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I am visiting family, and my sister-in-law invited an older child over to play with my daughter. This child’s parents must use the phrase, "Oh, my God" often because the child said it a couple times. My daughter has been taught not to say this, and at breakfast, she said, “(child’s name omitted) is using bad words.”
My reactionary reply was, "(child’s name omitted) is a bad-bad." This made for an awkward moment with this boy sitting at the breakfast table with his aunt & uncle close by who were watching him for the day.
I missed a moment to teach why we do not say, "Oh, my God" to the child and his relatives. However, I'm not sure I would have explained it sufficiently if I would have tried.
Where in the Bible does it state using this phrase flippantly is wrong?
Dear Catch Phrase,
In the Old Testament, it says to “not take the Lord’s name in vain” (Ex 20:7); it is the third commandment. In the New Testament, we are told to “let not the name of God and the doctrine be blasphemed” (1 Tim 6:1). The New Testament also says to treat God with reverence (Heb 12:28). When we have an attitude of reverence towards God, we won’t use His name as a cuss word. You are doing well to teach your child to hold God’s name in reverence and honor. You’ve been doing the right thing… the verses back you up.
Hi. Not sure what to do; my daughter is now eleven-years-old, and her friend is into the peace symbol. She has it everywhere, her clothes, her room, just everywhere; my daughter is starting to like it; my wife doesn't mind it; she likes it also. For some reason, I do not like it. I do not even like seeing it. It bothers me when I see my daughter wearing it. There is no other sign but the CROSS; Jesus is our Prince of Peace. I know it represents peace. I worry; will they mistake that peace for the peace sign that she wears? I just do not know what to do. How can that sign represent peace? I am worried about her. I just don't want anything that will dim her light. I want her to be as close to God as possible, but I don't know what to do. One thing I always remember is not to bring your children to anger; they will be discouraged. I talked to her, told her how I felt, and she still wants to keep it, and my wife likes it. She says there is nothing wrong with it. What do I tell them? Do I just over look it? Would like some advice.
No Outer Peace
Dear No Outer Peace,
Eph 6:4 could be summarized in the idea “pick your battles as a parent”. This is not a battle worth picking. The peace symbol is not a religious symbol (although, there have been times where it represented a fanatical worldview), and symbols are not in contradiction to Christ. National flags are symbols, and yet, they are permissible (1 Pet 2:13-14); many, many, christians proudly wave the American flag in front of their homes without ever wavering in their allegiance to Christ above all others. The peace symbol simply means ‘peace’ – it is up to your child and your family to give context to that term.
My daughter left home and moved in with a boyfriend. She is doing everything a married couple would do, including sleeping with him. If they both get married after living together for months, does that erase all the sin they have committed? I was always taught living together before marriage is a sin.
Dear Vexed Mother,
Living together before marriage is a sin (see “Living Together” for more specifics on that topic). If they get married, it won’t erase the previous sins of fornication… it will only prevent further sinning. The only thing that can erase sin is the blood of Christ (Heb 13:12). Until your daughter and her boyfriend commit their lives to Christ, all of their sins remain on their records. All mankind has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). If your daughter ever does become interested in talking about spiritual things, here is a list of several articles and resources that you might find useful:
Also, sermons.mvchurchofchrist.org (our downloadable sermon catalog) has multiple lessons that might be helpful to her.
I was told recently by my pastor that an elder should always put his congregation first, even before his wife. I believe that to be incorrect. I always thought that we should all place God first, our spouses second, and our children third, and that is the model for a christian family. I believe that to be one of the most significant examples to your congregation. Am I correct, or am I wrong about this?
Ducks In A Row
Dear Ducks In A Row,
You are right. The Scriptures are clear that being an elder is a voluntary position (1 Tim 3:1). A man can resign from the eldership, but he can’t resign from his marriage or his family. God makes it clear that when a man marries, a large portion of his life becomes dedicated to caring for his wife’s needs (1 Cor 7:32-34). Furthermore, husbands are clearly told that they must care for their wives as much as they care for their own bodies (Eph 5:28). A man is a husband for life; he is an elder by choice for a time.
His relationship with his children is also not optional. A father has various responsibilities to his offspring (Eph 6:4, Col 3:21, Heb 12:9, etc.).
My question is: when a pregnant woman gets baptized in water, how does that baptism affect the unborn fetus "spiritually"… considering that the Bible states that the soul is created upon conception, not birth? So technically, is the unborn baby getting baptized also?
Dear Wet Womb,
The baptism wouldn’t affect the child at all. Baptism doesn’t mean anything unless the person is believing (Mk 16:16) and repentant (Acts 2:38). Since it is impossible for an infant to believe or repent… the child would not be affected by the baptism in a spiritual way. On top of that, a child doesn’t need to be saved – which is the purpose of baptism (1 Pet 3:21). Feel free to read “What About The Children?” for further details on the spiritual condition of children.