Monday, February 1, 2010

Childeren and Parents

Eph 6: 1-4 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord".

We had a lot of discussion Sunday morning about the family, and in particular, children obeying their parents. The verses for today start with a command for children to obey their parents, which is the right thing to do. Also children are to honor their parents which is the first command with a promise. The promise to the children that honor their parents is that they would live long on the earth. The last verse today is a command for fathers (parents) not to provoke your children to wrath, but to bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. My charge today is to parents myself included. Are we being disobedient to Gods word while at the same time demanding that our children be obedient to us. Although Paul addresses the children first in his commands of how the family should operate, the chain of authority starts with the parents first and then comes the children. Unfortunately this has gotten backwards in many homes where the children are the authority and the parents are the children. The roles have reversed which is why our homes are being destroyed everyday. If that's the case for you it's not to late to cry out to God and to begin to put things back it order in your home. When homes are out of order, there is all kinds of confusion, anger and frustration. Many homes are ticking time bombs waiting to go off at any moment. Parents listen to Gods word for you today.

If we expect our kids to honor us, my first question to you is are you an honorable person. Are you someone that is worthy of honor. This is something to think about. To honor someone is to revere or to show respect. Do you live a life that demands respect. Are you demanding respect from your kids and yet not living a respectable life. Jesus Christ deserves the greatest honor because he lived an honorable life by laying down His life for others. Jn 12:26 - If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him [My] Father will honor. Jesus states that if anyone serves me Him will my father honor. Serving Jesus is the fastest way to get honor because God himself will honor you.

Fathers do not provoke your children to wrath! Could it be that our children cannot honor or obey us due to them living a provoked life that is full of wrath. Father here can be the male figure in the home or in the case of no male being present it could also mean mother or the parent that is in the place of authority. The term here points to a position of honor. We call God our father and this is how Jesus taught us to pray by addressing God as our father. Provoke means to arouse or exasperate. To annoy or irritate to anger or wrath. How often do we see kids walking around with chips on their shoulders and looking annoyed or irritated. Some kids live this way. We are quick to judge the kid but not so fast. Could it be the condition is being caused by the parents provocation. We must look at the word and let the word be our mirror as to what may be really going on. The word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our pathway. We've already established where some of cause of provocation comes from. It comes from parents who are not living lives that are honorable in front of their kids. The next verse gives us some more details as to where provocation comes from.

Fathers bring up your children in the nurture (training) and admonition of the Lord. Have you every looked at the words "bring up". Well we are to bring our children up from a place of adolescence, immaturity, and infancy to a place of being mature and molded into what God has called them to be. Bring them up is to bring them to a standard that you have set and that they have not yet attained. What kind of standard are you bringing them up to. The standard that you have set for them or that God has set is in the person of Jesus Christ and His word. The standard that you have set for them better be the standard that you live for yourself. As Christians our standard or pattern is Jesus Christ. We should never settle for less than Jesus in ourselves or in them. The way we bring them up to the standard is to train and admonish. How frustrated it one day you woke up and you were placed in a job that required you to know calculus. Your sitting at your desk with this project that is needed by the end of the day and you are staring at a problem that involves you to have a knowledge of calculus. Think about what you would do as you set there looking at this problem. How would you feel as the end of the day approaches and the fact that you would be found to be a failure and the consequences that come with that. Depending on your nature you would do one of two things, you would run around like a mad man trying frantically to learn calculus, etc., or you would simply lay down and sink into a deep depression. This is often where our children are. They wake up everyday to life and like the person in our example above they have no training in how to deal with life and the impending deadlines that they are pressured to meet. We are called to train our children to reach the standard of Jesus Christ. Nothing else will do. Training is hard work and takes consistency. The scripture commands us to exercise ourselves to godliness. In training there is a trainer. How motivated would you be to go to the gym and exercise if your trainer was about 200 pounds over weight, sloppily dressed, etc. Is that what kind of trainer we are to our kids. We expect them to come up to a certain standard that we are not setting ourselves. Are we demanding our kids to submit to authority when we are not submitted ourselves. Well you are setting the pattern and you are bringing them up it. The other way we bring them up is to admonish them. Training and admonishment are very similar words but to admonish means to exhort or encourage. Sometimes admonishment takes on the form of a rebuke. To encourage means to give courage or bring to courage. Again this is our responsibility as parents. Encourage your child to the standard of Jesus Christ.

I pray that we are all found to be striving for the standard that has been given to us by the word of God. Don't settle for anything less. By faith lay hold of the promises of God. Like Noah did in his day build a boat to the saving of your household. Our boat is the standard of Jeus Christ. Set the standard in your own life first by seeking and serving Jesus with all your heart. Then bring your children to it through training and admonishment. Our pattern is Jesus Christ and His word. By the power of the Spirit and His Word we can all attain and reach the goal of being and looking like Christ in this lifetime. God Bless you as you build your boat!!!