- What are some suggestions for living a simpler life as a family in a fast-paced, distracting culture? Read ...
- How do we balance our time to be involved enough to be useful for God's kingdom without overloading our schedule to the point where we become ineffective and frustrated? Read ...
- Is there any insight on father - daughter relationships? Read ...
- How do I deal with sarcasm, not knowing when to stop "playing," when enough is enough with a 12-year old boy? Read ...
- Can you help me with sibling peace and relationships? How do you encourage teens and older siblings to appreciate and enjoy younger siblings? Read ...
- How do you encourage peace between brothers and sisters close in age? Read ...
- Can you help me with quality time versus quantity of time? Read ...
- How do you teach your children to walk with the Lord? Read ...
- How did you teach your children about sexual purity and/or dating? Read ...
- How can I deal with today's infatuation with sex, dating, and relationships with today's teens? Read ...
- How do I keep my child's heart and mind Christ-centered and focused? Read ...
- What strategies will help me to pass on belief in: In the beginning God, creation in six literal days, Adam and Eve as our real first parents, their fall into sin, death subsequently entering the world, our inescapable bondage to sin, the necessity for a savior, the evidence for Christ as that savior, Christ's death and resurrection, the journey of the believers who make up the church, Christ's return and a final judgment of all mankind? Read ...
- How can I be 'fair' in parenting? Read ...
- What guidance can you give me I'm a single parent? Read ...
- How do I deal with depression in teens? Read ...
- Are there any suggestions for parenting adult children? Read ...
1. Simpler Life: Much has to do with choices and what you seek first or hold more important.
Q: What are some suggestions for living a simpler life as a family in a fast-paced, distracting culture?
A. One dominant piece was to not pursue sports beyond general acquaintance and general exercise.
B. Another was to not have a television set in our home. We actively sat together reading aloud to the family. We did most household and yard projects together. Our children would see Maria and I reading and studying our Bible for the next study together with other believers.
C. They saw me prepare sermons and other presentations. We worked together in the home for household duties and learned to follow some simple household rules that benefits every family. These are found at: In This Our Home.
We simply explained to our children some rules were set by God for every human to obey, some rules were set by governments for orderly cooperation of society, some were set down by family units to help them better overcome and to prevent their own problems.
D. We made a list on the refrigerator where Maria would write down each item that needed my attention to fix, tend, call, et cetera that she became aware of during the day. I would consult that list every evening after work and do some things before and some after supper meal. Some items were to repair a toy or to help with some school item for our children, or to discipline or speak to them about an issue, or connect with another family member or believer, etc. This made much better use of both Maria's and my time by flexibly fitting these projects into a working framework. It stopped the tyranny of the moment - everything was not urgent!
E. Maria made exceptional use of the calendar by getting a larger one with space to write in and then making sure every event was noted. Any other event data that was needed such as food items or items to bring or whatever was written on a note clipped to the calendar. This freed us from the time scramble by having one consolidated place for the scheduled activities for the home.
F. Maria made another calendar to use for homeschool related events which included many field trips, learning opportunities, general lesson plans and more.
G. Maria made a list of daily and weekly assignments for household duties with a check-off for completion and this was reviewed before our children were allowed to ask for privileges or get extra ones for faithful performance.
H. We made a simple rule for our children (not mentioned above) that they could only ask one parent for privileges. Whichever parent was asked first made the decision, if simple, or consulted the other for more complex matters or for guidance on new areas. This made better parent communication and stopped the commotion of children going from parent to parent to get what they think they wanted.
I. We, that was Maria and I, together decided how we would journey as a family, what was important, what had lesser importance and rigorously implemented that filter in all the things that transpired.
J. We kept a clean home so that the effects of clutter would not drain the emotions and energy and cause us to boil-up with frustration and anger. This helped keep a calmer -not demure- just a calmer atmosphere which made for a greater sense of peace and better family cohesion. Return
2. Balance time for us and God: All time is God's time and we need to reset our thinking accordingly.
Q: How do we balance our time to be involved enough to be useful for God's kingdom without overloading our schedule to the point where we become ineffective and frustrated?
A. All duties of care and provision, or of love and compassion, or for any thing we do for another human's well-being is properly using God's time. The problem is thinking about 'MY' time or of doing something else that we think must be more important. Really?
