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A Refresher on Parenting #2A

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
October 25, 2022 8:00 am

A Refresher on Parenting #2A

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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October 25, 2022 8:00 am

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In one way or another, that Christian father has to have the focus of his mind on home, on what's happening with his wife and children. This is to be part of the way that we live out the Christian life.

What does it take to be the perfect parent? Okay, that's a trick question because in this fallen world, there's really no such thing. But God's perfect Word can move us in the right direction. And we'll turn to it once again today on The Truth Pulpit, as Pastor Don Greene continues a refresher on parenting.

Hi there, I'm Bill Wright. And Don, maybe the most important lesson we can learn from parenting is just how much sin taints all aspects of life. Well, my friend, I know that's true of my life. That parenting over the years has shown me my weakness, my failure, and even my sin in ways that are sometimes painful to remember.

I didn't always deal with my kids the way that I wish I would have in retrospect. Those failures are simply an opportunity for you to come again to God for His grace that is found only in our Lord Jesus Christ. And one aspect of His grace is that He gives us Scripture to show us how to move forward in our lives. We're going to look at that today and tomorrow as well on The Truth Pulpit.

Thanks Don. And, friend, let's get started with today's message as Don Greene continues to teach God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit. Last time we looked at three principles, there's going to be a total of six, and I want to just quickly review what we said last time with you. We said that Christian parenting, and you could start in a number of different places, but I think a great place for Christian parents to start knowing the different pressures and cares and concerns that parenting bring. The uncertainty of the future, both physically and spiritually, for the fruit of our flesh, for our children.

We have to start with this fundamental premise. Christian parenting starts by being calm, by being calm. In Proverbs chapter 3 verses 5 and 6, and again we're assuming here Christians as parents, if someone is a parent and not a Christian, their first concern is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, to repent and believe in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And in Proverbs chapter 3 verse 5, the Bible says, trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. See, parenting is one overall aspect of the entire Christian life.

What Scripture says, and this is very important to understanding the nature of Christian parenting, is that the totality of the Christian life is to be a life that is lived out trusting the Lord our God. In every aspect of our being, in every aspect of life. And the Scriptures say that when you acknowledge Him in all your ways, He will make your paths straight. There'll be times when you don't understand. But your trust in the Lord God is undiminished because of the nature of His character.

This is what governs all of life. As I said last time, as a Christian, you exist for the purpose of trusting God in every area of life. To manifest a trust and a confidence in His leading and His goodness in every area of life. And parenting is a subset of everything that we do.

And so as you contemplate the future of your children, as you contemplate the uncertainties of decisions that you have to make, and the daily demands of disciplining young children, there should be an element of serenity and calmness that shapes the way that you approach that task. Because we trust the Lord in all of our ways and we don't lean on our own understanding. Beloved, God is good to His children all the time. God will most certainly in the final analysis bless us. When we are with Him, in heaven, with our Lord Jesus Christ, made perfect with all the saints. There will be no question about whether God has been good to us or not. We will be overwhelmed by the majesty of His being and the greatness of the goodness that He has bestowed upon us. That is the outcome of the Christian life for every true Christian.

It is certain and will most certainly be fulfilled. And somehow the loose ends, what appear to be loose ends in this life, God will tie those all together in a way that is perfect. You take that overall comprehensive view of the Christian life as you raise your children and you trust the Lord to work out His will no matter what you are dealing with in the meantime. That gives you a perspective of calm, of trust that informs the way that you interact with your children. You trust in the Lord with all your heart and that produces serenity as you do so. And that keeps you, here's why that's important, it keeps you from making decisions out of a sense of panic, out of a sense of fear, out of a sense of anger perhaps with your children. Everything that you do, the way that you think and the way that you interact with them is informed by this ultimate confidence in the Lord's ultimate goodness. And so we're able to parent from a perspective of serenity. Now secondly, and I'd invite you to turn to the book of Ephesians chapter 6 here. Again, this is all by way of review.

We're just kind of getting a, we're running down the dock before we jump into the lake of the new material for this morning. The second thing that we said is to be consistent in authority. Be consistent in your authority, in the exercise of your authority over your children. Ephesians chapter 6 says, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, so that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth. And what you need to understand as a Christian parent is that obedience is not optional for your children. They are under an obligation to God. God has commanded children to obey their parents and they do not have the liberty or the prerogative to disobey and to flaunt your authority and to disregard your authority.

God has called them to obedience. And your job as a parent is to teach them and to implement that principle of obedience that God intends to mark the reality of Christian families. And so, while we do this patiently, we do it lovingly, we do it graciously with our children. As we said last time, we're not trying to embarrass our children or to humiliate them with the things that we do, to dominate them, to exasperate them.

That's not at all the mark of Christian parenting. Rather, we're simply to be consistent in our authority and to bring our children to understand that they are responsible to obey us because that's what God requires of them. As you are consistent in exercising your authority over your children and teaching them and training them to obey you, you are building into them the principle of obedience and submission to authority that marks all of life.

Sooner or later, they're going to deal with employers who have authority over them and other positions of authority, whether it's government authority or the authority of others. We're teaching them from the very early beginnings of their life to be submissive to authority because that is the mark of a Christian home and the mark of a Christian life. And so we said that we need to be consistent. What calls for discipline one day, calls for discipline the next day and the next day, it's reinforced through your consistency. Eradic parenting that sometimes is too lenient and sometimes is too strict is not the best way to lead your children in Christ. We need to be consistent in our authority.

That's what we said last time. And thirdly, we said, be calm, be consistent in authority. Thirdly, we said, be consistent in love. Be consistent in love, especially for you young parents who are prone, as I was, to be overly firm and to be too demanding, perhaps, with your expectations of young children.

We really need to hear this. And to understand that God does not give us authority as parents so that we can be a tyrant, so that we can simply subordinate our children to everything and to crush them. That's not the point of Christian parenting at all.

And it's so important for us to understand that. God has given you an authority as parents so that you can establish blessing to the children that are under your roof. Look at Ephesians 6, verse 4. God places very clear, specific parameters on the way that we exercise our authority as parents.

He says, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. We have to be students of our children. As much as we have to be, in one sense, we have to be students of God's Word. We need to study them. We need to understand them. We need to be able to guide them in a way that puts them in a position to prosper and thrive under our leadership, to be mindful that not every child is the same, that that which irritates and provokes some children may not do so to others.

We need to be mindful of this. We need to be consistent in our love. As we said last time, Christian parenting is more than a one-way, top-down exercise of authority. Christian parents, when they're doing their job properly, take into account their children's desires, their skills, their limitations, their feelings. We have to be consistent in love, or we as parents are the ones who are in sin. Parents that just continually provoke their children to angry reactions are violating what God has said here. In verse 4, fathers, don't do that. Don't provoke your children to anger. Don't lead them that way.

Don't frustrate them unnecessarily. Now, with those three things reviewed from last time, Deuteronomy chapter 6, the fifth book of the Bible, 34 chapters, we're going to look at chapter 6. And as we look at chapter 6 and we consider the nature of Christian biblical parenting, we're going to title our fourth point this way, and it's this. We said to be calm, be consistent in authority, be consistent in love. Fourthly, be home.

Be home. I'll explain what I mean by that. A godly impact on your children does not happen accidentally. The Bible presupposes that godly parents will be interacting with their children. Look at Deuteronomy chapter 6, verse 4, where Moses, speaking to the children of Israel, just before they entered the Promised Land and just at the end of his life, these are the words of a dying spiritual leader, as it were, to the children of Israel as they're about to enter, and he's laying the groundwork for what their social, domestic life was to look like as they entered into the Promised Land. And he says in verse 4, Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God.

The Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Let's stop there for just a second, and let me remind you that in Matthew 22, Jesus said that Deuteronomy 6, 5 was the greatest commandment of them all. You remember the lawyer came to him and said, Teacher, what is the greatest commandment? And Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6, 5 and said, You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your strength. And so this is where Jesus was quoting from.

He was quoting from the book of Deuteronomy. Now follow this, because this is very crucial and important for those of us that aspire after being godly parents, godly Christian parents. We want to be somebody that the Lord has called us to be. You know, the Lord saved you out of sin. The Lord delivered you out of a life of spiritual bondage. And he'd saved you in order to sanctify you, to set you apart from a worldly mindset in order to be someone shaped after the character that his word describes. And he says, as Jesus said, the greatest, the most pressing priority on your mind as a Christian is to love this God who saved you with every fiber of your being and with every intention of your heart. That's what it means to be a Christian, to love God completely. As we saw earlier, to trust him completely, those two things go hand in hand. Well notice, as we contemplate that aspect, which if you're a Christian at all, you nod in affirmation and say, yes, that is what it means to be a Christian, we love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, souls, strength, and mind.

How could we do anything else? How could we respond with anything other than wholehearted devotion to this one who saved us from sin? Well watch where the Spirit of God goes immediately after defining that supreme obligation of the Christian heart.

Verse 6, these words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. The connection here is stunning in light of considering the topic of Christian parenting. The Bible goes from the great commandment flowing into the way that we raise our children. And so we need to understand that the way that we raise our children is a direct product of loving God, that we don't separate those two.

We don't look at them. We don't separate what God has joined together. We view the responsibility to instruct our children and to raise them in a godly home as flowing directly from, directly from our responsibility to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind. Just as we trust in all of our ways and parenting is part of that, we love God with all of our heart and parenting flows out of that as well. Part of the clarity of your mission as a parent is to understand the source of the authority and the responsibility to do that. Flowing from the greatest commandment is the parent's responsibility to teach their children. Now, let me say this.

What do you mean when you say be home? Here's what I mean by that. As you see in this verse 7, look at verse 7 with me again. Watch how verse 7 presupposes an ongoing nature of interaction between parent and child throughout the course of life. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. In the simple course of life, sitting down, lying down, rising up, going about your day, there is this ongoing Christian classroom of the parental relationship with their children.

Here's the implication of that. In one way or another, beloved, we need to structure our lives so that we can be with our sons and daughters in an unhurried pattern of life so that there is a context in which these conversations can take place. We point them to Christ, we point them to Scripture in natural conversations where they are receptive, and we never know when those moments are going to come. That's why we have to be available for those moments to occur. Daily structured devotions are great, but that's not the way relationships work, really.

Can't say we're going to be on here at 6 o'clock p.m. and this is going to be the time. That's fine as far as it goes, but what I want you to see is that's not a substitute for what the Bible describes here as a natural course of relationship playing out over the course of life. And so we have to somehow structure our lives, evaluate our commitments, determine, think broadly about what we're doing, and ask ourselves, where is the room in life where these kinds of interactions that the Bible describes can take place? How important is the home life to the Christian life?

Well, let's put it this way. The New Testament makes the home life a proving ground for church leadership. Look at 1 Timothy back in the pastoral epistles, 1 Timothy just after the Thessalonian epistles, 1 Timothy. When we say be home, what we're saying is make your home a priority because this is what God requires from us.

This is what we are responsible for. This is what we will give an account for one day before Christ. Look at 1 Timothy chapter 3. Speaking of the office of the elder or the overseer in the church, the apostle Paul says in verse 1, it is a trustworthy statement. If any man aspires to the office of overseer, it's a fine work that he desires to do. He says an overseer then must be above reproach. The husband of one wife, there's the family life starting to bubble up in terms of what constitutes a spiritual leader, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.

Verse 4, watch it here. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity. Leadership in the church is premised on a man having established that he knows how to raise his household, a man who interacts with his children and has them under control with all dignity. That's how crucial it is to the church of Jesus Christ. That's how crucial this home life is, is that it's the feeding ground for future church leaders. And Paul goes on to say in verse 5, but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?

And one of the marks of elders and church leaderships is that they're to be examples to the rest of the flock of what the Christian life looks like. Manage your household well. You're involved with your family. You're involved with your children and are guiding them and directing them and helping them and in a sense controlling them or teaching them to control themselves with dignity. Well, brothers and sisters in Christ, that's only going to happen if you're with them and you're only going to be with them if somehow the home is the center of your life.

We have to take these things seriously because we're going to give an account for them. Turn over to the book of Titus a few pages to the right. 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and then Titus. But look at chapter 1 verse 5 of Titus where it says, For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.

There you see it again. The church leadership is premised on the way that a man leads his home life. And so, and those men, those church leaders are setting a pattern for the rest of the congregation to follow.

That's part of their responsibility. And so, what I want you to see as we consider how to be a Christian parent is that in one way or another, that Christian father has to have the focus of his mind on home, on what's happening with his wife and children. This is to be part of the way that we live out the Christian life. It's a proving ground for church leadership. And even if you don't aspire after church leadership, beloved, and church leadership isn't for everyone, if you're a Christian at all, you have to be aspiring after obedience to God, obedience to the Scripture. And obedience to the Scripture calls us to this involvement with the lives of our children, not remote, not distant, not letting them spin off into orbit on their own without regard to the direction of their spiritual lives. And you can only do that if you're with them.

You can only do that if you're there. Now, the Bible goes on and says that this is not only the mark of the men, but this is to be the mark of the women as well. Look at Titus chapter 2, as Paul explains the various responsibilities within the body of Christ, how men interact with men, how women interact with women. Look at Titus chapter 2, verse 3.

Older women, likewise, are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good. Okay, what's good, Paul? Tell me what's good so that we can know and follow it. How can we be good Christians?

I want to know because I want to honor the God who saved my soul from sin. What's good, Paul? Verse 4. The older women are like this so that, verse 4, they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands so that the word of God will not be dishonored. You see, when Christians choose a different pattern of life, Paul says it's dishonoring to the word of God.

And so we just have to take these things really, really seriously. There is a homeward focus in the word of God that is to mark Christian families. This is just what it means to be a Christian.

This is how we live out our responsibilities. Well, so far in our refresher on parenting, Pastor Don Greene has given us four of six principles to help in this most vital of tasks. Become consistent in authority, consistent in love, and be present at home. Instead of looking for any excuse to leave your spouse alone with your kids or dropping them at a babysitter too often, remember that God has given you the awesome privilege and responsibility to speak and act into your children's lives.

Embrace that and know that you grow in the Lord just as much as they do. Well, Don will have his final two principles in the concluding installment of this lesson next time here on The Truth Pulpit. Please join us then. Meanwhile, we invite you to visit our website, thetruthpulpit.com. There you can download podcasts or find out how to receive CD copies of Don's radio messages for your personal study library. And if you want to go even more in depth, you'll also find the link Follow Don's Pulpit. That'll take you to Don's full-length weekly sermons not subject to the time editing needed for radio broadcasts. And if you'd like to put social media to good use, connect with Don on Facebook. A link to that is also at thetruthpulpit.com. Visit today. I'm Bill Wright, and we'll see you next time as Don Greene continues teaching God's people God's Word here in The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: / 2022-11-06 06:47:47 / 2022-11-06 11:26:40 / 279

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