For The Good of Your Child – Lesson II
The Apostle John wrote in 3rd John 1:4, I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Now I believe he was speaking broadly of his children in Christ who were redeemed under his ministry but there is no reason to think that this greater joy cannot be experienced when it comes to hearing that your own children walk in truth.
Think about when your children leave your home and what joy it will be when you know they leave loving God and wanting to walk in His truth.
But the warning from scripture is that this walk does not automatically happen unless children are reared up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
In other words walking in truth is usually preceded by much effort and prayer on the part of the parents.
And that is why we as teachers must help fathers and mothers in this great work. Therefore this study!
In our introductory lesson of this series called, For the Good of Your Child, we turned to Hebrews 12:9,10 where we learned that God chastens his children for their profit.
And the Holy Spirit inspired the writer of Hebrews to add the words: that we might be partakers of his holiness.
In other words God chastens, not for his own pleasure as some earthly fathers are prone to do, but all chastening by God comes about that we might be partakers of his holiness.
In God’s realm all chastening comes about so that profit or increase comes to the one chastened for as we are told in Romans: All things work together for good to them that love God.
God imparts to us how He deals with his children so that we may know how to deal with our children.
It is not the other way around for God receives no instruction from us.
God is one way and there is no other way.
We do it His way or failure is assured.
It is He that hath made us and not we ourselves so we are to follow his way and His way requires chastisement which means correction in the rearing of children.
In fact chastisement establishes fatherhood and verifies the father-son relationship.
Our Brother Chris related to me this recent happening in our summer camp during snack time.
A little boy camper came to him and said, James spilled my drink and now I have nothing to drink.
Chris quickly replied, Well, I will just have to go and give James a whipping won’t I? We would call that a whooping in the south!
Of course he said this in jest.
But one thing I know about children is adult jest is not necessarily children jest.
So a little while later the little boy came to Chris, and asked, “Are you married to Mrs. Adams?” knowing that she was James’ mother?
Now what was taking place in the little boy’s mind?
This boy reasoned that if Chris was going to give a whooping to James he then must be James’ father.
Now if a little boy is able to grasp this principle why is it so hard for grown men to figure this out?
Well I guess God knew this principle would not be automatically known so he gave us Hebrews 12:5-8 to clear up any confusion:
My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Now the word “bastard” defines itself for it says it means “not sons.”
In this case the word means spurious, not genuine.
So you see how clearly scripture teaches that the father-son relationship is established by chastisement and if there is no chastisement there is no father-son connection.
In other words you can be shown as a father on a birth certificate but without the doing of the word of God with regard to the son you are not a father in the Biblical sense.
Would you call a man a farmer or husbandman who simply planted seed but did not water, weed, feed, and harvest his crop?
From a Biblical standpoint fathers are made by actions not edict!
So Fathers, by correction, by guiding their children in the way they should go will be reverenced by their children.
Unfortunately many of our present day fathers do not have the "reverence" of their children instead choosing to relate to them by friendship or a status of equality or permissiveness.
This conflicts with the idea of discipline for the good of your child and instead seeks to find common ground which in many cases results only in the good of the father and loss to the child.
The pattern given by our Heavenly Father where He chastens His children in love and for their profit is to be the pattern in our homes and followed by all Fathers and Mothers.
It is the failure to understand this principle; discipline in love for the child's profit that seems to be rampant in the modern home.
A great deal of the child abuse of our day comes about as a result of the fact that many parents do not understand what is really in their child's best interest.
For in many cases they leave this in the hands of others choosing instead to take a role of observer instead of the role of true parent.
And unfortunately leaving it in the hands of others, many times does not result in the good of your child.
Think about all the governmental rules and regulations that are enacted relative to children?
Are they enacted for the good of your child or to protect many from lawsuits or to test progressive ideas?
But the key to doing what is for the good of your child is to enter into the process of child rearing immediately upon birth.
Parent’s failure to get their children under their loving command in a consistent Biblical way at an early age leads to frustration that is a primary cause of child abuse.
Most parents would say they love their children and want the best for them but that is the rub.
What is the best for them?
The world preaches what is best for them and most parents follow the world.
But what the world preaches is temporal, time sensitive and not eternal sensitive.
And that is why failure comes, for due to their ignorance concerning child-rearing from a Biblical perspective, they simply do not know what is best for their child and, therefore, it is impossible for them to know what to do.
The world is filled with child rearing noise competing for the ear and mind of fathers and mothers, much of it based upon
Psychology, which is nothing more than human reasoning, and all of this noise will lead to failure as far as God is concerned.
If I make some mechanical thing I will know how it works and how it performs best.
I will know where to add the oil or grease, what fuel it requires, what speed is excessive etc.
When I want an answer about servicing my car I do not ask my neighbor, I go to the manual which came from those who made the car.
It just makes sense to accept the fact that the God who made the child is the only one who can give fathers and mothers the operating manual that is needed to successfully bring a child to maturity.
Jesus said, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
According to the scriptures most do not have ears to hear, for most walk the broad way.
The narrow way which Jesus said “few there be that find it” is the way on which ears are given to hear, ears that will hear and do that which the Bible instructs “for the good of your child”.
Dr. Hobbs and Pastor Brainard and I have tried to be faithful in our teaching concerning child-rearing and the Biblical principles that tie in with this subject.
A subject that is more important than most subjects for the training of parents in this corrupt and fleshly age in which we live is paramount for successfully rearing the next generation of servants who are to carry on the work of the Gospel.
Again God’s mind is clear! Again, fathers your marching orders are provided to read and study and carry out!
That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.
That they might set their hope in God, is the reason you are given for Biblical child rearing for setting your hope in God is setting your hope in the One with all power.
Now if you couldn’t care less that your children set their hope in God, just shut your Bibles and go home.
If you desire to live out your big plans, your big hopes, in your child’s life the Bible is not for you.
Your child has not been brought into this world to fulfill your will, your child has been brought into this world to fulfil God’s will!
Now we call our body of believers Grace Bible Church.
In calling us by that name we have a responsibility to teach the whole counsel of God and we find that counsel in the Bible.
We are to teach and train our children not to be a weaker body, a body fed the fast food of the culture but to be a stronger body fed the bread of life.
But a stronger body will only come as we pastors and teachers take the time necessary to train parents and “hope to be” parents in the art of Biblical child-rearing.
So our guiding principle in this most important responsibility of child rearing is not what is good for the parent, not what is good for the teacher or the school or the pastor or the principal or the government, but: What is good for the child?
Establishing what is good for the child is ever a constant challenge and at times there may be an honest difference of opinion; however, for the most part, Bible principles are clear and authoritative in this matter.
If all you focus on is arguments over obscure things related to what is best for the child you have not done your homework with regard to what is clearly shown of God’s heart as given in His Word.
So many times we focus on things which are unclear and refuse to do the things which are clear.
That kind of a muddled focus simply reveals a double minded man, or woman unstable in all his or her ways and not wishing to know the truth.
In many cases it is simply a diversion from doing right.
Now a primer in this study is a clear and practical understanding of authority which is revealed in God’s word.
Oh, Oh! Authority! I said a bad word!
We live in a culture where this word is politically anathema for we live in a world where each man does that which is right in his own eyes.
What did we read of authority last week?
We read that God knew Abraham, that he will command his children and his household.
The home was never intended to be a democracy or a 50-50 proposition.
So God, early on, established authority in the home and we in this modern era have been given no contrary instructions to overturn God’s orders.
But in order to be successful in any area of life, we must grasp this truth.
Jesus said in Matt. 28:18b: All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
This authority was delegated to the Man, Christ Jesus, by His Father in whose hand lies absolute power.
Authority is the means whereby God exercises control over all His creation.
Every atom, every molecule, every planet in its orbit, every star awaits the beckon call of Jesus Christ for by Him all things consist.
So as God said on the mountain, This is my beloved Son, hear him!
And to determine what is good for your child, also hear Him!
There can only be one absolute power otherwise such power would not be absolute.
Only God the Father holds absolute power; all other power is delegated.