View Full Version : Friday Night Sermon 03-15-02 [Living It Part 5]

03-15-02, 10:19 PM
Howdy All,

Today we bring to a close all that we've learned in the Living It series. It's important to see some application in our lives. I'm sure that we can see how to apply the lessons we've learned into our lives. Still, I would like to focus in on fathers. Now, if you're not a father, this message is still for you. Why? You will fall into one of these following categories: you'll be one, you'll have influence with one, or you're going to be influenced by one. As for the rest that are already fathers, there's a special reason that I've chosen to share in light of your lives. You might as well get it out of your minds now. It's not because of your mighty stature in society. To be truthful, it's more because of the modern father's weak status in the family. Why? Because, for a father, the highest goal under serving God and under being a righteous husband is providing a sphere of security steeped in God's Love and Righteousness. A father's #3 goal is tending to the needs of the family in love and righteousness always.

If we look around, we can clearly see that Satan has a plan, not to obliterate the family but, to totally redefine it. He wants it to honor him and his ways and not God. For this reason alone, we should be sticking to God like white on rice. Do we?

The family is the "Atomic" makeup of any society that wants to matter. Satan knows this. That is why his major influence regarding the family is perversion and not destruction. This is why it's so important for his propaganda machine to churn out sexual perversion so heavily. When the thoughts of our fathers are drawn away into twisted perversion, the children tend to follow in suit.

Fathers, there are some things that seem to be innocent fun. There are some things that don't seem to matter. Nevertheless, the Bible tells us that we are in a spiritual war. Being newly married, I am also newly acutely aware that my family looks to me and makes choices in accordance with the precedents I set and maintain. If I'm not tamed in my thought life, if I'm not willing to lead my family in Praising God, if they look at me expecting to see an example of God's goodness and don't see it, I will cause them to stumble. The things that we overlook and downgrade in importance are the very little foxes of family life that nibble away at righteousness.

Our children, more times than not, will turn out like us. We've all heard it, "more is caught than taught", and we all teach more than we know. The Bible is keen to tell us that our sins will be found out.

Tonight, we're going to relive two older FNS's wherein we will see the surprising results of life lived out poorly and life lived out poorly in front of children. Together, we'll revisit a story of selfishness and a story of a mighty man used of God that somehow managed to instill in his children that he did not trust in and glorify God completely in his heart. Fathers, if you love God, keep His commandments! Your family is watching and depends on you!

Lastly, before we start, the power to change the hearts and minds of America toward Christ does not rest in organizations, politics, or even church pews. That power lies in your personal relationship with God! You need to make that power extend thought to your family's relationship with God by way of consistency. If we want new hearts and minds in America, we need to first have them and then raise them up one at a time in our children. Satan is surely willing to raise them up for us! We need to stop lusting after Baywatch babes and all their store bought parts and seek the beauty of our Godly wives. As we each take a stand for our own "Me and my house", we will develope this whole world for Christ.

03-15-02, 10:21 PM
Transmuting Children Into Dung Part 1

I didn't title this FNS the way I have simply for the shock value. Nevertheless, it should shock you because it's true. We're going off of the regular path for this FNS and taking a detour to the book of Second Kings.

KJV - 2 Kings Chapter: 6 ,Verses: 24-31

24 And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria.
25 And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver.
26 And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king.
27 And he said, If the LORD do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress?
28 And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow.
29 So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.
30 And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh.
31 Then he said, God do so and more also to me, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day.

NLT - 2 Kings Chapter: 6 ,Verses: 24-31

24 Some time later, however, King Ben-hadad of Aram mobilized his entire army and besieged Samaria.
25 As a result there was a great famine in the city. After a while even a donkey's head sold for two pounds of silver, and a cup of dove's dung cost about two ounces of silver.
26 One day as the king of Israel was walking along the wall of the city, a woman called to him, "Please help me, my lord the king!"
27 "If the LORD doesn't help you, what can I do?" he retorted. "I have neither food nor wine to give you."
28 But then the king asked, "What is the matter?"She replied, "This woman proposed that we eat my son one day and her son the next.
29 So we cooked my son and ate him. Then the next day I said, 'Kill your son so we can eat him,' but she had hidden him."
30 When the king heard this, he tore his clothes in despair. And as the king walked along the wall, the people could see that he was wearing sackcloth underneath next to his skin.
31 "May God kill me if I don't execute Elisha son of Shaphat this very day," the king vowed.

