the results might likely become negative.

When a Christian has an intimate relationship with an unbeliever, this can lead to a hindrance in the Christian’s spiritual growth.
For example, if you’re dating a non-Christian, the temptation to have premarital sex may become stronger than if you were dating a Christian believer who has Biblical values about sex.
Therefore when a Christian dates or marries a non-Christian there can be cultural and spiritual friction and contrasts in the relationship which could eventually lead to detrimental problems.
When 2 people who have directly opposite value systems and beliefs get married or start dating, the relationship will have problems and issues that are based on those opposing value systems.

One of the main objectives of marriage is that both husband and wife cleave to each other.
Ephesians 5:31 says “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
The only way for a husband and wife to cleave or be united is if their core values and beliefs are similar.
Therefore if a Christian is dating an atheist or a Buddhist then they will both have opposing value systems that can affect various areas of the relationship.

What are the Benefits if a Christian Dates or Marries another Christian?
1. You share the same value systems and you believe in the same God.
2. A married couple where both spouses are Christians can easily cleave and bond
3. It is easier to sharpen each other’s spirits. Therefore you can encourage and pray for each other and grow spiritually together
4. You are likely to fight less than if you were dating an unbeliever. You can become united in mind and spirit when attempting to deal with life challenges together.
5. As Christians you are able to put God at the centre of your relationship and marriage. A marriage with God at the centre will always succeed even in the face of challenges.

It’s therefore wise and beneficial for a Christian to date or marry another Christian.

Is Abstinence Before Marriage Realistic? 7 Ways to Abstain

Is abstinence before marriage a realistic choice in our modern culture? Should our modern culture continue to encourage premarital sex or protected sex instead of abstinence? What practical steps can a person take to successfully abstain until marriage?

Studies reflect that only 29 percent of people in the United States consider the act of having sex before marriage as being morally wrong, while 97 percent of people in a country like Indonesia believe that premarital sex is unacceptable. In Europe, the majority of Europeans believe that premarital sex is acceptable. The same study also says that in religions such as Catholicism and Islam, having sex before marriage is morally unacceptable. In African countries, there are also strong cultural beliefs that sex before marriage is morally wrong.
Therefore, people’s perception of abstinence and premarital sex depends on 3 major factors which are – geographical location, one’s culture and one’s religious beliefs.

However, what does the Bible say about abstinence? Is abstinence a realistic option especially in the 21st century culture? What practical steps can a person take to ensure that he/she successfully abstains from sex until he/she gets married?

There are many verses in the Bible that declare sex before marriage to be a sin.
For example, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 5:3, Mark 7:21 and Colossians 3:5.
Therefore sex was created by God in order to be enjoyed only within the confines of marriage.

Is abstinence realistic? Yes it is. A spiritual understanding of sex and spiritual conviction plays a big role in helping one to practically abstain.

 

So what are the practical steps that you can take to abstain from sex before marriage?

  1. Don’t put yourself in situations where you might be tempted to compromise your sexual purity or values.
  2. Have boundaries and uphold the boundaries. Date a person who has the same beliefs about abstinence as you do. If both of you have the same convictions about waiting before marriage then you are likely to be successful.
  3. Avoid material such as pornography or any entertainment which have heavy messages on promoting premarital sex. Such material is bound to progressively lead you into temptation by polluting your mind.
  4. Make yourself accountable to someone or to people you can trust and who uphold the same values that you have about abstaining until marriage.
  5. Always remember that God’s word is the ultimate authority. Abstaining from sex until marriage is God’s will and through obedience, we are expressing Christ’s nature and character in our life.
  6. Always remember that God designed sex to be enjoyed – but only within the confines of marriage. Therefore you and your partner will reap the long-term benefits of obeying God’s word in this area.
  7. Always involve God when it comes to your feelings, temptations and relationship. Never remove God from the equation in your relationship. Ask Him to always give you the strength to abstain and keep you from being tempted into premarital sex.

 

Abstinence prevents some of the following problems
1. It prevents abortions or unwanted pregnancies
2. It prevents sexually transmitted infections
3. It prevents teenage pregnancies
4. It prevents mistrust caused by previous sexual relationships
5. It prevents the chance of children who grow up with single mothers
6. It may even prevent you from marrying the wrong person

 

Have You Already Had Premarital Sex?
If you already had sex before marriage, the Bible says that there is God’s forgiveness which is always available. If we confess our sins, God is just and faithful to forgive us of every sin – including sex before marriage (1 John 1:9).
Therefore, even if a person has had premarital sex, that person still has an opportunity to repent and start focusing on obeying the word of God in that area.

Sex Before Marriage – 6 Problems with Premarital Sex

Is sex before marriage right or wrong? With the exception of various Muslim nations such as Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey or Jordan, most people in many other nations have taken a more relaxed and tolerant view regarding sex before marriage. Most societies and cultures believe it is acceptable for a person to have sexual relations with one or more people before committing to marriage. In fact, if you’ve never had premarital sex or if you’re a virgin, then you’re more likely to be ridiculed, frowned upon or disbelieved.

