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House or Home - Parenting Edition - What's a Child to Do?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
April 26, 2024 6:00 am

House or Home - Parenting Edition - What's a Child to Do?, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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April 26, 2024 6:00 am

Would you like to create an environment with your children that would foster respect, honor, and love? An environment in which obedience was expected and received? It IS possible and in this teaching, Chip takes a look at your child’s role in building a close-knit family.

Main Points

God's first words to children. - Exodus 20:12

  1. What does it mean to "honor" your parents?
  2. Why did God give this command?
  3. What does it look like to honor our parents?
  4. Are there times when we can't honor our parents' wishes? Yes!
Broadcast Resource Additional Resource Mentions About Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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Would you like to create an environment with your child that would foster respect, honor, and love, an environment which obedience was expected and received on a regular basis? Does that sound too good to be true?

It's possible, and that's today. Stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. We are a discipleship-driven ministry on a mission to encourage Christians everywhere to live like Christians, and we're in the middle of our series, House or Home, Parenting Edition. For the past couple of programs, Chip's been encouraging and motivating moms and dads, but today he'll ask, what does the Bible say about the role and responsibilities of kids in a family? For that answer, get your Bible out and go to Ephesians chapter 6, as we join Chip with his message, What's a Child to Do? Imagine, if you will, being at a little church called Ephesus, and a scroll has come. The apostle Paul has written it, and you're told you're Timothy, and you're going to read it. This is God's word to the church. And by the way, when you would look around in this church, the kids wouldn't be off somewhere else.

This is actually directed right to the children, so he expects the children that are old enough to understand about third grade on up or so to really hear. And just, if you were a child back then, here's the world that you had been born into. Four characteristics of children during the Roman Empire.

Number one, it was called the Roman patria potestas. That's Latin for the father's power or rule. A father could sell his children as slaves.

He could make them work in the fields, even in chains. He could punish them as he liked. A father could even inflict the death penalty, and the Roman government would not say a word. The father had absolute power and right over you if you were a child.

That would not be a pretty place to grow up. The second characteristic of children in the Roman Empire was called the custom of child exposure. So when a child was born, the father would sit in a chair, and they would take the brand new baby and lay the child at the father's feet. If the father reached down and picked up the child, it was kept. If the father saw the child, maybe it wasn't the sex that he wanted. Maybe there was something about the child that just wasn't attractive. If he got up and walked away from the chair, the child was killed. And I want you to get that in your mind because when the Apostle Paul talks about kids and their value, and how we take care of them and then their responsibility later to us, this is radical.

I mean, this isn't like what people would be used to. It's not like kids really matter and they're important and we should love our children. Third characteristic in the Roman Empire, unwanted children were commonly left in the Roman Forum. There they became the property of anyone who cared to pick them up. They were collected at nights by people who nourished them in order to later sell them or slaves, or to stock the brothels of Rome, both boys and girls. Fourth aspect, the ancient civilization was merciless to the sickly or the deformed child. Seneca, who was an orator at the time, wrote this, we slaughter a fierce ox, we strangle a mad dog, we plunge the knife into sickly cattle lest they taint the herd. Children who are born weakly and deformed, we drowned. And so all I want you to hear is that when you hear what God says to the Apostle Paul to kids, this book by God's power over thousands of years has the dignity of human life, and of children, and women, and the weak, and the hurting.

Any one of us could have been that in that day. And so let's talk about God's very first words. If you would open the Bible and say, when does God ever speak about children?

I mean, when's the first time he speaks about children? And you have to go back to Exodus chapter 20, verse 12, and we get a command. Most of you know probably that there was, you know, Moses got two commands. The first tablet had four commands, and it was about your relationship vertically with God.

The second tablet, there were six commands, unlike on cartoons when there's five and five. And six through 10 were about your relationships with people. And the first and primary command was your relationship with your folks. And so it says, honor your father and mother, that's a command, the promise, so that you may live long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

And so the motive was, honor your father and mother, we'll talk about what that means, so that you could prosper, so you could get God's best. The word honor here means, by definition, it means literally to be heavy. It means to glorify, to ascribe value and worth. It means to respect them, to hold them in high regard.

This same form that's used right here in this fifth command is used in three other specific places. In Leviticus 19 three, the word is translated fear or awe or respect. So the idea of honor is fear and awe and respect. In Deuteronomy 26 19, it meant to give fame or praise, to speak well of. It has the idea to honor your folks is to enhance their reputation. And then finally in 1 Samuel 2 29 and 30, it has the idea of wanting to please someone, to hold what they think and to honor that relationship above every other relationships. And so, I mean, that's strong. God, when he speaks to children says, look, I'm creating an order in the world.

