Thursday, December 3, 2009


Transcript of presentation made at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, October 2008

TITUS 2:4a: “that they may train the younger women to love their husbands, . . . “

I’m particularly happy to be here this morning because the theology of marriage has always been a subject dear to my heart, despite the fact that as a wife and mother, I've certainly made my share of mistakes over the years. If blind spots were dollars, I would be very rich by now. In fact, if you were able to unzip my body to see through into the real me, you would see a woman who has been healed and restored - - but you would also notice scars and marks from my past, and some missing toes from all the times I’ve shot myself in the foot! Nevertheless, and despite me, through the Lord's lovingkindness I have experienced more miracles, rescues, and provision than I could ever tell you and any wisdom I may possess has been given to me straight from the Word of God.

I give the glory to God for our 38 years of marriage, and I dedicate this talk to Steve - my wonderful, patient husband, Steve - on whom I have leaned and learned the whole time.

A few weeks ago, our oldest son was telling me how he had described Steve and I to his new girlfriend, so I thought I would share his comments with you for the benefit of the insights they contain. He said to her, "You have to understand that my dad thinks in perfect squares and my mom thinks in swooping arcs - - and every once in awhile, their lines touch."

You may be looking a little puzzled, (as his girlfriend probably did, too), but since I speak dyslexic fluently, I understood that he was simply expressing a truism about our marriage, and most others, too. Opposites attract. A "do" usually marries a "don't" no matter what the topic. And since this is Earth, the fallen planet, yen just doesn’t tend to complete yang, it just manages to irritate the heck out it. Steve and I consider our own marriage to be an inter-species union.

Marital love is complicated. It involves both the spiritual and the physical, and therefore, instruction on how to love your husband could easily fill a two-day seminar, so fasten your seat belts, I'm going to try to talk very fast.

Our text, instructs the older women to “train” the younger women “to love their husbands.” The meaning has a tone of “wise them up” about their responsibilities as wives - - And since the command is specifically given so that outsiders will not disparage the Gospel, the main idea is for wives, young and old, to adorn the Gospel with their conduct. Like all of the good works that the Lord has set before us to walk in, loving our husbands should be an act of worship offered to God.

The spousal love the Lord desires is a committed love that you choose to have for your husband. There are no conditions or qualifiers to it. It involves a devotedness and friendship on your part that is strong and deep, and that is not dependent upon your husband’s behavior.

Loving your husband is so very important because every Christian wife is called upon to model the Bride of Christ, the Church, to the world; so to a greater or lesser degree, every one of us is telling a truth, or a lie, about the relationship between the Son and the Bride.

Therefore, loving your husband is not about you. Nor is it even about him. The love within a marriage is a major part of our testimony to the world about the character of our Savior God.

With so much riding on it, loving our husbands sounds quite daunting! Personally, I view this command as an absolutely heroic calling! It requires a great deal of courage and passion from me, but I also think it’s fundamentally very romantic. We are in a spiritual war, and the Christian wife is to be a bit of a Marine in the battle. The Marines' motto is “Semper Fidelis” - always faithful. We need to be “always faithful” to the Lord’s command to love our husbands.

Besides being a bit of a romantic, I’m also a practical person, so when I originally contemplated the content of Titus 2:4, I began asking God, “How am I supposed to do this? Where do I even start?” Sadly, I’d already been married for about 7 years when I began to get the picture. As a young wife, I was a little like someone driving without a license. I was incredibly grateful when our oh-so-faithful Lord showed me the key to that knowledge. It is to be found in Galatians 5:14.

“The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"

If you have ever given this verse much thought, perhaps you noticed its mathematical symmetry. It is a stunningly simple formula. Once you realize that Law = the commandments of God, and, the commandments of God = Love”, the meaning unfolds. Paraphrased, the verse says:


So, if you want to know the Lord’s perfect way to love your husband - - and your husband IS your very closest neighbor - - you just search the Word for His commandments (these are simply His openly discernable will for us) - then make a particular application to your husband - and voila! - The love door unlocks, and you may walk through.

Example 1: Command: “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Application: Purpose to always tell the truth to your husband and you will have shown him love by being a wife whose word he can trust.

Example 2: Command: “Thou shalt not covet . . .” Application: Purpose to be content with your husband, and you will be exhibiting to him the rarest of godly traits, unconditional love.

