Family

Choose for yourselves today the one you will worship . . . . As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord. – Joshua 24:15

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A loving family is a treasure from God. If God has blessed you with a close knit, supportive clan, offer a word of thanks to your Creator because He has given you one of His most precious earthly possessions. Your obligation, in response to God’s gift, is to treat your family in ways that are consistent with His commandments.

We live in a fast-paced, demanding world, a place where life can be difficult and pressures can be intense. As those pressures build, you may tend to focus so intently upon your obligations that you lose sight, albeit temporarily, of your spiritual and emotional needs (that’s one reason why a regular daily devotional time is so important; it offers a badly-needed dose of perspective).

Even when the demands of everyday life are great, we must never forget that we have been entrusted with a profound responsibility: the responsibility of contributing to our family’s emotional and spiritual well-being. It’s a big job, but with God’s help, we can be up to the task.

When we place God squarely in the center of our family’s life-when we worship Him, praise Him, trust Him, and love Him-then He will most certainly bless us in ways that we could have scarcely imagined.

So the next time your family life becomes a little stressful, remember this: That little band of men, women, kids, and babies is a priceless treasure on temporary loan from the Father above. And it’s your responsibility to praise God for that gift-and to act accordingly. Today, think about the importance of saying “yes” to your family even if it means saying “no” to other obligations.

– Steve Arterburn

When you think about it for a moment, it certainly makes sense that if people can establish a loving and compatible relationship at home, they have a better chance of establishing winning relationships with those with whom they work on a regular basis. – Zig Ziglar

You cannot honor your family without nurturing your own sense of personal value and honor. – Stephen Covey

Living life with a consistent spiritual walk deeply influences those we love most. – Vonette Bright      

 

 

True Forgiveness

God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. – Acts 5:31

True Forgiveness

Without true forgiveness, bitterness will inevitably tear our relationships apart. No relationship or family will hold together for long if the people involved are unable to grant forgiveness. I don’t just mean saying the words “I forgive you” but actually relating to your spouse, child, parent, or friend with your actions that display forgiveness. Giving voice to forgiveness might create peace temporarily, but when that forgiveness isn’t evidenced by the way you live, true reconciliation will never result.

Let’s learn from a man who went before us. Absalom, the third son of King David, suffered much and also caused much suffering because forgiveness wasn’t a part of his life. When Absalom discovered that his sister had been raped by his half brother, anger and hatred built up in him for two years until he finally killed him.  Then to avoid the wrath of his father, he was on the run for a period of three years. And even after he returned he and his father, David, didn’t speak to one another for two more years. And you thought your family had issues!

Well, Absalom never regained the love he had for his father. In fact, Absalom spent the rest of his life scheming against his father, King David. His life ended while he led a rebellion against his father. Absalom is an example of the wasted years and broken hearts that can result when we harbor bitterness and are unwilling to forgive.

– Steve Arterburn

To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness. – Robert Muller

Forgiveness liberates the soul, that is why it is such a powerful weapon. – Nelson Mandela

Overconfidence/Self-Assurance

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. – Habakkuk 3:19

Overconfidence & Self-Assurance

Overconfidence is usually viewed as a negative personality trait.  The story of Joseph in the Old Testament is a good example. His youthful boasting to his brothers got him in trouble. Based on a dream, he claimed that the others would someday bow down to him. This, coupled with his father’s favoritism, led to jealousy and broken family relationships.  In the end, his brothers sold him into slavery, cutting him off from his family altogether.

Through years of difficulties and suffering, however, Joseph’s overconfidence was developed by God into a mature self-assurance. This self-assurance made Joseph capable of tackling and succeeding when most other men would have run away. His  integrity, took him from being a prisoner to being second only to Pharaoh. And, as only God could orchestrate, Joseph was in a position to save the young nation Israel during a time of terrible famine.

Overconfidence without God’s perspective will invariably lead you down the pathway to other personal problems and mistakes. On the other hand, self-assurance based on a strong faith will enable you to overcome incredible obstacles and see God’s hand in your life.