I'm giving you the most basic commands that reveal my character for your good. First command in human relationships, children have respect, awe and reverential fear for your parents. They matter.

I, God, the creator of the universe have placed them over you. And there's a way that children honor their parents. There's a way that young adults and teenagers honor their parents.

And there's a way that grown adults honor their parents. Why though? When you think about this, why did God give this command? Why is it so important? I'd suggest three reasons. One, it's the foundation for human relationship.

Okay? You know, this whole idea of a family, it didn't just come out of thin air. Human relationship and family, there's priority and authority and responsibility in roles and God says this is how it works.

It starts with a mother and a father and a relationship with their kids. Second, it's the foundation for respect of authority. I mean, all relationships, all civilizations, there needs to be this respect for authority and God has instituted where it begins with your kids. And it begins with your kids understanding at an early age that those in authority, especially their parents, need to be respected in a very positive way. And as you can see in our culture, that's been eroded. And think about this.

If kids can't honor the authority of people that they can see, how will they ever honor the authority of a God that they can't see? See, this is really, really important. And sort of our casual, it doesn't matter, I mean, now in, you know, a lot of schools, even teachers, just call me Bob.

I'm your eighth grade teacher. Call me Mary. We're all called on the same plane. And sort of this super laid back experience. You know, there is a place for, you know, Mr. So and So or some honor. Some parts of the country do that really well.

I'm from a part of the country that doesn't do that very well out there on the West Coast. Third reason is the foundation for human development. How you relate to your parents will directly affect your self-esteem, your morals, your values, your sexual identity, your world view and your relationship with God.

I mean, there is, I mean, you can do all the studies in the world. How many of us talk about our family of origin, that word we call baggage, how we respond, our family systems? All that stuff has to do with what God created. Now, let's ask and answer the three big questions. As a child, how do I honor my parents? As a teen or young adult, how do I honor my parents? And then for those of us that are grown, how do I honor my parents? What's it look like to honor our parents? As a child, I honor my parents by obeying them.

Now, so far in this series, are we starting to get an inkling that there's a little emphasis here, you know? Parents, here's what you do. Teach them to obey. Children, obey your parents. You know, this is big.

Notice the text. Children, obey your parents and the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother. Notice the Apostle Paul is reaching back to the fifth command, which is the first command with the promise that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth. What they need to do is obey you and respect you.

Now, we need to be easy to obey and easy to respect by being fair and caring and along with the limits, having very loving relationships. But this isn't what parents were telling their children. The Apostle Paul is assuming they're in the room and they're reading from God's Word. Our personal policy, when my kids were about second grade all the way up, we sat in church together. I mean, Saturday night by the time they got to be teenagers, often they would maybe sit with their friends, we'd go out to dinner and talk about things later. But your kids need to see you worship because the fact is, is that a lot of what they catch of your heart for God is they just catch. See, what happens now, we've segregated the church so much generationally, is that we have this group and that group and fifth and sixth and seventh and eighth and then high school and there's kids that the only time they've ever in a worship service with their mother and father are like Easter and Christmas. And now we're shocked out of about 80 percent of all the kids in Bible-believing evangelical churches go away to college and within five years they don't return to the church.

Well, I wonder why. We've niche-marketed. What we've done is we've said, we want to meet your needs. We want everything to work for you in your way instead of, guess what, it's okay for a kid to be bored.

It's okay for a kid to color for a while. It's okay to see you say, remember those old days, some of you? Man, I remember getting a look from my mom and it was like, I'll tell you what, I think I better do something or death is going to follow church, you know?

But I still remember we came from a little bit different tradition and we weren't a Bible-believing family, but my mom as a little girl came to Christ and married and realized that she didn't want to have the same kind of problem that she saw in her family where her dad went to one church and her mom went to another church. And so I still remember my mom kneeling down as they came in and she was praying and mouthing her lips and I remember tears coming down her face. And I'm like eight years old.

And you know, at eight, you know, I'm not going to kneel, it hurts my knees. And I'm just watching her, you know? And I still remember thinking I wonder who she's talking to.

I wonder who you talk to with that kind of intensity that tears come out of your eyes. That was worth about 5,000 sermons. See, what I caught was I don't know what she has, but I want that.

What I know is she's strong inside and I don't know where she gets it. And so it's really important that I think that, now, that means that for some of you, you end up staying at church two hours. And as a pastor, I just got to tell you, we'll have a real problem here. For some of you, that means you have a parking problem so you can kind of park a little bit off site and that you serve, you know, you come together as a church and you're worshiped with your kids. And then let your kids have that great experience in an age graded and you could go serve somewhere. It's a novel idea.

It's a non-consumeristic way of looking at it. And what you'll find is you can go serve somewhere in the church that second hour and you'll find that some of the people that are most loved, most connected, and most growing spiritually are people that are actually involved, not just in hearing, but actually connected in the church. And so, you know, here you have a great situation where children are said, this is the first ... By the way, it doesn't mean it's the very first ever commandment. The idea of the text here, it's the priority. It's very important.

This is, I'm putting it up there as the issue you need to deal with. So think about this. God chooses to actually speak directly to kids that are of age that can understand. And whether that's six or seven or eight or nine years old, but apparently... Because the word for child here is not like older child.

It's the word for a small child. And he says small children. In fact, like I said, when I taught this, I said, bring your kids next week. God wants to say something to them. And I watched them, you know, six year old and seven year old and an occasional five year old.

And one, I try and do my best to keep their interest. But it's an amazing thing for them to hear a quote from their pastor, little boy, little girl, let me tell you something. It's God's will for you to obey your mom and dad. This word parent here is a Latin phrase. In loco Dei.

In loco Dei. It's a legal term in Latin. You know what it means, the word parent? In the place of God. And so I told, I wanted our people in a church, I wanted their kids to hear, not just from their mom and dad, from me. When you obey God, when your parents, you obey God. And when you are obeying God, the way you show that is by obeying your parents.

You don't have to agree with them, but God put them over you. A lot of kids have never heard that. A lot of parents, you know, we've again, don't assume that what's happening culturally or even in churches today, or is the way God's always had it.

You know, this always gets overlaid with culture and some good and some bad. But I would encourage you, what happens when a parent says, I'm going to take moral responsibility for our home. I'm going to be the one that makes sure my kid has a Christian education, not the school, not the church. I'm glad for the school. I'm glad for the church. I'm glad for good news clubs.

I'm glad for videos. But at the end of the day, when you have the shift and you say, I am my children's number one teacher. If they learn about God, they're going to learn from me. If they memorize verses, they're going to learn from me.

We're going to have bedtime stories. We're going to have, I'm going to, when they're small, I'm going to take raising my kids as serious as someone who was preparing for an IPO, for the biggest deal of their life. And if you had hundreds of millions or billions of dollars on the table in a business deal, I will tell you what, you would be absolutely prepared and ready to go in when you went public. And see, what happens is what we do is we take our kids public.

We get them for about 18 years and then they go public and they have your name attached and they have Christ's name attached. And you know what? I just want a real successful child that's a public IPO for the glory of God and for their good. And so first and foremost, I want to teach my kids.

And we talked about that last session. When they're small, this is how I teach them to obey. When they get to those tween ages, preteen, and you know, I want them to learn to be responsible. And then as they're teenagers, young adults, I want them to make great decisions. And that's my game plan.

So young children, all of you in here, all you five and six year olds, eight year olds, obey your mom and dad. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and he'll be back to continue our series House or Home, Parenting Edition in just a minute. But let me quickly tell you that we are more than a broadcast ministry. We're supporting pastors globally, developing helpful resources, and sharing the gospel with this next generation. So if you'd like to join us in these efforts, become a monthly partner by going to And thanks for your support.

Well, here again is Chip. Second, as a young person, I honor my parents by respecting and cooperating with them. Respecting and cooperating with them. And I see this as teenagers all the way through early adults. And by an early adult, if you're living in your folks' home, if they're helping you with the insurance, if they're paying for your college, if you're living at home, you know, we always have this deal, right? I thought when my kids turned 18, like, oh, parenting is over. I don't know why I thought that. I just thought, okay, 18 years, and you release them.

From 18 to about 20 or 21, there were times it was harder than when they were two and three. Because this thing happens. Hey, 18, I'm an adult. I make my own decisions now. According to the government, now you're legally responsible, and I'm 18, I can go into places. Okay, big 18-year-old who's totally grown up. You want to totally grow up and pay off for your college yourself?

You want to be totally grown up and pay all the insurance for your college yourself? I mean, see, this deal that puts you in a hard spot is they want all the authority, but they don't want all the responsibility. And so what you need to do, by the way, this has happened in our culture.

It didn't use to be this way. I mean, you go back several hundred years, you were 12, 15, 13, you know what? You were declared a man at about 13 or 14. You know, young girls were getting married, was probably, the mother of our Lord, probably married at 15, 16 years old. Well, guess what?

You know, you got a job. There was responsibility. People matured early, but we've created this adolescence deal, and that keeps expanding. I mean, 20-somethings are like, you know, the average video game player age is 25 years old in all of America.

There's a lot of worn out thumbs there, and a lot of people not doing a lot of work. And so the tension is, okay, how do you honor your parents? Do we need to let out the rope of responsibility and authority? Absolutely. Do they need to make more and more of their own decisions? Absolutely. But as we give them more and more rope of responsibility, they need to assume, okay, you know what? You pay, you pay, like, my kids, I can help you out a little, but all my boys bought their own first cars.

Okay? I'll help you out with insurance. You pay all the gas.

And, you know, just little by little, you know, where I was at in my life, and everyone has a different theory on this, but it was like, guys, I'll tell you what, I'm working like crazy. I've got four kids. Get a really good job. I'll give you as much money as I can to help you with your college. You know something? I paid for my college. You really want to go?

You can figure this out. I wanted the weight of responsibility to be on them. Now, we helped them a lot, and we were able to pay all the tuitions, but, you know, spending money and books and part of room and board, different seasons with different kids, but it was just a straight up, we're in this together, and that's what you want to do. You want them to feel the responsibility, and then you give more and more of the authority so that that dependence shifts from you to God, and they make great decisions. Now, what I would want to say to those teenagers and to those young adults is the way you honor your folks, even when you really disagree with them, if you're living in their home, you need to cooperate and you need to respect them. Listen to what the scripture says, Proverbs 23, 22.

Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she's old. It goes on to say, if you curse your parents, Proverbs 20, 20, your life will end like a lamp that goes out in the dark. Now, this is from the wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, and you might jot in your notes Deuteronomy chapter 21, just as a little side note you might want to read.

If a child was incorrigible, if a child wouldn't respond, if a child was rebellious, if a child did the kind of things that are in this passage, in Deuteronomy 21, it was under God's theocracy. Now, do you know what the penalty was? This wasn't like you got your wrist slapped and you had a time out and couldn't use the car.

It was the death penalty. A rebellious child, I mean, and you think, whoa, I just want you to see how far, I mean, not obeying your parents, not cooperating with your parents, disrespecting your parents, dissing your parents, talking evil of your parents, knowing they've said, do not do these things and playing a separate game behind their back. This is really, really serious stuff. And teenagers need to hear that and know God will hold you responsible.

A lot of the lack of blessing in teenagers and young adults' lives is this double life they have. They got a Facebook page that you can see. I got news. They got another one that you can't see. They got friends you think they have.

It is amazing. You can meet these sweet little girls or guys that you think are the all-American boys and you go on a social website and you hear what they're saying or what they're doing or the YouTube stuff they're passing on to other people and you're going, are you kidding? And you know what they need to hear? You're on very, very serious ground with a very holy God and a very holy God will hold you accountable. And there's some young people that can't figure out why opportunities don't happen, why God doesn't bless their work, why they're frustrated, why relationships keep breaking down.

I got news for you. When you position yourself disrespecting and not cooperating with your parents, you're not in a position to receive the favor and the blessing of God. And so that's why on our side as parents, you know, don't be a coward. Don't back away.

I mean, peace at any price is not worth it and it doesn't work. We've got parents now that don't confront their teenagers. Well, it's just a phase they're going through. I hear in church parking lots kids talk back, cuss their parents, slam the door. And they've been in my office going, what can I do? I mean, what can I do? Everything's falling apart. And it's like, you know, they're in these handcuffs. They say, well, can I ask you a couple of questions?

Sure. Whose car are they driving? Mine.

Who puts the gas in the car? Me. Whose phone are they using? Mine. Who has the contract on it? Me. Who pays for it? Me. Whose laptop are they using? Mine.

Whose tuition is being paid by? And you're telling me you can't do anything? You don't want to do anything. What you don't want is a conflict.

They didn't get disrespectful overnight. You know, by the way, if you happen to have small kids, you know this stuff about love and limits? If you have a two, three, four, five-year-old that just seems like out, I mean, just really tough on the limits, and you just think this is too big of a headache, add 10 years.

Add 10 years. It'll get you up off the lazy boy. Because it's a lot easier to set limits on three, four, five, six-year-olds than it is on 16 and 18-year-olds. And so all I'm saying is you have biblical grounds. You need to do it under control.

Because part of it, then we get in this power stuff. Because the flip side of this is I talk to teenagers. Man, I hear what you're saying, Pastor, but man, my parents say this, and they say for me to get off, they're on the phone more than I am.

And you know what? I hear them in the back bedroom yelling and cussing at each other. I walk in on my dad, and he's watching stuff I know isn't any good.

So you know, God's really clear. Children, honor your parents, teens, and young adults by respecting and cooperating. Parents, be worthy of respect.

Live a life worthy of respect. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and you've been listening to part one of Chip's message, What's a Child to Do, from our series, House or Home, Parenting Edition. Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. Are you an overwhelmed or discouraged parent, desperate for practical wisdom and guidance in raising your kids? Well, if that's you, Chip's got your back. He'll equip moms and dads with God's blueprint for parenting. With a little courage and intentionality, you'll discover how to better communicate with your kids, reduce stress in your home, and have a joy-filled family. You're not going to want to miss a word of this insightful series. Well, Chip's here in studio with me now, and Chip, before we go on, you wanted to share something with our listeners? Thanks, Dave. I know a lot of people pray and support the ministry because you hear of exciting new things that we're doing, whether it's in China or the Middle East or working with pastors.

But I'd like you to consider something else. The Bible is very clear that where you are spiritually ministered to, there's a moral responsibility to financially support. That's not me. That's the apostle Paul. There's about a million people every week that are hearing God's word, and God is using the teaching ministry of Living on the Edge to help Christians grow in Christ-likeness, and that changes families and communities. If you're one of those people, would you pray about giving back if indeed Living on the Edge is ministering to you and helping you grow spiritually? It's just a principle that I think is very important.

Would you pray about it and do whatever God chose you to do? Thanks, Chip. And as you prayerfully consider your role in this ministry, I want to remind you that every dollar is significant. When you partner with Living on the Edge, you multiply our efforts and resources in remarkable ways. To give a gift, go to or call 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or go to

App listeners tap donate. With that, Chip's still here to share some application with all of us. As we close today's program, I just want to pause for a moment. You know, the teaching at the very end, I realize Mom, Dad, especially those of you that maybe have an emerging or a preteen or a teenager that's really giving you a hard time, and it's like, wow, Chip, yeah, I hear you setting those boundaries. That sounds really good listening to you, but you have no idea what we're going through. And I know there's all kind of circumstances behind some of the struggles that you all are facing, but let me just reiterate a couple of things.

I've been doing this for a while now, okay? I have four grown kids. I've got 12 grandkids from, you know, 21 down to five years old. And I do want you to know that I really get it is a very different world.

It is very challenging. So let me just say something to you younger parents as we close today's program. You have to discipline not just behavior, but attitudes.

You have to set limits because if you don't do it now, you are in for some very, very painful times. And you're not loving your child. They need to learn respect. And I know the world has changed. The culture's changed.

This is where you need to swim upstream. And we've got some tools and some resources, and there's lots of resources to help you. Second, I want to talk to some of you that are in the midst of a teenager or a young adult where you have to own your stuff.

They have to own theirs. But here's what I want to tell you. You're not a victim. You don't have to be afraid. And the idea that if you set some limits and there's going to be this big rebellion, you need to understand if you don't set limits now and let them experience some of the consequences of whether it's not having a phone or not having a car or not being able to do what they want to do or if they haven't been faithful kind of in some academic things over here, maybe it's time that they need to get that done before you spend thousands of dollars in college. I don't know what it is, but as hard as it is, it takes courage. Can I encourage you, seek God, get some other parents that you can really trust so you can have some places to share this, get some good counseling if you need it. But your child is going to learn boundaries and limits in a kind and loving way.

And they're living in a world that says there aren't any and they don't have to. And it will bring destruction to their life, their relationships and more importantly, their soul. This is just my pastor's heart saying to you, step in, have courage, get on the same page with your mate. As a single parent, get some extra help, but do what you need to do because you have to give them short-term pain so that there can be long-term gain. God will give you the grace.

Now press ahead. Good word, Chip. And as we close, if you're going through a trying parenting season right now, we want you to know we care about you and your family, and we'd love to pray with you. Call us at 888-333-6003 and a team member will happily pray for you.

That's 888-333-6003. Or if it's easier, email us at chip at That's chip at We'll be sure to join us next time as Chip continues his series, House or Home, Parenting Edition. Until then, I'm Dave Drouy saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-26 04:07:51 / 2024-04-26 04:20:27 / 13

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