Summary: This series covers five topics in raising children so that they develop a relationship with Jesus. A helpful acrostic for FAITH - Faithfulness, Accountability, Integrity, Truth, and Hope.
Building a Culture of FAITH in the Family – Part Four
Gages Lake Bible Church
Sunday Evening, July 18th, 2010
Pastor Daniel Darling
Intro: Tonight we continue our five part series, “Building a Culture of FAITH in the Family. We’re using the acrostic FAITH. So far we’ve covered three:
Faithfulness—The call of parents to faithfully obey God in raising their children. We really looked at what is our job and what isn’t our job.
Accountability – The importance of accountability structures in a family, that every member is accountable to God. We discussed the importance of discipline and boundaries in the life and development of a child.
Integrity – The need for authenticity and character. How can we instill in our children character and integrity, the values that will endure.
Tonight we continue with Part Four, How to Build a Culture of Truth in the Family. Tonight I have 6 points.
1) The Freedom of Truth
It was Jesus who said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 (ESV) There is a freedom in knowing the truth. Now quite often we quote this verse as sort of a catch-all to vindicate ourselves. I’ve heard ruthless criminals say this to the media before they go in for trial.
But what Jesus is saying is that truth brings freedom. And honestly when Jesus says these words, He is referring to Himself. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
You see, there is only one truth in the world. There can only be one truth in the world. That sounds very narrow and intolerant, but it’s the most loving message there is.
Why? Because untruth, or the lies of the world may sound good, but they offer bondage. They offer hopelessness. They offer no purpose.
We want our children to grow up knowing the truth, that is to know Jesus Christ, not in a religious, hand-me-down way, but in a personal, intimate, real way.
We live in a culture of shifting standards. I see in our culture, across all spectrums a great “character deficit.” And it affects everything, from our economy, to our education policy, to our politics, to the church. And at the heart of it is a lack of one standard, a truth.
I want our children to be guided by the truth, to be guided by Jesus, so that when the storms come, when they are tempted, when they leave for college and go on into life, they have a foundation, a worldview that is based on truth.
And if we sow the Word of God into the hearts of our children in an authentic, vibrant, real-world way, it won’t come back void. David writes:
Psalm 119:11 (KJV)
11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
And who will teach them besides us? It is our job as parents to teach them. Fathers, Paul says, “Train your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
I think of my job as a parent as this. I’m right now pushing back, defeating, destroying the lies that the world will tell them when they are older. We’re going on offense against whatever the enemy may sling at their minds in the future: Paul writes this:
2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
There is a world out there that wants to corrupt our children, to infuse them with their lies.
2) The Responsibility of Teaching Truth
Bible talks much about generational faith, passing the torch of truth to the next generation. Many times in the Old Testament, the Scriptures talk about training children and “children’s children.” I’ve highlighted a few. I’d like you to turn to three passages:
Exodus 34:5-7 (ASV)
5 And Jehovah descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of Jehovah.
6 And Jehovah passed by before him, and proclaimed, Jehovah, Jehovah, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth,
7 keeping loving kindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation.
Deuteronomy 4:8-9 (ASV)
8 And what great nation is there, that hath statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes saw, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life; but make them known unto thy children and thy children’s children;