Are you overconfident and relying on your strength or intelligence to succeed? Or are you self-assured, knowing that God is the source of any strength, favor, or success? One way leads to trouble while the other God will use for His plans and His glory.

– Steve Arterburn

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. – Dr. Seuss

A Daddy Vacuum

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God – Psalm 68:5

A Daddy Vacuum

I grew up in a family where my father was always there for me. He was a good man. A funny man. A bedrock of faith with a compassionate heart. I was truly blessed to be born into his family. Some of you weren’t so fortunate. Your father wasn’t a positive role model for you. Or, your father deserted your family or died young. You grew up without a father, and just hearing someone refer to “dad” or “daddy” is painful for you. The absence of that all important person in your life left an insatiable void within you.

The role of your father is so important that it can affect how you perceive God as your heavenly father. I hope that no matter how bad your experience was with your father, that you won’t be afraid to see God as your father. Consider and take solace in the words of Psalm 68 promising that God will be a father to the fatherless.

A friend of mine who grew up without a dad describes it as having a daddy vacuum. Is that where you are today? Do you have a vacuum of your dad, or your mom, or maybe your entire family? If so, cling to God’s promise that he’ll be a father to the fatherless. How that looks will be different in each situation. Some of you will take solace directly in and with your heavenly father. To others, God will bring a father-figure into your life to begin to fill that void.

If you have a daddy vacuum, pray for God to fill that void within you, however He chooses. If you don’t have that vacuum, and you’re a man who was blessed like I was to have a dad that loved me and was there for me, look to see if God might be calling you to be a father to the fatherless on His behalf.

– Steve Arterburn

It is much easier to become a father than to be one. – Kent Nerburn

New Life Live: January 15, 2016

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From the Archives of New Life Live, This Show Originally Aired January 7, 2004

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Topics: Anger, PTSD, Paranoia, Trust, Difficult Conversations, Self Worth, Adult Children, Pornography
Hosts: Steve Arterburn, Dr. John Townsend, Dr. Henry Cloud

Caller Questions:

  1. How can I get over my anger at having PTSD after my husband shot me 3 times for trying to leave him?
  2. I am paranoid that my therapist knows things about me that I didn’t tell her; what can I do about it?
  3. What is the best way to approach family members who never discipline their 3yo when she disrupts our family gatherings?
  4. How can I learn to love and treat myself better after childhood abuse and many foster homes?
  5. My 24yo son won’t work and doesn’t think his addiction to internet porn is a problem.

Suggested Resources:
Download the Tip Sheet – Six Steps to Leave Your Baggage in the Past
You Can Do This  (option for God Will Make a Way, no longer available from New Life)
How to Have That Difficult Conversation  (updated version of Boundaries Face to Face)
Changes That Heal  (option for How People Grow)
Self-Worth CD

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

New Life Live: July 3, 2015

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Topics: Affairs, Divorce, Grandparenting, Marriage, Parent Issues, Boundaries, Dating, Sexual Integrity, Pornography
Hosts: Steve Arterburn, Dr. Dave Stoop, Dr. Jill Hubbard

Caller Questions:

  1. After several affairs, we are divorcing; how do we explain it to the grandkids who adore him?
  2. My father is angry at me for marrying my husband; how do I get him to accept my husband?
  3. My husband’s family is unkind; why would he just say to accept it?
  4. Has my daughter been affected by me growing up in an enmeshed family?
  5. Do I set boundaries or leave if my husband uses porn again?

