August 31, 2015 - Marriage, Parenting

Society tells us to stand up for our rights and demand what we have earned.

It is an interesting philosophy, which promises to reward us with earthly or spiritual riches. There’s only one problem – God never made this promise.

Especially in marriage we have come to learn from our so-called advisors and mentors, that we are not doormats for the abuse of our spouse. Again, Scripture views this as “garbage” teaching. Beware of garbage teaching, no matter what spiritual authority on earth seems to think it so, it may simply be his opinion. Joel Osteen has caused thousands of wealthy Americans to believe that the world revolves around them and blesses them with stuff. More garbage.

The most precious moments in my marriage are times during which I have had to step back and look at the overall picture especially in light of the guidance of my wife. If that sounds to you like a sissified doctrine, I would suggest you go back to the Bible again and read through Christ’s teachings regarding marriage.

God, and therefore Jesus, never expounded upon a watered-down version of Scripture, marriage, love, or devotion. On the contrary — Christ spoke again and again on the importance of serving one another in marriage as well as every other relationship on earth.

Countless books are written on the subject of marriage and marital happiness, when the simple formula is this — love your spouse more than you love yourself.

The problem is that it’s not easy — in fact it’s very difficult especially in light of the reams of printed material that state we should stand our ground and claim our personal rights.

To be quite frank, I’m sick and disgusted with some of our spiritual leaders implying that women are inferior to men. I am equally, if not more so disgusted, with the way in which our spiritual voices of society preach health, wealth, and prosperity to everyone not living in sin.

The fact of the matter is we need to get serious about marriage, raising our families, being there for our children and grandchildren to teach and show them by example how to live, which includes our responses to hardship (perhaps one of the more difficult ones) and the joy we display in the midst of trials.

I wish I had it all figured out, to be able to give the answers to everyone who asked,  ”How do I live my life? What do I do? How must I respond to the horrible experience I find myself in right now?”

The fact is, for a good portion of this I can respond with authority as one who has traversed this path and been blessed by God in the process.

You may not like my answers, but here’s the way God works it out. If we put our spouses first, God blesses our socks off. If we put ourselves last, God blesses our socks off. If we refuse to listen to worldly wisdom when it comes to our marriages and base them on God, God blesses our socks off.

If you’re sensing a pattern, I’m making progress.

Allow me to give you an example: in raising our children it is of the utmost importance to nurture them, protect them, provide for them, and simply help them to grow in every way possible as their parents.

In the New Age “cry it out” method, proposed by pediatrician Richard Ferber, he suggests that no matter how hungry your child is, no matter how severe the cry, no matter how desperate their need may be during the night (or during nap time) that we should let them “cry it out.” In other words, let them scream, beg for food, seek comfort after vomiting all over their entire crib due to some outside offending agent, just let them cry.

Most parents, not all, can see this postulation for what it is — garbage. In fact, I would take it a step further to state that it is child abuse. The context is to, “solve your child’s sleep problems”. It has nothing to do with raising them well, nor does it have anything to do with good parenting. Instead it has everything to do with giving yourself, the parent, some quiet time where you can turn off the monitors and ignore your infant’s needs.

Richard Ferber is a pediatrician. Apparently this gives him the right to say whatever it is he wants to say and you have parents follow him because of his credentials. It’s fairly obvious that this is also garbage (I’m overusing the word intentionally).

I am not a pediatrician, however, I have been a family practice physician for 30 years. I can state quite simply, and with great assurance, that you should never starve your child regardless of what your personal needs may be.

Marriage is the same. If your marriage union is crying out for help it should not be starved. That is not to say that a whining spouse should be given everything they want. But a marriage in need gains the attention of God.

Here’s the deal – take care of your spouse and take care of your children. It’s just that simple. Don’t ignore their cries for help and don’t pretend you can’t hear them.

If you still have questions about how to raise your children and you like what Ferber says, read your Bible. See if it supports one single word.