For the next 20 minutes, we will be making particular application of some selected scripture to help you to vigilantly nurture your marriage and love your husband. Everything I am going to tell you can be verified in the Bible, but please do check me out from the sheet of scripture references that has been placed on your table. (See below.)

God says He loves marriage and hates divorce, so we need to determine to be the best lover, friend, respecter, and spiritual mate we can be to our man.

The very definition of a “husband” is one who oversees a garden, so I would like you to step back and consider the metaphoric garden of your personality.

1. As his wife, you are your husband’s garden, so you can love him by making his garden a pleasant place for him to visit.

His garden should be a lovely place, fragrant with the blossoms of kind words, contentment, and gentleness. There should be no ugly weeds of nagging, complaint, or the most invasive of all weeds, bitterness.

You can further elevate your personal garden to an earthly paradise by adding the sweet flowing stream of wisdom that springs from the Bible. In fact, unless you frequently water your heart with the Word of God, your garden will be more like a dry, abandoned lot, and your personality-fruit will be like the grumpy fruit on the ground below a fruit tree.

2. If you truly want to speak love to your husband in a language that he can understand, speak to him with respect.

We know every man (and woman) is a mixture: things to respect, things to disrespect; thinks to like, things to dislike; things to be happy about, things to be irritated over; things that are fulfilling, things that are disappointing; etc., etc. It’s what we do with these negatives that makes the difference.

When God says that we are to “see to it” that we respect our husbands, it implies some effort on our part; perhaps also implying that they are not worthy of our respect in some areas. But we are to “see to it” that we show them respect anyway! - Definitely hard, but definitely doable in the power of the Holy Spirit.

And do make a particular point of verbally respecting him in front of your children. Never, ever talk smack about him to them. Your children need their father now and will need him even more in the future. If they can’t respect him because of things you have said, you will have destroyed one of their most valuable resources.

3. My next point is related. Actively and openly appreciate him. Focus on his good points and gloss over the bad. If God’s “love covers a multitude of sins,” your love should let a few go by, too.

Just to highlight the point I’m trying to make, here’s a brief peek into the average Christian Joe’s daily spiritual warfare:

Every single day, his worth as a man will be specifically attacked (hopefully, not by you), and every single day, some woman (other than you) will admire and appreciate him, (or at minimum, just give the poor guy a smile on the freeway). Trust me on this, the Evil One is very attentive to making sure all men get their daily dose of this ritual abuse. It is one of his best ploys to destroy marriages. Affairs are rarely about sex alone, they are far more often about being appreciated.

Help your man withstand the attacks!

4. Respect his earnings. Express gratitude to him openly, and encourage the children to appreciate what he does for them. Protect his provision by stewarding the family expenses well, and do this openly before the children, too. The process will teach your children how to live within their means when it's their turn.

5. Love your husband by helping him to build and retain the respect of others. Because of his wife, the husband of the Proverbs 31 woman is respected in the gates as he sits among the elders of the land. Apparently, she is so well regarded by others that her very association with him has elevated him, too! Rather like a moon, he seems to bask in the reflected glow of her sun.

If you speak well of your husband, others will think well of him. It is decidedly unloving to criticize him in front of others - even, and perhaps most particularly, when he isn’t present.

In fact, no male bashing ever. The war of the sexes is for the World. The Bible knows of no such thing.

6. Love your husband by helping him to love you. Don’t do the little things that “kill” his love. You know what I’m talking about -- those annoying little ticks we all have. Among my personal repertoire of “love busters” (that I’m actively trying to squelch!) are randomly begging for a dog/cat/bird/ferret/or duck, missing his cell phone calls, acting like I’m the children’s personal attorney, and chewing on my nails. (Steve says the chewing is like lying next to a trapped animal trying to gnaw off its paw.)

7. Faithfulness is deep love. Both physical and emotional faithfulness are wanted from us, Men seem to have the biggest struggle with physical faithfulness, but the emotional kind of unfaithfulness is the main pitfall for women.

I encourage you to be like Joseph, and flee from all temptations to be discontented with your husband. Whether it’s a Brad Pitt movie, a romance novel, or chatting with that helpful man next door that incites your discontent, just don’t invest your time in it. The church would never think that Zeus is better looking than Jesus, or prefer Buddha’s company to the presence of the Lord God. Your commitment to your husband should reflect the Church’s committed bond with Christ.

