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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, January 02, 2015

The house of Jehovah and the great controversy


In every Christian home problems arise. The father more often than not desires order and discipline and reverence and godliness. The mother desires companionship and compassion, and the related liveliness and activity and commotion which indicate that the children are in the house, safe and sound. The father and mother aren’t so narrow that they each don’t blend in the other’s natural desires, but, on the whole the distinct attributes of each gender tend to be such.

Despite these gender created differences of preference and the tension between noisy friendship and fun and quiet order, love still binds the parents together. Together they can raise the children to be both respectful and full of life, though togetherness gets the children loud on occasion and the father must curb the wildness.

But, even with the factors involved with the natural tendency for the children to swerve from the strict laws of the house, the parents must also contend with outside influences. Often Christian parents have in-laws who don’t have the same strong concern for the children’s moral welfare. Sometimes with respect to the children’s upbringing, in-laws can be outlaws. The non-Christian influence from these grandparents and uncles and aunts and cousins cause much havoc and heartache for the parents, who sadly must guard their children from the strong influences of familial ties to their larger family. Even if they move away from the larger family unit, they occasionally visit, and this provides the avenue for the seeds of irreverence and selfishness and self-indulgence to creep into the hearts and minds of their godly, happy children. It also provides a test to the characters of the children and to the upbringing wisdom of the parents.

There was a home with four children where this occurred. The mother’s brother was gregarious and funny. He loved company and had many friends of all ages. But, he didn’t care for godliness; he had no faith. He was an atheist and hated religion, especially the religion of his sister and brother-in-law who were so careful to live righteously. He had met so many church people who treated him with aloofness, and he hated them for that. They could never be his friends, and he made it his life-long decision that he would never be a Christian.

Because of his distaste for anything holy, he disdained everything reverent and disciplinary. He didn’t like authority or correction, and had a special dislike for open reproof. And this conjured up an imagined sympathy toward the children in his sister’s Christian home. He determined to break into that family unit and save his nephews and nieces from what he saw as brainwashing and a tyrannical, fanatical life. By ridiculing holiness and through cajoling, he would win the hearts of those nephews and nieces, and show them that the world’s methods were better and freer than what their parents were teaching them.

Now, the Christian home was under a secret, nefarious attack. In time, the children began behaving selfishly and irreverently to the parents’ wishes. The children weren’t as interested in learning the Bible and hearing Bible stories and the principles that come out of those biblical people and their life experiences. The children began to ask for games and toys that shine and peep and mutter, whispering temptation into the consciences of the children. They grew tired of the simple, healthy food Mother had always prepared, and they wanted the sweet desserts and store-bought, plastic-wrapped things from the grocery store, heavily loaded with condiments. They stopped being happy with Father and Mother, and blamed them for their misery because the parents had put forth an effort to resist the evil entering their once godly home.

Finally, with broken heart and in frustration over the chaos going on in the house, the father told the mother that he would move out to the outbuilding. He said that she must be the one to stop the influence of her brother over their children; she must deal with the chaotic family. Father would give up the amenities of electricity and plumbing, of light and heat, the cleanliness and sweet-smelling air. He would continue to provide for his family, and he would let his wife and their children keep the house; but he could no longer look upon the destruction of his family. He would also contact his brother-in-law, warning off his outlaw in-law and telling him to have nothing more to do with his children. And he told him that he would work to undo every tie the children had with their uncle and his kids, even if this would create much anger in the careless, anti-religion, arrogant heart of his brother.

The separation immediately caused anxiety in the mother. She loved her husband, but she also loved her children and knew they couldn’t bring themselves up. Especially could they never develop into godly adults and good citizens without being trained to be that way from childhood. Her greatest fear was an invitation from their uncle to live with him. Her brother did make the offer to raise them with his children. But that would never be an option to the mother. Never would she let that happen. And she would fight tooth and nail to rid his powerful influence over her beloved brood.

She would find every opportunity to plant desires into her children’s hearts to return to the joy and love they once had. She, against all odds, would work to re-interest them in spiritual things; and she made daily reports to her husband in the shed. It seemed a losing battle at every turn. The world now had easy access to the children since their eyes were opened to the excitement of running the streets with friends and school activities which seemed to always happen on the Sabbath. All the school games were on Friday nights and the children got involved in all the sports teams and cheerleaders and booster clubs, the applause and the glamour.

Through the years, their teachers and principals loved the children and often praised them for their good manners and strong principles. The strong, pure bodies of the godly home added much energy and success to the school teams. Thus, the school faculty received high praises from the school board, who were likewise receiving praise and increasing funds from the state. But the faculty didn’t realize that they were using pure reservoirs from godly homes to continually give new life to the dying systems of this world’s education. This never entered their atheistic, agnostic minds. It was the unrecognized godly parents who kept those ungodly schools from falling apart. All the while, the schools were poisoning the children, causing weakened consciences and souls and bodies.

The mental stress of cramming for tests and insufficient sleep, the emotional stress for acceptance of peers, and the physical stress on the contorting cheer-leading, and the trips and slams and abusive competition causing abusive wear and tear on bones and joints and muscles, altogether beat against the strong constitutions of the children. The wayward children and school faculty alike believed that the strength laid innately in the children. The reality, though, was that the children inherited all their strength of mind and body, respectfulness and honesty from their godly parents and from the lifestyle their parents had raised them up in during the early years of their life.

Added to all the disheartenment in the mother was the loss of her husband from the house. Since he moved out, she had been wracked in emotional pain at his disconnection from the family. He would go to work, and they would see each other every day, but his eyes were distant and his heart aching. Even the children would see their father from a distance, and remember that their new life was the cause of Father’s departure.

Mother in silence tried to reiterate the necessary requirements of Father as she took the kids to school, and they kept an ear open to her; but the call of friends outvied for their attention. Nevertheless, the need for Father always nagged at the hearts of the children and made a strong impediment to their worldliness. Their love for Father worked against the cheap talk, against the mascara on the girls’ faces and the boy’s bodybuilding, against the high hopes fed to them from their teachers and friends that big companies in the big city offered big salaries and good careers.

Not until the children could be salvaged, not until the wicked deeds of the uncle could be made public, castigated, and destroyed in the hearts of the children, could the father and mother be reunited physically. Their hearts were always bound together. And they both looked longingly for the day when they could be in each other’s arms again, as it had been in better times.

Finally, that day arrived. One by one, the children were slowly wizening up to the consequences of living for this world. Their friends got into smoking and alcohol and drugs. The pervasive premarital pregnancies and ensuing chaos of broken relationships and lives, fatherless children and poverty, all these had begun to open the eyes of the young adults of godly home. The continued, mild lessons from Mother, and her patient endurance of their obstreperous behavior and torn heart, all convinced them that what their parents had been trying to do for them in that former, barely remembered godly home, was right.

Almost simultaneously, one teen quickly following the example of the other, they cut their ties with their devious uncle and his hellish children. They sought their parents’ forgiveness, returning to the life they had known as pre-adolescents. Seeing so much of their childhood sacrificed to the god of this world, they redoubled their efforts to remake their lives in accordance with Father’s standards. Now his wishes were all that they wanted. They wanted to please him in everything. If he hadn’t staunchly held his standards so consistently high, they would never have remembered it and been so often convicted of their wrong course.

Now, Mother could make her move. She made the announcement to her siblings that her brother had done her a great dishonor; he had abused her children; he had destroyed their innocence. She was disowning him and even had obtained a court restraining order; he and his family were never to see her children again. These events brought Father and Mother closer than they had been for many years.

Her brother and his family were so humiliated by this and took such offense that he went to her house against court orders, broke the chain off of the door, entered and beat her almost to unconsciousness. After a critical day in the ICU she was moved to a regular room in the hospital and nursed back to health. Her children visited her every day and realized that they were the reason their beloved mother almost died. During all of this Father was horrified, but watching with new hope in his heart. He also visited Mother, but only during his lunch breaks while the kids were in school.

He reported the attack to the court and had his brother-in-law charged with assault and battery, and with breaking the restraining order. The court ruled in his favor, and the uncle was sentenced to a long time in prison.

But, Father was still hurt by the whole experience of losing of his children’s most precious years of his life, with them stolen by the world. Now that the hearts of his children were restored to him and his adversary was put away, Father could reconcile with the painful past. Mother rebounded and came home. She went to the shed, assuring her husband that every child was fully ready to obey their father again; they very badly wanted to see their father again. The reunion was full of tears from everyone involved. In spite of the great loss of childhood years, the reassuring strong restoration of the family was enough to overlook a potentially happy joyful period of their youth, a past that could never be redone or recouped.

With scars on every heart, the renewed love and the wisdom gained would make the present and future life doable and even a happy one. The children would make sure that they would hunt for only lifemates who would protect their homes from all approaches of worldliness, subtle or advertised. They would raise their children by the standards of their father and mother, and preserve them in the holiness taught by the Bible.

The family is forever inseparable, saved and safe in obedience to holy, godly love. They have nothing to fear for the future except that they forget way Father led them and his teachings in their past history. Their story ended nicely only because of the way the parents dealt with the long emergency and the children’s choice to see love in everything their parents had done for them.

“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
For he [Christ] must reign, till he [God] hath put all enemies under his feet.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
For he [the Father] hath put all things under his feet. But when he [the Father] saith all things are put under him [His Son], it is manifest that he [God] is excepted, which did put all things under him [Christ].
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (1Cor. 15:24-28).

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