Gods Blueprint For Parents
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
God has a blueprint, as it were, for marriage and family relationships. This "blueprint," revealing Gods will for the family, is clearly revealed in the Bible. God has a will for husbands, wives, parents and children. So far, we have considered
Next, we move on to
Three of the most delightful experiences of our lives have been when Linda gave birth to Steven, Karla and Sarah. I was present and assisted (in a minor way) in their birthing. I cant recall any other events that have been more anxious but exhilarating, frightening yet exciting, agonizing yet joyful, exhausting (for Linda) yet pleasurable than the birth of our 3 children. We indeed count "the fruit of the womb" as "his reward."
But, we soon realized that, contrary to what some people think, (usually people who have not had children), that children are not "little angels."
The Biblical View of A Childs Nature
Psalms 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Psalms 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Note: From the moment of birth, children are estranged from God and his righteousness. Simply stated, they are sinners!
Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Note: The phrase by nature literally means by birth. Children, by birth are sinners, destined to be subject to the wrath of God. The unsaved person is condemned already (John 3:18). The sentence has been passed, yet God, in His mercy is staying the execution of the sentence to give people the opportunity to personally trust Christ (2 Peter 3:8-9). In fact, what I am saying is that children do not naturally do what is right! They do not naturally make the right choices in life. They do not anxiously follow that which is right, holy and good. In fact, Proverbs 22:15a tells us, Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child" not righteousness. Since this is true, what are parents to do?
There are some who suggest that "they are just going through a stage which they will eventually grow out of." That is just not true! The Bible says, The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. Proverbs 29:15
That brings me to the parents. God makes it clear in his Word that he expects parents to bring up children, and not let them go their own way.
Gods Will For Parents
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
The command given here is to parents. Parents are to train their children in the way they should go not the way they want to go.
But, the question is, what way should they go? We find that answer in Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The word nurture is the translation of a Greek word which refers to the teaching of children which includes the disciplinary correction of them. The word admonition comes from the Greek word which means to call attention to by warning, admonishing and counseling. So, heres what we have. Fathers are told that it is their responsibility to instruct, disciple, warn and counsel their children according to the principles the LORD has given to us. And we know that those principles are revealed in the Bible
One more question I want to answer. How long are parents to do this? This is revealed in the phrase bring them up. That is one word in the Greek -- ektrefete - ektrepho (ek-tref'-o; 1625). The word means to train up to maturity. Simply stated, God holds parents responsible for the instruction, disciplining, warning and counseling their children until they come to maturity, which was generally considered to be when they were of marriageable age.
As a matter of clarification, I want to make it clear that both parents are to be involved in bringing up the children. The Scriptures make that clear. Note these two examples --
Proverbs 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
Proverbs 6:20 My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
To be sure dad is to be the head of the house (1 Timothy 3:5) but mom is to be the primary keeper at home (Titus 2:5). [Note: the phrase "keepers at home" is a translation of the Greek word oikourouV, oikouros (oy-koo-ros'; 3626) which means a stayer at home; one who guards or looks after the affairs of the home.
But what if you have an unsaved spouse? Paul gives us insight into this situation in 1 Corinthians 7:12-14 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. This passage clearly states that the believing spouse can have a sanctifying influence on the children, even if the other spouse is an unbeliever. A wonderful example of this is pointed out by Paul in 2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Evidently Timothys father was unsaved. But grandma and mom pointed Timothy to Christ. While there is no doubt that this is difficult, particularly when the wife is married to an unsaved husband, Eunice is an example of the influence a Christian mother can have.
If both the husband and wife are believers, it is extremely important that you are together in the rearing of your children. You need to be supportive of each other. You must not undermine each other in the training and discipline of your children. In order for that to happen you must communicate regularly with each other about your children.
There are three thoughts that I will share with you that can help you rear your children biblically
Lets look at each of these individually.
Proverbs 17:6 Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory (boast) of children are their fathers.
