God's Blueprint For Children
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Youth gangs are an increasing problem in our culture. Last summer an Oak Creek family put up a new wooden fence and within 48 hours of its completion, it had gang symbols painted all over it. Youth gangs are responsible for thefts, rapes, assault, drug sales, murder and more. I know for a fact that there are kids in my church who have been pressured to become a part of a gang. One of the members of this church has produced a video on the gang problem. We have used that video in our Time Out Ministry.
One of the hallmark characteristics of gangs is that they have no respect for parents or authority figures. They despise anyone in the place of authority and become an authority unto themselves and even spurn the authority of God! I must warn you parents, this attitude begins early in children and if not corrected you will have big trouble on your hands even before your child is a teenager.
I want to share with you a shocking true story about a youth gang and how that God judged that gang because of their lack of respect for a man of God. There were 42 gang members in this gang and they were all in their early teens, most likely. A preacher was out for a walk. As he passed by the woods, these kids poured out and surrounded him.
Have you ever been in a situation like that? I can tell you from experience, it is frightening. A situation something like that happened to Linda, Steve, Karla and I one time. We had just come out of church and I hailed a driver to take us home. As we were walking to where he was parked, a young mother came out with a sickly looking baby. She was asking me for money to help her baby. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a small bill and handed it to her. That is when things got out of hand. Before we knew it, people poured out from the allies and from behind houses and we were literally surrounded. They were all pushing us until they had us backed up against the car. I was fearful for my wife and our two young kids. The driver
managed to get the door open. I shoved my wife and Karla in and threw Steve in. I managed to get in and wrench the door from grasping hands as the driver pulled away. He scolded me and warned me never to do that again. I can tell you, that is high on my list of lifes most frightening experiences.
Now back to the original story, these 42 gang members surrounded this preacher. They began to mock him and ridicule him. They even knocked him down and then taunted him saying, get up baldy, get up! Then they backed off. Well, that preacher did get up, turned to face the rowdy gang, headed right toward them and stared right at them. Then he did something that shocked them. He told them that their conduct was reprehensible before God and that God would judge them because of it. Before the gang could respond, two she bears came out of the woods and attacked the gang members. All 42 of them were torn to shreds.
This is a true story my friends. God does not take lightly those who mock their parents, preachers, or those in rightful authority. Before we move on, I want to document the account I have just shared with you. Read 2 Kings 2:23-24.
That brings me to my first point. It is God's will that a child honor his parents. Now, you might be wondering, what does this have to do with the above illustration about the youth gangs? Let me make it clear if children do not honor their parents, it is unlikely that they will honor any other authority, not even God!
Young people, listen to me. It is Gods will that you honor your parents. The fifth of the Ten Commandments says, Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee Exodus 20:12. Eight times this commandment is repeated in the Bible.
In the Noah Websters 1828 dictionary, honor is defined -- To revere; to respect; to treat with deference and submission. This lines up with the Hebrew and Greek word translated honor. It is Gods will that children honor their parents. Look at Leviticus 19:3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
The word fear in this verse is the Hebrew word yare' (yaw-ray; 3372) which implies such high respect for someone that you would have great apprehension about doing something that would displease them. Read Leviticus 19:3 again. You can tell if a young person honors their parents, because, if they do they will not regularly do anything that would displease them. This attitude pleases God! God honors children that honor their parents.
BUT, what about those who dishonor their parents? The Bible has plenty to say about that...
Deuteronomy 27:16 Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.
The phrase "setteth light" means to esteem lightly or to pay little or no attention to. The word "cursed" means to execrate. Now that is not a word we use today. "Execrate" means to pronounce a curse or pronounce evil against. God say that those who do not honor their parents are cursed. They are headed for evil, because he will put evil in their path.
Now, just in case you are inclined to ignore this passage because it is Old Testament, consider Matthew 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth (revile or speak evil of or to) father or mother, let him die the death.Let me make it clear what this passage means. Any young person who refused to respect and obey his parents was worthy of the death penalty (see Ex. 21:17 & Lev. 20:9).
I will say it again. Gods will for children is that they honor their parents. Ephesians 6:2 says, Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
There is another way which grown children are to honor their parents in their old age, that is to help them and if necessary care for them. There are numerous verses that point out this responsibility.Matthew 15:5-6 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited (helped) by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
1 Timothy 5:4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety (to care for) at home, and to requite (repay) their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
Proverbs 23:22 Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.
There is one last verse that I want to share with you -- Leviticus 19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary (gray or white) head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
See also Proverbs 1:8-16; Proverbs 6:20-23
It is Gods will that children obey their parents. Now, I must say that there is one exception to this rule. If a parent asked you to sin against what the Bible says, then you must obey God (Acts 5:29).
Gods Will For All Children Is: