A Challenge for ParentsBro. Ron Rupé
1/25/2004 11:00 AM
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Its easy to be critical of parents when you dont have children. Theres a challenge to parent. Parents must rise to the challenge.
In times past This isnt describing how we are living now, but how we lived before we got saved. Verse 2 speaks of the course of this world. The world of sinners is headed in a particular direction. Its a predetermined route to a certain destination. The course of sin is like a powerful river. The currents of this river ensure that the world of sinners goes its direction. As people go in this river, they get pulled downward against their will. People need to be rescued from the currents of sin. The world needs to be delivered from sinful things that appeal to the flesh. They need to be delivered from wants and covetousness. They need to be delivered from the addiction of pride and the pull of fashions, trends and fads. Without the grace of God, no man can escape the currents of sin and their downward course.
It also speaks here of the children of disobedience. Every child is born a child of disobedience. Each one is set upon the course of the world. If left to himself, every child will be swept away by the current of sin. The course of the world is one of the main challenges for parents. Another challenge is the course of nature.
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Course of nature Think of the carnal or depraved nature. As a parent, you must deal with not only the external influences, but also the internal influences on the child. If left untended, the child, by nature, will be a child of wrath.
James 4:1, 5
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
Why do children fight? Its because of the nature and spirit that theyre born with. Christians dont have this nature, but its the nature of the unredeemed. Think about the danger of doing nothing. Being afraid of causing damage will cause damage if you do nothing. Parenting requires that you do something.
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. All it takes to be a bad parent is to stand by and do nothing. If you do nothing, the child will be swept away by sin and the carnal nature. A child doesnt have to be abandoned on the street to be left to itself. Its surrendering in the battle of wills and letting things take natures course. If you leave discipline out of the mix, youve left the child to itself.
Self-will in a child becomes rebellion and sedition. It may seem funny now, but if it continues, it wont be. Jealousy in a child becomes envy and hate, if you do nothing. Pouting and self-pity develop into melancholy and addiction, if left alone. The things in an adult are there because it wasnt handled when they were children. Contention, anger, ingratitude, and irreverence cant be left alone. They need to be corrected. Irresponsibility and self-centeredness need to be corrected. Nip these in the bud. If the parents follow the course of the world, how will the child fare? Not correcting these things isnt a virtue. Dont let these things run their course. If you do, youre not being compassionate; youre being lazy and indulgent. It takes effort, perseverance, and diligence to change the course. It takes a lot of work to be a successful parent. You must hang in there. You cant afford to ruin the child you love. Its the parents job to go against the current. You can do this in a wise way and have a happy home. You can do it with the wisdom and blessing of the Lord.
Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
Chasten while there is hope Chastening only works for a short amount of time. Do the instructing during your window of hope. Do it while you can. This implies that there comes a time when its too late. Most of the chastening needs to be done before age 5. Respect, obedience, and self-discipline need to happen before age 5. These are the basics.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Perseverance during the window of opportunity is important. Work hard during the early ages and it will pay off later. There is a time when training is most effective. Take advantage of this time.
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
Parents who love their children will correct and discipline. They give correction when its needed. Withholding needed correction is bad for the child. Correct them when the problem arises and start young. Dont let things get out of hand. You cant afford to not rise to the challenge. If youve had children, you must rise to the challenge. Grandparenting comes if youve been a parent usually. Rise to the challenge.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
There are principles and guidelines to parenting. There are no hard, fast rules to parenting. There are guidelines and frameworks to help bring success, though. As a parent, take this scripture to heart. Ask God to help you know what to do. Parents need wisdom from God. Be seeking guidance from God. The people who need wisdom the most are parents. If you try by your own understanding, youll fail.