This verse tells us that dads are the heros of their young children! That certainly was true of me. I loved to brag about my dad when I was a kid. He was "the greatest" in my eyes. I can even remember pretending I was my dad. Id put on his firemans helmet, jump in the fire truck (my bicycle) and race off to fight the fire and save the people, just like my dad. Dad was my hero. I talked about him and his exploits often to the other kids. We have had some great times together and I have learned a lot from my dad.
Dads, your young children look at you as their hero and protector. That is a weighty responsibility. In light of that responsibility, you need to be the right kind of hero or role model. And, you need to take advantage of your position and model Christian character and conduct before your children. Young boys and girls, for the most part, determine what a "real man" is, based upon the example of their fathers. For this reason, make sure that your children see in youReal men make Christ first priority in their lives; Real men read their Bibles; Real men pray; Real men go to church; Real men are active public witnesses for Christ; Real men love their wives; Real men take time for their children, etc.
A wise father takes his position as "hero" or primary role model seriously and seeks to live a consistent Christian life before his children.
Read Deuteronomy 6:3-15.
Noah Webster (1758-1843), whom American history refers to as "the Schoolmaster of the Nation," was on the right track when he said, "Education is useless without the BibleGods Word, contained in the Bible, has furnished all the necessary rules to direct our conduct."
Parents, one of the most important tasks you have, when it comes to rearing your children, is to open a line of communication with your children early so that you can begin etching upon your childs mind the words and principles of the Bible. This is important for at least two reasons. 1) It is the Scriptures that will point your child to Christ and Heaven (2 Tim. 3:15) instead of Satan and Hell. 2) It is the Scriptures that will program your childs moral compass (Psa. 119:9-11).
When should you begin? Begin as soon as the child is born! Talk to them and be sure to talk to them about the Lord. Sing to them and include biblical songs. Read Bible stories to them and the Bible itself. Pray with them. When they get old enough to begin talking to you, be sure to listen to them and respond to them. Moms, when they go to school, one of the best and most important times to talk with your children is as soon as they walk in the door. You can learn a lot about your child and whats going on in his/her life if you talk to them as soon as they come home from school.
There are other good times to talk to your kids as well. Two major times in our home where communication took place was around the supper table and at bedtime. Keep in mind that you need to use the Bible as the yardstick for measuring behavior and setting family guidelines. Around our supper table we would talk about some of the following things
Just a quick note about bedtimeI talked to, and told stories to my children well into their teenage years. I had fun with them by telling them little stories. Sometimes they were silly, and often I used them as a teaching tool. They looked forward to this time and I miss it, yet to this day. God used this time to knit our family together. After the story, we would pray and tuck them in.
Parents, if you are going to rear your children biblically you need to take every opportunity to communicate with your children, teaching them to love the Lord Jesus Christ and to live for Him. Your most important mission is to point your child to Salvation in Christ and then to teach them how to live for the Lord.
Children need to know that their parents love them. This needs to be seen in the parent's actions and spoken by their words. Paul told Titus that the older women were to teach the younger woman to love their children (Titus 2:4). We know that dads are to love their children as well, because we are instructed to "turn away" from men who are "without natural affection" (2 Tim. 3:3 &5). The phrase "without natural affection" is a translation of the Greek word astorgoi - astorgos (as'-tor-gos; 794) which means one who does not love his family. Dads your children need the security of hearing that they are loved! Wise fathers tell their children often, "I love you!"
To be sure, loving your children is more than just the expression of words. Acts of kindness and involvement, a hug and kiss, proper loving touches, etc. are all important expressions of love. Loving your children also includes setting clear boundaries for expected behavior (Prov. 22:6). Children should be praised when they obey, and disciplined (including spanking) when the child breaches that boundary (Prov. 13:24). It is unloving to allow your children to be rowdy, rebellious and undisciplined. Our society is reaping a crop to violence today, because parents have refused to discipline their children biblically. Love your children enough to establish clear, consistent, understandable boundaries in attitude and conduct and then spank them soundly when they cross the line.
I have shared three thoughts that will help you bring up your children biblically, according to Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
God's Will For Parents Is: