Summary: This series covers five topics in raising children so that they develop a relationship with Jesus. A helpful acrostic for FAITH - Faithfulness, Accountability, Integrity, Truth, and Hope.
Building a Culture of FAITH in the Family – Part Five
Gages Lake Bible Church
Sunday Evening, August 1st, 2010
Pastor Daniel Darling
Welcome to our fifth and final message in our series, “Building a Foundation of FAITH in the Family.”
We’ve used the acrostic FAITH as our guide to discuss the five core values we want to see in our children:
Faithfulness – The Responsibility of Parents to Be Faithful to God in Training our Children
Accountability – The Need and Benefits of a Home that has Structure and God-ordained accountability.
Integrity – By Integrity, we mean character, authenticity, the values we want to build into the next generation
Truth – Our desire is to transfer the truth of who Jesus is and the truth about who our children are, before God.
Hope – Tonight we come to our last core value which is the value of hope. Now you might not think of hope as a child-training characteristic.
When you read child-training books or watch DVD’s or attend seminars, or when you hear it preached in church, you don’t often hear of this word, “Hope.”
But I submit to you that this may be the most important characteristic in our homes, because our children need hope.
Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all. ~Emily Dickinson
Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. ~Anne Lamott
The miserable have no other medicine,
But only hope. ~William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
I want you to think about this. We live in a world without hope. Many, many children today grow up without any hope. Any hope for the future, any hope to become anything more than a statistic, a forgotten person, drifting through life.
I see young people all the time. I read their stories, I get their emails and messages on Facebook and I see them in the community. And you can see it on their faces.
They have no hope.
But what’s sadder, I think, is a child who grows up in a Christian home with Christian parents, but has no hope. You might think this is impossible, but it’s not. I have seen it.
You see, sometimes, we’re so focused on drilling the right behaviors into our children, with making sure they do and say all the right things, with enforcing discipline and rules—that we forgot the most important ingredient in their well-being.
We, as parents, need to believe in our children. I would dare say to you, that you give me a child who grows up in a Christian home where parents believe in them and a child who grows up in a Christian home where parents don’t believe in them, the child whose parents gave hope will do much more for God.
Mark it down. Guaranteed.
You see, the Scriptures are full of Commandments, the Proverbs, the Psalms, and especially the New Testament books—are full of exhortations to encourage the brethren.
But seldom do we realize that this can and should be directed to our children. They are humans too and their souls, like ours, feed off of positive reinforcement.
At the end of the day, we must believe in our kids—we’re the only ones who do.
1) Hope Begins with the Words We Use
I want to point you to a passage in 1 Thessalonians 2. Please turn there. Now this is a deeply personal passage between Paul and the people of the church at Thessalonica. The primary application here is a model of Christian discipleship, but I want to look at the example Paul uses here:
1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 (KJV)
7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the Gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the Gospel of God.
10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His Kingdom and glory.
Paul here raises the example of parents as his examples for how to mentor, disciple and pastor-believers. By the way, a pastor should do all these things. Some think a pastor is only to yell and scream and be really loud. But a pastor who is a bully is not fulfilling his job.