George did it again! He delivered a great lesson on Parental Responsibilities. Once again, he was only able to touch the hem of the garment. There is SO much that needs to be said on this topic; where does one begin? Here is the gist of his sermon, along with some of my own thoughts. Children are a gift – a special blessing – from the Lord. Upon the birth of Cain, Eve declared: “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” Genesis 4:1. Psalm 127:3 says: “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.”
WE HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO MEET THE SPIRITUAL NEEDS OF OUR CHILDREN MORE THAN THEIR PHYSICAL NEEDS
Matthew 4:4 “…It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Mat 16:26 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
This is not to say that we can neglect the physical needs of our children, but we must stress the spiritual over the physical. If your children were asked what was most important to you, how would they answer? What issues stand out in the minds of your children as family priorities?
WE HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO TEACH THE WORD OF GOD TO OUR CHILDREN
2 Timothy 1:5 “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
There is a lot of pressure on parents to have kids that “perform well.” Parents are concerned about their children learning to read at the same pace as other children. Parents are concerned about their children’s test scores – they’ve got to score big on those ACT and SAT tests! After all, that spells success, right? Even parents who have chosen to homeschool because of religious conviction sometimes get caught up in the academic performance of their children, perhaps because of pressure to “prove” one’s ability to educate one’s own children. Am I saying secular education is not important? Not at all! But priorities…where are our priorities? If your child is a math whiz but cannot even say the books of the Bible, there is a problem. If our children can quote dozens of movie lines, yet cannot manage to memorize sections of the Holy Scriptures, then the evidence points to some misplaced priorities.
Although Bible class teachers can be a great support system to help reinforce the truths of God’s Word in the lives of our children, they cannot and should not replace your duty as a parent to saturate the minds of your children with the Word of God. That is the responsibility of parents to their own children.
WE HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO TRAIN OUR CHILDREN HOW TO WORSHIP
Teaching our children to respect the holiness of God begins by teaching our children how to behave in worship.
WE HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO LIVE A GODLY EXAMPLE BEFORE OUR CHILDREN
When you think they are not watching, they are.
When you think they are not listening, they are.
When you think they are too young to notice, they are not.
“Do as I say, not as I do” is not a Christian principle! If Momma lies to Daddy to avoid getting him upset, your children will lie to you to get out of trouble. If Daddy makes fun of Momma in front of other people, the children will not respect their Momma either. If Momma is in a constant state of frustration, habitually yelling at and smacking her children, the children will yell at and hit one another, as well as hit back at Momma. (Habitually “smacking” children is NOT biblical discipline and is not the same as a controlled spanking.)
Every parent ought to periodically do some self-examination. Many times those negative attributes which we find most distasteful in our children are the very ones they’ve acquired from us! The more we, as parents, live godly lives, exemplifying godly attributes, the more we will see these qualities develop in the hearts of our children. It’s a sobering thought, isn’t it?
There is no such thing as a perfect parent. George and I do not claim to perfect parents. As we look back over the past almost 24 years of training our children, there are things we wish we would have done differently. Yes, parents will make mistakes, but our children need to see that we are putting forth our very best effort to be godly.
Our children need to see that God is Number One in our family.
Our children need to see that we are doing our best to LIVE the sermons that we preach.
Our children need to see that we are willing to say I’m sorry when we mess up.
Our children need to see that we love God above all else.
Our children need to be trained in such a way that OUR desire to please God
becomes THEIR desire.
Our children need to go to heaven.