Summary: How can we raise our children in the training and instruction of the Lord without exasperating or embittering them? (Material adapted from Wayne Mack's book, Strengthening Your Marriage, Unit 7 Raising Children, pgs. 152- 161)
At the end of the age when all the saved were standing in line waiting to get into heaven, God appeared and said, "I want all the men to form two lines. One line will be for the men who were the true heads of their households. The other will be for the men who were dominated by their wives." God continued, "I want all the women to report to St. Peter." The women left and the men formed two lines. The line of men who were dominated by their wives was seemingly unending. The line of men who were the true head of their household had one man in it. God said to the first line, "You men ought to be ashamed of yourselves. I appointed you to be the heads of your households and you have not fulfilled your purpose. Of all of you, there is only one man who obeyed me. Learn from him." Then God turned to the lone man and asked, "How did you come to be in this line?" The man replied, "My wife told me to stand here."
Talked about the family a lot this year and we did discuss the role of the man in the home. Today is Father’s Day so talking about the role of the father in the home. We find in Ephesians and Colossians that instead of talking to the parents about raising children, the fathers are singled out for special instructions. Why is this? Often the father is the one who neglects this responsibility. Many a man has transferred most of the child raising responsibilities to this wife. In some instances, the husband has literally done this by telling the wife that “the kids” are her responsibility. In many cases, this is unannounced but happens by default. A father becomes so involved in his activities and concerns that he does not “have time” to help with the children. The wife seems to have a gift in this area and she is better with the children anyway so let her go ahead and raise them. This has been a problem since the fall.
The wife, mother, has a big role in raising the children but the man is the head of the household so he has a greater responsibility and accountability for his family.
See why men are told this but how is this to be done? Said last time that fathers need to be singing more and be joyful as seen in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. That is good advice but need more if we are to fulfill the commands of Ephesians 6:4 and Colossians 3:21.
Thesis: How can we raise our children in the training and instruction of the Lord without exasperating or embittering them? No fixed rules but general guidelines
We must make clear our expectations, rules and regulations.
God makes His expectations for us clear in His Word. We are not in the dark concerning His desires for us. In a similar fashion, we should deal the same way with our children. Children are not mind readers. Limits and expectations must be clearly known and enforced. Rules and regulations provide security and structure. Their absence encourages insecurity, frustration, hostility, and resentment.
Children need discipline. Discipline refers to enforced learning, or learning with structure, or learning with some teeth in it. Must know the rules and abide by them.
Generally speaking men are better suited to enforce discipline in the home. “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” Proverbs 22:15. Many misunderstand, the rod is a merciful form of discipline, because it is quickly administered and parent and child can move on. Best for young children.
“The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.” Proverbs 29:15, NIV. If we love our children and their mother we will discipline our children. “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24, NIV.
We must be wise in the way that we discipline them
“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” 1 Timothy 5:1, 2, NIV. This describes the courteous way we should deal even with children. Yet how frequently do we talk to children in a tone of voice or in a way we would never talk to adults?
Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. Untrue- “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21, NIV.