That is one disgusting tale of absolute humanity. I can't fathom the lowness of spirit and the totally twisted sense of self worth needed for someone to be able to kill and eat another human being; and their own child at that! That's just sick!!! I've seen some bad stuff in life. As much as I'd like to be able to say that I've never seen anything like this, I can't. It's all too common that this thing, in a sense, happens today. I want you to stay with me now. This isn't hard to understand. It is, however, hard to detect when you're the one caught up in the types of things I'm about to show you.

This woman, for the sake of her own preservation, and with a heart of greed that could somehow justify her own son's murder and desecration by way of another murder and desecration, in an instant, and without hesitation, did one of the most foul things a mother could ever do. She devoured her very own child and even shared his flesh with another. OK, so, we've seen, in the recent news, how Andrea Yates killed her five children. We can all remember Susan Smith who murdered her children because she thought they had been the reason for her failed relationship with one of her boyfriends. We've all heard about crack babies and AIDS babies being sentenced to death and devastation even before birth. Somehow, we can think that the people that brought about these things are evil, but the woman in this story was more evil. I'll tell you this. People today, people all around us, people in our churches and, dare I even say, in our homes, are more evil now than then. Our children are no less devoured today. In fact, it is worse and there is no famine in the land to instigate it. Now, I do not mean that our children are literally being killed and eaten by parents. Worse than that, their souls are being devoured and the living corpses of our children are walking around rotting and infecting others with their rot everywhere they go. "Surely", you exclaim, "I can have no part in this!" When this FNS is all said and done with, let's see what you say then.

We don't like to admit it but, our children don't always hold the place in our lives that we like to think they do. I'll give you an example.

There was a young widow with children, a professing child of Christ, that took the fancy of a simple and Godly man. Not long after, a man from her past, when she was not serving God, returned to persuade her to be with him again. She dropped all relations with the good man and accepted the evil man. The evil man was not only godless but, still married and a father himself. Though her own children protested and had already been in great emotional turmoil for the years without a father, she ran off to be with him. Though she would only be temporarily apart from her children, she left them without the guidance of a good Godly mother. In truth, she abandoned them, as a caretaker and a mother, when she chose to have anything to do with an ungodly man. Children that were in need became children that were disrespectful to her and disobedient in life. Even more, she sought to spread the curse of her sin to the innocent child of that evil man.

