Summary: This is the fifth message in a series of sermons called, "How to Have a Happy and Healthy Home."
Series: How to Have a Happy and Healthy Home"
Scripture: Ephesians 6:4
Sermon: How to Raise Your Kids without Loosing Their Respect.
For the past month and a half, we’ve been looking at the Word of God for advice on how to build a happy and healthy home. And a happy and healthy home needs three building blocks.
The first building block is A SINCERE WALK WITH GOD. He can make a bad home good, a good home great, and a great home better. The Bible tells us that any sinner can have a personal, meaningful, relationship with God the moment he or she accepts Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (John 14:5). Have you accepted Christ? If not, then I encourage you to do so today. If so, then you’re ready for the second building block, which is -
A STRONG MARRIAGE. God intends for marriage to be an enjoyable, lifelong, relationship between a man and a woman. And ANY marriage can be strong if the woman will submit to her husband’s authority, if the man will submit to his wife’s needs, and if both the man and woman will submit to Christ.
The third building block for marriage is A SOLID PARENT - CHILD relationship. Last week we looked at Ephesians 6:1-3 and noticed the responsibility of the children in regard to the home: they are to honor their parents.
This morning, I want to look at verse 4 and notice the responsibility of the parents in regard to the home. This verse tells us how to raise our kids without loosing their respect.
I’m sure you heard the story about a young preacher who preached a sermon entitled, "Ten RULES for Raising Your Kids." A few years later he and his wife had a couple of kids. And while his kids were in lower elementary school, he changed the title of his sermon to, "Ten PRINCIPLES for Raising Your Kids." A few years later, when his kids were in the pre-teen years, he changed the title of his sermon to, "Ten SUGGESTIONS for raising your kids. Then, when his kids became teenagers, HE QUIT PREACHING THE SERMON ALL TOGETHER!
I’m not going to do that to you, but I do want to share two principles, gleaned from this verse, that will help you raise your kids without loosing their respect.
I. A Warning to Heed.
Circle the phrase, "Do not exasperate your children . . ." (NIV) The word ‘exasperate’ means "to irritate someone," "to make someone extremely frustrated, bitter, and angry." A lot of people are like that today. They’re filled frustration and bitterness. We don’t want our children to turn out that way.
So what are some common ways parents exasperate their children? Let me mention 3 ways. Parents exasperate their children by being . . .
If you want to frustrate, embitter, and anger your child, then be negative. Constantly criticize them. Point out their faults and seldom offer praise. It seems like that comes natural for some parents. A little girl says to her dad, "I’m going to be a doctor." He replies, "You’re not smart enough, you’ll never make it." Don’t be that way. Don’t discourage your child’s dreams, if those dreams are worthwhile (ILL: Twila Paris’ Parents - they encouraged her to pursue her dream of being a professional singer).
When you criticize your child, do so constructively. Criticism, when balanced with praise, will help him grow and develop. But criticism, without praise, will make him bitter, frustrated, and angry.
Our society has a lot of negligent parents. Some parents tell their kids, in effect, "Stay out of my way and I’ll stay out of yours;" "Mind your own business and I’ll mind mine." They treat their children like they are a nuisance and in the way.
Don’t treat your kids like that. Spend time with them. Do things together. Play an important role in their lives and let them know they mean the world to you.
Do you know what the three most important words you can say to your child are? (Not "Here’s your allowance") "I love you."
II. A Command to Obey.
Look at verse 4, ". . . instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (NIV). This command has two parts. It commands us to . . .
A. TRAIN our children.
Circle the word "train." It means to prepare someone by laying down rules and regulations and enforcing them with rewards and punishments. In other words, you identify the standards for your children. Then you follow those standards yourself. Then you tell your children, "Follow these standards with us. We’ll reward you when you do, and punish you when you don’t."
1. How should I reward my children? By increasing their privileges.