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Raising Kingdom Kids

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
June 6, 2021 8:00 am

Raising Kingdom Kids

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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June 6, 2021 8:00 am

More and more children are growing up without fathers in the home these days, and Dr. Tony Evans says that many of the social problems we’re experiencing can be traced back to that problem. In this lesson, join him as he talks about what we can do to change direction.

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Many of us have one more member of our family than we know about, and that is the evil one who makes himself at home. Dr. Tony Evans says evicting the devil is ultimately a father's responsibility. Our job as parents is to escort the children into the future. That means learning what it means to lead as a man. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. More and more children are growing up without both parents in the home these days, and Dr. Evans says many of the issues we are experiencing in our society can be traced back to that problem.

Let's join him as he talks about what we can do to change direction. The saga of a nation is the saga of its families writ and large. When the family breaks down, everything that's supposed to be built on that sacred foundation crumbles with it. And so we are now reaping the devastation of family disintegration. Now we're living in a day when it's normal not to have a nuclear family as it was created to be.

It's abnormal to see one. It's not normal anymore, the norm to see husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. Whole ministries have to now be reconstructed to deal with this reality that we're having to face. And we must deal with it while at the same time trying to get back to what God had in mind.

We're living in the day of the adultification of children, when now children are raising parents rather than parents raising children. It reminds me of the lady who was in the grocery store, and she had a little girl with her, and she said very sternly, Suzanne, stop it. Suzanne, did you hear what I said? I said, stop it. Suzanne, listen to me. I said, stop it. Well, the proprietor of the store was quite impressed that he was seeing a mother speaking in disciplinary terms. So he came to the little girl, and he patted her on the hand, and he said, so your name's Suzanne? The mother said, no, my name's Suzanne.

That's Betty. I'm trying to control myself. Because we're living in a day when younger and younger and younger, children are in control. What's happening downstream is because there's been a breakdown upstream, and that is because we have misunderstood, misdefined, misapplied the principle of the family, and in particular today the role of parents.

The Bible says in Isaiah chapter 3 verses 4 and 5, it says, and there was the deterioration in the culture as the children lived in rebellion against their elders. And so I want to now talk to you about raising Kingdom kids. If you have children, this will inform what you do with them for the place you are now. If you don't have them, this will try to give you a framework for when you do have them, or even the influence that you may have over nieces or nephews or other young people in your scope or sphere of responsibility.

Let's start at the top. Why does God want you to have kids in the first place? Let me tell you why he is not trying to get you to have kids. He's not trying to get you to have kids so you can have lookalikes.

That's not his goal. In fact, in some of our cases, it's better if they don't look like us. But the goal of parenting is not to have lookalikes. You see in these verses, he says, raise them in the fear of the Lord. Remember, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth with children.

But why? Because man was created in the image of God. So the goal of having children is the replication of God's image, not just the replication of your image. The role of children was for God to reproduce himself through the process of childbearing, through the imprint of parenting, so that God would become replicated all over the earth. So the purpose of children was the replication of God and the advancement of God's kingdom in history. Man was created in the image of God. Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth with my image.

It would be the domination of the image of God through the expansion of family due to the birth of children out of a relationship of marriage. That's how God set it up. That's how God wanted it to go. But now, children are therefore a convenience and often they become an inconvenience. In fact, that tells you even how many children you should have. I get this question often. How many children does God want me to have?

Answer is real simple. As many as you can put the divine imprint on, because the goal of childbearing is the replication of the image of God in history for the advancement of his kingdom. That is the reason he created the procreation aspect of family. We're living in a day when there are many couples who get married who don't want kids. God told his people in Jeremiah 29. He says, I want you to multiply there and do not decrease in your numbers. Do not stop having children even though you're in a pagan place called Babylon. So while the unrighteous are aborting their future, you expand the kingdom of God so that the unrighteous wind up getting outnumbered. Now, when you define childbearing, parenting, and family along that line, it changes the equation of why you're doing it.

