Sunday, January 22 & 29, 2012 am
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GODLY HOMES IN AN
UNGODLY WORLD (11)
The Role of Godly Parents (1)
a. Being a parent is both a blessing and a great responsibility.
b. Psa. 127:3-5, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.”
c. As with the other roles we have discussed, the direction we take our parenting will have a direct bearing on society. Society often misses this point as well. While there is a CLEAR acknowledgment of the need for parents to be involved in their children’s lives and to act like parents (taking responsibility to raise them), quite often their approach disregards the teaching of God’s word. Whether it be the subject of discipline, promoting the “traditional roles” of parents, or parents who are simply not there enough and providing poor substitutes, such things are treated as normal and acceptable. BUT their fruit is manifest in a society where discipline is weak, our children are confused as to what their roles ought to be and they simply do not have the respect for others, especially authority figures as they ought to. Once again we see that the rejection of God’s way is NOT good for society!
Yet that is something
that we as parents have the opportunity to affect.
As I prepared for this lesson I came across the following:
There is a great host of people coming who in the future will sit in the white house, congress and the Supreme Court; they will run the military and be in charge of our deadliest weapons; they will control the television and radio stations, movies, newspapers and magazines; they will take over our corporations and run our universities and schools and influence what is taught in them; and in essence they will determine what direction our country and the world will go – either closer to God or further away from Him. AND, what they will become and do will be greatly impacted by the way they are raised by their parents. Will they be good or bad? Lazy or industrious? Hateful or kind? loving, patient and just or hurtful, malicious and corrupt?
As parents we may not be
able to control the overall direction of the world, but we CAN have an
impact on those children we have been entrusted with.
It is quite obvious that parents have the greatest opportunity to
influence the direction their children will go.
The first few years of a child’s life is when the majority of his
habits and beliefs will be established.
Prov. 22:6 says it.
The expression, “Like father, like son” is based upon Biblical principles – both example and text, cf. Ezek.16:44.
f. Realize that you have been entrusted with a soul that will spend eternity somewhere. One of the criticisms that is often made against God is that we had no choice to be born. At times, children will also say that to their parents when they are not getting their way. While in this lesson we do not have the time to discuss why we are here, there is something I want us to think about: As parents, if you have chosen to have children, you OWE IT TO THEM, to give them the best possible chance of spending eternity with God. That is why we must take the subject of parenting VERY seriously.
II. The Role of Father
Passages directed to fathers – Prov. 20:7, “The
righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after
Prov. 17:6, “Children’s children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father.”
As head of the house he
has responsibility to raise his children.
When you study the qualifications of elders, you find his responsibility toward his children. How he raises his children has a direct bearing on whether he can lead the congregation. Consider 1 Tim. 3:4 which says, “One who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?).”
Titus 1:6 says he has “faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.”
1 Tim. 3:12 speaks of deacons with the same responsibilities, “Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.”
Note: The qualities of elders and deacons are based upon the faithful fulfillment of their responsibilities as Christians. So even though these verses are directed specifically toward the qualifications of leaders in the church, the implication is that such is the expectation of ALL fathers. What qualifies one to lead is that he has proven himself FAITHFUL in all that God requires of him, as a father, husband, leader and Christian.
c. His responsibilities include:
i. He is to provide for his family – 1 Tim. 5:8, Matt. 7:9-11 –note the rhetorical (and obvious) observation about fathers providing for their children.
ii. He is to protect his family – this is a part of providing for them.
iii. Ephesians 6:4 - Fathers are told to bring up their children “In the training and admonition of the Lord.” The text means they take an active role in raising children. More on what this involves in our next lesson.
iv. Colossians 3:21, “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”
v. He is to discipline the children (both teaching and punishment) - Prov. 3:11-12, “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Heb. 12:7-11 also emphasizes this. Prov. 13:24 says, “HE who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him discipline’s him promptly.”
d. A father will love his children. He WILL care about them. That is seen in the good characteristics we find in fathers.
i. Heb. 12:5-11 which speaks of chastening is based upon the example of the LORD loving and chastening. That is compared to a father.
ii. Again, Prov. 13:24, “He who loves (his son) disciplines him promptly.”
iii. Love is seen in the father of the prodigal son – Luke 15:11-31, esp. 20-21.
It is seen in Abraham’s
concern for Ishmael when God said he was not the chosen (cf.
Gen. 17:18), David as he prayed for Solomon (1 Chron. 29:18-19), and with Job as he offered sacrifices for his children and sanctified them (Job 1:4-5).
v. And the greatest example of this is God the Father loving His Son.
vi. It is truly tragic that we live in a society where many fathers have either neglected, delegated (to their wives) or outright abandoned their responsibilities to their children.
e. May we as fathers, examine what the scriptures say about our role and be COURAGEOUS enough to be the godly fathers we ought to be.
