Family Life Course Lecture 3 Guide

“Understanding Gender Differences”
Prepared by: David A. Magalong, Jr.
 

God’s Design for the Man

o   Man as a Performance Being

— Man’s Design and The Results of the Fall

·         To take responsibility for his needs and the needs of his family: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:6-10; 1 Timothy 5:8)

·         As a performance being, he finds fulfilment in achieving success in what he does.

·         As a performance being, failure is man’s greatest fear, leading to man’s inability to handle failure

—  Failure leads men to denial and deflecting blame to others or their circumstances (Genesis 3:11-12)

—  God’s purpose is to lead man to take responsibility for his failures. Rather than condemning him outright, God leads him gently through a process of admission first by asking leading questions (Genesis 3:11, 13; 4:6-7, 9-10)

·         The judgment of the man after the Fall resulted in God cursing the ground and inflicting “painful toil” on the ground, in order to humble him. (Genesis 3:17-19)

God’s Design for the Woman

o   Woman as a Relational Being

—  Woman’s Design and the Results of the Fall

·         To meet the man’s need for companionship and emotional support (‘ezer) (Genesis 2:20)

·         To be loved and cherished by the man (Genesis 2:20-23; Deuteronomy 24:5; Ephesians 5:25)

·         Her need for the affirmation of her worth can lead her to seek to control her husband in order to meet her emotional needs (Genesis 3:16b).

·         The judgment of the woman after the Fall resulted in God cursing the womb and inflicting “painful toil” in the womb, in order to humble her. (Genesis 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:15)

man vs woman

Reflection and Application

In what ways does my understanding of gender differences help me appreciate my spouse more?

Now that I understand better the gender needs of my spouse, what steps should I take to help meet them?

What attitudes, habits and ways of relating to my spouse should I change in order to help meet his/her needs in ways that honor God?

What course of action will you take to follow God’s commands?

Family Life Course Lecture 4 Guide

“Identity and Blessing in Genesis and The Jewish Culture of Blessing”
Prepared by: David A. Magalong, Jr.
 
IDENTITY AND BLESSING: GOD’S GIFTS AT CREATION
 

— IDENTITY

Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

 — BLESSING

Genesis 1:28
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

RESTORATION OF IDENTITY AND BLESSING THROUGH ABRAHAM

·         Genesis 12:2-3 (ESV)
“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing … and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF “BLESSING”

(1)    AFFIRMATION: to affirm the worth or identity of another; to honor;

(2)    IMPARTATION: to empower to succeed, prosper or multiply; to empower another to successfully fulfill his/her unique purpose and potentials given by God

The first definition relates to one’s IDENTITY; the second, to one’s DESTINY.

·         “Identity” – Who am I? (my self-perception, often determined by how others see us)

·         “Destiny” – What was I meant to become? (what God meant you to become later on, because of your God-given gifts and potentials)

·         HOW WE SEE OURSELVES (OUR IDENTITY) AFFECTS OUR PERFORMANCE AND RELATIONSHIPS, AND ULTIMATELY, OUR DESTINY.

THE POWER OF BLESSING

Blessing empowers us to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives; cursing cripples us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.

 Blessing or honor empowers us in three ways:

(1)    It affirms our sense of self-worth and belongingness and thereby enabling us to accept, appreciate, and respect ourselves.

(2)    It builds confidence in our capacity for doing (success) and becoming (destiny).

(3)    It helps release our potentials as it gives us confidence to overcome barriers and challenges in relationships and performance.

The Picasso Principle

•    When asked about the secret of his greatness, the great painter Pablo Picasso replied:

“When I was child, my mother said to me, ‘Son, if you become a soldier, you will surely become a general! If you become a monk, you will surely end up as the Pope!’ I became a painter, and I end up as a Picasso.”

BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF “CURSE”

(1) to degrade the worth or identity of another; to dishonor;

(2) to cripple or weaken from succeeding or prospering; to cripple or weaken another from successfully fulfilling his/her unique purpose and potentials given by God

•    A CURSED IDENTITY OFTEN LEADS TO FAILURE IN DESTINY.

•    Because curses – and the resulting deep sense of shame they bring – cause us to degrade or look down on ourselves or others, they cripple our capacity for successful relationships and performance, both of which are essential to the success of our destiny. They also deprive us of God’s blessings inasmuch as our parents failed to bless us or pronounce God’s blessings on our lives.

 THE POWER OF THE CURSE

Blessing empowers us to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives; cursing cripples us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.

Cursing or dishonor cripples us in three ways:

(1)    It damages our sense of self-worth and belongingness and leads us to reject, degrade and despise or ourselves.

(2)    It diminishes confidence in our capacity for doing (success) and becoming (destiny).

(3)    It suppresses our potentials as it builds barriers by instilling fear and insecurity in relationships and performance.

•      Matthew 5:21-22
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder  and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ (‘good for nothing!’ or ‘wala kang kuenta!’) is answerable to the Sanhedrin (supreme court). But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ (or ‘ulol, tanga!’) will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

•       James 3:9-10
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.”

•      Matthew 12:36-37
“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

JEWISH CULTURE OF BLESSING

•    INTRODUCTION: The story of Craig Hill and the Culture of Blessing in Jewish Families and Communities

•    Craig Hill is the founder of Family Foundations, International, and is the author of the best-selling book, The Ancient Paths, and a host of other family publications and media

 THE SEVEN CRITICAL TIMES OF BLESSING IN A PERSON’S LIFE

(1)       CONCEPTION

A blessed conception is one that is wanted, accepted and well received. It occurs between two people in a covenant marriage relationship. It occurs out of love, not physical lust.

A cursed conception is one that is not wanted, accepted or well received. It is resented as an intrusion into the lives of the parents. It may occur outside marriage and as a result of lust.

 (2)       PREGNANCY

A blessed pregnancy is one that is wanted, accepted and well received. There is a lack of emotional stress and turmoil. The child experiences nurturing and love from the mother. The child’s arrival is greatly anticipated.

(3)       BIRTH

A blessed birth is one where the sex or gender of the child is received as a gift from God and it is not a disappointment that the child is male or female. The child is received, loved and nurtured by both parents. The birth process is free from trauma.

The birth process was extra special in the Jewish culture, Not only was the family excited, so was the community. The parents prayed over the child and asked God for the name of the child. They understood that a child’s destiny was in that name. Since they would be saying that name hundreds of times, they wanted to be speaking destiny over the child each time they called the child by name. The name was given in a ceremony on the eighth day, along with circumcision, if the child was a boy.

 (4)       INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD

A blessed infancy is one where the child is accepted, loved and nurtured. The child is breast-fed and close bonding with the mother occurs. The father shows physical affection and bonding relationship with the child. The child is blessed regularly by the father (Jewish blessing of children by the father on the eve of the Sabbath every week). When applying correction and discipline, parents separate identity and behavior and do not curse the child in their correction of the child’s behavior.

When the child feels rejected or cursed in the early stages (conception, pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood) the potential result is that the child continues to live with deep feelings of rejection, depression, fear, lust, irrational anger, guilt, shame, and self-contempt.

(5)       PUBERTY

A blessed puberty is one where both parents can separate identity from behavior in dealing with the child’s misbehaviors as he/she engages in the psychological and emotional struggles of his developing teenage life. The relationship between the child and parents facilitates a free sharing of feelings and emotions, without condemnation or rejection as guidance is provided by the parents.

The father provides blessing and acceptance which enables the child to move from needing the mother’s bonding into a more responsible adult role. The child is initiated by the parents and community into his/her adult destiny (Jewish Bar-Mitzvah). The manhood or womanhood is blessed and released by the parents over the child. Security in becoming an adult is established.

The experience of rejection or lack of a father’s love in puberty can result in rebellion, deep sense of insecurity with oneself that can affect relationships and performance, gender confusion, retention of identity with the mother, or life-long unrest in the soul and quest to find or prove one’s worth and identity, because the father failed to affirm the identity of the child at this stage.

 (6)       MARRIAGE

A blessed marriage is one where the son or daughter is blessed by parents in marriage. The parents and the son/daughter are in agreement about the marriage partner and the timing of the wedding. The wedding is attended and blessed by both sets of parents.

The lack of blessing from a parent or parents creates a bondage in the soul with that parent or those parents (a “soul tie”) and a root of bitterness or guilt. That unbroken soul tie will keep the married person from functioning successfully in his/her marriage, as the bitterness or guilt with the parents will damage relationships with the spouse and children due to unrest in the soul caused by a cursed identity and desire to prove one’s worth in the family relationships.

 (7)       OLD AGE

A blessed older age is one where the children regularly bless their parents later in life. This completes the cycle of blessing.

A lack of blessing from children or grandchildren in one’s advanced years leads to deep feeling of loneliness, abandonment, rejection, failure and resentment.

It is obvious that a person raised with these blessings would have solid roots of identity and a sense of being wanted, accepted and worthwhile, and not have a sense of being abandoned or rejected.

A child who is loved, accepted and wanted would have a healthy image of himself. He would not need to perform to gain acceptance or to prove personal value (that is, he won’t develop an unhealthy “performance drive” to prove his worth or gain acceptance from others). Life could be spent being the unique person he was created to be and developing into what he was meant to become. A child raised in that environment would not fear, resent, or avoid correction. Correction would be seen as a way to keep him on track with the blessing and to train him for his destiny.

ISRAEL’S PRACTICE OF BLESSING IN THE FAMILY

•    Genesis 31:55
Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them.

•    1 Chronicles 16:43
Then all the people left, each for his own home, and David returned home to bless his family.

•    Genesis 27:33
(Isaac said regarding Jacob, his son) “I blessed him– and indeed he will be blessed!”

•    Genesis 49:28
All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.

•    Mark 10:13-16
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me …” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

•    Deuteronomy 33:1-3, 27-29

This is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the people of Israel before his death. He said, “The LORD came from Sinai 

and dawned from Seir upon us;
he shone forth from Mount Paran;
he came from the ten thousands of holy ones,
with flaming fire at his right hand.

“Yes, he loved his people,
all his holy ones were in his hand;
so they followed in your steps,
receiving direction from you …

[Blessing of each tribe follows]

“The eternal God is your dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
And he thrust out the enemy before you
and said, Destroy.

“So Israel lived in safety,
Jacob lived alone,
in a land of grain and wine,
whose heavens drop down dew.

“Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you,
a people saved by the LORD,
the shield of your help,
and the sword of your triumph!
Your enemies shall come fawning to you,
and you shall tread upon their backs.”

Family Life Course Lecture 5 Guide

“The Culture, Effects and Healing of Cursed Identities:
Shame and Redemption” (Part 1)
Prepared by: David A. Magalong, Jr.
 
A CULTURE OF CURSED IDENTITIES

•    Matthew 5:21-22
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder  and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, Raca,’ (‘good for nothing!’ or ‘wala kang kuenta!’) is answerable to the Sanhedrin (supreme court). But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ (or ‘ulol, gago, tanga!’) will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

•     James 3:9-10
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” (cf. Genesis 9:6)

•    Proverbs 18:21
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

•    Filipino Culture – culture of cursed identities

•    Damaged identities resulting from many years of colonialism, negative influence of Spanish profanity and Spanish machismo, as well as natural catastrophes, history of political and economic degradation, and broken and dysfunctional (shame-based) homes.

•    Damaged Identity -> Damaged Character -> Damaged Culture

SOCIAL EFFECTS OF DAMAGED IDENTITIES

•    Damaged identity, reinforced by the cultural influence of Western individualism at the top and grinding poverty at the bottom, produces a deep hunger for personal worth that can become a drive that is pursued without regard to or sometimes at the expense of others. It has helped reinforce:

– Pagkamasarili (individualistic self-interest)

Kawalan ng malasakit sa kapwa (apathy)

–  Talangka mentality (“crab” mentality)

–  Paghamak sa sarili at sariling bayan (self-reproach)

–  Paghamak sa kapwa (hostile mistrust and reproach of one’s fellowman)

•    “The capacity for getting along with our neighbor depends to a large extent on the capacity for getting along with ourselves. The self-respecting individual will try to be as tolerant of his neighbor’s shortcomings as he is of his own … The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbors as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant of others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.” – Eric Hoffer

•    “Self-contempt, however vague, sharpens our eyes for the imperfections of others. We usually strive to reveal in others the blemishes we hide in ourselves … It is not love of self but hatred of self which is at the root of the troubles that afflict our world.”  – Eric Hoffer

•    “Persons of high self-esteem are not driven to make themselves superior to others; they do not seek to prove their value by measuring themselves against a comparative standard. Their joy is being who they are, not in being better than someone else.” – Nathaniel Branden

“DAMAGED CULTURE”

–  James Fallows, associate editor of The Atlantic Monthly (Nov. 1987), wrote an essay on the Philippines entitled, “Damaged Culture.”

–  He described the Philippines as “a society that had degenerated into a war of every man against every man.”

–  He noted that the distinctive attribute of our “damaged culture” was stubborn incapacity to identify with the public interest so that everyone looks out only for himself or his own kin. The result is a dichotomy between the individual and his society, a glaring absence of the sense of community.

JESUS REINTERPRETATION OF THE LAW ON MURDER

•    Matthew 5:21-22
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder  and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ (‘good for nothing!’ or ‘wala kang kuenta!’) is answerable to the Sanhedrin (supreme court). But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ (or ‘ulol, gago, tanga!’) will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

•    1 John 3:14-15
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.”

•    Jesus here talks about vindictive anger (as the subject is about murder), not just common anger as a normal human response to offenses or disappointments.

•    Vindictiveness is not the same as correction; vindictiveness is not discipline. Discipline focuses on behavior. Vindictive anger (curse) attacks and damages the person for his wrong behavior. Vindictiveness does not seek to correct, it seeks to damage and destroy. It can only bring dishonor.

identity vs behaviour

EFFECTS OF CURSED IDENTITIES
Vindictive Anger Sows Four Dysfunctional Attitudes in others (spouse, children or other people):

1. REBELLION: because nobody wants to be degraded forever.
2. REJECTION: “correction = rejection.” Cursing a person because of wrong behavior communicates rejection of the person.
3. WORTH IS BASED ON PERFORMANCE: Honor comes from correct conduct. (Functional view of human worth: performance determines worth / value)

Consequences of the concept and attitude of performance-based worth:

– Success leads to self-exaltation or pride; failure leads to self-rejection.
– Leads to performance “drive” to please or gain acceptance or belongingness
– Leads to unfair comparison and destructive competition; jealousy / envy
– Causes us to look down, belittle, despise, degrade or reject others who fail to conform to expected behavior or performance standards
– Parents will pressure children to “perform” (get high grades, excel in any and every performance, never bring dishonor to the family), as a means of gaining or proving their worth or as a means of protecting the parents’ worth or reputation. Failure to perform according to parents’ expectations leads to the degradation or rejection of the child.

4. SHAME: the feeling of being rejected as a person and isolated from others because of something wrong I did; the feeling of wrongness of being, not just of action; leads to feeling of abandonment, loss of sense of belongningness, and ultimately, self-rejection.

SHAME-BASED HOMES PRODUCE DAMAGED IDENTITIES
Dysfunctional families are usually shame-based familes. They have the following seven unspoken “rules” that inflict shame to children:  (John Bradshaw, Healing the Shame That Binds You)

1. Always remain in control of all your behavior, feelings and circumstances, because you must always conform to expected behavior, or else!

2. Always be right and do it right. Never make a mistake or never lose at anything. All behavior must always conform to expected standards. Perfectionism rule in the family and there is no room or allowance for the learning and growing process. “Be good” means “Be perfect.” Do everything perfectly the first time.

3. When rules #1 and #2 fail and things get out of control, get angry and BLAME someone and get back at him (others, God, or yourself). Children are made responsible for the parents’ anger.

4. Deny everyone in the family five basic human experiences:

          -Feel (Control all emotions, it’s wrong to feel sad, lonely, hurt, fearful, or whatever. You’re not allowed to cry or show you’re hurt or afraid)

-Perceive differently (What parents say is always “right,” period. It is wrong to express a contrary opinion. You are not allowed to speak your own mind.)

-Need (Always be self-sufficient. Never bother anyone with a need. It is selfish and wrong and a shame to have a need or ask a favor.)

-Believe differently (Parents tell you the “Truth” all the time. Everyone else are to be held in suspicion. Everyone else is wrong and not giving you the truth.)

-Imagine (You have no right to imagine anything beyond what parents show you or tell you explicitly. Deny your “adventurous” thoughts, your intuition or hunches, and suppress all your “wild” ideas.)

5. Always hide and maintain secrecy regarding anything wrong (including parents’ wrong actions) or anything that can bring shame or dishonor to your parents or the family name.

6. Never acknowledge a mistake or make yourself vulnerable to anyone. Never bring shame to yourself even when you’re wrong or when you’ve done something wrong.

7. Don’t trust anyone. People and relationships are erratic and untrustworthy.

Shame thus causes us to focus on preserving or protecting our “image” before people (“image-management”) and please people, rather than focus on doing what is right to please God. Leads to compromise (people-pleasing) and dishonesty (avoidance of exposure: resorts to denial, concealment, or self- justification). Shame keeps people from upholding integrity in their lives.

EFFECTS AND MANIFESTATIONS OF DEEP SHAME OR DISHONOR

• “I don’t feel I’m of worth or I belong because of what I have done.”

• “I’m never ‘good’ enough to be accepted or loved, because I never measure up to expectations. I’m so bad.” (Here being “good” means being “perfect.”) (leads to self-degradation)

• “Something’s really wrong with me because I could never please people, inspite of all my efforts, and I hate myself for it. I wish was not who I am. I wish I was never born.” (leads to self-contempt or self-cursing)

• “I don’t deserved to be loved. I only deserve to be rejected, hated, condemned and punished – because I’m a bad person. I’m not worth loving.” (leads to self-condemnation and self-punishment)

• “I live to keep pleasing people, never myself, so I can gain acceptance and approval. I’ll do anything, even compromise what I believe, lie, or even sacrifice everything I value, just to feel I belong and that I’m ‘good’ in their eyes.” (leads to abuse by others and to self-abuse)

• “I’m never good enough in their eyes anyway; I’ll just do everything that they hate, to show them that I’m really everything they think of me, that I’ve finally accepted that I’m really a bad person, and so I’ll show them and get back at them!” (shame leads to rebellion)

• “I can never let people know who I really am. Because they may not like me. I’ll just keep putting up a face before people. I can’t be honest. I can’t be myself. I’ll just have to live a lie so I can be accepted and feel that I belong.” (leads to loneliness, withdrawal and isolation)

GENERATIONAL BLESSING AND CURSE
In the late 1880’s, Benjamin B. Warfield, a professor at Princeton University, traced the known descendents of Jonathan Edwards. Edwards was the first president of Princeton and one of the key preachers in religious revival known as the “Great Awakening” during the eighteenth century.

Richard Dugdale, a sociologist and a contemporary of Warfield’s, traced the known descendents of Max Jukes. Jukes was a Dutch immigrant that arrived in New York in the early 1700’s. He was an atheist and an alcoholic who couldn’t hold a job. He married a prostitute.

blessing vs curse

Family Life Course Lecture 6 Guide

 “The Culture, Effects and Healing of Cursed Identities: Shame and Redemption” (Part 2)
Prepared by: David A. Magalong, Jr.
 

 THE HEALING POWER OF FORGIVENESS

 WHY FORGIVENESS?

•    TIME DOES NOT heal wounds, only FORGIVENESS does.

•    Time only helps us FORGET the wounds for a while, until something triggers the pain again.

THE DAMAGING EFFECTS OF UNFORGIVENESS

•    When wounds don’t heal for a long time, they can HARDEN our hearts towards life, towards others and even towards God.

•    Until we forgive, we are SLAVES of our past and can become emotional CRIPPLES throughout life.

•    Unforgiveness creates “soul ties” with the people who have hurt us. It binds us to them and keeps us reliving the hurt done in the past (like a haunting ghost) so that it continues to affect us until the present time.

•    Unforgiveness RETARDS personal growth and INHIBITS positive character formation.

•    Much of our uncontrolled anger (rage) today is rooted in the rejection / dishonor we suffered in the past that we have not yet released in forgiveness.

It is an expression of our self-protectiveness, often pursued at the expense of another.

It manifests when:  Old wounds are TRIGGERED and  when unmet needs in the past remain UNMET in the present.

WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

•    FORGIVENESS means the CHOICE to renounce personal bitterness and release the offender(s) from all moral obligations to you for the damage done to you by refusing to avenge yourself or demand recompense for the damage done. (Mark 11:25; Colossians 3:13)

•    It means entrusting the justice issue to God who promises to execute justice and repay you for damage done to you. (Romans 12:19-21)

•    It means refusing to dwell on the memory of the offense and committing never to bring up the matter again to the offender or to other people.  (Hebrews 10:17)

•    Forgiveness is a CHOICE, not a FEELING.

Hebrews 10:17

Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”

It is a commitment that involves three promises:

1.       I will not bring up the matter with YOU again.

2.       I will not bring up the matter with OTHERS anymore.

3.       I will not dwell on the MEMORY even when I remember it.

•    Forgiveness is a DUTY, not an OPTION.

Mark 11:25-26  “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your sins.”

If we do not FORGIVE, God will not forgive us.

•    Forgiveness must be SINCERE, not given GRUDGINGLY.

Matthew 18:34-35 “In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Forgiveness can be more sincerely done when we are able to TRUST God to take care of the damage done to us. The assurance of justice diminishes resentment. (Romans 8:28)

•    Forgiveness is a WAY OF LIFE, not just an occasional ACT.

Matthew 18:19-21
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up

to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

We daily live in a FALLEN world. Offenses should not take us by surprise but should be EXPECTED.

•    Forgiveness comes full circle when you choose to bless the offender.

1 Peter 3:9   “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:15 “Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.”

Romans 12:17-21

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Luke 6:27-28, 35-36

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you … But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

BREAKING FREE FROM THE BONDAGE OF INNER VOWS

What is An Inner Vow?

An Inner Vow is any vow that you make because of deep resentment against an offender or against oneself in order to seek vindication or preservation for your wounded soul.

Genesis 27:41
“Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, ‘The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.’”

Examples of Inner Vows

•    “I will never forgive … I will never forget …”

•    “I will never do to my children what my parents did to me …”

•    “I will show them [or, prove to them] how wrong they are about me …”

•    “I will never allow anyone to step on me or oppress me again …”

•    “I will never let this pass by without getting even … I’ll get back at them …”

•    “I will never love again …”

•    “I will never be hurt again … I will never allow anyone to hurt me again …”

•    “I will never admit or show my emotions again …”

•    “I will never trust anyone again …“

•    “I will never try that again … I’ll never be embarassed again …”

•    “I will never do anything right … I’ll never be good enough …“

•    “I will never amount to anything … they are right!”

The Danger of Inner Vows

•    It opens your soul to demonic infestation and control

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.  (Ephesians 4:26-27)

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca, ’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:21-22)

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
(John 8:44)

 The Negative Effects of Inner Vows

1.   Binds you to the past hurt that triggered it, and keeps the wound open and unhealed.
2.   Creates in you an inner “drive” to fulfill a personal “mission” to seek vindication for your cursed identity.

3.   Can render you incapable of forgiveness – leads to hardening of the heart towards people.
4.   Traps your angerin a bombshell – ready to explode when a similar offense is done to you.

5.   Prevents you from growing emotionally as it entraps your emotions in a self-protective mold that  keeps you emotionally tied to the wounds of the past.

6.   Renders you incapable of receiving love from others or from God.

7.   Often leads you to repeat in your own life the pattern of offensive behavior you hated in others in the past, or push you to the opposite extreme.

8.   Sometimes leads to recurring or lingering diseases caused by unrest in the soul.

Breaking Free From Inner Vows

•    Recognize and Confess them

•    Renounce and Cancel them

•    Release forgiveness and Choose to bless the offender(s)

•    Receive God’s love and forgiveness and Commit to walk in Love & Affirmation

•    Recognize your new identity in Christ and Change your view of yourself accordingly

Walking in Love & Forgiveness As A Way of Life

•    Eph 4:31-32.  “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

•    Col 3:13.  “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

•    Mark 11:25.  “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Affirming your identity in Christ

•    Ephesians 1:3-8, 11-14

•    Ephesians 2:4-10

•    Romans 8:1, 15-17, 31-39

•    Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2

Family Life Course Lecture 7 Guide

“Understanding and Dealing with Teenage
Independence and Rebellion” 
Prepared by: David A. Magalong, Jr.
 

“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words… When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly ‘wise’ [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint”  – Hesiod, 8th century B.C.

“Our youth now love luxury, they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders, and love to chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, cross their legs and tyrannize their teachers.”  – Socrates, 4th century B.C.

“Young people are always over-confident about what they know and what they can do, until experience humbles them.” – Plato (?)

The teenage period is the most critical stage in person’s life as it marks the transition between childhood and adulthood. Because of the confusions and conflicts that are inevitably experienced at this stage, many parents need to equip themselves with the proper knowledge and approach that will help them properly guide and care for their  teenagers so this stage will be less traumatic for both.

•   THREE FACTS THAT CAN COMFORT PARENTS OF REBELLING TEENS: 

 1.  It’s a temporary stage.  This is a normal stage that every teenager goes through that is only temporary and that “this too will pass.” What can prolong it is the wrong approach that parents usually employ in dealing with their teens. (Which means: parents need to be more patient)

2.  Rebellion not intentional but part of a normal growth process.  Your teenager does not necessarily want or intend to rebel (unless he /she has been abused or neglected by the parents in the previous years), but is simply struggling with his/her emerging need to have more freedom to be his/her own person and with the confusions and emotional instabilities that usually accompany the hormonal and psychological adjustments of this difficult stage of a person’s development (Which means: parents should not be harsh or confrontational)

3.   You are not alone.  You are not alone in helping and guiding your teenager – God is also at work. (Which means: parents should engage more in prayer for their teenagers at this difficult stage of their development and learn to trust God that, however this journey ends, God will bring out the best for them.)

