Archives for March 2016






Many of you are like me from the time your son or daughter was born, prayers began to go up for the future wife or husband of your son or daughter. For me with four sons and one daughter, a lot of prayers were going up over the years. We all want loving daughters-in-law or sons-in-law so the way we get them is to start earlier praying for them.

What do we pray for or what are we looking for when our children get serious about someone. There are many character traits that I look for but there are some that I feel like are important. Sadly not all children agree with my list when they are in the dating game. Let’s look at the character traits in the girlfriend or boyfriend that are important and make it easier for in-law relationship to develop and grow.

  1. The person knows for sure that they are a Christian is very important. What does this mean? They need to have a testimony of a time that they asked Jesus to come in and take control of their life. Does the person know for sure that when they died they would spend eternity with Christ? Scripture is clear that we are not to be unequally yoked with people who do not believe in Jesus Christ.
  2. The person tells the truth is also important. Do they always tell the truth? Do they tell the truth about their life? Do they tell the truth about what they have done? Do they tell the truth about their family? Do they tell the truth about you? When you start catching prospective in-laws in lies than there are bigger issues. In Ephesians 4:25, Paul says we are to put away lying and speak the truth.
  3. Do they exhibit a love for God and His Word? Do they want to grow in their walk with God? Are they in a Bible study and enjoy learning more of Him? In Psalms 119:10, the psalmist tells us we are to seek God with our whole heart. Do we see a love for His word in their life and actions? Are do they run from growing in their Christian walk?
  4. Do they bring out the best in your son or daughter, as we spend time with the girlfriends and boyfriends? Does your son or daughter act unkind or worst to you than before this relationship began? Do you see a commitment to help the parental relationships or pull them apart? Are you seeing changes in attitude or their commitment to God? We should always be alarmed when our children’s commitment to God, church and bible study decreases with a new relationship.
  5. Are they independent? Can they do things without the help of another? Can they work, cook, clean or volunteer without waiting on the other to help? Are they confident in who they are or do they require someone in their world every second to survive? Do they like to actually do things solo but they do not have to be alone. It is always nice to see someone who knows who they are in Christ and can trust God with decisions.
  6. Do they respect who your son or daughter is? As I think about past girlfriends and boyfriends, I love it when you see that your children are treated well. They do not cut down your children in front of you. Words that are spoken also show an attitude. Can your son or daughter be themselves or do they have to change to the other person’s likes or dislikes? Do they respect their opinions and thoughts? Do they trust each other with money, decisions and possessions? Can each other spend small sums of money without an ok from the other? Do they spend large sums of money after discussing it with the other?
  7. Do they add or take away from the family? Families are made up of all kinds of personalities. When new people add to the family instead of take away, that shows real love and patience. It takes a lot of give and take even for the blood relatives in families. It takes love for your new person in your life to make efforts to get to know the other family and become a part of it. It is easy to pull the boyfriend or girlfriend away from their family because they are not like yours. It is sad when adult children have to make decisions to stay away from their family in order to keep their sweethearts sweet.
  8. The boyfriend or girlfriend exhibits the fruits of the spirit. Paul says when we have the fruits of the spirit then we will have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. They are loving in their disposition toward others. They are happy. They do not have a critical attitude about everything. They work at peace instead of stirring of trouble. They are patient even when things do not go their way. They have kind words even when someone is unkind to them. They strive to be good. They have faith in God. They are gentle with how they treat others from adults to children. They exhibit self-control when they do not get their way.

There many things that are important and could be added but when the person is a Christian and works at developing and giving the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) then all  seven will happen. I have watched one or more than one be missing in the girlfriend and boyfriend. When this happens, prayers are going up because then it is a God problem and He is in control. Take it from someone who has made huge mistakes when some of these have not been present, began praying now. God is in control and only He can change any relationship and any person.  He will grow you and mold you as He works in your family through every relationship.

Bitter, Who ME?


Eph. 4  31


Bitter, Who Me?

When we are hurt by others, it is easy to allow that hurt to germinate in our heart and spout bitterness and resentment. When this happens, then symptoms start appearing such as an unforgiving spirit and a critical attitude toward the person. Bitterness colors every thought we have about the person or persons that caused our hurt. Some has observed that bitterness imprisons life; love releases it. bitterness paralyzes life; love empowers it. bitterness sours life; love sweetens it. Bitterness sickens life; love heals it. Bitterness blinds life; love anoints its eyes. Bitterness has come to be used for things that cause pain or grief such as bitter remarks. When a person is bitter, it destroys from the inside out.  Instead of focusing on God we focus on the target of our bitterness. Bitterness is ultimately aimed at God who allowed you to be hurt. Bitterness causes us to lose blessings that God intended for us.

Ephesians 4:31, we read “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” We are told to get rid of all bitterness. We are not to keep even a small part. Why, because any part we keep grows. Bitterness is a hindrance in our fellowship with the Lord. Many times God instructed the people to get rid of everything from a foreign people with foreign gods. He did not want the Israelites to be influence by anything.
Some people enjoy being bitter. Their purpose for living is bitterness. When people are bitter, it will come out in their speech or actions. They try to hide it but they cannot keep their bitterness always pushed down. There will be a statement, question or even an action and then the bitter words and pride come out. Bitterness and pride go hand and hand. Why? Pride convinces us that it is ok to hold onto our bitterness. Have you heard this one? “If I forgive, I am saying it was ok for them to do this.” or maybe this one “It’s ok to feel this way because of what they did.” Bitterness will come creeping up no matter how many times you push it down.
The only way to be free of bitterness and anger is through forgiveness. I have watched people hold on to bitterness for months and even years. Bitterness keeps us looking at what we are about in the past and robs us of our joy. Who wins when we let go of bitterness? You do. Admitting to yourself or God that you need to release this sin instead of holding onto it is a major deal. The enemy want to hold us in bondage as long as he can. Freedom is not his favorite word. Whatever he needs to says, he will say just to keep you in bondage. Sadly we believe the enemy’s words more than God’s. The enemy’s words are all about me and not how the other person is affected. The enemy’s words are selfish. God’s words are forgiveness, love, peace and humility. God’s Words are truth and are written in His Word and exemplified in His Son Jesus.  The only way to have freedom is through God’s words.