Riverside Community Church

Week 3 & 4 - Children & Parents

Here is a summary in a nut shell. The most important thing to a child are the parents.

A child follows after you, in your footsteps they walk, they are a chip off the old block, a mirror image of you, a spitting image of you, a reflection of who you are, they replicate the dad and the mom.

So if you want to raise a child of great promise and future, how the parents live, how the parents speak and how the parents carry themselves is the key. If you want your child to follow after God then the parents must first follow after God and set the example.

Children follow you parent, wherever you go, whatever you do, they follow you. So if you are a compassionate, considerate, peaceful, contented, wise solid Christian parent, then Christian parent you will influence your children to be the same.

Here’s the rub, all your faults, weaknesses, sins and shortcomings will be reflected downward onto that child of yours. THIS BOTHERED ME WHEN MY CHILDREN WERE YOUNG BECAUSE I COULD SEE ME IN THEM. THE SOLUTION: strive to be better, a better person, a better spouse, a better Christian. Your child’s whole life is depending on it. If you do that then I believe your children will honor you.

Exodus 20:12

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

Did you realize that is one of the ten commandments, honor your parents? It’s that important to God.

Here’s a side bar. Everybody is a child of somebody, everybody has a parent/parents. What does God say?   “Honor your Mother and Father”, and I get the feeling that God meant just that even though some parents are not very honorable.

Some parents are not very honorable, they’re fallen people, sinners by nature, selfish for sure, just like me, and you. We must strive to be honorable before God and our children.

The 2 great commands to children are:

         Honor your Father and your Mother             Exodus 20:12

         Children obey your parents                                 Ephesians 6:1

Here’s my main point this morning, I feel like Forrest Gump when he says

“And that’s all I got to say about that’

They’re watching you, they will follow you,

I know what some of you are thinking because I am thinking it too. I MESSED UP ALREADY.

Let me tell you something

1. There is no perfect parent.

2. It’s never too late to start again, to reboot your commitment as a parent, despite how old your children are, 8, 16, 25, 40, you are still the parent and you need to show them how to live before God by your example. You may think it’s too late, NO, NO, NO. God can make up all the years the locust have eaten, that which you cannot do, God can.

3. You don’t walk alone as a parent, God is by your side. Commit yourself to be the example parent before God, so your children will see you, follow you, and honor you.  Parent walk through life so your children will honor you.

There are a couple other things I would like to mention about parenting:

1)   Disciplining

Proverbs 22:15 (NIV)
15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
    but the rod of discipline will drive it far away

Now discipline can been done in many ways and root word for discipline means ‘straightens’, you are straightening a child’s path and character when you discipline.

You must discipline or a child will grow up to be foolish (that’s the folly in Proverbs), selfish, hurtful and godless.

Discipline Principles

a) Be Careful, & Be quick to interrupt the child’s incorrect action but be slow to discipline (You both may need a time out).
b) Be consistent. The punishment must fit the act therefore know the cause of disobedience so you will know the level of discipline.
A child’s oversight (spilt the milk) is a misdemeanor, but rebellion (they took the cookie after being told “NO”) is a felony, discipline according to the act.
c) Be clear. Explain, explain twice, three times, the child must understand. REMEMBER the child isn’t bad, their actions are.
d) Be Compassionate. One mistake does not a child make.

1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)
Talking about love 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

     e) Be Close. The child needs time, your time, before during and after discipline. 
     Children speak the language of presence, presence matters to a child.

Here is God’s Promise to parents

Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
6 Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Can I mention 2 other things. One of these that has caused more problems with children, especially teenagers. Let’s read a verse from the Bible on this area:

Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

You can exasperate your children with so many rules they can’t move or hardly breath, my recommendation to you is have few rules and stick to them. You’ll exasperate your children if they can’t do anything right, if there is always another rule.

And the 2nd thing about parenting and children –talk to your children about God a lot. You are the primary source of God to them, not the Church, or Kid’s Club.

Deuteronomy 11:19 (NIV)
19 Teach them (God’s law and precepts) to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Children follow you parent, wherever you go, whatever you do, they follow you

So be the best example parent you can. Pray for your children.