It's more than Gucci Gucci goo. And isn't he or she cute? Because it won't be too long before you discover when their legs get longer, their wings get shorter. And so, family was given for the expansion of God's rule in history. God set up a hierarchical pattern.

He set up a hierarchical plan. God is over Christ. Christ is over every man.

A man is over a woman. And then he says today, and parents are over children. He tells you why else, because he tells you in verse three that they may live long on the earth. Parents get to affect how long their children live, and if not how long they live, how well they live. It says, and it will go well with you, and you shall live long on the earth if you have the right relationship with parents. So for you teenagers who are listening to the sound of my voice, it is absolutely critical that you respond properly to your parents so you live to fulfill your fully ordained days and don't die before your time. It is also critical that you appropriately respond to your parents so that it will go well with you, so that God will answer your prayers, see your life through, govern your future, because you have related to your parents.

But that means, parents, you gotta be the kind of person they can relate to. That means operating under God's hierarchical chain of command. Because remember, Satan slithered in, he broke the chain. When you break the chain, you invite the devil, and that's why we got hell in our homes. Men are not under God, women are not under men, children are not under parents, and so the devil is having a heyday. Because once you flip this thing, once you tweak it, twist it, flip it, and turn it, the devil doesn't have to be invited in.

The flipping is an invitation. And so many of us have one more member of our family than we know about, and that is the evil one who makes himself at home, which is why there's World War III, when the family is there on an ongoing basis. And so the family exists for the replication of God. In fact, God tells, in 1 Timothy, one reason why women ought to have babies, and that is to get the devil back, to pay him back for what he did in the Garden of Eden.

He messed women up in the Garden of Eden, so Paul says, I want you to have some babies, raise them as godly seed, and get back at him. It is a response to the evil. So children have a very spiritual reason for existence, not just a biological, physiological, or familial reason for their existence. They are to transfer a theocentric, God-centered worldview, which why he says, raise them in the Lord. That is, let the glasses that they wear, we call that a worldview, it's the lens through which you view life, be constructed by the parents as they transfer to the children that which they have gotten from the Lord.

But if parents haven't gotten anything, they can't give anything. So we are to transfer to them what we have gotten from the Lord. And so now he gives the responsibility. He says in verse 4, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up. All right, we ready for a curveball kingdom, men?

Here's a curveball kingdom, man. In the Bible, the father is responsible for the raising of the children, not the mother. Now, ladies, he's not excluding the mother, because he's already said in the first verse, children obey your parents, plural. So that's a mother and a father. But the father was ultimately responsible. The mother has one job.

Every woman who's a wife here, you only have one job when it comes to child rearing. Help. You're a helpmate. So you are to fill in the gaps when he can't be there. He's out working. He's out bringing in the bread, whatever.

You are to fill in the gap. But the man is responsible for the bringing up of the children. So when a wife says, wait till your daddy get home, that's exactly what she should be saying, because the buck stops here.

It stops with the man. So if you're a jacked up man, if you're a messed up man, then you're not going to raise the kids properly. If your wife has to wake you up and ask you, are you going to church today? If she's having to ask you, will you pray with the kids? If she's having to ask you, are you going to work today?

Is she going to do that? That means you're not raising the kids. But I understand that problem because many men have not been raised themselves. He says four things parents should do, starting with the father. Four things in verse four.

All four in verse four. First of all, he says, do not provoke your children to anger. Translation, be known as an encourager, not a discourager. Don't provoke them.

Set them off. Don't create an environment where you're creating an angry child. Create an environment where you're creating an encouraged child. Secondly, he says, nurture them. Bring them up means to nurture. Or as Proverbs 22 says, train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Okay? The reason you come to church, particularly men, the reason you come to church is to hear God's Word. The problem is, I'm speaking as an adult to adult, but your job is to break it down, break it down, break it down, so that they can get what you got, and they can get it in the way that they can grasp it. And when they're old, they will not depart from it. It doesn't mean that when you do your job, they won't stray.

