Family: Beyond Curb Appeal // What God Says To Families
[Campus Pastor Gary Thompson, ECC Jackson Lake Campus]
Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31 NIV)
What God says to children:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-3 NIV)
What God says to parents:
1. Don't exasperate your children.
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children..” (Ephesians 6:4a NIV)
What exasperates or “provokes” children?
- Unclear boundaries
- Unpredictable discipline
- Unbalanced criticism
- Unreasonable demands
- Unspoken expectations
- Undeserved or unresolved anger
2. Discipline your children.
“..instead, bring them up in the training (discipline) and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4 NIV)
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:10, 11 NIV)
When kids are young, we teach by parental-control (keeping em safe.)
When they're older, we teach them self-control (making wise decisions.)
As they leave the house, we hope they have learned to be controlled by God. (Discipline and instruction leads us to an appropriate level of surrendering to authority, both toward human authority and divine authority.)
3. Nurture your children.
Nurture = To create an environment where something can flourish.
- Love is spelled L-E-A-D.
As parents we must model and lead what it looks like to follow Christ. That means we must be ahead of the game. Our kids rarely go beyond where they're lead.
By your example, Are you leading your kids CLOSER to Christ, or further AWAY from Christ?
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— (John 1:12 NIV)
- Love is spelled P-R-A-Y.
As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. (1 Samuel 12:23 NIV)
Are you praying for your kids?
- Love is spelled G-R-O-W.
My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, (Galatians 4:19 NIV)
Doubt is real. Sometimes, just like the disciples, we will doubt and even be weak. But we can help our children grow in their faith when we create an environment where it is SAFE to question and doubt. We walk together on the faith journey..Respectful of one another.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them 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. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. (Deuteronomy 11:18-21 NIV)
4. Show compassion to your children.
It is difficult to grow up as a teenager in this day and age. In our youth, the church was still the center of our communities and lives. It was CLEAR what was right and wrong. But today that is not the truth. The lines of morality are skewed and greyed.
We can show more compassion to our kids.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 NIV)
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; (Psalm 103:13 NIV)
By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. (Hebrews 11:23 NIV)
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6 NIV)
It's never too late. Tell your kids you love them.
Jesus must be the center of our lives.
Can you do one or both of those today?