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2002 Conversations


Ron McManus: Leadership center launched (December 30, 2001)

Norman Arnesen: History's supreme event (December 23, 2001)

Dr. Everett Bartholf: Help for the holidays (December 16, 2001)

"Auntie" Anne Beiler: God has a plan (December 9, 2001)

Mary Inman: Raising seven sons for Christ (November 25, 2001)

Tony Hall: Feeding the hungry, one person at a time (Novemer 18, 2001)

John Maracle: A growing Native American Fellowship (November 11, 2001)

Al Peterson: Praying for national leaders (October 28, 2001)

Beverly LaHaye: The family is God's gift (October 21, 2001)

Terry Meeuwsen: Putting family first (October 14, 2001)

Dennis Gaylor: Changing the world, one student at a time (September 30, 2001)

Nate Cole: You are not alone (September 16, 2001)

George Cope: Training pastors, missionaries and evangelists (September 9, 2001)

Thomas E. Trask: Breaking down the barriers (August 26, 2001)

John Kilpatrick: The blessings and challenges of revival (August 19, 2001)

Marie Colwill: A passion for evangelism (August 12, 2001)

Lottie Riekehof: The Joy of Signing (July 22, 2001)

John Castellani: Teen Challenge: The Jesus factor (July 15, 2001)

Mike and John Tompkins: Publishing newspapers and proclaiming the Good News (July 8, 2001)

Chuck Girard: Music, marriage and ministry (June 24, 2001)

Stanley Burgess: The value of a godly father (June 17, 2001)

Dennis Franck: Single Adult Ministries Agency (June 10, 2001)

Thomas E. Trask: The work of the Holy Spirit (May 27, 2001)

Stephen Tourville: The changing church in America (May 20, 2001)

Margaret Columbia: Raising 17 children for Christ (May 13, 2001)

Donna Fahrenkopf: Wanted: a life change (April 29, 2001)

Sean Smith: Spiritual attacks on young people (April 22, 2001)

Josh McDowell: Is the Bible true? (April 15, 2001)

Joyce Meyer: Being a practical Christain (April 8, 2001)

Paul Drost: Multiplication (March 18, 2001)

Bill Bright: Fasting for 40 days (March 11, 2001)

Beth Grant: Women in ministry (February 25, 2001)

Alicia Chole: His people and His presence (February 18, 2001)

Cris Carter: Playing on God's team (January 28, 2001)

Randall K. O'Bannon: The value of life (January 21, 2001)

Dennis Gaylor: Secular colleges: a vital mission field (January 14, 2001)

The family is God’s gift

(October 21, 2001)

Tim and Beverly LaHaye have enjoyed a wide ministry as pastors, family seminar speakers, writers and leaders of Christian organizations. Beverly LaHaye founded Concerned Women for America in 1979 and continues to chair its national operations. She recently spoke with Scott Harrup, associate editor, about godly family living.

Evangel: You and your husband have been married for 54 years. What is your philosophy for marital success?

LaHaye: When Tim and I married, we made a commitment for life to one another. Just as you commit yourself when the Lord calls you into His service, you commit yourself in marriage. I would never go back on my commitment to the Lord, nor would I go back on my commitment to my husband. When marriage partners walk in the Spirit on a day-to-day basis, there is no topic of divorce or separation because you’re both striving to please God and be filled with His Holy Spirit.

Evangel: Even with your many public ministries, you prioritized raising your four children. How do you communicate that sense of priority to today’s multi-talented Christian woman?

LaHaye: Women are multi-talented today, yes, but God wants us to use our talents to raise our children to bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. Children are a gift from God. Life is long enough that a woman can actually live two lives. I had the joy of having my children, and after I raised them the Lord gave me a second life and that’s what I’m doing today. Having raised my children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, I can address that issue to other women. Being a mom is the highest calling possible. When God allows a woman to become pregnant He is really calling her to be a mother. We don’t want to shirk that calling.

Evangel: Tell us how Concerned Women for America got started.

LaHaye: In 1978, the feminists were on the front page of every paper and on every evening newscast promoting the Equal Rights Amendment. I realized that Christian women did not have a voice. We were hearing all these views from women who were demanding rights and doing radical things, and Christian women were not being heard. With the help of five friends, I rented a hall. We couldn’t rent it under a church name, and the Lord gave us "Concerned Women for America." We spoke to about 1,200 people about the Equal Rights Amendment. The next year we incorporated and began to grow across the United States. It was like a prairie fire. We could hardly hang onto it. We realized God was leading us to do something we had not planned to do.

Evangel: What are the key threats to the family in America?

LaHaye: To begin with, the biblical teaching of the place of fathers and mothers in the home is of primary importance and is under attack. The Bible lays out a plan for families. Unfortunately, our society is being influenced by the liberals, the humanists and feminists. They tell people to do what feels right to them personally. In following this philosophy, families are falling apart. Husbands and wives no longer have respect for one another. Children are disobedient to their parents.

Another great threat is the aggressive nature of the abortion movement, the homosexual movement, all these movements that take our eyes off of what God created in us. He created us to be valued in His sight. Abortion and homosexuality tear down the value of human life, pulling life in a direction God never intended it to go. All of America’s problems go back to our disobedience to God’s plan for families and for life. When we disobey Him, we destroy our families.

Evangel: Christian parents cannot assume their children will follow Christ. How can moms and dads guide their kids toward this eternally important decision?

LaHaye: When children first come into your life they trust you for everything. If moms and dads are absent from the home, they are not going to be able to be effective later on when the kids are teen-agers. You have to start influencing children when they are young and pliable and willing to be developed under your leadership and guiding. Start when they’re babies and don’t let up when they’re toddlers and don’t let up when they’re in school and don’t let up when they’re ready to graduate. You continue until the day they leave your home and you look back and realize you have done faithfully what God has told you to do: to train them up in the way they should go from the day they were brought into your home through birth or adoption.

Evangel: What advice would you offer to believers who want to continue influencing their grandchildren for Christ?

LaHaye: We do have four grown children and currently nine grandchildren. One of my grandchildren just left for college. I e-mail her about every other day because she’s off to school and I know there are lonely times. As a grandmother, I’m trying to influence her to choose her friends, her fun and her course of education properly. The e-mail I sent her today encouraged her to make careful decisions lest she be pulled aside into a direction that would not be pleasing to the Lord. As a grandparent you have a scriptural responsibility to influence your children and grandchildren for Christ.

Evangel: The Act of Marriage is the best-known book co-authored by you and your husband. So much is wrong with our society’s approach to sexuality; how can parents communicate God’s view of sex to their children?

LaHaye: We have our great problems today because the whole subject of sexuality has been deteriorating. It is no longer viewed as God-given but as something man uses and abuses with his own free will. As we communicate God’s view of sex to our children, we need to teach them that this is an expression that grows out of our love for one another. It is not just something that is a "one night stand" or an isolated thing. It is a growing expression of love. Mom and Dad can really let that be an example at home, not in the details of sex, but certainly in their growing love for one another. Children deserve to see their parents expressing love. A child growing up in a home where he never sees Mom or Dad hug each other or kiss each other or that little, loving pat, doesn’t know the deeper expression of love God desires for a committed marriage.

Evangel: One of your grandchildren was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Any words of encouragement for families with special-needs children?

LaHaye: When we first learned one of our grandchildren was born with Down syndrome we were kind of foreign to what it really was. We were in a state of shock and almost a state of denial. But as that little guy has begun to grow — today he is 9 years old — he is such a blessing to our family. I think God gives those little children to us from time to time with special needs so we will really learn how to depend on the Lord Jesus Christ. Society today would say these children don’t have much worth and the quality of their life is very limited. I say no to that. Our grandson’s quality of life and what he brings into our lives and what we learn from him are so far beyond what we ever dreamed of. If you have a special-needs child, look for the blessing that God has for you through that child. It will be there.

Evangel: Anything else?

LaHaye: Children are God’s gifts to us; they’re really on loan to us. We always tried to raise our children the very best we could in order to turn them back to God for His glory and His service.

 

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