Raising children is different than it used to be. Somehow or other the lines between parents and children have become blurred. Somehow or other the very idea of firm discipline has become associated with beatings and abuse. Somehow or other our children’s feelings have become the foundation for our parental actions and responses. What happened to parents unequivocally “ruling the roost?” Is that now wrong? What happened to parents being authoritative and firm? Is that now wrong? What happened to the clear lines of right and wrong being the solid foundation for parental decision making? Is that now wrong? Have we begun to approach the point where we assign so many rights to children that we as parents are inherently wrong? What do children need and how are we supposed to know what they need and how to give it to them?
Most of us really don’t like ourselves. We are too tall or short, too fat or thin, too reserved or too lazy. We don’t like ourselves because we don’t think before we act or we think too much and don’t act at all. We don’t like ourselves because we are not attractive enough or we don’t have enough charisma or we are too lonely or we run away from our problems. Maybe we think we are too forward and forceful or too confrontational or maybe we think we are too analytical, too self-conscious or just plain wimpy! Whatever the case, we seem to be unhappy with ourselves, which brings us to the question – as a Christian aren’t we supposed to not like ourselves so we can be more like Jesus? So, shouldn’t we be happy in our unhappiness? Let’s stop already! Too many questions – let's find some answers!
"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." It is one of the Ten Commandments, so it must be important. But, what does it really mean? Is it just about the words we use or is there more to it than that? Can our thoughts and actions also be a manifestation of taking God’s name in vain? What is the end result of carelessly handling God’s name? How do we become more aware of ourselves so we hold the name of God with reverence, honor and respect?
Children are people too! Yes they are, but what does that really mean in terms of raising them? After all, they are children, and the object is for them to become adults...real, full fledged, mature, contributory adults! As a parent, is it our responsibility to walk them to that destination or do they instinctively know how to get there on their own? Could it be that parents are just in the way? What does the Bible say? Is the Bible right for our generation? Stay with us!
In general conversation, we often hear people use the name of Jesus and the name of God in very inappropriate ways. The sad thing is that it is so common we may sometimes not even notice it, or we may dismiss it without a second thought. Are these phrases disrespectful? Yes. Are they unfortunate? Yes. The question is - is this what is meant by taking the Lord’s name in vain or is there more to it? Is taking the Lord’s name in vain an obvious thing, or is it something that can happen in much more subtle ways? Is it possible for those of us who claim to take the name of God seriously to actually take His name in vain? Stay with us as we seek clarity in understanding just what is meant by this commandment to not take His name in vain.