01/25/15 Worthy Walk Series - Believing Participants!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, January 26, 2015 Under: Sermon
Worthy Walk Series – Ephesians 6:1-4

Intro: Church Vow - I make this vow to you Lord and the pastor, that after I am done hearing your instructions from the Word of God. I will not shoot the messenger but I will heed the Word to become a better participant.

Our study on Wednesday Nights from Genesis falls right into place with are text today, as you will find that our earlier Patriarchs had their challenges in parenting also: Our generation is a generation of problem children and problem parents, and one of the major causes of the tension is the failure to heed the instructions of God's Word. Children and parents are to walk together under God's authority and it helps to be “believing participants.” The family is still the foundational unit of society. In fact, no church, no community, or no nation is any stronger than the families that make it up. “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and don’t reject your mother’s teaching.” Proverbs 1:8 (HCSB)

"Hear, (Listen) O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! (The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.) 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. (You must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands). 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. (Repeat them again and again to your children) Deuteronomy 6:4-7 (NKJV) & (NLT)

Text: Ephesians 6:1-4 (NKJV)

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2"Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: 3 that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." 4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

1. Believing Children “DO!” Obey: vs. 1-3

Children are to obey their parents. The word "obey" means to submit to; to comply with; to follow the directions or guidance of some instruction. When a parent guides and directs a child, the child is to obey the parent. But what about the problems that are so disgustingly evident in society: the problems of parental abuse—the problems of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and mental abuse? Is a child to obey a parent when the parent is so devilishly wrong? No!

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord." When a parent is not acting in the Lord, he is not to be obeyed. Children are to obey their parents, but they are to obey only if the parents' desire and instructions are in the Lord. Children are not told to obey parents because it pleases the parent, but because it pleases the Lord. Pleasing one's parents is, of course, a reason for obeying them. But the first reason for obeying parents is that it pleases the Lord. The child is to know the Lord to such a degree that he is continually thinking about the Lord and about pleasing Him. “Even a child is known by his deeds, Whether what he does is pure and right.” Proverbs 20:11

To obey also means “Honor!” to show respect, kindness, courtesy, and obedience. Scripture is not speaking to any certain age child. It is speaking to all of us who are children with parents still living. We are to honor our fathers and mothers: to respect and reverence them. Tragically, this is a rarity today. Too often a child's response to their parent is that of... Talking back, grumbling, disregarding the instruction, putting off the instruction. Speaking disrespectfully, not listening, and don’t forget acting like they know it all! Calling a parent a cute, but disrespectful name, sad thing is too many parents are a part of the problem not the ingredient for a cure. I have to ask? Whatever happen to “Yes Sir!” and “Yes Mam!” ???

And when it comes to adult children with aged parents, there is the dishonor of neglect, the ignoring of their needs and the shuffling of them to the side and failing to adequately care for them. Too many adult children forget how much their parents have done for them—bringing them into the world and taking care of them for years. Yet! Even if the parents failed to be and to do all they should have, we as Christian children are instructed to honor them as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Vs.3 “That it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." Does this mean that the child will never have problems or have to suffer? No! This is not what the Scripture means. God means that He will be with the child, strengthen and take care of them so that they can walk through the trials of life victoriously. If a child honestly obeys and honors his parents faithfully—really obeys and honors from the depths of their heart—God will give them a long life on earth. Is there ever an exception to this? And what about small babies and children who are taken on to heaven? Does this violate the promise? No! If a child was really obedient, then all we can say is that God knows what is best, and for some reason, God wanted the precious little life with Him now. God just could not wait for the fellowship and joy which the precious little life would bring Him.

The cycle never ends believing participants obey and this pleases the Lord! “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. (Repeat them again and again to your children).”

2. Believing Parents “Don’t!” Provoke: vs. 4

“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Parents are not to provoke their children to wrath. Parents are bound to upset and irritate their children sometimes; we all upset and irritate people sometimes. Discipline, correction, and reproof are seldom enjoyable experiences. Their very nature is that of disturbance and irritation. This is not what this instruction means. The word "provoke" means to arouse to wrath or anger, to provoke to the point of utter exasperation and resentment.

Let’s start by putting some stuff in the pot: parents need to be alert to the changes between generations and allow the child to be a part of his/her own generation instead of trying to conform the child to the parent's childhood generation. The parent's childhood generation does not exist nor will it ever exist again. Over controlling a child will also provoke a child to wrath. Under controlling a child can provoke a child. It should be noted that this is the most predominant problem in our society. There is a tendency for those with plenty or with wealth to pamper, indulge, and give a child everything imaginable well beyond what a child needs and what is really best for them. Living an inconsistent life before a child can provoke a child. A parent who tells a child one thing and then turns around and does the opposite thing himself is full of hypocrisy and false profession. Yet, how common! How many children are doing things because their parents do them. It doesn’t work! “DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO!”

