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Secrets of a Nurturing Home, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
December 3, 2020 7:05 am

Secrets of a Nurturing Home, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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Children arrive at our home with a divinely prescribed personality. Some are innately happy, others are extremely curious.

Sometimes a child is a mirror reflection of their parents, but others bear no resemblance. So how should we modify our strategies to accommodate the diversity of needs? The key is found in a proverb that says, Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll continues a message he started yesterday about the secrets of a nurturing home. Just leave your Bible open there on your lap and close your eyes for a few moments. Today's message is all about the rearing of children as God would have us do it. It might be a good time for you, before we go any further in this time of prayer, to pray for your parents. If they're still living, to talk to the Lord about them.

Maybe one of them still survives. Give Him thanks for the rearing that you received. Perhaps some deep need in your mother or your father's life, or both.

Good time to remember them. Perhaps the relationship wasn't what it could have been. Great moment for you to forgive. Now if you are with children, perhaps this would be a good moment for you to pray for them by name. Maybe one particular child going through a difficult time, ask for wisdom. Something might be gleaned from what you will hear today that will help you parent better.

Now just one more. Maybe some nagging worry, some ache, something you brought with you this morning that if allowed to grow could so preoccupy your time you would miss. The instruction from what the Word of God will be teaching us. Release that burden to Him. There are times, Lord, when things are so severe within that they block what we're able to receive from without. Today may be that kind of day for some. In a gathering of this size, surely there are conflicts that are unresolved. There are heartaches that haven't gone away. Perhaps even the grief of near-death conditions or recent deaths and the sadness of that.

These conflicts may or may not relate to home and family, but may come from the world in which we work. We invite you to enter in, Lord, enter into that on our behalf. And in your entrance may we find relief and release from that which has bound us. We're able to take only so much, and some have come to a virtual breaking point, and we pray for your comfort and your strength. Sin has taken a terrible toll on the human condition, and though there is every possible way of ignoring it or explaining it away from the media about us, today we come to terms with it in a place like this. We acknowledge that we are there, and it is us. Surely we have failed or fallen in some area just this week, and the ache of that nags us and troubles us.

Some needless words, some outburst of anger, some lingering resentment, some ugly caustic response. Lord, thank you for the blood of Christ that keeps on cleansing us from such sins. Forgive us, our Father.

Remove from us the enemy's desire to make us ashamed and to drag us under the load of that failure. May we remember that in your grace you not only forgive, you wipe the slate clean. Open our hearts, which always results in a generous spirit. May our giving even today reflect hearts full of joy and praise, as we have just sung. Now, Lord, enter into this very significant time of worship, a time to reflect on your good hand upon us in healing our diseases, in solving our conflicts, in bringing a bond in harmony where there was once distance and a breakdown of relationships. Enter into these moments where we reflect on the importance of our intimate walk with Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us. Be glorified, our Father, as we in turn enter into what you have for us. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen. You're listening to Insight for Living.

To search the scriptures with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures studies by going to slash studies. Today's message is titled Secrets of a Nurturing Home. The verse in Proverbs 22 6 begins with train up. In fact, the original Hebrew verb comes from the action of a midwife who would take her finger and after helping in the birth of this child would dip her finger in the pool of crushed dates or grapes and would reach inside the mouth of the newborn and would create a sucking sensation, create a thirst, cleanse the palate and, they believe, to cleanse the system. It came to mean the whole idea of dedicating or setting apart by the cultivation of a thirst.

So right away we're disarmed. The parent's immediate task is to create and cultivate a thirst for that which pleases God and that which will be for the well-being of the child. When children are born, we do what we can to cultivate a thirst.

Please observe the next phrase, a child, in the way he should go. This word for child is used across the board for all ages of children living under the roof of the parents. It's not just the newborn. It's not just the elementary child. It is not just the teenager. It is the child of any age when he or she is still dependent on the parents for their livelihood. It's used of Joseph when he's 17. He's called a child.

This will work for a child of any age. Now you know the problem with the original interpretation I gave you where they do this and they don't do that and they will do this and they will stop doing that? You know the problem with that?

It does not work. You and I know people who were raised like that and they were the rebels of the neighborhood. As soon as they got free, they went wild. In fact, they got wild before they got free. Furthermore, it's not what the passage teaches.

It isn't true. So what is the way that he should go? That's crucial to understanding the verse.

If we are to cultivate a thirst in a child of whatever age who's still living under our roof, what is the way he should go? Look in the margin of your Bible if you're carrying a new American Standard Bible, it may help you with a rendering according to his way. Now don't turn it off yet.

Stay with me. Train up a child according to his way. The term way is the Hebrew word derek, d-e-r-e-k, transliterated.

Sounds like our word oil, derek, derek. It's used to describe mannerism or characteristics. In fact, it came originally from the idea of making a path, a way. It later was used by the psalmist for putting one's foot on a bow and pulling the bow taut to where you could string the bow before you would shoot an arrow. The idea of bending the bow so that it now can handle an arrow to send it to its target came to mean bent or bends.

The whole idea of shape characteristics. In fact, if you will turn to Proverbs 30, you'll see it used five times. Five times in a row in Proverbs 30.

Let me show you what I'm talking about. Verse 18, there are three things which are too wonderful for me. The word wonderful means incomprehensible, amazing, profound. I can't figure them out.

They're too wonderful for me. Four, which I do not understand. The derek of an eagle in the sky, the derek of a serpent on a rock, the derek of a way, the derek of a ship in the middle of the sea, the derek of a man with a maid. This is the derek of an adulterous woman. And he describes her.

Keep looking at the verses. The way of an eagle in the sky, no other bird flies like an eagle, has a unique look. And those who know that world can spot an eagle from a far distance away. That's an eagle. No other bird flies like that.

It's the way of an eagle. No other creature slithers on the rock like a serpent. A goat doesn't walk across a rock like a serpent. A rodent doesn't walk across rocks like a serpent. There is a way about a snake that's like no other way. It's unique to the snake. The ship in the sea is a unique, a unique sight.

There's nothing else quite like it. Even the sea itself has a uniqueness and a characteristic how it can lift and lower that boat and it swells and its currents and its waves. The way of a ship at sea. The way of a man with a maid.

The picture of romance and lovemaking of this husband and wife, this relationship, all together unique to this one couple, all together different from any other couple. There is a way, a characteristic, a mannerism about that man with that woman. And the way of an adulteress, we even talk about her. Well, you know, she's got the ways of a fast woman. She is an adulteress. That's just her way.

Brash, forward, inappropriate, sometimes impudent. All of these are describing, or at least illustrating, the meaning of the word way. Now go back to Proverbs 22 6. This is not an entertaining sermon, but it's instruction you need to hear, so bear with me.

I know where I'm going. This will help you appreciate Ephesians 6 all the more, because this is helping you know what nurturing is. The nurturing mother, the nurturing father, makes a study of her or his child, each one being uniquely made, and adapts the training according to each child.

Now we're getting somewhere. Cultivate a thirst for spiritual things, for the right things in the heart of any child of any age within your home, and do that according to the way he has been made. We are not pieces of putty that come from the womb, ready to be completely shaped by a mother or father. We come made by God, prescribed, already shaped as God would have us. God gave us four children in our family.

We have had four children. They are all from the same womb. They were all raised in the same home by the same parents.

They could not be more different, because each one has a way, a characteristic. The day we face the fact that we can't raise one like we reared another, that we can't even discipline one like we disciplined another, that we can't interest one as we interested another, was a great day in our home. You weren't raised like that. I wasn't raised like that. I had a brilliant brother. I admired his brains, but he had the most boring report card you could even imagine. I brought home variety. I had a lot of things that they could enjoy. They seemed to want to be bored, but I brought home one that had several little letters on the report card, and regularly I heard, your brother makes straight A's.

So? I'm not my brother. Don't talk back. Maybe for you it was Sally and Susie, and you're Sally, and Susie was this type, but you Sally are that type, and you were compared to Susie because you weren't like she is, and the problem was it was not your way. Here was a son who has no athletic ability, but he's very gifted in music. You ever tried to teach a musician to play ball or even to catch a ball at age 17?

It bounces off there for it. They can't do it, but they can play Chopin's Polonaise with hardly thinking about it because they are musically inclined. I mean, stop and think.

You imagine Liberace tied in for the Cowboys? Just think about it for a minute. You've been thinking about it, I notice. What's the problem? You are given a particular child with a particular set of events, characteristics, uniquenesses.

It is the job of the nurturing parent to make a study of each child. Guess what? It takes effort. It takes time.

It takes flexibility. It doesn't come naturally because you were not raised like that. I was not raised like that. We made it because God gave me the wife I've got, and for a little other reason. Because we were making a mess of it for 10 years, and we realized we are going in the wrong direction. We need to turn this puppy around.

And that took effort and work and tears and counseling and assistance and prayers and mistakes and forgiveness and staying at it until we began to train our children in the way each one should go. And look at what it says. Even when he is old, the word means to grow a beard. Well, when do you start growing a beard, guys?

Well, not as early as you wish, but probably around 15, 16, maybe before. When you are reaching adulthood, you won't depart from it. That's a promise I want to hang on to. This is not a promise that says when the guy reaches an age that he's too old to do anything else and he's sowed all his wild oats, he'll finally come back to God. That's not the verse. That's not the promise. Even when he reaches adulthood and he's on his own, he won't depart from the training. You know why? Because he's nurtured.

He knows who he is, he accepts who he is, and he is who he is. That's the parent's job. It's been my observation that many parents fail at this because they think, look, I turned out pretty good. What worked for me is going to work for him. I'm going to make it work. I'm going to drive it home. And so I'm going to turn to Ephesians 6, please do. And I'm going to nudge my son when the preacher gets to verse one. I'm going to say, hey boy, listen to Chuck.

He's fixing to tell you some good stuff. Well, dads, that's not where we're going. It's been my observation that just as wives who have the kind of husbands that great leaders are made of, tender, sensitive, loving, sacrificial, caring, have no trouble submitting to men like that.

And I've observed that children who are nurtured, not always, but most often have little trouble obeying and honoring. Now you see it in context. We're all on the same page.

Suddenly we've moved from our separate plates onto the same plate. Stay there. In a context of nurturing, let's look at some of the secrets. Children, obey your parents in the Lord.

There's a caveat on that. Parents in the Lord. This is not a free for all where you could just take your authority and run with it and just remind your kid all the time while he's growing up that you're the one in charge. You're the daddy. You're the one in authority. He's going to learn to submit.

He's going to like it or he's gone. Well, you're going to reap the benefits of that. That's not what this verse is about. In a context of submission, remember the key word in verse 21 of chapter 5 is be subject to one another. I've got a child that God's given me and I subject myself to the Lord as I seek to find out who that child is, how he's put together, what he likes, what he doesn't like, what he's good at, what he's not good at, how he thinks, how he responds.

It takes time. It takes effort and I work at it and I spend time on it so that I don't raise a rebel and I don't participate in the conflict in the home which I personally could create by being insensitive and demanding obedience regardless. Obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Look at that, kids. If there are any of you here left, obey your parents in the Lord. This is right.

In fact, it even says honor your father and your mother which is the first commandment with a promise. Why? Because it'll go well with you. It'll last through life. It'll be to your benefit and second, you'll live longer than those who don't. Yeah, well, wait a minute, Chuck, wait a minute.

Well, stop and think. More often than not, the rebel lives on the edge of risk. Risk is another word for danger and if you live in danger long enough, you play with life and death situations and the older you get, the greater the risk and the quicker the death. But if you live in obedience and honor, it is amazing how the Lord uses that to give you wisdom so that as a result, you live longer and you certainly live better. I'm describing a nurturing home and so we won't just talk to children, we'll talk to dads where the leadership begins. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger. The new international version says, do not exasperate your children. The new English Bible says, do not goad your children to resentment. Do not goad your children to resentment.

How can that happen? Let me give you a few examples. This has reference to the misuse of parental authority, either by making unreasonable demands which leave no room for inexperience or immaturity as the child is growing or by going to unfair extremes, being too harsh, even to the point of cruelty and brutality or the other side of overindulging and showing favoritism. I was raised in a home where there was favoritism. I don't tell you this to have you take pity on me. I don't need pity.

I need prayer, but I don't need pity. My mother was deeply engaged in my brother's life. As I say, brilliant, gifted, capable, incredibly bright, and he was her favorite. It was no secret. And along came my sister and my dad took to her and my dad just thought she hung the moon. And it was great to watch this. And I came. I first of all wasn't planned.

Hi. And neither had expected me. And so I was told, you know, you weren't expected. And I didn't know what that meant. Then when we started having children, I understood better what that meant.

But that's another subject. Chuck Swindoll is teaching from Ephesians chapter 6 about the secrets of a nurturing home. And this is Insight for Living. To learn more about this ministry, visit us online at

Now Chuck will share a closing comment in just a moment. First though, I'll underscore that today's message truly represents our heart's desire at Insight for Living. We're intent on cultivating healthy relationships in the home, not only for families in North America, but extending God's grace to men and women all around the world as well. And to that end, we're calling on friends like you to join us in the all-out effort to bring God's message of grace to all 195 countries of the world. At this very moment, while you're enjoying this program in your own hometown, Chuck's teaching spans the globe, not only in English, but often he's translated into local languages as well. We've given a name to our growing passion.

It's Vision 195. Through this prayerful effort, and together with friends like you, we can implement the Great Commission of Jesus by making disciples through radio, our website, the mobile app, CDs, books, DVDs, the podcast, our live stream feed, and more. Even in the face of challenges that have confronted us all in 2020, we're not deterred from this desire to pursue Vision 195.

Chuck? There's hardly a nation in the world that hasn't suffered from the complications of this coronavirus. The 2020 pandemic that spread like wildfire has become truly global. The insidious bug has crossed every border, broken every barrier humanity has placed in its way. In spiritual terms, COVID has spread like human sinful nature. Without prejudice, the disease has violated every continent on our globe, just as sin courses through the veins of every man, every woman, every child in this world.

Well, at Insight for Living Ministries, we're painfully aware of the collateral damage caused by the pandemic of man's sin, let alone the global suffering caused by the coronavirus. But in both cases, we know that God is neither surprised nor stymied. God is the answer.

He's not the problem. And our greatest calling is to point our suffering world to the one who is able to save us. Remarkably, while churches and much of our economy were obstructed through 2020, Insight for Living never missed one day of Bible teaching, not one.

In fact, our mission to reach all 195 countries of the world through Vision 195 moved ahead without hindrance. And if the compounding events of 2020 taught us anything, it's certainly true that our lives are fragile, our times are volatile, and our need for a Savior is urgent. So let me ask, won't you join me in giving generously to the mission of Insight for Living Ministries?

Think about that question. By teaching God's Word, we will serve as a calming voice of stability. You could have a part in that. As we point people to the Savior in every corner of the world, you can do that with us. So let's do this together. Let's do this now, while there's still time and people are hurting so deeply.

Jesus said, we must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us, for the night is coming when no one can work. Thanks for hearing me. I'm speaking today from my heart. I look forward to receiving your year-end gift, that generous gift you send and send to us soon.

And here's how to respond to Chuck Swindoll. To give a donation online, go directly to slash donate. If you're using the convenient Insight for Living mobile app, just click the donate button and follow the simple instructions.

Or as another option, you might want to simply send a text. Just text the word insight to 555-888. Again, type the word insight to 555-888. You can also give a generous contribution by phone when you call one of our friendly team members. If you're listening in the U.S., dial 1-800-772-8888. Our phone number once more, 1-800-772-8888.

Or give online at Join us again Friday when we'll continue Chuck Swindoll's message about the secrets of a nurturing home, right here on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Secrets of a Nurturing Home, was copyrighted in 2000, 2001, and 2009. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-20 05:46:42 / 2024-01-20 05:56:11 / 9

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