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Life Stations 3 - Christian Families

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Reading: Ephesians 6:1-4
“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2-3 (NIV)

I.   Christian Parenting

     A.  Train Children in the Lord

           1.  The primary task of Christian parents is to lead their children to God.

                 a.  This is the first task of parenthood.

                 b.  This task is the point of parenthood.

                 c.  You can lead a horse to water . . .

           2.  Paul calls this training and instruction.

                 a.  Don’t expect children to know what they are not taught.

                 b.  Train and instruct by example, not by words alone.

                 c.  You can’t train if you aren’t trained.

           3.  This is supposed to happen from cradle on.

                 a.  Children from infancy on need their parents prayers and example.

                 b.  Children’s dependence wanes, but a parent’s Christian walk should become more and more obvious.

     B.  Single Parents

           1.  No spouse or absent spouse

                 a.  Single parenting is impossible.

                 b.  Remember you are not alone.

           2.  Non-Christian spouse.

                 a.  A different kind of single-parenting.

                 b.  You bear the most important task of child-raising without your spouse’s help

                 c.  You aren’t alone either.

           3.  The importance of self-care

                 a.  If you burn out who’s going to take care of your kids?

                 b.  It’s OK, (essential) to take care of yourself.

     C.  Spiritual Growth in parenting

           1.  Parenting is impossible.

                 a.  Would all the perfect parents raise their hands?

                 b.  Our sinfulness, our weaknesses, our lack of understanding.

           2.  We desperately need God’s help

                 a.  What is impossible with us is possible with God.

           3.  Parenting is a godly activity

                 a.  God is described as a Father - a parent

                 b.  Provision, training, discipline, love are some of the most godly of activities.

II.  Children’s Duties

     A.  Honor them

           1.  This is a command with a promise.

                 a.  No guarantee that you’ll make it to 100!

                 b.  “It will go well with you.”

                 c.  “Long life” that is not cut short

           2.  Honor means to hold in high regard.

                 a.  Treat them with respect.

                 b.  Hold your parents in high regard as you speak about them with others.

                 c.  Hold them in high regard in your heart.

           3.  Acknowledge what is honorable.

                 a.  If nothing else, your parents are in the image of God.

                 b.  Focus on whatever is honorable.

     B.  Imperfect Parents

           1.  No parent is perfect.

                 a.  NEWS FLASH: your parents mess up!

                 b.  Get over it.

           2.  Your parents’ imperfections may hurt.

                 a.  We need perfect parents, but don’t have them, so it hurts.

                 b.  Some parents are hurtful — no need to deny that.

           3.  You’re not off the hook

                 a.  But your parents’ imperfections don’t excuse you from this obligation.

                 b.  Don’t lie, but honor them anyway.

     C.  Spiritual Advantages of Childhood

           1.  Giving up control at home is preparation for doing the same toward God.

                 a.  It’s good to learn to say “Yes, Daddy.”

                 b.  As a child you don’t know as much as your parents, as a child of God . . .

           2.  Obedience at home is a primary spiritual duty of a non-adult child.

                 a.  “Obey your parents in the Lord. . .”

                 b.  This is one of your main duties before God.

           3.  We never out-grow being God’s children.

                 a.  We will always be His children.

                 b.  We will never outgrow our dependence on Him.

III. Extended Family

     A.  Our Families of Origin

           1.  We are supposed to honor our parents and parents’ parents, etc., even as adults

                 a.  We don’t obey them in the same way.

                 b.  But we do continue to honor them.

           2.  We have obligations toward them too.

                 a.  Read I Tim. 5:3-8

     B.  The Relatives

           1.  God gives us uncles, aunts, cousins, etc.

                 a.  We honor our parents by honoring their families too.

                 b.  Even the strange ones!

           2.  We have obligations toward them too.

                 a.  Not to enable destructive behavior or dependencies.

                 b.  To help, offer advice, and prayers.

     C.  Our Spiritual Family

           1.  We are all God’s children and together we are the family of God.

                 a.  Any child of God is my brother or sister.

                 b.  We belong to each other.

           2.  We are supposed to be able to rely on each other.

                 a.  For personal and spiritual support.

                 b.  When we are going through a hard time

           3.  We are supposed to be a home to each other.

                 a.  Home is where when you go there they have to take you in.

                 b.  Acceptance and unconditional love is supposed to be the norm here.

The Bottom Line:

Our Primary Christian duties are in our families at Home and at Church.

R/G#525 A Christian Home v. 4

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