Summary: We have the disturbance of the same-sex marriages that is going on in San Francisco and some other states trying to get it legalized. That alone would tell us that the institution of marriage is in trouble.

God bless our children

Ephesians 6:1-4 01/15/06

I was reading the other day that the American marriages are in trouble. I tend to agree with the statement. I will tell you why I believe that. We have the disturbance of the same-sex marriages that is going on in San Francisco and some other states trying to get it legalized. That alone would tell us that the institution of marriage is in trouble.

When a society begins to undermine its bedrock institutions, it means that civilization is in the death rattles. So this is a very serious and a very grave time in American society. As goes the marriage, so will go the family. As goes the family, so will go the children. My heart is concerned and burdened for children. I want to talk to you about the importance of children. Many of you have children, many of you are children, and many of you have grandchildren.

What a wonderful blessing it is to have children. Psalm 127, verse 3, says, "Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord." On down in that psalm it says, "Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them." The great blessing, the great wonder, the great thrill of having children! Some say the children are the future church and I agree with that mostly but I want to tell you the children are the church today. As a matter of fact, the deacons and the children church committee have had some meetings about the ongoing ministry to our children. You ought to think God for those committees who have a passion for our children. I have been in some churches that give the children ministry money but not much of their time. We are praying and want you to pray with us, seeking God’s will for the children ministry. We are averaging at least 20 in the children’s church on Sunday morning. We are praying that if it is God’s will to send us a person or a couple who have a passion and calling to minister to children as maybe staff members. We ask that you be much in prayer about this object of prayer.

We are aware of the fact that there are many problems confronting children today. There is the problem of the aborted child. Millions of children are aborted before they are even given the chance to live.

There was an article about a woman in Kansas City who was sentenced to four months in jail because she had killed an unwanted litter of kittens. We would all agree that should not be done, but it’s an amazing thing to me that you can serve jail time for killing kittens and yet kill millions of boys and girls and somehow that’s alright.

Then there is the problem of the abandoned children, children who are left on their own, children who are unsupervised, children who come home to parentless houses. Their only guidance is the television or the music that they listen to. There are children whose fathers and mothers just walk off and leave them. There is the problem of the abandoned child.

Then there is the problem of the abused child. There are children who are abused physically, psychologically, and emotionally. The children are scarred and damaged. There are millions of parents in America today who have become slack in their responsibility as parents and they have turned over the supervision and the upbringing of their children to television, music, movies, and all of these kinds of influences.

Then I have noticed some parents here who have a passion to raise their children to respect the Lord and His church and I for one thank God for you.

The first of this chapter, we find some instructions to THE CHILDREN. The great example of honoring your parents is the Lord Jesus. It was on the cross of Calvary that the Lord Jesus Christ stopped dying long enough to take care of His precious mother Mary.

He is basically saying here, not an absolute guarantee, but that you will tend to live longer and better if you will obey and honor your parents. If the parents say don’t touch the stove, you obey and you don’t burn your hand. If they say don’t run out into the street, you obey and you may avoid getting killed by a car. If your parents say don’t touch alcohol and drugs, you obey and you may live a longer life, and you may not have addictions along the way.

Then after the instructions to the children, we have some precepts to THE PARENTS. In Proverbs 22, verse 6, it says, "Bring up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." You have to understand that the proverbs are precepts. This means they are truths which can generally be counted on to turn out this way. It’s not an absolute promise or guarantee. So when it says to bring up your children in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it, it does not mean that they will not wander away. It does not mean they may not rebel along the way, but it is a precept. It is a precept that if you do the best you can with your children and try to raise them up the right way and follow the precepts of God’s Word, God will bless you and use them in the life of your children. Precepts for parents!

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