aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community. Each category is further divided into areas important to you and your Christian faith including Bible study, daily devotions, marriage, parenting, movie reviews, music, news, and more.

Intersection of Life and Faith

<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - May 13, 2007

  • 2007 May 13




How to Lead a Family Altar


In this lesson we are taking a look at our owner’s manual. You see we were bought with a price, we are no longer our own. The Owner of your life and my life has written out just what He expects from each of us. He also has included instructions that keep us running in tip top condition - FOREVER.

Have you looked at your Bible that way this week?

·         It is the exact and perfect and errorless guide to maintenance (how to stay victorious),

·         Fuel needs (how to grow by eating spiritually),

·         Warranty questions (assurance of salvation) and so on.

There is nothing more vital nor practical than to consult the Owner's Manual God's Word!

This is part one of a look at what the Owner of we who are saved, has to say about His expectations for the Family, specifically dads

This is the standard; it is the way God designed life to be. You may be single, single parenting, childless, grandparents, and so on. What we look at tonight is vital for all of us because it is God's Word, and God's Way!


To declare God’s requirements for a family to grow in Him is an awesome task -- even humorous!  One professor early on told of a fellow:

·         He started in ministry fresh our of Seminary and as a newlywed, he preached “The Ten Commandments of Child Rearing”.

·         Two years and one child later he changed his sermon to: “Five Biblical Principles for Parenting”.

·         A few years and another child later he re-titled his sermon: “Three Suggestions for Parents”.

·         And as you can assume after ten years and three children, he was selling used cars....

Parenting is difficult at times!  At one bookstore I counted 54 titles on marriage and family with 18 on how to raise kids... many didn’t even agree!

One great authority on life Mark Twain had an interesting insight on parenting.  Consider this advice in those exasperating moments all of us as parents share.  Twain’s philosophy was: when a kid turns 13, stick him in a barrel, nail the lid on top and feed him through the knothole.  When he turns 16, plug up the hole!  Enough of human options.

Look with me at Ps. 127-28, Stages of God’s work at growing Dads.

Psalm 127:1-2   Lay a Godly foundation; v. 3-5    Trust God for blessed fruitfulness

Psalm 128:1-4   Enjoy a happy family life; v. 5-6  Reap the joys of a satisfying family in old age

I think it is fascinating to dig out and study what God recorded in a three thousand year old Hebrew manuscript from the Jewish Wisdom Literature called the Kethubim, known to us today as the Proverbs of King Solomon.


If we have a disobedient child, Proverbs says he will be:

·         EFFECT #1 = A grief to his mother: Proverbs 10:1 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son [is] the heaviness of his mother.   Proverbs 17:25     A foolish son [is] a bitterness to her that bare him. (KJV)

·         EFFECT #2 = A rebel to his father:  Proverbs 15:5     A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent. (KJV)

·         EFFECT #3 = A sorrow to his father: Proverbs 17:21-25     He that begetteth a fool [doeth it] to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy. 25 A foolish son [is] a grief to his father. (KJV)

·         EFFECT #4  = A disaster to his father: Proverbs 19:13     A foolish son [is] the calamity of his father (KJV)

·         EFFECT #5 = A disgrace to his parents: Proverbs 19:26     He that wasteth [his] father, [and] chaseth away [his] mother, [is] a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach. (KJV)

·         EFFECT #6 = A user of his parents: Proverbs 28:24  Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, [It is] no transgression; the same [is] the companion of a destroyer. (KJV)

Do we want to have shame on your hands?  Do we want to have a disaster on our hands?  Just don’t do anything, and that’s what we’ll have.


In a study conducted several years ago, sociologists Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck of Harvard University tried to identify the crucial factors in delinquency (Unraveling Juvenile Delinquency (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1950), pp. 257-271).  They developed a test by which they could predict the future delinquency of children five or six-years-old.  Their follow-up tests, four years later, provided to be ninety percent accurate.  They determined that the four necessary factors to prevent delinquency are:

1.   THE FATHER’S DISCIPLINE: Discipline must be firm, fair, and consistent.

2.   THE MOTHER’S SUPERVISION: A mother must know where her children are and what they’re doing at all times, and be with them as much as possible.

