Desperate House Lives 03 - Raising Children of Honor
Desperate House Lives
Raising Children of Honor
Text: Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4
Illustration: I love the story about the mom & dad with a son who was a freshman in college. He blew off his freshman year. He wasn’t very responsible, didn’t make good grades, squandered his money, & finally came back home. His parents told him, “If you go back to school you’ll have to pay your own way.” So he had to work that summer & not go on the family vacation. That was part of his punishment. The family went to Greece that year & the mom sent him a postcard, “Dear Son,” she wrote. “Today we stood on the mountains where ancient Spartan women sacrificed their defective children. Wish you were here.”
II. Raising a child of honor is training up a child in the way he/she should go.
Truth #1 – The training of the child is to start early.
The Hebrew word for train (ḥānaḵ) means to dedicate. It is used of dedicating a house (Deut. 20:5), the temple (1 Kings 8:63; 2 Chron. 7:5), and an image (Dan. 3:2). The noun ḥănukkâh speaks of the dedication of an altar (Num. 7:10; 2 Chron. 7:9) and of the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 12:27). Only in Proverbs 22:6 is the verb translated “train.” Ḥānaḵ seems to include the idea of setting aside, narrowing, or hedging in. The word is sometimes used in the sense of “start.” Child-training involves “narrowing” a child’s conduct away from evil and toward godliness and starting him in the right direction.
Truth #2 – The training of the child falls to the parents with the help of the church
The training of the child in the ways of God is not the responsibility of the schools. It is not the community’s task. It is the parents. The church comes alongside the parents to equip them to train up a child and to assist the child in being equipped to follow God’s ways as a maturing disciple. Many homes are in turmoil because the parents have neglected this responsibility.*
By not carrying out this responsibility many parents are abdicating their role and authority as parents. Some parents today are concerned because their children do not respect them and honor them. They are upset because children will not obey them and look to them as an authority figure. The problem is that parents have abdicated the role of raising the child and therefore have abdicated the respect, honor, and authority of parenthood to someone else.*
If you want respect, honor, and authority in your home as a parent, then take the role of training up a child in the way he/she should go and he/she will not depart from them when he/she is old.
Truth #3 – The training up of a child in the way he should go means he will not depart from them – not that he will return to them. This does not mean there will not be times when the child is disobedient or sin. But his life will be one of growth in the Lord and maturing in the Lord.
This is a difficult truth. Many people have child who they want to believe are like the prodigal son. Someone who has been raised right and goes and sows their wild oats then comes home. But that is a misapplication of the parable and of Proverbs 22:6. The training up of a child in the ways of God suggests that the child comes to accept the truths of God and that though there will be times of faltering, he never rejects God in the process. Too many times parents have only given a cursory exposure to the truth of God to their kids and the children never accept it and parents “hope” – more likely wish – the child will eventually come back to God. The problem is they cannot come back, because they never we there in the first place. *
This does not mean that they will not have a life-changing encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ at some point, it simply means they have not already had a life-changing encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. If they do, then they have become the prodigal. In other words, the story of the prodigal son is about the problem of sin and salvation. The son was lost and was restored, not that he was saved, wandered away and came back. *
Illustration: Robert Robinson had been saved out of a tempestuous life of sin through George Whitfield’s ministry in England. Shortly after that, at the age of twenty-three, Robinson wrote the hymn Come, Thou Fount. Come, Thou Fount of ev’ry blessing, Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise. Sadly, Robinson wandered far from those streams and, like the Prodigal Son, journeyed into the distant country of carnality. Until one day—he was traveling by stagecoach and sitting beside a young woman engrossed in her book. She ran across a verse she thought was beautiful and asked him what he thought of it. Prone to wander— Lord, I feel it— Prone to leave the God I love. Bursting into tears, Robinson said, "Madam, I am the poor unhappy man who wrote that hymn many years ago, and I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then." Although greatly surprised, she reassured him that the "streams of mercy" mentioned in his song still flowed. Mr. Robinson was deeply touched. Turning his "wandering heart" to the Lord, he was restored to full fellowship.
III. Proper training means not exasperating your child
Explain exasperation – to frustrate, make angry or resentful
Areas and ways we exasperate our children:
1. *Training or raising up a child –
not training a child in the ways of God exasperates them and expecting them to be godly or righteous or even good.*
2. Probably the biggest area is in the area of Discipline
- *Not disciplining your child –
To refuse to discipline your child is a clear violation of the Word of God. When you, as a parent, so clearly disobey God by not disciplining your child, you are giving your child the same permission to disobey both God and you.*
Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:17
- Inconsistent discipline
Children do not know what is expected of them, they do not understand what is proper behavior, they do not know what is right or wrong in the parents eyes. Grandparents undermining children’s discipline can also be a root of trouble. Grandparents: To question or criticize a parents discipline in front of your grandchild helps create an obedience issue. *
Illustration: Give an example of grandparents interfering with parental discipline. Not only does this exasperate the grandchild but it exasperates your child.
- *Over-discipline –
you can simply not give your children the flexibility and the freedom to be children. This is the extreme of not disciplining your child. Being too strict can stifle creativity and learning. Being too strict can actually slow your child’s mental capacity by not allowing them to think through situations and circumstances. By not allowing them to freedom to fail, you give your child a false sense of reality. Not everyone succeeds at everything.*
- Rewarding bad behavior –
Too many times parents reward children for bad behavior. The child is unruly or throwing a fit, so the child is given candy so they will settle down and behave. The child will not mind so parents will send them to their room – where they have a TV, video games, toys, cell phones, and everything else they love. This teaches a child, if I act up, I can get candy for it. If I show disrespect, I can go to my room and call my friends and not be bothered. If I don’t do my chores, I can go to my room and play with my toys. This type of discipline exasperates the child in the sense it will create long-term resentment towards the parent and anyone else that does not reward them for their poor behavior. *
This is really a critical area. Too often parents seek to force some kind of perfect nature onto their children. We want them to be the best at certain things, maybe even all things. We want them to win all the time (which does not happen in adulthood, why should children be deluded into believing it is the way life is?) We manipulate them into the mold we would like for them to fit.*
Parents may desire their children to look like them and talk like them and act like them. Parents may push their children to succeed in areas the parent succeeded or wished they had succeeded.*
Illustration: Someone asked, “What in the world is happening with our kids today?” Let us see…I think it started when Madelyn Murray O’Hare complained that she did not want any prayer in our schools, and we said “Okay.” Then someone said, “You had better not read the Bible in school” – the Bible that says, “Thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” In addition, we said, “Okay.” Dr. Benjamin Spock said we should not spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem. Therefore, we said, “Okay, we won’t spank them.” Then someone said that teachers and principals had better not discipline our children when they misbehave. In addition, our administrators said, “No one in this school is to touch a student when he misbehaves because we don’t want any bad publicity. And we surely don’t want to be sued.” Then someone said, “Let’s provide our children with condoms so they can have all the ‘fun’ they desire.” In addition, we said, “That’s a great idea.” Someone else said, “Let’s provide abortions for underage girls, and they will not even have to tell their parents.” Moreover, we said, “That’s another great idea.” Then some of our top officials said that it does not matter what we do in private. Moreover, we said, “As long as I have a job & the economy is good, it doesn’t matter to me what anyone does in private.” So now, we are asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they do not know right from wrong, and why it does not bother them to kill. Probably, if we think about it long & hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with “We reap what we sow.”