When did winning our own children to become Christ's followers ever become less than most important? When did we assume that some other work is more important than what God has already given to us? All non-sinful work is useful for God's kingdom when offered to Him in gratitude and done in the spirit of excellence! (See above: 1. Simpler Life - it shows simple duties in the family take precedence.) Return
3. Father Daughter Relationships: Winning our own children to become Christ's followers was very, very important so learn to "study one another to provoke unto love and to good works."
Q: Is there any insight on father - daughter relationships?
A. In the same way that I wanted to live out a Christ-like life before others, I was to begin at home for our children to watch. It forced me to confess faults and sins to my children to ask for their forgiveness. It also forced me to maintain an honesty of application of rules and guidelines in our home. These things helped keep an open relationship. Maria would often scold me about being too harsh or not understanding their feelings and sometimes that was important - sometimes not. Feelings do not matter in wrongdoing - they will have hurt feelings so punish them anyway but not with overbearing punishment. Jesus took my stripes for me and so I learned to temper the punishment with mercy. Many punishments were just loss of privileges and a few were distinctly corporeal as the case dictated.
B. This led to honest relationships between us and our son and daughters. We would talk about the future and tell them of things coming ahead of them in their life. Many things simply required increased knowledge and skill along with maturer responsible capacity before they could be safely done. They would get to do each thing as they were prepared for it. We thanked and praised them for their successes in behavior and completed duties and opened doors for more opportunities to them.
C. Maria and I learned of Dr. James Dobson's tapes on "Preparing for Adolescence" that we secured and used with each child when they were about 12 years old. This gave them more insight into maturing physically and emotionally. We referred to this information in communications with them, especially when their hormones raged into emotional chaos. By God's grace we learned their personal interests and learning styles and used these tools to develop them and help them feel capable and competent and accepted.
D. I took each girl on a special day and together we did things they really liked. We had a long talk about growing up and changing from a child to a young woman and on to a fully capable adult who would manage their own home. I spoke of our duty to prepare them for marriage and family, for lifelong learning, for social competence and marketable skills, for submission to God and to their father until they were prepared to leave. I asked them to make a promise, for which they would get a special ring, to seek first to grow to be like Jesus as much as they could, to honor their father and mother, to follow our leadership, to prepare themselves for marriage, and to reserve themselves unto their wedding day. They agreed and both received a ring that they helped select worth more than Maria's wedding band. (We put our money into God's kingdom in this way and you know the results already.) I told them our goal (since they were already Jesus' disciples) was to help them become life-long learners who were responsible, capable, competent adults that loved their Lord, loved their fellow man, and that were beneficial to their community and country.
E. This led to preparing opportunities for them to actively see that we as parents were doing our part in fulfilling part D and they in turn were much more willing to follow. From this platform we sought out circumstances for our daughters to be "Mother's helpers" (at home and in other homes) to use this tool for family management skills and children rearing training - and then we talked about what they learned and how they would use the experience and lessons or modify them to make them even better. We required them to give back to others similar to how many others had given to them through family, 4-H program, church and others ways.
F. And we trusted them far more than most parents tend to do and we reaped far more results in heading to maturity. We spoke with them about temptation, setting up methods of protection, reminded them to heed caution signs and warning flags and then talked over the many events they participated in during this journey. All of this was relationship building with one ultimate purpose - a man or woman prepared to serve the Lord! Return
4. Maturing a boy: There is no boy who does not want to be like his dad, initially so look into the mirror what are you doing dad?
Q: How do I deal with sarcasm, not knowing when to stop "playing," when enough is enough with a 12-year old boy?
A. The first and foremost thing I took to heart in parenting was that God was a perfect parent and Adam chose to wander away.
B. The second thing I took to heart was that I, myself, was the most important model our son would ever see. It was my sobering duty to lead and mine alone. Mothers are wonderful for boys and boys love them dearly for their whole life, but dads are different. Dad is to be copied, imitated, aggrandized, bragged about and competed against! And I must set the tone of Christ-likeness (even with my faults and failures) in our home, seek God first, love my wife, and then and only then love our son and daughters. Our son was always watching and never missed a thing. I needed to learn how to balance his journey allowing for some boyishness while taking steps toward maturity. (See and include much of the material from 3. Father - Daughter Relationships.)
C. Consistent parenting was aiming at one unified goal that both parents have determined to be important. Maria reinforced my leadership though many daily life events. I remembered Johanna Wesley would take each child each week and spend special time with them to guide, encourage and re-direct. I used this and other teaching moments to actively engage our son in participating in the journey to maturity. Maria and I helped our son learn and refine many ordinary household skills, improve his poor social skills, to accept responsibility and take the consequences for actions or neglect. I reminded him that size was not real leadership but choosing a noble pathway and standing firm upon that choice was leadership that other people could and would follow.
D. We developed and promoted a platform of trust in our home and they only lost privileges for breaking well known Biblical and household guidelines for living. (Example: In This Our Home)
E. We wanted our children to learn better financial skills so we entered into an agreement with them to help them on a weekly shopper delivery route. They in turn must help with the work and sort out their pay into saving and spending envelopes according to the guidelines that we had established. This two plus year journey where we walked and talked together each week built a most beneficial platform to talk about things and aim our son higher and higher. This was a significant 'hands on' period but it reaped great results.
F. During this time our son began to struggle with who would be Lord in his life. About this same time our son had been in a boyish conflict with a neighbor girl and treated her somewhat roughly. We had a serious talk about how he would like to be treated by a bigger bully. Then I required him to go to her home (I stood on the street and he walked "the long mile" up the short sidewalk.) and knock on the door, ask for her to come so he could admit his wrong and apologize. This was a very important piece in his growing up facing a girl and admitting he was wrong!
G. Maturing a boy is not a 1 - 2 - 3 event. It is however: special relationship building, consistent modeling, aiming to a unified target, correcting and reproving, encouraging, instructing and a living journey. And before you begin, or as soon as you learn this, give your child back to God! He steers the hearts of men and kings and He can do it much better than you or I can. I took the journey of parenting as a task of stewardship and not of ownership and God was then able to work in our children's hearts better. I stepped back and watched His hand move. I had asked God to bring people into the lives of our children to steer them into God's ways and when needed to turn them aside from the wrong ways. And what a blessed journey with unexpected people.
H. Let me share that I had been asking God for a long time already to guide our children toward Himself and into life's journey. Here God was doing His part: An unknown man pulled up on the road and asked if this was the home of our son. (I did not like the appearance of this and papa bear was ready to find out what this was about.) He had heard about our son and was seeking to have him become a delivery agent for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. We told him that our son was only twelve. He was surprised but wanted to explain everything and, if not now, maybe later he could work for them. This became another tool to help mature our son. I took responsibility for the route as an adult and our son did the deliveries and received the pay. Sunday's huge route required driving the car stacked with papers over a much longer route. Together we listened to "Preparing for Adolescence" and this prepared many teaching moments and discussions about dreams and goals and the journey of maturing.
I. I sent our son out alone later the first year on his bicycle and continued helping him on Sundays. Increased privileges came with increased responsibilities and these were inseparable. And then I had a serious talk about his plans for the future. Real work helped him to realize that he needed to learn more and that helped him in pursuing learning at home with more zest. He became even more teachable and much more enjoyable to parent. Return
5. Older & younger siblings: What you cannot accomplish apart you can do better by working together.
Q: Can you help me with sibling peace and relationships? How do you encourage teens and older siblings to appreciate and enjoy younger siblings?
A. Many years ago the Reader's Digest had an article about the benefits of a family vacation. The article illustrated what many people do not seem to grasp. If you want closer family relationships get them all close together and going in the same direction. Above I conveyed our long-term family goal for our children. (3. D.) Do you have one? Did you teach it to the older children and ask them to help you convey it to your younger children by word and deed? Have you modeled and taught the forgotten practice of older children being teamed up with younger children to teach them, to help them with household chores, to be their first resource in things around the home. You get multiple benefits: improved direction for the younger, improved maturity for the older, increased cooperation between family members, help for you as a parent, and more time to really communicate with each of the children.
B. The only way people value one another is to be together and learn about one another. Plan and execute events that need cooperation, whether it is a venture of hiking to find some hidden site or planted "treasure", or some family competition over chores or yard work, or having a bake-off to donate to a charity or to give to some neighbors for good-will building. Match them up and put the challenge into it with some beneficial gain that can be accomplished and seen and appreciated. Give them a lot of praise for participating and for teamwork. Then use a reward system for each team that acknowledges them individually but especially the part about teamwork. Now use your own imagination to find variations.
