Are you raising your children to obey God?
Welcome to Love Worth Finding featuring the timeless messages simple. If you have your Bible, turn now to Mark chapter 10. We'll begin in verse 13 as Adrian Rogers offers insight on the care and maintenance of your child. As soon as that child is born, that child should be laid in his mother's arms for that bonding that is there. That training cannot begin too soon.
It is amazing what little children can learn. Listen to what God's Word says in Isaiah chapter 28 verses 9 and 10. To whom shall he, that is God, speak knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine, listen, them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts? Did you hear what God says? God said, give me a child who is just being weaned from his mother's milk and I'll teach that child doctrine. Think about it.
And how is he going to do it? He goes on to tell us in verse 10. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little, here a little, there a little. Oh friend, listen, you train a child just with a tidbit here, a tidbit there, a tidbit here and the child is listening, absorbing, absorbing, absorbing. What a wonderful time to teach when we have these little children.
I'll tell you why. The Bible says when you rise up, when you lie down, when you walk in the way, that's the way Jesus taught his disciples. He said, behold, the sower went out to sow.
Consider the lilies. Everything that Jesus saw was an opportunity to teach. We don't get creative enough. There's a motivational speaker. His name is Charles Tremendous Jones. He's a great guy and he knows how to motivate people, but he's a Christian. He loves the Lord. This is what he said.
I thought it was a tremendous idea. He said to his boy, when his boy was 14, he said, son, in two years you're going to be able to get a driver's license and you're going to want a car. And he said, son, I want you to have a car and I want to help you to pay for your car, but son, I'll tell you what I'm going to do. Son, I have some books I want you to read and write a report on.
And I'll give you $10 for every book that you read and write a report on it. Now he said, get started. And he said, remember, if you read as you ought to read, if you read in style, you'll drive in style. But if you read like a bum, you'll drive like a bum. I think that's a smart father.
Now, of course, it will take more than $10 a book today to get that kid a car. But the point is that he knew how to salt him. He knew how to encourage him.
He didn't simply ram it down his throat. Listen, communicate creatively. And then I would say this in communicating with your kids.
Learn to be real. Because I fail and we all fail. But children do not demand perfection, but children hate hypocrisy.
They can spot a phony a mile away. One girl said to her, dad, dad, you taught us how to succeed, but daddy, you didn't teach us how to fail. We need to teach our kids how to fail. We need to let them see our faults.
We need to let them see our failures. We need to come to them and say, sweetheart, I was wrong the way I talked to your mama. I've asked mama to forgive me and I've asked God to forgive me and I won't ask you to forgive me. What I said or what I did was wrong. Will you forgive me?
Or I spoke harshly to you or I misjudged you. Friend, listen, be real. Your kids don't demand perfection, but they do demand reality. So what I'm saying is, number one, communication, okay? Number two, here's the second thing.
Number two, not only communication, but correction. Learn to correct your child. Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 4. And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. Someone has pointed out that some men spend more time training their dogs than they do the children.
Then they tie the dog up at night and let the children run wild. Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. And that literally means in the discipline and the admonition of the Lord. Now why should you learn to discipline your child? Let me give you about five or six reasons why you ought to discipline your child.
Number one, if you have any love for that child at all, you're going to discipline him. Listen to the Word of God. Proverbs 13 verse 24. He that spareth his rod hateth his son, but he that loveth him chasteth him betimes. You say, well, I just love him so much I can't discipline him. You don't love him, you love you.
It just makes you uncomfortable to do it and that's why you don't do it. God calls discipline love. He says in Hebrews 12 verse 6, For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Any father who loves a son or a daughter is going to chastise that son, that daughter when they need it. You're not better than God. My dad used to tell me, son, I'm whipping you because I love you.
I was sure he loved me better than my brother. Secondly, not only because of the love for the child, but because of the nature of human nature. Believe it or not, the Bible teaches that we are by nature children of wrath. The seed of rebellion is inherent in any child. Proverbs 22 verse 15, Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child. Now you may not believe that, but that's the Word of God. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Now, folks, that's the Word of God. Every time when you talk about discipline, there's somebody going to accuse you of brutality, but you listen to the Word of God. Now, children need to understand that there is a moral power in life.
They need to understand that they cannot have their own way every time. And if you do not restrain that child, his human nature is going to lead him to be a rebel. That child must learn respect and legitimate fear. Just as a man has the fear of God in his heart and still loves God, a child ought to have a legitimate fear, I hesitate to use the word because of the connotation, but an awesome respect for authority. He who fears God the most loves God the best. There's no competition between the fear of God and the love of God. That doesn't mean we quiver and quake in the sight of God, nor should your children quiver and quake in your sight.
I'll tell you another reason that you need to do this. My dear friend, when you learn to correct that child, you're going to spare yourself a lot of heartache and a lot of disgrace. Juvenile delinquents are generally the result of delinquent parents. Proverbs 29 verse 15, The rod and the reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. Proverbs 29 verse 17, Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest. Yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. The first 12 years of a child's life, he can learn certain things through the seat of his pants that he will only learn later at the cost of great suffering and heartache. Now parents, you need to have an eye on the future and quit trying to win a popularity contest with your kids.
