Summary: Raising G-Rated kids requires a partnership in which a devoted church equips and supports devoted parents

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How many of you have been watching the Olympics the last couple of weeks? I know that Mary and I have certainly watched quite a bit of the coverage. I’ve always loved the Summer Olympics and most of the events that are included although I’ll admit that there are a few events like synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics that don’t really appeal to me. But probably my favorite event of all is the 4 x 100-meter relay in track and field. There is just something about the combination of the speed of the fastest runners on earth and the teamwork that is required for success that really makes that event compelling for me.

Having competed in a number of relays when I ran track back in high school, I am personally aware of the importance of passing of the baton in a relay race. And over the years as I’ve watched the Olympics, I’ve seen that the winner of these relays is not always the team with the fastest runners.

We certainly saw that in the men’s event this last Friday. The United States finished third behind the winning team from Jamaica, which was not unexpected, but they were also beat by Japan, a team who had not placed even one of their runners in the 100-meter dash final. That is because the Japanese have practiced their baton passes for more than a year in preparation for these Olympic gains while the Americans have only practiced for a few months at most. And then to add insult to injury the Americans even lost their bronze metal when they were disqualified for passing the baton illegally.

This morning we’re going to be talking about a different kind of a passing of the baton, one that is frankly a lot more difficult and also much more significant than any race in the Olympics. Of course, I’m speaking of our responsibility to pass on to our children a God-centered, Bible saturated foundation for all of life.

There are a lot of opinions in our culture today about who is responsible for raising our children:

? There is an increasing sentiment that the government is responsible for raising our children – a view espoused by the book “It Takes a Village”. That title was actually hijacked from the African proverb “It takes a whole village to raise a child” which had nothing to do at all with the government being involved in the raising of children. The original proverb is much more consistent with what we’ll learn this morning where we will see that raising children does require a village, but that village consists of extended family and the church, not the government.

? Others have pawned that responsibility off on day care centers and schools. Please don’t think that I’m in any way saying that it is inherently wrong to send your kids there. After all Mary is a teacher and I have a great deal of respect for those workers and teachers who have been forced to take on a role that should not be theirs. Unless you’ve seen firsthand all the responsibilities that they have been burdened with because of families who have abdicated their responsibilities you can’t even begin to imagine the load they bear.

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