Just For Today
A Daily Approach to Prayer and Scripture
Wednesday, October 7
“Defend the cause of the fatherless.”
Isa 1:17 NIV
BE A MENTOR TO A FATHERLESS BOY
In her book Mothers and Sons, Jean Lush talks about the challenge single mothers face in raising sons. Ages four to six are especially important and difficult. A boy at that age still loves his mother, but feels the need to gravitate toward a masculine image. If he has a father in the home, he’ll want to spend more time with his dad apart from his mother and sisters. So what advice can be given to a mother who’s raising a son alone? First, she must understand he has needs that she’s not best equipped to meet. Her best option is to recruit a man who can act as a role model to her son. Of course, good mentors can be difficult to find. Single mothers should consider friends, relatives, or neighbors who can offer as little as an hour or two a month. Single mothers who belong to a church should be able to find support for their boys among the male members. Scripture commands people of faith to care for children without fathers: “Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” Jesus took boys and girls on His lap and said, “Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me” (Mt 18:5 NIV). If you are a man and you have been asking God to use you in His service, this could be a real ministry opportunity for you. Think of the incredible potential of one small boy, and the privilege of helping to mold him into a man of God who fulfills the purposes of God during his lifetime. What a privilege!
Thursday, October 8
“Don’t sin by letting anger control you.”
Eph 4:26 NLT
CONTROL YOUR ANGER!
Uncontrolled anger is like jumping into your car, gunning the engine, and discovering too late that the brakes don’t work. The Bible says, “Don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life” (vv. 26-27 TM). Did you get that? Uncontrolled anger opens the door to Satan—and it’s all downhill from there! So before you say something you’ll regret and can’t take back, ask yourself: (1) Is the relief I’ll get from venting worth the aftermath? The Bible says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Pr 15:1 NIV). By sounding off, you run the risk of making the finest speech you’ll ever regret. By its very nature anger encourages exaggeration, and makes you say things you can’t retract. Long after you’ve moved on, harsh words maintain their power to wound and divide. (2) Is it really worth dragging other people into it? Anger inevitably affects those around you, because it’s human to want to take sides, even if you’ve “no dog in the fight.” Involving other people is usually a way to feed your ego and justify bad behavior. Don’t do it. (3) Is my anger appropriate? Anger over ignorance and injustice has always led to progress. But it’s easy to let small stuff like thoughtless comments and cranky kids make you overreact. For anger to have a healthy result it needs to be measured and constructive. Paul says, “The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace” (Ro 8:6 NIV). It comes down to a control issue, and a controlled response is a Christlike response. It always wins.