The Children in the Home - The Child's Role

Bible Book: Proverbs  22 : 6
Subject: Children; Parenting; Family; Home
Series: Hope For The Home
Introduction

We come now to the seventh in a series of eight sermons on the home. We must be reminded that the hope of America is the home and the hope of the home is the Lord. Today we look once more at the Children and the Home, specifically we are exploring the life of a child in the home.

A mother once asked her husband, "Do you think we should take Junior to the zoo?"

The father replied, "Absolutely not. If they want him, let them come for him."

Sometimes we may feel like we are in a zoo when we are trying to guide our children through life. The fact is, most parents in today's world are simply giving in to their children. One noted foreign dignitary was asked what most surprised him about the American landscape. He answered, "The way parents in America obey their children."

Certainly we are aware that children are in trouble in America's homes. Juvenile delinquency is increasing at 7 times the rate of population. What is causing this? One noted expert on the family states that there is a poison of permissiveness pervading America's homes. In other words, parents are the blame for much of the problem. We have sown the wind of permissiveness and we are reaping the whirlwind of crime, disobedience, drugs, sexual license, etc.

Let's look today at a passage which tells us how to rear our children according to the Word of God and the God of the Word. Turn to Proverbs 22:6.

I. The Decisive Time For Training a Child

He does not say that you are to train up a teenager or a young person in God's way but that you are to train up a child in His way. It is easier to bend the twig when it is small than when it is large. You must start early in teaching a child God's love and God's way!

Proverbs 19:18 - Shape your son while there is hope.

Wet cement can be molded, but hardened cement can only be endured or broken.

Proverbs 13:24 - To share the rod is to hate your son!

Little angels legs get longer and their wings get shorter.

90% of all SBC missionaries were saved by the time they were 9 years old.

A. Commence Early

Do not ever discipline your children for acting like children. We are to give direction to our children as they grow in age and ability. Every child is born with a sinful nature. Proverbs 29:15 - The rod and rebuke gives wisdom. But if you let a child do what comes natural, he will shame himself and his family! This doesn't mean that we are to beat our children into submission to us or to God, but rather that loving discipline and direction offers the best possible chance for your child or children to grow up loving God and living in a proper manner.

B. Continue Earnestly

You may not feel that you can figure out your children, especially when they become teenagers. Actually, your children have a hard time figuring you out too! I read somewhere years ago about several suggestions for teens to consider in order to help their parents through these difficult years.

1. Don't shy away from speaking their language. Try some strange sounding phrases like, "Let me help you with the dishes," or "Yes, sir."

2. Try to understand their music. Play "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" on the bluetooth device until you get accustomed to the sound.

3. Be patient with their weaknesses. If you catch you mom sneaking a candy bar, don't jump all over her. Quietly set a good example.

4. Encourage your parents to talk about their problems. Keep in mind that things like earning a living or paying off the mortgage seem important to them.

5. Be tolerant of their appearance. When your father gets a haircut, don't try to hide him from your friends. Remember, it's important for him to look like his peers.

6. If they do something you think is wrong, let them know that you dislike their behavior, but you do not dislike them.

7. Above all, pray for them. They may seem confident on the outside but feel weak on the inside. They need God to get them through these difficult years.

II. The Dominant Themes in Training a Child

A. Devotion

They need to hear you say, "I love you."

American children are given four billion dollars worth of toys a year (This was several years ago, and it is much more now). That is more than the gross national product of over 60 nations on earth! Not how much money you spend, but how much time you give them is what is really important!

A shabbily dressed boy trudged several miles through the snowy streets of Chicago, determined to attend a Bible class that was conducted by D. L. Moody. When he arrived, he was asked, "Why did you come to a Sunday School so far away from your home? Why didn't you go to one of the churches near your home?" He answered simply, "Because you love a fellow over here." Like that lad, children all around us are still looking for love. They are longing to be warmly accepted by someone who really cares. Shakespeare said, "They do not truly love who do not show their love."

B. Direction

Luke 2:52 - Jesus grew up in four ways.

Intellectually

Physically

Spiritually

Socially

Proverbs 22:15

A cowboy said to a city slicker, "Hey, fellow, you're getting your saddle on backwards, aren't you?"

"That's what you think," the city dude replied. "You don't know which way I'm going."

Children need direction and helping them early will assist them in growing up in the four essential ways that Jesus grew.

C. Discipline

Proverbs 29:17

Proverbs 13:24

Proverbs 23:13

My dad believed in meditation. He used to tell me, "Sit down and shut up!"

If you love your child, you will discipline your child. It is easier to let things slide than discipline your child, but it is wrong. Look at Hebrews. God disciplines his children - look at Hebrews 12. If you do not discipline your child, you think you know more than God!

Someone said, "Your child will not die from discipline, but he or she will make you think they are dying." Actually, loving discipline can deliver a soul from hell. It is very small step in rebelling against a parent to rebelling against the God who gave the child the parent.

Discipline should be Prompt - when he is old enough to disobey.

Discipline should be Proper - use the proper tool - rod is a switch not the limb from a tree.

The "rod" speaks of a king - it is our authority.

Somewhere I read, "In years gone by, Papa administered a stern code of discipline to Junior. However, the electric razor took away his razor strop, furnaces did away with the woodshed, and tax worries removed his few remaining hairs and the necessity for a hairbrush. Perhaps that is why kids are running wild today - Dad ran out of weapons!"

1. A proper Target

Proverbs 10:13 "...the back - in the middle..." Measure your child and you will find that the middle is - guess where?

2. A Proper Temperment

Love and cocern

3. A Proper Time

Never in public

4. A Proper Technique

Strong enough to make the point but careful enough not to harm or distance the child from you or God!

III. The Determined Triumph after Training a Child

A. What this Verse does not Say

Not an iron-clad promise, but a general rule! Proverbs 13:1 - Good parents can turn out bad children. 2 Kings 18:3 see 2 Kings 22:

A nine year old boy refused to heed his mother's warnings about hitching rides behind cars with his metal coaster wagon. He would cleverly steer his cart with one hand, and hold on with the other to the back bumper of an automobile as it was leaving a parking place. He got quite a thrill being towed for about a block; then letting go, he would coast for a long distance at high speed. One day he was late for dinner, so he grabbed the back of a huge dump truck which he thought was going his way. Unexpectedly, the driver, who couldn't see the boy in his rearview mirror, shifted into reverse. It all happened so quickly that he had no chance to move, and the double wheels of the heavily loaded vehicle rolled over him and his shiny red wagon. Death was instantaneous. The boy really had meant no harm, but being unaware of the terrible danger of his practice, he had decided to disregard once again his mother's repeated warnings. And so his life was tragically snuffed out.

Only one perfect father - the Heavenly Father - He is the only one who produced a perfect Son - Jesus!

2 Kings 22:1-3 Manasseh did not do what his father had done.

B. What this Verse does Say

This refers to the bending of a bow. Training a child in the way "he should go." Don't make your child into what you used to be or hoped you could become! Don't try to make your children what you wanted to be and missed by a mile. Your child is not a little you - but is God's unique creation and must grow into all that God intends.

Conclusion

Long ago a traveler came upon an elderly man planting fruit trees. "You are very old," said the traveler, "and it will be many years before these begin to bear. You can't expect to enjoy them."

"O yes I can," said the gray‑haired man, "I am drawing pleasure from them NOW by anticipation!" Then, pointing to another section of his land, he asked, "Do you see those trees? They were loaded with fruit last fall. How I appreciate them! My father planted them for me to enjoy, and now I am planting these for MY children! Just thinking of their future happiness blesses me now."

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.

If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive.

If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself.

If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be self-confident.

If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative.

If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love.

If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with recognition, he learns to have a goal.

If a child lives with fairness, he learns what justice is.

If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is.

If a child lives with sincerity, he learns to have faith in himself and those around him.

If a child lives with love, he learns that the world is a wonderful place to live in.

And, if a child lives in a home with faith in God, he learns to trust in the Lord!