Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Encouraging Your Children

Temple Baptist Church - 11-13-2013
Colossians 3:21
A. This verse concerning our children goes hand-in-hand with Ephesians 6:1-4 which says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (2) Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (3) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. (4) And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
B. As I said with the submission of a wife, it is so much easier to love and obey someone who loves you! Notice, in Ephesians, the honoring goes with both the father and the mother but the admonition of not provoking you children unto wrath is pointed at the father. Nothing is Scripture is by accident nor is anything unnecessary. God wastes no words!
C. The reason is that mothers are “heart creatures” who are by nature more longsuffering and compassionate than us men. Their hearts often make them too soft in correction, thus the often used phrase, “Just wait until your daddy gets home!” Children need the correction of both parents but the correction of a father is different from mother’s.
D. Once again, the woman was made to complete (to make up that which is lacking) the man. A man has a tendency to be too harsh with children, therefore the admonition in Ephesians 6 and Colossians 3.
1. Wrath – to anger in action. We live in days of angry young people. I want our children to have conviction and stand strong but in a godly manner. Kids now run in gangs, shoot innocent people in shopping centers—movie theatres—schools, etc. because they are angry and that anger is directed towards the innocents. When I was a kid, these things were not heard of.
2. Discouraged – disheartened, dismayed, or spiritless. Discouragement causes children to give up because they are disillusioned and disheartened.
E. Though this is “aimed” at us fathers, I want to talk to both fathers and mothers tonight because it takes both to properly raise a child. Many of America’s children come from dysfunctional homes or single parent homes. Your children NEED you.
F. Let us look at this and compare it to the Lord’s relationship to His children.
1. Parents can discourage their children by showing a lack of compassion. Parenting without parental love is impossible. If all children see and hear it the “ruling” aspect of parenting, they will feel like they are not loved or have become a burden to their parents. We need to give our children the love and support that they deserve. God always shows His love to you and me in a limitless fashion.
2. Parents can discourage their children by setting unrealistic goals for them. Each child is an individual and need to be treated as such. Not every child will be an engineer or doctor; not every child will be rich in this world. They have different abilities and talents. Where an A- is a poor grade to one, a C is a good grade to others. God never expects us to go beyond the realm of our gifts or abilities.
3. Parents can discourage their children by constantly criticizing them or depreciating their worth. Children need to be encouraged through praise. If we only show them attention when they do wrong, we discourage them from doing right. God loves you and me when we are good and when we are bad.
4. Parents can discourage their children by showing favoritism. I have seen so many grandparents who shower a certain child with their love while virtually ignoring another child. God loves us with equality! Favoritism will destroy children.
5. Parents can discourage their children by being too harsh in their discipline. Children are children! They do have to learn, they do make mistakes, and they do mess up. The Bible says much about child discipline but a whipping is the last choice of discipline. Discipline needs to be progressive in nature. God does not use a whip on us when we willfully sin. He gently speaks to us and is better to us than we deserve. God has been gently and longsuffering with the pastor!
6. Parents can discourage their children through neglect. I am not speaking of not feeding or sheltering them. I am talking about not giving them your prime time instead of letting a TV set, video game, cell phone, or social media raise them. God spends quality time with His children and His ear is always open to their voice.
7. Parents can discourage their children by not administering spiritual food to them. The
nurture of the Lord is just as important as the admonition! Give them a home where Christian values are a way of life. Set a proper, biblical example for them. The Lord is our Example.

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