8. Returning for a moment to our garden metaphor, you, your husband’s garden, also exist on the physical plane for him, and of course, I mean your body. You need to love him with your body.

This is the one way to love him that he understands best. It’s his favorite way, too, and the primary way that he can recognize the acceptance and approval he desires from you.

You, his physical garden, must be open and accessible for him. The Lord commands this. Access must never, ever, be withheld to manipulate him. You should be a ready and willing partner whenever possible. Your sexual life together is God’s gift to both of you, and it is too precious and powerful to be debased to a mere tool for manipulation.

The lovemaking with your husband is also the main protection the Lord has provided to protect your husband (and you) from the ravages of lust.

Show your husband love with your body. Your body belongs to him, not to the children. Manage your home and life so that you have the necessary energy and time for him. Your husband is comes first.

In the same vein, make your bedroom an adults-only sanctuary. It should be an attractive and calm place - the one room in your house that is just about you and him. I don’t mean the children can’t ever enter, it just shouldn’t be part of their realm - no pictures of the children here, tidy, and most of all private.

9. Our first mother, Eve, was created as a helpmate for Adam, and this is still our unchanging Lord’s intention for us as wives. When we fulfill that role, we will assuredly be loving wives. As your husband’s helpmate, ask God, the Fountain of All Wisdom, to give you wisdom to share with your man. The Lord says He will grant wisdom to all who ask, and so He will. I honestly believe any husband who doesn’t consider his wife’s counsel seriously to be quite foolish. Woman was made to be man’s best counselor, which means we have a serious obligation to seek the very best wisdom from the Lord for our husbands.

10. My brother attended Dallas Seminary, and before Steve and I married, his wife shared some advice with me that was given to all the seminary wives. They were told, “Pray for your husband because no one else will.” Please take this to heart as you consider how to love your man. Think about how easy it is to say, “I’ll pray for you,” and how difficult it is to carry through.

Pray for him. No one else will.

11. Love your man by not usurping, or protecting him from his God-given responsibilities.

Men have a tough time balancing the pressures of their profession with the needs of their family. Even the best dads struggle to be as accessible as they should be, yet scripture clearly reveals that a husband is meant to be the main warrior against the spiritual warfare waged against his wife and children.

A man can’t be this if he invests his every resource in his profession.

-- I made quite a whooper of a mistake in this way by protecting my painfully arthritic husband from his responsibilities as husband and father. I thought I was being loving to him by taking on his burdens and protecting his energy, but I really set him up for a bad consequence later. His lack of childhood involvement fostered some bitterness in a few of our sons. We learned the hard way that with children, you may have a reason (e.g., a debilitating illness), but you never have an excuse.

12. My husband’s father left the family when Steve was eleven years old after a very desultory stint as a dis-involved dad. He certainly didn’t leave my Steve with any “tips” for life, marriage, or fatherhood. Many men find themselves walking in the same shoes as my husband as they try to invent the parental-equivalent of fire and the wheel! Love your husband by helping him blossom as a father. Gently and with subtlety, help him to acquire parenting skills just as diligently as you do for yourself. (I know you are “diligently” doing this for yourselves because you are here!)

By now, some of you are probably thinking, “But you don’t know my husband!”

Some of you are married to very difficult men. Some of you, like Abigail in the Bible, are married to a foolish man, and a few of your men are absentees. In the flesh, these men are very hard to love; but I hope it is clear by now that treating your husband with love is not about his worthiness as an object of love.

Consider often that God loves marriage and He hates divorce. If you no longer feel emotional love for your husband, ask the Lord to supernaturally supply the love you need to have for him. Believe me, He wants to do this, and He will answer this prayer request with “Yes,” -- over and over again, as often as you need to ask it.

So love your man by fulfilling your creation mandate and help him to succeed as a father, husband, and servant of God. Be a “safe” person for him, and create a home for him where joy and peace abound. Love him by extending to him the same mercy and consideration we desire for ourselves. Your husband is your closest neighbor.

Most of all, be absolutely promiscuous with the love of Jesus! Throw it all over him, all over your home, and indiscriminately sprinkle it everywhere.

