Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Provoke Not Your Children To Wrath

Temple Baptist Church - 8-31-2011

Ephesians 6:4


A. The first three verses of this chapter deal with the duties of children in relationship with their parents. They are to obey and honor their parents. Obedience is right and obedience plus honoring bring about a long, blessed life. It takes little observation in our day to find that neither obedience nor respect for parents is found in the average child. When I use the word child, I am not speaking altogether of age for many grownups do not respect or honor their parents.

B. Many children of our day are angry. In the majority of these instances of children not being right with their parents, the parents are at fault. Children today are not raised in a stable home; they are “pawned” off on daycare centers; left for the public schools to train; and sent to church instead of being taken to church if they get to go at all.

C. Children are not being trained to either obey or to honor their parents. Secular Humanism, alternatively known as Humanism (often with a capital H to distinguish it from other forms of humanism), is a secular philosophy that embraces human reason, ethics, and justice, and the search for human fulfillment. It specifically rejects religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience or superstition as the basis of morality and decision-making. Simply put, man becomes his own god and makes his decision based upon self-gratification.

D. Verse 4 admonishes the FATHER not to provoke his children to wrath. The final authority of the home is to be the father and so the responsibility of the home rests upon his shoulders. Now, a question needs to be answered: “How do we ‘provoke’ our children to wrath?” The answer is found in the same verse: by not nurturing our children spiritually and by not properly admonishing them when they do wrong.

E. We will make this as simple and painless as possible. I want to use Old Testament examples as most references are found there. The New Testament says little on the subject as it deals more with the children of God in the church instead of small children in the home. I will not go in much depth on the subject but want us to realize the importance of accepting the responsibility that goes along with parenthood.

1. Our children must be nourished in the Word of God. As children must receive proper nourishment physically, they must be nourished spiritually. When I was in grade school, we were taught the basic food groups in Health Class. Most of the modern diets used for quick weight loss are “extreme diets.” Low Fat Diets, Low Carb Diets, etc. rely upon depriving the body of essential elements of a well-balanced diet. A well-balanced diet is necessary for good health! The best way to lose weight is moderation. Instead of pushups, pushbacks are needed. Children need balanced diets. Obesity in children is in direct proportion to their lack of balanced meals. Cooking is now based upon speed and convenience instead of thoughtful, loving preparation. Fast Food and fattening snacks produce obese children.

Let us look at a few verses from Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

a. Proper spiritual nourishment begins with the parents. “Shall be in thine heart!” Parents cannot teach their children to love the Lord if they are living lives contrary to the Bible. “Don’t do as I do, do as I say do” produces rebellion in children. When children see mom and dad disobeying the Word of God, they will do worse than the parents. As parents, we must love the Lord with all of our hearts and set forth a proper example for our children to follow.

b. Proper spiritual nourishment comes from diligent spiritual teaching. “Shalt teach them diligently.” In most families, the spiritual teaching is left to the Sunday School teacher or to the pastor. Children are in SS for app. 45 minutes a week and under the pastor’s preaching for 2-3 hours. There are 168 hours in a week so children are under the Word of God for app. 1 ½ percent of their week. Diligent teaching means: “constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything; done or pursued with persevering attention; painstaking.”

c. Proper spiritual nourishment is from sunup to sundown! It is a consistent, constant teaching and application of spiritual truth to our children. It is an unending process that uses every instance, every problem, and every success as an opportunity to teach God’s Word: both in the home and outside of the home.

2. Our children must be admonished and corrected in a biblical manner. Our society, over the past few decades, has frowned on corporal punishment of children. I remember the “old days” when not only the parents spanked children, the public schools did so. I have spent more than my share of time bent over and grabbing my ankles. I did not suffer permanent damage either physically or mentally because of it. Parents today often lose their children to the DSS because of spanking. The bible is clear on the subject and God is right, not Dr. Spock! Admonition is not always chastisement though it may require it.

a. Children must be biblically admonished.

Proverbs 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

Proverbs 15:5 A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

Proverbs 15:31 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

b. Children must be biblically corrected.

Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. (The word betimes means “early at the task.” The first mention of betimes is found in Genesis 26:31: “And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.” It means that they rose up early at the break of day.)
Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. (Many parents threaten discipline and, by doing so, train their children to be disobedience.)

Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

c. Children must be restored and encouraged! Children need to know that they have our approval and that we are pleased with the things that they do right.

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