However, does the fact that society has normalized premarital sex mean that sex before marriage is a good thing? Aren’t there any problems that are associated with premarital sex? Also, what does the Bible say about sex before marriage?

It’s an undeniable fact that sex is pleasurable and sex is meant to be enjoyed. However there are Biblical guidelines from God that relate to sexual relationships.
According to the Bible, premarital sex is considered to be a sin. Scriptures such as Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 5:3, Mark 7:21 and Colossians 3:5 highlight fornication as being an unacceptable act or lifestyle in the eyes of God.

People might be tempted to believe that God is just a “killjoy” who doesn’t want people to have a “good time”.

So the question is this: If sex is meant to be enjoyed and if sex is pleasurable – then WHY would God prohibit two consenting individuals from having sex just because they are not married?
The truth is – having sex before marriage has caused many social and spiritual problems in society.

Too often people focus on the “enjoyment” and “pleasurable” part of sex without understanding the other aspects of sex, such as procreation, the Biblical guidelines and also the negative effects of having sex outside of marriage.

If the Bible’s message on sex before marriage were obeyed by society, then we would have very few of the following problems:

  1. We would have few abortions or unwanted pregnancies
  2. We would have few sexually transmitted infections
  3. We would have few teenage pregnancies
  4. We would have few divorces due to mistrust caused by previous sexual relationships
  5. We would have fewer children who grow up with single mothers.
  6. Premarital sex also creates spiritual problems in relation to a person’s relationship with God. If one is not repentant, a person can distance himself from God simply because of guilt and shame.

However, God is a forgiving God. If we receive Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior and confess our sins, God is just and faithful to forgive us of every sin – including sex before marriage (1 John 1:9).
Therefore, even if a person has had premarital sex, that person still has an opportunity to repent and start focusing on obeying the word of God in that area.

 

Qualities of a Good Parent

Parenting in the 21st Century has become more challenging than it has ever been.
We live in world where Biblical and principled parenting is under attack. Many anti-family and anti-parenting concepts have been introduced in the world with the deliberate intention of completely changing the Biblical concept of what it means to be a good parent.

In the life of a child in the 21st century, a mother and father are no longer the only parents of a particular child. In our ungodly world, a single child has more than just a mother and father as his/her parents.
Unfortunately, the television has also become the parent; the internet & social media have become the parent; the popular half-naked celebrities have become the parents; the atheist school teacher has become the parent; even the government has become the parent.

However, should parenting problems only be blamed on television, celebrities, social media and the like? Perhaps part of the blame might also go to many parents themselves who have surrendered to worldly values and therefore fail to bring up their children in a godly manner.

So the question is – what are the qualities of a good parent? What does the Bible say is the duty of a parent and why is it important to practice good parenting skills.

 

1. A GOOD PARENT MUST TEACH & TRAIN UP A CHILD
Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
The best human authority figures to train up a growing child are the parents of that particular child.
Training for life and training pertaining to values and principles should not be left to the internet sites, celebrities or even the Sunday school teacher.
It is the duty of a good parent to teach and train a child the correct values and principles for that child to become a good and godly person in life and society.
Children are products of what they have been taught by the authority figures in the lives. For example, a child who grows up to be a violent and abusive adult may have been taught directly or indirectly by an authority figure in his life that violence and abuse is the answer to solving problems.
A good parent must also understand that children do not only learn through our words only, but they also learn by watching our behavior and actions within the home.
The “do as I say and not as I do” concept does not work in relation to parenting. Instead a good parent teaches and trains a child by being an example.

 

2. A GOOD PARENT LEAVES AN INHERITANCE FOR THE NEXT GENERATION
Proverbs 13:22 says A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
A good parent does not only live for his own generation. Good parents do not live and create wealth only for themselves and then leave their children with nothing by the time the parents die.
Good parents will always work and live with the next generation of their family in mind.
Even God thinks generationally. Therefore a good parent must leave wealth, knowledge and godly values that will equip and help the family for generations.
Therefore just bad certain sins and iniquities can be observed & experienced generationally within a particular family, it is also possible that wealth and many other blessings can be observed & experienced generationally within a family.
It is therefore up to parents to ensure that they bless the next generation and not curse them.

 

3. A GOOD PARENT DISCIPLINES HIS CHILDREN
Hebrews 12:7 says It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Proverbs 19:18 says Discipline your son while there is hope, And do not desire his death
The discipline of a child is an important part when it comes to parenting. It is also important for the development of the child as well.
Discipline not only asserts who is in authority between a parent and child, but it also teaches the child to respect different authorities in life.
Discipline also helps a child to understand that there can be consequences to making bad or irresponsible life choices & decisions.
Therefore discipline should always be done in love. Discipline should be done to teach and not necessarily to simply “punish”.
It’s also important for a parent to understand the difference between discipline and abuse.
Abuse does not build up a child. Abuse destroys a child’s development. However, while discipline might not be popular to a child for a while, the discipline will lead to positive results in a child’s development.
The Bible therefore encourages parents to discipline their children because it will ultimately benefit the child as he/she grows and develops.

 

4. A GOOD PARENT LOVES HIS/HER CHILDREN
Titus 2:4 says “that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children”.
Love is an important virtue of any human and interpersonal relationship. Children are supposed to first learn the meaning of love through their parents. Within the family, love is not only reflected by words alone, but children are capable of understanding what love is, through the actions and behavior of their parents.
If love and affection is not shown or reflected in the home, a child will also become unloving or unaffectionate when he/she grows up.
However, every person – especially children, yearn for love and affection and this is a need that every parent must reflect towards his/her child.

 

5. A GOOD PARENT DOES NOT HINDER A CHILD FROM A RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST
Matthew 19:13-14 says Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
A good parent allows his/her children to relate with Jesus Christ. A good parent will not hinder his/her child from having a relationship with the Creator of the Universe. A good parent will desire for his/her child to go to church and fellowship with Bible believing Christians.
One of the most important duties of a parent is to point a child to focus on Jesus Christ and to enable the child to one day make a personal decision to accept Jesus Christ as Lord & Saviour.
The whole point of training up a child as mentioned in Proverbs 22:6 is so that the child may grow up to become a godly person who has a relationship with Christ.

 

6. A GOOD PARENT PROVIDES FOR HIS CHILDREN
1 Timothy 5:8 says But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
A good parent provides for the physical, emotional and psychological needs of his/her child. Even if a husband and wife are divorced, it is important for the divorced parents to look after the welfare of their child.
Children should not have to be neglected just because the parents are divorced. Therefore both mother and father have an obligation to provide for their child or children.

 

Conclusion
Deuteronomy 11:18-19 says “You shall therefore lay up these words of Mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall 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, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise”.

Ultimately parents are required to obey the word of God in every area of life. Parents are then required by God to teach the word of God to their children.
Parents are encouraged by God to pass on spiritual and godly values for life to their own kids and thereby create a better, godly generation.

5 Things That Ruin Marriages

There’s no doubt that the divorce rate around the world continues to grow and it shows no sign of slowing down.
You find a couple seemingly falls in love, gets married and then before you know it, their marriage is ruined and they are filing for divorce.

 

So what are the things that ruin marriages? Below are at least 5 major factors that can destroy a marriage.

1. FINANCES
This is always a big issue in a marriage. Maybe the husband isn’t earning as much as his wife and so there’s tension in the home.
Or perhaps there are disagreements on how to budget and spend the money in the home.
Another reason could be that both husband and wife are not earning enough income and so it’s difficult to meet the financial requirements in the home.
Couples are therefore bound to fight and even divorce if measures are not taken to address the financial aspect of a marriage.
The Bible however teaches us that we should be good stewards of all that God gives us and therefore this includes how we use our money. God expects us to spend our money wisely and righteously.
Furthermore, we are not to worry about money (Matthew 6:25-34) – but we should learn to trust in God that He will supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19).
Therefore in a marriage – a couple shouldn’t focus on fighting each other over money – but the couple should collectively look towards being good stewards of what they have and to trust that God will provide increase and supply every need of the family.

2. UNFORGIVENESS
Have you ever had those fights with your spouse where something you did many years ago which you thought was long forgiven and forgotten is brought back in the fight – and you’re like “Hey – I thought that issue was long forgiven & forgotten”
Well – unforgiveness – if not properly dealt with- it grows like a cancer and it festers bitterness, resentment and an underlying rage which may eventually destroy a marriage.
So it’s important that when a couple fights, that they attempt to quickly and amicably resolve an issue as soon as possible.
The Bible says that we should not allow the sun to go down whilst we are still angry (Ephesians 4:26). In other words – try not to go to bed without amicably resolving a problem with your spouse.

3. DISHONESTY & LACK OF TRANSPARENCY
Poor communication or lack of transparency will undoubtedly lead to lack of trust within the relationship.
The Bible encourages us to be honest and to speak the truth in love. Hiding the truth is a form of deception but speaking the truth encourages trust between spouses.
Where there is dishonesty there is lack of trust, and where there is lack of trust, a marriage may end up in divorce.

4. ADULTERY
Adultery is clearly wrong and it destroys the trust of a spouse. The Bible teaches that if you marry someone – it is for life and you are to remain faithful to your partner till death do you part.
Biblically, marriage is more than just a human contract. It is the joining of a man and woman in order to become one flesh.
Adultery destroys trust, creates unforgiveness and it can destroy a marriage.

5. NOT FULFILLING GOD-GIVEN DUTIES / ROLES
A marriage can be ruined because spouses do not understand or fulfill their God given spousal roles in the home.
The Bible teaches that the husband is the head and his roles is to love, provide, lead, nourish & protect his wife just as Christ does the same for the Church (Ephesians 5:22-31).
The wife is to respect & submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-24,33). The wife should also be like the wife mentioned in Proverbs 31 in that she is excellent, respectful to her husband, industrious and manages the home.

So it’s important to note that every marriage goes through testing. The important thing as a couple is to learn HOW to resolve problems together and to put God at the centre of the relationship.