There is no way that we, especially as parents or siblings to other children, can choose sin and not be a detriment to the souls of those children. The very happiness of the children in this example was stolen away by one mother's desire to feed her own flesh. As always, God does not leave his children without a way of escape from sin. She had one in the good man and chose the excitement and instant gratification of evil anyway. It's so easy to look at this example and think, "I'd never make that choice. I'd put my children first!" Really now?!?! How often is it that you see those children that you put first? How much effort do you put into loving the spouse that is the other parent of the children you put first? When do they ever see displays of good Christian love for one another between you two? You know, a kiss, a hug, a little pat on the tush? I'm sure I just scared some of you. Heaven forbid you should pat your wife on the tush in front of your children. Why, you could better be spending that time in a long drawn out argument full of name calling and even pushing and shoving. We're so uptight about what are good things, because we're afraid that we'll turn them into bad things that, we shut those things off all together. All the while, we are just far too ready to do those things that eat away at the souls of our children. It's also far too common that we choose things over time with our children. We choose accomplishments outside of home over accomplishments within the home. We seek our relief from sources other than God in secret and think that no one, especially our children, will ever know the truth. Somehow, we are of the crazed notion that we can harbor sin in our lives and have it be of no ill effect. I tell you that is a lie from the Devil. That is a lie straight out of HELL, or, better yet, into HELL! It is a common phrase, "With children, more is caught than taught." We don't have to boil them to devour them. All we have to do is to keep living in a way that digests their souls as those young lives catch hold of the sins not even we can handle. Let's take our children back from the popular and filthy music of today. Let's take them back from MTV, BET, and GAC. Let's take them back from the streets all day and night. Let's take them back from the Church of the Public School. Let's take them back from the LAW of SEX SELLS!!! Let's take them back and give them life: teach them CHRIST!!! To do that, we, first, have to be taken back from these things. We, first, have to stop overlooking the beams in our own eyes and get right with God ourselves. I don't care what sins we took pleasure in yesterday, for the lives of our children, we must be dead to sin and the old ways! Look around you. This is a nation whose children are walking rotting corpses! Nothing is of value and there is no truth wherein they may find comfort. Illogically, there are absolutely no absolutes. They have no hope of knowing the LORD. Sadly, this is even true in Christian homes. Even worse, Christians make excuses for it. "My children don't go to church and don't worship God but, they're good moral kids and I know that they would never do anything majorly wrong." Does it matter?!?!?! Having recently gone to my mother's funeral, I know that there are many comments about how good looking the corpse is. People regularly refer to how good of a job the funeral home does with making the dead loved on look lifelike. I have news for you. Funeral homes are not homes. People don't live there and corpses don't look good. They look just like dead people. Homes where Christ is not passed from the parents to the children are no better than funeral homes. You've got dead people coming in and out of the doors. Concomitantly, the corpses of the children within are being maintained with little more than social make-up. There's a touch of spiritual Revlon here and there and a splash of politically correct embalming morality to take the place of the Life Giving Blood of JESUS! That's just a low down dirty rotten shame! It shouldn't be that way but, it is. We devour our own children and it shows. We blame is on everything else outside of our doors and call that our famine. The truth is that we enjoy boiling our children. We enjoy our lives and have a blast every step of the way as we are living it up in our sins. Meanwhile, those children, those gifts from God, in the belly of our transgressions, are transmuted from darlings into DUNG! They are the chewed up, processed, and crapped out remains of our sinful appetites! There is no famine to blame. We choose to feed our own hunger. We only claim that we need the money or don't have the time or are stuck and have no other way. God always provides His children with a right way. There is no excuse. When, finally, we realize what has become of our children, often years after it far too long past a quick fix, we either hope they'll grow out of it or go to someone else looking for them to have the magic cure for the problem. I have two points for you. Kids don't grow out of sin. They don't have to be taught to sin. They have to be taught what is right. Without intervention from God, they will not just grow out of the heinous state of affairs you helped them grow into. Two, what you spent a decade or better messing up, you can't expect to be fixed in an instant by anyone else. There's not a government program or a church in existence that can do what you didn't those many years ago. While we have the chance, we need to look to God in all that we do. Again, other lives are depending upon us and our choices. You only get one chance at raising your children in righteousness. I want to leave you with a message from God that is as true today as it was in the day God gave it. It's a hard message to take. You'd better take it to heart though!

03-15-02, 10:25 PM
Transmuting Children Into Dung part 2

Well, as you can see, we've got more to go on the topic we started on last week. This will be the closing. I'd like to expand a bit more on this transmutation of sorts. I would just like to hit on some very pronounced aspects so as to broaden our thinking. Some of us, I'm sure, will have some sore toes when this is all over. I already had one to bail out after last week's FNS. There may come more but, I'll tell the truth anyway.

We'll start by looking into fatherhood and the perils of falling down on the job. I'll take you to an unlikely example of parenting. So, get your minds off of David and wind the clocks back a bit further. Tonight, we dine on the parenting skills of Gideon.

KJV - Judges Chapter: 8 ,Verses: 22-35

22 Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian.
23 And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you.
24 And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.)
25 And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey.
26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels' necks.
27 And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.
28 Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.
29 And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house.
30 And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives.
31 And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech.
32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
33 And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god.
34 And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side:
35 Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, namely, Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.

NLT - Judges Chapter: 8 ,Verses: 22-35

22 Then the Israelites said to Gideon, "Be our ruler! You and your son and your grandson will be our rulers, for you have rescued us from Midian."
23 But Gideon replied, "I will not rule over you, nor will my son. The LORD will rule over you!
24 However, I have one request. Each of you can give me an earring out of the treasures you collected from your fallen enemies." (The enemies, being Ishmaelites, all wore gold earrings.)
25 "Gladly!" they replied. They spread out a cloak, and each one threw in a gold earring he had gathered.
26 The weight of the gold earrings was forty-three pounds, not including the crescents and pendants, the royal clothing of the kings, or the chains around the necks of their camels.
27 Gideon made a sacred ephod from the gold and put it in Ophrah, his hometown. But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family.
28 That is the story of how Israel subdued Midian, which never recovered. Throughout the rest of Gideon's lifetime about forty years the land was at peace.
29 Then Gideon son of Joash returned home.
30 He had seventy sons, for he had many wives.
31 He also had a concubine in Shechem, who bore him a son named Abimelech.
32 Gideon died when he was very old, and he was buried in the grave of his father, Joash, at Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer.
33 As soon as Gideon was dead, the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshiping the images of Baal, making Baal-berith their god.
34 They forgot the LORD their God, who had rescued them from all their enemies surrounding them.
35 Nor did they show any loyalty to the family of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon), despite all the good he had done for Israel.

What is most often seen here is the complete and total wishy-washiness of Israel. It's easy to see how they almost seemed to be waiting for Gideon to drop dead so that they could run off into sin. Now, there's much here to be said for failing to raise up leaders also. We'll leave that pretty well alone this time around. Let me just say that if you're busy living like the world, you won't have much time to have a Godly impact in life. In fact, as we go along, there's going to be a lot of good material that time won't permit us to go into right now. This is really some good stuff here.

From what we can see, the Bible really doesn't give us much on how Gideon raised up his children. Well then, what are we to learn from his parenting skills? This lesson is like looking into the life of Jabez. The tiny bit given packs a real wallop! You've got to go past all of the pounding Gideon and the 300 men put on the enemies of God's people and take a good look at the aftermath.

Take notice of the fact that Gideon starts out avoiding the trap of sin by denying kingship. Israel was constantly wanting to be like the other nations around them. That's why they liked to worship their idols. Does it sound anything like what we do today? Does it bring to mind the ways we each try to blend in with society rather than stand firm and stand out? That's just a tiny commercial. Let's get back. Not long after that, just like his father before him (Judges 6:25-32) he's taken up the mantle of idol worship. He continues the cycle that will eventually help to bring about the deaths of his own children.

Before we praise Gideon too highly for his denial of kingship, I'd like you to see something. Gideon was a wimp! There's no two ways about it. When God finds him, he's hiding. Sure, he's using a certain amount of wisdom but, he's still hiding. His shenanigans with the fleece are often pointed to as unbelief or indecision. I have a hard time with that. I think he was trying to wimp his way out of it. He wasn't being modest when he called himself the weakest. He was being a wimp and I can prove it. After the very first test, when Gideon made the offering, he realized and said, "Sovereign LORD, I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!". The first thing that God had to do to keep him going along in the program was to let him know that he wasn't there to kill him. Now, as you follow along in the story, Gideon tests whom he already knows to be God. He tests Him even after God gets him started with a small victory. I really do think that it was more being a wimp than being uncertain. He already knew God could do anything and was looking for a way to do his own thing. He didn't want to hear that God was calling him, "Mighty hero". He didn't want to be the one to stand firm and stand out. It seems, he figured, if he kept asking God to prove Himself, God would eventually leave him alone about it. What did he have to lose for trying since God said that He wasn't there to kill him?

Gideon did seem to have good intentions in making the ephod though. Nevertheless. the road to hell is paved with good intentions. When the idol worship came back into Gideon's life, so very much like in our lives when we worship the things of this world, it's only after the big victory. He saw fit to do his own thing once the battle was over. I doubt that it was just nobility that kept him out of the king's chair. I think it was fear more than anything. He wanted to go back to what he was most comfortable doing. Unfortunately, there was far too much of an influence from the days of his father. Perhaps, he meant to restore some priestly order to the people as well. It seems that it became as the cross, and especially, the crucifix to many people. It became the thing to pray to and worship rather than a simple reminder.

It might not seem important that Gideon was a wimp. It'll come up later though. You see, you can't give what you don't have. What you are is all you have to give. You'll see it clearly later.

We still have to wonder about his fathering skills. One thing we do know is that he must have taught them to be wimps. That'll show soon. He also made one of the most dreadful choices a man can make. He chose to have many wives.

In the book of Titus, we are given standards of leaders. Gideon did not have the book of Titus. He did have God though. He did have a conscience. Yeah, I know all about the culture. Extra wives were allowed but not mandated. That most certainly was not the plan that was the best good from God. Still, he chose to have many wives. Titus gives us more than just one mention of a leader being a husband of one wife and not having unruly children as part of the package. Do you think there's a reason for this?

The Bible shows children to be like arrows. If the child is the arrow, the wife is the bow. You can only fire one bow at a time and no two bows will fire the same way. One will have a tendency to draw one way or another. Another may shoot straight for what seems to be forever. A third may not work properly at all. If you are to be a skilled archer, you will learn to specialize your skills with one bow that you intend to have for the rest of your life. If a child is to hit the center of a good target in life, you need a good bow. More than that, you need to know how to work with that bow. I wish we could go far deeper into all that is being taught in Titus.

With many wives, Gideon was scattering his focus in his children in all kinds of directions. You can't be a father to a child you don't see. It's a sad shame that, today, most homes are just fragments of families. I know what it's like to be a child of a man that's not there to raise his son. I went through life trying to judge for myself what it meant to be a man. I grew up in a world where men were few and far between. That's the sad shape of our society. Men don't live up to their obligations and don't care. They're in love, so they claim, until it's baby time. It's common for a young man of just 26 to have three to six kids spread all over God's Earth. These kids are forced to live their lives as arrows with a bow and no archer.

Yes, I do know that a woman can get along as a single parent. Still, you can gripe if you want to but, God gives children to parents. Notice the "s" on that. You can't get a child without some kind of interaction with someone else. Yes, I am aware that they're working on new and better perversions every day. Children are not born to institutions, state and government run programs, or villages, as Mrs. Clinton would have us to think! Children are born to two parents. Parents are responsible for children. Children need parents to work together, as God designed, to launch them in a right direction. They will not just grow up right on their own. It's not somebody else's problem either. As we'll see, bad parenting has a way of coming back to haunt you and those you care about. There's always a legacy left behind.

KJV - Judges Chapter: 9 ,Verses: 1-6

1 And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem unto his mother's brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying,
2 Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.
3 And his mother's brethren spake of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, He is our brother.
4 And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baalberith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him.
5 And he went unto his father's house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone: notwithstanding yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself.
6 And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar that was in Shechem.

NLT - Judges Chapter: 9 ,Verses: 1-6

1 One day Gideon's son Abimelech went to Shechem to visit his mother's brothers. He said to them and to the rest of his mother's family,
2 "Ask the people of Shechem whether they want to be ruled by all seventy of Gideon's sons or by one man. And remember, I am your own flesh and blood!"
3 So Abimelech's uncles spoke to all the people of Shechem on his behalf. And after listening to their proposal, they decided in favor of Abimelech because he was their relative.
4 They gave him seventy silver coins from the temple of Baal-berith, which he used to hire some soldiers who agreed to follow him.
5 He took the soldiers to his father's home at Ophrah, and there, on one stone, they killed all seventy of his half brothers. But the youngest brother, Jotham, escaped and hid.
6 Then the people of Shechem and Beth-millo called a meeting under the oak beside the pillar at Shechem and made Abimelech their king.

Now, we get to see the full force of the legacy of Gideon's lack of manliness and his shotgun approach to parenting. Abimelech goes out and basically hires a bunch of derelicts with chump change. This was not a real army. These people were the dredges of society and had nothing to lose and everything to gain. For this one man to take an army of bums against the sons of Gideon boggles the mind. At least, it does until you factor in the fact that Gideon was a wimp and probably passed that on to his sons too. It's also important to take note of the status of Abimelech. His being the son of a concubine meant that he likely had the least of all contact with his father. His mother was nowhere near being his father's main squeeze and would have been on the fringes of the familial society. He seems to have grown up with a want to fight and a knowledge that his brothers were pushovers. This brings to mind Eph 6:4 (KJV)- And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

03-15-02, 10:26 PM
Anything other than bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is failure!!! Your children will suffer for it. Your whole family will suffer for it. Their children will suffer for it too. It just keeps growing. You can't even begin to think of bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord if they're the product of relationship you defaulted on with their mother. Eph 6:4 should also bring caution to you men looking to take on the task of fatherhood through marriage as well. If you can't work with the mother well to start with, don't try to be that child's father. That means, don't marry the mother until you get things right with her. On top of that, you need to keep in mind that this takes work. Whether the child is your seed or you have taken the child as your own, you have no choice but to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord or you will be raising a child to wrath!

I know this personally as well. My mother married when I was 12. I quickly found that the man my mother married was one way to me before the wedding and another after. If you dare to get into a child's life you'd better go all the way or don't go at all! The man my mother married was supposed to adopt me. I got in trouble at school. For that, I was told that he would not adopt me as his son. From that day to now, there has been no love between us. I do not speak of Christian love. I speak of family love. I know that all the days that I have known him, I have been nothing to him. I've seen my brother and sister accepted with open arms and I, at the best of times, have been no more than tolerated. I can tell you that I know the anger Abimelech felt and how all children feel when their father figure does not deal with them as a man should. I don't particularly desire love from him and that's the same thing you can see in Abimelech. Family love was not a desire for him. Add in a sinner's heart and a big mess-o-pride and you've got trouble boiling over buddy. I'm not trying to bash the man my mother married. I just want you to know that I'm not just speaking from what others have said on the matter. I know from my own life. If you're going to be a father, be a man!!!! If not, don't have anything to do with the woman!

Abimelech was full of wrath and no love for his family because his father was no more than a sperm donor. Your children don't go south on their own! They either have to fight their way past you and your teaching them to Love the Lord or, they take the path of least resistance that the world offers because you fell down on the job. Let me tell you, they can't get that far away if you brought them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. If you didn't, why be surprised at the way they turn out? If you don't teach them the way to go, Satan will. Look at your kids and your relationship with them and their relationships together. Most, if not all, of the flaws point back to mom and dad. Most, if not all, of the strengths, will be the same.

This is a powerful story of a man that was too much of a wimp to be a father and likely developed a great deal of pride that helped him use his hero status to get all those women. His sons, who should have been full of might, were killed, seemingly one by one, on the same rock. It was an army of bums!!!!! They had no special skill as warriors. Gideon had given his sons no special skills as men. They probably didn't even look intimidating.

The one survivor of the slaying showed his father's heart in all of its glory. He hid!!! As his brothers died in procession, he cowered for his life in the way of the wimp his father taught him to be! Finally, verse 21 of chapter 9 is all too telling: (NLT) Then Jotham escaped and lived in Beer because he was afraid of his brother Abimelech.

Jotham didn't even have the guts to try and raise up an army of bums or do anything at all. All this atrocity came out of Gideon whom we look at as an overcomer. If you want to be an overcomer in family life, be the parent that God would have you to be. Don't try to be mom and dad in one package when you are able to do better. Be that mom completely. Be that dad completely. Most of all, forsake pride and be righteous. In this way, your children will not suffer the fate of becoming little more than social and spiritual refuse.

To close, it's important to see that when a man is weak in faith, as Gideon showed himself to be by fleeing God, it will spill over for generations. Even if Gideon had good intentions with the ephod, he did not maintain it and, while he was alive, it became trouble. In life, no matter what kind of big rep we have as being heroes, our children will always see the real us and pick up on that. A liar of a son will likely have a liar of a father. A boy that grows to be a snake usually learned it at home. The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.

Trust In God,