Raising 'em Right
You're at one of those days where you wake up and it feels like everything is against you. That's what this morning has been like for me. Normally I come to church and everything is set up. Everything is great. I spend some time getting in the the right frame of mind to that the prayerful friend of mine in order to deliver a message today. I walked in and the projector as you see it's it's a little bit off. It was a lot more off when I came in this morning it just magically I think it's possessed or something is up there just pulling on the cords because as the sermon if it does, you know, just kind of tilt your head a little bit but it might just kind of turn on us and then things weren't set up. Right and my wife's out of town so I've got the three kids and so I'm dealing with them and so I've just been in a frenzy this morning and that tells me something that tells me that the devil doesn't want me to say what I am about to say that he is trying to distract me trying to fight me and maybe the screen is distracted you a little bit some of you people who are Perfectionist you look at it. It's a little off-kilter. You just I don't know if I can sing these songs today because it's just I I tend to be like that as well. But can I just encourage you that there is more to a perfectly centered screen. There is more to life some some days some days the devil's going to try to come against you and distract you but God is God and he is good and we've been singing about his goodness and his power and nothing that the devil throws about her throws at us can distract us. So I just prayed that you would lean into this moment and it'll listen to the words that God has to say because I am convinced that they will help you. So let's let's jump in I know it's kind of a cliche for older generations to look at the kids these days and they complain about how rude they are. But you know, even though it's a cliche. I want to start out that way the kids these days right? I mean, come on. Have you noticed that the kids these days tend to be more self-centered less polites downright rude. If you are, you're not the only one in this this trend has been going on for a long time. I found an article from 2005 in the New York Times called kids gone wild and it gives all sorts of Statistics. I'll just give you a few of them. One of them said that a third of all teachers. Either have considered quitting or know someone who has quit why because of the kids awful Behavior. It said that in 2004 they did a survey and then 70% of people said that most people are Ruder than they were 20 or 30 years ago and some of the worst offenders were kids and as we read all of these statistics, we we see this we've all seen kids throwing Tantrums in the church just a few minutes ago. It happens when we see kids throw Tantrums in the supermarkets. We see them complete lack of manners and inside of its cultural some of its not We have this General disrespect in our kids and they interviewed experts in the New York Times in this was back in 2005. And I don't know if things I'm sure the experts are probably change her mind but back in 2005. The experts said that the reason why all of this is change is not necessarily because of the kids. It's because of the expectation of parents. I love this quote from the Article 1 of the experts said is it the pressure to do well is up in other words the pressure that parents put on kids to be successful to go out there and get what you want and do what you want and take Life by the horns. But in order to be successful weight, we have this at all, that is nice guys finish last right? And so we're teaching our kids to be successful to compete in this world. But the demand to do good is way down one expert interviewed. He said that I think most parents today want polite considerate and well-mannered kids. The problem is that they're either too tired. Or just completely engaged in themselves at the things that they want for their kids to really enforce those proper behaviors at home. Parenting today. He says is more about being successful on the sports field. Then it is about becoming a decent well-mannered human being. Another expert child psychiatrist said this if you go to the next line. He said parents are out of control. We always want to blame the kids. But if there's something wrong with their incivility, it's the way their parents model for them. For the past few weeks we have been talking about this idea of raising kids. We've been going to God's word to see what does he say? What does he tell us about being parents? I don't know if you've noticed if you're visiting but we got kids all over the place and we have quite a few kids out today. We got kids. We got parents. This is something that's so important. And these things that I've just talked about these quotes in the snakes from this article illustrate perfectly why we need to be in the series because parents the way that you raise your kids matters, it matters a lot. You have a huge in enormous impact on the person they turn out to be and that should give parents pause. If it's true, if it's true that what we do as parents is so important that begs. Another question is what we're going to answer today. How can we know that we are raising our kids, right?
And today we are going to go to the Bible and I'm going to give you parents and grandparents and whoever no matter how old your kids are. I'm going to give you a principal at biblical principle that is universal that will tell us clearly whether or not we are raising our kids the right way and the best part about this principle. Is it at Works in any situation as a parent? It works across the Spectrum whether your kids are behaving or whether they are just going off the deep end. It doesn't matter how old your kids are where they are fully grown or whether they are young. All of these things can apply to this specific principle to know. Am I raising my kids ready? I want to know what that principle is. We find it in Ephesians chapter 6 verse 4. Who's what the Apostle Paul write. This is his father's know. If you have a Bible and you look in the footnotes, he says he's talking to parents so fathers and mothers supplies to everyone fathers. Do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. I'm going to go ahead and give you the principal now and if you're feeling out of the bulletin, you can fill in the blank but here's the principal if you want to know if you're raising your kids, right? Here's what you do. You raise awareness of God in the way. You raise your kids. Say that again. Parenting and raising kids right means that you raise awareness of God in the way. You raise your kids. A few weeks ago we talked about how parents are given us authority over the lives of their children while the children are in Mom and Dad's house while they're living off of mom and dad's money. They have to do what Mom and Dad say in the Bible says, this is right children. You should obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. We talked about that a few weeks ago. Some of you will remember but just because parents are an authority in the life of their kids. It does not mean that we as parents get to do whatever we want. It does not mean that we are the ultimate Authority in the lives of our kids because we as parents are also under Authority. Let me give you an illustration to explain what I mean. Some of you will will go to work tomorrow. And some of you have a boss. And your boss has authority over you your boss has the ability to tell you what to do to a certain extent and you have to listen to your boss or you will get in trouble. You will get punished if you get fired or whatever. Well, let's say that your boss is not the owner of the company and your boss is not the ultimate Authority. I'll say your boss actually has a boss over him or her. That box your boss's boss is the one who really calls the shots, right? Because your boss is job is to represent that higher authority to represent his or her boss in the things that he tells you to do. If your boss were to go against his boss. What happens? That is abusing The Authority that he has been entrusted with the lead you and to be an authority over your life. It is the same thing with parents. Yes. We have authority over our kids. But we are also under God's Authority. He is the one who has entrusted us with their upbringing that he has entrusted us to raise them and he has given us specific instructions on how we are to do that if if we go against him the not only do we abused our Authority but we misrepresent for our kids who God actually it's that's why Paul starts this way and he says fathers don't provoke your children to anger by the way that you treat them. Let me see what Paul's not saying here. He's not saying parents don't ever make your kids angry because if your parenting right that's impossible. And those of you who her parents, you know, that's impossible. The second that you tell your child that they can't do something that they want to do. They're going to say would you just hate me and you don't want me to have any fun and they're going to go to the room and they're going to slam the door and they're going to throw fits and they're going to do this. They do it at pretty much any age. Saying that you shouldn't discipline as a parent. In fact, he says in the very next sentence that you should But what he saying is this don't use your parental Authority. And don't abuse it. In such a way that you give your kids good reason to be angry.
Can you think of situations or parents? Have abused The Authority that they've been given. again And we seen it in many egregious wife. We've seen it and why is where the state actually has to come in? But that's that's not what I'm talking about here. There are still many things that parents can do to provoke their kids to anger. Even if it's not necessarily illegal according to the laws of the land.
Houses don't make us just drop some application. Your don't make promises. That you have no intention of keeping. That's not a good representation of a guy who looks over his promises and make sure that he is going to fulfill every single one that he is faithful and trustworthy if you're not doing that and you are abusing the authority and provoking your kids to anger. Don't be unavailable for them don't nitpick every single thing that they do and expect them to be perfect Don't force your own failures in life on them and use them to kind of become the people that you never could be because those kind of pressures those things. You want to give them some freedom to choose because at the end of the day your kids even though they're your kids. They are also human beings created in the image of God. God gives us freedom to choose certain things. Does he not he does he gets a certain amount of freedom. And when we restrict that when we unnecessarily come down way too hard on our kids.
And we can provoke them to anger and we can raise kids who grow up bitter who grow up resentful who grow up with feelings of inadequacy their entire life because they were never good enough for Mom and Dad. There are so many things that we can do is parents and here's the thing our kids can't do anything about it.
There are certain things that child protective services can get involved with in the lives of a family but I don't think there's any criteria for a parent who still feeds their kids in and takes care of them, but doesn't keep promises and isn't available and is never there for their kids. and yet How many kids grow up in situations like this where they are not experiencing who got is who God really is? through their parents and they're counting down the days and they just cannot wait until they turn 18.
