10 things I want my adult children to know. (How to succeed in life.)

Recently, I have been pondering if I have taught my adult children everything they need for success in life.  I have six children that are legally adults.  I have nine more to prepare for adulthood.  I pray for each, daily, and hope that I am giving them all they need to be successful in life.  So, I began thinking what are ten things I really want to make sure my children know.  As I was thinking on these things, I have also been reading and rereading the book of Ephesians in the Bible.  This is a letter that the apostle, Paul, writes to the church in Ephesus after Messiah Yeshua had ascended to heaven.  This letter has all the answers for living a successful life.  So, after pondering it for a few days, I have decided to focus just on chapter five of Ephesians, and share my top ten answers to the question, “what do I want my adult children to know.”

I would like to recommend that you read all of the book of Ephesians to truly understand all the amazing bits of advice Paul gives here.  But for know I will paste chapter five here, and then my list of ten things below it.

Ephesians 5

 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God [b]as a fragrant aroma.

But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says,

“Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”

15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to [n]God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church [q]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects her husband.

1.  Be like God, the Father, and learn from the life of Yeshua, His Son.

 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. vs 1-2.

Keep your priorities in order.  The best way that I have found to do this is by having set times in my day and week to refocus on Yehovah.  The first is by following God in keeping the seventh day set apart for rest.  In the very beginning of creation, God rested on the seventh day and set it apart.  We see in Yeshua’s life here on earth he set Sabbath aside to go to the temple and read and discuss scripture.  So, Saturday, the seventh day of the week is our first example of how to keep our priorities in order, by focusing on our Creator and Redeemer and His Word.

Secondly, we can learn from the Yeshua’s life that setting time aside to pray and connect with God is necessary to know His will.  Yeshua not only told us how to pray, but we see He often went away from others to just talk and listen to God.  For me, I find that if I start and end my day in prayer it is a constant reminder of what is most important in life.

So, the first thing for success is a God centered life.

2.  Be Grateful, Generous, Kind, and Pure in thought and actions.

 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. vs. 3-5

This section is loaded with great advice for success, but I am going to focus on two words.  Greed and Covetous.  Often we can live what looks like a moral life to others.  We don’t say mean words, we are mild in manner, and we appear gentle and kind, but inside we are selfish and rude.  Also, there are times we can appear to be holy and pure in character, even grateful, but all we do is worry and fret about money and/or possessions.  We think we need a new car, house, crockpot, chicken coop, etc.  We think we don’t have enough money to pay the bills.  We fret so much about what we think we are lacking, that we are truly NOT grateful (thankful).

We live in a society that has so much more than we need.  We live in a society that constantly sends us messages that if we don’t have certain things we are bad.  The truth is we are overly blessed with material wealth.

On one hand, we are told to take care of ourselves and our families by providing for them, and on the other hand, we are told by the church to not live in debt.  What I am going to tell you, my children, is to trust in Yehovah and lean not on your own understanding (nor anyone else’s). The reality is even here in America, we own nothing.  This free country is run and owned by the ruler of this world, and that is Satan.  But take heed, the creator of the world, is still King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  He is on His Throne, and He will take back all that is His.  He is in charge. It may seem as if I just said, Satan is in charge, and Yehovah is also in charge.  I indeed did say that.  For a little while, God has allowed Satan dominion over this world.  Why?  You might ask.  The answer is the same as always, God gives His people what they want even when it leads them away from Him.  He wants us to choose Him as Lord of our lives.  He wants us to trust Him.  So, He does not force Himself on us.  The people of this world sadly, do not want to walk in God’s Ways.

But what does this have to do with living a successful life, and greed and covetousness?

Everything!

If you want to succeed you must Trust in God to provide all that you need, and lay all your worldly possessions at His feet.

(Avoid Debt, but Seek Wisdom in all things from Yehovah.)

For Yeshua said:

 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one [j]cubit to his [k]stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not [l]arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6

3. Be Set Apart from this World (Be Holy For God is Holy.)

 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says,

“Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.” vs 6-14

The world is heavy all around us, every where we go, everyone we spend time with is being influenced by the focus of darkness.  There is no place we can go in this world that is not in the war for our souls.  There is a difference between “good” people and Godly people.   Yet, we should be able to recognize Holy people, Godly people.  We should be recognizable to the enemy and to the people of God.  If we look and live just like the world lives, then we are NOT SET APART.  The final verse in this section says, and “Christ will shine on us.”  Christ is brighter than the sun.  If He is shining on us, we will be brighter than the full moon that lights up the dark sky.  Our lives should please Yehovah, and not anyone else.  Our life should be all about Him.  We should not do things to be “cool.”  We should not do things to be rebellious.  IT IS NOT GOOD TO BE A REBEL!  This is a lie from Satan.

Success is being a LIGHT in a dark world.

4. Be Wise in the Ways of Yehovah, because now is your time.

 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.vs 15-16

This short scripture is packed with so much.  Now is the time that God created you for.  Don’t waste time.  Use every minute of everyday for His Kingdom work.  There are so many distractions.  Satan does not want us to read our Bible, pray, minister, sing and worship Yehovah.  He wants us to watch videos, play games, shop for things we don’t need, read books, magazines, blogs, etc. that have no Biblical value.  He wants us to waste our time on nonsense.  He wants us to sleep our lives away.  He has surrounded us with evil every day, and hopes that it will keep us from using our time to read and study God’s Word.  He hopes it will keep us from copying God’s Word.  He hopes it will keep us from praying and seeking God’s work for our lives.

Success is found in using our time for learning and growing in the Truth of God’s Word and Ways.

5. Don’t be  a Fool

17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 

Foolishness is thinking that success is in how much money you make.  Foolishness is thinking success is in how nice your home is or how much land you own.  Foolishness is thinking that non-believers know what success is.  Your boss, your coworker, your friends, your relatives, and even your parents do not have the answers, unless they are seeking them from the Bible.  the will of Yehovah is found in the scriptures.  Any advice or strategy that is not first found in scripture is pure foolishness.

Success is found in the pages of God’s Word.

(The wisest men that ever lived words are recorded in the Bible.  Looking for advice on success try reading Deuteronomy, Proverbs, and Matthew, to begin with.)

6.Don’t get Drunk.

 And do not get drunk with wine, [l]for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,  vs 18

This one is pretty clear.  Be sober minded.  If you want to hear from the Spirit, you need to be clear headed.

(On a side note:  I believe in our society it is very important to be wise about when, where, and why we drink alcohol.  It goes back to being set apart, being a light in a dark world.  Alcohol consumption is often associated in our society with relaxing, letting lose, having a good time, being rebellious, etc.  So, ask yourself why am I having a drink.  Is it to celebrate in Yehovah, like at a feast or wedding?  Or is it to be cool or rebellious?  Ask is this a good time and place to have a drink?  Who am I with?  What is the purpose of having a drink?  Is it to help medicinally?  Like to relax and de-stress, or to settle your nerves, stomach?  Lastly, ask yourself, how much do I need to drink to accomplish my goal?  Often one drink should be more than enough.)

7. Always encourage others with your attitude of gratitude.

19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;vs 19-20

This is so so so very important.  If we are true believers and we know that our eternal hope is in Messiah, we should always, always, always be thankful and praising our God and Savior.  Every opportunity we have we should be giving glory to Yehovah.  Our current circumstances should not determine our our praise.  We should encourage others always.

Success is lifting others up by praising God in all circumstances.

8. Remember your place in God’s Kingdom and be accountable to others in the knowledge of Messiah.

and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.vs 21

We each have a role in God’s Kingdom, and it is our responsibility to serve the body as God created us to do. We each are accountable to each other.  We need to respect our leaders/elders.  We need to guide our children.  We need to submit to our husbands, fathers, mothers, elders, etc.   We need to serve each other, and reproof and correct each other.  We need to take correction and direction.

We need to meet with other believers, we need to trust each other, and be accountable to one another.

Success is serving others and allowing others to teach and serve you.

9.  Being a wife is an honorable role of submission, that reflects the role of the church to Messiah.

 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

Daughter, we are called to be subject to our husbands.  This is a humbling and honoring role.  Even if you never marry you can respectfully serve the men of God, by being subject to their leadership in the body of Christ.  You are not always going to agree or understanding the men in your life, but you can respect and honor them as God created them for headship (leadership).  You have a special role to encourage and bless the men in your life.  Men in our society have been given a false message that they aren’t good enough, smart enough, capable enough.  It is our blessed role to remind them of who they are in Messiah.  Yehovah created them to lead, to care, to protect, to nurture, to be a visual image of Himself. It is our sacred duty to uplift our husbands, fathers, and brothers.

A successful woman knows her place in God’s Kingdom, and is honored to serve as He called her too.

10.  Being a husband is a role of responsibility and leadership, that should reflect the very person of Messiah to the church.  

 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.vs 25-33

Son, this is your high calling.  Our society has lead you to believe that women don’t need you.  But this is a LIE.  I have to be the one to tell you that you are to be a living example of Messiah.  Messiah loved us, the church, Israel, God’s people, so much that He left His throne in heaven, came down to earth, lived a Holy live, and died for our sins.  He rose and conquered death for us.  No pressure, but this is the example you are called to follow as a husband.  As a man, you are called to love and cherish, protect, honor, and nourish your wife.  This is a huge task.  Start now.  Care for your mother, sisters, grandmothers, and all women that God places in your care.  Women are fragile, women want, desire, and need to be gently cared for.

Women can be difficult to understand, care for, and love.   But if Yeshua can love and die for all of us, we can do our best to follow His example.

A successful man puts his life aside for his wife, as Messiah did for us all.

 

As, I finish this list, I realize that it all comes back to following the example of our Messiah, Yeshua.  He set the example of successful living for us to follow.  Seek Him first and he will direct your path always.

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