Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Covenant Faithfulnes

My son got married a few weeks ago and again I was reminded of the covenantal faithfulness of God. They chose for their Bible passage Psalm 128 and it was a beautiful reminder of the blessed state of those who fear the Lord.

Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
who walk in his ways.
You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your sons will be like olive shoots
around your table.
Thus is the man blessed
who fears the Lord.

May the Lord bless you from Zion
all the days of your life;
may you see the prosperity of
and may you live to see your
children's children.

Peace be upon Israel.

The day was beautiful and I thank you for your well wishes and prayers. Six months ago for Christmas my daughter wrote a poem for me called A Mother's Prayer for Her Son. It is truly the prayer I would pray for my sons and the future husbands (Lord willing) of my daughters.

A Mother's Prayer for Her Son

Lord, I pray my son a house would build
Where every room is by Your glory filled.
May Your word his only foundation be,
And make the faith within an easy thing to see.
O God, when storms against his home do rail,
I pray that You'd his faith prevail.

Lord, I pray my son from evil his heart and home he would defend
And never from Your path, O Lord, allow his steps to bend.
Keep his heart focused relentlessly on You
So that at temptation's coming he can battle through.
May he never once his responsibilities hide,
And always for his family's needs provide.

Lord, I pray my son his family will lead,
And train his children to serve You in thought, in word, and deed.
Give him the wisdom to be the head You desire,
And in the study of Your Word may his heart never tire.
O precious Lord, hold him close to You,
And to Your will may he always be true.

Lord, I thank You my son has been able to see
A model of the man You have called him to be
By the godly example of the man You've given me
His father, by Your grace, has shown him the way,
And in that path, O Lord, I pray my son will stay.

In Jesus' Name,


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Warning: Culture Toxic to Boys

I recently heard a statistic that I found very alarming: 70% of young men are not grown up by 30 years of age (up from 30% in 1970) as stated in Newsweek magazine. That is frightening to me as a mother of 3 sons and 2 daughters and a confirmation of the reason why I started Keepsake Curriculum.

Every generation has its issues and I am not one to glorify "the past", but what is true for every generation is the call to get back to the Word of God as our guide for life. It is when we fall away from God's Word that we see statistics like the one above.

I am deeply disturbed that even in Christianity today we are not training our sons and daughters Biblically. It appears more and more clearly that we are using the culture as our standard. We tell our daughters to first and foremost pursue a career when the Bible says,
"You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.....Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God" (Titus 2:1a, 3-5). Instead of using that as our guide, we encourage our daughters to seek after a career in anything and everything, including jobs that formerly were held by men...police work, lawyers, military, etc. The Bible says that the beauty of a woman is the "beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit" (1 Peter 3:4). Pretty hard to show that as a policewoman, lawyer, or soldier.

What this departure from the Word of God has done to boys and manhood has been devastating. A recent study shows that women now receive 58% of the bachelor's degrees given by colleges and universities. The Pew Research Center reports that 28% of wives between the ages of 30 and 44 have more education than their husbands and that women have become a majority in law, medical, and doctoral programs. This has led to an alarming number of "stay-at-home dads" which not only is a deviation from history but is a direct violation of God's plan for the family.

In an article by Kevin Swanson from Generations With Vision he writes that he interviewed Dr. Christine Hoff Somers, the author of a new book called The War Against Boys, who stated that "the modern school is dangerous for boys. It is producing boys that are feminized, awkward, rebellious, or otherwise ill-prepared for life. Only 43% of students attending college today are boys, and that number continues to drop. Schools are increasingly designed for girls. Meanwhile boys are disenfranchised and disinterested. Removing a boy's unique purpose and preparation in life, setting him in a girl's world, and then putting him in competition with girls will only produce devastating consequences for our social and economic systems." Not to mention the fact that it dishonors the God who created them "male and female". (Full Article)

All this has led to a culture of immaturity among young men. Video games, entertainment, and an overemphasis on sports has made Gary Cross, a Penn State University historian wonder "Where have all the men gone?" In his book Men to Boys: The Making of Modern Immaturity Cross concludes, "Modern toys have gradually lost their 'expiration dates', the markers that designate the time that children are expected to abandon them after reaching a new developmental stage....their manufacturers design them to blur, even deny this historically essential transition from boyhood to manhood....To be blunt, adult men obsessed with video games are in a state of arrested development because they can't see the difference between a toy and an adult pleasure" (p 223-224). That is quite different from Paul's admonition to the Corinthians, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me" (I Corinthians 13:11).

The Bible clearly portrays distinct and God-given differences between girls and boys, men and women. As usual, sinful man perverts those distinctions and leads us to discontentment and the crisises we experience today. The present culture is not only toxic to boys but to girls as well. As parents let's not be intimidated by the culture but let's be diligent to use the Word of God as our guide and thereby make a difference in the world around us.

For additional resources and guides see Keepsake Curriculum.