Summary: A look at the family today.
This morning we wrap up our series on the family with a look at teaching our children. What do parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers, and nursery workers need to know in order to give our children and teenagers the best possible chance at living life as God intended and enjoying the blessings and benefits of following God.
This is an intimidating topic for a young parent to tackle, and it’s even more intimidating for a young parent to preach on. I don’t have all of the answers and I definitely don’t claim to have parenting down, there are many in here who have walked your children into adulthood who would have much to teach us but unless one of you is willing to come up and speak, I’m just going to keep talking and hope that God will drive home some of the truth of His words this morning.
I can’t think of any moment in my life that had more of an impact on me than watching the birth of my children, especially Ethan. I remember every little detail, the room was a zoo, we had 2 mothers, 2 sisters, 2 nurses, a doctor, one woman in agony, and me. Everything was nuts and then it was like time stood still and the doctor was holding my son. My first thought was, “His heads huge!” A few hours later, I took my newborn and went into another room so Erin could sleep. We sat down together and watched an SU basketball game on TV, they lost, I thought it was good to expose him to that early so he could get used to cheering for teams that liked to lose. I don’t remember much of the game but I remember staring into these huge brown eyes and being overwhelmed by a barrage of thoughts and emotions.
I was scared
I was in love
I was amazed
I was thankful
I was scared!
The reality of the situation began to set in during that time together and I began to experience the wonder and the fear that comes with suddenly being responsible for a life other than your own. And being a Christian makes this responsibility even greater because we know that this life we hold is not just flesh and blood, but an eternal soul.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says: He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;
God made us to live forever and not only am I responsible for preparing my children for this life but I am to prepare them for the one to come as well. I am to teach and train my children in such a way that they are open to the work of God in their lives and I can enjoy them for eternity together in God’s presence.
There are times when this seems impossible, but we serve a God who promises us that with His help, all things are possible. With God’s help, we can raise Godly children. Scripture tells us that Children are a reward, a gift from God. When I think of a gift, Christmas comes quickly into my mind and I think of all of the gifts that require a degree in astro-physics to understand and put together. Many of you in this room, I would guess, have lost sleep on Christmas Eve as you tried to piece together a bike or a doll house for there child. Often being too stubborn to consult the directions that come with the gift and would allow you to turn it into what it was made to be. Those instructions are important and need to be followed! For the Christian parent, we need to understand that God does not expect us to handle this gift of parenting a child without reading the instructions that he provides for us in the pages of His Word. He gives us instructions and commands to follow, no matter what kind of personality or character our children have, we as parents can follow God’s blueprint for raising up our kids.
This morning I want to look at a progression of instruction that God gives the nation of Israel concerning raising their children. Each step in the progression is necessary and builds on the steps that precede it. He gives these three specific instructions to the nation of Israel to ensure that His truth is passed on from generation to generation.
I’ll be using the term Truth often this morning and I want to be clear that I am referring to Truth with a capital T, the Truth found in the word of God.
First, in Exodus 10:1-2, when God is preparing Moses to deliver His people from Egypt he says: EX 10:1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them 2 that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD."