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God's Pattern for Parents, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
May 3, 2021 4:00 am

God's Pattern for Parents, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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May 3, 2021 4:00 am

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It really is of little consequence.

What you do with your children in terms of the practical issues. What little schedules you put them on or don't put them on. Is not the issue. What is the issue is that you lead your fallen sinful child transforming grace of Jesus Christ that the education being a voice of encouragement. Those are a few ways you can show your children that you love them, what's the most important way to express your love for your kids. Find out today as John MacArthur takes a close look at God's pattern for parents.

It's part of his landmark series here on grace to you titled the fulfilled family turn in your Bible or open the study Bible app to the book of Ephesians and here's John with the lesson turn in your Bible to Ephesians chapter 6 and verse four.

Amazingly, when the apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit gives parenting instruction, it's just one sentence, one brief verse. Ephesians 64 and father's, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, you have a negative and a positive and negative, do not provoke your children to anger obviously means treat them with love, treat them in a way that affirms your affection to them so they don't become hostile positive bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. What is parenting very simple really loving your children so they're not angry with you and bringing them up to know the Lord. You might think that there would be a whole book on parenting or there might be a whole chapter on it, but there's just one verse is the task is so highly defined that instruction not to provoke your children to anger must be understood in the instruction to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord must be understood as well and there are some component parts to that which we will endeavor to grasp as well.

But how wonderful that the whole responsibility can be refined down to one statement in spite of the simplicity of the instruction parents today appear to me to be somewhat frightened about the whole prospect.

They are challenged by the times in which we live. The issues at hand and some of them look at parenting as a frightening responsibility and it is to some degree of serious and challenging task, but not for the reasons that most people might suggest you just surveyed people about having children. They might tell you that they have some reluctance about having children, because it's expensive and have a bigger house, and after get a bigger car or cars you have to get a lot of extra clothes and food and you have to pay for all their medical needs and college.

They might say. And it's also very time-consuming. If you have any personal goals or personal desires or personal plans, personal interests sort of take a backseat to the demand of children they are highly demanding, and while we might think that that extremely demanding time is only in infancy as they grow older, we find that the man's are not less but more and more complex. Some people would say parenting is challenging because it calls for such focus on children's activities.

In other words, there are so many things that they're supposed to be involved in you wind up spending time and energy and running that endless taxi service to meet all their needs and the more of them.

You have the more complicated it gets.

And I suppose there are those superficial things which make parenting to some degree challenging the real reason that child child raising is so difficult. The real challenge before us and we as Christians know this can be boiled down to two components and I think we need to understand these.

If we are going to love our children in such a way that they are angry with us, but rather return that love. If we are to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

If we are to do that, that we must understand that the difficulty really comes on two levels or into various and we can reduce them to an external component, and an internal component. The external simply means the pressure of the society and the culture that is around us.

The internal pressure of the nature of the child that is within him or her.

Parenting is not difficult because it's expensive. It's not difficult because it's time-consuming, it's not difficult because it's distracting from your personal agenda. It's not difficult because it gets so complex to meet all the demands.

It is really difficult because there are such heavy pressures from the society around us and heavier pressures from the nature of children within them and until we understand that were not going to understand what parenting is really all about.

Another some issues the Bible doesn't talk about it doesn't talk about common sense things practical things personal preferences as to how you raise your children and what are the techniques of childbirth and the techniques of child rearing, and all of that Scripture doesn't really say much about that a set except as I pointed out to you in a prior message that you are to spank your child when your child does not obey the word of God. So we told you earlier. Your responsibility is to teach them the word of God hold them to the standard and if they do not obey the word of God and your authority as you apply it in their lives. You discipline them physically. First of all let's talk about the external and by that I mean the culture around us. Life is frankly no longer simple. It is no longer centered in the home is no longer centered in the family is a close knit and only marginally influenced unit that is influenced from the outside world. That's not true anymore. There was a time when that was true was a time when you grew up on a farm and you basically live your whole life. There you ate breakfast with the family you probably went to a little school down the road and went to school with all your neighbors and were taught by a teacher or two from the local area. He went back home working the farm sat around the house at night and basically were instructed in life by that family relationship and that home would be only marginally influenced from the outside world and that basically has been true for a long long time. Even families living in more urban areas still had a predominant influence in the home and with the family, parents, churches, schools had community standards which were established for childhood education. Even childhood training and basically followed paths of measured increments of learning and measured increments of exposure to reality that suited the child's age and capacity to deal with issues in other words, there were secrets. The children didn't know and it was very important in raising children to unfold those secrets at reasonable time so they were not blasted with things for which they were neither intellectually or emotionally able to make a proper response. In other words, we could say the children had controlled exposure in the family and the church and the school and thus the local community was in charge of that until one great invention, electronics came before that parents and teachers could decide what children heard what they saw and when in their development. They heard it and sought but then came electronics with electronics came the median first time in human history. And because of electronics tapes and CDs, then videotapes, cameras, billboards, movies, and particularly television all forms of modern media directly produced by electronics. Now we can't even conceive of life without electronics. What does that produce, it produces an uncontrollably over exposed population of children over exposed to everything without regard for any plan or any sequence all of a sudden your home. Your children are no longer only able to know what you tell them and their teacher tells them they can turn on the television and be blitzed with any information about anything at any time at any level. Computers now and Internet personalize the world's best in the world's worst for anybody.

You can access and the whole educational sequence. The whole educational hierarchy has collapsed under the weight of video television is undifferentiated in its accessibility. That is to say television doesn't make any distinctions between an adult and a child. None at all. And television is having a massive influence on children and you might be surprised to know this 3 million children are watching television every night of the year between 11 and 11:30 PM.

2.1 million between 1130 and 12 AM 1.1 million between 12 and 1 AM somewhere around 750,000 children are watching television between one and 1:30 AM. Supposedly the time when the most adult television is being presented.

Neil postman says this, we may conclude that television erodes the dividing line between childhood and adulthood in three ways, all having to do with its undifferentiated accessibility.

First, because it requires no instruction to grasp its form that's easy push the button and look at it.

Secondly, because it does not make complex demands on either the mind or behavior. And thirdly, because it does not segregate its audience. Television says postman is without any secrets and therefore there can be no such thing as childhood child is all about secrets all about not knowing. Innocence is whatever level of innocence we could assigned to a child. Certainly not moral innocence but innocence as to the issues of life is completely lost in this environment.

A group I think you would understand this a group, any group, any group is largely defined by the exclusivity of the information. Its members share or let me but well if everybody knew what lawyers knew what many lawyers if everybody knew her doctors knew and many doctors if everybody knew what preachers knew there would be any preachers and of children know what adults know the run and the children so they are over exposed to things their minds and emotions cannot handle their consequently hurried into massive temptations which they are unable to deal with and under the onslaught of this corrupt world with its wrong ideas. Its wrong desires. It's wrong words its wrong deeds and its wrong attitudes, children can become severe problems to parents and society they are exposed consistently to what they are not able to handle emotionally what they are not able to handle morally what they are not able to handle socially or spiritually, and what happens is they do not have the self-control and the self-restraint to deal with the issues that arise because of this information, there is a gradual decline in shame. The gradual loss of all self-restraint again. Neil postman says and having access to the previously hidden fruit of adult information.

They are expelled from the Garden of childhood" and you look at the culture and you see that the whole culture is moving toward homogeneity of style drafts language food. I remember when McDonald's commercials were geared to kids, no more close food language style games all homogeneous homogeneous.

Sadly, the result is tragic. You have children without the ability to handle the information they're exposed to in their exposed ideas and attitudes desires and behaviors that they just cannot deal with. They become intentionally severe social problems in the home in the school and in society. So we have an immense problem here. Women over exposed generation of children who have to be treated like adults because they have all the adult information instead of parents trying to bring them under control. Parents have been taught. Don't ever spank your child do whatever discipline your child and if something's wrong with your child, you've got to understand what the problem is in the problem is not sin. The problem is a lack of self-esteem.

So what you gotta do is build them up. Now this immense challenge put upon parenting from the outside is compounded by an even more immense challenge put on turning from the inside.

The internal let's go to that one.

What I mean by that. Well children may be ignorant when they come into the world. He may be na´ve, they may be an experience that may be cute, but they are not innocent with regard to evil. I suppose the simplest way to say it. Is this the seed of every known sin is planted deep in the heart of every child.

The seed of every known sin is planted deep in the heart of every child in the truth. Listen to this because it's so important.

The truth is not that if things somehow turn out badly, our children might get messed up. Our children are severely messed up when they arrive. It's not that if things don't work out the way we would like our children may drift spiritually and and they may wander morally but rather listen the drive to drift spiritually and morally. The drive to sin is in their nature and it is the compelling drive. They don't come into the world seeking God and righteousness. They come into the world seeking the fulfillment of their sinful desires.

Listen all that is required for the tragic harvest is that children be allowed to give expression to their most evil desires.

We talk about mass murderers all the time and there always doing things about them on television. We talk about pedophiles. The horrible crime of molesting children, rapists, homosexual perversions, lifelong chronic criminal behavior, and people are always asking the question what happened to them when they were young. What did their parents due to them. They must've been an abusive environment they they must've been in some kind of a situation where they were mistreated and maltreated question is always asked what did their parents due to limitation mass murderers, pedophiles, rapists, perverts, lifelong criminals are not the products of what their parents did to them. The products of what their parents didn't due to them. You see what happened was they just follow the natural course of their sinful nature.

It's frightening folks because as people bring these little reprobates into the world as adorable as they are, and have absolutely no commitment to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and no commitment to use the rod. They are simply allowing the children to give full expression to their depravity.

What were going to have his adult disasters. If not, child disasters, isn't that mass murderers and pedophilia, child killers were made that way by their parents. Do you know that many of them had no parental influence. See, the problem was they became what they were potentially at birth because they were never instructed and restrained, and even more, they were never converted in some 58. I just read a couple of Psalms to you because I think they're very important is it touchstone for us in understanding this, some 58 verse three says this the wicked are estranged from the womb, and these who speak allies go astray from birth.

They have venom like the venom of a serpent will bear little snakes. The poison of asps is under their lips.

There wicked when they come out of the womb. They are liars from their birth. That's called total depravity. If you're looking for a theological category for that. In Psalm 51 in verse five David says behold I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin my mother conceived me doesn't mean that he was a an illegitimate child.

He wasn't what he means is from his conception to his birth. He was iniquitous and let me tell you something. Understanding the total depravity of your children is the important practical foundation of all parenting. You can bring to pray people under some control by teaching them morality and punishing them in in a proper way a loving way, but nonetheless and affirm what you can bring your children under control but ultimately what you want to do is see them pass from darkness to light right you want to see their heart transformed so that instead of loving sin. They love righteousness instead of morning to give full expression to their evil desires. They want to give full expression to what is honoring to God. All the psychological analysis stuff of all these criminals trying to figure out what somebody did to them misses the point.

It's not what somebody did to them. It's what somebody didn't due to them.

Nobody would deal with the nobody would confront their wickedness. Nobody would show them the divine standard. Nobody would hold them to the conformity to that divine standard by the threat of corporal punishment in a loving and affirming way. Of course, and most of all, no one led them to the knowledge of God through Jesus Christ, so that they would have a supernatural restrainer. It really is of little consequence. What you do with your children in terms of the practical issues. What little schedules you put them on a don't put them on. Is not the issue.

What is the issue is that you lead your fallen sinful child to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ. That's the issue God and I know you hate to think of this, and I even had think of it when I look at my precious children and grandchildren. But God is not given us holy little angels to be delicately handled so they don't go astray. They're not holy little angels to be delicately handled so they don't get corrupted. Their corrupt little sinners who have to be led to become saints if you have trouble with this.

Just recognize that your children are a miniature version of you know the world recognizes this disaster in the world since what we got this tremendous problem with these children weave their out-of-control their angry aren't they. But we have an angry generation was another music with other films, vengeance, anger, brutality, hostility, and who are the most angry with their parents who have frustrated them. The very thing that Ephesians 6 forces don't do and made them bitter and angry. That's John MacArthur he's chancellor of the Masters University in seminary today. He showed you the most important job you have.

If you're a parent explaining to your children that they need a Savior and calling them to turn to Christ in repentance and faith.

The lesson you just heard is from John's current series on grace to you titled the fulfilled family. This series is making it clear that every child's fundamental problem is sinfulness. Maybe you understand that in your trying to lead your children to righteousness, but frankly you're feeling some battle fatigue. So John, what encouragement would you have for that mom or dad well again I think you have to be consistent.

I think you have to be consistent in two things you have to be consistent in loving your child so that there is a secure sense that the child knows you care deeply, profoundly, far more than anybody else. So you express love in lavish ways to your children, and the second thing is you have to be consistent in discipline and I think you have to discipline your children and that this was one of the most important things that we did his parents, you have to discipline your children as much for their attitude is for their actions. If you only discipline children for actions they then believe that that attitudes are not as important when in fact the actions are always a result of the attitude as I look back on raising our four children and, watching our kids raise their 15 the grandchildren of ours.

It's it's always been an emphasis that the child's attitude is the first thing to be dealt with. And when you get there attitude where it should be when there's a certain amount of discipline. They have the fear of the bad attitude you've protected them from a bad action. So I don't know the parents think about that often enough that there are a lot of things that we can help you with in a book called what the Bible says about parenting. It's a full-size book what the Bible says about parenting and it's not a lot of psychological information. It's not pragmatics. It's dealing with the responsibility of parenting by biblical knowledge and biblical understanding of the application of biblical truth. So what the Bible says about parenting is a great book. I know you feel some pressure to do the best you can to raise your children.

This will help you immensely, so you can get a copy of it from grace to you. It's reasonably priced and is a set it's a full-size book just let us know you want a copy of what the Bible says about parenting this book.

By the way takes the guesswork out of parenting. It's a biblical blueprint for godly leadership that both fathers and mothers and also grandparents can follow to order what the Bible says about parenting. Contact us today. Shop online@jidety.org or call us at 855 race this book.

What the Bible says about parenting has practical insights for parents of toddlers. Parents of teenagers, even those with kids in college and beyond to get a copy for yourself for a few to give away. Call 855 race or visit our website TTY.org and when you finish reading the book. Let us know what you thought of and how you're applying its biblical principles in your home would also love to know if the Lord has used this ministry to bring either you or a loved one to faith in Christ email us at letters@TTY.board once more. That's letters@tty.org or if you prefer regular mail.

You can write to us at Grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 now for John MacArthur and the entire grace to you staff on Phil Johnson encouraging you to be here tomorrow when John looks at how you can effectively share the gospel with your children that's on the next installment of his series. The fulfilled family tune in for 1/2 hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you


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