Summary: Sermon Series by Dr. Tim Pollock on Parenting
I believe that parents ought to have some fun and that families ought to enjoy themselves. Some parents would do well to loosen up a little. We all need to laugh. Kids should get to see dad dance around and embarrass them! Fun brings a level of connection that perhaps no other thing could. I don’t think that our homes ought to resemble a North Korean labor camp. I am a firm believer that we ought to have warmth in our family, but at the same time, we must be a parent who is willing to say no. The modern parent desires and seems obligated to say yes to everything a child or a teenager requests. It is really hard for some parents, myself included, to say no, but I want to give us all permission to say no to junior once in a while, in fact, maybe even a lot.
Parents must not be afraid to put their foot down. Parents long to “be friends” with their children, who wouldn’t? Friends are special. In life we might have many friends, but we’ll only ever have one set of parents and parents need to be the parent! Dads need to be the dad and moms need to be the mom. It seems to me like there has been a shift in parenting of late. The dial seems to be angling over to the accommodating of immaturity. In fact, even more than accommodating it seems like sometimes we are becoming enablers. No parent wants to be known as hard-core and unreasonable, but in reality, the most loving thing that you can do is help your children break the cycle of sin. Let’s examine how God says we can do just that.
In my opinion, this proverb reveals the number one most practical parenting truth, especially in the context of thee younger, primary years. There are 5 facts in this single sentence that I believe will be helpful with understanding the sin nature and discipline:
1. Humans are Totally Depraved
I know it is hard to look at a little chubby baby and call them a sinner! How could these precious little bundles of joy be anything but the most perfect and incredible little things in the world? Children are a wonderful gift from God. The fact is, however, every child has a sin nature. This nature is woven into the very fibers of their DNA.
The word “depraved” is certainly a loaded word. It is even a point of debate in the theological word. Are human beings basically good by nature or bad? How we answer this question has a bearing on how we raise children. To be a Bible-believer, we have to believe the fact that humans are basically bad. That’s a hard thing for many to wrap their heads around, but a literal interpretation of Scripture points to the clear fact that we are all morally depraved.
A good working definition of depravity is this: man’s natural condition apart from God’s grace in his heart. The only thing in me that desires to do right is Christ!
Notice what this verse says, “foolishness is bound in the heart…” Foolishness describes our fundamental relationship to God and secondarily our relationship with mankind. Depravity means that all of us are capable of any sin. Would you admit to the fact that you are capable of any sin? Humans in rebellion to God are capable of anything! Apart from the grace of God, humans have no delight in the holiness of God. Apart from the grace of God there is no glad submission to His authority. Mankind simply does not like to submit themselves to sovereignty of God. In my original state (unconverted), there is no enjoyable obedience to the laws of God. I don’t really like the laws of God. They irritate me, bother me, and create a problem for me. This does not mean that a depraved person cannot be nice. It doesn’t mean that they can’t be philanthropic and good to mankind. It doesn’t mean that they can’t even be religious. What total depravity does mean is that those very actions of kindness and magnanimous giving to the poor and positive humanness are actually done in rebellion to God.
Everything that an unsaved person does is in rebellion to God. Jesus rebuked some “nice” religious people, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27).
All humans are totally, irrevocably, absolutely and completely depraved. Paul said the same thing in Romans 7:18, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing…” Have you ever come to a moment when you’ve recognized your own depravity? That moment when it finally dawns on you that really, inside your heart, there dwells no good thing is the point that precedes being saved.