Summary: How to Guide your childrens with Purpose
MOTHER’S DAY SERMON
Scripture: Psalm 78:18, especially verse 4
Parenting with Purpose
Introduction: Today is that wonderful Sunday we call Mother’s Day, a day when we celebrate our moms and the priceless role they play in family and society. Moms, it’s not my intention today to add to your struggles as a mom, because many of you already feel overwhelmed. It’s never been harder to be a parent. But because parenting is so crucial and because God has called us to do certain things as moms and dads, I do want to share some truth from Scripture about raising children. Though this is Mother’s Day, my message is specifically targeted to all parents; and in addition, I believe God has a word for all of us here this morning, whether we’re parents or not. On Psalm 78, the Lord gives us four principles to follow in parenting with purpose.
1. Teach our Children God’s Greatness (vv. 14). How does the Psalmist communicate to us in these verses? He first gets our attention, "Give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ears to the words of my mouth" (v. 1). In modern terminology, he is shouting, "Don’t touch that dial! Pay attention! This is important stuff!" Then he uses historical material to drive home his points. The first principle he emphasizes that we are to pass on to the next generation is God’s greatness. He describes: "His praiseworthy deeds"--the awesome things God has done; "His power"--He is above all other powers--nothing is too difficult for Him. "His wonders"--He is a God of miracles! It’s our responsibility to teach our children, our grandchildren, and our spiritual children God’s greatness
(cf. Ps. 145:3, 4).
2. Teach Our Children God’s Word (vv. 5, 6). In the maze of moral confusion, God’s Word serves to guide us. Notice the multi-generational aspect of these verses: forefathers, their children, the children yet to be born, and their children. The psalmist is talking about four generations! Grandparents, your spiritual assignment is not over when your children are grown. You are to influence your grandchildren spiritually as well! It’s not always easy to teach children of God’s Word. Sometimes our own lack of knowledge and understanding hinders us, but remember that the teacher most always learns more than the student. Sometimes our supposed lack of time hinders our teaching of the Word to children. We can make time for what’s important, and the psalmist puts utmost importance on this task! Why not share with each other what you are learning in God’s Word? Your children can teach you, too, which excites them to learn.
3. Teach Our Children to Trust God (v. 7a). How can we teach our children to trust God? We do this by trusting God ourselves and by sharing stories about God’s faithfulness with them. These verses tell of how Israel forgot about the Lord’s work. How could they forget? God had done so many miracles (the parting of the Red Sea, the providing of manna, etc.) how could they forget? We do the same thing! When God parted the Jordan for Israel to pass through, Joshua set up stones to commemorate God’s mighty acts so future generations would remember (Josh. 4:2024). What are we doing to commemorate God’s mighty work in our lives?
4. Teach Our Children to Obey God (vv. 7b, 8). We need to help our children build their own set of convictions. When our children leave home, we can’t make their decisions for them! Remember Joseph when away from home and tempted said, "How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Gen. 39:9b NKJV). We must teach our children by example. Do you ever say when the phone rings, "Tell them I’m not home," but then get upset when your kids tell a lie? We must model obedience for our children.
Diana Allen nicely sums up the sentiment of many mothers in a poem called "I Quit." After explaining the hardships of parenthood, she concludes, "There will be days when I’ll still hunt through the yellow pages for the number for the Mother’s Resignation Hotline ... or my heart will feel as though it has been shattered into a thousand pieces. One thing is sure, however: I have to hang on, to stand firm, to fight the good fight. The souls of my children and the quality of the lives they live here on earth is at stake--and so is their eternity. My children are too precious for me to do anything but persevere."