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Timeless Instruction

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 | Comments (4)

If you’re a Christian parent, no doubt—no doubt—you’ve come face to face with the limits of your knowledge and experience. At whatever stage of life—witnessing the birth of your firstborn; seeing your child’s capacity for destruction in the terrible twos (or threes); preparing your kids for the first day of school; helping your teenager struggle through an awkward and confusing stage of life; or advising your son or daughter about marriage—it has a sobering effect on you, doesn’t it?

Perhaps you’ve looked at Ephesians 6:4 and thought, “That’s it? One verse?”, and looked elsewhere for help—family, friends, the internet, the church. Ever thought of looking in the Old Testament? Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 10:6 and 11 that God has given us examples from the Old Testament for our instruction. Modern man may scorn the wisdom of a 3,000-year-old book, but what’s recorded there illustrates parenting at its best, and worst. Today, John MacArthur takes us to the very heart of it all.

Listen to this 5-minute clip:

Launch Player  |  Download  |  Full Sermon

Just to summarize what John said, here are the principles he lifted out of Deuteronomy 6:

(1) Teach your children about the one, true God

(2) Teach them to love God

(3) Teach them to obey God

(4) Teach them to follow your example

(5) Teach them to be wary of the world around them

With those points in mind, think about your own parenting situation, consider these questions, and feel free to discuss or ask questions in the comment thread:

(1) What example are you setting for your children regarding your time in God’s Word, internet habits, entertainment choices? How much time do you devote to the worship of God in your home?

(2) Are you consistent in teaching these principles to your children? How does your lifestyle support or contradict your instruction?

(3) What role should your local church and its leadership play in the parenting task?


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#1  Posted by Andrea Ferro  |  Wednesday, October 13, 2010at 8:19 AM

I have three children, ages 19(just married), 17, and 12. I was a single mom for 7 years, and even though I was a christian, I was a very weak one. We went to church and I tried to have Bible studys with the kids, pray with them and just show them the way of the Lord, but being that I wasn't living the life I should have been, how could I show them?

I got married a little over two years ago and God has used my husband in amazing ways! I prayed to be married, if it were God's will, but I think that was all I did right. God brought me this man who showed me so much about my own relationship with Jesus, and also how to bring up my children the way He instructs. The crazy thing is, my husband needed to grow in a lot of ways as well, and by the grace of God, I was able to teach him too! We both needed major work and God knew how to get it done, by bringing us together for His glory! He's, of course, still working on us, til the day he returns! But, since being married, my children have grown so much in the Lord. We pray together, talk about the Lord all the time and how to please Him. We put into practice how to serve Him on a daily basis and try to run everything through Him first! We don't compromise on movies, music, ect., and the kids have their own confictions now! It is a lot of work to try and raise Godly children, but it is such a blessing to see them grow. You must be an example though, not just in front of the kids but even when you are alone. Be pure before God, and desire that purity, and live it, so you can teach your children ... that it is well pleasing in the sight of the Lord.

My daughter moved out on her 18th birthday and was only in the home of my new marriage for about 10 months. She is a christian, but does not have a strong relationship with Jesus. She thinks worldly and lives as a weak christian, and her husband as well. She didn't get a chance to experience much of the Godly dicipline my husband brought to our family. She needs prayer for herself, her husband, and her future family.

#2  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Wednesday, October 13, 2010at 1:51 PM

Andrea:

Thanks for your encouraging note. It’s amazing how the gospel changes a man, woman, and their children and then the home soon follows—and often in a short amount to time, such as in your case. Equally amazing is how God mercifully restores the years the locusts have eaten away (Joel 2:25). He’s the God of restoration.

#3  Posted by Andrea Ferro  |  Thursday, October 14, 2010at 9:05 AM

Another thing I wanted to say was, for those who have brought two families together through a second marriage, stay the course! This is a trial and God is testing your faith. Two of my children were teenagers when I remarried. It was horribly tough! They hadn't had a father in 7 years and they hated everything about this new life with a man in the house. They hated me too, wanted to run away, had bad attitudes and life was tense between all family members. My husband and I argued too much and had different ideas about how to do things, but we decided no matter how hard it was, we would pray faithfully, between crying, and ask for God's guidance. Boy, did God deliver His promise, and quicker then I imagined! We had nobody but Him to help. Just be faithful to the Lord no matter what, and He will bring you through.

#4  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Thursday, October 14, 2010at 6:20 PM

I am an Uncle. My niece and my 2 nephews are properly disciplined by

their dad and mom. My brother does not spare the rod and teaches them

love and forgiveness in the way Christ wants it. My brother is a preacher and his wife homeschools the children.

What ways can an Uncle teach their niece and nephews? What kind a discipline they can use? Mentoring?? Like a Encourager.

Just a thought. God bless.