Parenting: Some Bible-based Perspectives

Daily Devotional: Day 172

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

Today’s message is addressed, first of all, to parents and guardians; to all who now or in the future will play some form of parental roles; and to anyone who is interested in some Bible-based perspectives on parenting. Proverbs 22:6 assumes that parents know the way the child should go; for you can only lead others on a path with which you are familiar.

Train your child, your way – the Bible way. Give children the knowledge of God. Put the fear of God in them when they’re little. They need it, even if they don’t want it. Train them, not only to love God, but also to fear Him. If anyone loves God, they will fear Him also. If they fear God, it means they love Him. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (cf. Proverbs 9:10). A child who fears God will most likely fear his parents, and vice versa. In Leviticus 19:3, God commands everyone to fear his mother, and his father.

Make time to train your own child. Don’t leave the education of your child to HollywoodDisneyvideo games or the Government. Today’s world is aggressive on all fronts. Even adults are stumbling. Therefore, you can’t afford to leave things to chance and hope that children will magically turn out alright. Children deserve to be adequately prepared to face and overcome the pressures of this world.

Don’t compromise on discipline. God is a Parent and He doesn’t compromise on discipline (cf. Deuteronomy 8:5). Neither should you. Children will test you. If you compromise on discipline once, the game is over. They’ve won. Compromise projects weakness. Children will notice it, and they will use it against you by habitually resisting you. Maintain your integrity and authority as a parent. Care for children, love them, protect them, provide for them; but be firm. Love your child, but don’t let your love cloud your judgment.

An undisciplined child is a danger to himself and others; but a disciplined child is an inspiration. Don’t just talk about discipline; enforce discipline. The most valuable thing you can bequeath to your children is neither a house, nor money, nor a car; but rather, godly discipline. Open their eyes to the lies and deceptions of this world. Show them the truths they need to be successful. Successful parenting is a catalyst for a sound Church and a healthy society.

Fear not. Being a parent is an honor. It gives you the opportunity to raise another human being. This makes you a Minister of God. In churches, there’s a ministry for nearly everything: children’s ministry, choreography, music ministry, youth ministry, women’s ministry, men’s ministry, singles’ ministry, etc. But parenting as a ministry is often overlooked. Parenting is a divine calling and a ministry. If you do it well, our heavenly Father will greatly reward you.

True, this world doesn’t make it easy to be a parent, but with God you can do all things. And, He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Have courage. Be loving. Be fearless. Be the parent God ordained you to be.

May the Lord remember your labor of love and greatly bless you. Amen.

For further study: Hebrews 12:1-13

 

How to Live Long and Prosper

Daily Devotional: Day 163

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1-2, NKJV).

Once a child, always a child. In other words, you’re always somebody’s child. No matter how old or independent you are, you always will be someone’s child. Similarly, once a parent, always a parent. Whether your children are around or not, your status as a parent remains a permanent fact of human history. The bond between parent and child is precious to God; for God Himself is a Parent and the Source of all life. God, therefore, pays special attention to the parent-child relationship. Today’s message will focus on what God wants children to do for their parents. As usual, look carefully at today’s opening Scripture; there’s a lot going on the passage.

Honoring your father and mother is so important to God that He included it in the Ten Commandments (cf. Deuteronomy 5:16). In the New Testament, Jesus reiterated it (cf. Mark 10:17-19); so did Paul – as you can see in today’s reading. Speaking to the Christians in Ephesus, Paul says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” The context suggests that he is addressing children who are still under the care of their parents. Notice that the command is for children to obey their parents in the Lord. It’s an important qualification, because when we become Christians, we’re supposed to do all things (good things, of course) in the Lord and for His sake. Love for Christ motivates us to do what pleases Him, including obeying our parents. Paul adds, “for this is right.” The life of a Christian is about doing what is right, i.e. practicing righteousness. Obeying our parents is the right thing to do, therefore, we do it. And, when we do what is right, we’re showing that we are righteous people (cf. 1 John 3:7).

“Honor your father and mother” means obey your parents, respect them and show them reverence. It means you serve them; you provide for their welfare; it also means you don’t quarrel or fight with them; you don’t talk back to them or talk down to them; you don’t raise your voice against them or give them attitude. God hates disrespectful attitude toward parents. How you treat your parents says a lot about the authenticity of your relationship with Jesus. If you love Jesus, you’ll do what He tells you. Regardless of how insufferable you think your parents are, God wants you to always uphold honor and respect. You may not like something about your parents, but they’re your parents; and, so long as they remain alive, Jesus wants you to honor them. If you have a problem with them, look for ways to handle it while maintaining a posture of respect and honor.

Furthermore, “Honor your father and mother,” is the first commandment with a promise attached to it. If you honor your parents, God promises that it will be well with you (meaning, you will prosper) and you will live long on the earth. See, God has given you the key to prosperity and long life. He is not asking you to go on a diet or go to the gym. All He is telling you to do is to honor your parents. Do you want it to be well with you? If yes, then honor your parents. Do you want to live long on earth? If yes, then honor your parents.

May the Lord let His face shine upon you and your family today! Amen.

For further study: Luke 2:41-52

Legacy of Faith

Daily Devotional: Day 61

“I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” (2 Timothy 1:3-5, NKJV).

The greatest legacy you can leave, as a Christian, is a legacy of genuine faith in Christ. Yes, you can be remembered for your wealth, your education, your houses, your property, your children, etc. But nothing compares with the legacy of faith. Genuine faith, the Bible declares, is more precious than silver or gold (See 1 Peter 1:6-8). When you leave a legacy of faith, you’ve left a spiritual blessing that can lead generations of people to eternal life in Christ. Note that the existence of genuine faith implies the existence of pseudo-faith. Christianity today, unfortunately, has been adversely affected by an obsessive emphasis, in some circles, on material gain and prosperity. This has produced carnally-minded “Christians” who despise genuine biblical faith, the kind of faith which isn’t to be identified with material gain. With this in mind, let’s turn our attention to today’s Bible text for more on the legacy of faith.

 Paul writes a second letter to Timothy, one of his most trusted co-workers. Timothy’s father was a Gentile, but his mother was a Jew. After expressing his deep longing to see Timothy, he says something very significant. He says that he remembers Timothy’s genuine faith. This faith, Paul recalls, first lived in Timothy’s grandmother Lois, and then lived in Timothy’s mother, Eunice. Notice the legacy of faith:  LOIS………EUNICE……….TIMOTHY.

Note how Paul also says that their faith dwelt, i.e. lived in them. This is an important detail, because only faith that’s alive can dwell in you; and it’s this faith that you can pass on to others. Lois and Eunice left a legacy of living faith to Timothy. What will be your legacy? Aspire to bless your family and your local church with a legacy of genuine faith. Don’t just talk your faith; demonstrate it. 

Prayer:

Father in heaven, thank you for the gift of saving faith. With you all things are possible. Bless me with the passion and the confidence to leave a legacy of genuine faith for your glory.  In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study: Deuteronomy 6:1-25