Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, May 13, 2011

    Question: Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
    Answer: No mere man, since the fall, is able in this life to perfectly keep the commandments of God, but daily falls short of inward and outward perfection.
    Scripture: Eccl 7:20; Gen 6:5; 8:21; 1 John 1:8; James 3:2, 8; Rom 3:23; 7:15; Phil 3:12


    As many of you know, Deb and I are blessed to have 8 grandsons (6 live very close to us and 2 within an hour away). Spending time seeing them in their home environments and having them spend time with us teaches us some very important lessons, such as:

    1.) A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 1000 sq. ft. house 6 inches deep.

    2.) If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

    3.) A 3-year-old boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

    4.) If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room.

    5.) You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

    6.) The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn’t stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

    7.) When you hear the toilet flush and the words “ uh oh”, it’s already too late.

    8.) Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

    9.) A six-year-old boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 59-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.

    10.) Certain Lego’s will pass through the digestive tract of a 4- year old boy.

    11.) Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

    12.) Super glue is forever.

    13.) No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can’t walk on water.

    14.) Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

    15.) VCR’s do not eject “PB & J” sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

    16.) Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

    17.) Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

    18.) You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.

    19.) Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.

    20.) The fire department in Bennet, Nebraska has an 8-minute response time.

    21.) The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

    22.) It will, however, make cats dizzy.

    23.) Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

    This continues the subject of modesty. It is in Parents and Kids of Faith because the principle of modesty needs to be taught to our children and practiced by parents, especially as we are moving to the time of year when it seems to emerge. The trends in fashion are not making this any easier for parents. Though most of the issues fall to the side of the women, dads and young men need to pay attention. Dads need to be faithful fathers to their daughters and protectors of their wife and young men need to learn how to think biblically when they find their gaze moving their heart to lustful thoughts.

    Modesty: God, My Heart, and Clothes (pt. 2) The Appearance of the Modest Woman
    by C.J. Mahaney from his book, Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World (Crossway).

    What do humble, modest clothes look like? First Timothy 2:9 tells us: “Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel … not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.”

    To better understand this verse, let’s travel back in time to the early church. There had been some startling disruptions to the church’s meetings of late, and Paul was writing to Timothy “so that . . . you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of truth” (1 Tim. 3:14–15).

    Clearly some people were not behaving in a manner worthy of the church of the living God, thus necessitating this gracious rebuke from the apostle.

    Paul begins, appropriately, with the men: “I desire that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling” (1 Tim. 2:8). He’s saying, “Guys, quit arguing in church! You’re distracting from worship, teaching and prayer. Anger is always wrong, but especially at church, the household of God, the church of the living God. So you need to stop fighting and start praying!”

    Then, Paul addresses the women in the verse we just read (1 Tim 2:9). He is concerned because some of them are imitating the dress and adornment of the ladies of the Roman court and the prostitutes. Those women were known for their expensive clothes and jewelry and elaborate hairstyles; they dressed, not only to attract attention, but to seduce as well.

    When the women of the church arrived dressed like this, it’s no surprise that they distracted others from worshipping God. What’s more, through their ostentatious dress they associated themselves with the wealthy (thus separating themselves from the poor) and the ungodly (thus distancing themselves from their fellow church members). Their dress was distracting, and maybe even divisive.

    That’s why Paul urges them to dress in “respectable apparel” and “not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.” He wants the Savior, not seductive style, to be the focus of the church gathering—and indeed, the focus of all of life.

    So the real issue wasn’t actually braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly attire. The issue was—and is—clothing that associates with worldly and not godly values: clothes that say “look at me” and “I’m with the world.”

    Let me be clear: Paul is not categorically prohibiting a woman from enhancing her appearance---on Sunday or any day of the week. In fact, you’ll find other places in Scripture where godly women wore fine clothing and jewelry.

    The woman of noble character in Proverbs 31 dressed in colorful and high-quality clothing (31:22). Likewise the bride in the Song of Solomon adorned herself with jewelry (1:10). Esther had twelve months of beauty treatments (Est. 2:12). Obviously God isn’t opposed to women making themselves beautiful.

    In fact, as my wife Carolyn has observed:
    God is the creator of beauty. God delights in beauty. All we need to verify this fact is to consider the beauty He created all around us: whether it is an elegant flower, or towering trees, or a meandering river, or billowy clouds or the majestic night sky. Every time we stop to take in one of these breathtaking scenes on display in God’s creation, we can’t help but be convinced that He delights in beauty!

    [B]ecause we are created in the image of our Creator, each of us has this propensity to make things beautiful. That means, when we decorate our homes, or plant a lovely flower garden, or seek to add some form of beauty to our surroundings, even when we attempt to enhance our personal appearance—we are actually imitating and delighting in the works of our Great Creator.

    I admire my wife’s feminine desire for beauty and her ability to make herself and her surroundings attractive. A woman can honor God by enhancing her personal appearance or bringing beauty to her environment.

    John Angell James agrees, with qualification:
    This taste [for beauty], however in many cases it may be altogether corrupted in its object, wrong in its principle, or excessive in its degree, is in its own nature an imitation of the workmanship of God, who, “by his spirit has garnished the heavens,” and covered the earth with beauty. *

    Mr. James is right. A woman’s taste for beauty can be an imitation of God’s character, but it can also become corrupted. And such was the case in this first-century church. Paul exhorted the women who professed godliness: “You should not dress in a way that resembles those who are extravagant, or worse, intent on being seductive or sexy. You must not identify with the sinful, worldly culture through your dress.” Paul was writing not to condemn attractive attire but to address its corruption by association with worldly ideals and goals.

    This truth has timeless relevance. Consider, who inspires your attire? Who are you identifying with through your appearance? Who are you trying to imitate or be like in your dress?

    Does your hairstyle, clothing, or any aspect of your appearance reveal an excessive fascination with sinful cultural values? Are you preoccupied with looking like the latest American Idol winner, or the actresses on magazine covers, or the immodest woman next door? Are your role models the godly women of Scripture or the worldly women of our culture?

    The women in the church should not look exactly like the ungodly, seductive women in the world. Women in the church are to be different. They should stand out not because of their revealing clothing but because of their distinctly modest heart and dress.

    * James Angell James, Female Piety (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria, 1860; repr. 1995).


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