Summary: God calls us to join Him in one of the grandest opportunities of a lifetime: to raise a child to love and follow Him. Put your hope in Him, Fall in love with Him, Parent your children for Him.
March 5th It’s Complicated: Parent Edition
God calls us to join Him in one of the grandest opportunities of a lifetime: to raise a child to love and follow Him.
A Parent’s Influence is Crucial
Bland Faith Doesn’t Transfer
The Power of a Close Relationship
Clear instructions from God on this Great Adventure called parenting:
1. Put your hope in Him v.4
2. Fall in love with Him. vv.5-6
3. Parent your children for Him vv.7-9
Here are a few parenting “alternative facts.” If they were true, parenting would be so much be easier.
1. Laundry machines retrieve dirty clothes from under beds, wash, dry, fold and sort, and print money to pay for detergent.
2. The Tooth Fairy is real and carries twenties.
3. Toddlers adhere to the “Hands To Yourself” rule while browsing the grocery store
4. When asked to share their toys, toddlers smile and say, “What took you so long?
5. When asked to clean up after themselves, children smile and say, “And when I’m done, can I vacuum and take out the trash?”
Turn in your Bibles to Deuteronomy 6 as we finish up this series entitled “It’s Complicated.” It might be that nothing in the world is more complicated, more frustrating, more exasperating, and more discouraging than parenting. And yet, here many of us are: trying to parent children that at times seem like aliens from the underworld.
Let’s see who is here this morning:
How many of you are parents of at least one child under 3 yrs old?
How many of you are parents of at least one child between 3-10 yrs old?
How many of you are parents of at least one child between 11-18 yrs old?
How many of you are parents of at least one child over 19 yrs old?
How many of you are parenting a step child?
How many of you are a single parent?
How many of you are grandparents?
If you raised your hand, raise it again!
Parenting is one of the most difficult responsibilities a human being can have. And yet, we feel so underequipped for this daunting task. At any one time, how many of you have felt like a total and complete failure as a parent? But get this: God calls us to join Him in one of the grandest opportunities of a lifetime: to raise a child to love and follow Him.
So let’s read this seminal passage out of God’s parenting guide about how to raise a child to love and follow God. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (on screen)
University of Southern California sociologist Vern L. Begnston recently released a book called Families and Faith: How Religion is Passed Down Across Generations by Vern L. Begnston The book is the result of a 35-year study on families. It focuses on the question of how religion is passed from generation to generation.
Here are three key findings: (Build)
1. Parent’s Influence is Crucial
The #1 factor in a child loving and following God is the influence of the parent. Parents, God has placed this child in your hands for one purpose—to guide the child to love and follow Jesus. That’s a responsibility you MUST accept.
2. Bland Faith Doesn’t Transfer
The study showed that parents who attend church weekly were twice as likely to pass their faith on to their child than those who attended monthly.
3. The Power of a Close Relationship
Children who have a close, loving relationship with their parent or parents are much more likely to adopt the faith of their parents. Dads, this is particularly true of you. For young adults from Evangelical families, 71% of those who had a close relationship with their father shared that Evangelical faith, compared with only 46% of those who did not have a close relationship with their father.
The Bible passage we read awhile ago is well known to many of us. It begins with what is called the Shema. Say it with me: shema. Shema is the Hebrew word for hear; and so because this very critical passage begins with the word shema, it became known AS the Shema. But shema means more than just hear audibly; shema: listen with the intent to obey. Let’s read verse 4, the shema out loud together: “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One.” You might underline the words LORD in all caps. That almost always refers to the personal name of God: Yahweh. This verse says, The God of the Bible is the One true God. There is no other. Every other God is a false god. Yahweh is His name. Not Allah, not Zeus, not Aphrodite, not Ivanca…there is only one God: His name is Yahweh.
And He has set some clear instructions for those of us who are called to this Great Adventure called parenting: