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Train up a child in the way he should go..
by Dr. Chas Brothers
1/26/2010 / Relationships
Just when you think you have everything figured out, the Bible and its words are there, teaching, healing, convicting and blessing. I thought I was too old for a religious epiphany but that couldn't have been farther from the truth.
In the book of Proverbs, chapter 22, verse 6, we are told to "train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." I never realized until recently how true this statement really is.
In the first half of my life, I was trained by man. A man who was viscous, a brutal dictator who spent every waking minute of his life thinking up new ways to make mine a living nightmare.
My stepfather was that and so much more. It's hard sometimes to relate to others the horror of living through his physical abuse not knowing when or if he was going to cut loose on me. Couple that with his keenly sharpened skill of mental torture and he was a formidable opponent.
Not knowing what I was doing wrong to incur his wrath drove me nearly insane. I loved him and it seemed like he was trying to make me better somehow but I didn't see it. When I was 16, I found out that he wasn't my real father that answered a lot of my questions.
In the world I was growing up in, this all seemed to be the norm. I mean, what else could I have done to stop from being chained to a pole in our basement at the ripe old age of five? Not once when I was growing up did he ever call me by my name. He would either talk at me or more times than not, down to me.
I learned through some old letters that I had found that my real father was no prize either. On more than one occasion before I was four, he used to beat me with extension cords justifying it by saying that I bore a strong resemblance to my stepfather. So, he took out his aggression on me.
Eventually I healed from the physical abuse but it took even longer to try and recover from the emotional abuse. The worst promise I ever made to myself was that I would do things different and not be like my parents. Problem was I had no other examples in my life of just how a parent was supposed to parent.
I ran my marriage and managed my children like the autocratic leader I was brought up to be. My wife, who is now my ex-wife loved God while I hated Him. She had something in her that I coveted and dreamed about a peace that surpassed all understanding and I wanted that peace. I wanted to be free from the demons in my mind.
I wasn't a good husband or provider for that matter. I tried but always in my mind fell short succumbing to those demons in my mind and heart. Eventually, through my emotional manipulation, I stripped her of her God and brought her down to my level.
I have always regretted that even unto this day. Eventually, I allowed her to go back to church and slowly let God come into my life. I was angry, I was bitter but I didn't know by who or what. I needed someone to blame. It wasn't by my doing that I was made the way I was!
A dear friend of mine name Jim lead me to the Lord and my life was different, it was good, the emotions were very real and I hoped would be life lasting but they weren't. It turned out that my seed (the Word received with great joy) fell among the rocks, sprouted and quickly died as they had no root in the firmament.
We later divorced, which was the best thing for both of us and the kids. We had been in the system as far as the kids were concerned. My anger and PTSD issues assured the Child Protective Services that I was villain they were looking for coupled with my past, it left them no doubt that I was an abuser and didn't deserve my children.
Like so many voices from the past I was sure that they were right and that I was the loser they said I was. It was realized later in court documents and CPS investigation that my ex-wife was the abuser and not me. I was mad that they never believed me especially after I had been honest with them about my abused past.
After 7 long years, I got a call at work from Child Protective Services (CPS) that my children were on their fifth run in the system and that this time, it was really serious and did I want my children?
Without hesitation my answer was yes. I call my current wife and informed her of the situation and she said no matter what, she would support me. I left work to go to South Bend, Indiana CPS to pick them up and they were glad to see me which surprised the welfare worker considering the way my ex-wife described how abusive I was with the children. She said my ex was obviously lying go figure!
We both made mistakes; we both came from dysfunctional homes looking for something better and hoping to find it in each other. The only difference was that I was determined to not go back to the way it was, she wasn't and I couldn't and didn't know how to help her.
After many years of searching for the right answers, I reestablished my relationship with Jesus and for me that was fine. My wife wasn't a churchgoer neither were my boys but I would drag them with me anyway.
They were angry about God letting them be molested and my girls were in denial of being molested so they struggled with their own self-identity. I wish I could say everything worked out but it didn't. I wasn't an effective witness to my children in the one area of their life where they really needed it, their spiritual life. My two girls ended up back in church, one went to a Christian college and is now a music teacher, one recently got married and moved to Alaska where her now husband is stationed in the US Army Reserves.
My youngest son wants nothing to do with God I witness to him as the opportunity comes up and his only response is that he knows he's going to hell but wants to enjoy the ride. It makes my heart sad but, I pray for him and his salvation daily hoping and praying that he'll turn away from his anger of God and to know that good things can come out of the rubble of one's life.
My oldest son turned out to be so violent he had to be locked up and kept away from society for fear he would kill us, and that he was a diagnosed psychopath.
I became what I always wanted to be a minister. My ministry is helping those who know what I know and who have been through what I've been through. Am I an expert? Yes. Am I perfect? NO! God uses me to help those who understand the beating live can sometimes hand out.
Defeat the devil inside you. Never give up. Look to the Cross and lean on Jesus at all times His burden is easy and His yoke is light. Don't look to this world for help you'll only experience deeper dissatisfaction. Am I saying that counseling is not a valuable tool? May it never be so! But never forget the model for living your life may be found in the pages of the Bible the instruction book on life if you will.
God patiently waits on those who seek Him. If you're unsure of your relationship with our Father and with His Son Jesus Christ, contact me. Together, we'll seek guidance from the Father to eliminate those things which are interfering with your walk with God.
Copyright 2010 Rev. Chas Brothers is an Independent Christian Minister with Honorary Doctorates in Biblical Studies and Divinity. He is also a motivational speaker and writer and may be reached at; email@example.comAll Scriptures taken from the Zondervan 1984 NIV and used with permission
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