C. This same method was what we used to teach our children the spirit of giving and sharing and caring. We made parent-child teams and baked goods and packaged them and donated them to fund-raising events and 4-H events. We did the same for Christmas time food packages, for preparing gift items for our large family thanksgiving gatherings, for special needs of people and for making decorations for our Christmas tree. Return
6. Peace between siblings: When momma ain't happy, nobody is happy!
Q: How do you encourage peace between brothers and sisters close in age?
A. Is the problem your own? Are you sowing these seeds yourself? Do you model the example of apologizing, making restitution, asking for forgiveness and valuing reconciliation? Where else are they going to learn it?
B. Walk them through the process step by step and explain it appropriately for their age. And then pay more attention to what is going on. Obviously there are some festering hurts that must entirely be brought forth and dealt with from each party. It is so much easier to work sooner with younger children and re-direct them to better behavior and guide their heart to understand connections with people than to finally start when the tree is already deeply bowed.
C. Boys and girls simply play differently. We recognized this same problem between the first two children and established designated play areas in the room (we had an open kitchen, dining and living area flowing into each other). Then we rigorously enforced that they could not infringe upon the other without asking permission. There was more space in the house to play and they must go there alone if they could not respectfully cooperate. Isolation is not attractive to most young children and this was a good starting place. Return
7. Quality vs quantity time: Neither gold nuggets nor diamonds are found without sifting through a lot of soil.
Q: Can you help me with quality time versus quantity of time?
A. Children measure love by quantity of time spent with them. And only in the quantity will moments open up for perceived quality. If you love them why do you want to be away from them much anyway? Bring them into your world (you want them to mature anyway) by explaining what you do, why you do it, who it is serving (very important!) and how they can be part of it by doing appropriate tasks. And talk to them about plans and hopes and dreams and then listen to them and learn from them too. It will help you guide them in the future.
B. To learn who really decides on "quality time" remember this simple historical event: (President) John Adams was a workaholic. One day he took a day off and took his young son, John Quincy, fishing. That evening John wrote in his diary, "Took my son fishing, a day wasted". His son wrote in his diary, "Went fishing with father today, the best day of my life." Return
8. Walk & talk with the Lord: First by example, then by instruction and finally by their own choice.
Q: How do you teach your children to walk with the Lord?
A. (See above: 4. B., G. & H.) Always we were seeking to win their hearts and used Bible studies, reading time, discussion time, church events, sermons, AWANA program, scripture memorization with monetary rewards (up to $300 for 300 verses in one year for one child - think $2-3 per verse now, or more), etc.
B. We prayed together with them: at meals, over their issues, at bedtime, for their protection when they were scared, etc.
C. We formally gave our children to God both in the womb and after they were born. Since they were now His we asked Him to reach into and change their hearts and we were going to be God's stewards and missionary helpers. We asked God to guide our children toward Himself and into life's journey. He in turn guided them to both love and honor us as their parents.
D. Keep an open communication and loving relationship with them for you know neither the day nor the hour when they will ask that one question or bow their own heart to accept the salvation of Christ. Return
9. Purity and/or dating: A fine ring makes a lasting seal to a promise of purity.
Q: How did you teach your children about sexual purity and/or dating?
A. (See above: 3. B., C., & D. and 8.D.) I learned long ago with public speaking the 3 absolutes: pre-tell them, tell them, and re-tell them. Do you think children are any different? We started about the time they asked their first question regarding "Where did I come from?" Simply we introduced that marriage enabled us to produce children and they grew in their mother's womb and came out when mature and ready. And in conversations about pregnancy or someone having a baby we gradually taught them more with increasing age. We did not make it a secret to be withheld. We took them to farms and showed them some anatomy and explained some things and it made perfect sense to them (they thought it disgusting at the time). And raising their own pet rabbits as part of their 4-H project for showing at the County Fair enabled them to help in the rabbit breeding with its concurrent education.
Do not hold back this education. Either you tell them the real and true in honor and dignity, or, someone else will tell them the false with indignity and dishonor toward God's design for human sexuality. And by this process you pre-empt the tendency toward pornography as a medium to learn something about human sexuality.
B. Visit: Are You Seeking a Suitable Marriage Partner? and follow the series of links at the bottom of this page for great places to start.
