Monday, June 6, 2016

God's View of Children

Psalm 127:3-5 - " ....full of them"
Isa. 29:22-23  - note:  "MY hands"
Mark 10:13-16

Point: = children are a gift, a blessing from the Lord, and ..... with the blessing, comes a new calling, new vocation.
ie:  Parent/Parenting - which for the Christian is different from the world's view

Children are sacred creation from God.

Obviously, parents are to provide 1) physical needs  and 2) psychological needs - "nurture"

With Christian calling - add:  3)  spiritual needs - Mal. 2:15  - seeking "Godly offspring" - Born?  or Built? - answer:  BUILT

New Testament word/concept = Edify/Edification - building up.  From the Greek word for "house" and the Greek word for "build" - used figuratively in the New Testament - not talking about literal building.

New Testament usage = on one hand, figurative, however, real/practical  Example:  Rom. 14:19, 15:2

Does this apply to parenting?  children?  Prov. 22:6   Eph. 6:4  Duet. 6:7 = teach, train, develop, nurture, instruct, impress = BUILD!!!!

Granted is a difference in a literal house (it will stay built once it is built) and figurative (a life with free will and free choice so no guarantees)
Nevertheless, "Godly offspring" are NOT born, but are BUILT!!

Some Observations/Application

#1.  This is an ongoing process.
Includes A)  adult children
            B)  Grandchildren, great-grandchildren
            C)  "acquired" children - (of all ages)

#2.  These is no outcome guarantee - children have a free will.  Not ultimately determined by how the child is raised.
#3.  There is an input guarantee  ie:  God's Presence  & God's Assistance, however, remember that  He will not overcome choices and free will of the child.

So, how do we build them?  (broad brush)  (basic principles)

#1.  Verbal Instruction - Duet. 6:4-9 - need to be told how to do something
      A.  teach what?  - "these commandments..." - these are the rules for life.  Impress on them the specifics.

but also  B)  teach WHY  On one hand, we are raising kids in a skeptical era (therefore they question)
Therefore, are raising kids in a cause and effect universe.  Therefore, Answer them!!
If can give some answers, the instruction is much quicker to be accepted.

#2.  Parental Modeling - "60% of learning that affects behavior is based on watching someone we know and trust"
James 2:18
NOTE:  #1 an d#2 are Both necessary IN combination with one another

Modeling the faith list: - in areas like
1)  marital love/faithfulness
2)  respect for your spouse/for authority - both the person & position
3)  Partnership and co-operation  - (help mate)
             (life partners means more
4)  conflict resolution - where do kids learn how to fight
5)  apology/forgiveness/humility/perseverance
6)  Christian work ethic  (plus Christian play ethic)
7)  financial responsibility - giving, tithing, saving, earning, investing - Stewardship
8)  servant-hood - in the home
                         beyond the home
9) love for God - God's Word, church, people, kingdom

James 2:18 - "1)show me you own the faith (by your works)
and/or  2) show me what your faith consists of (by your works)
By our deeds we define our faith.

Build them through:
(1)  Verbal Instruction
(2)  Parental Modeling

#3)  Personal Development
The level (height) to which you take your children is partly determined by the level (height) that you attain.
On one hand, you hope they go beyond you,
However, they are standing on your shoulders.  If your shoulders aren't too high up, they won't get very high up either.

#4)  Spiritual Partnering.
Expect/welcome input from spouse?  extended family?  church?  Christian community?
Our kids need voices beyond us.   Prov. 11:14
But also, vital partner = Holy Spirit!!

Mal. 2:15 - "because HE was seeking..."  (His desire)

Isa. 62:6-7 - speaking about new heavens and new earth.  Don't rest.  Give Him no rest.  Work never ends.  The need is always there.

than partners for life.  Means partners IN life!!)

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