Children (Ephesians #42)

Text: Ephesians 6:1-3

A few years ago in Death Valley it rained 7” in a very short period of time.  Death Valley is the driest place in the United States. That spring there appeared a beautiful bed of flowers across the floor of the valley showing that life still exists in Death Valley, but the climate isn’t conducive to life.  Parenting is very much like climate control. Parenting is creating the conditions that are conducive to life and conditions in which the Holy Spirit of God can work.

Children in submission to their parents is God’s will

  • Do you want God’s will for your child?  Obedience is God’s will for your child.
  • Obey your parents because they’re always right?  No.
  • God is concerned with a proper order and structure.
  • Luke 2:41-52.
    • Was subject unto them.  Now do you think there was ever a time in Jesus childhood when his mother Mary said something that wasn’t exactly right and he knew it?  Don’t you think there were times when the Lord Jesus was maybe 18 or 19 and knew more about most things than his parents?
    • Jesus Christ increased in wisdom.God can not only increase wisdom, but your capacity for wisdom.

God’s will is opposed and that should be anticipated by Mom and Dad

  • There are three obstacles to children obeying parents.
  • First is the child obviously.  Deuteronomy 21:18. But surprisingly little is said to children actually.
  • Second is social.  Friends and peers will hinder this right relationship between children and parents.  Proverbs 1:10. Girlfriends, boyfriends will do this Proverbs 5:1-3
  • Third is parents.  God requires obedience from your children, so don’t hinder the work of God by not expecting the same.  God says more about a parent hindering the obedience of their children than any other.
    • 1 Samuel 3:11-13 Eli’s passive fatherhood
    • 1 Timothy 3:4-5
    • 1 Kings 1:6 Adonijah was not chastened
    • Hebrews 12:6-8 – Chastening, or the administration of pain in order to align the will of the child with the will of the parent.
    • Expecting obedience otherwise you’re training them to be disobedient.
    • Enforcing obedience
      • Distraction, not discipline.
      • Training behavior is training the heart.
      • Example: If I bribe my child in order to get the behavior I want then I am training that child to respond to bribery.  I’m not teaching them to be obedient.
      • Example: If I don’t enforce something when I say I’m going to, then I’m training them to be disobedient.  Counting to 3 or wait until I’m yelling to enforce are all bad ideas.
    • Chastening is an indication that the child is loved.
    • Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
    • There will come a time when the rod will not work hence the instruction to administer the rod while there is hope.  Secondly, no chastening is joyous to anyone, parents or children, but not only are you not to spare the rod but you are not to spare your own feelings about the rod.
    • Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
    • Spankings affect the heart like touching a hot stove affects the heart by affecting the DESIRE to never touch it again.  See also Proverbs 20:30 for this connection.
    • Proverbs 23:13-14 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.  Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
    • The rod teaches the child judgment and consequences.  That is spiritual truth being taught in discipline. Without consequences the child will be trained that he or she deserves everything and will get away with anything.  See also Ecclesiastes 8:11 for this truth.
    • Proverbs 19:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
    • The philosophy of the world is in direct opposition to the wisdom of God.  The world says to “Express yourself” and let the child be expressive, don’t stop them from learning their way.  Those ideas constitute what God calls a “child left to himself”.  The result is grief and shame to his mother.
    • Proverbs 3:11-12 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Attitude of respect

  • Honour thy father and mother…
  • Honour is the attitude that brings about obedience.
  • Children have no respect for their parents today, I mean in their younger years, before you ever get to the teenage years.  In the younger years when kids aren’t chastened they lose respect for their parents. And what Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa say don’t mean anything to them.
  • Now, the roles are backwards and Mom and Dad are bowing themselves to their children.  Isaiah 3:4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.
  • Benefits of the right attitude
  • Commandment with promise..
  • Obedience is growth
  • Obedience is opportunity
  • Obedience is success – Proverbs 10:17 – reproof is the way of life