And best of all - You will reap what you sow.


Proverbs.= 31:11-12 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.

Titus 2:4 - train
Matt. 5:46 - unqualified love
Ephesians 5:32 - mystery
Ephesians 6:7 - semper fidelis
I Peter 2:12 - witness
I Peter 2:11 - spiritual warfare
Galatians 5:14 - law = love
Romans 13:8 - law = love
Malachi 2:16 - loves marriage
Song of Solomon 5:1a - garden
James 1:5 - wisdom
Proverbs 1:3 - trained in wisdom
Song of Solomon 1:12 - fragrance
Isaiah 58:11 - watered garden
Proverbs 25:11 - fit speech
Song of Solomon 2:15 - spoiled garden
Ephesians 5:33 - respect
I Corinthians 13:5 - focus on good
I Peter 4:8 - cover sin
Ephesians 6:11 - wiles of Devil
James 4:7 - wiles of Devil
Luke 12:42 - prudent
I Thessalonians 5:18 - give thanks
I Timothy 5:4 - children’s gratitude
Proverbs 31:23 - respected
James 4:11 - slander
2 Corinthians 11:2 - faithful bride
Genesis 38:12 - Joseph
II Timothy 2:22 - flee temptaion
Psalm 101:3 - don’t look
Song of Solomon 2:14 - private bedroom
Song of Solomon 6:2 - physical garden
I Thessalonians 5:17 - pray
Genesis 2:18 - mate’s helper
Galatians 6:2 - help each other
Matthew 5:46 - love and hate
Romans 8:32 - God’s love
James 2:8 - law of queens
Luke 10:29 - who is neighbor
Genesis 2:24 - one flesh
Matthew 5:7 - mercy
Ephesians 6:8 - goodness repaid

Phil. 2:2-4 Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than herself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Scriptures found urging trust in man*:

Scriptures found urging trust in God:
(Far too numerous to list - here are a few of the best)
II Sam. 22:3
I Chron. 5:20
Job 13:15
Psalms 2:12
Jer. 17:7

Scriptures that urge us not to trust in man:
Job 4:18; 8:14; 15:15
Psalms 118:8; 41:9 (family friend); 146:3
Proverbs 28:26
Jer. 9:4; 17:5
Mic. 7:15
II Cor. 1:9

Other vain things in which people put their trust:
Deut. 28:15 walls
Job 39:11 donkeys
Psalm 20:7 chariots and horses (tanks, etc.)
49:6 wealth
62:10 power of oppression
Isaiah 30:2-3 Egypt
42:17 graven images
59:4 vanity
Jer. 5:17 fenced cities
7:8 lying words
12:5 land of peace
Ezekiel 16:15 beauty
33:13 personal righteousness
John 5:45 Moses

Cursed is the man who trust in man and makes the flesh his strength, Jer. 17:5

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? Jer. 17:9


The question:

"I’ve got it, you’ve got it but I don’t believe animals have it. I think we are as far above the animals as the angels are above us. I still can’t figure out the relationship between the blood and the soul other than humans have blood and they are souls."


Other created beings on Earth (Gen. 1:30 "everything that has the breath of life," i.e. breathes) are physically alive, as is humanity. We share with them the commonalities of flesh (i.e., blood, tissue, dna, etc). "For the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Lev. 17:11) seems to refer symbolically to physical life, and only obliquely relates to the soul, as blood is an acceptable atonement for the soul's sin. Blood doesn't seem to have any special relationship with the soul, except to sustain the structure in which the soul resides. Blood is valued and honorable because it sustains physical life. I believe Yahweh places strict restraints on us regarding blood because He doesn't want us to grow casual about it. When He shed His own blood for us, He wanted us to realize its immense importance.

# Leviticus 17:11
'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.'

# Leviticus 17:14
" For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, 'You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.'

Genesis particularly notes that man received "the breath of life" directly from Yahweh's nostrils, which produced the notable outcome of man becoming a "living being." This phraseology is used only for the creation of man, and the language is so pointed, it seems to be indicating something more than a mere quickening of flesh. He seems to be imparting spirit/soul. The animals/birds/fish, while physically alive, weren't given living spirits; so sweet as they are, they do not have souls. Perhaps this is something they have this in common with the angels.

Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Very recently (2 days ago!), I learned that the Hebrew language consistently uses the same word for heart/spirit/soul. I never knew this before, but it certainly explains why I can never figure out what the difference is between the three. It now appears to me that Hebrews 4:12 is illustrating that Yahweh can do the impossible through the use of hyperbole.


The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the Word of our God stands forever.
Isaiah 40:8

The Example of Paul

Acts 20:31
Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.

Colossians 1:28
And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.

I Timothy 1:5
But the goal of our instruction is love* from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.

Instruction to the Church

Ephesians 5:21
Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

II Timothy 4:2
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

II Thessalonians 3:14-15
And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that man and do not associate with him, so that he may be put to shame.

James 5:16
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Adequacy of Believers to Exhort, Encourage and Counsel One Another

Romans 15:14
And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able also to admonish one another.

Hebrews 10:24-25
And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as we see the day drawing near.

II Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

*Biblical definition of love: Romans 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.


Psalm 1:1
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers.

Proverbs 4:14-15,19
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.
The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.

Proverbs 19:27
Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

Jerimiah 10:1-3
Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. This says the Lord, 'Do not learn the way of the nations. And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens, although the nations are terrified by them; for the customs of the peoples are delusion.

Romans 16:19
Therefore, I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil.

II Corinthians 11:3
But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

Colossians 2:8
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of man, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.


Luke 18:9-14
And He also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed other with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer. The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”

Genesis 15:6
Then he (Abraham) believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Romans 4:4,5
Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.

II Corinthians 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Philippians 3:4-9
. . .although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, A Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to seal, persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.

Galatians 2:21
I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness were through the Law, then Christ died to no purpose.

JUDGING: The Sequel

Definitions (Webster)

1. Judge: "to form an authoritative opinion about

2. Reprove: (1) "to administer a rebuke to"; (2) "to express disapproval of: censure, condemn" ("reprove implies an often kindly intent to correct a fault")

3. Rebuke: "to criticize sharply

4. Admonish: 1a. "to indicate duties or obligations to"; b. "to express warnings or disapproval to esp. gently, earnestly, and solicitously; c. "to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement to", (syn.: reprove)

5. Correct: 1a: "to make or set right: amend"; b. "to alter or adjust so as to bring to some standard or required condition; 2a. "rebuke, punish"; b. "to point out for amendment the errors or faults of"


1. Help a brother who is sinning

2. Cause repentance

3. Maintain purity in the Church

4. Bring glory to God

Elements of Judging

1. Authoritative
a. Know the standards for judging, namely the Scriptures (John 7:24, Lev. 19:15)
b. Know the facts of the situation (Matt. 18:16)

2. Correct a Fault
a. Inform a brother of a fault and the Scriptural basis that defines the fault (Luke 17:3)
b. Process (Matt. 18:15-17)
1) Inform a brother of his fault (v. 15)
2) If he does not listen, take one or two others (v. 16)
3) If he does not listen, take it to the church (v. 17)
4) If he does not listen to the church, remove him (v. 17, I Cor. 5:13)

3. Kindly intent (Judging/correcting to be done:)
a. With the best interests of brother in mind
b. In a loving, respectful, upbuilding way
c. With mercy (James 2:12-13)
d. To glorify God

Attitudes and Actions to Avoid

1. Gossip

2. Anger

3. Vengeance

4. Pride/self-righteousness

5. Hypocrisy (Matt. 7:1-6; Rom. 2:1)

Who and What to Judge

1. Other believers (I Cor. 5:12; example 2 Thes. 3:6-13)

2. What we are told about God (I Cor. 10:14-15, 14:29; Matt. 7:15-20)

3. All spiritual things (I Cor. 2:15; I Thes. 5:21; example Acts 17:11)

What Not to Judge

1. Matters of opinion or conscience (Rom. 14:1-6; Col. 2:16)

2. According to manmade criteria (James 2:4; Lev. 19:15)

3. Non believers (I Cor. 5:12-13)


JUDGING: What Do the Scriptures Say?

The Scriptures provide guidance about who and what Christians may judge, and how judging is to occur.

We are to judge other believers solely as a means of maintaining purity in the church. In so doing, we are to act in love, gentleness, forgiveness, and mercy, under an overarching covering of much prayer, because the purpose is to cause repentance and encouragement in the family of God. Further, we are to judge ourselves, to settle matters between brothers, to judge what is taught, and to judge all spiritual things.