What it means is when you do your job, if they do stray, you just hook them with a reel for God the Holy Spirit to reel them back in. Because the only reason some of us are here today is because daddy made you go to church, mama made you go to church, you hated church, you said when I go to college I'm never going back to church, but after you graduated, it came upon you that you were not able to shake mama off, shake daddy off, and the Holy Ghost got you one day and started reeling you back in, because mama and daddy made you. I cannot conceive of a parent asking a child, do you want to go to church? You don't ask them, do you want to go to school? That was never an option that you ask a kid, does he want to go to church? And you're the head of the house.

But maybe you're asking them that because you're asking you that. He says nurture them, raise them up. It's your responsibility. Dr. Evans will come back to continue our message in just a moment.

Stay with us. As a follower of Christ, you are created and called for greatness, now more than ever before. But most men don't get that.

They don't understand. Instead, they choose to follow the world's definition for how to be an influencer, not gods, and wind up wasting their lives on that which will never last. In his powerful sequel to the bestseller, Kingdom Man, Tony Evans, Kingdom Men Rising, calls men to break free of apathetic faith, to take a stand, do more than just exist. You have been called to rise up and influence those around you, at home and in your communities. As kingdom men, we must point others to the king and his kingdom in order to challenge and change our culture for good. Discover how, when you get the much anticipated sequel to Kingdom Man, Kingdom Men Rising, and learn the art of intentional impact. The measure of a man's mark is revealed through what he does.

A man's legacy is much more than leaving a name behind. How will you use your God-given gifts for good? Put in the work and experience a life of greatness today. Find out more at TonyEvans.org. As we've been learning today, you don't have to look far to see the crisis facing families.

And if today's trends are allowed to continue, the challenges our children will face will be even tougher to overcome. But you can get back on a healthier course with the help of the Kingdom Family Devotional, written by Dr. Evans and his son Jonathan. It's a 52-week journey through the most important concepts of the Christian faith, with each week covering a different topic like salvation, spiritual warfare, prayer, forgiveness, discipleship, and more. Because this can be so valuable to your family, we're making it available as our gift in appreciation for your contribution toward the work of the alternative. And for a limited time, we'll also include on both CD and digital download all six messages in Tony's current teaching series, The Kingdom Family. So visit us today at TonyEvans.org to get your copy of The Kingdom Family Devotional and The Kingdom Family Message Series, all in appreciation for your gift. Again, that's TonyEvans.org. Or call our resource request line at 1-800-800-3222, where team members are on hand day and night, seven days a week to help you. That's 1-800-800-3222. Right now, Dr. Evans is back with more of today's lesson.

Let's join him. Then he says, discipline them in the corrective procedures of the Lord. You must break the child's will without crushing the child's spirit. Anybody in here have a battle of wills with your child?

You know, starting with the terrible twos? That will must be broken. But you must do it without crushing their spirit. That's why the Bible combines discipline with love. It says you correct them while loving them.

Okay? You correct them while loving them. The purpose—here it is—of discipline is not venting. That's why sometimes there needs to be a gap between what they did and what you do. Because if you just react based on what they did, you might crush their will and their spirit. You don't want to crush their spirit because it's got to be combined with love. But you do want to reshape that will or that rebellion that they have exercised. Scripture goes on to say, Proverbs 29 15, children who get their way will be a shame to their parents. If they can get whatever they want, whenever they want, if they can throw a temper tantrum, start crying, know you're going to buckle every time, then what you're doing is you're raising a shameless child because they're going to pout every time they don't get their way. They need to know on this one, no, you can't have this. Not now. In Proverbs 29 17, correct your son and he will bring you comfort, meaning if you don't correct them, he's going to bring you grief.

All right? Now let me say this about teenagers, because that's when we really get it, teenage years. Because, see, the teenager is struggling between dependence and independence. See, they want to be free, but they can't afford to be. You see, they want freedom, but they don't have no money. They don't have no job. They don't have an edumacation yet, but they don't want to be told what to do either.

Am I right, teenagers? You can be frustrated. You can disagree. What you can't do is rebel. That's what you can't do, at least not if you're going to stay there. What you can't do is rebel and be disrespectful.

Look at those first three words. Honor your father and mother. Obey your father and mother.

Even if you disagree with your father and mother, unless they're asking you to disobey God, rob a bank, or do something evil, he says that you are to conform under that. Now, you establish the boundaries, like a football. These are the boundaries.

As long as you play within the line, you're good. I'm going to let you have some freedom. In fact, if you do good within the lines, I'll expand the boundaries. But if you don't, I'm going to shrink the boundaries. So, do you want an expanded boundary?

You want a shrinking boundary? It all depends on whether you conform. So, it's okay to offer rewards. It's okay to say, if you do this and I see you're going to be consistent with your housework, your schoolwork, your responsibilities, I'm going to give you more freedom. I'm going to let you stay out longer. I'm going to give you a bigger curfew.

I'll give you a bigger allowance. But if you don't do those things, then I'm going to shrink your curfew. I'm going to shrink your privilege. I'm going to shrink your friends.

I'm going to shrink your allowance. It all depends on whether you honor me, treat me respectfully, and obey me, okay? But what you do not allow is rebellion. Rebellion says, I don't care what you say. I'm going to do what I want to do.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. The only way a kid can continuously be rebellious is if a mama and daddy let them. As long as you're paying the bills, providing the food, providing the air conditioner, providing the heat, providing the roof, providing the clothes, providing the shoes, providing the transportation, rebellion is unacceptable.

Because teenagers, what you're going to find is when you get out there on your own, it's a lot better at home dealing with mama and daddy than it is out there trying to make it on your own. In fact, in fact, let me tell you how serious this rebellion thing was not to be tolerated in Scripture. In Deuteronomy 21, verse 18, it says, if a mother and father has a rebellious child, and this was an older child, because it says he's a glutton and a drunkard. So we're talking about a two-year-old, three-year-old who's rebellious. We're talking about somebody entering into those upper teenage years, and he's just going crazy.

He's lost his mind, all right, or her mind. He says if a mother and a father have a rebellious teenager that they try to get under control, and they refuse to get under control, you bring them to the elders, it says, and the elders sit them down and look at them and say, now you're going to get this straight now. So you know they didn't have a whole bunch of rebellion in Israel, because rebellion was unacceptable.

It is unacceptable. You don't have to agree with your parents. You don't even have to like your parents. You don't have to love your parents.

But you better teenagers honor your parents, and you better obey them unless they're contradicting God, because if you don't, you're cutting your own life short. Father took his son to the toy store. He said to the store manager, that's my son's birthday. I want to buy my son a toy.

Help him find a toy. So it went up one aisle. Kid didn't like anything in that aisle. Went up another aisle. Didn't like anything in that aisle. Went up another aisle. Didn't like anything in that aisle. Went another.

This went on for an hour and a half. Kid doesn't like a thing. So now, three people are mad. The son is mad. He can't find anything. The manager's mad, because he can't find the son anything. And the father's mad, because they're taking up all his time. So the father says to the manager, why can't you find my boy a toy? The manager ticked off too, said, because what your boy needs, we don't sell here. It is the role of parents, and in particular the father, to make sure that there is no chaos in the home. Unacceptable. Because that's for me and my house.

That's how we roll. Finally, it says, instruct them. It concludes verse 4 with instruct them. Teach them to operate under divine guidelines, so that when they leave, they still have the guidelines. So that when you're not there telling them what to do, they still have the guidelines. Deuteronomy 6 says, teach them convincingly, consistently, creatively, and comprehensively.

It says you ought to teach them. That's one of the reasons you come to church. You come to church to hear God's Word, but that's not the only reason. You come to church to repeat what you heard.

They should hear it over and over again. The reason why men should be the first ones in church on Sunday is so that you can get all the information so that you can go home and pastor your own family. Because a man is supposed to be his family's pastor. I'm supposed to be the pastor of the men. The men are supposed to be the pastor of their own homes.

You're supposed to be there. So this is what I learned today, and this is what I want to reiterate to you. You say, well, I haven't been to Bible study, and I haven't been to Bible college, and I haven't been to seminary. Well, I've been to Bible college.

I got a master's degree, and I got a doctorate degree, so I got all the information you need. So I use all my training to bring it here so that you can grab it and take it there so that there can be the replication of spiritual truth in the home. That's the goal. That's what it means to man up or to woman up from a parental standpoint. Now, in conclusion, you may say, well, you don't understand my situation. My kids are already big and grown, and they've left, and I've already messed up. I can already see the negative from my failed parenting, that you can't go back and re-raise them. So if they've gone left, then what you do is you ask God to bring a win to blow them back on course. God may have to do something independently of you. What you do is you call them, and you say, no, I failed, necessary, necessary, I'm sorry. Whatever little I can do now to bring us back together, I'm going to do, but at least I'm going to pray for you.

That may be all you can do, but that's something. If we're going to stop the crisis, we got to go back upstream. We got to go back upstream. There were some young bull elephants, and they were cutting up crazy in the jungle. They were just going crazy. They were tearing down trees—true story—tearing down trees, killing smaller animals. The bull elephants had gone crazy. They were trying to figure out why this herd of elephants was causing all this chaos in this particular area of the jungle in which they were located, and they noticed something.

There were no adult bull elephants. They were all—the big adults had been killed for ivory and all of that, so there were no male bull elephants, adult bull elephants there, so the baby bull elephants had lost their minds because there was no corralling them. So they went and captured some bull elephant adults and transported them into the jungle where the baby bull elephants had gone crazy. When the big bull elephants arrived on the scene, they began flapping their ears. They began flapping those big ears and making a hollow sound, and they began making a sound, flapping their ears faster and faster. And the more they flapped their ears and the more they made the sound, the calmer, the younger bull elephants became until they settled down.

Why? Because the male bull elephants had returned to the herd. It's time for us to return to our responsibility with our children and our families as kingdom men, as kingdom women, so that we calm this chaos down. Dr. Evans will come back in a moment to wrap up today's program with a word of prayer. But before he does that, I want you to know that today's lesson is part of Tony's current teaching series, The Kingdom Family. This collection of messages will teach you how to keep the epidemic of family failure from infecting your home while pointing you toward the sense of purpose and fulfillment you've been looking for. And as I mentioned earlier, when you make a donation to help support Tony's broadcast ministry to families, we'll send you all six messages in The Kingdom Family as our thank you gift, along with a copy of The Kingdom Family devotional.

But don't wait, this special double offer is only available for only available for a limited time. Make your request today at tonyevans.org or let one of our team members help you by calling 1-800-800-3222. Again, that's tonyevans.org or by phone 1-800-800-3222.

Not one of us is immune to wondering why we face certain struggles in our lives. But next time, Jonathan Evans explains that God can turn any negative situation into something good for us and for those around us. I hope you'll join us as he helps us discover the big picture. Right now, though, Tony's back to wrap up today with a word of prayer.

Let's pray. Father, I thank you for the Word of God that goes forth through this ministry and for every ear that hears it. I pray that you will use the Word in the life of each person individually so that they know that they are hearing from you and are transformed by what they hear. I pray that that transformation touches them at their place of need, wherever they're hurting, struggling, wherever they're in pain, or wherever they're celebrating. May you be the center of that, and may they be able to say, because of the Word that they've heard and because of the true God that they're interacting with right now, that you have showed up and shown off on their behalf, doing good by them no matter what their circumstances happen to be. Thank you for how you're going to touch every listener today in your own special way, in Jesus' name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-08 11:43:04 / 2023-11-08 11:54:22 / 11

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