And I can get out.
Paul says don't provoke your children to anger by the way that you treat them. because not only can we damage our relationship with our kids this way? But if your Christian parents you can damage a child's relationship with God because that is your role you are to represent him and who you are and things that you do and how you treat your children.
If we don't come down too hard on her kids if we're not just you know Horace and if we don't do these things, what is the alternative pulses this rather? Bring them up with the discipline. And instruction that comes from the Lord. bring them up in the discipline and destruction that comes from The Lord he is the source. Of good parenting. He is the one who gives us what we need. So question is how do we do this? How do we make this practical is Paul saying that we need to have a daily Bible study in our home with our kids. I'm not going to discourage anyone from doing that. I mean, they think it's good to talk about the Bible and home. I think it's good to teach biblical principles and to teach the Bible in the home. I'm not going to discourage anyone from doing that but I think what Paul saying here has to go a lot deeper than that. Rick and I are often have this this this joke he talks about and I think he heard it from somewhere else, but he said that especially for teenagers that the spiritual gift of teenagers as an excuse my language crap detection detection. In other words, you can say these things to your kids and you can tell them to do this and do this that and the other but if you're not living it, If you're not demonstrating it they can see really quickly whether or not you believe what you say you believe in relationship with children just like in every other relationship actions always speak louder than words to the question is yes, we can teach our kids the Bible and we can talk about these things and we can do memory verses and we can do this that and the other but if we are not demonstrating daily God and who he is to our kids in the way that we live then they are not going to accept it and they are not going to believe it. To the question that we have to ask here is if we are going to raise our kids up and raise awareness of God in the way that we raise our kids with the discipline and structure that comes from the Lord. We need to know who got it is so if I were to use one word to describe God or if you were to use one word to describe God, what would that word be?
Say the word the Bible uses. love 1st John 4 verse 8 says it's but anyone who does not love does not know God for God is love.
What God asks for us to do as parents is to love our children the way that God loves us.
And love as we said many times here love is more than just a feeling. Love is action. And in 1st Corinthians 13, one of the most famous passages of the Bible the Apostle Paul describes for us exactly what love is and we've looked at that you would have it read at weddings. And so we think of that as though just romantic love that's not what I was talking about at. All Paul is talking about relationships between certain people people in the church is actually what he's talking about. But have you ever parents? Have you ever looked at that verse and these verses that Paul wrote as a description of how we are to love our kids
I want us to read through this and just evaluate your parenting based on these things. And if you're not doing well, that's great because I didn't do too hot either on this quiz, but let's just look at this and say he says this love is patient patient means patient means that you make room in your heart for the faults of others. God does that for us doesn't he? All of us are imperfect all of us are screwed up, but this guy come down with the hammer on us every single time that we screw up. No, he doesn't And we need to have that same kind of patients in our relationship with our kids. We don't need to expect for our kids. We don't need to expect for our 5 year old to be as fully mature and develop as we are emotionally. We don't have to expect for our kids to be perfect. We can make room in our hearts in our lives for the imperfections in our kids love is kind. How do we deal with our kids? Are we kind in the way that we treat them? What about the next verse says it does not envy it does not boast. It is not proud next. It does not dishonor others.
You ever seen a parent giving a kid just ate a complete dressing down in front of everybody.
We think the kids what's next to the kids mountain that point. It does not dishonor them. It did another translation says it is not rude. We can be rude to our kids sometimes and we don't have to answer for do we can't tell us not to be rude. Our kids can't tell us what to do. It is not self-seeking. In other words, when we love someone we are not loving them because of what they do for us. We are not trying to force our own self and our own desires on to that person. We are seeking what is good for them. Not just what is good for us. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs.
tart especially for those trouble-making kids. Everybody has some right trouble making kids. It's it's easy to just bring up and say you always do this you do this instead of actually forgiving and actually letting go and actually moving on. You think that can become part of the kids identity if you say you always do this and this is who you are.
We have a kid who struggles with lying right now and then you can say you're a liar. You think that would change the way that she sees herself as her parents continue to hammer on this point Liar Liar Liar.
Have to be careful.
for 6 love does not Delight in evil. but rejoices the truth I want to spend some time on this verse for just a few minutes because I think it's important.
