Raising Children of God III Judges 13:3-5 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This is the third in a series of messages that we have preached on the subject of raising children. Raising children of God takes:
Preparation – prepare yourself for children – Jud 13:3-5,12-14 – Manoah asked, “How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?” The angel told the woman not to eat or drink anything that comes from the vine and not to eat any unclean thing because her son was going to be a Nazarite [Num 6]. In other words, to be a Nazarite, the child had to stay away from these things. And so to order him the woman had to stay away from them, too. There is a heavy responsibility laid on parents to be the kind of parents who can raise children of God. So spiritually prepare your home for children.
Dedication – dedicate your children to the Lord – 1 Sam 1:26-28 – Hannah promised that if she could have a child she would loan him to the Lord all his life. In essence, your children are entrusted to you by the Lord and you are responsible to bring them up in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. So, you ought to start out by dedicating them to the Lord.
Observation – give your children an example they can follow – Prov 23:26 – your children need to see God in you. The lasting lessons in life are caught not taught. Your children are prone to do as you do. Eli’s children had a bad example to follow and turned out even worse than their dad. Samuel’s children, by contrast, had a good example to follow but they chose not to walk in his ways [1 Sam 8:1-3]. As Prov 23:26 says, children need to give their hearts to mom and dad if the good examples are going to be followed and learned.
Instruction – train your children in the way – Prov 22:6 – this is a principle not a promise. Their training is multi-faceted. They must be trained:
- In the nurture and admonition of the Lord – Eph 6:4 – nurture is unspoken communication ranging from expressions of affection [hugs] to expressions of disapproval [rod, Prov 23:13-14; 13:24; 22:15; 19:18; “rearing” children] – admonition is verbal communication – they need nurture when they are young and as they get older you transition to admonition.
- In personal responsibility – 1 Sam 16:11-12 – David was the youngest and yet he was the one who was keeping the sheep – he was faithful in that which was least and so the Lord gave him more – Lk 2:42-49 – at twelve years old, Jesus understood enough to carry on a conversation with the doctors and to know that he was doing his “Father’s business.”
- In a balanced life – 1 Sam 16:15-18 – David was very balanced – he could play the harp, he was valiant, he was a soldier, he was prudent – they need to be more than just good at video games and athletics.
- In unfeigned faith – 2 Tim 1:5; 3:15 – the need the holy scriptures and they need a real faith in those scriptures, where they can see evidence of God working in their own lives.
Conclusion: when you are starting your family, these are four really good things to remember and to practice – rarely do parents consider the grave responsibility they have for their children in these matters.