I'm going to tell you another reason you need to correct them. You may literally save that child from going to hell. Proverbs 23 verse 13, Withhold not correction from the child, for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Can you remember the times when you thought you were going to die when your dad was whipping you?
I thought many times I was within an inch of death, but there was no danger. God goes on to say, Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. What does that mean? That means that the child that does not respect authority in the home is not going to respect authority in the school. He's not going to respect authority in the government. He's not going to respect authority in the pulpit. He's not going to respect the authority of God's Word.
Now let me say a word here. The old King James English here sounds so harsh, beating a child with a rod. God does not have here at all anything that even smacks of brutality to a child. God gave little children a spanking place. And God says that if you teach that child there is a moral authority in this world, you've taken the first step to leading that child to salvation.
Listen to the word again. Withhold not correction from the child. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
Now those are some reasons you ought to do it. Let me give you some ways to do it, some rules for discipline. Again, just like communication, you must start early. When should you begin to discipline?
The Bible says, Chasing thy son when there is hope, while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. Begin early. When should you begin?
How early? When he or she is old enough to knowingly and willingly disobey. Never use corporal punishment on a child for mistakes such as spilt milk, or an accident, a bowel movement, or something like that. Never whip a child for something like that.
That's terrible to do that. Never whip a child or spank a child for something over which the child has no control. But when you see rebellion, and they'll test you early, then, dear friend, there will come a time for discipline. But that discipline need not be a spanking. Spanking is not the first act.
It is the last resort. God says when He rebukes us, as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. First the rebuke before the chastisement.
It may not be necessary that you whip at all. Speaking comes before spanking. There are times for an explanation. There are times for a warning. There are times for a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance, but there comes a time when you must say, we're going to show who's in control in this home. There comes a time when authority must be laid down. When you do that, young parents, be sure to keep your word.
Do not make idle threats. Don't say if you do that again, you're going to get a spanking, and then the child not get a spanking. If the rapture comes, you spank them on the way up. You make certain that you keep your word. And if a spanking is due, administrate it promptly.
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes chapter 8 and verse 11, because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the hearts of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. The punishment ought to follow the crime as quickly as possible. A word of caution. Never, ever chastise your child in front of other people if you can help it. Never humiliate the child. Never embarrass the child. When chastisement is necessary, let the husband and the wife present a united front.
Let them both agree. One may even hold the child while the other administers the punishment. Never let a child play one parent against another. Never, never argue about the child's punishment in front of the child.
The child will play one parent against another. When you do administer corporal punishment, do a good job. Now, that doesn't mean that you cause physical harm. I want to make that abundantly clear. But do a good job.
The Bible puts it this way. Let not thy soul spare for his crying. You see, if you do a good job, your spanking days may be over very soon. A good spanking can last for a long time. And after you have given that spanking, then pick the child up. Love the child. Express your love to that child, but never let the child get the idea that it was worth whatever he did because the spanking really didn't amount to much anyway.
Always, always discipline in love. Our scripture, Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 4, And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath. Have you ever seen folks deal with kids like this? Have you ever watched a mother in a grocery store whack at a kid? Whack. Whack. That's terrible. Or whack a kid and say, get out from in front of the television set.
Whack. That's not discipline. All you're showing is that you're a bully and that you don't understand what discipline is. You must discipline in love. The Bible says in James chapter 1 and verse 20, The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. When you chastise a child, remember it is correction, not revenge.
So many of us sometimes get so angry that we don't understand that we're to have ourselves in control. I heard about a man who was pushing a little baby carriage and in that stroller was a child who was just crying and screaming and the father was saying, Now, now Albert, now Albert, careful Albert, easy Albert, there, there Albert, take it easy Albert. A woman said, Sir, I've never seen such patience. How gentle you are with little Albert. Oh, he said, No, he's Billy, I am Albert. Easy Albert. Now the Bible mentions chastising a child with a rod.
Why is that so? You find an object and chastise the child with an object. Don't strike a child with your hand.
Let your hand be the object of love and caressing, even in going to get that object. And you spank only after an explanation. Sweetheart, here's why Daddy must do this. Because Daddy told you to do thus and such and you didn't do it.
Or because you did something that you ought not to have done. And Daddy told you if you did this, you must be punished. And Daddy wants you to know he loves you. But Daddy's got to keep his word. And then with that object, with firmness but gentleness, in the right place, never striking a child about the face or anything like that, but in that spanking place that God has given, you discipline in love and in patience. And let me say this, and here's where many parents fail in disciplining a child. Remember to work for that child's repentance toward God. When a child disobeys his parents, do you know what that child has done? He's sinned against God. It's not you primarily he's sinned against. He's sinned against God. And if that child will learn that to honor his father and his mother is one of the Ten Commandments, thou shalt not lie as thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not covet. All of these things are commands of God. And so say, child, listen. Daddy's heart is broken because God doesn't want us to behave that way.