There's a streamer and idea and parenting today that that's says that you just don't discipline your kids at all. That discipline is just wrong that you just let your kids be their own unique cells and do whatever they want to do and you just love them. No matter what but here's the thing that that's not what love is is it? That's not what God's love is. God doesn't see somebody going and making harmful decisions for themselves who doesn't know any better and did not intervene and not do anything about it. God doesn't sit back and say oh, well, I know that's hard departing you but I love you. So I'm happy about it. No love by definition means that you care whether or not somebody is making good decisions. You care whether or not somebody is hurting themselves or not. If you love someone who is hurting themselves and you are not going to stand back and do absolutely nothing because you love that person you are going to try to intervene you are going to try to do something that's going to help them get on a good path. This is what God does for all of his children. Look at what it says in Hebrews chapter 12. It says this my son do not make light of the Lord's discipline and do not lose heart when he rebukes you since it's because the Lord disciplines the one he loves and he chasing everyone he accept as his son. But here's the pro. What does of a super disciplined growing up we look at that and say discipline is only punishment, but that's that's not really what discipline is is it discipline is not punishment. So to speak it can take the form of punishment. It can take the form of a parent and forcing consequences on a child who is making those harmful decisions but discipline is a positive think it is intended to bring about a good result to teach someone that there are consequences for their actions that they can get on a good path at the end of the day discipline. And this is where I just find myself so much being challenged discipline is not so much to be done because you are angry at your child. I said I can't discipline is not so much to be done because you're angry at your child discipline is to be done from a place of love.
I like what one old preacher says the guy named Martyn Lloyd Jones. He says this look at what it says says when you are disciplining a child you should have first controlled yourself. What right have you to say to your child that he needs discipline when you obviously need it yourself. Self-control the control of temper is an essential prerequisite in the control of others.
I tell you why I think we we do this because I'm just as guilty as anybody else.
Fear is a powerful motivator. You can come down hard on your kid and you can make them do something and fear is a lot quicker than than many of the other things. It's a lot quicker than let's talk about this. It's a lot quicker than than many other forms.
But fear forces someone to do that, but it doesn't change them doesn't change their heart.
love is always a better motivator from Fear because love
love can make someone want to change but love can make someone understand love can help someone to make those choices on their own and yes, it might take some more time. Yes, you might have to deal with your kids in distress jeans for a little bit longer. Yes, it might take them time to understand. But if you're doing all of this from a place of Love instead of a place of anger instead of coming down hard instead of a place of fear.
Not changed not transformation. I think it's longer-lasting.
Ultimately, it's our Kids Choice whether they listen to or discipline or not. It's true.
But this is about us. Are we doing this, right?
Parents will discipline who are raising their kids right from a place of Love. Why because Impala continues in 1st Corinthians 13 nieces it always protects.
You were interested in the good of that child not harming. That's how it always trusts.
In other words, he always believes the best about someone that always helps you always hope for the best and it always perseveres. How much is a parent always perseveres. Love never. fails
as we look at this list. And as I look at this list, I see plenty of areas in my own parenting where I have not parented from a place of love where I've been more worried about how my kids and their attitude was reflecting on me than necessarily. What was good for them. I've been self-centered how I have let anger rise how I have done all of these things and we all have done it. If you haven't listened to this series go back to the beginning we talked about how we can't be the perfect parents, but When we realize that our parenting has not lined up with the love of God. What do we do? That's the question. I want to give you just two things briefly and then we'll be done. The first thing is this.
Apologize to your kids. This may be one of the hardest.
to admit that we are not perfect to admit that we have not always done things the right way, but it's an important step and I'll tell you why.
One of the things that we do is parents is we model. Not only who God is but we model what it is to be in a relationship with God and one of the most important things on the only ways that you can get in a relationship with God is what to repent. Isn't it repent? But that can be so hard because we often feel like we have to have put on this facade that we've done everything. Right and we've done we've got it all put together.
But what assistance would it be to our kids to show him? That what it means to be. A child of God is to be imperfect and to say when you mess up. I am sorry and I'm going to try to do better. That doesn't weaken your Authority as a parent. It shows them what it is like to be a human being what is like to live in relationship with God because we have plenty that we can repent from Plenty every single
And when we fly off the handle and when she do things that are against this description of love we can come to them and we can say listen. I don't like the way you were acting but I didn't act that great either. And when you open yourself up to that once you just show them that you are vulnerable, I think that establishes a connection between parents and children that is just powerful. And it's something that they can take with them throughout the rest of their lives when they become parents and when they screw up and they realize that they don't have to be perfect either. Because here's the thing about repentance repentance means that you change your mind and you're starting to walk in a new way. And if you continue to persist in these wrong things and say why don't ever have to say that I'm sorry. Are you really going to change as a parent you see the good news and all this and here's the second thing that I give you is that you can become better and better loving parent. You know, how the grace of God
1st John 4:19. We love we are able to love because God. He first loved us. in other words, he is the source of everything that we do he is the source of our love and the reality is that you cannot raise your kids to be aware of who God really is if you are not aware of him yourself, and I said this at the beginning of the series and I'll say it again the best way The best way for us to become better parents. It's become better children of God. And this should be our hearts desire if you want to love better. If you want to grow in this it's not just about memorizing his list of scriptures. Not just about the sex. It's about connecting with God daily. It's about letting him lead you it's about walking with him and if you do that, You will grow in love and I guarantee you that one day your kids. You cancel. Thank you.
parenting can be crazy I was sitting up here on the front row while Charlie was talking over there and the prayer. I'm supposed to be at work and it's my kid who's disrupting? Oh, how do I handle this? In my mind, I'm just thinking the whole time. I'm just about to preach on parenting don't let me just so you know completely ruin anything. I'm about to say and how I do this. It's the Temptation right? I just just be honest. That's the temptation.
yeah, it's frustrating some days. It's hard some days some days. You just want to put it into something in and get past it and just move on some days. You don't even have the patience to deal with it and you just explode some days. You're going to do those things.
But I want you to consider.
I was also nothing more rewarding than a few things more rewarding than being a parent.
The great honor that God has given you.
So ask yourself the next time that your kid does something great.
How did God respond? In his lot. How do I respond to that? The next time your kid does something completely crazy an off-the-wall and disobedient ask yourself. How would God respond to that put yourself in the shoes of your kid and say how would God respond to me? If I were in this situation, you know how think he responds if it was something good. I think you would make a huge deal out of our kids need to be encouraged self-esteem is one of those things that is just disappearing from are you today? Because they are showing these pictures every single day that this is what success looks like. This is what you need to be and they look at themselves and they don't add up constantly and so they need to be encouraged God encourages us does. He not one of the spiritual gifts that God gives to do you start is to encourage and to build people up and that is what love does love builds someone up. And the next time your kid does something completely off-the-wall and crazy and disobeys you ask yourself. How would God respond in the situation?
God I believe.
When does fly off the handle in a rage if you did none of us would be here?
He would be firm as to what is good. And what is bad and he would teach us and he would show us these things.
And if need be he would put in boundaries and he would enforce consequences in those situations. He would discipline. But he would never do it as a place of anger. He would never do it in order to hurt us. He would always do it because he wants to help us.
And if you will keep those things in mind as you are raising your kids in any really in any relationship the supplies. If you keep these things in mind. You can know for sure. You're raising them, right? Will you pray with me? Heavenly father. I thank you for the series. I thank you for this time that you've given us to come together to hear your word. I thank you for our parents. I thank you for our kids. I thank you for every single person. Who is God. I just pray. That you would help us continue to grow as your children. To live out your love that you have put inside of us. I got that this would transform our homes that they would transform our friendships that would transform her workplace is God that you would use us to shine your light into this dark world because it is so need we need your love. Father we are desperate. To be loved and we can only find true love in you. So I pray that you would give us strength and guidance you would give us wisdom that you would help us to raise our kids the best we can not perfectly. The father that you would help us. the show them Who You Are In Jesus name I pray. Hey, man, would you stand with me Church? Going to have one more song and then will be dismissed if you're here today and need prayer for anything. I encourage you to come forward is so good to see all of you here almost a graduation. We are almost there almost to Summer. I'm excited. It's going to be a great time a lot of good things that are going to be going on here. So we hope to see you throughout the summer if you are not elsewhere. So love you Church. May the Lord bless and keep you.