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The Biblical Role of Parents #1a

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
May 15, 2023 12:00 am

The Biblical Role of Parents #1a

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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Men! I'm talking to you today. Let's just be real straight and clear and see it from God's Word as to why you are particularly being addressed here. I'm going to show you principles of parenting that are found in this verse. Is there a more awesome but daunting responsibility than parenthood?

Many how-to books have been written on the subject, but none seem to have all the answers. But then there's the Bible, and that's where Pastor Don Green will turn today on the truth pulpit. Hi there, I'm Bill Wright, and as Don continues to teach God's people God's Word, he begins a new series titled The Parenting Call, with part one of a message titled The Biblical Role of Parents.

And Don, what's on tap for this series? Well, you know, Bill, we have a number of young families in our own church at Truth Community, and I have a special heart for them. My wife and I are basically finished raising six children, and so I know how challenging the parenting role can be, and I also know what a delight and joy that it can be. And the joy comes when we know the principles of God and we follow them as Christ helps us and sustains us as we try to raise these children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And so we're going to look first at what the Bible says specifically about parenting from Ephesians chapter 6, and then we're going to go into some practical things later in the series that have benefited me and my wife over the years that I'm really looking forward to sharing. This is like sitting down with us in our living room to see what God's Word says and how it applies, and I'm so glad you're with us today on the truth pulpit.

Thanks Don. And friends, let's join our teacher now to begin today's message on the truth pulpit. Now between somewhere on the spectrum, or should we say against that range of indifference to true spiritual development of your children, to an unhealthy obsession that thinks that everything about their spiritual futures depends on you and you alone, and against all the mountains of books on parenting, even Christian parenting that you could find, it is stunning to come to God's Word, the simplicity and clarity of God's Word, and see the stunning brevity with which it speaks. It's incredible. When you think of the thick books and the manuals on parenting that some of you have read and gone through and been tied up by the different things that have been said, isn't it astonishing to come to Ephesians 6, 4 and see how brief the Word of God is and what it says on a general letter to Christians about how godly Christians are to live? It's stunning how brief it is. Maybe, maybe there's an element of simplicity in this that we're missing because of all of the different voices that have spoken to us in the past.

I don't know. But let's look at verse 4 here, just to keep the text fresh in our minds. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. You know, one of the things that I'm mindful of is that for some, they're so wired to say, well, get me to the application that they bypass the principles that make the application possible.

That's a serious mistake. And so what we want to do today and next week is we want to focus on principles, the big picture, the general principles that inform and direct parenting. If you embrace those principles, if you see and understand them and say, I will own those as that which guides my parenting, you know what, the other points of application work themselves out in time. You need to get the big picture, the big principles in mind, and not worry about, well, what do I do if my baby's crying at 2 a.m. in the morning? That is not the purview of a pulpit to address that kind of particular application, because to get down into that detail means that you are going to miss the forest for the trees.

What we want you to see is, we want you to see, oh, there's a forest here, rather than say, do you see the bark on that oak and how it twists at a particular little angle there? That will lead you astray. And so we're looking to focus on big principles here today, and I'm restraining the things that I feel in order to try to say them to you in a proper tone. Let's see what Scriptures say to parents here today. Paul, as we saw last week, has addressed the children in verses 1 through 3, and now he pivots to those who have authority. He pivots to parents as he speaks in verse 4, when he says, look at verse 4 with me again as we'll look into the text, he says, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Now notice, I want you to notice something, how he addresses different groups as he goes through this broader passage. In verse 22, chapter 5, verse 22, he says, wives, and then he addresses the wives and tells them what he wants to say to them. Verse 25, chapter 5, 5, 25, he says, husbands, and he addresses the husbands. And then in verse 6, he says, children, here's what I want from you. Verse 4, he goes on, he says, fathers, here's what I have to say to you. Verse 5, he says, slaves, here's God's word to you. Verse 9, masters, here's God's word to you.

And so you can see that he is now walking into an area of life where he is addressing the practical daily relationships that affect all of life. Giving instruction to people in different realms, here's how God's word applies to you. Here's how obedience to Christ looks to you. This is what you are to do in order to live a godly life.

These are the attitudes that are to take root and dominate your thinking and define your worldview and your position in life so that you live according to a defining principle as opposed to simply bouncing about from the waves of circumstances you go through day to day. You see, what Paul is giving us here is he's giving us an anchor, he's giving us that which is a foundation that you build the other things on. And now he comes to fathers in his address in chapter 6, verse 4.

This is where we're at in our sequential exposition of the text. Now, men talking to you today, let's just be real straight and clear and see it from God's word as to why you are particularly being addressed here today. Notice in verse 4, look at it with me, look at the text with me, when he says fathers, and then he goes on and makes his statement. He uses the word fathers rather than parents. It's interesting that he doesn't say fathers and mothers, here's what I have for you, he particularly points out fathers. Now, there are many commentators, many good commentators who say, you know what, we should just understand that as a collective reference to parents.

And, you know, in some ways, you know, that's okay, it's not going to change much in what you understand, but that view might cloud things just a bit. It might take the edge off of the cutting knife of God's word for the dads in our midst and the future dads in our midst if you understand it that way. And I want you to see an important exegetical point here as we're talking about this.

And this, you know, we just take these details and build them up until we see what God has to say to us. Look at chapter 6 verse 1, he says, children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Parents, mother and father, you obey them. And it's obvious that he includes both the male and female parents as he goes on in verse 2 and says, honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise. So he says, parents, father and mother, you know what, he knows how to use those terms.

He's already established that. But when he comes to verse 4, he doesn't say, parents, here's what I want from you. He doesn't say, fathers and mothers, here's what I want from you. He uses the word fathers. There is a pointed, intentional direction toward the men who are the heads of the household in what he says here. When you consider that in that culture, fathers exercised a virtually unlimited authority over their household, you can see why he would do that. If he addresses the fathers as the pinnacle of the authority in the household, then it's going to disseminate down through everyone else, including the mothers and the children and so forth. But he recognizes a unique male authority in the household and addresses them, fathers, here's what I have for you. He's making fathers accountable because they had the authority.

Now, ladies, let me say this to you. The principles that we're going to talk about today and next week, they apply equally to you. The principles are the same. But men, there is an elevated accountability that you have before God because God has called you out by name here in the text, fathers, here's what I have for you. And so there is a particular application of the authority of the word of God coming upon the conscience of a father with what is said here. Wives see it as it were reflected in the mirror and say, the things that are being said here affect the way that I parent also, but there is a particular accountability for the fathers because they had the authority. Now, the fact that elsewhere in Scripture, qualifications for elders, qualifications for church leaders require a man to manage his household well also supports the idea that God has something in particular in mind with fathers as this is being addressed. And so, moms, this applies to you today even though I'm going to speak directly to the fathers in the midst and the future fathers in the midst with how I phrase my vocatives today, vocative being a word, the term that means direct address. I'll be saying fathers, but ladies understand that you need to pay heed also, and you need to pray for your husbands even as the word works in their hearts here today. This is going to be a fairly brief message, actually, because I want to make one central point really, really clear with what we have to say today. So, here we go.

Next week's message is a combination. I'm going to show you three principles of parenting that are found in this verse that define the way that you should approach your family and your position of headship in the home. They're very general, they're very clear, they're very defining, but today we're only going to talk about one of those principles, and what we're going to talk about today is the realm of parenting, the realm of parenting. What is the realm of parenting?

What does that word mean? The realm of parenting teaches us to focus on its scope. What is the breadth of parenting? What is involved when you think about the realm of parenting, men? How is it that you should approach your thinking about your role in your family? How is it that those of you with young ones at your knees, or those of you that will soon have young ones at your knees? How is it that you should think about that little life that looks to you for leadership and guidance and authority? How should you think about that? Well, first of all, you should understand that God has established a realm, a comprehensive way of life for you to think about parenting.

Here's the thing, men. Parenting is not an isolated compartment of your adulthood. It is not one closet in the bigger house of your life. Parenting is something that permeates everything that you think about and everything that you do, as I'll show you in a moment. The realm of parenting is comprehensive. It's not limited to getting your family here on Sunday and being content with that. You couldn't do this in our church because we deliberately don't do this, but speaking to perhaps a broader audience, you cannot look at your children and say, I will delegate the spiritual upbringing of my children to a church, to a youth pastor, to their disciple leader.

It doesn't work that way. God calls you fathers to be this way, calls you fathers to bring your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And so you need to understand that the authority of God's Word is calling upon you in your role of fathers and saying, step up to the plate.

I told you I was going to... there's a lot on my heart. And there's a basic point of grammar that's going to help you see this as I lay this out for you. Look at verse four with me again. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Now, there's two commands there, a negative and a positive. He's making a contrast here. He's making a contrast. He says, don't do this, but sharp contrast, do this instead. And so he says, don't provoke your children to anger, don't do that, whatever you do. And he says, but by contrast you bring them up in the way that I'm about to tell you.

And so there's a contrast there. Now, here's the thing about those two commands that are there. Do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Provoke and bring them up.

That's what we want to talk about for just a moment right here. Simple point, basic point of Greek grammar that you don't need a Greek degree to understand. What Paul has done here, these two commands are written in the present tense in the Greek language. And that present tense emphasizes something of the nature of ongoing action, repeated action, continual action. This is to be the pattern of your life. In other words, as a pattern, fathers, don't provoke your children to anger. As a continual matter of your approach to life, dads, do this with your children.

Be conscious of doing this. In other words, there is not a time in your existence as a dad where these principles are not informing what you do and how you think and what you say and what you require from your children. This is a comprehensive umbrella, negative and positive command, giving a central feature of how God wants you to live as a father. And so we realize that God has a comprehensive thing in mind here, simply by the nature of the commands. Now I'm going to expand on this more in the future, next 10 or 15 minutes maybe, but for now I just want you to see that much. Men, this is speaking to patterns of life throughout the day and throughout the years.

This is what is to mark you. And here's a way that you should think about it. And I'm just so glad that there are young men in here whose families are just ahead. And this is an opportunity as the concrete, as the cement is being poured into the foundation of your life, that there is an opportunity for you to embrace these principles and say, this is how I'm going to live. And you have the opportunity to embrace it and say, by the grace of God I will form my life according to what's laid out in God's Word here.

Now, that can be the same aspiration of those of you who are a little further along in life like I am, but there's just a particular ability to form things on the front end that's harder to undo when you get to be 40 or 50 or 60. You get established in your patterns, and you're just not all that interested in changing, no matter how passionately the pastor preaches at you, or preaches to you, I should say. Choose your preposition, I don't care. But those of you who are young men, I want you to see, and I plead with you, there is an opportunity here before you to shape the direction of your entire trajectory of your family life if you simply embrace it and hear what it has to say. Now, what can we say?

How should we think about this? How should we think about what God is saying to us here in His Word? Well, first of all, understand that Paul is writing here to Christians.

We've covered that so many times. This is written to the saints at the church at Ephesus and the broader group of churches in that area at the time. It's written to Christians. And so this presupposition of Paul's text here is that you are a born-again believer in Christ.

That's the assumption that informs that which is here. It assumes, men, it assumes that you have gone through the first several chapters of Ephesians and you have been overwhelmed and moved to praise by the greatness of the salvation that God has given to you in Christ. That although you were dead in your trespasses and sins, God made you alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved, Ephesians 2.4. And you see His rich grace, His rich mercy, and your heart has melted before the glory of Christ in your own life. And you recognize the greatness of the power and the sovereignty of God that saved you out of your sin.

The mercy that delivered you when you were a rebel against God. And your own heart, that's the point, see we're not even talking about your kids yet, your own heart is so captivated by grace, so captivated by mercy that you are already inclined to obey whatever this God says to you. That the sweetness of Christ who laid His life down for you and saved you from your sins, you are so drawn in love and obedience and submission to Christ that whatever He says, your reflexive, impulsive answer is, yes Lord of course, what else would I do except what you tell me to do? Jesus said, why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say? And the redeemed heart says, I'm not going to be like that Lord. What you say I will do. And so you come from that greater mindset, the greater perspective of Christian salvation, which is the full foundation of what Paul says here in chapter 6 verse 4.

There's a whole context to it. Now, with that said, as you move along, you realize that Paul in chapter 4 verse 1 says, live a life that is worthy of the salvation which you've been given. Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.

Be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. And you say, oh, oh Christ, oh Christ, the only thing I want out of life is that I would live a life here that is worthy of you. You have done so much for me. You laid your life down for me by name. You've shown mercy to me.

I see that. I've been washed from my sins. I have heaven in my future. Oh Christ, whatever you say, that's what I want to do as a response to you and to your grace because I'm so heartfelt grateful for what you've done. And so you move on in the text and you see that he says, understand what the will of the Lord is, be subject to one another in Christ, and you're saying yes, yes, yes, yes, that's what I'm going to do.

That's what I want to be. That's what matters. That's the only thing that's important. And so this admonition to fathers is linked by a powerful, strong chain to all of the things that went before it in the text and the things of salvation, the things of Christ. Here's the thing, beloved, you should never, ever, ever think about your role as a dad, your role as a parent apart from that chain that links you to Christ. You should never think about your role as a parent as something separate and divorced from and different from what it means to be a Christian because what Scripture says about parenting comes in the flow of that greater revelation. In other words, we'll state it a different way and we'll see this in another text in a moment, your children are simply an aspect of a greater commitment to obedience to Christ that flows from the nature of your salvation. You cannot, you cannot, cannot, cannot think about this in isolation from Christ. You can't.

That would distort everything. And so what you're hearing here is simply a plea for you to love Christ and respond to Him and to recognize Christ and respond to Him and then once that's settled in your mind, then the other things about parenting flow obviously and easily and logically and revelationally. Don't view your family as something separate from a commitment to Christ and don't think about your commitment to Christ without realizing that it permeates and influences everything that you do day to day including as an aspect of that the way that you deal with your children the Lord has given to you. I'll be happy to show you a few places in other Scriptures that will reinforce that for you. You say, because I understand. I understand. So you just put, you just built an awfully lot on the present tense command in Greek. I get that.

If that was all that I had to say about it, I wouldn't blame you if you said, I don't know if I'd see all that in the text. That's Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, beginning our latest series, The Parenting Call. We'll continue on our next broadcast, so be sure to join us then here on The Truth Pulpit. Right now though, here again is Don with some exciting ministry news. Well my friend, it's always meaningful for me to be able to preach God's Word to God's people and to share it with you here on the radio.

Recently I completed a series that is one of my all-time favorites. It's called The Bible and Roman Catholicism. It was several messages designed to test Catholic teaching by what Scripture says. We'd like to share a copy of that with you, a full complete CD album of 10 messages.

Just go to our website and request it or you'll find the downloads. We just want you to have this material at no cost as our gift and ministry to you. Just visit us at and click on Radio Offers to learn more. That's Now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright, inviting you back next time as Don Green again teaches God's people God's Word from The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-15 04:58:53 / 2023-05-15 05:08:08 / 9

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