3.   THE FATHER AND MOTHER’S AFFECTION: Children need to see love demonstrated between the father and mother, and have it physically demonstrated to them.

4.   THE FAMILY’S COHESIVENESS: The family must spend time together.

Quite a promise -- what an opportunity to have such a rare and precious home.


Dr. Albert Siegel said recently in the Stanford Observer:

When it comes to rearing children, every society is only 20 years away from barbarism.  Twenty years is all we have to accomplish the task of civilizing the infants who are born into our midst each year.  These savages know nothing of our language, our culture, our religion, our values, our customs of interpersonal relations.  The infant is totally ignorant about communism, fascism, democracy, civil liberties, the rights of the minority as contrasted with the prerogatives of the majority, respect, decency, honesty, customs, conventions, and manners.  The barbarian must be tamed if civilization is to survive.”


The Minnesota Crime Commission released a report a number of years ago which sounds a lot like Dr. Siegel’s warning:

Every baby starts life as a little savage.  He is completely selfish and self-centered.  He wants what he wants when he wants it; his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toy, his uncle’s watch.  Deny these and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness which would be murderous were he not so helpless.  This means that all children, not just certain children, are born delinquent.  If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of infancy, given free reign to his impulsive actions, every child would grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, a rapist.

If we read those words and think our youngsters are excluded, we make a grave error.  Every child has the potential of becoming a study in hostility...a heartache...a model of wickedness.

There’s no denying it--parents must deal with the evil that rests in their children’s lives.  Those who fail to do so consistently and wisely will face a future of misery.


Deuteronomy 6:7-9 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

SAY IT! First, notice that the practice is an imperative. YOU SHALL TEACH THEM. Second, notice that the process is simple. TALK. Not preach, scold, cajole, pound it into them, dump on, make it be so natural a part of  your daily life you just talk about it! Let it be natural and unforced, let it flow into every part of life. The key is, if you can see God in every part of life, so will they. If God stays at church or when you prepare a lecture, they will compartmentalize Him right out of their social life, private life, sports life, dressing life, recreation life and every other part of their lives. As one great old saint said, ‘There’s no difference between the sacred in the secular’. That’s what Moses says. Let God flow into all of life. How? Moses gives us


  LET GOD OUT WHEN YOU SIT IN YOUR HOUSE. (v. 7a) And that suggests we are at home and so are they. Just open your life at mealtimes. Share how you have seen His hand in your life, His face in your devotions, His voice in your heart as you worship. Tell them how your Heavenly Father is so patient with your weaknesses, so loving with your failures, so gentle with your correction. Then live that out for them.

LET GOD OUT WHEN YOU WALK IN THE WAY  (v. 7b)  Do you walk with them? Take a talk walk and listen until you hear them through their words, and then talk to that person you see in the words. Turn off the radio in the car and let them talk. Seize those moments.

LET GOD OUT WHEN YOU LIE DOWN  (v. 7c) One of the most crucial times of ministry for us as dads is at bedtime. Do you treasure those closing moments of the day? So many little thoughts, little fears, little hurts, can all be worked on. A wise dad takes life and parenting one day at a time! We train them, lead and guide them, and let God move their hearts by prayer.

LET GOD OUT WHEN YOU RISE UP  ( v. 7d) !  Every morning we have the opportunity to start the course of not only our day but our family. Do we take this precious opportunity? Do we re-orient them toward the loving presence of Jesus by our kindness, gentleness or goodness? Or is it lateness, shortness and gruffness that they see? Rise up oh men of God...

LET GOD OUT WHEN THEY ARE AWAY FROM HOME  (v.8) !  Make it Portable! Deuteronomy 6:8 Tie them as symbols on your hands [this speaks of what we do for a living] and bind them on your foreheads [this stands for our minds, thoughts and values. god must be a part of all we do and think]. (NIV) Deuteronomy 6:9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. (NIV) Chuck Swindoll[1] says, “Here again the meaning of Moses’ words goes beyond the literal. the door posts and gates signify all our domestic and community activities. Every action of our lives, those lived inside the home as well as out, is to have His Word etched on it.”









For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit