Topical - Parenting, Taking the Lead
A wise son makes a glad father,
But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.
I. Shade for Our Children
An old Chinese proverb says, “One generation plants the trees and another gets the shade.” Our generation lives in the shade of many trees that were planted by our ancestors [Our For-Fathers who founded this country].
In spiritual terms, we derive shade from our parents’ and grandparents’ ethical standards, their perceptions of right and wrong, their sense of moral duty, and above all, their spiritual commitment. Their ideals determined the kind of civilization we inherited from them, and our generation’s ideals will likewise shape tomorrow’s culture for our kids.
There’s no question that society as a whole is in a serious state of moral and spiritual decline. So the question that faces Christian Father’s today is whether we can plant some trees that will shade future generations from what may well be the blistering heat of anti-Christian values in and anti-Christian world.
1. Are we planting the right kind of shade trees, or are we leaving our children totally exposed (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15)?
2. Look at yourself as a human link between two generations—Passing on the baton of faith.
3. As Youth Pastors, Pastor Robert & I are ministering to one of the most critical age groups in the church.
Þ This is the time they are making the most crucial decisions in their lives.
Þ Their career, their mate, their choice to follow or reject Jesus Christ.
Þ 9/10ths of the decisions to be a Christian are made in the teen years.
Þ Whether they will spend eternity in heaven or hell are being made while under my tutelage.
4. This is what I am committing to you today (2 Timothy 2:1).
A. Parenthood is God’s Gift To Us.
1. Children Should Be Seen as a Blessing Not a Hardship – Psalm 127:3-5
a) Our children are a blessing when they arrive in this world. But left exposed to this world and unshaded by the proper kind of protection, they will indeed break your heart.
2. Parenting is supposed to be a Joy not a burden – Proverbs 29:17
a) The discipline process ultimately produces joy when we are faithful to God’s instruction.
3. Success in Parenting is Measured by what the Parents do, not by what the child does
a) Children Are Never Too Young to Learn About God—Prov.22:6
(1) The word “train” in this verse connotes the actions of a midwife.
During biblical times, a midwife, after helping to deliver a baby, would dip her finger in crushed dates and then put her sweetened finger in the infant’s mouth. This would help create a thirst for milk in the infant. That is the main idea behind this verse—to create a thirst in your child for the things of God from infancy to adulthood. To teach or train also speaks of breaking and bringing into submission, much like breaking in a wild horse by putting a bit in its mouth. We must establish outward boundaries for them while we seek to create an inward thirst for God.
b) True measure of success for Christian parents is the Parent’s Own Character.
(1) To the degree that we have followed God’s design for parenting, we have succeeded as parents before God.
(a) Parents who follow biblical principles in bringing up their children will see a positive effect on the character of their children.
(b) Sometimes children raised in fine Christian families grow up to abandon the faith.
(c) On the other hand, the Lord graciously redeems many children whose parents are utter failures. Solomon himself departed from the faith; it is also supposed that he came back to the faith.
4. A Child’s Most Important Influences Come from Parents, not Peers.
a) Be Involved in Your Child’s Life – Get into His or Her World (Britt’s Barbie’s)
(1) Do not let any other influence take precedence.
(a) God has placed in our hands the responsibility of bringing our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, & we will give an account to God for our stewardship of this great gift!
(a) Do not allow television, movies, music, other children & even “Sunday School Teachers”, or “Youth Leaders” to take precedence in their spiritual, moral, and ethical instruction.
b) Parenting is a Full-Time Responsibility.
(1) This Principle was Built into the Law at Sinai—Deut.6:6-9
(a) There is no time-out or coffee break for the parents who want to be faithful in this task.
(b) Not “quality time” but “quantity time”
(2) The Dangers of Neglecting the Full-Time Responsibility—Judges 2:7,10
(a) Note: this was one generation after God had first given the Law at Sinai.
(a) Their environment influenced them more than their parents did because the parents abandoned the parental role.
(b) The result was idolatry, chaos, and destruction (Judges 21:25)
· Is there a King in your household named Jesus Christ?
There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12 cf. Proverbs 3:5)
Fathers Its Time to Take Inventory of Our Own Hearts!
1. Whenever a generation of parents failed to plant the seeds that would provide shade trees for subsequent generations, the children suffered the spiritual famine.
2. The same thing is happening right now & the outlook for our next generation looks bad.
3. There will be no turn around unless this generation of Christian parents resumes the full-time responsibility & work of planting spiritual shade trees.
4. Fathers, do we thirst for God as a deer pants after the water brook (Ps.42:1)? Or is our life sending our children a message of hypocrisy and spiritual indifference?
5. Is our own commitment to Christ what we hope to see in our children’s lives?
6. Is our obedience to His Word the same kind of submission we long to see from our own kids?
7. Parents [Fathers] who are “lax-easy going” in these area’s virtually guarantee that their sons and daughters will fail spiritually.
2 Chronicles 7:14!
B. Understand Your Child’s Greatest Need – Psalm 51:5
1. Recognize your child’s true potential.
a) The Insatiable Capacity for Evil – Total Depravity
(1) Every child comes into the world with an insatiable capacity for evil.
(a) Even before birth, the human heart is already programmed for sin and selfishness.
(b) They come into the world seeking the fulfillment of sinful & selfish desires, because there is no aspect of the human personality, character, mind, emotions, or will that is free from the corruption of sin or immune to sin’s enticements.
(c) Left to themselves they will pursue a course of sin.
The wicked are estranged from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. (Psalms 58:3 cf. Romans 3:10-18)
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him. (Proverbs 22:15 NKJV)
When children are simply permitted to follow the course of their nature,
Inevitably the result is disaster.
2. The Child’s Greatest Need.
a) Regeneration – John 3:6-7
(1) Born of the flesh with a sinful bent
(a) Our children have no power to free themselves from sin’s bondage.
(b) They lack the Holy Spirit, they:
· have no capacity to please God
· have no desire to obey Him from the heart
· are carnal (Romans 8:7-8)
· are unregenerate (Eph.2:1,3)
3. The Father’s Top Priority.
a) Being and Evangelist in His Home.
(1) What We Need to Teach Our Children is:
(a) The law of God
(b) The gospel of divine grace
(c) Their need for a Savior
(d) Pointing them to Jesus Christ as the only One who can save them.
If our children grow up without a keen awareness of their need for salvation, we as Fathers will have failed in our primary task as the spiritual leader!
b) However, Regeneration Is Not Something You Can do for Them.
(1) Never force, manipulate or pressure them into a false profession.
(a) The new birth is a work of the Holy Spirit (John 3:8)
God works sovereignly in our children’s hearts to draw them to Himself. Their salvation is a matter that must ultimately be settled between them and God.
(b) As Fathers we have the responsibility to exalt Christ in our home & point them to Him.
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14 NKJV)
(2) We are the first and most important preachers God has given them
(a) We have a better opportunity than anyone to help frame what they know about Christ.
(b) Every moment of their lives is a teaching opportunity (Deut.6:6-7)
II. How Should I Present the Gospel to My Children?
A. The Gospel is Simple and Should Be Presented Simply.
1. Be faithful & consistent in both teaching & exemplifying the Gospel.
2. Take Your Time and be thorough, patient, persistent and diligent.
3. Teach them the whole counsel of God.
4. Highlight the doctrines that are most crucial to the gospel.
a) Teach Them About God’s Holiness – Ps.111.10
(1) God is utterly holy, and His law therefore demands Perfect Holiness (Lev.11:44-45)
(2) Because He is Holy, God Hates Sin (Ex.20:5)
(3) Sinners Cannot Stand Before Him (Ps.1:5)
b) Show Them their Sin – Exodus 20:12
(1) Sin is a Violation of God’s Law (1Jn.3:4)
(2) Sin is what makes True Peace Impossible for Sinners (Is.57:20-21)
(3) All Have Sinned (Rom.3:23)
(4) Sin Makes the Sinner Worthy of Death (Ezek.18:4)
(5) Sinners can do nothing to Earn Salvation (Is.64:6)
(6) Sinners can do nothing to change their own sin nature (Jer.2:22)
(7) Sinners are therefore in a Helpless State (Heb.9:27)
c) Instruct Them About Christ and what He has Done
(1) He is Eternally God (Jn1:1-3, 14)
(2) He is the Lord of All (Rev.17:14)
(3) He Became Man (Phil.2:5-8)
(4) He is Utterly Pure and Sinless (Heb.4:15)
(5) He Became A Sacrifice for our Sin (2Cor.5:21)
(6) He Shed His Own Blood As An Atonement for our Sin (Eph.1:7)
(7) He Died on the Cross-To Provide the Way of Salvation (1Pet.2:24)
(8) He Rose From the Dead (Rom.1:4)
(9) His Righteousness is imputed to Those Who Trust in Him (1Cor.1:30)
(10) He Freely Justifies All Who Trust in Him (Rom.3:24)
d) Tell Them What God Demands of Sinners – Acts 17:30
(1) Repentance (Ezek.18:32)
(2) Turn Your Hearts From All that Dishonors God (1Thess.1:9)
(3) Follow Jesus (Luke 9:23)
(4) Trust Him As Lord and Savior (Acts 16:31)
e) Advise Them To Count the Cost Thoughtfully
(1) Take Up Your Cross (Mk.10:21)
(2) Be Prepared to follow Christ even to Death (Jn.12:24-25)
f) Urge Them To Trust Christ Now – 2Cor.5:11
III. Teaching Our Children Wisdom
A. The Fathers Role
1. Solomon includes an admonition to his own son in the opening verses.
a) Proverbs 1:8-9; 2:1; 3:1; 4:1, 10, 20; 5:1; 6:20; 7:1
Such admonitions also apply to our children,
And if we hope to teach well,
We must master the wisdom of Scripture in our live’s & live consistently
So that these principles of wisdom are reflected in own character.
B. The Dangers of an Inconsistent Life.
1. Solomon himself is an object lesson about the danger of inconsistency.
a) The Life of Solomon.
(1) Solomon was, in intellectual terms, the wisest man who ever lived.
And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. (1 Kings 4:29 NKJV)
God Himself told Solomon, “I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. (1 Kings 3:12 NKJV)
(2) His instructions were wise, but he failed miserably by way of example.
(a) Solomon included several warnings about the dangers of being seduced by the wrong kind of women (Prov.2:16-19, 5:3-13, 20; 6:23-29, 7:5-27; 22:14; 31:30).
(3) But Scripture says this about Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-2, 9-14)
(4) Christ is the embodiment of all true wisdom (Colossians 2:3)
(a) Therefore, as a parent our task boils down to teaching our kids about Jesus Christ.
(b) Whether I am teaching them the gospel, or teaching them wisdom for life in general, the proper focus of all my instruction is Jesus Christ!
(c) Let the words of Christ dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16)
C. Ten Principles of Wisdom for Our Kids.
1. Teach our children to fear their God – Proverbs 1:7; 9:10
a) All Genuine Wisdom Starts with Fearing God
(1) This Fear has Two Aspects
(a) Reverence – a sacred awe of God’s utter holiness—having fear in the presence of such majesty.
(b) Fear of God’s Displeasure -- in the presence of God, true wisdom trembles with a holy, healthy sense of terror and apprehension.
(2) Be sure to give them a full-appreciation of all His attributes.
(a) They need to know from the earliest of age, that God is angry with the wicked, and He will punish evildoers (Ps.7:11-13).
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 NKJV)
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
(3) I have not satisfied the responsibilities of a father when I have made them submit to me.
· If I am consistent and firm in my discipline, they may obey me because they fear violating my standards.
· Our children should fear violating God’s standard, not merely mine.
· If they grow up fearing only my displeasure but not God’s, what will they do when I am not their?
b) Furthermore, when they fear God they will also fear sin – Genesis 39:1-9 cf. Prov.16:6
2. Teach my children to guard their minds – Proverbs 4:23
a) This is a must, especially for the age of the Internet
(1) Teach them how to cultivate wholesome thoughts
(a) Proverbs 23:7 – whatever we think we will become
(b) Jeremiah 17:9 – our heart is deceitfully wicked
(c) Psalm 101:3 – set nothing wicked before their eyes
(d) Philippians 4:8 – think on these things
3. Teach my children to obey their parents – Proverbs 1:8
a) Solomon makes this appeal to his son – Proverbs 1:8; 4:1-4; 6:20-23
(1) A warning to the wayward child – Proverbs 30:17
(2) Obedience involves discipline, chastening and correction – Proverbs 13:24
"Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." (Ephesians 6:2-3 NKJV)
Do our kids see us honoring our Father in heaven by obeying Him & His Word?
4. Teach my children to select their companions – Proverbs 13:20
a) Choosing their friends wisely is most vital to their life.
(1) A Bad Influence among their friends poses a deadly danger.
(a) 1 Corinthians 15:33 – evil company corrupts good habits
(b) 1 Corinthians 5:6 – a little leaven leavens the whole lump.
(c) Proverbs 1:10 – if sinners entice you do not consent
(2) Instruct them how to choose companions that lift them up.
(a) Acts 2:42 – having communion and fellowship with the body of Christ
(b) Hebrews 10:24-25 – stirring up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves.
5. Teach my children to control their lusts – 2 Timothy 2:22
a) True Wisdom has the effect of delivering us from evil companions – Proverbs 2:10-19
(1) We must realize our kids develop powerful passions that can lead them into tragedy unless they learn to control their lusts.
· Tell them about what is going to happen to their body at puberty.
· What do you do during the football game at commercial time? Do you watch those beer commercials with half dressed women or do you turn the station?
· What magazines do you have hidden that no one knows about?
· Do your kids see you checking out other women?
· Romans 13:14 & Matthew 5:27-30
6. Teach my children to enjoy their spouses – Proverbs 5:15, 18-20
a) Teach them to channel their youthful passions toward righteous ends.
(1) Teach them to reserve their sexual passions for their spouses alone.
(a) Not “safe sex” but “save sex”
(2) And then teach them to be faithful, and not seek to gratify sexual desires out side the bounds of their marriage.
· We need to be faithful to our wives; never say the word divorce.
· Do you watch television programs that promote sex before marriage & even laugh while watching this program.
My daughter must marry one who can take the lead, therefore, I must demonstrate at home what a husband is to be.
My son must be able to take the lead, therefore, I must demonstrate at home what it is to take the lead as a husband.
7. Teach my children to watch their words – Proverbs 4:24
a) Keeping Our Words Pure, Telling the Truth, Not talking,
(1) Whatever is in the heart determines “speech content” and “attitude” (Matthew 12:34).
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34 NKJV)
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21 NKJV)
No wonder David said in Psalm 141:3-4, Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing,
(a) David knew that the heart is the key to right speech.
(b) David also said in Psalm 39:1, I said, "I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me."
(c) David wanted to give the right kind of testimony, so he would put a bridle on his mouth.
Do you have roast Pastor for lunch in front of your kids?
Our we giving the right kind of testimony to our kids?
b) Stress the importance of telling the truth (Proverbs 6:17 cf. Rev.22:15)
(1) Give illustration of having Bible study on John 8:44, then “Answering the Phone”?
(a) Do you tell your wife to say, “tell them I am in the shower & I will call them back”?
(b) This sends a mixed message to our children!
Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight. (Proverbs 12:22 NKJV)
c) Teach them it is often wiser not to talk.
The story of a man who went out fishing, caught a fish, a woman said, “aren’t you ashamed of yourself for cruelly catching this poor little fish?” The man replied, “Maybe your right, but if the fish had kept his mouth shut he wouldn’t have been caught.”
In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise. (Proverbs 10:19)
For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool's voice is known by his many words. (Ecclesiastes 5:3 NKJV)
The words of his mouth begin with foolishness, And the end of his talk is raving madness. (Ecclesiastes 10:13 NKJV)
We must maintain control over our tongue in adverse circumstances in front of our kids.
If not a hot head and a hot heart can lead to burning words that later we will regret because, our words can start fires.
Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife. (Proverbs 26:20-21 NKJV)
No wonder Solomon wrote, He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. (Proverbs 17:27 NKJV); & He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly. (Proverbs 14:29 NKJV)
d) Teach them to renew their minds with the word of God (Rom.12:2)
8. Teach my children to pursue their work – Proverbs 6:6-11
a) Teach them the Value of Hard Word – vv.6-8
(1) The ant works even though it has no overseer
(a) Our children will work if we stand there with a whip, but will they work if you don’t?
(b) They’re must have to work on their own initiative if they are going to be successful in life.
(c) Are we working hard while we are at our job?
Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; (Ephesians 6:5 NKJV)
Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. (Colossians 3:22 NKJV)
b) They also need to learn to plan ahead – vv.9-11
(1) This is a Vital Lesson
(a) The ant knows to prepare her food in the summer, anticipating the coming winter.
(b) Do our children know how to plan & work for the future—GIVING AN ALLOWENCE!
(c) GIVE ILUUSTRATION OF PUTTING AWAY THE DISHES & MOM CANT FIND THEM!
9. Teach my children to manage their money – Proverbs 3:9-10
a) Honoring the Lord is First Rule of Wise Financial Management.
(1) Teach them how to give generously to God & to use their resources to honor Him!
(a) The firstfruits belong to Him not leftovers (Amos 8:5-6; Malachi 1:6-14; Matt.5:22-24).
· Generosity is a wiser financial policy than miserliness (Prov.11:24-26)
· Kindness to the poor unleashes God’s blessings (Prov.19:17; 22:9)
· Do not overwork to be rich (Prov.23:4)
(b) How is your giving unto the Lord?
(c) Are you working much overtime to gain riches?
(d) Teach them to store their treasures in heaven not on earth (Matt.6:19-21)
10. Teach my children to love their neighbors – Proverbs 3:27-29
a) Teach them the value of Kindness, Mercy & Compassion.
(1) This Commandment Applies to our enemies as well (Prov.25:21-22 cf. Matt.5:43-48)
(a) Jesus said the command to love ones neighbor is the second greatest command (Matt.22:39).
(b) The greatest commandment of course is loving God first (Deut.6:5)
(c) Notice that those same two principles are the first and last of the ten we have just learned: Fear God, and love you neighbor. Everything else in between fleshes out and amplifies those principles. Teaching those principles to our kids will make them to be wise.
1. If I fail to teach my children to fear God, the devil will teach them to hate God.
2. If I fail to teach them to guard their minds, the devil will teach them to have a corrupt mind.
3. If I fail to teach them to obey their parents, the devil will teach them to rebel and break our hearts.
4. If I fail to teach them to select carefully their companions, the devil will choose companions for them.
5. If I fail to teach them to control their lusts, the devil will teach them how to fulfill their lusts.
6. If I fail to teach them to enjoy their own spouses, the devil will teach them to destroy their marriages.
7. If I fail to teach them to watch their words, the devil will fill their mouths with filth.
8. If I fail to teach them to pursue their work, the devil will make their laziness a tool of hell.
9. If I fail to teach them to mange their money, the devil will teach them to squander it on riotous living.
10. If I fail to teach them to love their enemies, the devil will teach them to love only themselves.
He climbs in my lap for a good night hug
He calls me Dad and I call him Bub
With his faded pillow and a bear named Pooh
He snuggles up close and says, “I want to be like you.”
I tuck him in bed and I kiss him goodnight
Trippin’ over the toys as I turn out the light
And I whisper a prayer that someday he’ll see
He’s got a father in God cause he’s seen Jesus in me
Lord I want to be just like You
Cause he want’s to be just like me
I want to be a holy example
For his innocent eyes to see
Help me be a living Bible, Lord
That my little boy can read
I want to be just like you
Cause he wants to be like me
Got to admit I’ve go so far to go
Make so many mistakes and I’m sure that you know
Sometimes it seems no matter how hard I try
With all the pressures in life I just can’t get it all right
But I’m trying so hard to learn from the best
Being patient and kind, filled with Your tenderness
‘Cause I know that he’ll learn from the things that he sees
And the Jesus he finds will be the Jesus in me
Right now from where he stands I may seem mighty tall
But it’s only cause I’m learning from the best Father of them all