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The Biblical Role of Parents #1b

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
May 16, 2023 12:00 am

The Biblical Role of Parents #1b

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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What remains here is so important that I cut out 50% of my intended material so I could make this one point to you today.

It will shock you with what I'm about to say. But I've heard it so many times in so many places from so many people that this absolutely has to be said. Welcome again to The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hello, I'm Bill Wright, and we're continuing our series, The Parenting Call, with part two of a message titled, The Biblical Role of Parents. Last time, Don introduced us to the realm of parenting.

Turns out that encompasses nothing less than every moment of life. Today, Don will take us into the book of Deuteronomy with the very relevant verses instructing parents. Let's join our teacher right now as he continues to teach God's people God's Word from The Truth Pulpit. Turn back to the book of Deuteronomy, if you would. Deuteronomy 6, beginning in verse 4. Deuteronomy 6, 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. These words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart. Now, beloved, what had I just said about saying that your parenting flows out of your view of being a Christian? It flows out of Ephesians 1 through 3, and this is what it means to be born again, and the obligations that flow starting from a view of your salvation and a view of Christ, and parenting is something in the context of that.

What did I just say? Now, what I want you to see here is that the pattern in Deuteronomy 6 is exactly the same. You cannot miss this. Here, Moses is telling the nation of Israel, you focus on who the Lord is and you recognize that He is one. Here is your obligation flowing out of the holiness and the character of God. Here is your obligation.

What? You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Jesus said in Matthew, that's the greatest commandment. So you see, you start with who God is, and you realize that flowing from that is not horizontal implications with your human relationships. It starts with how you respond to this God who has made Himself known. Moses told Israel, the Lord is one, you shall love Him with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind.

Paul, in Ephesians says, this is Christian salvation, you should walk in a manner worthy of it. It's vertical, it's vertical, it's vertical. It focuses on God first, and then internalizes it and says, this is how I must respond to this. You see, it is useless. It is worse than useless. It is counterproductive. It is destructive to talk about and to have seminars on Christian parenting that don't start there. Because when you do that, you're severing the umbilical cord of that which gives meaning and power and direction to everything about parenting. You have to start there as a general matter, and then for you men, here's what you need to understand, is that your parenting starts with your vertical response to the Lord God Almighty. Your parenting starts with your response to Christ.

It does not start with, how can I help this little guy? Parenting flows from greater heart commitments, and you must see that. There must be established in your heart and mind that the most important thing to me is the nature and character of God, that I love Christ more than anything else. I love Christ more than my life. I love Him more than my wife.

I love Him more than my children because He alone is the one who gave Himself for the salvation of my soul. That's where parenting starts. That's where parenting starts. And only then do you say, oh, how does this apply to the other ones that are here?

I almost forgot. It's just like it's incidental by comparison to the love and devotion that I have for Christ. But those things go on. Those things come out of those commitments. And you're in Deuteronomy 6.

Now, with that said, look at verse 6 again. These words which I am commanding you today shall be on what? Your heart. You should embrace them in your inner man. This should be the matter of your affections, your passions. This is what you care about. This is what you give your life to. This is the supreme thing in life to you. It should be on your heart.

Oh, I've got so much to say. Look where Moses goes from this. From that, now he talks about the way that you deal with your children. 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. What's Moses saying there? The same thing that I said from the observation that the present tense commands in the Greek in Ephesians 4.

He's saying this is a lifestyle. He says this informs everything that you do from the time that you wake up, when you stand up, when you sit down, when you lie down. These things should be on your heart, tongues, and lips as you're interacting with your sons throughout life. The interaction, the training, the admonition of children flows from a prior heart commitment to Christ and becomes that which colors everything about your interactions during the day.

Day to day, week to week, year to year, it becomes a pattern of life. Deuteronomy 11 19. Turn there if you would.

Deuteronomy 11 19. You know, you know why I can't just talk about these things in a monotone way? You know why I can't just stand up here and without any sense of emotion about it? It's because it's too important, it's because it matters, it's because I care about you, it's because God's Word is true and this is what life is to be like. If I just stood up here and spoke in a monotone way like I was lecturing a college class, you would think that it doesn't matter, that it's not that important. How could I expect you to think these things are important if my demeanor somehow betrayed that it doesn't really matter and I'm indifferent to whether you receive it or not? The reason that I get animated is because I want you to receive it. The reason I want you to receive it is because I want the good that God intends for you.

That's why. Deuteronomy 11 19. And I want the good that God intends for your children as well. You've got to be a man of God if you're going to be an instrument of the blessing of God in the lives of your children. And that starts with your vertical dimension toward Christ.

That's what you've got to see. But looking at this realm of parenting is that which permeates the totality of life. Look at Deuteronomy 11 19. You shall teach them to your sons. Talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Man, do you see something here? I know that a lot of people get stressed out about family worship and devotion times and all of that. I'm not going to say much about that. Except to say this, that a devotion time with your family, it's good if you do that, but understand that it is not a substitute for the lifestyle of communicating Christ morning, noon, and evening as you go through life in very natural conversations that come up as you're just going through life with your family. You can't substitute the one isn't a substitute for the other.

