Pastor’s Piece on the Master’s Peace #8

 

Deuteronomy 6:5-9

And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (NLT)

 

            Dr. Stanley in speaking about this passage observed, “In preparing the Israelites for the promised land, God didn’t command, priests, teachers or national leaders to train the next generation, instead, He assigned this to parents.

            This is a very important role that God has given to parents. When we hold a baby dedication service, we ask the parents to teach their child as soon as they are able to understand, the nature and purpose of the dedication, and that they will be instructed in the Word of God, and encouraged to memorize portions of it, and that they will be taught to reverence and respect the house of God and its worship.

When God led the Israelites out of bondage, He commanded them to teach their children all He had done for them. He desired that the generations to come would continue to uphold all His commands. When one generation fails to instill God’s laws in the next, a society quickly declines. I like to put it this way. “What generation permits in moderation, the next generation takes to excess.” Parents have not only a responsibility to their children, but an assignment from God to impart His values and truth into their lives.

Several places in Scripture give specific instructions to parents about how to raise their children. For example, in Ephesians 6:4 it says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”  You might ask, what does it mean to “not provoke them to anger?” As I see it, there are several ways parents might provoke their children to anger.

Some parents set impossible standards so that a child despairs of ever achieving them. I grateful that in my life, my parents understood that I would never be a straight “A” student, but were discerning enough to recognize whether or not a “B” or “C”  was doing my best.

Inconsistency can also provoke to anger as a child is never sure about the consequences of his or her actions.  Hypocrisy provokes children to anger when parents require behavior from them that they are not choosing for themselves. Believe me, ‘Do as I say, not as I do” never goes over well. The truth is, children want to mimic you.

Christian parents, it is incumbent upon us to live out our faith before our children. When parents let Scripture guide their motives and actions, children can’t help but notice—and they learn behaviour by example.

In these days of isolation and staying at home. No greater opportunity is afforded us as parents and godly adults than to talk about our faith as well as live it out before our children. Do not let a day go by without talking about God, or reading scripture, or praying with your children. Share with them times when you saw God at work. Give Him the glory.

If your children are adults and out of the home, make that phone call or facetime them. If you are estranged, do all you can to repair that relationship. Afterall, they are still your kids.

My prayer for all of us is that this “down time” would be used to make families stronger and more vibrant in their faith than ever.