Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Restrain Them from Evil

"The Lord disciplines those he loves."
Hebrews 12:6 (NIV)

What can we do that all our household may serve the Lord? May we not endeavor, first, to restrain them from all outward sin--from taking the name of God in vain and doing needless work on the Lord's Day? Those you hire may be restrained by argument or persuasion, but if they will not yield, they must be dismissed, be it ever so inconvenient.

(Note: While I am absolutely not an advocate of divorce over any little thing, I do believe that Scripture allows for divorce in other cases beside adultery. I do not wish to get into that subject here, but wanted to add that side note for clarification.)

Your spouse cannot be dismissed, except for adultery. In other cases, what can be done if open sin is habitual? All that can be done is done partly by example, partly by argument or persuasion, as dictated by Christian prudence. If evil ever can be overcome, it must be by good. We cannot beat the devil with his own weapons. If this evil cannot be overcome by good, we are called to suffer it. When God sees it to be best, He will remove it. Meantime, continue in earnest prayer; in due time, He will either take the temptation away or make it a blessing to your soul.

While your children are young, you may restrain them by advice, persuasion, and reproof, and also by correction. Only remember, this means is to be used last--after all others have been tried and found ineffectual. All should be done with mildness and with kindness. Otherwise, your own spirit suffers loss, and the child reaps little advantage. Only do not think yourselves wiser than God. He said, "Chasten...while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying" (Proverbs 19:18 KJV).

Daily Devotional Insights
Renew My Heart
John Wesley

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