Tag Archives: righteousness

Millennials, Full Nests, and Sour Grapes…”Watch Your Example, Mom & Dad, We’re Roomies!”

mom, dad, millennialMother, Father, children, Grandmother, and Grandfather…all used to live in one house. But things changed. Over time, wealth grew, jobs changed, people became more mobile, independent, and isolated. So kids moved out and got their own place. Until now.

According to a recent Pew study, for the first time in 130 years, a higher percentage of those 18-34 (the current millennial generation) are living at home than those who are moving out. In the Depression, a greater number lived at home, but the percentages haven’t exceeded those who move out…until now. And it isn’t just America: 50% of Millennials in Europe and Japan, 40% in Canada, and growing percentages around the world.

In the 60’s, people couldn’t move out and get married fast enough, but this generation is waiting until an average of 29 years old. In fact, Pew’s research suggests that ¼ of Millennials might never choose to marry. So it is goodbye, “empty nest,” and hello, “full house”…for a long time!

But regardless of why kids stay home longer, one thing is for sure – prolonged proximity will impact future generations. And, as parents and 32% of Millennials adjust to life at home together, society will either be benefited or harmed. Looking to the Bible, we can see why.

Sometimes family can be a great influence. Timothy was raised by a godly mother and grandmother who taught him scripture from a very young age (1 Timothy 1:5). Their devotion gave Timothy all the right tools to understand the words of life. And Timothy became a strong servant of God. Many children leave the home and forget the example of godly parents. But if children are in the home longer, perhaps they will receive the benefit of a good example longer.

Sometimes, though, family can have a negative influence. In Ezekiel 16:44, people were negatively saying, “like mother like daughter.” Sometimes the nation required punishment because a corporate representative sinned. And sometimes, families felt the weight of sin to the 3rd and 4th generation because they had adopted the sins of their parents and grandparents. If children stay in these homes longer, the example of the parents’ sins might take hold in their lives as well.

Ultimately we are all responsible for our own behavior. God told His people to stop using the saying, “The fathers eat the sour grapes, but the children’s teeth are set on edge.” He said, “All souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). Those who live righteously will be blessed.

Family can be a powerful influence. But Jesus reminds us that we must put Him above all else, preferring Him to mother, father, children, selfish desires, and even life itself. Houses might get divided. But there is an eternal reward for those who are able to shrug off negative influences and live for God today (Matthew 10:34-42).

Covered by Christ…and a Wedding Dress???

baby+on+wedding+dress+train+060214

The Apostle John told us the reason that he wrote to believers was “so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). Therefore, as a preacher, I love to hear Christians sharing the joy of being secure in Christ. But every now and then, I cringe at what I hear, because…well, some folks are a little confused by what John meant.

Take, for example, the ‘baby train’ wedding. That’s the best way I know how to describe it, anyway. When Shona Carter-Brooks wanted to involve her 1 month old daughter in her wedding, she tied her into the train of her wedding dress and proceeded down the aisle with baby riding in tow. Perhaps not particularly tasteful, but who am I to judge?

But it was Shona’s defense that peaked my interest. Shona defended her unusual accessory to “haters” in the media and Facebook by claiming that her baby was “awake and well-secured” and “covered in Christ.” Awake and secure? Ok. “Covered in Christ?” How so?

In her response, Shona explained, “The answer is we do what we want when we want long as Jesus on our side…” Is that really the case? Can Christians “do what they want” as long as Jesus is on their side?

Allow me to offer a few theological suggestions:

1)      A baby being “covered by Christ” has nothing to do with the safety of being pulled down the aisle on a dress. Children are innocent of sin and would be in heaven if they were to die. But neither Jesus, nor any NT writer, suggests that babies will be kept from all injury because they are “covered by Christ.” We ought to be pure like children (Mark 10:16), and we must become like children to enter heaven (Matthew 18:3), but no physical protection in this lifetime is promised to children or any of us.

2)      Being set free from the law of death merely makes us slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:18). The freedom Jesus provides us is not to “do what we want, when we want,” but being transformed by the renewing of our minds into what He wants (Romans 12). He’s not on my side; I’m on His! If I stay that way, I can expect a home in heaven with Him!

3)      We should never throw our freedom in Christ in the face of others. Rather, we should glorify God in our service to others, not lording our freedom over the world or as an excuse for inappropriate behavior (Galatians 5:13).

Riding the wrong coat tails…or gown, may lead to your eternal separation from God. Sadly, many people will form opinions about Christianity from events such as this. But there is only one source of security and eternal life. Will you search the scriptures and see what the true words of life are? Don’t let yourself get tied to the wrong gown! The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come” (Revelation 22:17)!

The “24 Hour” Queen

Denise Garrido and Riza Santos

For a brief period, all of Denise Garrido’s dreams were coming true. She had been crowned “Miss Universe Canada,” and she was going to have the opportunity to represent Canada in the Miss Universe competition this December. The next day though, Denise watched as her dreams were smashed. In a humiliating and heart-wrenching moment, Garrido was stripped of her sash, crown, and trophy.

You might ask, “What horrible thing did she do?” Nothing. This terrible moment for Gerrido was based on a “typo!” Due to a typo in entering scores when a judge’s handwritten scores were entered into a computer, Denise was falsely crowned. Not only had she not won the competition, but she had actually come in fourth! Apparently, false advertising means nothing in pageants since the committee took away the honor and gave it to another!

Since, Miss Garrido will be too old to compete in the next Miss Universe competition, it was her “last chance” at this crown. Now…not to belittle what Denise has been through, but her situation pales in comparison with those who have been falsely crowned in this world. Just as in the pageant world, all mistakes will be corrected, and there won’t be 2nd chances in eternity. What was a brief moment of shock and horror for Denise Garrido will be eternity for others.

Of course, I am speaking of a crown of righteousness, about which the Apostle Paul writes, “the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). We need not worry about being stripped of that crown if we are truly His. But some people are wearing crowns given by false teachers. Sadly, they are “24 hour” Kings and Queens. Jesus made that clear in Matthew 7:23. There will be some who will claim access to the crown who never knew the real Jesus.

The crown is only for those who will follow His Word, not for those who wear crowns that rust and fade. Check out the real Jesus today…and look for a true crown in heaven!