Suggested Resources:
Healing Is a Choice
Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers
Is This The One
Worthy of Her Trust

Here is the Women in the Battle workshop testimony Steve read on the radio today:

Prior to this weekend, my husband and I could never resolve issues because hurt, frustration, and disappointment were always chasing us around. This weekend has been life changing. The new techniques and understanding of each other’s baggage has lifted the scales from my eyes so that I can see my husband as the man God intended. Anyone considering attending the New Life Marriage Weekend should sign up now! Beg, borrow or steal to get there, but go! – Kirsten

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

Purifying Your Branch

But if serving the Lord seems undesireable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

Purifying Your Branch

Let’s be honest: most of our family trees aren’t very pretty. In fact, for most of us, those branches are filled with adultery, pornography, divorce, substance abuse, addiction, physical violence, and more. And even if your family hasn’t been affected by one of these, your family history hasn’t failed to affect you in one way or another.

At some point, then, every man must decide: will I purify my branch of the family tree, or will I allow this poison to seep through to another generation?

Purifying your branch of the family tree begins with driving a stake into the ground with the decision that you and your family will follow Him.

When you do this, you transition your family from a pattern of sickness to the possibility of living for God. For generations to come, people will look at your family tree and see that under your leadership, life was influenced for good rather than for evil.

Going against the trends of past generations isn’t easy to do. But it’s worth the effort to blaze a new path—a path that’s honorable; a path that’s worth following; and a path that will show God’s grace and goodness to future generations.

– Steve Arterburn

One must live the way one thinks or end up thinking the way one has lived.” – Paul Bourget (1852–1935)

New Life Live: April 10, 2015

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Topics: ForgivenessAffairsMarriageParentingSexual AbuseChildhood IssuesSexual IntegrityDivorce 
Hosts: Steve ArterburnDr. Dave Stoop

Caller Questions:

  1. How do I forgive the family friend who molested my daughters? 
  2. My wife had an affair 2yrs ago; how do I forgive the other man? 
  3. Am I unable to make eye contact with others because my dad berated me? 
  4. How do I approach my 18yo daughter about her birth control pills? 
  5. Should I divorce my pastor husband because he won’t go to counseling? 

Suggested Resources:
Forgiving the Unforgivable
Forgiving Our Parents
How We Love Our Kids
Secrets Young Women Keep

This is the Healing is a Choice testimony Steve read on the radio today:

Before coming to this weekend I needed to understand the grief from my father’s death 13 years ago. I needed God’s direction on whether I should reconcile with my alcoholic ex-husband of 27 years marriage, and guilt for my unfaithfulness towards end of marriage.  This weekend has been freeing from my guilt of leaving my marriage, and helping me forgive my husband but knowing what to require for reconciliation. I am leaving this workshop feeling God’s forgiveness anew, and with a fresh look and attitude at what has happened in my life and what to look forward to. Colleen

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

Family Influence

All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace. – Isaiah 54:13

Family Influence

Our ideas about God are first shaped—and very powerfully so—by our families. So it’s little wonder that as relationships within the family have declined, so has the understanding of what it means to have and maintain a relationship with God.

As divorced and overworked parents spend less time with their kids, the concept of a personal God and Savior becomes less clear and less meaningful. An absent father sets the framework for a child who views God as absent too. And a passive father leaves his children wondering if God can or will become involved in their problems and day-to-day struggles.

I’m pointing to the men for two reasons. The first reason is so you men can begin to identify how your family environment growing up has subtly shaped your thoughts and beliefs about God. If your experience has been positive, great! If it hasn’t, please let the present, active, loving Father correct your thinking and heal your heart. Turn to Him and see that He is good.

The second reason is that many of you are fathers yourselves or will be. Your children are watching and listening to you more than you think. And you influence them—and their thinking about God—more than you know. I want to encourage you, men, to walk with Jesus Christ! For those of you who’ve had the blessing of good parenting: pass it on. For those of you who haven’t: let the wreckage stop with you!

Steve Arterburn

“Our children give us the opportunity to become the parents we always wished we’d had.” – Louise Hart (1881–1950)

If She Weren’t Family, I’d Sue Her!

Just before Heidi’s father passed away, he loaned a large sum of money to her aunt.  Now she and her brother are due the repayment as part of his estate, but her aunt won’t pay the bill. It’s frustrating for Heidi, who wants family peace, too. Watch the video for more.

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