Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why I'm not Raising My kids to Be Church Kids!

       Why I'm not Raising My kids to Be Church Kids!

          This is a guest blog from my big sister Nikki! She is not only my blood sister but my role model and sister in Christ. I have watched her over the years living for Christ. A topic that's not discussed much in the Christian community  is raising Godly children. I see firsthand how my sister and brother raises my nephew in the ways of God,  so I asked her to write this blog. I hope that this blesses you all! 


    Several years ago when my son Lil Rob was five years old he told me about a dream he had concerning a magic wand. He had been watching an episode of "Dora the Explorer" about casting a spell with a magic wand. I had already began explaining to him in simplicity what the bible says about witchcraft and spells. He later had a dream and told me "I was playing with a magic wand. Jesus told me he didn't like me playing with the magic wand and took it from me." A few days after his dream he was playing and his dad saw him pretending to have a magic wand. His dad asked him "Lil Rob, What did Jesus tell you in your dream about the magic wand?" Lil Rob responded "Jesus told me he didn't want me to play with it." It gave me great peace as a mom that God used a dream to teach my son. "All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall be the peace of your children."-Isaiah 54:13 
          

    

  If I were to take a poll right now and ask "How many of you grew up in church?" Many would raise their hands. If I then asked "How many of you who grew up in church have been truly born again, regenerated, and living for Christ now?" Only a few hands would go up. I would like to make it clear this isn't a church bashing blog. It's important if possible to be apart of a biblical church where you can learn, connect with people, and grow spiritually. Being connected with other Christians and apart of a local church will be a normal part of my children lives. "Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."-Hebrews 10:25 

  We live in a time where many people in our nation attend church weekly and claim to be Christians. Our nation is moving further away from God and is in rebellion to biblical principles. In the universities professors are indoctrinating students with humanistic teachings and openly mock Christ. Many Christians have voted for a president who supports abortions and homosexual marriages. We have musicians like Katy Perry who performed a witchcraft ritual during her performance at the Grammys. Hollywood has desensitize us and they are boldly pushing their Anti Christianity agenda. Mega Churches are popping up all over the place and many churches are growing in numbers. Why is our nation in the state that it is in? Many of our children and teens who attend church regularly seem no different than their worldly peers. Where have we went wrong? Many churches are preaching a watered down Gospel. Many parents stress the importance of worldly success and sports to their children. They rarely discuss spiritual things with their children. Then they drag their children to church for two hours a week expecting the Youth Pastor and Children's Pastor to turn their rebellious children into "Obedient Christians." Going to church doesn't make you a Born Again Christian just like being parked in a garage doesn't make you a car. 



     People assume that I'm serious about Christ because I grew up in church.I grew up in church but my heart was far from God. I didn't pretend to be serious about God. I simply lived as I please. Some church kids grow up in church, they know how to look the part, they are active in their church, they perform to receive the praises of men, they boast in their worldly success,they sometimes live double lives, and their heart usually isn't after God. Some of them act like little Pharisees. Godly Kids desires to please God. They have had an encounter with Jesus and have been changed on the inside."But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children."-Matthew 19:14 They go to church because they are hungry for God's word, they desire to be around other Christians, and are passionate about the lost.They make mistakes but get convicted of their sin. They don't live double lives. My husband and I have two sons and our oldest is almost nine. We made up our mind years ago that we were not raising "Church Kids." Our desire was to raise "Godly Kids." Godly Kids have had an supernatural encounter with Christ. They have been changed on the inside and are sensitive to the Holy Spirit leading their lives. Their walk with Christ affects their home life and every area of their life. "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions."-Joel 2:28


        Are you raising your children to be "church kids" or "godly kids?" As parents we can't expect to raise Godly Kids if we haven't been born again and regenerated ourselves. You can't give something you don't have. "Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit."-John 3:5 When you are truly born again it will be evident in your life and the Holy Spirit will teach you how to parent and pray for your children."But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true--it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ."-1John 2:27 There isn't a magic formula to use for raising children. They still have to make their own decisions to serve God. But if you would get in your word and seek the Lord in prayer he will give you the guidance you need. He can move upon your children hearts, open their spiritual eyes, and give you wisdom with raising them.The bible has plenty to say concerning child raising.I'm not against taking your children to church. Going to church is a good thing. We can't expect for the church to raise our children and not do our part at home. Our kids are looking at our lives and actions. If you act differently at church than when you are at home your kids won't take you seriously. Are you spending time at home teaching them the word? Do you teach them how to make practical decisions with what they are learning from the bible? "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."-Deuteronomy 11:18 



  There is no such thing as a little holy spirit and big holy spirit. God used people in the bible during their youth. In many churches we think children are to young to understand spiritual things. We use entertainment and cute bible stories to fill in the time. Meanwhile the enemy is busy using all kinds of music, shows, and ungodly people to influence them. God desires to have a relationship with our kids and teach them his ways when they are young. Lil Rob is now almost nine years old and I have had many deep conversations with him concerning the bible.Last week we were watching a movie called "The Apostle Peter" on Netflix. In the movie Peter is an old man and was in prison for his faith. In one part he is sharing his hope in Christ and quoted the scripture about Jesus never leaving nor forsaking us. My son paused the movie and says "Mom isn't that powerful, Jesus will never leave us or forsake us." Lil Rob also told me he was amazed that Peter was happy to suffer for Christ in prison. We end up having a little discussion which we both enjoyed. My child isn't more special or have a higher calling than any other child. We have made it a point since he was small to teach him about God in simplicity, pray for the salvation of his soul, pray for God to reveal himself, and we live this life before him daily so it's normal to him. He sees his parents reaching out to all kinds of people, praying for them, showing the love of God, and giving to those in need. I also sometimes share with him areas where I have made mistakes and had to change. Lil Rob makes mistakes and gets in trouble like any other child. But since he has the Holy Spirit inside of him he feels conviction when he sins. He has a solid foundation and good understanding of the bible. He has a heart for the lost and the poor. He stands up for those who are being bullied. We encourage him to make time for God a few minutes a day by reading his word, praying, singing songs, or thinking about him. We teach him that doing well in school is important. But the most important thing in life is serving God because he is our Lord and Master. We regularly spend time together as a family praying and discussing the bible. There have been times he shared things with me that I know had to be the Holy Spirit because an eight year old wouldn't make that up. God gives him dreams and visions.I'm not saying any of this to brag on my child. This should be the norm for those of us who are raising Godly Kids.

        I am encouraging all of the parents and future parents we have to take raising our children God's way seriously. It isn't good enough just to take them to church. We have to live an authentic set-apart Christian life before them. God didn't give us cute kids so that we can show them off on social networks and brag about them. His desire is for us to raise our children to follow his word and to live for him. "Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth."-Malachi 2:15 It's time for us to take serious the offspring that God has given us. One day these children will become adults and making their own decisions for their life. It's imperative that we equipped them with the right tools spiritually and that we do everything within our power to point them Christ. There are parents with experience, sermons, books, the bible, and prayer that can help you on your journey of raising godly offspring. My desire isn't to raise "Church Kids. My desire is to raise "Godly Children" who will burn with passion for Christ day and night!


I also did a blog on why our youth leave the church. Check it out here! http://brittmjay.blogspot.com/2013/10/why-do-our-youth-leave-church-and-never.html http://brittmjay.blogspot.com/2013/10/why-do-our-youth-leave-church-and-never.html


To contact Curtisha(Nikki):
Email: Jazzi01@yahoo.com
Twitter:Jazzionfire

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Gospel of Relationships

            "The Gospel Of Relationships"


"Relationship gurus" have become increasingly popular in the last few years. Social media is bombarded with videos, books, and posts about  how to find a spouse. You can't scroll through your timeline without people posting relationships goals, power couples and their love story. This trend has crept into the Christian arena where many ministries are focused on relationships and how to find a spouse..but no longer talk about the gospel, repentance, being born again, and preparing for the return of Christ. These ministries and organizations capitalize and appeal to single women. What single woman doesn't want to hear about how she can get her knight and shining armor, with a Christian spin to it?  These women are running after these relationship conferences, buying books, and following formulas  so that they can find a spouse..when they can care less about serving Christ, denying themselves and following Him on the narrow path.

                               What is the relationship gospel?  

The "relationship gospel" promises single women that if they stop having sex, stop talking to different guys, and start getting into church then God will send their spouse. So we have women who may be saved but are so focused on getting a mate that they're not being effective for the Kingdom of God. Or we have a bunch of women who haven't been converted following a formula just to get a man. When we minimize our sinfulness, don't talk about repentance, holiness, what it means to be truly born again and only focus on relationships we deceive people into thinking that marriage is the ultimate goal of the Christian life and not Christ. The gospel isn't 5 steps to get a Godly marriage. The gospel isn't about us being a power couple and someone's relationship goal. The gospel isn't about us having the perfect love story. The gospel is about Jesus dying to reconcile guilty sinners back to Himself and to be in communion with us.



                              False Conversions

Coming to Christ can give us a Godly marriage, but that's not the reason why we come to Christ. We come to Christ because we're filthy sinners in need a Savior. If we "come" to Christ on the basis of what He can give us and not for who He is, we didn't truly "come!" The relationship gospel  focuses on trying to get women to change their externals, so that they can find a spouse. That is the opposite of the true gospel. The true gospel changes us on the inside and those changes manifest on the outside. Throughout the years, I've encountered so many single women who are hyped to follow these single movements. They read the love stories, go to all the conferences, and do all the things thinking it will result in getting this "perfect love story." Normally, I see the hype last a short time and they go back to the world after it doesn't turn out how they expected. Or they actually get married and completely stop talking about Christ. They were never truly converted. There motives were never for Christ. There heart was never to serve the Lord for who He was. It was all about what Christ can do for them and give them.

Talking about courtship and marriage is definitely healthy for believers in it's proper context. The Titus 2 woman teaches the young women about loving her husband and raising Godly kids.(Titus 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.) However, she is teaching a young woman who are already saved. This was not her method for spreading the gospel to an unbeliever. We cannot teach Godly principles to people who haven't been born again. I definitely think it's important to talk about Godly courtship and marriage because many new believers don't know. I blogged about it. However, this isn't the only thing we should talk about and put more emphasis on. I know that most people don't want to hear the gospel, it is controversial, convicting and you will get backlash. I know that  relationships is the "new thing" and this is what everyone wants to hear about. I know this is what gets the likes and followers but we have to check our heart motives.  Do we care more about them following us or following Christ?


The dangers of preaching relationships is not only the false conversions but giving women false hopes. God never promised that just because we abstain from sex and start going to church that He'll send us a mate. What about the women who are walking in celibacy, not dating around, and living for God but years and years pass by and they're still not married? What if it's not 15 years from now? What if it's not in God's will? God never promised us a spouse, He promised us eternal life. It is dangerous to tell women to follow a check sheet to get a man and it never comes to past. All of our stories will be different. We cannot assume that what we did will work for everyone else! What about the women who actually do get married but never get converted? Marriage is temporal, eternity is forever. Their soul is more important than their marital status.We should be spreading the gospel and telling women no matter what happens, even if they never get married they can still be effective for the Kingdom and help win souls.


                 What is the true gospel of Jesus Christ?

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news that God saves sinners. Man is by nature sinful and separated from God with no hope of remedying the situation. But God, by His grace and power provided the means of man's redemption in the death, burial and Resurrection of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Did Jesus die so we can get a man? No! Did he die so you can life your best life now? No! He died to free us of sin and reconcile us to the Father. The whole entire bible from Genesis to Revelation is about Jesus Christ. The old testaments prophecies and points to Jesus and the new testaments talks about His ministry and second coming. Jesus first message was "Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand" (Matthew 4:17)  and the last thing He said was "Go into the world and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19) So how come our message is centered around marriage? Are we making disciples or a bunch of goats who want marriage and not God? God is more concerned with your relationship with Him than your relationship with a man. He is more concerned about our eternity than the temporal. There won't even be marriage in heaven(Matthew 22:30) So what good does it do to get married but you've never been born again and you perish? The basics of biblical womanhood, courtship, and marriage is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Have you been born again? You cannot have a Godly courtship and marriage if you don't know God! The central message and focus of all of our messages should be the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everything should ALWAYS point back to Him!


1 Corinthians 9:16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!




Friday, February 7, 2014

Godly Vs Worldly Men

In the few years that I've been saved, I noticed there is a HUGE difference in a man of God vs a man in the world. Being around true Godly men I knew immediately that I could NEVER settle for a worldly man. This blog isn't to knock worldly men. It's not to say that Godly men are better because it's ONLY because of the Christ that's in them, nothing of their own. This blog is to show the difference when a man is indwelt and led by the Holy Spirit. It bothers me when I hear women bashing Godly men saying that they are no different than those in the world. We have to remember that just because someone is a Pastor, Minister, faithful church goer, or calls themselves a Christian DOES NOT make them a man of God!! You will know them by their fruit, not by their church attendance and what comes out of their mouth. Also we have to examine ourselves, does a Godly man even have a reason to approach us? Godly men avoid worldly women like the plague – so if you are not attracting a godly man, you ought to look inside to see why! Am I saying that men of God are perfect? By no means! Men of God can fail and make mistakes..but you will see a desire to want to please God, a repentant life, growth, and conformity to the character of Christ! This blog isn't to say that all worldly men are this way, and all saved men are this way! This is just a blog from my perspective!:-)

His approach

Most worldly men have no discretion, they have no problem coming up to you from out of nowhere having never before met you and ask you for your number. The only reason he is asking you out is because he finds you physically attractive. There is no other reason since he has never met you or knows anything about you. Do you stop to ask yourself, if he could hit on you so easily how many other women have he also hit on today? If you do give him your number, how many other of those did he collect that day? A worldly guy's intentions are unclear.  From the first conversation you can most times tell what a worldly man is about. If on the first conversation he asks you to "chill" or brings up sex then RUN! He may be active in church or have a title..but his conversations in private won't reflect that. He'll talk a lot about his ministry and what he does..but little about Christ! Commitment is nowhere on his mind, he just want to have a good ol' time. Some worldly men may even be intrigued by Godly women and drawn to the Christ in you. They may think it's great that you're waiting for marriage..but they don't plan on waiting for you. They may even promise to change for you because they know you'e a good girl and wife material(after they're ready to settle down) lol. RUN sister!!!!!


A man of God who is seriously looking for a wife will not very easily just try and get a number from just anybody. He knows that Godly women are very rare and he is not looking for a worldly woman. Most Godly men will watch how a woman serves, interacts with others, and how she deals with situations before approaching her. He is led by God, prays for guidance and seeks Godly counsel. A man of God knows that it takes more than good looks to make a good wife. He is looking for a help meet to fulfill God's purpose with. When he does approach a woman, he is very respectable and intentional in his pursuit. A man after God's heart has no time to play games, he is on a mission and makes his intentions known upfront.

Courting and Dating

A worldly guy would have no problem trying to sleep with you before marriage. He wants little if any accountability. Forget about him agreeing to meet your Pastor or even your parents before he takes you out. He is afraid of commitment and meeting those people will scare him off. He doesn't want everyone's opinion and wants everyone in his "business." Marriage is not the goal, he just wants to date with the selfish goals of having fun and enjoying romantic attachments.
  
During courtship, the man after God's heart works at keeping you both pure because he honors you and God. He will be invested in getting you to grow in the Lord and will initiate prayer and lead bible study. He seeks the accountability and wisdom of their parents, other mentors, and Christians. He wants to truly get to know each other in a more platonic setting without the pressures of physical intimacy or emotions clouding their view. His goal is to seek to determine if it is God’s will for him to marry you.


Marriage

Most unsaved men screech when they hear the word marriage and they want to avoid it as long as possible. Most times they only get married after shacking up the woman and being with her for so many years. He gets tired of her nagging him about marriage and threatening to leave so he finally decides to marry her. Most worldly men are in no rush to marry because they can have casual sex without marriage. By living with a girlfriend, they can enjoy all the benefits of a wife without having to say, "I do." This is a no-risk way to "test drive" marriage. They want to enjoy the single life as long as possible, especially as they become accustomed to having their own space and routines and not being responsible to anyone else. Their greatest fear is that marriage will require too many changes, compromises and responsibilities.


 Most Godly men can't wait to get married, it is a beautiful thing to them.They know that He who FINDS a wife, finds a good thing.(Proverbs 18:22) Unlike worldly men, Godly men know the purpose of marriage. Marriage is the depiction of Christ and His church. They are not afraid of commitment because they are committed to God. They are faithful to God, so they can be faithful to their wife.  If a man can remain celibate and honor God in his singleness, he will definitely have no problem being faithful to his wife for the rest of his life.

Qualities


Worldly men are most times cocky and arrogant. They boast about their cars, money, accolades and temporal things that have no eternal value. Worldly men have no fear of God, if it's convenient he has no problem cheating. They can cheat on you and do whatever because it's all about them and their happiness. If someone better comes along, they would have no problem dropping you. Even though they may know a few scriptures they do not obey God's word, they do what is right in their own eyes. They are led by their flesh and temporal pleasures.Their love is shallow because how can they truly love you if they don't know the author of love, God. That's why you hear many of them say "they fell out of love" when the attraction and feelings wear off. He will tell you what you want to hear and lead you on to get what he wants. Most worldly men will not wait for sex until marriage because "he's a man he has needs!" Many worldly men may be very active in church but they have no passion for Christ, no depth in Christ, and his conversations are very shallow. A worldly guy has no depth in the word and he gets bored when you talk about the Lord. He will use excuses to justify his mistakes and he is stubborn in his ways and un-correctable. He will cause you relationship with Christ to dwindle.


Godly men are confident not cocky. They know who they are in Christ. They are not moved by what other men are doing. A man after God's heart fears the Lord and he's committed to you no matter what. He knows that God called him to love you as Christ loved His church and he will one day have to stand before Him and give an account. A man of God also has conviction from the Holy Spirit.  If he does step out of line (which Godly men do they aren't perfect) God will discipline Him and bring him unto repentance. Godly men will not tell you what you want to hear. They will try their best to protect your heart and not mislead you. Godly men are led by God and obey what the word of God says. He will not use excuses to justify his sinful ways, He will look to God for guidance. A man after God's heart is humble,teachable,passionate about God and actively studies the word. Or should be actively growing in these areas!


Attraction
   Worldly men are attracted to carnal things. They are attracted to your physical appearance, body, your lack of morals(so you can have sex with him), personality, education, and your body.Worldly men wants a woman who is in church like he is(that doesn't mean she's saved) but they can care less about how you are spiritually because he's not spiritual himself. Eternity is nowhere on his mind, only the temporal.Yeah your looks may be fascinating for the first few weeks, maybe even months but after that it gets really old. The attraction is all vain and based on carnal, superficial aspects.

   Now I'm not going to say that Godly men don't care about looks and body because they do. Men are very visual, but he cares more about your spiritual then physical. A Godly man knows that Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30) Godly men are attracted to a woman's love for Christ, biblical way of dealing with development and growth, chastity and purity, your humble and submission, your devotion to the lord, your modesty, meekness, biblical womanhood and femininity, and self control. Her spirituality is preeminent because He knows that you won't look the same way in 30 years. He also knows that this will be the mother of his kids, and it's important that she has certain attributes to raise Godly kids.


The difference between a worldly man and a Godly man is that the worldly man desires to please himself more than anyone else. The Godly man desires to please God more than anyone else. The Godly man has given up his own desires and submitted himself to the will of God. He is more concerned with bringing glory to God through your relationship. It's not about perfection, it's about direction. Godly men are not perfect, but their heart is set on pleasing God.They are all a work in progress and have to grow & mature as we all do. We have to stop acting as if there is no difference between Godly men vs worldly men because there is. I love all the Godly men, I thank you all for showing me that all men are not the same. I thank you all for leading your families and loving your wives. Please feel  to write comments and let me know what you all think. Read Part 2 of Godly vs Worldly women http://brittmjay.blogspot.com/2015/01/worldly-women-vs-godly-women.html