Summary: This message, using the example of Moses’ mother, encourages parents to raise godly children in godless times by treasuring thier children, caring for them, teaching them, and releasing them to God’s care.
Raising Godly Children in Godless Times (Exodus 2:1-10)
Kathy Ratcliff was participating in a parenting class at her church when she explained to her 6-year-old daughter, Kayla, that she was taking a course to help make her a better mommy. The next Sunday, after church, Kayla became upset and threw a temper tantrum because she was not getting her way. Both parents tried to calm her. But with tears streaming down her face and in a loud voice, Kayla announced to her mother, “You told me you were taking a course to make you a better mommy. Well, it’s not working!” (Shirley Ratcliff, "Kids of the Kingdom," Christian Reader, July/August 2003; www.PreachingToday.com)
These days, mothers and fathers wonder whether anything they do is working to raise their children. Not only do we face financial insecurity, there is a moral crisis of monumental proportions, where people define their own morality, and our children are more confused than ever about what is right and wrong.
The question is: How do we raise kids in times like these? How do we raise secure children in times of insecurity? How do we raise Godly children in godless times?
Well, there is a mother in the Bible who did just that. Her country’s ruler had just adopted a program of infanticide to eliminate her entire race. They were slaves in a foreign land, and the king had decreed that every baby boy be thrown into the river. Those were scary times. And yet, a slave mother found a way to raise a son whose impact on this world is still being felt today nearly 3500 years later.
Exodus 2:1-2 Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.
Despite the king’s decree, and at the risk of her own life, she hid her baby boy for three months. Now, the Hebrew word for “hid” suggests the hiding of treasure. In other words, the boy’s mother “treasured” her son. & She was going to give him every opportunity to survive and thrive even if it meant losing her own life.
Deep in the mountains of Niigata Prefecture, in the snow country of northern Japan, lies the tiny town of Takamachi. Heavy snowfalls can isolate towns and hamlets in the area for days.
During the worst blizzard to hit the area in thirteen years, work crews were attempting to clear the roads in and around Takamachi. On a Thursday, since the snowfall seemed to be letting up, Mrs. Tomiko Takano, 37, ventured out on an errand with her daughter. Her husband had left the house earlier to join the road clearing crews.
While Tomiko and her seven-year-old daughter Izumi were outside clearing a path to the road, an unusually high pile of snow on the roof suddenly gave way. Mother and daughter were buried beneath nearly ten feet of snow.
When Mr. Takano returned later in the day he saw that his wife and daughter were missing. He immediately launched a search. They were not found.
The next day, a work party clearing snow from around the Takano home heard a soft whimpering from a huge mound of snow beside the house. Frantically, they dug toward the sound and discovered Mrs. Takano’s frozen body curled around Izumi. Tomiko Takana had given her own life to save Izumi’s life. (Bob Boardman, "No Greater Love," Discipleship Journal, March/April 1986; www.PreachingToday.com)
That’s a mom for you, sacrificing her life for her child’s. She treasured her child more than her own life, just like that Hebrew mother did 3500 years ago.
And that’s what we must do if we want to raise godly children in a godless age. WE MUST TREASURE OUR CHILDREN. WE MUST VALUE THEM MORE THAN A BIGGER HOUSE, MORE THAN A MORE AFFLUENT LIFE, MORE THAN EVEN OUR OWN LIVES.
Now, we’re not often called upon to give our lives for our children all at once. But we are, more often than not, called upon to give our lives for our children in little pieces at a time. Rather than taking that 2nd job so we can get a nicer car, we invest that time to listen to a child, to play with a child, or to be there when they hit their first home run.
Recently, Tim, our youngest son now in college, said to us, “I’m glad you were there for my baseball games, my basketball games and my soccer games. Some of my friends in school didn’t have that, and I feel sorry for them.”