I recall a number of years ago the story of a young family who had joined an Anabaptist church from a non-Christian background. They were so happy to be part of God’s family and the Christian brotherhood. Soon they realized this group had the added blessing of a Christian Day School for their children to attend. How delighted they were. It wasn’t long; however, after their children were in attendance, they became disappointed at the stories coming home with their children about the carnal behavior of the students from this Christian Day School. What was going on?
My wife and I were invited to a sign language class by our deaf friend. She was teaching us ASL (American Sign Language), and she wanted us to meet the people from her church. Most of the people were like us, learning how to communicate through sign language. We were greeting other folks when I asked a couple how long they were married. The woman replied, “Too long!”
At work one day, an elderly couple was checking out at the register. I appreciate hearing from older people how long they have been married, so I asked them, “How long have you been married?”
“Things are different than they used to be,” Uncle Jon told his sister. “They just have to get used to it.” Uncle Jon had gotten used to various changes in his Mennonite church life. As a young man, he got used to the idea of discarding the plain suit in favor of a lapel suit. (When Jon appeared ready for church in his new suit one Sunday morning, his father chuckled at the boldness of his son; his mother cried.) Jon enjoyed courting a young woman who also followed worldly fads, then got used to a wife who cut her hair and later discarded her covering.
Traveling down the freeway, I saw it again. The bumper sticker on the luxury motor home said, “We’re spending our children’s inheritance.” Would we have seen this forty or fifty years ago? I think not. What has changed?
My mind went to the Sunday morning devotional. Brother Merlin’s (all names changed for confidentiality) chosen Scripture centered around Proverbs 23:23. Buy the truth, and sell it not; also, wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. Buy the truth? How does one do that? Sell it not; how could one sell the truth?
The greatest “project” or “venture” a married couple can embark on is bringing children into the world and raising them to maturity. All other ventures, whether it be in business or hobby, pale in comparison both to the cost of investment and yield for time and eternity.
This phrase is found three times in the Scriptures (ITi 3:2,12, Tit 1:6) and each time it is a qualification for an ordained man. What does this phrase mean? Does it mean ordained men could not practice polygamy but others could? Or does it mean a brother can’t be ordained if his first wife has died and he has remarried? Or perhaps it means that someone who is divorced and remarried cannot be ordained.
This is probably not a new concept to most of us; in fact, it may be in danger of becoming a cliché because of overuse. There is a lot of focus on this today and there should be. Few things are more important than the blessing of mutual satisfaction and communication from a healthy parent/child relationship. A home where the parents have the hearts of the children is a home that is ideally equipped to handle the stresses and turmoil of everyday life and simultaneously maintain an equilibrium of harmony, happiness, and stability.
Our discussion began when my seat mate commented that he had observed my wife across the aisle. In observing her modest attire, he had questions about our identity. This opened the door for me to feel free to ask him questions about his faith. He seemed happy to inform me that he was a devout Catholic.
What is a father? The dictionary definition is “a male parent” along with several other definitions in the realm of science and religion and society. The verb forms are more interesting – “to beget; to be the creator, founder, or author of; to act as a father toward; to assume as one’s own, take responsibility of, to perform the tasks and duties of a male parent.”
It could be said that value is in the eye of the beholder. Value is described as the importance or worth that we place upon something. We measure worth by the qualities we perceive. While viewpoints and perceptions vary greatly in the world today, most people place family and friends high on the list of what they value.