We are also cautioned to judge according to God's standards, not man-made standards, and to be on guard lest we are hypocrites (e.g., remove the log in our own eye.) It should serve to provoke great personal humility. We are also not to judge matters of conscience or opinion or non-believers. God Himself will judge these.

We are taught "all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be completely equipped for every good work" (I Tim. 3:16). Clearly, Scripture is the basis for correction and reproof to be applied to ourselves and others. Thus, we must know the Word to be able to discern and judge so that correction and reproof will occur in a God-glorifying manner.


1. Are we to judge?
a. Yes, other believers
• "Is it not those in the church you are to judge" (I Cor. 5:12)
- Do not associate with so called believers who are immoral. (I Cor. 5:11)
- Drive out the wicked person from among you. (I Cor. 5:13) Example: Paul pronounces judgment on a believer involved in immorality and tells church to deliver him to Satan. (I Cor. 5:3-5).
b. Yes, grievances between brothers
• Decide among yourselves "Can it be that there is no man among you wise enough to decide among members of the brotherhood." (I Cor. 6:5)
• You are qualified: "you are to judge the world and the angels" (v. 2, 3)
• It is best to suffer a wrong (v. 7)
c. Yes, what we are told about God
• Paul told Corinthians to judge what he said (I Cor. 10:15)
• Let 2 or 3 prophets speak and judge what is said (I Cor. 14:29)
d. Yes, ourselves
• In context of communion, Paul tells us to judge ourselves so that we will not be judged and chastened by God (I Cor. 11:31 & 32)
e. Yes, "all things"
• "The spiritual man judges all things" (I Cor. 2:15) This refers by context to all spiritual things. We are told that we have the "mind of Christ" (I Cor. 2:16)
f. Yes, in worldly matters (context: accused by others in civil matter)
• "and why do you not judge for yourself what is right?" (Luke 12:57?)

2. What we are not to judge.
a. Matters of opinion (or conscience) Rom. 14:1
• Such matters are between God and the believer (Rom. 14:4)
• Such matters are done to honor the Lord (Rom. 14:6)
• Do not judge outward action, particularly when such action is based on opinion. God looks at the inward motivation.
• "Let no one pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink . . ." (Col. 2:16)
b. Do not judge people on the basis of manmade criteria (e.g., wealth, appearance)
• "have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts" (James 2:4)
c. Those outside the church
• Paul stated "For what have I to do with judging outsiders [those outside the church]? Is it not those inside the church you are to judge? God judges those outside." (I Cor. 5:12 & 13)

3. How to judge.
a. Do not be a hypocrite. (You must be qualified to judge)
• "Remove the log from your own eye before removing the speck from your brother's eye" (Mt. 7:6)
• ". . . in passing judgment upon him you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things." (Rom. 2:1)
b. Judge in a manner, and according to a standard, that you are willing to be judged. (Mt. 7:2)
• Similarly in Luke 6:37, you receive what you give, "judge not, and you will not be judged . . . forgive and you will be forgiven."
c. Judge rightly, in accordance with God's precepts
• "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment" (John 7:24)

LIFE SKILLS: Survival Version 1.0

Transcripted Table Talk from Mom's Time Out, a ministry serving young mothers at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship
March 12, 2009

Ben Hur, straining in his chariot, pulled forward by four wildly charging stallions, served as my personal metaphor for my life as a young mother. Just so, the nature of day-to-day parenting can become so intense that we tend to forget that the whole point is to train children for adulthood. Yet parents can contribute so much to enhance their children’s future happiness in marriage, their success in their careers, and to generally make their adult lives easier.

Obviously, knowing Jesus is absolutely the most needed life-skill we can give our children. As members of Moms Time Out, you already understand this, so I will focus on an overview of the second- and third-tier life-skills we should also provide to our children to help them make their way with confidence.

