Arguments or Obedience

…the simplicity that is in Christ.  2 Corinthians 11:3 Simplicity is the secret to seeing things clearly. A saint does not think clearly until a long time passes, but a saint ought to see clearly without any difficulty. You cannot think through spiritual confusion to make things clear; to make things clear, you must obey. In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering thoughts and more confusion. If there is something in your life upon which God has put His pressure, then obey Him in that matter. Bring all your “arguments and…every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” regarding the matter, and everything will become as clear as daylight to you (2 Corinthians 10:5). Your reasoning capacity will come later, but reasoning is not how we see. We see like children, and when we try to be wise we see nothing (see Matthew 11:25). Even the very smallest thing that we allow in our lives that is not under the control of the Holy Spirit is completely sufficient to account for spiritual confusion, and spending all of our time thinking about it will still never make it clear. Spiritual confusion can only be conquered through obedience. As soon as we obey, we have discernment. This is humiliating, because when we are confused we know that the reason lies in the state of our mind. But when our natural power of sight is devoted and submitted in obedience to the Holy Spirit, it becomes the very power by which we perceive God’s will, and our entire life is kept in simplicity. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition Bible in One Year: Proverbs 19-21; 2 Corinthians 7

Family Talk Night Light for Couples

ACTIONS EARN TRUST

“If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 1 Corinthians 10:12

The surest way to build trust in marriage is through your actions. Build a record of choices and deeds that proves to your partner you can be trusted at all times.

Take flirting, for example. It may be harmless to show a bit of extra friendliness to a member of the opposite sex. But ask yourself, Would my spouse feel comfortable if he or she witnessed this exchange? Would my actions earn trust, or would they raise doubt about my motives?

I (jcd) urge you to be wary of pride in your own infallibility. The minute you begin thinking that an affair “would never happen to me” is when you become most vulnerable. We are sexual creatures with powerful urges. We are also fallen beings with strong desires to do wrong. That is what temptation is all about. Do not give it a place in your life. My father once wrote, “Strong desire is like a powerful river. As long as it stays within the banks of God’s will, all will be proper and clean. But when it overflows those boundaries, devastation awaits downstream.”

Actions can affect trust in easy‐to‐overlook ways. When you promise to clean out the garage next weekend, make sure you do it. When you agree to limit your spending to a certain amount, follow through. Keeping your word in small matters builds trust in a big way.

JUST BETWEEN US…

  • Where is the line between friendly interest and flirting?
  • What actions do I take that help you trust me?
  • How did Jesus establish trust with His disciples?

Lord Jesus, thank You for being our example of trustworthiness and integrity. Help us every day to turn away from temptation and compromise. We want to be true in our innermost being. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Family Talk Night Light for Parents

THE “ROD OF DISCIPLINE”

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him. Proverbs 22:15

You may be unsure about the notion of spanking your kids. You’ve heard the argument—spanking will turn your child into a violent, aggressive adult. We believe otherwise. An occasional dose of minor pain is one of nature’s teachers. A child who touches a hot stove will only make this mistake once. Likewise a judicious, controlled spanking, when motivated by love and applied properly, is in keeping with the principles of Scripture (see Proverbs 23:14).

There are many conditions to proper use of spanking, though. Reserve it for moments of willful defiance only. Never spank when you are out of control. Never spank a child who is less than fifteen to eigh-teen months or over twelve years; spanking should taper off after age five. Spank only on the bottom (never slap a child’s face or jerk his arm, which can cause serious injury). Make spanking an infrequent practice, not a regular event. Remember that corporal punishment is a tool for teaching—not for venting anger or frustration.

We most certainly do not advocate indiscriminate paddling of your children. Child abuse is a national tragedy! Yet there are times when a short session over a bent knee—applied with care, wisdom, and a sensible explanation—will benefit your child. After all, it is scriptural.

BEFORE YOU SAY GOOD NIGHT…

How do you feel about spanking your kids?

Do you or could you employ spanking properly in your family?

In your home, what situations would warrant a spanking?

Lord, we want to be loving and effective with our discipline at home. When our children are defiant, calm our anger, heal our hurt spirits, give us wisdom, and let our actions bring us closer to each other and to You. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.