Ask Your Preacher
My daughter thinks it's okay for women to love women in a way that men and women are supposed to be in a relationship. She tells me, “God is love,” and that's what her relationship is, and she also believes that I am judging her. I know that the devil has blinded her, and my heart aches because I raised my children in church, and I pray for her deliverance. What do I do?
Sick Over This
Dear Sick Over This,
If you are looking for verses to show your daughter on the subject of homosexuality, the clearest two in the New Testament are Rom 1:26-27 and Jude 1:7. However, as you implied, the problem is more than just finding the verses; it is how to act toward a child that has chosen a sinful lifestyle.
There may not be any greater pain on this planet than the pain a parent feels on behalf of their children. Whether your children have hurt you or you are watching your children hurt, it is a devastating heaviness upon your soul (Pr 10:1).
All you can ever do for your grown children is be a good example, pray for their souls, and stand firm in the truth. Be that light of Christ that they need to see (Matt 5:14). Hate the sin, but love them. Sin causes pain in people’s lives, and hopefully, when that pain gets deep enough – they will choose to look to your example and the Lord’s Will for answers.
I have two children who are into meth. I have been praying for them along with other family members. I don't understand why these prayers are not being answered. Is there a certain way I need to pray or ask? I'm new to this, and think I'm not asking in the right way.
I also feel like Satan is starting to attack my family and me for praying. Does this happen? I have no peace, and I'm afraid to go to sleep because of nightmares... but those could be from all the stress I have in my life.
If you can suggest any books to help me become stronger in my faith and learn to pray, I would greatly appreciate it; I'm too embarrassed to ask. Thank you for your time.
Mom Who's Trying
Dear Mom Who’s Trying,
God desires to answer our prayers, and He says that a righteous christian’s prayers do make a difference (Pr 15:29, Jas 5:16). However, when we pray about things, it isn’t as simple as we just get what we are asking for because God has multiple principles that He must keep in balance at all times.
If God simply forced people to become better people because you prayed for them, that would remove our freedom of choice. After all, He tells us that we reap what we sow in this life (Gal 6:7). We make certain choices that get us addicted to sin… we must make choices (often painful – like disclosing the sin) to remove the addiction. The fact that you are praying for your children is wonderful, but they are responsible for their own decisions, and God won’t force them to change if that isn’t what they want.
As far as books we would recommend, the best thing you can do is read your Bible – especially the Psalms – to get you through this time of grief. The Psalms are songs and prayers written by faithful people who sometimes suffered greatly. That is our number one recommendation to someone in your situation – read the Psalms. Otherwise, if you need help finding a congregation, we would be happy to help you find one.
Does God give us advice on how to correct our children, such as spanking? Today, society tells us to use time-outs instead... but that doesn't seem to always work.
Dear Tired Parent,
The Bible is very clear that spanking is an acceptable and effective method of training children. Pr 29:15 says that “the rod” and reproof give wisdom to a child. Pr 23:13 says that spanking a child will not kill them, so don’t withhold correction. Pr 22:15-16 says that all children need the rod of correction to drive foolishness from their hearts and that spanking them will help protect their soul.
The Bible never teaches that parents should abuse, torture, or hit their children out of anger or frustration, but it does teach that corporal punishment is part of a healthy parenting method. Part of nurturing our children up in the chastening and admonition of the Lord does involve punishment, and that includes spanking (Eph 6:4).
I have spoken with people who feel our job as christian parents is to homeschool our children. Are there verses in the Bible to support this idea?
Educate Me Please
Dear Educate Me Please,
There are lots of verses that say parents are responsible for the education of their children, but none of them say you must formally homeschool your children. Whether a child goes to a public, private, alternative, or home school, Mom and Dad are responsible for making sure their child is properly trained up (Pr 22:6). Many parents believe the only way they can properly train their children is to homeschool them. On the other hand, just as many parents feel that taking advantage of the opportunities provided by various education systems is a wise way to responsibly educate their children. The Bible doesn’t specifically tell us how to train our children; it just says it is our duty. We should be very wary about creating a law like “christians must homeschool their children” if God hasn’t made that law. If the Bible gives only the general command to train up our children, we shouldn’t go beyond what He wrote (1 Cor 4:6). Parents should use whatever tools they see fit to nurture their children in the chastening and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4).
I don't understand this scripture: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5 NIV)
Was I born a sinner? I thought all children were born sinless?
The NIV reading of that text sure sounds like David is saying that he was born in sin, but the NIV isn’t a word-for-word translation and takes liberty in translating that verse (read “What’s The Best Translation” for more details on Bible translations). Other translations, such as the New American Standard and New King James (much more literal translations), simply say “I was brought forth in iniquity.” (NKJV) This is a much more generic statement than saying David was born sinful. Ps 51:5 could mean one of two things:
- David was born sinful.
- David was born into a sinful world.
We need to look at other verses to see what the Bible teaches about babies being born in sin. The sum teachings of the Bible say that babies are born without sin, and babies are perfect in God’s sight (even David, the writer of Psalm 51, recognized that his dead child was going to be in heaven [2 Sam 12:23]). Sin is not a birthright; it is a choice (Gen 4:6-7, Jas 1:13-15). Humans sin when they choose to do wrong; they are not born in sin.
The false teaching of ‘original sin’ is very common in today’s society. If a congregation teaches that you are born in sin, they are false teachers. Sin is a choice we make in life (Isa 7:15-16), and all humans are born upright and good (Eccl 7:29).