You are so blessed to be mothering in the computer age. Instruction for how to do absolutely anything is right at your fingertips. We didn’t have PC’s in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s when my generation was in the thick of child rearing, and our young family was so financially strapped that we had no resources other than the public library. At times, it felt as though Steve and I were trying to invent both fire and the wheel! For instance, I taught myself how to play chess from the secondhand encyclopedia set we bought at a library book sale, and then taught the boys. They still play chess today (though I have remained a clueless opponent!) We learned most card games the same way. Now a computer can teach you the basics, then play with you at any level. There are times when this new ready-access to information makes me feel a bit like a cavewoman, but I am happy for you because your horizons are large.

In the course of training our sons skills for living, we were amazed to discover that children like to work. The responsibility of chores signifies a mature status to them, and they take pride in being able to contribute to the needs of the family. Working together in the home has the mysteriously added plus of binding the children more strongly to the family. Also, individual time spent with parents during the actual training of tasks is fulfilling your children’s desire for personal companionship with you; and of course, the work builds a lifetime work ethic. Knowing how to work hard enables children to feel confident and increases their future ability to be hired and to hold onto a job.

The following list of life skills will seem elementary to most adults. It doesn’t seem like we should have to teach these things, yet they're not common knowledge. It's the sort of knowledge that we all had to pick up some way or another - mostly the hard way. You will be giving your child a good jumpstart to adulthood by making sure they know these basics.


Cleaning: Teach them how to do a task, and if they did their best, say thank you, accept their results, and do not do it over yourself. I used a highly simplified version of the “Sidetracked Home Executives” method (

Survival Cooking: Begin instruction shortly after fractions are taught in school. Since this can be more stressful than it sounds, only teach 1 child a night/only 1 night a week. If possible, it’s nice to let them select a recipe from 4 or 5 you have pre-screened for suitability, or from a cookbook like Better Homes & Garden Jr. Cookbook.

Gardening: Give them a small garden spot (a strawberry pot or tub will do), and let them choose the flowers, vegetables, or herbs they desire to plant. Show how to prepare the soil with shovel or spade; how to plant, water, and trim their choices; then let them manage their garden alone. It is especially nice for them if you are gardening a plot, too. Make a big deal of giving extra produce/flowers to neighbors to foster the pleasure of giving.

Balance Accounts: Get an old check balance book and photocopy some checks. Enter an imaginary opening balance. Pretend to purchase five things from a Sunday newspaper sale flyer. For each purchase, show the children how to fill out a check properly, followed by entering and subtracting the purchases as they are selected. Here are some helpful websites with more ideas:;

Sport Safety (i.e., diving, climbing, etc.): Arrange for city lessons or some knowledgeable person to teach your children how to do these activities safely before the years when they will spontaneously be invited to do them with other children. Be sure to make skateboarders wear helmets and mouth guards. Teach bicycling safety: first on paper (paper street mock-ups, and separate paper cars and bikers you can move around to create differing situations), then by riding together on quiet streets.

Reading Maps: Knowing how to read a map is important to getting around the neighborhood and avoiding getting lost. (Also, helps avoid marital strife later in life if the GPS loses its charge. ;o) Start instruction at about 3rd grade. Have younger children notice landmarks such as street signs, buildings, unusual plant features, where the sun rises and sets each day, etc. (Interestingly, it has recently been discovered that the “mapping” areas of the human brain begin to atrophy with an individual's growing dependence upon a GPS.)

Voting: Vote in every election and take them with you into the voting booth. (This is allowed.) Make this a special family event. When your children are old enough to vote, continue to go together. Show them how you fill out the voter guide before you go to the polls, so that you will be a prepared and accurate voter. Even if you vote by mail, make a big family “deal” out of it by openly talking about the issues and filling out the ballot.


Laundry: Begin instruction around age 9. Show them how to sort their laundry and pre-treat stains. Demonstrate (several times) how to use the washing machine and how to determine how long to set the dryer. Show them how to clean out the lint trap in the dryer. Teach them the proper temperatures to use for each type of garment being laundered. Show them how to read the fabric care labels in their clothing. Google “laundry basics”, if uncertain.

Ironing: Begin at age 11 or 12. Instruct one child at a time on how to iron a dress shirt (collar, cuffs and placate first; followed with sleeves; then front and back shoulders; finally, the body). If you can iron a dress shirt, you can iron anything!

Basic Mending: Begin at about age 7 or 8. Only hand sewing is necessary. Show children how to: 1) thread a needle; 2) twist a knot in the thread; 3) make small straight stitches; 4) make hidden stitches (for hemming); and 5) replace a button. Be sure to give them continued practice by mending their own things.

