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Broken Homes In The Bible (via Richard Pratt)

When faced with brokenness in families it is tempting to confuse obedience to God’s precepts with obligating God by obedience to his precepts.
Richard Pratt writes about brokenness in families, which will be present everywhere because families are made up of imperfect people:
An excerpt:

In recent decades, Christian television has spread what many call the “prosperity gospel” — the misguided belief that if we have enough faith, God will heal our diseases and provide us with great financial blessings. Of course, most people reading this article scoff at the thought that faith can yield such benefits. But don’t laugh too hard. We have our own prosperity gospel for our families. We simply replace having enough faith with having enough obedience. We believe that we can lift our families out of their brokenness if we conform to God’s commands.
You’ve probably encountered this outlook at one time or another. Teachers and pastors tell wives that they will enjoy wonderful relationships with their husbands and children if they will become “an excellent wife” (Prov. 31:10). After all, Proverbs 31:28 says: “Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her.” At men’s conferences, fathers recommit themselves for the sake of their children because “the righteous who walks in his integrity — blessed are his children after him!” (Prov. 20:7). In much the same way, young parents are led to believe that the eternal destinies of their children depend on strict and consistent training. You know the verse: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). Passages like these have been taken as indicating that Christian families experience blessings and loss from God, quid pro quo. We believe that God promises a wonderful family life to those who obey His commands.
Now, we need to be clear here. The proverbs commend certain paths to family members because they reflect the ways God ordinarily distributes His blessings. But ordinarily does not mean necessarily. Excellent wives have good reason to expect honor from their husbands and children. Fathers with integrity often enjoy seeing God’s blessings on their children. Parents who train their children in the fear of the Lord follow the path that frequently brings children to saving faith. But excellent wives, faithful husbands, and conscientious parents often endure terrible hardship in their homes because proverbs are not promises. They are adages that direct us toward general principles that must be applied carefully in a fallen world where life is always somewhat out of kilter. As the books of Job and Ecclesiastes illustrate so vividly, we misconstrue the Word of God when we treat proverbs as if they were divine promises.
Quite often, there are correlations between obedience and blessings, as well as between disobedience and loss. But never be fooled into thinking you are able to figure out what God will do next in someone’s family.

Read the whole article at Keylife (who have sourced it from Ligonier)


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Flower Names For Girls

I was musing the other night that it may have been nice to give my daughters names from flowers.
I think I had in mind Lily, Rose, Daisy, Violet – that sort of thing.
The idea was met with some enthusiasm, but the preferred flower names were Foxglove and Snapdragon.
Probably not Kangaroo Paw, though.


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Year 6 Musical 2019

Having watched three of my children in the year 6 musical that St Martin’s puts on each year I now get to go watch it because my daughter teaches year 6.

This year’s production is called Rock Bottom. I think there’s something of a Flintstone’s meets a rambling search for something irrelevant with skit-like episodes and puerile jokes (think Monty Python and the Holy Grail) meets She or Dorian Gray (of all things). With ensemble songs and dancing.

There are three performances and this is the last.

They did very, very well.


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Early Father’s Day In A Snap

It was inevitable that my kids would figure out a wonderful early Father’s Day present.


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Elsa Cake

Auntie Rachel’s birthday cake for Felicity improves on Disney’s design with the addition of a specially requested unicorn.


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Being Parents Who Are Failures At Perfectionism (via Chad Bird)

Contemporary parenting undertakes the burden of providing a perfect life experience for children. It is an expression control on the part of the parent, taking the role of a God in the life of their child. And the more micro-controlled that the upbringing of children is becoming is being accompanied by an increase in anxiety among them.

From Chad Bird:

God knows that if there’s anything our world needs, it’s certainly not more superparents. We need plain old boring moms and dads. The kind who are more concerned with modelling humble, loving service to their children than hot-housing them into superbabies who out-SAT and out-GPA their classmates. The kind of parents who are more concerned with teaching their children “the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears,” as William Martin writes, than the thrill of guzzling the intoxicating liquor of success. The kind of parents who are utter failures at perfectionism, at being heroes and heroines, at maintaining complete control of their child’s upbringing — in short, who fail at being a god — in order that the grace of God might succeed in our lives as moms and dads as well as in the lives of our children.
Most of all, we need the kind of parents who see their primary identity not as parents but as children. Before I am a father, I am a son of God. Before my wife is a mother, she is a daughter of God. Before we are anything else — parent, spouse, worker, citizen — we are children of our heavenly Father.

Chad Bird, Upside-Down Spirituality: The Nine Essential Failures Of A Faithful Life, Baker, 2019, pgs 94-95.