The Family Advocate
Resources & Information for
Those Interested in Family Ministries
Things to Do This Year
Write a Letter
With the popularity of communications technology (cell phones, Instant Messaging, etc.), a lot of us have lost the art of letter-writing. With our busy lifestyles and hurried schedules, it has become very difficult to find time to sit quietly and set down our thoughts on paper.
At the start of this new year, I would like to encourage you to write letters to members of your family. In them, tell your loved ones what they mean to you and how you appreciate them. Reminisce about special times together, and then pronounce a blessing on them.
Why am I advocating letter-writing for this New Year season? Because New Year’s provides a good opportunity to resolve to show our loved ones our appreciation. At the first of 2004, I did not know that my father would not be with us for New Year’s 2005. When we found that his cancer treatment was not working, and that he would have very little time remaining with us, I (along with others in my family) wrote him a letter of appreciation. However, I almost waited too long to do so. He was taking such strong pain medicine that I’m not sure he understood it all. It would have been better if I had written the letter when he was in good health.
That’s why I’m encouraging you to begin a letter-writing campaign to your family members. Then, if something unforeseen happens to you (or to them), you will have no regrets over things left unsaid. – Susan Duncan
Pray For Each Other
Daily Prayers for Your Spouse
This year, pray that your spouse might . . .
1. Realize God’s love for him/her (2 Thes. 2:16).
2. Seek godly wisdom (Prov. 2:2, 5, 6).
3. Resist temptation to sin (1 Cor. 10:13).
4. Live under God’s hedge of protection (Job 1:10).
5. Grow spiritually (2 Peter 3:18).
6. Have a compassionate heart (1 Peter 3:8).
7. Recognize God’s voice (John 10:27).
8. Feel appreciated and encouraged (1 Thes. 5:11)
9. Fulfill God’s calling on his/her life (1 Cor. 7:20-24).
10. Enjoy peaceful sleep (Prov. 3:24).
Daily Prayers for Your Children
This year, pray that your children might . . .
1. Seek Godly wisdom (Prov. 2:2, 5-6).
2. Establish a craving for God’s Word (Deut. 6:6-9).
3. Understand that sin has consequences (Num. 32:23).
4. Be obedient to authority (Col. 3:20).
5. Live under God’s hedge of protection (Job 1:10).
6. Recognize God’s voice (John 10:27).
7. Not be swayed by temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).
8. Nurture a spirit of peace and not of complaining (Phil. 2:14).
9. Develop a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s conviction (John 16:18).
10. Develop a lasting love for siblings (Psalm 133:1).
11. Enjoy peaceful sleep (Prov. 3:24).
Pray that God might . . .
* Continue the good work that He has begun in your children (Phil. 1:6).
* Keep and protect them for a godly spouse (2 Cor. 6:14).
* Allow discipline to shape godly character (Heb. 12:11).
Children: Remember Ephesians 6:1-3.
Parents: Remember Ephesians 6:4
(Daily Prayers for Your Children submitted by Linda & David Cassells, Irvington, NJ)
Because we are human, we have experienced hurt at one time or another. Possibly, some of us have caused hurt at one time or another. That’s just the way life goes in this imperfect world. When we have been hurt, or disappointed, or frustrated, or angry, we probably struggle with the issue of forgiveness. Forgiveness, especially when it is not reciprocated, or appreciated, or even acknowledged, is not necessarily fun.
Why is it a struggle? Because we’re human and we like to see people pay for their wrongs. If we have to suffer, then the person who caused the suffering should hurt too, right? If you have been a Christian for very long, however, you know that the Bible gives us some pretty strong words on forgiveness. Jesus says, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14, 15).
Forgiveness is a compilation of two words: For (before) + Give (release). The word forgiveness means to release a person before they deserve it. Our example in this is Christ. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
How to forgive:
1. Pray for God to soften your heart toward the offender.
2. Realize who is really to blame (Satan was the instigator of sin and hurt in this world).
3. Say aloud, “I forgive you.”
4. Pray for the offender and turn the consequences over to God, the righteous Judge.
5. When the offense “rears its ugly head,” choose not to dwell on it.
What to do if you are the one who needs to be forgiven:
1. Say, “I’m sorry I hurt you. I was wrong. Please forgive me.” (Note: Don’t say “I’m sorry you were hurt.” You need to accept the responsibility for the hurt.)
2. Ask the Lord to forgive you.
3. Don’t repeat the offense.
Spend Time Together
Sandra Drescher-Lehman wrote in her book, Meditations for Weary Parents, “What if we could retire when we have children, and then, after they’re grown and leave home, go back to our careers? Many people are raising young children while spending lots of time and energy at their jobs, earning enough to support themselves and their kids. We seem to want children, yet, we’re away from them a lot – so we can take care of them.
“Many parents say that by the time they had time to be with their children, their children preferred to be with their peers.”
We may tell our family members that they are among our top priorities, but do we find ourselves occupied more with trying to please others by maintaining a hurried and harried schedule than with trying to bless our families?
One way to bless our family members is by finding a segment of time we can devote to them without interruption. Love is very often spelled T-I-M-E.
Church of God of Prophecy Family Ministries