“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet out inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, slight affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:16-18).
Hey Gang: I have always been amazed that so many people carry a gas can full of fuel with them waiting for the next slight affliction to surface so they can poor gasoline on it and accelerate and intensify its growth.
It was the norm in most of our parenting classes that we had the ‘agony and pain contingent’, who would shake their heads in affirmative with each point that we would make that might help bring peace into their families whose brains were like wind-tunnels. BUT new ideas that required any effort picked up speed as they went in one ear and out the other.
We always had the ‘arms-crossed, stern, belligerent faces’ that sent us clear messages My daddy or mom did it this way and there ‘ain’t nothing in this world going to change the way I am going to do it.. I mean look at me, I’ve been doing it this way for twenty years and it has worked for me!”
In one session, one of those belligerent arm-crossed gents sent a clear message: “I am here under duress and I will put in my time but “ya ain’t got nothing that I am going to take out of this room”. The topic of the day centered on “Your choice: Agony and pain verses peace and tranquility. For many that is like a foreign language.
When he arrived home from the class and turned up the driveway he could hear the boom-boxes booming at the peak of their woofers and twitters. When He walked into the house it was like walking into a house of bedlam! Suddenly the message of the morning class began to sink in, and he got very smart very rapidly!
At the following Saturday class Mister Belligerent looked like the Cheshire cat, no crossed arms, no sneers, a smile that consumed his whole face. When I questioned “What in the world happened to you?” he explained what he ran into when he got home the previous Saturday. He immediately called a family meeting where suggestions of the past suddenly became rules with consequences and he closed by saying, it has been pure joy to come home from work at night.
Paul talked about being confronted with slight afflictions in his letter to the Corinthians, such things as “Five time I received 39 lashes, three times I was beaten with rods, once stoned, three times shipwrecked, danger from robbers, dangers from countrymen,” etc. etc. etc. Houses without discipline and order are homes filled with slight afflictions that rapidly turn into ever increasing afflictions when not dealt with.
James tells us: “Rejoice when you encounter trials, it builds scar tissue in your soul that prepares you for the tough days ahead.: He also included this piece of truth: “Trials make us perfect and complete, lacking nothing”. In other words, if you do nothing to address and fix a slight affliction, when it occurs, it will soon turn into a full-grown alligator that will make your life exceedingly miserable!
We began every parenting class with a promise: “Within the covers of the Word of God are wonderful suggestions in how to raise your children in a way that peace will prevail in your home – even when they are teens”. We announced that the teen years do not have to be the tribulation period in your home. That, if you raised your kids according to Deuteronomy 6:4-9, there is an excellent possibility you would not need one of our parenting classes. Oh, one last points before I say sayonara, a couple thousand kids along the way have said, if they had their druthers they would druther have their parents together, in a nice house that is filled with love and DISCIPLINE (which really means teaching, not punishment!)