III. The Role of Mother
Love her children
– generally, this is a natural thing.
When a child is born and a mother holds him/her for the first
time, there is an instant bond.
All of the painful labor she endured is forgotten about as she
embraces this new soul that God has blessed her with.
Because of this you find illustrations such as Matt. 23:37 where
weeping over Jerusalem, Jesus speaks of a hen that gathers her chicks
under her wings & 1 Thess. 2:7 “We were gentle among you, as a nursing
mother cherishes her own children.”
However, there are also things to learn about loving your children. It is more than the emotional feelings she has.
Titus 2:4 finds that among the things older women are to teach younger women is “to love their children.”
i. As we have seen, love for children is natural, so does Titus mean something more?
ii. First, there are women who do NOT love their children. There are some women who have children for selfish purposes and they do not care about their well-being. In Rom. 1:31 speaks of those who are “unloving” (KJV – without natural affection), as does 2 Tim. 3:3 – the list of selfishness. Such obviously need this command in the simplest way.
iii. Second, while the affection is there, mothers (and fathers) need to learn what is best for their children and do that. So this expression could involve encouraging mothers to acts in the overall best interest of their children instead of temporal gratification – i.e. failure to punish, failure to instill responsibilities, spoiling them, etc.
iv. Consider 1 Timothy 2:15 where after Paul gives reasons why a woman is not teach a man he says, “Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love and holiness with self-control.” Is this text talking about the actual act of giving child birth? Obviously not, because then barren women and those without children have a problem. The best explanation for this verse is that is has reference to her fulfilling whatever roles she has been entrusted with as a woman (wife, Christian, mother, etc.). And if she is a mother she must fulfill her obligations to her children by RAISING them properly – in this text that means in faith, love, holiness & self-control.
b. Manage the house – includes raising children.
i. In dealing with wives we noted that she is to “manage the house” (1 Tim. 5:14) and to be “homemakers” (Titus 2:5). We noted that this means she controls domestic affairs.
ii. This would include doing her part in raising their children. Note that in 1 Tim. 5:14 says, “Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” In bearing children you have the same idea as discussed above (1 Tim. 2:15).
It is a mistake to think
that ONLY the father has responsibility to discipline the children.
We have noted that the term in 1 Tim. 5:14 for manage the house
involves leadership in those tasks so the wife needs to take an active
role in disciplining children.
While the husband’s role is key, the mother will have more interaction with the children as she manages the house while her husband works. A godly husband will stand by his wife in dealing with the children and support her efforts in this area. A father and mother CANNOT contradict one another. More on this in our next lesson.
c. Godly mothers in scripture
i. We will conclude our lesson this morning by noting some examples of godly mothers in scripture. It is interesting that you do not read about the direct interaction between fathers and their children like you do about mothers. Fathers are given instructions and at times we see them carried out. But with most fathers, (even the godly ones) we find problems. But there are many MOTHERS who are simply noted because of their roles.
ii. Jochabed, the mother of Moses, Aaron and Miriam. She bore Moses and hid him for three months to save his life (Ex. 2:1-2). After Moses was “adopted” by Pharaoh’s daughter, she became his nursemaid and raised him in a godly fashion. So much that in Heb. 11:23 we read, “BY faith Moses, when he was born was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the King’s command.”
iii. Hannah, mother of Samuel – Hannah was barren and vowed to the Lord that if He would give her a child she would give him to the Lord all the days of his life. (1 Sam. 1:11) God granted her a son and se obeyed. However, she was continually interested in her son and did for him what she could (1 Sam. 1:19-28) – HERE is an example of putting God’s will first with her child.
iv. Lois and Eunice – 2 Tim. 1:5 (& 3:15) – they raised Timothy to faithfully serve God.
v. Mary, the mother of Jesus – we don’t read much about her except for her caring for Him. She graciously brings Him into the world and she is at the foot of the cross watching her Son die because of His goodness. And after His ascension to heaven she is still there doing His will – Ac. 1:14
vi. The virtuous woman – Prov. 31 – she provides for her family and clothes them. She is honored by her children and husband because she has done well (28-31).
And thus we are introduced to the role and responsibilities of fathers and mothers. Next week we will go into more detail examining HOW they are to raise their children.
Sunday, January 29, 2012 am
GODLY HOMES IN AN
UNGODLY WORLD - 11
The Role of Parents (2)
We are in the midst of examining the role of godly parents in the home. In our last lesson we discussed some preliminary observations about parenting and noted the roles of father and mother. In our lesson today we want to further discuss HOW parents are instructed to raise their children according to God’s word.
I. Ephesians 6:4 – Bring them up
a. There are several passages of scripture that discuss how parents are to raise their children. Ephesians 6:4 is a good concise summary of what it involves. We are going to spend much of our lesson examining what this verse says and in the process notice some other passages that support this text.
b. Fathers (and mothers) – We noted last week that the primary responsibility of the training and admonition of children rests with the father.
i. He is the one accountable if the children fail to be honorable due to parental failure. I am convinced that this text AND Col. 3:21 are addressed to fathers because they are the more likely to be negligent in this duty. AND as head of the house, they need to take the lead in ensuring their children are raised properly.
However, we also noted
that the mother helps with this and is to be given great latitude and
support as she manages the house (1 Tim. 5:14).
In the godly home, she is the one who will spend the most time
with the children and as such she in directly involved in their rearing
(remember 1 Tim. 2:15).
This is also seen in numerous passages that speak of the respect children are to show to their mothers. (cf. Ex. 20:12, Prov. 6:20, “My son, keep your father’s command, and do not forsake the law of your mother.”)
Ephesians 6:1-2 says, “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor you father and mother which is the first commandment with promise.” If a mother is to be honored it indicates that she is involved in their discipline, teaching, nurture, admonition and care.
iii. In truth, the raising of children is a 2 parent job. A child needs a father AND a mother. Single parent homes are a reality, sometimes unavoidably, and at other times by choice or foolishness, but regardless they are NOT the ideal. And they come with built in problems and issues.
iv. Fathers MUST see that the mother is respected and able to do what she needs to properly raise the children.
Bring them up – it is a word that means to provide for or rear.
The word is used twice – here and in Eph. 5:29, “For
no one ever hated his own flesh, but
nourishes and cherishes it…”
One author described this as, “to feed to maturity”.
Raising our children is something that starts as soon as they are born (actually before, as you PREPARE for your children). It continues through their infancy, adolescence, the teen years and even beyond. Our goal in this study is to talk about raising children which is exactly what this text instructs us to do.
d. In the training –
The word “training” is a
word that means primarily to train children (paideuo) and is akin to
meaning instruction including showing one what to do and how to do it.
Thayer defines it as, “the training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment).”
ii. The idea is providing instruction in its various forms to children. It is showing you children what to do, helping them do what they need to do, instilling learning that will keep them from doing what they should not be doing (we call this discipline).
iii. Instruction is teaching – we understand this in the physical realm. We want our children to learn the things they need to know so we teach them. If it involves hands-on activity we show them.
Instruction by showing
– as in every of aspect of life, your example is your best way
to teach. Children learn so
much more by observing. Most
children at some point want to be like one of their parents and will
proudly say that. What kind
of example are we setting for them.
Consider the example of Lois and Eunice in 2 Tim. 1:5.
We know the importance of setting an example before the world (Matt. 5:16). If such is important toward the world, what of our children?
v. Instructions by permission and denial – take an active part in determining what they can and cannot do. Control what you can as a part of their training. We noted at the beginning of this study the tremendous influence parents have in raising their children. BUT, it is foolishness to think they are not influenced by other sources as well – friends, schooling, media, work, etc. So to whatever degree you can control what they are influenced by, do so with wisdom. Don’t let television, the computer and friends raise them and determine their outlook in life. NOTE: I am not saying to isolate them from everything, but at the same time you are not to be permissive with everything. The child who gets most everything he wants is spoiled and will most likely be more easily influenced by the world. And parents, realize that you made him that way by giving him everything and failing to hold him accountable!
Discipline when needed
– it is a mistake to fail to punish a child when he/she is
disobedient. IT is
also contrary to scripture.
Children need to understand that when they do right it is good and when
they do wrong there are consequences to their behavior.
Society knows that discipline is important; they are just
misinformed as to what is permissible.
One might ask, “Is it acceptable to spank your child?” Consider the following:
1. Prov. 29:15, “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” BTW, what does this say about latchkey children?
2. Prov. 13:24, “HE who spares his rod hates his son. But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”
3. Prov. 23:13-14, “Do not withhold correction from a child. For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod and deliver his soul from hell.” (sheol)
4. Prov. 22:15, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.”
5. Hebrews 12:5-11 speaks of the chastening of the Lord and compares it to the punishment of a father.
6. Thus we can see that the Bible says there is a place for corporal punishment (i.e. spanking). There may be some parents who do not believe in punishing their child this way. If that is your conviction – you must live with it (including the consequences). But it is an entirely different thing when you bind your opinions on others who disagree with you on how to discipline their child.
MUST discipline their children.
You need to find a way that will effectively deter rebellious and
The failure of Eli is an example to consider – 1 Sam. 3:13 speaks of his sons, who were corrupt priests that turned the people away from God. Their sins resulted in condemnation, but in this verse, Eli was condemned for failing to restrain his children.
