Summary: A classic sermon by Dr. Edwin Louis Cole on the principles for raising Godly kids.
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2. The father draws the lines
3. Principles are taught so children can live
1. The father always establishes the atmosphere in the home.
a. Genesis 2:15 – Guide, guard, govern, Prophet, priest, king
b. You’re only qualified to lead to the degree you’re willing to serve.
c. The revelation of God that your family is going to have is what they see as you live in front of them.
2. A father must love his family redemptively.
a. The love of God is unconditional, sacrificial, and redemptive
b. When you give your word to somebody, you are giving them the character behind the word. Trust is extended only to the limit of truth and no more.
c. When you give your word to your children or your wife, you redeem your word when you keep it.
d. Sometimes children don’t know the difference between a broken promise and a lie.
3. It’s not the father’s responsibility to make all his childrens’ decisions, but it is his responsibility to let his children see him make his.
a. Remember, children may not always listen to you, but they will always imitate you.
b. Decisions determine character, conduct, and destiny.
c. Everything in life is under your power of choice, but once you make the choice, you become the servant to the choice.
4. It is the father’s responsibility to give his children four things: intimacy, discipline, love, and value.
5. A father can be either a fabulous father or a deadly dad.
a. You can be both: David with Adonijah and Solomon
b. We don’t need to raise streetwise children, we don’t need to raise churchwise; we need to raise Godwise children.
6. If you go to church and then go home and never read the Bible or pray with your children, you have a problem. Atheism is simply living as if there is no God.
7. Teach truth, but put it in the positive and not in the negative.
Application: Pray together with each other.
Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 13:11. The Word of the Lord says, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
When a child is between the ages of newborn and three years old, there are only two things you can give that child—love and security. God anatomically created the woman so that when she holds the baby to feed it, she gives it security. As the baby nourishes in her arms, her eyes and her face lovingly look and nourish the child emotionally.
As a child grows, it can only respond to concrete authority because it cannot be reasoned with. But between the ages of three and thirteen, you begin to teach children the difference between right and wrong. They are taught a reasoning process, and their will is brought under submission. The will should never be broken, but it needs to be brought under submission by the process of reason. Isaiah said, “Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord.” Up until thirteen years of age, children learn the reasoning process. That’s why in our society when a young person reaches thirteen, they can take their SAT test and pretty well tell how they’re going to do in college. Their life’s basic understanding and basic knowledge is given to them by the time they are thirteen.
From age thirteen to twenty, children are taught principles upon which they build their lives. When the Bible says, “Spare the rod,” it may mean the rod when it comes to the young because they only respond to concrete authority. But it doesn’t mean that you beat them or use a stick. It’s talking about the concrete authority you bring them under. But when the child becomes thirteen, the rod becomes a measuring stick. By age thirteen, you are teaching them the principles upon which they are building their lives. Then the rod becomes a ruler—a measuring stick—in order to measure behavior to know the difference between right and wrong.
On the ruler, lines are drawn to show places of measurement. Today, one of the problems we have is in drawing lines. For example, in the jurisprudence in our country, there may be a very small difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. It may only be one penny, but the line is drawn between them. There is a difference between a life sentence and a death sentence, and it only may be a matter of intent. But the line is drawn. There is a difference between pass and fail in school, and it may be only one or two points, but the line is drawn. And today we have people who object to the drawing of lines.