What does the Bible say about the relationship between parents and children, and children and parents? What principles can we learn?
I don’t think any rational person would argue with the fact of cause and effect in the physical realm around us. A month ago Norma and I flew over to Denver. We were up around 30,000 feet in the air on American Airlines. What if I opened the door of the airplane, decided to fly to Denver, you know, myself, on my own? What would happen? I could have jumped out the exit door, flapped my wings, or my arms. In other words, I could have tried to fly like a bird to Colorado. How many of you think I would have made it? Nobody seems to think I would have made it.
I could have jumped out the exit door, floated in the air like a feather in the breeze. How many of you think I could have sort of floated, and the jet stream would have caught me, and away I would go? Or I could have jumped out of the door and waited suspended in the air and hitchhiked the next airplane that came along, and, you know, I’m out there saying, “You know, pick me up.” Actually, I could have jumped out of the airplane, plummeted to the earth and been pulverized, which is more likely.
So which one do you think is the right answer? Well, I think I would have fallen to the earth and been pulverized. Why? Well, it’s called gravity, isn’t it? You may think, well, I can jump out of an airplane, and I can defy the law of gravity. Forget it. Gravity will get you, and it will slam you back down to the earth. Gravity’s a law. You don’t break the law. It breaks you. And gravity pulls you down. We do not doubt that there are laws in the universe that govern the physical realm that have been set in motion. We respect and comply with them because we know if you don’t, you could be dead.
An example: electricity. Just take a good 220 wire, 440, or whatever, and peel all of the you know, the rubber off of it and plug it in, hold it, and see what happens. We know what happens. We recognize that there are many physical things that we do that are governed by laws: Flight of an airplane; principles of good health. Medical professionals know that there are principles of health. What about if you smoke? You may have health problems. What about exercising, that exercise is good for your health? It’s a greater understanding of these laws as time has gone on that have led to many of the modern inventions during the modern age. Electricity is an example. We didn’t invent it, but, you know, it’s there. And we just had to know how to go about harnessing it. What about computers, spacecraft, airplanes, you know, whatever it might be.
Now, we all understand that. That’s not a something that we would argue with. So, as I said, a rational person. You realize also that all human relationships are built on spiritual laws or spiritual principles. But here’s where a problem comes in. Man is able to equate cause and effect in the physical realm, dealing with laws that govern the physical. But when it comes to spiritual laws that govern human conduct, man is not as readily connected between cause and effect.
Man and woman are having marriage difficulties, can’t get along. There’s a relationship problem. The man says, “The only reason we’re having marriage problems is I married a lemon. I got a lemon. If I get rid of the lemon, go out and get a new one, I’ll be happy.” Now, does he stop and think, is there anything that I’m doing that is causing our marriage to go haywire? What is she doing to cause the marriage to go haywire? No. Man fails to see in society many times a connection between broken marriage and laws that God established to govern marriage. And there are laws that govern marriage.
Today we don’t even know what marriage is in society. I mean, we do. You do. Is it between a man and a woman? Is it between a man and a man? Is it between a woman and a woman? Is it between somebody and an animal? I mean, what is marriage? I mean, this is the preposterous position that we have come to in society.
Mankind fails to see that there are spiritual principles that govern relationship in all areas. Not just between man and woman, but between what about between parents and children? What about between labor and management? What about one nation and another nation? You know, when you look at it, all peoples have difficulties seeing why they have difficulties and problems. Well, today we want to take a look at relationship between parents and children, and children and parents, and what the Bible has to say about it. In John 1 let’s go over to John 1, verse 1 we read.
John 1:1 John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
American King James Version×In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
V.2 He was in the beginning with God.
So here we have a being described as the Word. And in the very beginning He was with God, a separate being. Two beings here. He was with God. He was in the beginning with God. As we know the two are coeternal. They’ve always existed.
V.3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
So all things have been created through the Word, and He did it through the Holy Spirit. So He made and created all things. He created all things, as the Bible says, visible and invisible. Visible things are things you can see. You know, anything through your five senses that you are aware of that you can discern, you know, the physical realm.
But, you know, He also created the invisible. And among the invisible realm there’s a different dimension out there. It’s the dimension that spirit lives in, exists in, and it can coexist with our dimension, and we don’t know it. I mean, there could be angels here in this room I’m sure there are who are here to look after and protect.
And there are laws that have been created that are invisible to us. Not to God. I mean, He upholds them. He knows what they are. Let’s go back to the book of Hebrews 1 where we read what God has done through Christ. Notice, verse 1, Hebrews 1:1 Hebrews 1:1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
American King James Version×.
Hebrews 1:1 Hebrews 1:1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
American King James Version×God, who at various times and various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
V.2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things Expression “heir of all things” means the whole universe. He created and appointed Christ to be heir over the universe through whom also He made the worlds;
V.3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, upholding all things by the word of His power, when He Himself had purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…
So Jesus Christ upholds all the worlds. That word means to keep from failing or falling.
Let me read the New Revised Standard version of verse 3.
V.3 He is a reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being - or as others say, He is staffed with God’s very character. He has the very character of God - and He sustains all things by His powerful word.
So Jesus Christ sustains. He upholds everything by His word. Now, in James 4:12 James 4:12There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who are you that judge another?
American King James Version× - you know, with that in mind, let’s notice James 4:12 James 4:12There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who are you that judge another?
American King James Version×. We read this.
James 4:11 James 4:11Speak not evil one of another, brothers. He that speaks evil of his brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law, and judges the law: but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge.
American King James Version× But if you judge the law - that’s the last part of verse 11 if you judge the law, you’re not a doer of the law but a judge.
V.12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
God is the great lawgiver. He gives and has given laws. There are laws that God has set in motion that govern all that He created, everything. God is not a God of confusion. God is a God of order. Everything runs according to order. We sometimes refer to physical laws and spiritual laws. Are all laws - all laws, I think in one sense, are spiritual in nature, in that you don’t see them. I don’t see gravity, but gravity effects something physical, matter. It affects us. All laws are spiritual in the sense that they’re invisible. They’re upheld by the Spirit of God, the power of God. They’re a force. They also regulate the physical realm. But one day the physical will cease. There will be no more physical. The laws that govern them will no longer be necessary. The power to sustain them will still be there. The principles will cease to function.
When the kingdom of God is set up, you will no longer be subject to gravity. You know, gravity will not have any force on you. The laws that govern spiritual relationships are based upon something permanent. Do you know what that is? It’s based upon something that is permanent. The evidence of scripture, if you’ll remember, is that the angels were created before the physical creation. Each angel was an individual creation by God.
When the physical creation was made, we find back in Job 38, that all of the Sons of God shouted for joy. So that would indicate that the angels had not yet rebelled against God when the physical creation was brought into being. That all of the Sons of God shouted for joy, excitement that God brought the physical realm into being. God in the logos, or the Word, had always lived a certain way of life and still lived that way of life. Why? Because it’s their very nature. It is what they are. 1 John 4, turn over here just a few chapters, verse 8.
God is love. Now, it doesn’t say God loves. You can look at different people around the congregation. You can say, well, so and so is a very loving person. Doesn’t say God’s just a loving person. God is love. That’s what He is. That’s His nature. That’s what motivates Him, everything that He does. It is all motivated by love. It all flows out of His love, His very nature. Only God’s standard of living was practiced to begin with.
The angels were created as spirit beings. They were created, not complete. Well, the Bible says they were perfect. God didn’t create them imperfect. But there was something not yet complete in their creation. Their character was not yet set, was not yet hardened, was not yet totally in place. They had to choose. So God shared His way of life with them. He explained His plan, His purpose. He explained to them what He was up to, what He was going to do, and how to live happily, how things would work in harmony. And we know that some of the angels then sinned. In 2 Peter 2:4 2 Peter 2:4For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved to judgment;
American King James Version×, notice.
2 Peter 2:4 2 Peter 2:4For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved to judgment;
American King James Version×For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved to judgment…
So the angels sinned, and Lucifer apparently took onethird of the angels in rebellion against God, was cast down to this earth. Okay. If they sin, what did they do wrong? What is sin? 1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
American King James Version×says sin is the transgression of the law. So they broke the law. They broke certain spiritual principles, and they broke the way of life that God had always lived. There was a way set in motion. That is the only way to live. Satan and his demons introduced into the universe a competing way of life that could be summarized by one word called lawlessness. Lawlessness, rebellion. The “get way” of life, selfishness, selfcenteredness, and fundamentally totally opposite from God’s way.
God’s way of love is outgoing concern for the other individual. So the righteous angels continued to live the way of God. They had faith that God was right, and so they chose well. Satan, or Lucifer, and the angels chose poorly. And so, therefore, you know, they chose the wrong way.
There were two ways of life extended that time: The way of God, the way He’d always lived, the way He always existed, and the way of sin that Lucifer introduced into the universe. The way of lawlessness. When God created man, remember He placed him in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 2 we read that God put two trees in the garden. I guess that’s two. Two trees. Trees in the garden. And man was told to stay away from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Man had a choice. Which way of life did he want to go? The way of God, or the way of satan the devil?
Think of the two trees from this perspective. The two trees show how man was going to relate to God and to one another. The tree of life pictures how to relate to God and mankind in the right way. And how’s that way summarized? You’re to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your might, all your mind, your whole being to love God; and your neighbor as yourself. That is the basis of God’s law. That’s the fundamental principle that God operates by.
Now, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil pictured how to relate to God and mankind in a wrong manner, in a wrong way, a hurtful way, a selfish way, a getting way, your way. And so it is a mixture of good and evil. People are not totally depraved. They do some good, but it’s good and evil.
So the basic question then comes down to who establishes what is right and what is wrong? Who is it who has the final say so to say: No, that’s evil. That’s wrong. That’s sin. This is right. This is good. Who is the source of correct knowledge? And obviously, we believe God is. And we believe that this book, the Holy Bible, the scriptures reveal to us what is the right way.
Now, there are fundamental principles that God ordained to cover how parents should relate to their children and how children should relate to their parents and how we should relate to each other. These principles are based upon spiritual principles that derive their authority from God’s nature, that picture what God is like. God could no more go against His law because it is His very being. It is the way He is, the way of love. He’s not going to go against that. God’s relationship with man is based upon love. It’s demonstrated by His grace, His forgiveness, His mercy. God tells us to love Him with all of our being.
These are the principles that you and I, if we’re in the kingdom of God, will live by for all eternity. We will not live by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for all eternity. We will live by the tree of life for all eternity. And these are principles that must be applied and function in our families. So I’d like to cover some of the basic principles that govern our relationship.
Now, I’m not saying if you have children that you’re 100 percent guaranteed if you do this, your children will remain faithful to God. But I will guarantee you that you will increase your odds immensely by doing what is right. What is eternal is the way that God has made for us to deal with each other forever. So let’s take a look at some of the fundamental principles that God has created in parent and child relationships.
And if I could summarize it, it’s sort of like this: Children must know that they’re loved. They must know they’re loved, cherished, that they’re important to their parents and special. Now, when I say special, I’m not talking about the wacky ideas that you see in society today where parents run around all the time telling their children, “Oh, you’re beautiful. You’re intelligent. You know, you’re the greatest. You’re this, you’re that,” and, you know, when their children really are not. You know, they’re giving them quote, unquote, you know, false hope in many cases. But they’re special to each one of us; are they not?
My children are special to me. You may know them. But they don’t carry the same specialness to you as they do to me. And your children vice versa. So how does a young child learn this? How does a young child know that they’re cherished and loved and the most important, you know, individual? How is it conveyed to teenagers? How is it conveyed to a child who’s 30? To a child who’s 60, if their parents are still living? The process is called bonding.
We see children today hurting one another, killing one another. Adults growing up seemingly with no conscious, no compunction. We see children today who go out and - you know, how many times over the last few years we seen a young fellow carry a rifle or gun into a school and just start randomly shooting people, killing people, going into a movie theater and start shooting other individuals.
In the book “High Risk: Children Without a Conscience,” they describe a generation of young people who are growing up without a conscious and the fact that we’re raising a society of psychopaths. And whether you realize it or not, some of our politicians are psychopathic in their approach. They have no remorse. Kids who kill. And in the book they address what’s gone wrong, and we will take a look at some of that here today.
Today we see young people who commit crimes or violence, drug users, mixed up. You know, all kinds of problems. Mass murderers and shootings. Let’s notice in 2 Timothy 3:1 2 Timothy 3:1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
American King James Version×. It describes our age today. it says,
V.2 For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of monies, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
V.3 inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good.
V.4 treacherous, and it goes on and on. Will lack natural affection, the Bible talks about. Or be inhuman. Or brutal. The word brutal means not tame. It means to be savage, to be fierce, you know, an outlaw.
Why do we see today many times young people without a conscience, antisocial behavior, no remorse? Many adults today are desensitized without feelings, narcissistic in their approach, selfcentered in their approach. Many factors that can be considered that impact this. I want to focus on a few of them here today. One factor, though, is a lack of bonding and attachment of children at an early age. Trust, love, sexual identity, bonding, all of these occur in an early period of time in a child’s life. I say early. Basically within the first two years, and especially within the first year of a child’s life. Psychological damage can occur unless there is the proper bonding.
Back in Titus 2, verses 35, God teaches us that the elderly women are to teach the young women to love their children, love their husbands, that we are to love our children. We’re to give attention to them when they’re young, because that’s a very critical time period in their life. We’ve got to spend time with them during this period when much of their identity and emotional state is being developed. It’s developed during these younger periods of time. In fact,
Proverbs 29:15 Proverbs 29:15The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.
American King James Version×The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by a neglected child, a neglected child or a child left to himself.
Bonding is where a child becomes attached in a proper way to a caregiver, such as a mother or a father. Generally, this would be best if both parents are the caregiver and help to take care of the child.
Give you an example of what I’m talking about. If a mother’s nursing a child, sits there rocking in a chair, cuddling that child, kissing the child, loving on the child, playing with the child, dad comes in and picks the child up and hugs it and throws it in the air and, you know, and does all kinds of things that, you know there’s an attachment. There’s a bond that begins to develop.
So it’s imperative that at least one child or excuse me one parent be the caregiver, but both need to be there, as we will see why it’s vitally important. However, in our western society today we find society is structured in such a way that we tend to go in the opposite direction.
What about working mothers? How often do you find that a woman has a baby, within a month or two, she’s back to work, and she’s got to pursue her career. She’s got to prove she’s just as good as a man out there. She can do what he wants to do. Where do the children go? Well, many times children are reared by strangers, day care centers. We no longer have the enlarged family around us, like we used to, both sets of grandparents living down the street, uncles, aunts, maybe other siblings, cousins, people who can help you with your children. Always a man around. Always, you know, someone there to help. Is it that necessary for a woman to work during the first year or two that the child is going to suffer? I would say please avoid that at all costs, unless, you know, you’ve got others who are there that can help, like grandparents.
What about the feminist movement today where, you know, they’re down on marriage? Men are, you know, anathema. And so, you know, they don’t believe in this having men and women. What about the lack of a supporting father, fathers who are absent or too busy to be there with their family, too busy to look after their children, don’t help with the care of their children?
We look at the especially in this country, at the black community. I think I’d mentioned to you up through 40s and 50s, there were more black marriages that had a husband and wife than there were with whites, with the Caucasians. But all of that’s changed around in the last 40 to 50 years. Look how many families were where you find that there’s not a husband present. So many children being born out of wedlock in our society today, and fathers are absent. What affect does this have on the family?
What about divorce? So many divorces taking place today. Children are taken away, separated from their father or mother and many times put in a foster home or an orphanage.
What about abuse of children? Children are abused many times sexually, physically, psychologically, emotionally, and this is what I would call the ultimate betrayal. Parents who are the ones that they should trust, depend upon, rely upon, turn against them and abuse them and betray them. And that’s - you know, is another thing that we see in society. I know that abuse occurs in one out of four homes in this country, and it’s probably even greater than that. Any type of disruption, such as severe illnesses, war, famine, you know, all of this creates a problem.
The proper bonding helps a child to be well adjusted, responsive, loving, trusting when they grow up to be a teenager or when they grow up to be adults. Bonding is of ultimate importance to the complete health of a child that would determine when that child grows up if they can really express love and affection when they grow up as adults and they’re able to express it to someone of the opposite sex.
Attachment goes along with bonding. The sexual identity of a child is shaped in the first years of a child. This is why so many today who claim to be homosexuals actually are - you know, say, “Well, I was born this way,” because they can’t remember back to those early days. A child’s sexual identity is generally determined by at least 3 years of age. And so it is extremely important to make sure that there is a proper attachment.
Now, what do I mean proper attachment? Two years ago, Joseph Nicolosi spoke to the Council of Elders on the subject of homosexuality. He talked about some of the myths surrounding this topic. He said homosexuality’s not generally genetically determined, not born that way. Generally we’re all born heterosexually. And some do have homosexual feelings, but that doesn’t mean that they’re homosexuals. They have to be taught, directed and guided in the right way.
He made this statement, which I will explain, that gender conformity in childhood may be the single most common observable factor associated with homosexuality. And what does that mean? Well, it simply means that it’s important for a child to have a warm and loving relationship with his same sex parent. For boys, there must be a father figure. For girls, a mother figure, or someone who can step in to those roles.
How is a boy going to learn to be a boy, to fish, to hunt, to, you know, get out and wrestle, to climb, to, you know to do the things that a boy might do unless he has an example to follow? A child must grow up having a proper relationship with his own gender. A girl with her mother. A boy with his father, or grandparents or an uncle, you know, somebody who can be there to teach and model for that child.
So that does not negate the fact that both should be involved. How’s a boy going to learn how to treat his mother, how a woman should react, except by looking at his mom? And see how dad treats, you know, mom, how she responds, a loving relationship there, and grows up. Well, I want to marry somebody like mom. You know, how often do, you know, little children say something like that? And that’s because they’ve seen generally a right example. Again, a proper family relationship is key to proper attachment, shaping the sexual identity of a child.
And I don’t care what any modern feminist or anyone might tell you. It is absolutely imperative you have both parents in the family and that they are both actively involved in that family. It is critical. Men need to lead the family, show love to their children, hug their children, be involved with their children. Moms need to be totally supportive of that family relationship. It is absolutely critical.
So what are some of the fundamental principles that the youth need to learn as they mature? Let’s take a look at some of these. One of them is something that’s part of the ten commandments. Honor is a foundation of almost all healthy relationships. To honor, to respect. Mutual respect is essential in any family relationship, whether it’s a physical family or a spiritual family. We all have the power to choose to honor others. But this requires humility, doesn’t it? You know, you can walk around and say, “Well, I’m somebody. Look who I am,” and strut and do all of that kind of thing, instead of choosing to honor others.
The power to choose has always been available since the Garden of Eden for human beings, when God set the two trees. He said, “Choose.” Now, He told them which one to choose. You know, stay away from this one. Take this tree of life here. But, of course, sadly, Adam and Eve chose poorly. Adam and Eve actually broke were the first to break the commandment to honor your parents, because God was their parent. They didn’t listen to Him. They didn’t heed Him. They didn’t do what He told them. And they dishonored God and listened to satan. And the result has been the last 6,000 years of suffering, misery, violence and pain that we see extent on this earth.
Unless you are a little infant or mentally incompetent you have the power to choose your response to any given situation. Somebody comes up to you and accidentally bumps you, and, you know, well, how are you going to respond? Well, you can bump them back. That’s one response. You can choose to do that. You can shove them. You can pop them in the nose. You can walk away. I mean, you have all kinds of choices that you can choose. And our children are not predetermined. Yes, we all have genetic background, and, you know, it passes on a lot of traits and all of that. But what I’m talking about, we’re not predetermined that we have to react in a certain way. We’re not programmed like a robot. We are free moral agents.
How you choose today often determines future choices that you’ll have. If you’ll choose poorly now, you’re often faced with bad choices in the future. If a person chooses badly, you know, gets in, well, I - chooses bad friends who are going to influence him in the wrong way, or chooses not to go to school, or chooses, you know, whatever, 20 years from now, when they want to get married, have a family, you know, have a career all at once, they can’t do anything. They don’t have any training, any background. Their choices have determined basically what they’re going to be able to do. Now, you can rise above that, but it takes a lot of effort, a lot of hard work.
Here’s an important principle. Good decisions made today often permit good choices to be available in the future. You make the right decisions, especially as a young person, today, then tomorrow you’ll be able to make good choices. If you don’t, then basically you’re left to choose among the lessers of the evils. And that’s not where you want to go.
Now, little babies, little infants do not have the power to choose. We say that they’re more reactive rather than proactive. They react to the immediate stimuli, what’s going on. They don’t proactively stop and think.
Now, just picture this: 3:00 in the morning. Baby wakes up. Diaper’s wet. He’s hungry. “Where’s Mama? I’m hungry. I need to get her.” And he starts crying. Now, do most babies wake up at 3:00 in the morning and say, “Well, I remember Mom had a hard day yesterday, and I know I’m wet, and I know I’m hungry, but I can wait three hours. I can wait until 6:00. I think I’ll wait until 6:00, and then I will let out a scream, and mom can come and look after me.” Is that the way a baby thinks? Is that how they make a choice? No. “Waaaahh,” and, you know, they scream out and either dad or mom has to go get them.
Now, women, if they’re nursing, are uniquely qualified to go and take care of the situation because they have the tools to be able to nurse the child. You know, Norm and I used to say, “Well, whose time is it?” And, you know, if it was my time, I’d go get the baby. I’d bring the baby to her, where she didn’t have to get out of bed, and she would nurse the baby in bed.
So, you know, we realize that children are not real great at making choices at that early age. However, within a very short time, children begin to develop the capacity to choose, and they can choose. This happens before many parents fully realize it. I’ve seen so many parents say, “Well, I’m not going to try to correct my children until they’re old enough to talk and know what’s going on, and, you know, I can reason with them. And then, you know, we’ll start training and discipline.” You’ve lost it. You’ve already lost the battle at that point.
On the other hand, some parents go too far with their children. They give them too many choices. Be a real small toddler. “Well, what do you want to wear today? What do you want to eat today? Where do you want go today?” And, you know, you’re letting them make all the choices. You know, “Put this on. Eat your beans or whatever. You know, let’s go.”
How do you know when a child has reached the point where they can choose? If you have a little baby, how do you know when they’ve come to the point where they can choose? When a child begins to tell you “no,” he has the power to choose, doesn’t he? What just happened when a child you say, “Pick up your toys.” “No.” What just happened? He made a choice not to obey you. He knows what you said because he said no. So now, he’s not going to obey you. He has chosen to disobey. What are you going to do? Well, you get down and pick all his toys up, you play right into his hands.
So the next time he’s going to say “no” again, and you’ll do the same thing and the same thing. First thing you know, he has you jumping through hoops, instead of the other way around. So there comes a point that I don’t ever remember that - I’m sure they did, but our children saying “no.” That was anathema, you know, in our home. You didn’t say no. You just you know, they didn’t always obey, and they but they didn’t, you know, try to argue back that way.
You know, at that point, a parent has a responsibility to begin teaching the way of humility, respect and honor. We must teach our children the way of honor. You ever stop to think, here’s a commandment. Do we teach our children how to honor others? How to honor you? Because it will affect their relationship for the rest of their lives. When they start dating, do they honor and respect the women they’re dating, or vice versa? Do they respect them? You know, so we have to teach our children the way of honor and how to honor others.
What about taking children to a rest home and letting them see the elderly and maybe bring them gifts, bring them candy, or come over and sit with them, read to them, sing to them, do things of this nature, where they begin to realize that they need to reach out and think beyond themselves.
When a child talks back, shows defiance, refuses to follow clear specific instructions from the parent, they are dishonoring their parents. They are breaking that law, and you need to instruct them. Doesn’t Exodus 20:12 Exodus 20:12Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long on the land which the LORD your God gives you.
American King James Version×tell us:
Exodus 20:12 Exodus 20:12Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long on the land which the LORD your God gives you.
American King James Version×Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
Ephesians 6:1 Ephesians 6:1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
American King James Version×Children, obey your parents in the Lord; this is right. This is good. Honor your father and mother. And this is the first commandment with promise.
The ability or power to choose a response that considers more than the self is an important mark of maturity, where you’re not just considering yourself. I want it. You know, too often children say, “I want to,” you know, they want something. Well, what about sharing your toy with Joe over here? “Mine. Mine.” You know, they don’t want to share that toy. So they’ve got to learn how to share, how to give. And how do you teach that? Well, you’ve got to work with them.
As children grow older, they become more selfaware and they should become more and more accountable for their decisions and their actions. And so we need to work with them to help them develop humility, to think of others, not to always be selfish, thinking only of the self. The emotional quotient of a child is often something that parents overlook entirely. The emotional quotient of children will often be far lower than their IQ, their intelligence quotient.
Developing consideration for others, honoring others, is a very important part of emotional development in children. Too often parents only focus on academics at 2. My child is reading at 3. You let him quote Shakespeare at 4. You know, they’re entering into college. Whatever it might be, you know, they’re always pressing those children to excel. Nothing, you know, wrong with them learning. But too many children grew up without a childhood and, you know, they never learned to go out under a tree with a can or something and pretend it’s a car and make highways and, you know, just learn to be a child.
Consideration for others is a fundamental part of Godly character that our children need to develop. We need to recognize that achieving emotional maturity is part of the foundation of Godly character. A lot of people can intellectually agree with God’s way but, you know, it’s got to become something that, you know, becomes a part of us. That as we grow up our children learn to instill some selfcontrol in themselves, respect others.
God’s commandment to honor your parents isn’t just a good idea. It is critical to the Godly development in ultimate eternal life of young people. It gives them a head start. It puts them on the right path to go in the right way. We help our children to mature, and we don’t want them to develop a victim mindset. Today we see so many people who have what I’d call a victim mindset. A victim mindset thinks the problem is out there. The problem isn’t with me. Ha, who even thinks such a thing? The problem’s out there. A victim mindset justifies irresponsible behavior. The more irresponsible a child behaves, the more they should be held accountable. And so this is something that parents should look out for. The basic principles in child rearing as a parent, you need to be consistent with your children, correct a child’s mindset and teach him selfcontrol. See, we’ve got to get at the attitude in dealing with young people and not allow excuses to be made.
Have you ever noticed how often a parent will make excuses for their child? Now, I know children, young children especially, do get tired. Do get upset. They have hard days and all of that. But too often, you know, a child can be a little older, “Well, he just had a rough day.” And so we’re always making excuses for them, why they act the way they do. “Well, he’s restless, you know. He’s been up early. He can’t sit still; therefore, you know, this is why he’s doing what he does.” And many times we’re teaching the child to have a victim mindset.
How will they act when they grow up and they’re thwarted in certain ways? They don’t get their ways. You know, we have a whole younger generation who are going to work now applying for jobs, and they’re absolutely dumbfounded that, you know, they’re not the greatest thing on earth when they go in for an employee interview and they find out that, you know, they’re not going to be accepted just as you are. You know, you’ve got to come in, dress up. You’ve got to present yourself well. Got to be able to talk the English language. Got to be able to write. Got to know something. And so, you know, children have been taught that they’re the greatest thing since sliced butter, and so, therefore, you know, they think that everybody, when they grow up, are going to treat them the same way. It doesn’t work that way.
Are we principlecentered in dealing with our children, or are we selfcentered? We need to be principlecentered. The decisions we make now determine our actions. The actions we take are based on decisions we make, and they form our example before others. We bear fruit.
Let’s look at some of the victim mindset that people can have. You know, they blame everything on somebody else. Blame everything on their past, on their emotions, on psychological wounds, past failures. They blame genetics. They blame their parents. They blame the school system. They blame their teacher. They blame their mate. They blame the government. They blame the economy. They blame the church. They blame the minister. And, ultimately, they blame God. You know, why did God make us this way? And, you know, they begin to blame God for all of these.
Honor is the foundation on which all relationships should be based. Now, all human relationships are based on spiritual values and principles. I’ve only scratched the surface on what we’re covering here today. And, you know, we’ve barely gotten into it. And, you know, I’d like to continue to talk about some of these principles here for the future.
We’ve covered three things that are essential to the proper development of a child. Bonding. That builds trust and love in a child. And if that’s developed early on, cemented in there as they grow up, they will become a loving, outgoing child, and they will trust their parents.
Their gender identification or attachment is vital, and it’s important. You know, there’s one thing that many may think is odd when it comes to gender identification. One of the things that you find that organizations like Exodus, that help homosexuals who come out of homosexuality, one of the things that they teach, which may be the opposite of what you think, is that a male homosexual must develop relationships with other males. See, he’s got to learn to bond with males in a right way. So here’s a family, and so he goes out, this family, over a weekend maybe. They go fishing. They go boating. They go hunting. You know, they do things together. He sees this man, how he’s dealing with his children, and he has a right relationship with a man, and there’s nothing sexual going on. And so they begin to realize that you can have a relationship other than, you know, a wrong relationship with another man. Same thing with a woman. You know, works both ways.
Then honor and respect. We need to realize that these principles will continue on forever. You and I are to be bonded to God, brethren. We’re to grow up in what we learn. We learn to love God. How? With all of our heart, with all of our soul, all of our mind, our might. We love our neighbors, ourselves. So we bond to God. We learn to trust God. This is where faith comes in. Faith is transmitted into trust relying upon God.
So a child grows up loving his parents, trusting them, relying upon them. And we grow up relying upon God, bonding with Him, trusting Him, looking to Him, and we look to Him for guidance and help. There is to be an attachment to God. We follow His example. We know what His example’s like, because the four books in the Bible - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - show how God on the earth would live. Christ came to the earth. He was God in the flesh. And so we see His example. And there should be nothing that would separate us from Him.
And we honor God and respect all members of the family of God forever. Because there’s going to come a time after the Last Great Day, the eighth day, when all human beings have had an opportunity for salvation, given their chance, and you’re either no more or you’re a member in the family of God.
What principles are going to govern that relationship in the kingdom of God? How are you going to treat other family members in the family of God? How will you respond to God? Well, there will be this love and respect and honor for God. We will see His example. We will follow, you know, what He tells us. We will see how He deals with others.
And this is where all of us in a congregation it doesn’t matter if there’s only one child in the congregation, we all have a responsibility to set a right example so that they see the right example. They see people who are turned on, motivated, love God, love His way and want to go His way. And, you know, they see that, and they see people who honor one another. We’re not talking down, you know, and putting down other people.
So the principles apply on how we treat one another today, how we treat our families today, how we rear our children today, but they’re also principles that will be applied forever in the family of God.