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
Evangel: You and your husband
have been married for 54 years. What is your philosophy for marital
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 youre 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 todays multi-talented
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 thats what Im 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 dont 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 couldnt 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
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 Americas problems go back to our disobedience
to Gods 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 theyre babies and
dont let up when theyre toddlers and dont let up when
theyre in school and dont let up when theyre 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
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 shes
off to school and I know there are lonely times. As a grandmother, Im
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: TheAct of
Marriage is the best-known book co-authored by you and your husband.
So much is wrong with our societys approach to sexuality; how
can parents communicate Gods 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 Gods 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, doesnt 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 dont have much worth and
the quality of their life is very limited. I say no to that. Our grandsons
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 Gods
gifts to us; theyre 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.