Summary: In some circumstances, raising children can become a conflict-ridden roller coaster ride. Although we don’t know much about them, Moses’ parents did something right! (Based on a book by Bob Russell)
Amram & Jochebed: Bringing up Godly Children
(Fifth in the series Marriage by the Book)
Introduction: Which of these two statements are true? “Children are a great blessing to marriage.” “Children put a great deal of pressure on marriage.” Of course, both are true. Kids enhance the family experience and provide laughter and depth.
A Sunday School teacher was discussing the 10 commandments with her 5 & 6 year olds. After explaining the commandment to “honor your father and mother,” she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?” W/o missing a beat, one of the kids answered, “Thou shalt not kill.”
When a father came home and found his son sitting on the porch with his head in his hands & a forlorn look on his face, he asked what was wrong. The boy sat silently for a moment, then confessed, “Just between you and me, Dad, I can’t get along with your wife, either.”
But in some circumstances, raising children can become a conflict-ridden roller coaster ride.
The number one problem in a second marriage has to do with children. New spouses may feel they are pitted against their stepchildren’s real father or mother. Or there might be concerns about the stepparents exceeding their responsibility or authority.
Proposition: If a family is going to be what God wants it to be, both parents need to agree on a philosophy of child rearing. Amram and Jochebed are primarily noted for raising Godly children.
Who were these people? We know them because we know their children: Moses, Miriam, and Aaron. Although their story is well known, their names are only briefly mentioned in Moses’ family record, found in Exodus 6:20.
Moses was raised against incredible spiritual odds, yet is considered one of the godliest leaders in the Bible.
Miriam protected Moses as an infant and was involved in the celebration after crossing the Red Sea.
Aaron became the first High Priest of Israel.
When one couple raises 3 spiritual giants, they must be doing something right. While the Exodus account emphasizes Jochebed’s actions, Hebrews 11:23 tells us both parents were involved. They agreed in their approach to childrearing.
1. Be perceptive about potential, Exodus 2:1-2
Understand their personalities
A. When it comes to temperament, children are not created equally! Moses was different!
B. Help them build upon their interests. Many children will not reach their potential because parents squelched their ideas when they were little.
ILLUSTRATION: As a child, my interest in drawing encouraged my parents to purchase art supplies for me. After painting a couple of times, my interest waned. However, both my Mom and Dad found their artistic talents revived, and both gained great pleasure from painting.
Let’s recognize and nurture our children’s gifts. By doing so, we can be doubly blessed.
2. Be creative in combating evil, Exodus 2:3-7
A. Godly people must counter the evil pressures of the world.
Against Pharaoh’s edict, Moses’ parents hid him for 3 months. That’s tough to do! (When our new grandaughter wants someting,she lets everybody know!)
B. The plan: waterproof bassinet, a lookout, and the provision of a Hebrew nursemaid. Here were parents who were determined that Moses would not die.
C. We are living in a day in which it is increasingly difficult for families. The traditional family is breaking down & the flow of society is working against it.
Alvin Toffler, author of the Third Wave estimated that only 7% of Americans live in what used to be considered normal: a husband, wife, and 2 or more children.
D. The attack on Christian values in relentless.
1) What is on TV when the kids get home from school?
2) What messages are kids getting from others?
3) Drugs, sex, & alcohol are the way to go
4) Homosexuality is a completely acceptable alternative lifestyle.
5) The Bible and its stories are unreliable fables.
E. Let’s be creative in instilling Godly values in our kids.
I heard about several families who got together on Christmas Eve, and instead of a visit from Santa Claus, there is a knock on the door, and a first century shepherd came in and told the wide-eyed children the spectacular event he witnessed 2000 years ago.
Provide Christian videos and activities to reinforce the Bible’s values rather than undermine them.
There are risks involved in creativity. Amram & Jochebed could have lost their lives, but their child’s life was hanging in the balance!
Our children’s eternal lives hang in the balance!
3. Be responsive to changing needs, Exodus 2:8-10
Let’s face it: kids will change!
A. All parents have to take advantage of the time God gives them to instill proper values in their children. Before they know it, the time comes to release their children to live out those values.