Summary: In the early years of development children need to be taught that they are to be in submission to authority and parents need to understand biblical discipline (spanking).
THE BIBLICAL FAMILY - Raising Infants (0-5)
Authority and Discipline - Ephesians 6:1-4
A. We live in a world today were obedience and honor are almost dirty words.
1. The words have a tendency to proclaim “Authority!”
2. Which is a dirty word as well!
B. But God’s word, as well as His purpose, is filled with the idea of authority: obedience and honor.
1. First they are required by God of men in their relations to Himself.
a. Deut. 13:4 Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
b. Proverbs 3:9 Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
2. When we do these we are respecting God’s authority.
C. Now it should be noted that God places authority in the hands of man as well - 1 Tim. 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
1. One of the places He sets His authority is in parents
2. God has seen fit to place His authority with parents, as His regents, in bringing up children.
3. We read of this most clearly in Eph 6:1-2 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
4. All of this is based upon the command found in Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
5. When we honor and obey we are submitting ourselves to the authority of someone else & are blessed for doing so.
D. So what we find is that when children honor and obey their parents they are in a place of blessing
1. Tedd Tripp in his book entitled Shepherding a Child’s Heart calls this atmosphere where there is honor and obedience the “Circle of Blessing.”
- By the way, much of what we will go over tonight was gleaned from his book Shepherding a Child’s Heart
2. Parents, this is where we want our kids to dwell – in the circle of blessing from the Lord – is it not?
3. It is to this end that I believe the major goal we have as parents with children 0-5years of age is to teach them how to live under authority!
E. Our outline for this lesson is simple
1. The Goal: Teach Authority
2. The Discipline: Spanking, if Necessary
May God open our eyes to the needs of our children and the biblical means to see that they obtain it.
As we begin to look at how we might bring our families closer to the Lord and at the same time raise God fearing children it would help us to have this goal in mind:
I. THE GOAL: TEACH AUTHORITY
A. I want you to think about the first 5 years of a child’s life – in a word, how would you explain it? CHANGE
1. Physical change: learning to move their head, role over, crawl, walk, run; they are learning to manipulate objects & feed themselves
2. Social change: at first he is it – he thinks (sort of) only of self; then there is the relationship with momma, then other family members, other people and eventually he has his own friends. Even toilet training is a personal, yet social development.
3. Intellectual change: he begins to learn words, then sentences – even his mistakes follow the logical grammar patterns – “I thinked” instead of “I thought.”
- Curiosity abounds, everything is an adventure, “why” is a key word.
4. Spiritual changes: they begin to hear and learn simple truths about God: Creator, that He loves them, etc.
5. In a nutshell, it all changing and the child is blooming – he is learning his environment and what he can do and what he can get away with!
B. The One thing that will provide stability in the midst of all this change is the understanding that he/she is an individual under authority!
1. It is at this age they need to see the “Circle of Blessing” as a place of safety and that the circle involves submission to parental authority.
- Drawn out it would look like this (Show slide)
2. Two things need to be taught: Honor & Obedience
a. Honoring parents means to treat them with respect and esteem because they are God’s appointed authority in their lives.
1) Their learning to honor parents will be the result of two things:
a) The parent teaching them to do so
b) The parents’ conduct being honorable.