After the teaching sessions were over yesterday, we had the privilege of taking Samuel, Samira, and their three children out to dinner. Over the last few years, I have grown to appreciate, love, and respect this family more and more as I have grown to know them better.
I spoke with Samira, asking her about the teaching from the conference and the ways in which she has benefitted from it. With tear-filled eyes in as good of English as she could find, she expressed to me her gratitude that we’ve had this conference at this time. For me, if no other pastor or wife benefitted from what has happened over the last three days, this conversation confirmed the value of what has been taught.
The sessions for day two were as follows:
Session 1: Don on “A Heritage of Holiness”
Session 2: Cindy on “Respecting Your Husband”
Session 3: Don on “Biblical Discipline”
Session 4: Don on “Family Worship”
Don’s first session on “A Heritage of Holiness” contained some very practical advice on raising godly children from the account of Jonadab in Jeremiah 35. The narrative in Jeremiah 35 contains numerous hints as to the type of father that Jonadab was based on the actions of his children. Don contrasted this with Eli the priest and the indulgent and negligent manner in which he raised his children. One of the most practical points of application came in the suggestions of Andrew Murray regarding child training:
1. Do not give the child too many commands at once. Begin with only one.
2. Do not command what you cannot enforce.
3. Prove your authority when it’s easy to encourage the child to obey.
4. Let the command be given in a controlled tone.
5. Remember that self-rule is the best rule for ruling your children.
Furthermore, Don continued down a trail of instruction on child training in his other two sermons, “Biblical Discipline” and “Family Worship.” Through all of the teaching, which often got down to the nitty-gritty of day to day life with our children, Don consistently pointed everyone to the Gospel and redemptive purposes of parenting with grace.
Finally, from Ephesians 5, Mrs. Cindy gave a well-rounded overview of what respecting one’s husband looks like. In the midst of her examples and practical exhortations, she unearthed the essence of the why and the how of respect: respect is a matter of the wife’s heart and it is not endowed upon a husband only when he deserves it; it is, rather, given in obedience to God for the husband’s position.
As I spoke with Samira, it was these truths that had impacted her heart. She has gained a greater desire and willingness to put the Word of God into practice in both her relationship with her husband and her children for the glory of God here in Egypt.