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Summary: A "split screen" sermon by husband and wife co-pastors addressing children and parents on the admonitions in Proverbs. Text is Proverbs 6:20-24

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SUE: Today we’re going to engage in split-screen preaching. On the one screen you will hear how Proverbs instructs children to regard their parents. So when the children’s screen is in focus, kids including, teens listen up! It’s for you.

WES: When the screen switches to the way Proverbs instructs parents, then parents hear ye! Hear Ye! But kids continue to pay attention, because some day most of you will become parents.

SUE: I want to ask first, “do families need help?" What do you think? Shouldn’t good behavior and loving family relationships just be natural?” I think we’d all answer- “IF ONLY!”

Proverbs was written because the natural tendency of people is to become undisciplined, contentious fools (Proverbs uses this word) unless they receive instruction and then heed God’s wisdom which is given for both parents and children.

Proverbs paints a picture of unruly, undisciplined children and the way they act. “There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers; those whose eyes are ever so haughty, whose glances are so disdainful; those whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are set with knives to devour the poor from the earth, the needy from among mankind” (Prov 30:11-14).

Nothing has changed much in over 3000 years. I want to give you an example of a family that unfortunately, represents far too many families in trouble who need to heed God’s wisdom recorded for us in the book of Proverbs. This sad story came to me just this week.

The oldest son of this family, in his 20’s, is sitting in jail right now because of a felony he committed.

Their second son, also a young adult, recently started a friendship with a childhood Sunday school friend who has two children and two past lovers. That friendship lasted only about three months because the young woman started seeing other men and broke his heart.

But the most recent event in this family that added to the grief and dismay of the parents was the foolishness of their teen age daughter.

I’ll call her Abby. Abby met a guy at her church the same age and they fell in love, so much so that they decided to get married as soon as they both turned 18. That would be next March.

In the meantime, they had an argument and in her anger she took off to be with another friend, an older man. The man in his 30’s took her for a bike ride and then to his apartment where he gave her some highly spiked ice tea and then committed a gross sin against her. She was taken to the hospital traumatized. For the parents it was one more tragic wound they had to bear.

I think, ’oh, if only Abby would have listened to her mother who tried to instruct her.’ Her father, unfortunately, didn’t carry out his godly role as he should have; he was mostly a passive presence in the home.

At any rate, Abby chose to reject her mother’s teaching and follow the way of a FOOL. Proverbs says “To have a fool for a son (or daughter) brings grief; there is no joy for the father of a fool” (Prov 17:21). But that’s not the end of Abby’s foolish actions.

Abby and her boyfriend made up and fell back in love again. At least that’s what they told each other. And they decided they couldn’t wait until March to get married so they set their wedding date for next month in November. But then about a week later, they decided they couldn’t wait until next month and unwilling to heed Scripture’s warnings to keep themselves pure and to keep the marriage bed undefiled (Heb 13), they said their vows to each other and to God in her bedroom, declared themselves married in God’s eyes! And you can guess the rest of the story.

Teens, I think you know that when you decided to disobey your parents and God’s commands and choose to sin, your sin will lead to more sin until you get trapped and miserable unless you confess it and turn from it. Sin, especially sexual sin, is not worth the price that comes with it.

Well, just last week, after this young beautiful teenage Abby and her mother had put a wedding dress on lay away, sealed up hand-made wedding invitations, and started buying food for the anticipated wedding reception (which by the way they couldn’t afford),they also faced the prospects that Abby might be pregnant. On Thursday, a week ago, Abby and her mother were greeted by the young prince who came to their door to tell them the wedding is off. He let Abby know that he no longer loved her or wanted to marry her!

Can you imagine the devastation that consumed this teenage beauty and her mother? I don’t know how Abby is handling the let-down, but I do know the mother is mighty irate about what happened. Later, the mother asked them after his pronouncement sunk in, does this mean that since you two married yourselves before God, will you also need to divorce yourselves as well?

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