•    UNDERSTANDING YOUR TEENAGER’S NEEDS AND STRUGGLES

1.  It’s partly about hormones.  Teenagers experience hormonal changes that affect their appearance, desires, emotions, attitudes and, consequently, their self-esteem (often tends to be low) and vital relationships (deep conflicts and hurts). Mood swings, heightened sensitivity, sudden flare-ups, depression, behavioral inconsistency, and hostility often accompany these changes.

2. The struggle to find themselves.  Teenagers are struggling to find their own identity and individuality apart from their parents and their own place in this world. Their being different from their parents doesn’t necessarily mean they are intentionally rebelling.

3.  Freedom to build independence.  Teenagers are developing adult needs, such as the need for independence and autonomy – the freedom to make their own decisions and to explore the world around them their way, as well as the need to feel respected as emerging adults. Conflict with their parents is one way that they explore their developing individuality and independence.

4.  The power and responsibility of decision-making.  Teenagers need to learn how to make decisions and take responsibility on their own without depending on their parents, as part of their psychological “weaning” process. Because of this need, they tend to not always agree with their parents’ point of view and sometimes feel the need to challenge their parent’s decisions and their parent’s attempts to control their decisions. For parents, success means doing the right thing; for teenagers, success means achieving responsible independence, even when they do wrong in the process, so they can learn from it.

5.  The need for their peers and friendships.  Teenagers need a social life with their peers that will help them explore, learn, adjust, grow and gain acceptance and belongingness in relationships with their peers and the world around them. This is also the stage when they become much interested in romantic relationships and sexual matters.

6.   Respect my privacy, please!   Teenagers have a heightened need for privacy which gives them a new sense of control and autonomy, to test things out for themselves without parent input. They need to feel that their privacy is respected.

7.    The need for guidance and support.  Teenagers consciously or unconsciously need parental guidance and support in this difficult and confusing stage, but not in a dictating, condemning, or critical way that can put down their self-esteem and their growing sense of independence. They need their parents to become their friends rather than being the high authority controlling their lifestyles. Teenagers may feel all-powerful and all-knowing but at the same time they experience fears of inadequacy and failure. They need to feel help and support throughout this stage in their lives.

8.   Please be patient with me.  Teenagers need their parents to understand and be patient with their confusions and bad decisions, their emotional turmoil, defiant attitudes and rebellious reactions, as they are going through emotional, psychological and relational adjustments and conflicts in their struggle to “come of age.”

9.     Trust and Tolerance.  Teenagers need to know that we have confidence in them and their potential to make good decisions and be responsible for themselves, even when they fail and make mistakes. Help them become independent without becoming delinquent.

10.   Bless me, please!  Teenagers need the regular verbal blessings of their parents during this difficult time, to empower them and protect them as they journey through their unfamiliar experiences and struggles.

•  DEALING WITH TEENAGE REBELLION

1.  Strengthen the bonds.  The key to successful parental care during this difficult adolescent stage is to form a strong bond with a teenager so that he/she feels close enough to reveal all the problems and confusions to his/her parents. The following steps will help realize this.

2. Focus on dialogue, not judgment or “lectures.”  Parents need to engage their teenager in regular non-judgmental, friendly dialogue, instead of confrontation, allowing the teenager to express what’s in his/her heart and mind and guiding him/her with the right questions towards better perspectives for wiser decision-making. Listen, listen, listen and understand before you talk. You cannot intelligently guide your teenager from where he/she is if you don’t know exactly where he/she is. Less talk, more ears is more helpful to them (James 1:19-20).

3.   Be calm and reasonable, and keep praying.  It is normal for teens to assert their independence and test their limits and yours. Responding by being consistent, calm, encouraging, and reasonable will help maintain trust and respect. Pray for them regularly and trust God as your partner in helping guide them through this difficult stage. This too, will pass.

4.  Allow them enough freedom to make their own decisions.  Try to grant as many of their requests in non-threatening matters and give them room to make their own decisions. Get enough information about what they decide to do, so you can decide if it will seriously affect their safety or well-being, or not.  Express concern and caring with respect to their safety rather than appear controlling. If teenagers feel constant control by you over their lives, that will trigger the mighty force of rebellion embedded in them. Refuse to make decisions for them so they can learn how to make them. Parents may be more careful in decision-making than teenagers because they want to avoid failure or mistakes, but teenagers often need enough experience of failure or mistakes to convince them and shape their ability to make better decisions.

5.  Don’t magnify the minor issues.  Allow your teenager to be different from you or make decisions that you may not make. Allow them to choose their own tastes in clothes, hairstyle, hobbies and activities because these give them a sense of identity and create a stronger bond between parents and teenagers.  Allow them also to make mistakes in their decision-making and when they do, help focus them on the lessons they can learn. In deciding how much difference should I allow, the question always to ask is: will it bring harm or not (whether to self or others)? Will it seriously offend others or God? If not, let them be. Don’t create an issue when it’s not absolutely necessary.

 When to Intervene?
 a.  When they get into self-destructive modes – drugs, alcohol, violence
b.   When they bring harm or damage to others – harm to persons or property
c.    When they engage in potentially damaging relationships – premarital sex, gangs, lesbian or homosexual relationships
 

 6.   Teach them to be accountable for their actions.  The goal is to be understanding of adolescent development and at the same time help your teenager understand that there is clear connection between their actions and consequences. Guide them with the right questions and input to help them see possible consequences to their actions or decisions, including consequences God reveals in the Bible, His Word, if relevant to their situation. Ask them how they will take responsibility for the consequences. If they insist (and the consequences are not seriously harming), and they usually will, then challenge them to prove you wrong. In the end, they may indeed prove you wrong, or prove you right.

7.  Discipline when necessary – be firm but fair.  Establish appropriate and fair consequences to morally unacceptable behaviour and violation of agreed rules. Explain these consequences to them and be firm and consistent in applying them. Abuse of privilege must be met with temporary deprivation or suspension of those privileges. They must understand the law of action and consequences and learn to take responsibility for the consequences that follow their actions. This is essential to their training for responsible independence and adulthood. Sometimes a parent can ask his teenagers to decide on what consequences he/she should give them when they foul up. This helps them establish a strong sense of responsibility for their actions.

8.   Don’t let fear take control – allow some risks.   Teenagers on a regular basis are constantly re-evaluating the boundaries you set for them, whether they are too strict, too lenient, or overprotective. Avoid becoming overprotective of them because you have to let them fall down and fail so they’ll learn. You must never let your fears get in the way of protecting them. It is your fears which create the overprotective boundaries you put in place for them and in order to combat this you need to be prepared to watch them fail at least once in their lives.

9. Relinquish your own dreams for them and be open.  Parents need to recognize that their teenagers may develop or move in a direction contrary to what parents expect them to be or dream them to be. The key is to recognize their uniqueness and be open to their different possibilities of becoming. Forcing them to take a life-path that we want even for their best interests (in non-moral areas) may exasperate them and trigger rebellion. It takes much wisdom to discern whether we are absolutely right in what we want our teenagers to become or we are dead wrong in that we may actually be hindering them from becoming what God meant them to be, based on their unique potentials, personality and passions.

10.  Give them lots of love, forgiveness, encouragement and patience.  Teenagers need to be assured that when they make mistakes, they are going to realize it and prevent it from happening again in the future. It is your duty as their parents and friends to always love them no matter what, and to reassure them that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as they learn from those mistakes. In dealing with teenagers during this critical period you need to let them know they will always be loved and you will always be there to support and help their wounds to heal.

11.  Respect, affirm and give them trust.  Treat them and speak to them respectfully and don’t embarrass them in front of others, as you are their role model. Affirm their unique strengths and potentials, and never compare them with others. Tell them you love them and that you are proud of them when they make wise and mature decisions. This makes them feel satisfaction and guides them toward the right path and encourages communication with their parents. Affirm your confidence in them even when they’re not perfect and made many mistakes. That confidence they feel from you can challenge them to grow and become the better person they want to be.

12.  A teenager’s greatest need.  It is at this most crucial stage of our children’s development, they need God most of all (Ecclesiastes 12:1). You can lead them to faith in God by modelling that faith (by not allowing fear to dominate your treatment of your teenager and by not giving up on them) and showing God’s patient love to them inspite of everything. They will listen more to you when you talk about God and the Bible when they see these qualities in you. But do you have that right relationship with God to empower you to be the kind of parent that can guide your teenager successfully in this most troubling stage of their lives?

Family Life Course Lecture 8 Guide

“Balancing Family and Work”
Prepared by: David A. Magalong, Jr.
 

A.  Assessing Your Priorities

1.  Marriage is a lifetime commitment. Your work is not.

• A strong marriage is the foundation of a happy family and a fulfilling business life.

• A marriage will not work successfully unless you put a lot of work into the marriage.

• A marriage works not because a couple are compatible but because they are committed to make it work.

• Putting enough work into your marriage means putting enough time into it.

2.  Parenting is the highest calling and responsibility in society.

• Its primary task is the formation of the moral infrastructure of a nation. Your business, though vital, falls only secondary.

• Preparing our children for the future is as essential as preparing a future for our children. The proper molding of their self-esteem, their moral character and convictions is essential to their future success and security.

• The character of a society is the reflection of the character of its homes. The home is the workshop of the nation and the index of its future.

3.  Your work is important to the security and future of your family.

• The financial security of a home is also important to the emotional security of the wife and mother.

• Education is costly and yet is absolutely necessary for our children’s future.

• Providing sufficient food, housing, health maintenance, and recreation are essential to the normal psychological and physiological well-being and development of a family, especially the children.

B.  The Keys:

– Meeting the Deeper Needs

– Communication

– Taking Time

1.  Meeting Your Family’s Deeper Needs

 Common Misconception: The standard of measurement of a good father and husband is his being a good provider.

 Quality time with your family is determined by how you meet the deeper needs of your family.

 The deeper needs of a family are relational, emotional, moral and spiritual in nature.

 Relational Needs: attention and affection

Emotional Needs: security, significance (affirmation)

Moral Needs: example, instruction, counsel

Spiritual Needs: Faith in God, inner moral accountability

2.  Communication

Open – builds bonding and intimacy in the marriage and family. Communication is 80% listening, 20% talking.

Honest – builds and strengthens trust, which is foundational to any lasting relationship

Loving – affirming, appreciative, encouraging, thoughtful.

3.  Taking Time

Take Time for you family:

• Avoid bringing your work home.

• Don’t forget to bring something home to your family from time to time.

• Spend regular time each week to enjoy meaningful conversation with your spouse and children.

• Regularly express affirmation and encouragement for your family members.

• When you’re home, serve your family to your best ability. Your home is not just a place of rest but also of fellowship and loving service.

• Go out with your spouse at least twice a month – best once a week. Be sure you talk about meaningful things during your date.

• Go out with your family at least once a month.

• Never turn down your spouse and children when they seek your help or assistance in any way. If you can’t give time immediately agree to a schedule and be sure to fulfill it.

• Keep your promises, even when it’s difficult.

• Put the happiness of your spouse foremost in everything.

Family Life Course Lecture 9 Guide

 “Strengthening Marital Integrity”
Prepared by: David A. Magalong, Jr.
 
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Hebrews 13:4
 

A.  Sex is a Gift from God   (Gen. 2:24-25)

 1. Sex is a covenant act of union  – Gen. 2:24

“For this cause the man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.“

Three acts: “Leave – Cleave – Weave“

The sexual act is the enactment of the covenant of marriage (Malachi 2:14) where the two become one flesh. (“Cleave” – a covenant term in the OT.)

It is the pledge of loyalty to that covenant relationship.

 2. Sex is a covenant relationship  – Gen. 2:25

“The man and woman were both naked, and they felt no shame.“

Sex itself is more than an act – it is a relationship. The sexual act is the physical expression of that union and intimacy of hearts that is to characterize the total relationship of the man and his wife – a relationship that is motivated by love and where the man is to primarily takes initiative.

 B.  Lust is a Perversion of God’s Gift

(1 Thess. 4:3-8)

Lust is a self-indulgent sexual desire that separates the sexual act from the relationship as it focuses purely on the physical enjoyment without real concern for the nurture of the relationship or the happiness of the other. (1 Thess. 4:3-8)

Love is a relationship characterized by

1. Openness

2. Care

3. Understanding

4. Respect

5. Responsibility

and is motivated by a desire for intimacy, which is the goal of marriage according to God’s purpose (Gen. 2:24-25; Mal. 2:15 NIV).

C. Sexual Fulfillment is God’s Will 

(1 Cor. 7:3-5)

Sexual satisfaction is important to maintaining the sexual integrity of a marriage.

 Overcoming obstacles to sexual fulfillment:

1. Be open to each other about problems in your sex life.

2. Be considerate and understanding to your spouse when he/she is not ready or when he/she is in need.

3. Respect and be sensitive to the feelings and needs of your spouse relating to your sex life.

4. Read good Christian literature on sex and sexual problems (ex. Tim La Haye’s The Act of Marriage)

5. Be willing to make adjustments and work together to help bring sexual fulfillment to each other in creative ways.

6. Daily seek to meet each other’s emotional needs outside of the sexual act.

7. Seek the help of a mature and competent Christian counselor of the same sex. Best, do it together.

D. Sexual Purity in Marriage is God’s Will (Heb. 13:4; 1 Thess. 4:3-8)

Establish safety perimeters around your marriage:

Do’s:

1. Do spend regular time praying together for one another’s needs regularly (James 5:16)

2. Do spend a lot of time together, talking with each other openly, honestly and lovingly (“speaking the truth in love”- Eph. 4:15), and listening to each other (James 1:19-20)

3. Do focus on making your spouse happy and seek his/her happiness above your own (Deut. 24:5; Titus 2:4-5)

4. Do seek to satisfy each other sexually (1 Cor. 7:3-5)

5. Whatever disappointments you have with your spouse let the Lord be the first to know, then communicate it to your spouse gently and with respect. If all fails, entrust it to the Lord (1 Pet. 3:1-7)

6. Focus regularly on what you can appreciate and affirm in each other (Phil. 4:8)

7. Serve the Lord together (Gen. 2:18; Josh. 24:15b)

8. Focus on raising godly children (Mal. 2:15; see vv. 13-15)

Dont’s:

“Be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.” (Rom. 16:19b)

“Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matt. 10:16)

1. Resolve to maintain the purity of your marriage.

2. Avoid talking with a person of the opposite sex alone.

3. Never share your marital problems with a person of the opposite sex, except to a professional or spiritual counselor.

4. Always wear your wedding ring and let it daily remind you of your commitment to your spouse before God.

5. Refuse to enjoy green jokes and any kind of obscenity (Eph. 5:3-6)

6. Refrain from letting a person of the opposite sex ride with you alone in your car, except if its a group.

7. Avoid looking frequently at an attractive person of the opposite sex (Matt. 5:28-29; Job 31:1)

8. Avoid the company of sexually motivated people. (1 Cor. 15:33)

9. Keep away form all forms of pornography. (Eph. 5:3-6)

10. When you are faced with sexual temptation – run, flee! (1 Cor. 6:18; ex. Gen. 39:10-13). The sooner, the better!