8. NOTE: Obviously, this is NOT an endorsement of child abuse in ANY form. Such is not only illegal, it is sinful and condemned in the very passage we are discussing (Eph. 6:4 – see the first phrase).
vii. May we seek to train all of our children to follow God taking advantage of every resource we have at our disposal.
e. And Admonition –
i. A word meaning, to provide instructions so as to correct behavior. It is a word that involves warnings and strong encouragement to do the right thing.
ii. It is related to the training we just discussed, but this is more about what we say.
iii. It has been said that “training” or “nurture” deals with physical instruction, while admonition deals with verbal teaching.
iv. We need to instruct - Deut. 6:6-9 is a wonderful passage in which the parents of Israelites were commanded to teach their children both formally and informally. God’s word was to be present throughout the house.
v. The home is where children need to learn many things – how to fulfill their roles within the family, the value of hard work, how to love God, respect for authority, morality, the word of God, etc. Aare we taking the time to teach them.
f. Of the Lord – let us be reminded in all that we do that our goal is to help them secure an eternity with God in heaven. That is something that only Christians understand.
g. Do not provoke your children to wrath
i. In the first part of our verse we find this command. We need to take it seriously. Paul made a similar statement to the Colossians in Col. 3:21 where he said, “Fathers do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”
ii. The idea of such expressions is to say that parents need to act with love and good judgment toward their children. As parents we ARE in charge and we need to act like it. BUT, our decisions need to be made with temperance, love, patience, and love. Don’t do things that will provoke your children toward rebellion, giving up or some other sinful attitude.
iii. NOTE: This does NOT mean that you can only make decisions that your children agree with. In fact, if such is the case, chances are you are not doing your job as a parent! But the truth is that if you do love you children and let them know that when you make decisions they don’t like or agree with, they will eventually understand it and be thankful for your courage to tell them the right thing.
iv. How do we discourage our children? The list is extensive but includes:
1. Showing favoritism – like Isaac did with Jacob and Esau. And like Jacob did with Joseph and Benjamin. Favoritism causes trouble.
2. Ignoring our children – how foolish we are if don’t pay attention to what our children are doing OR if we are not there when they need us.
3. Being overbearing and unreasonable – can parents be too strict? Absolutely!
4. Failing to discipline or love them – children know when they are not loved.
5. Constantly criticizing them
Inconsistencies – if
children are confused they don’t know what to do.
That is why parents must work together and your discipline needs
to be consistent (the same each time) and you need to keep your word.
You cannot keep changing the boundaries on your children.
Children observe their parents and they know better than anyone if you are being a hypocrite. Quite often, I am convinced; this is what drives children away.
Requires both parents.
Furthermore, both parents need to work together.
b. Spend time with them – you only have them for so long.
c. Treat each child individually – but all with fairness. This is not a contradiction to what has been said previously. Different children have different temperaments, maturity levels, tolerances, etc. You have to consider these things as you make decisions on how to deal with children. This is NOT the same thing as favoritism (though some children might see it that way early one).
d. Train the whole child – spiritual as well as physical
e. You will make mistakes – but learn from them. And when you do make a mistake, admit it, especially if you have not properly disciplined your child. But LEARN from your mistakes.
f. Invite God into you home – let them see godliness. Prayer, study, moral values and attitudes, etc. What is forbidden your home?
In conclusion: We could say so much more about parenting. The Bible is full of examples and principles that will help to guide us in the right direction. But what we have examined is sufficient to begin with. Let us strive to be the best parents we can possibly be.
We began this study by quoting Psalm 127:3-5. IN vs. 4 it says, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.” I want to conclude this lesson by thinking about our children as arrows. There are many lessons to consider as you think of an arrow.
a. Don’t take it out unless you intend to shoot it (like any weapon) – as parents, we need to take seriously our responsibilities. If you are not serious about raising your children properly – DON’T HAVE THEM.
b. To shoot an arrow there has to be an archer and a bow – otherwise the arrow sits in its quiver and does nothing. Consider ourselves as parents as the archer and the bow. Both are needed for the arrow to reach its target.
c. There needs to be a target we are aiming at – or else an arrow is ineffective. What is your target for your child? Is it heaven when this life is over OR something else?
d. We have to aim an arrow for it to reach its target – whatever your target that is the direction you need to aim the arrow.
e. If we don’t have a target and aim we are in danger of the results - We cannot just shoot without aiming. Many parents today want to let their children make up their own mind without any help. That is as dangerous as shooting a gun in the air or just randomly letting an arrow go in the direction of people. You don’t know where it will land and chances are when it does, you will NOT like the results. Your child’s soul is too important for you to just randomly shoot him and hope he lands in a good place.
f. We have to let go – there comes a time when we have done our job. Then we need to let our children go. As a rule, they will go in the direction we have aimed them – Prov. 22:6.
 Utley, R. J. (1997). Vol. Volume 8: Paul Bound, the Gospel Unbound: Letters from Prison (Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon, then later, Philippians). Study Guide Commentary Series. Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.