Summary: Devotion. Direction. Discipline. Link inc. to formatted text, audio.

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What Parents Owe Their Children

Ephesians 6:4

Devotion. Direction. Discipline.

1. Devotion.

Somehow we have communicated to our children that they are a burden rather than a blessing. We can't wait for school to start, and dread summer vacation. They are a nuisance, annoying, expensive pains in the neck.

The Bible says that children are the heritage of the Lord, whether planned or not, whether normal or special needs, colic or not, pickin' guitars and drivin' old trucks, or doctors and lawyers and such!

The greatest blessing that can come into a home is a child. And how about grandchildren? Should you have had them first or what!

With the privilege comes great responsibility. Being a parent should heighten our sensitivity to how important it is that we be all we can be for them.

ill.--The Bible says Enoch walked with God after his son Methusaleh was born. Connection?

Stats show that many kids leave church from the ages of 18-22, and many come back after the birth of their first child.

Parents have everything to do w/ bringing their child into this world, and will have much to do w/ where they go when they leave this world.

We want to raise them to know the Lord from an early age and to live for Him their entire life. They have a free will, but we want to affect their 'wanter', their will, and tip the scales in their favor.

King David refused to discipline his son, Adonijah. [1 Kings 1 says he never told him no] He grew to be a man and decided to take his father's throne. It didn't go well, and he died a tragic, early death. The same was true for his brother Absalom, who was pampered and spoiled, and suffered a similar fate.

How about Eli the priest, who restrained not his sons who were wild. They led him to disgrace and Israel to defeat.

D.L. Moody was a great preacher, indeed, but his son grew up to be a leading liberal theologian who trounced upon the faith of his father.

Billy Sunday told his wife, "Maude, we won the world and lost our boys." The highway of history is littered with lost children of Christian parents.

Many of our people did it all well with their kids, but their free moral agency took them down wrong roads. We can only pray, hope and trust that when they are older they will come around.

Though it's no guarantee to work, and though we cannot make them do right, the Bible urges us to give devotion, direction, and discipline to our kids.

v. 4 'bring them up' = is a tender word connoting the warm nest of a mother bird. And every child has the God given right to unconditional love, no matter how they look, act, or are gifted. 100% of parents would say they love their kids unconditionally. Now, what if we surveyed the kids?

Since kids spell love TIME, and not MONEY or THINGS, we are in big trouble in today's culture. They want our attention and that has been given away to a thousand other things.

I can't remember most of the 'things' I received as gifts as a kid, but I sure remember what was spent on was time! I remember birthdays...not the presents, but the effort put into making the food I loved, including the ice cream log rolls and 3 day chili. I thought, "She's doing that for me!" It made me feel so special. I'll never forget. I remember the ball games they came to, and the ones they missed! I remember my concerts, solos in church, first sermons, etc. What are your stories?

My kids don't want things as much as they want ME. So, I have a choice to make: My kids, or my TV, or my hobby. There's not enough of me for everything so something has to go.

ill.--Bobby and Mary's dad was always working, and always absent at the dinner table. The two of them would fight over who got to sit in dad's chair at the table. One night Bobby got there first, and this time he said, "I'll not only sit here, but tonight, I'll be the dad." Mary said, "You're not dad. If you think you're so smart, then what's 7 times 7?" Bobby said w/out even looking up, "Ask your mother!"

Devotion means accessibility. It also means encouragement.

A child 'becomes' his praise or criticism. Tell him he's a failure and he'll prove you right. Tell her she's stupid and she'll provide more evidence of the same. Psychologists say that in the mind of a child for every word of criticism there needs to be 7 statements of praise to balance that out.

2. Direction.

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