Seeing an inconsistent life in a parent can provoke children.

We are told to “provoke not your children to wrath.” How does a parent “provoke a child to wrath?” Being Overprotective, often parents will refuse to allow their children to grow up and make decisions equal to their age and maturity. Young people resent being treated like they are more immature than they actually are. Playing Favorites, Comparing one child with another is always the wrong thing to do. Look at the problems caused in the lives of Isaac and Ishmael and Jacob and Esau. The problems that began then are still playing out today. You can place much of the blame at the feet of Abraham and Sarah and Isaac and Rebekah! Unrealistic Expectations; Children who are always under pressure to achieve more, bigger and greater things, can become resentful.

Let your children be children! Remember that not every child is an A student. Not every child is an athlete, a cheerleader or a model. Let them be who God designed them to be! Remember that you should never try to relive your own childhood through your kids. Avoid Constant Discouragement — Children resent constant criticism and nagging. No child should ever hear, “You are no good! You will never amount to anything.” Parents should seek to find an area where the child excels and find ways to compliment them on their achievements. Children need approval and encouragement far more than they need criticism and correction. Often, parents expect their child to be more mature then they are. Mom and Dad, it's all right for your children to act like children. I know that there are limits, but they should not be expected to act like they are twenty-five when they are nine. They might respond by acting like they are nine when they are twenty-five. “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives." Hebrews 12:6

Children should know they are loved unconditionally all the time! By the way, it wouldn't hurt you to tell them you love them, and tell them often! What about using physical and verbal abuse? often we will overreact to the things our children do and carry their punishment too far. I believe in spanking; but I believe that no child should ever be spanked in anger. There is no point in using cannon to kill a mosquito! By the same token, no child should ever have to be berated and belittled by a verbally abusive parent. There are times when parents will say harsh, cruel things to their children that they would never say to any other person. We are wrong when we attack our children, either physically or verbally! When we do, we are causing them to be resentful and angry! Believing participants “do not provoke!”

The Wisdom literature has much to say about this:

  • “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24 (NLT)
  • “Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives.” Proverbs 19:18 (NLT)
  • “Don’t fail to discipline your children. They won’t die if you spank them.” Proverbs 23:13 (NLT)
Let’s make this clear Parents:

Parents Are to Enrich Their Children; if it is to be done correctly you are going to have to invest the one thing that most parents are not willing to give up: time. According to a recent study, the average father in America spends a whopping 3.7 seconds with his children every day! What a tragedy. Is it any wonder that we are raising a generation of juvenile delinquents? I have heard many parents say: If I could live my life over again, there are at least three things I would do differently. First, I would slow down and be less busy. Second, I would take more vacations. Third, and most importantly, I would spend more time with my wife (husband) and children. I would throw more footballs, go to more tea parties, play with more baby dolls and build more roads in the dirt that go nowhere. If your children are still young, take it from me, give them the greatest gift of all: give them you, give them your time!

Parents Are To Educate Their Children — (Repeat them again and again to your children)
Parents Are To Encourage Their Children
Parents Are To Evangelize Their Children — When we teach our children to believe like we do, they will be as messed up as we are. When we train them in the things of the Lord, they will grow up and live lives that glorify and honor God. In all we do for our children, we give them no greater gift than when we point them toward Jesus Christ. If our love, our discipline, our encouragement and our instruction are centered in the Word of God; we will more likely than not raise children that are in the will of God. Keep God in the center of all you do as a parent!

Conclusion: “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Obedience in the home lays the foundation for obedience throughout life. Everything in God's universe can be boiled down to obedience. The planets and stars; the seas and the animal kingdom all operate in strict obedience to the commands of the Lord. Humanity is the only part of God's creation that walks in rebellion to the revealed Word of God. As children learn to obey their parents; they are setting the stage for obedience throughout their lives. They are learning respect for authority. And, they are learning to obey the other voices of authority, school, government, etc., that will become part of their lives later on. Kids, you will always walk under someone's authority! Ultimately, they are learning to walk in obedience to the Lord when they walk in obedience to their parents.

Howard Hendricks said, “Children are not looking for perfect parents, but they are looking for honest parents. An honest progressing parent is a highly infectious person.”

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