Summary: Ways the church can partner with parents in the responsibility of raising children.
THE PARTNER OF PARENTHOOD
Some names are interesting because we easily recognize them without knowing anything about them except the name. Some such names are of places. For example, everyone has heard of “Timbuktu.” But do you realize that is the name of an actual town in the West African nation of Mali? A familiar person in history is Kublai Khan. But I suspect that few know that he was the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China.
Finally there are Bible names we recognize like Jehosaphat. Folks know the name, but do you know anything else? Do you know that Jehosaphat became king of Judah in about 871BC.
Do you know the story in 2 Chronicles 20 where Moabites, Ammonites, Menunites assembled their armies to make war against Jehosaphat?
When Jehosaphat becomes aware that a great army is assembling against his kingdom, he proclaimed a fast for the nation in order for them to inquire of the Lord. So there is a great assembly in the temple in Jerusalem where Jehosaphat prays to the Lord for guidance. This scene is includes this description:
All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord. 2 Chronicles 20:13
I like that image of families standing together in the place of worship.
Today we share on “The Partner of Parenthood.” Reality is that no parent is raising his or her children alone. There ARE other sources influences upon your children: School, Friends, Media, Culture, and the church, to name a few. I love the church and today I stand as an advocate for the positive contribution the church can and will play in the process of raising children. So lets look to scripture for answers to the question: How can the church partner with parents?
THE CHURCH CAN REINFORCE BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES
Note the word reinforce. The Bible is clear that the primary people responsible for teaching scripture to children are the parents. Moses made this point as he gave instructions to the Hebrews in preparation for their conquest of the Promise Land.
6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NIV
The church is here to reaffirm/reinforce what is to be received primarily in the home: Biblical Principles. There is so much knowledge that we want our children to have. We want them to have academic knowledge, athletic ability, knowledge of the arts, the ability to change a tire, or other information. Remember that the church is here to help you in the development of your spiritual life and in the spiritual lives of your home.
We Need Early Reinforcement
Don’t let it be said that the spiritual training you provided your children was Too Little Too Late. We need to start early in the raising of our children to teach them that Jesus loves them, that the Bible contains wisdom for life, and that they are a creation of a mighty God.
We Need Regular Reinforcement
A “steady diet” of quality food brings and maintains our physical health. Artists and Athletes know they need steady reinforcement to maintain their skills at the highest level. Likewise a “steady diet” of biblical lessons maintains our spiritual health. When spiritual and biblical reinforcement goes in decline, we fail to remain spiritually sharp.
Listen up in your home. The question “Are we going to church today?” should be asked rarely in your home. If it is, let that be a “red flag” to warn you of the dangers of sporadic learning.
THE CHURCH CAN MODEL CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES
This is another way of saying the church can set quality examples for your kids. Faith is as much “caught” as it is “taught.” We learn a lot by seeing it put into practice.
Jesus’ closed the Sermon on the Mount with the story of houses built on 2 foundations.
The storms were identical. But house on solid foundation stood while one built on the sand fell. What did Jesus say the house on the solid foundation was like?
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24 NIV
If the church is indeed a gathering of people with a faith commitment to Jesus, the behavior of church people will model distinctions that are not as readily seen in the world. Jesus showed that Christians will face the same kind of “storms” or problems that non-Christians meet. But we can demonstrate a better, higher, response! When a Christian faces temptation, it gives the opportunity for that Christian to show how a Christian responds. When a Christian has cancer, it gives the opportunity for that Christian to show how a Christian responds to that battle. When a Christian loses his/her job, it gives the opportunity for that Christian to show how a Christian responds to that situation. When a Christian receives injustice, it gives the opportunity for that Christian to show how a Christian responds to injustice. When a Christian’s family goes through crisis, it gives the opportunity for that Chris a Christian fails, it gives the opportunity for that Christian to show how a Christian humbly admits to his/her mistakes, repents, and seeks forgiveness.