This is a comprehensive approach to family interaction that's on a 24-7 basis. That's clear. It's obvious. If it was supposed to be reduced simply to a 10-minute Bible time, that's what Scripture would have said. And that would have been enough. That's not what it says. It says, men, you be mindful of talking to your sons about the things of the Lord God who is one.

You be mindful of talking about Christ who shed his blood for sinners. You be mindful of that when you get up, when you go through the day, when you sit down, when you lie down at night. You see, you can't compartmentalize it.

That's what I want you to see. You can't isolate this and say, well, I took care of that duty for today. What if your kid comes and says, I've got a really important question about Christ at 7 in the evening, and that doesn't fit with your devotional time? You say, well, it's not devotional time. We're not going to talk about those things now.

No. And the minds of children and the hearts of children don't operate on your timetable anyway. That's why you've got to have a mindset that this is continual. You engage them when they're fresh to hear, when it's on their mind. And so, Scripture pictures a continual dialogue with your children over life that is rooted in the character of God and your own love for Him. You ask questions of them.

You answer questions from them. And this just becomes a way of life. And dads, it should be evident to you by now that what we're describing here is something far more than just Bible stories about Jonah and Noah from a picture book. As they get older, it's far more than the matters of just trying to enforce external morality on them so that they don't embarrass the family and you can at least maintain appearances even if the reality isn't there. No, that would be a horrible way to treat God's Word when it says you'll love Him with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind. How could we just justify making it a matter of external morality and don't do drugs and don't get pregnant? How could we justify that in light of the comprehensive nature of the Word of God that says love Him with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind? How could we reduce it like that and feel like we're honoring Christ in the way that we approach life?

Does that make any sense whatsoever? Do you think God would be pleased with that kind of blind, lame lamb as your sacrifice? Well, God, I made it a matter of external morality and they didn't get into drugs.

Here's my one mina. You have what is yours. Don't be surprised when the Lord rejects that out of hand. He says, that's not what I called for at all. No, you see, you lovingly and you patiently teach them the nature of God, the character of God. You teach them the gospel of Christ. You lovingly and patiently reinforce again and again because they're slow to learn through no fault of their own. They don't have the maturity to grasp it all at once. So you lovingly and patiently teach them about repentance and faith in Christ and obedience to Him and trusting Him throughout the course of life. You communicate to them that God rules over all and what happens in life is something that comes from His hand so you trust Him and you respond to Him and you draw from your own spiritual experience illustrations that says, you know what you're going through reminds me of what I went through when I was like that.

And you communicate it to them like that when you get up and when you sit down and when you rise and when you lie down morning, noon and evening. You see, the real realm of parenting is the natural opportunities that come in the course of life. That presupposes something really important, men. There's a fundamental presupposition in this that I've already stated but I might as well make again. Men, it presupposes that you yourself know Christ. That's the presupposition of all of this. Christian parenting can only be done by Christians.

You have to ask yourself, you have to realize that you cannot be a Christian parent unless you yourself have humbly repented of sin and received Christ by faith. It all flows from that. You know what else it presupposes? Even assuming your regenerate nature, even assuming that you've been born again, this presupposes something else. It presupposes that you yourself are walking with Christ. You cannot naturally in the course of life when you stand up and sit down and rise up and lay down you can't naturally talk about the things of Christ and God unless they're the things that saturate your own heart.

How could you do that? Can you talk knowledgeably about nuclear physics with your children? I'm thinking none of you can, but if there's an exception, don't let it miss the general rule. No, you can't because you don't live in that realm. You don't know it for yourself. That's not what you're engaged in with your life.

Well, there's something far more worthy of study than nuclear physics. It's God. It's Christ. How are you going to talk greatly and importantly to your children about matters of eternal significance if somehow you're not plugged into them in your own mind and in your own heart with what you read and think about and listen to throughout the day?

How do you expect to do that? Let's go back to Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy chapter 4. Deuteronomy chapter 4, verse 9. Deuteronomy chapter 4, verse 9. What a great verse this is. And notice the context. He says, Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen, and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life, but make them known to your sons and your grandsons. Grandparents, grandma, grandpa, here you go.

Here's a verse for you, a word for you in the midst of it. Let's reverse engineer what he said here. Make these things known to your sons. What does that flow from? It flows from the things that you've seen and heard. And what are you to do so that you're in a position to communicate that? Look at verse 9. Give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently. What remains here is so important that I cut out 50% of my intended material so I could make this one point to you today. It will shock you with what I'm about to say.

But I've heard it so many times in so many places from so many people that this absolutely has to be said. Men, if your first thought about Christian parenting or life in the church or righteousness or biblical truth, if your first thought, stay with me here, if your first thought is this, you know, I really want this for my kids. Men, you are completely missing the point about what it means to be a Christian father.

You're completely missing the point if that's what motivates you toward the things of Christ. I want it for my kids. I want it for them. If that's what motivates you, and I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with people who've come and gone in our church that have been like this, well, you don't have any programs for your children. I've got to have something for my children. You know what?

They don't realize that they're betraying an entirely wrong view toward the whole nature of Christianity when they say that. They're saying, this is for someone else. I want it for them.

I want you to teach them. You know what? You know what my response internally always is?

And maybe as I get older, I'm just going to start being more candid. Then you'll really see people flying out of the church. What about you? What about what you need? You who still live in sin. You whose repentance is at best imperfect.

What about your desire to know Christ and to love Him and to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ and in the understanding of His Word. What about that? That never comes up in the conversation.

Ever. You know, this isn't about people who leave. This is an illustration. And if people don't want to be here, that's fine.

I just want you to understand the principle and how this works out. And so they say, this church isn't for me because you don't have acute kids ministry with acute name like the hive. You know, and the bees buzzing around the hive. You know, it gives a sense of activity because I want my kids to like church and to have fun there. Gracious. What an ignorant way to think about Christ.

I'm serious. You see, the true Christian parent, the true Christian dad, the true Christian mom has an understanding and has a thirst that says, I must receive God's Word. I must be fed God's Word.

I need this for myself. I am weak and I need the strength of Christ. I am ignorant in doctrine and I need to be instructed.

And when you say, well, I just want something for my kids, you're just blowing all that off. Beloved, do you think God's going to honor that? Do you think that as you excuse yourself from responsibility under the Word that God's going to honor that?

Do you think that you can excuse yourself from the authority and the instruction of God's Word and think that you're actually going to be the parent that God calls you to be? Here's a hint. I'll give you another Greek word. No.

Okay, that's not Greek. No. Why would you presume on God that way? And further, don't you think that as you go through life that your kids are going to see through the hypocrisy of that? Don't you think that as we see generations come up through the church and then move on, don't you think that they're seeing things that somehow there's some kind of testimony somewhere talking collectively in mass rather than individuals here? Isn't there something that says that they're not walking away from something that they saw day to day anyway? They just abandoned the external form that some, many parents have tried to use as a substitute for the reality of the true realm of parenting. Day to day, when you stand up, when you sit down, when you rise, when you go to sleep at night.

I want this for my kids. Stop it. Don't ever, don't ever say that again if you haven't first said, more than anything, I want the Scriptures for my own soul. Don't pretend to foist something on your kid that you don't love yourself.

You see, men, and I'm just so, and let me just say, let me just inject something here. I truly and honestly thank God for all of the young dads that are here, but those of you that are here and you're a part of our church, I want you to know that I see you trying to be this kind of person. I see that in you and I thank God for it and I am confident that He will bless you for it.

I'm confident of that. And so I don't want you to think I'm rebuking you when I'm actually affirming you in what you're doing, but speaking generally, and this applies to all of us, oh, beloved, oh, beloved, here's where I realized I knew I had to cut everything out of the message and finish with this, the realm of parenting. Your first priority is not that your kids would be godly. That's not it!

That's not it. Your first priority is that you would be godly. You must read God's word for yourself and make it a part of your life. You must be the one who prays without ceasing. You must be the one who is faithful to Christ in His church and with His people.

Don't expect your kids to adopt something which you are indifferent to. Don't play the part of the hypocrite like that. And so the question here really when we think about Christian parenting, fathers, is this, where are your desires? Where is your devotion to God reflected Monday through Saturday? I'm glad you're here Sunday morning.

Praise God for that. But where are your desires Monday through Saturday? Where do you make time for God's word? Where do you make time to hear teaching?

Where do you make time to pray? See, that's where it starts. You see, what we're doing here, we're not looking through a window so that you can see your kids beyond it.

We're looking in a mirror and you're seeing yourself reflected back. Men, don't talk about your kids until you examine yourself. Well, to use an air travel analogy, if cabin pressure suddenly drops, the flight crew instructs parents to secure their own oxygen masks before helping the kids with theirs.

Obviously, if you aren't able to function, your kids won't be able to either. Likewise, as Pastor Don Green has reminded us today on the Truth Pulpit, you'll have to have your own Christian walk in order before you can lead your children properly. We'll continue the message, the biblical role of parents next time as we present more of our series, The Parenting Call.

So plan now to join us then. Well, Don, over the course of time, our listeners will want to come back and review this material. And you want to help with that, don't you?

Well, my friend, that's really true, what Bill just said. We do want to help you with this. We know that the nature of this material is such is that you benefit from it the most when you hear it again and again as different life circumstances come up and you're able to apply them in your life. That's why we want to send you a free copy of the CD version of this series, The Parenting Call.

It's a four CD set that we would love to send to you or you can go to our website and simply download the series for free for use on your listening device. Bill's going to help you find it right now. Just visit us at and click on Radio Offers to learn more. And while you're there, you can also find out more about service times at Truth Community Church as well as much more about our ministry. Again, come to Now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright. We'll see you again next time as Don once again teaches God's people God's word from the truth pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-16 04:45:06 / 2023-05-16 04:54:42 / 10

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