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Summary: This is a strong call to the parents in the home who are raising children. I used this as a baby dedication message.

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Genesis 33:17-20 KJV And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth. [18] And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city. [19] And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for an hundred pieces of money. [20] And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel.

I. INTRODUCTION -- GIVE ‘EM WHAT THEY WANT

-There are times in parenting that the huge dilemma is trying to figure out when to give in and when to give out.

-James Dobson tells a story in his book Straight Talk To Men and Their Wives that gives a good explanation of what I mean. Dr. Dobson writes:

In the absence of parental leadership, some children become extremely obnoxious and defiant, especially in public places. Perhaps the best example was a ten-year-old boy name Robert, who was patient of my good friend Dr. William Slonecker. Dr. Slonecker said his pediatric staff dreaded the days when Robert was scheduled for an office visit. He literally attacked the clinic, grabbing instruments and files and telephones. His passive mother could do little more than shake her head in bewilderment.

During one physical examination, Dr. Slonecker observed severe cavities in Robert’s teeth and knew that the boy must be referred to a local dentist. But who would be given the honor? A referral like Robert could mean the end of a professional friendship. Dr. Slonecker eventually decided to send him to an older dentist who reportedly understood children. The confrontation that followed now stands as one of the classic moments in the history of human conflict.

Robert arrived in the dental office prepared for battle.

“Get in the chair, young man,” said the doctor.

“No chance!” replied the boy.

“Son, I told you to climb onto the chair, and that’s what I intend for you to do,” said the dentist.

Robert stared at his opponent for a moment and then replied, “If you make me get in that chair, I will take off all my clothes.”

The dentist calmly said, “Son, take ‘em off.”

The boy forthwith removed his shirt, undershirt, shoes, and socks, and then looked up in defiance.

“All right, son,” said the dentist, “Now get on the chair.”

“You didn’t hear me,” sputtered Robert. “I said if you make me get on that chair, I will take off all my clothes.”

“Son, take ‘em off,” replied the man.

Robert proceeded to remove his pants and shorts, finally standing totally naked before the dentist and his assistant.

“Now, son, get in the chair,” said the doctor.

Robert did as he was told, and sat cooperatively through the entire procedure. When the cavities were drilled and filled, he was instructed to step down from the chair.

“Give me my clothes now,” said the boy.

“I’m sorry,” replied the dentist. “Tell your mother that we’re going to keep your clothes tonight. She can pick them up tomorrow.”

Can you comprehend the shock that Robert’s mother received when the door to the waiting room opened, and there stood her pink son, as naked as the day he was born? The room was filled with patients, but Robert and his mom walked past them and into the hall. They went down a public elevator and into the parking lot, ignoring the snickers of onlookers.

The next day, Robert’s mother returned to retrieve his clothes, and asked to have a word with the dentist. However, she did not come to protest. These were her sentiments: “You don’t know how much I appreciate what happened here yesterday. You see, Robert has been blackmailing me about his clothes for years. Whenever we are in a public place, such as a grocery store, he makes unreasonable demands of me. If I don’t immediately buy him what he wants, he threatens to take off all his clothes. You are the first person who had called his bluff, doctor, and the impact on Robert has been incredible.” (James C. Dobson, Straight Talk to Men and their Wives, 1980, Word Books, pp. 58-60)

-What an impact that confident and judicious authority has in the life of a child. If we aren’t careful as parents, our children will do their very best to bluff us until we give in to their every whim.

-In the long run, it will not turn out good for them or for us. . . that is what I want to preach on from this text. . . “When Parental Guidance Slumps To Parental Negligence.”

II. THE TEXT IN GENESIS

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