Sermons

Summary: When it comes to raising our children attitude is more important than aptitude

I’ve often heard people say that children should come with an operating manual. The good news is that they do – it’s called the Bible. Over the next five weeks, we’re going to look at certain sections of that instruction manual. In order to make this as simple as possible and easier for us to remember, I’ve narrowed this down to the 5 “D’s” of raising G-rated children that we’ll be looking at over the next five weeks:

• Delight

• Devote

• Discipline

• Direct

• Disciple

I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time telling you how difficult that task has become in this culture because that is obvious to all of us.

But perhaps even more troubling is how the attitude toward children has changed so radically in this country over the last several generations. And that is quite troubling given that, as we’ll see clearly this morning…

When it comes to raising our children

attitude is more important than aptitude

I don’t say that in any way to diminish the importance of aptitude. In fact, over the next 5 weeks, we’ll spend a lot of time studying what the Bible teaches about how we are to raise our children. But the problem is that without the right attitude toward the children that God has entrusted to us, our efforts to raise G-rated kids in an X-rated world are going to fail regardless of our degree of aptitude.

I think the prevailing attitude toward children in our culture is demonstrated quite clearly by this speech from Ilyse Hogue, the president of a pro-abortion group, just a couple weeks ago at the Democratic National Convention.

[Clip of Ilyse Hogue speech]

My heart still breaks every time I see this video – people actually cheering and celebrating the fact that this woman had an abortion.

In a gathering of this size, it’s certainly possible, and maybe even likely, that there are some of you here who have been a party to an abortion. If that is the case, my purpose this morning is not to make you feel any guiltier than you might already feel. I want to assure you that what you have done is no worse than any other sin that any of us in this room have committed. And I also want to assure you that God’s grace, made available to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus, is more than sufficient to release you from your guilt and bondage. Hopefully you’ve already experienced that grace, but if not, please don’t leave here today until you talk to me or to someone else about how you can do that.

Let me call your attention to just few of the comments that Mrs. Hogue made in her speech:

“I made the decision that was best for me.”

“We are the same women, at differ times in our lives, each making decisions that are best for us.”

“That’s what gives our families the best chance to get ahead and stay ahead.”

Do you notice the common theme here? Mrs. Hogue, and unfortunately a large number of other people in our country view children like this – as an inconvenience that gets in the way of “what’s best for me” or that keeps me from “getting ahead and staying ahead”. And I would suggest to you this morning, that if we view our children like that, no amount of reading books or going to seminars or searching on the internet, or even trying to apply parenting principles from the Bible is going to enable us to raise G-rated kids in an X-rated world.

That is why it is so important for us to see our children through God’s eyes and not from the perspective of our culture. So this morning, we’re going to kick of this series by looking at two passages that will help us do just that.

For you formed my inward parts;

you knitted me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;

my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you,

when I was being made in secret,

intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;

in your book were written, every one of them,

the days that were formed for me,

when as yet there was none of them.

(Psalm 139:13-16 ESV)

1. No child is an accident.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

“accident” =

an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance”

From a human standpoint, it is certainly possible for a pregnancy to appear to be an accident if we use that definition. But this passage makes it clear that from God’s perspective, that is just not possible.

God did not, as some people claim, just create the universe and wind it up and leave it to function on its own. If that were the case, then I suppose it would be possible to say that a child could be conceive “by accident”. But David makes it clear that God is actively involved in the formation of each individual life. He knits each person together in the womb exactly as He desires and when He desires. In fact, He knows everything about us even before we are conceived. So in God’s eyes, no child is a mistake or an accident or an inconvenience, but rather a person in whom He delights. And if that is how God views each and every child, don’t you think we ought to do the same?

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