Greetings and Happy New Year to all you happily married couples. And to all you couples reading who are not so happy right now, and who maybe didn’t have a stellar year in 2010, may 2011 be a fresh start for you. If that is your situation, then here is my prayer for you:
“When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you might inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen” (Ephesians 3: 14-21, NLT).
May 2011 be your best year yet and may you grow in love for each other and have a marriage truly made in heaven.
So, here we are, at the dawn of a new year again. In November, I wrote about thankfulness, and in December I wrote about gift-giving, so it would stand to reason that this month should be about New Year’s Resolutions, right? The old NYR routine. But if I do that and follow tradition, I’ll have to reiterate the same old things we all say at this time every year. I start out resolving to eat right, exercise more, read through the Bible, get debt free, pray more. But by January 3rd, the excuses start coming in waves washing all my good intentions out to sea.
Does this mean we shouldn’t even make resolutions at all? I think my beef with New Year’s resolutions is the timing. I agree with my brother, who writes in his blog, “ If you can’t resolve to change on March 3rd or August 21st then why would you suppose you’d change on January 1st?" http://pgaddy25.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/i-hereby-resolve/
When we were homeschooling our kids, I read a book by David and Shirley Quine titled Let Us Highly Resolve. This book was the catalyst to changing the way we saw our marriage and how we raised our children. We resolved to build the foundation of our home upon the Word of God and that everything we would think and act upon would be filtered through what we believe to be true. I highly recommend sitting down with your family, and deciding what it is you believe, and to resolve to live by that truth. Write it down; make it a covenant between you and your spouse and your children. It’s a lot easier to remember and to live by when you can see it posted in your home and when you have all committed to a common goal. Grab a copy of this book- it will get you started. Here, are some things gleaned from the book:
Determined in purpose…
To follow some course of action…
A resolution or determination made…
With steady perseverance- firmly determined…
To fix or settle on by a deliberate choice and will…
Constant in pursuing a purpose…having a fixed purpose…
Steadfast; bold, firm determination, steady, unshaken firmness
Below is a summary of the book offered by a young homeschooler named Allison. She gives a great synopsis of each chapter.
Chapter one-Let Us Resolve To Build our Families on a Biblical World View
Building a Biblical worldview in our families is incredibly important. It is the foundation upon which we base our lives. David Quine says, “The Biblical worldview is based upon the existence of God”. Without a Biblical view, we would not be equipped to stand against the culture and its secular beliefs. Parents need to teach their children from a Biblical worldview in order that they might know the difference when wrong philosophies and thinking are thrown at them. One lie that comes from the secular worldview is that there is no absolute truth. If so, there will be great chaos and destruction! Sadly, our culture has bought into the lies of ‘no absolutes’, and thus, is reaping the consequences. Absolute truth is based on the very nature of God. A Biblical worldview says that the Bible is our standard, and is the absolute truth.
Chapter two- Let Us Resolve to Establish Our Children’s Lives upon Truths and Absolutes
As our culture has completely turned from God, following the philosophies that teach that truth is relative, it is vital that Christians teach their children upon absolute truth. Deuteronomy 6 tells us two things that are to be passed on to the next generation—one is a personal knowledge of God, and the other is a whole-hearted love of Him. The reason this is vital is because God’s people, throughout history, have the natural tendency to follow the culture. Because the secular worldview states that man evolved, logically truth can also evolve. Secular humanists also believe in tolerance; what’s right for me may not be right for you, but don’t question my beliefs. Divergently, a Biblical worldview would believe that we base our beliefs on the Bible, the ultimate source of truth.
Chapter three- Let Us Resolve to Equip Our Children to Reason
Behaviorism has entered our culture, having upsetting effects. It treats people as robots, needing to be programmed. David Quine suggests, “If the secular position of man is correct, then it would be appropriate to program or condition him. If the Biblical view is correct, the use of behavior modification techniques on people eradicates everything that makes human life valuable from the standpoint of what God meant us to be as men in His image.” He also says, “According to a Biblical worldview we live in a cause-and-effect world. There are consequences to ideas and behaviors. …Behaviorism is rarely concerned with the why; rather, the focus is only on the external behavior. Man is reduced to biology and nothing more.” The reason behaviorism is working is because children are not being taught to think, resulting in adults reasoning at childish levels. We must learn to think and reason, or else we will mindlessly buy into the behaviorism.
Chapter four- Let Us Resolve to Enter into True Spirituality
Every man looks for fulfillment in life. If man turns to God to find a relationship with Him and true spirituality, he will find true fulfillment. If he doesn’t, he will turn to other things, looking for answers. Humanism leads to obliteration and hopelessness. A Biblical worldview leads to life.
Chapter five- Let Us Resolve to Be “By Faith” Families
Living “by faith” does not mean we cross our fingers and hope for the best. It is trusting God in whatever challenges we face. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph are incredible examples of 4 generations that walked with God, and lived by faith. They remind us that we must remember the mighty works of God and be faithful to pass them on to the next generation. David Quine says it this way, “There is no greater calling than making disciples and there is no greater opportunity than discipling our children.”
Chapter 6- Let Us Resolve to Prepare Our Children as a “Letter of Christ” to the Culture
Just as it says in 2 Corinthians 3:2, we are letters read by all men. Christians need to make sure that they are representing Christ in such a way that He is glorified. In order to do this, David Quine encourages parents to value their children—realizing each one is a precious gift from God, inspire them to know and love God, and teach them right from wrong. Doing these things will prepare them to be “letters of Christ”, and lights for Jesus Christ.
Chapter 7- Let Us Resolve to Challenge the Culture with the Truth of Christianity and the Life of Christ
We are to be the light of the world. (Matt. 5:15) This means we as Christians are not to isolate ourselves and hide from the “bad” that is out in the world. We are to be ambassadors for Christ. David Quine expresses, “Our children must be taught to resist compromising Christian thought with secular ideas. …Our children need to know how to express the Christian worldview in compelling ways to modern culture. As their ideas are applied in the various fields of study, they will be the light shining in our current darkness. This is a vital part of the 21st century apologetic. …We must be adequately preparing and equipping our children to converse with those of the 21st century.” Being capable of challenging the culture with the truth of Christianity and the life of Christ is imperative.
These resolutions became the jumping off point for our family and I am happy to say that, years later, the benefits are immeasurable. Now we are passing them on to our grandsons and our new son and daughter, our children’s spouses. Deuteronomy 6: 6-9 states:
“And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (NLT).
So, this year, in 2011, “Let us highly resolve that we will do everything that our day and location permits to put into practice the teachings of Jesus Christ” (Quine, 1996, p. 16).
Happy New Year and God bless you. Thank you for reading.