Addendum: We set our family computer in the open area of the home and anyone could look over and see what was on the screen. We talked about human growth and development, attraction for the opposite sex, desire to learn what the human body was like, and observing human behavior and its resultsfor bad or good. The final results for all three children were: 1) virtuous conduct in courtship, 2) gave their "first kiss" in the wedding ceremony, 3) stable marriages and raising their own families. Our youngest daughter started a young women's group at our home focused on purity, preparation for marriage and serving God in the journey. Return
10. Today's infatuation with sex, dating and premature relationships: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Benjamin Franklin
Q: How can I deal with today's infatuation with sex, dating, and relationships with today's teens?
A. (See section 9.)
B. Do build an honest relationship with your children, make sure old hurts are dealt with, clear the air and clean the deck. Only when they trust you will you be able to impress them with reasons for purity and self-control. If you had issues before/during marriage, NOW is the time to come clean and tell your children. They will see through you like window glass if you are not fully open and honest. We built our family life around transparency! And everything will be known later anyway, so why hide now?
C. Seek out someone in your church family, extended family or acquaintances that you could ask to talk to you and your children about the results of their journey and the adversity it brought. We did this. Return
11. Keeping their heart and mind Christ-centered: Aiming for nothing will get you nowhere.
Q: How do I keep my child's heart and mind Christ-centered and focused?
A. Help them to establish a long-term purpose and use the Ebenezer method to remember it. When our children made the choice to accept Jesus' payment for their sins and start a new life we marked it on the calendar, called it their "Spiritual Birthday" and had a special meal for them each year. And throughout the year we would talk about their choice and the Spiritual Birthday and its meaning and implications.
B. We helped keep their memory and focus by using an event marker - an Ebenezer stone. Children and youths need lots of reminders, not nagging, just different ways to bring up things to remember and validate them and hold them as special and important. Above I conveyed our long-term family goal for our children. (3. D.) And when they get about 12-13 (sooner for early puberty) and you have that very important growing up discussion help them set up some long term goals and you do the remembering and prompting to help them stay on track. Remember their hormones are raging and the internal uproar makes everything hazy. Gently, kindly recall with them the goals and ask how they are staying on track and if some things need to be adjusted or a goal changed. Ask them what do they feel that they need and what you can do to be of help.
C. Continue active discussions about Bible topics, ask them to search for ways to defend or explain various topics, etc. These will build them up and prepare them for resisting temptations and doubt and give validation to both their goals and your promise to help them mature. Return
12. Passing the baton: Transition your protege to higher levels of responsibility with adequate training for each level.
Q: What strategies will help me to pass on belief in: In the beginning God, creation in six literal days, Adam and Eve as our real first parents, their fall into sin, death subsequently entering the world, our inescapable bondage to sin, the necessity for a savior, the evidence for Christ as that savior, Christ's death and resurrection, the journey of the believers who make up the church, Christ's return and a final judgment of all mankind?
A. We studied each of our children to learn who they were and how God made them. Then we tailored our communications and their education to match their learning style and to enhance their skills. The same methods were used to get spiritual interests and lessons across to them.
B. We looked at life around us and talked about it in the context of how it would fit in with God's design and His plans for man and how we were doing or not doing the same things. We taught a combination of self-examination and learning from others approach to applying God's word to living. We talked about these things frequently and would go look up a passage if we could not recall it well or studied the subject to explain it better to them.
C. We discussed sermons from church, Bible studies, pieces from the radio, internet, conversations, events, anything and everything is to be brought under subjection to Christ.
D. We argued theological positions and debated which scripture principle was preceding another. We talked about how some argue for evolution and how we would present evidence against it. We did this for other subjects, too. We watched movies and talked about the underlying beliefs, premises and hidden agendas. TV watching was not important.
E. We learned apologetics for our self and them and taught them that a comprehensive Christian worldview was necessary to stand tall and stand well in Christ. [Consider sending them to Summit Minitries in Colorado or attending Worldview Weekends by Brannon Howse] Return
13. Fair in parenting: Fair is not good enough, it is simply mediocre, so aim higher and farther.
Q: How can I be 'fair' in parenting?
A. Lead them to know how to solve conflicts, to apologize for doing wrong, to restore the damages by restitution, to forgive another, to simply dismiss faults, to harbor no grudge, to be merciful even as you want mercy for yourself.