Now be careful. You cannot be the Holy Spirit. You can pray for repentance in that child's heart. You can try to lead that child to repentance, but remember the Holy Spirit must do that. And pray for and guide that child to repentance. After it's over, give the child a hug. Let the child know that you've received that child. Kiss away the tears.
Send them out to play. Never hold grudges. Never hold grudges. Now let me mention the third thing and I'll be finished. First of all, I've talked about communication. Secondly, I've talked about correction. Now let me tell you that those two things ought to lead to the third thing and that ought to be the goal and aim of every parent.
Communication, correction, and conversion. To lead your child to Jesus Christ. That ought to be the solemn and holy goal and aim of your life is to bring that child to faith in Christ.
Seek an early salvation for your child. Your child does not have to have a PhD in sin before he or she can get saved. It is not unusual for little children to be saved when they're raised in a Christian home.
Listen to me, folks. 75% of all of the people who are saved are saved before the age of 15. Did you know that? 75% of all people who are saved are saved before the age of 15. Matthew Henry, who has given us Matthew Henry's commentary on the Bible, one of the best devotional commentaries on the Bible, was saved at the age of 11. Jonathan Edwards, the great preacher who wrote that famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, was saved at the age of 8. Polycarp, one of the church fathers, was saved at the age of 9. He was burned at the stake for Christ when he was 90. Did childhood conversions last?
I guess so. He died for Jesus at the age of 90. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, I suppose the greatest Baptist preacher who ever lived, was saved at the age of 12. Charles Haddon Spurgeon later testified that he would have been saved at a much earlier age had somebody explained the gospel of Jesus Christ to him.
I want to tell you something, friend. A survey showed that 90% of all Southern Baptist missionaries at home and abroad, 90% were saved before the age of 11. Of all of our missionaries the average age of conversion was 8 years old. Don't get the idea that little children cannot believe in Jesus Christ. They can.
They should. The main thing to watch for, dear friend, is is that child aware of the fact that he or she is a sinner? Not just that they've done some bad things, but when they're aware of this terrible thing called sin and they're aware that God is righteous and holy and that God punishes sin, it is so easy to point them to Jesus. Be careful that you do not push for premature decision. We do not want you to vaccinate your child with a mild form of Christianity so the real thing will not take. But when you see that Holy Spirit conviction, parents be wise, present the Lord Jesus, ask your child if they'd like to receive Christ, and you as parents have the joy of leading your child to Christ. Your responsibility is not to block that child and not to shove that child but to guide that child. These three things, communication, correction, and conversion, make those your goal.
Make those your aim. And I believe you'll be the parents of a happy child and you'll thank God that he gave them to you. Father, I thank you for your Word, and, Lord, for the wonderful, wonderful truths that you've given us concerning the care and the maintenance of our children. Lord, we know that we've all failed. I know that I failed in many ways with my children, but I thank you, Lord, that you saw the desire of my heart. And, Lord, you were merciful. I thank you, God, that you help us when we truly want your help.
Amen. Well, what great insight from Adrian Rogers today on how to raise children who love Jesus. You know, at Love Worth Finding, we love hearing how the ministry and the messages of Pastor Rogers have inspired you in your faith journey. If you can, go online and share your story at lwf.org slash mylwfstory. You could submit your testimony there or read others who've shared with us. We often select stories to be shared throughout our Love Worth Finding community. You can remain anonymous if you'd like. Let us hear from you today.
Go to lwf.org slash mylwfstory. Now, if you'd like to order a copy of today's message, you can call us at 1-877-LOVEGOD. Mention the title, The Care and Maintenance of Your Child when you get in touch. This message is also part of the insightful series Super Glue for the Family. For the complete four-message collection, call 877-LOVEGOD, or you can order online at lwf.org slash radio, or write us at Love Worth Finding, Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee 38183. You can also purchase our new Bible studies, much like this message, in our online store.
Again, for information, go online to lwf.org slash radio. Are you raising your children with communication, and conversion in mind? Make these three things your goal today.
Aim to care for your child in a way that glorifies God. And we hope you'll join us next time for more profound truth Simply Stated, right here on Love Worth Finding. Not long ago, we received this testimony from a listener in Arkansas. I came to know Adrian Rogers when I would visit my grandmother during the summers in the 1980s. Adrian's voice drew me in and inspired me to listen to his words. Those were special times.
Now, much later in life, I found Love Worth Finding and Adrian Rogers again. God bless you. Well, at Love Worth Finding, our mission is to help Christians grow deeper in their faith. That's why when you donate to the ministry right now, we'd love to send a copy of the powerful book, His Story. His Story shares the largest pieces of the Bible story, from start to finish, in a simple and clear way. The goal of the book is to help you see Jesus in all of history and better understand the message of redemption in the Bible from start to finish. Request a copy of His Story when you call with a gift right now at 1-877-LOVEGOD.
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