Child Training (Sermon text and audio)

Posted on July 15, 2012

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This is the seventh sermon in a series covering marriage, family, and the church. This message was delivered on the morning of July 15, 2012 at Hillcrest Baptist Church. This message deals with the issue of child training, and some of what that involves. Of special interest are the issues of discipline and education. You will find the text of the sermon, and the audio. Please note that the sermon text is NOT a full transcript. Typically, as I preach, I add to what is in my notes. So, for the full sermon, please listen to the audio version.

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Child Training

SERMON TEXT:

Proverbs 22:6

This command to “train up a child in the way he should go” is a far reaching command. I encompasses many aspects and the key word is train.

In our society, we talk about raising children. The truth is, its much more than that. The Bible uses the word train, and for good reason.

While some people may find this term objectionable, it is really the perfect word to use. Our job as parents is to shape and mold the child, to prepare him for adulthood.

The Bible gives parents the SOLE responsibility for child training. You won’t find in scripture where anyone other than the parent is given the responsibility and authority to train a child.

Parents may, by choice, delegate some of that responsibility, but it must be by choice, and the responsibility sill lies with the parents.

You can enlist all the help you want, but as a parent the responsibility is still yours, not anyone else’s.

It does NOT take a village to raise a child, It takes responsible parents. Unfortunately we live in a time when society and government don’t see things that way.

It seems that nowadays, everyone else wants to take over that role.

It is our job as parents to train our children to be faithful followers of Christ, and productive adults, so we must lay the correct foundation early in life.

Obviously, this must start with the parents. We can’t teach our children to be what we are not.

So how do we do this?

Ephesians 6:4

What exactly does that mean? Quite a lot of things.

Apart from the obvious things, such as caring for and providing for their needs, we are to instruct them in God’s Word.

Deuteronomy 11:19

We are to teach them of His wonderful miracles.

Psalm 78:4

We are not only to teach them the nice things, but also of God’s judgments. They need to know the entire nature of God.

Joel 1:2-4

All this, so that they learn to obey God.

Deuteronomy 32:46

We are to discipline, and we need to start when they are young. What is cute at 2 or 3, won’t be so cute when they are 15.

Proverbs 19:18

Proverbs 22:15

Proverbs 13:24

The bible tells us that the rod of correction is sometimes necessary discipline.

What the bible does not tell us is exactly how restrictive or permissive to be with our children. The reason is because each child is different, there is no one size fits all answer.

Parenting actually requires us to use our brains.

It’s the same reason that we aren’t given specific evangelism procedures, because different people require different methods. Instead, the bible simply tells us to do it.

We do; however, see an example of extreme permissiveness in Eli.

Sometimes it’s just too easy to repeatedly warn a child, while taking no action.

Words without action are rarely effective. Just look at the example of Eli and his two sons.

Notice that even though Eli’s sons were old enough to be serving as priests, Eli, as the chief priest and father, held some accountability.

1 Samuel 3:11-13

There is also the danger of being overly harsh, and trying to rule out of fear.

Fear may compel a child to obey, but it doesn’t convince him that you are right.

In the end, you want the child to understand right and wrong, to know God’s way.

Discipline is more than punishment. It is part of training, and should be used to teach right and wrong.

With older children you can explain your actions, but this may not be possible with young children.

Have you ever tried to reason with a two year old? Young children simply need to learn the meaning of no.

Remember, God doesn’t always explain Himself to us, either.

Parents should have multiple tools in their discipline toolbox, and different situations require different responses.

The Bible doesn’t tell us that corporal punishment is the only valid method of discipline, but it is interesting that it is the only method which we are specifically instructed to employ.

Spanking is a tool that should be in every parents box. If administered correctly, it won’t cause any lasting harm.

Proverbs 23:13

Sadly, we live in a society that is increasingly intolerant toward corporal punishment, and the results can be seen in our juvenile justice system.

Child training is not easy, if it were easy, it wouldn’t be called training.

Discipline requires consistency. Don’t allow tomorrow what you forbid today.

Children need to know what to expect, and discipline needs to happen as swiftly as possible, and not put off.

Discipline delayed, usually ends up being too light.

We live in a society of extreme permissiveness. We are told to bring them up in the training and the admonition of the Lord, yet society, at every level, is teaching them exactly the opposite.

At some point, they will be taught that you have to treat all religions equally, that no one religion is any better than another. They call this religious pluralism, but God calls it idolatry. Exodus 20:3

At some point they will be taught that homosexuality is a legitimate lifestyle, and must be accepted. They call this diversity, but God calls it an abomination. Leviticus 18:22

They will be taught that evolution is fact, and they will call it science.

It is not science at all, it is a faith, and it seeks only to remove God from the equation. It attacks the very foundation of Scripture, and leads children away from Christ. The Bible warns very strongly against this. Mark 9:42

This is what makes education such a difficult issue. As a dedicated and involved parent, you can overcome these issues.

Sadly, though, too many parents pass off their responsibility to somebody else, and our children are paying the price.

As parents, we need to set a Godly example. We need to interact with our children regularly and teach them all of God’s Word.

We need to be diligent in our discipline, and pray for our children on a daily basis.

It’s a difficult task, and one that belongs solely to the parents. Regardless of how much outside help you enlist, the responsibility and accountability still rests with the parents.

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Posted in: Family, Sermons