B. Lead them to a changed heart through Christ which you model yourself.
C. The opportunities, the circumstances, the differences of development and maturity from child to child are involved in life. We cannot make most things fair nor should we try, but we can make things beneficial toward the long-term family goal for our children. Each child was different and the idea that the same things will come at the same time or in the same way for them in life is an unreasonable expectation of the child. Help them to see that each child has unique circumstances and unique privileges come from them.
D. The study of both envy and jealousy will be instructive for your children. Return
14. I'm a single parent: If a man is not there to lead, then find a good man who will help them.
Q: What guidance can you give me I'm a single parent?
A. Here are the facts: Things A Father Does Best
B. Read all of the above sections 1-13 and do the best you can. And ask God to be your 'husband' and their 'Father', to fill in the gaps and bring people alongside to help guide and steer your children to Him and toward maturity. Seek out someone in your church family, extended family or acquaintances that you could ask to be a mentor and help your child mature. This was a significant part of the purpose for "godparents" in the past. Return
15. Depression in teens: Light from God illuminates every dark thing.
Q: How do I deal with depression in teens?
A. Dr. James Dobson's cassette tapes on "Preparing for Adolescence" were of great help and opened up venues of discussion.
B. About this time doubts about salvation should be addressed. Here is a good place to start: I Doubt My Salvation
C. There are also medical issues that may need to be addressed. We had one child with severe adrenal failure which predisposes to significant depression. Special medical help and diet changes were necessary along with compassion and tenderness in discussing things. Emotional outbursts came along with the problem, too. Everything was much better when the adrenal organs began to resume their function over the course of two years. No quick fix came for these things, just a slow steady push in their life to uphold God and His word, to value life and relationships until the medical issue was resolved.
D. Use a Bible based counselor as an adjunct as needed. Return
16. Parenting Adult Children: When we find it exceedingly difficult to control all of our self, how then shall we do so for another?
Q: Are there any suggestions for parenting adult children?
A. Plan A is to do all the parenting while they are young and later enjoy them as friends, and fellow brethren in Christ when they are mature.
B. Plan B is to pretend we are their friend and avoid parenting while they are young and then keep intruding our neglect of parenting upon them when they are older. We chose to put our focus and energy into plan A. Most parenting is somewhere in between. You will have to decide.
Let me explain how that transition to personal responsibility came about. Our son had developed a wonderful network of homeschool and other friends whom we enjoyed having visit our home. We distinctly chose to make our home and ourselves available for any of these gatherings. They came together for football parties where they played against each other at the elementary school field in the morning, ate lunch here, and went off again for awhile in the afternoon. When they became tired of the physical output they came back and played computer games or watched a movie together. When our son's 18th birthday approached I pondered a huge question and sought guidance from God's word about how to proceed. Sometime and somewhere there must be a transition from being under parental responsibility to personal responsibility. I realized that our son was prepared, not by government fiat, but by continually proceeding through the journey from child to adult with both God's and our help and guidance. On that day his friends assembled to share his birthday with him. I asked them (about 8-9) and our family after the noon meal to gather around our son and put their hands upon him and pray with me for him. And in that prayer I acknowledged our son, our love for him, his maturity and responsibility, his character and worth, his discipleship under Christ, and that this was the time and the hour to transfer him from my parenting duty to his personal conduct under God alone. He later told me that was the scariest day of his life. From then on we simply talked about things and he chose for himself. I enjoyed that kind of friendship very much.
B. After college when our son moved away to accept employment and needed to establish his own home there, we talked together again about setting his own rules and establishing his own patterns for daily living. We spoke too about consistency of Bible reading, assembly with other believers, how to seek out a beneficial church and more. Every choice was his alone and he alone was responsible.
C. When our son had married and became a parent himself I spoke with him again about setting an example, looking at the two parent's weaknesses and establishing few, simple, clear and consistently enforced household rules, and to model them before their children. I also reminded him that there was no excuse for two kinds of rules: one for adults and another for children. I also asserted that the biggest problem with parents was that they will not rise up to meet the circumstance. Most parents are simply too lazy and put off their responsibility of leadership, guidance and discipline until they are exasperated and finally blow-up. Every choice was their own and they together were responsible before God. Return
I hope this will be of help to you.
Sincerely and with the love of Christ.
When we do these things we live inside the blessing of the Lord!