Know Your Bible

VOL. 5                           September 10, 2006                           NO. 34

Rearing A Second Family

    In our local paper last Sunday and Tuesday there were different articles and statistics concerning children that are being basically reared by their grandparents. This means that they are rearing a second family. I am fortunate enough to have 20 wonderful grandchildren. If an emergency should arise, even though my dear wife has been dead almost 7 years now, I would do my best to rear one or more of my grandchildren. I hope that such emergency does not arise. But, the majority of grandchildren being reared by their grandparents, are not because of emergencies, but basically by the failure of their parents to realize their own responsibility in the rearing of children that they have brought into this world.

    It seems from the many young people that I have talked to, that have children, the major problems arise from the separation of the couple and the leaving of the children primarily with their mother, a single mom, who then has to go out and find a job to supply the needs of her children. In doing so she has to leave her children with someone, usually that someone turns out to be her mother and father.

    Statistics tell us that there are 2.4 million grandparents nationwide that are rearing or helping to rear their grandchildren. Alabama, my own state, has 56,369 of this nationwide number of grandparents rearing or helping to rear their grandchildren.

    These separations of young parents come from the failure to recognize the requirements that God calls for in a marriage. A marriage of a man and a woman requires that such marriage is for life. God has created one man for one woman for life. Children are to be brought forth from this wedlock and from no other source or activity. But yet, many young people are "shacking up" together without marriage. Many times a pregnancy arises and the male that is involved in this unholy arrangement runs off and leaves the mother to either abort her expected child or to bring it to term and into the world without a father present to help see to its welfare. Most of the time such situation presents the newborn to someone else to look after while the young mother looks for and obtains work to pay for the child's necessities. The someone else is usually the grandparents.

    The presenting of a child or children to grandparents to look after and help to rear usually comes from sin in some form being committed by one or both of the parents. Divorce is sin, living together without being married is sin, bringing children into the world and then not caring for them is a sin. We know that this world in which we live is shot through with sexual immorality. Such sexual immorality brings forth pregnancies. These pregnancies, out of wedlock, usually bring for abortions, which is sin. Or a birth of a child without a father present to help care for its needs, which too is sin.

    Yes, grandparents who have already brought up and reared their own family, are now called upon to help rear someone else's family.

    Young people, please do not bring children into the world without being prepared to care for them yourselves. Please keep yourselves pure sexually until such time as you are married. Young man, if you father a child whether in wedlock or out, it is your responsibility to furnish the needs of the mother and child. Grandparents, I know that you love your grandchildren dearly, in spite of how they were conceived and born into this world, but please do not encourage your children to neglect their personal responsibilities toward their own children by being there to fulfill all the needs and desires of the young couple, or even the separated couple. Young couples must learn to fulfill the needs of children that they have brought into this world and we as grandparents should not encourage them to do otherwise by always being there to basically rear their children for them. Let the preachers of the land be more forceful in their teaching on these responsibilities of young couples to care for their own children.

---Jim Sasser

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The Offensive Christ

    In Gal. 5:11, we read of "the offense of the cross." To some in Corinth, nothing was as distasteful as the preaching of the crucified Savior. In Athens, Paul was mocked for preaching the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 17:12). To be perfectly honest, Christ was a "rock of offense" and a "stone of stumbling" to many among His own people and in the Roman Empire (Rom. 9:33). Why did Jesus offend so many?

    The Master Teacher offended the Pharisees because of His blunt rebuke of their customs and traditions (Matt. 15:7-12). The absolute authority of the Lord caused a sword of separation within some families (Matt. 10:34,35). When Christ comes on the stage of life, the human scene must give attention to His claims. One cannot be neutral in regard to the Man of Nazareth. Jesus plainly reminds us in Matt. 12:30 that men are either "for or against" Him. But why was our blessed Redeemer such a controversial person?

His Perfection Made Others Uncomfortable

    To be in the presence of the Son of God made anyone else's fame pale into nothingness. His speech, action, attitude and endeavor formed a matchless framework of beauty. The scribes waned in power when Jesus unfolded the Scriptures. The righteous pretense of the Pharisees disintegrated in the marvelous purity of the Messiah. Arrogant claims of the Sadducees were easily put asunder by one clear word of logic by the Savior. Caesars and Herods were always dwarfed by the heavenly countenance of the Redeemer. Since very few people enjoy being "upstaged," Jesus was intently hated. Pilate realized that "for envy he had been delivered up" (Mark 15:10).

His Salvation Was Spiritual, Not Temporal

    "Hosanna" had become a popular cry among the Jews by the time the Lord walked the Judean soil. Since the days of the Maccabees, it was a term of deliverance and meant simply, "Save us, we pray."

    In Mark 11 is told the story of Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem. But however brilliant the palm-strewn road may have seemed that day, our Redeemer was a bitter disappointment to the Jews because He came not to save them from Rome, but to save sinners from Satan's hold. He told Pilate, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36), and those coming to Him for loaves and fishes went away distraught.

He Embarrassed The Socially Elite

    The Savior's propensity of eating with sinners caused a revolt within the upper echelon of society (Mark 2; Luke 19). Jesus came "to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10), but the doctors of the law were upset with practical application of that maxim. It bothered them intensely when the large crowds came to hear him teach, because Jesus had not gone to one of their schools (John 7).

    The piercing logic by which Christ nailed their hides to the wall was constantly embarrassing (Mark 12:14; John 8:39,40). Jesus unveiled their evil hearts of selfishness in the person of the "older brother" (Luke 15:11-31), and their vain ritualistic piety in the story of the priests and Levites who "pass by on the other side" (Luke 10:27-37). No wonder they were offended! Of course, they could have repented, but that would have called for more humility than they could muster. Are there any sadder words in Scripture than John 1:11? "He came unto His own, but His own received Him not." Rather than being offended in Jesus, may God help us always to stand up valiantly for Him in the midst of a godless, decadent world.

    It is hardly conceivable that anyone as wonderful as Jesus Christ would have had as many enemies as He did. As our minds retrace the beautiful life He led, the perfect pattern He set, we are amazed to recall the fact that many in His day coldly rejected Him. How could anyone spurn such an unselfish love? Even though we cannot answer these questions completely, it remains a sobering, heart-breaking fact that thousands of His day turned a deaf ear to heaven's will, expressed so capably in Jesus, the Son of God.

---Johnny Ramsey

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