Summary: How to raise children.

DRAMA: “Extreme Love”

I hope you have an extreme love for your kids - a love that even makes you a crybaby at times. That’s o.k. because kids are special. This morning, let’s talk about raising these special kids. It’s a big job, but, parents, you’ve got to do it.

As we continue making over our homes, let’s walk into our kid’s room and do some remodeling. Do we have a plan? You bet! God’s word meets us right where we are. Turn to Psalm 127:3-5.

Psalm 127 does not give us so much a way to makeover our children’s rooms as it gives us some truths to remember as we do so. Let’s encounter this text together:

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.

Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.

They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate (Psalm 127:3-5).

I see at least three truths in these three verses:

First, parents are to be dedicated (v. 3).

Verse 3 clearly states that children are a blessing to parents from God.

Some people have selfish attitudes about life. Instead of seeing children as a blessing, they see them as a burden. Some might say, “Children are so expensive! If I have children or if I have more than one or two, I might not be able to drive the kind of car I want to drive.” Or they might say, “Kids tie you down so much. Where would my freedom go?” You may be like this. I admit that a couple of years ago I was right there too. But I’ve realized the instruction of God’s word, which says children are not a burden, they are a blessing. Therefore, if your family is blessed with children, then you have received a tremendous blessing. And as Jesus said in Luke 12:48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” If you have the blessing of children, you are called to a high task. Therefore, you must be dedicated. But to what are you to be dedicated?

First, you must be dedicated to the Lord.

Why? Because you will do a terrible job of raising your kids if you try to do so on your own! Dedicate yourself to the Father of Fathers first, and He will give you the things you need to care for you children.

Each time you fly on a commercial airplane, you’ll hear a little spiel that almost anyone who flies can recite. “In the unlikely event that we should lose cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will drop in front of you. Place the mask securely over your nose and pull firmly to activate the flow of oxygen. If you are traveling with a child, place the mask over your face first, and then proceed to place a mask over your child.” It’s a nice speech but it goes against our nature. Parents tend to think they must take care of their children first. Yet the airline instructs, “Take care of yourself first.” Their reasoning is simple; our children depend on us. If we don’t receive the breath of life to sustain us, we won’t be able to assist our children and both lives will be lost.

The spiritual connection is obvious. If we neglect the life-saving breath of God in our lives, then we will promote the spiritual destruction of both ourselves and our children. But if we will be dedicated to the Lord first, then we will have everything we need to raise up our children properly! So take a deep spiritual breath every day – your children are counting on it.

Second, parents must be dedicated to their children.

Why? Because you have the responsibility of raising them! Being dedicated to your children means you are set apart for them. You are devoted to raising them and raising them right.

Last weekend, Rebecca and I went to Louisiana for about 48 hours to spend some time with my brother and his family who were visiting my parents. My brother John is married and has two boys, John Lee who is a ninth grader and James who is a second grader. Ever since John Lee was born, John has been a dedicated father. Even though he was flying all over the world, working hard to climb the corporate ladder, John made time for his boys. The result of that dedication and relationship building is quite evident. John and his sons have one of the best father-son relationships I’ve seen. The ninth grader, John Lee, can confide in his dad, is interested to learn from his dad, and can even joke with his dad, but John Lee obviously respects and obeys his dad. James is developing those same traits. Is it easy for John to make time for his boys? No. He works hard and long at work and then comes home and works hard and long with his boys. But he did it and continues to do it because he knows it will pay off. And it has.

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