Grocery Shopping: If they are strong enough to carry a grocery bag into the house, they are old enough for shopping instruction. Make a point of taking them to the store with you and explaining how to select the best fruits, vegetables, and meats. It is also wise to explain why you choose certain products over others, such as why you prefer a certain the milk-fat content, and so forth. Encourage both boys and girls to take Home Ec, if offered in school. The background really helps land that first job in many industries.

Household Repairs & Maintenance: This should be ongoing through the pre-teen and teen years as things crop-up around the house and yard (i.e., clean gutters, tighten doorknobs, unclog drains, etc).

Auto Maintenance: Many youth enjoy helping with the small aspects of automobile care. Whenever you're washing the car, filling the gas tank, or cleaning the windshield, and your youth says, "Can I do that?" take the time to show them how, and make it their job forever.

One (at least) Informal “Social” sport: This should be something that can be played casually with friends throughout their life (i.e., golf, bowling, bocce ball, tennis). City lessons are perfect and happily affordable.

Basics of How to Choose a Mate: Begin these discussions early in the life of your child. Everything in pop-culture will be deluging them with bad advice, so our parental goal is to plant good values and common sense early and deeply. For example, contrary to what the songs say, one can help falling in love, so one can choose a mate wisely. Emphasize to your children that as the physical side becomes involved in a relationship (starting with holding hands!), their judgment concerning their “special friend” will become clouded by their hormones. Also, advise them to visit their girl/boyfriend’s family often. The manner in which their intended treats their siblings is the manner in which they will be treated when the “crush” wears off. Encourage them to court for two years, if possible. A strong friendship between a couple is exceedingly important for lasting affection.

If you are a Christian, clearly establish that the only mixed-marriages that concern the Lord are those that are spiritually-mixed and knowingly so pursued. He has no concern over age, ethnicity, political party, etc., but His counsel is that we not be unequally yoked spiritually. Therefore, it is best to advise our children not to date outside of the faith, so that an inappropriate attachment doesn't form that is not God’s best. (Likewise, if the individual is not walking with the Lord, they, in turn, should not date Christians.)

PS (from my husband): “Tell the young mothers that kids should not have one-on-one dates (pardon the expression) until they are eligible for marriage and should not date anyone who is not a potential marriage candidate.” S.


Fill out a job application: Have them compile the important information for which all applications ask, such as job and education history, including dates and names of teachers or supervisors. Have them make a list of references that they can use on applications. Teach them the importance of neat and complete applications.

Handle money and credit: Teach your teens to be responsible consumers. Make sure that they understand how to budget, pay bills on time, and live within their means. Help them understand the burden of debt and how to avoid it. Teach them the importance of a good credit rating and the importance of savings.

Car Insurance: One significant and ongoing cost of having a car is the insurance fee. Have your teen speak with an insurance agent about what influences the cost of insurance (i.e., a ticket or accident, good grades, etc). Since parents will probably be paying for insuring the cars they will be driving initially, teens needs to know how their actions will be affecting the family budget.

Car Repairs: When you are doing car maintenance, ask your children to come with you to the service station. For teens, practice with them the questions you should ask the mechanic when taking the car in for service. Teach your teens how to check the fluids in their car. Show them the normal levels and when/how to add more. Teach them the colors of the vital fluids in their car and how to check the driveway for leaking fluids. Show them how to use a tire gage. Give them a list of maintenance instructions and indicate when the maintenance should be done.

Using Public Transportation: Take children for train and bus rides, show them how to purchase the tickets, and even let them order a taxi (777-7777) at least once before leaving home. Show them how to check routes, read timetables, and purchase tickets online.


Give a basic weekly allowance that is unrelated to any work they may do in the home as an expression of your parental graciousness.

Give daily tasks for which there is no remuneration. “Man shall eat his bread by the sweat of his brow,” (Gen. 3:19). A family can be compared to rowers in a boat, i.e., everyone needs to pull on their oar. Begin requiring some work contribution as early as possible.

Offer "special" jobs (wash car, polish the silver, wash the windows) to earn extra cash.

Only praise children for the effort exerted, not for how “smart” they are. Praise God, not them, for their intelligence.