Of all the tragedies in child rearing, perhaps the greatest is when we, as Christian parents, fail to convey our faith to our children. There are many reasons for this failure, but it doesn't make it any less of a failure! Some parents may fail because they do not grasp the necessity and importance of sharing their faith with their children. I'm not talking about a pious plastic or phony attitude toward our children. They need to know that our relationship with Christ is deeply personal and very real, otherwise they may reject our faith and our Savior.
A. It is our God-given responsibility.
1. The privilege of parenthood carries with it the responsibility of nurturing our children.
2. We are constantly reading in the newspaper of some parent who has physically abused their children, and we are repulsed by the accounts.
3. We hear of the damage done by parents who emotionally abuse their children and we become angered at how they treat their children.
4. However, I contend that there is a worse type of abuse than either of these two ... Spiritual abuse!
5. This occurs when parents fail to convey their faith to their children!
B. Note: Deuteronomy 6:4-9
1. Our faith must first be real in our hearts. (v5-6)
2. Teaching our children will take diligent effort. (v7)
3. Teaching them will take intimate communication at every possible opportunity. (v7)
4. The Word of God must become a "sign" to them, which means a signal or beacon to guide them through the years. (v8)
5. The Word of God must be displayed openly before their eyes. (v9)
a. They need to see the Word of God lived out before them daily in our lives!
b. It is not enough to tell them how to live for God, we must show them how to live for God!
c. Note: Mt. 28:18-20
d. This is the great commission.
e. Jesus commands us to "teach to observe" or do! Not just know!
f Too often we have taught to know, but not to do!
C. Note: Ephesians 6:1-4
1. We like to quote v1 when our children balk at our instructions.
2. However, we must remember that v4 is our instruction from God!
3. "Nurture and admonition of the Lord."
a. Nurture = instruction by action
b. Admonition instruction by word
c. Key phrase of the Lord
D. The training of our children is to prepare them for the real world as children of God.
1. It is not enough that our children are capable of making a living and raising a family.
2. We must prepare them to not just make a living, but to live for the Lord!
3. We want them to be godly examples for our grandchildren! and our great-grandchildren!
4. Note: Judges 2:8-12
5. We're responsible for the future generations.
6. We must not fail to convey our faith to our children!
* What is our goal of parenting? Our goal should be the same as God's goal.
1. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 - God's Word.
2. Ephesians 6:4 - Training. 3. Malachi 2:15 - Godly seed.
* How do we do this?
I. They Need to See the Character Of God (Ep. 6:4)
A. Admonition - to call attention to; reprove gently; implies the idea of training by word
B. Three attributes to teach
1. Holiness - develops:
a. Hatred of sin.
b. Conviction of sin.
2. Righteousness - protects from Bitterness - Romans 8:28.
3. Love - develops:
a. Salvation - John 3:16
.b. Security - I John 4:19; II Timothy 2:15.
II. They Need to Learn the Consistency Of God (Ephesians 6:4)
A. Nurture - train, discipline, chasten, and correct; implies the idea of training by action.
B. Model Christ in the home (John 14:9; I Corinthians 11:1).
1. Apply the Word - James 1:22.
2. Humble to the Word - James 4:6; I John 1:9.
III. We Need to Develop Good Communication
A. Four Rules of Communication. Ep. 4:25-32
1. Be Honest
a. We must speak.
b. We must speak the truth.
c. We must speak the truth lovingly.
2. Keep Current (v26-27)
a. Solve each day's problems that day.
b. Failure to do so means we are opening the way for resentment.
c. Note: Mt. 6:4
3. Attack the problem, not the person.
a. No corrupt communication.
b. Only edifying communication.
4. Act; don't react. (v3l-32)
a. Our natural tendency is to react to others and begin to blame them.
b. But God calls us to be kind, tender- hearted and forgiving.
c. No matter how irresponsible some- one may act, we are responsible to act biblically.
B. Get to know your children (I Peter 3:7).
1. Their world
2. Their interests
3. Their friends
4. Their goals.
C. We must help to see thing's from God's perspective (I Peter 5:7).
D. Teach them how to handle disappoint- ment.
1. Assure them that you are on their team.
2. Help them discover what God is teaching them through a situation.
3. Get them to see how Jesus would respond.
4. Help them see that God is sovereign in every circumstance.
1. Note: Proverbs 22:15; 29:15
2. The reason - sin nature
1. Hebrews 12:5-7 - Absence of anger.
2. Foundation of love.
3. Purpose is correction.
a. Pray for wisdom, love, and patience.
b. Remember these truths:
1). They are not your children, they are God's (Psalms 127:3).
2). They need to become what God would have them to be, not necessarily what we want.
3). We must not fail to pass our faith along to them.