Exhortations and Warnings for Youth (Part 3)

IX. Fathers! It is your solemn duty to provide leadership conducive to your children reaching the maturity herein described (EPH 6:4). Consider (again) some salient points about effective fathering and leadership. A. The Biblical ideal for effective fathering and wholesome family life is DEU 6:4-9. 1. Normal life is to be saturated with the plan, presence and love of God. 2. Life at home should be so appealing that all else is eclipsed by comparison. 3. This exhortation was timely in view of what would be encountered in Canaan: a. Affluence. DEU 8:6-18. b. Competitive religions. DEU 12:1-3, 29-31. c. Seductive women. DEU 7:3-4. d. Alternate commandment-free lifestyles. LEV 18. 4. Our society is a modern day counterpart to old Canaan. 5. God's preparatory directives for Israel are as relevant today as then. 6. Fathers: Prepare your children against their impending entrance to Canaan! B. The effective father will lead children to maturity first of all by example. 1. You want to teach a child diligence. Does your work ethic agree with what you want the child to embrace? 2. You want the child to prioritize spiritual things. MAT 6:33. a. Is your day so overwhelmed with work and the cares of life that Scripture is choked out? LUK 8:14. b. Does your child have any doubts that prayer is a vital part of your life? c. Does your reverence for and attendance to God's house leave the child with the impression that you value it very highly? d. Do you take your pastor's instructions and counsel seriously? If not, why should you expect your children to give serious attention to the same (or to your own instruction and counsel)? e. Do you responsibly support the minister God gave you? Don't fool yourself on this one: children will “sniff out” a parent's attitude in this regard. Exhortations and Warnings for Youth 12-29-13 Page 5 3. You want the child to learn patience. Are you patient with others? with your child? Are you patient in the matter of acquisitions or are you impulsive? 4. You want the child to learn thrift. Do you eschew debt? Do you throw away money on vanities? 5. You want the child to learn endurance. Do you just quit that household or yard task at the first hint of sweat or fatigue? 6. You want the child to learn responsibility. Do you try to “pass the buck” on things for which you are responsible: duties, errors, security, etc.? 7. You want the child to learn prudence and circumspection. Do you take stock of what's around you and what's on the horizon and adjust accordingly? 8. You want the child to learn to handle frustration and disappointment with dignity and grace. Do you “lose it” when a planned outing is cancelled or if something breaks down or if you see someone driving foolishly? 9. You want the child to learn that life is not defined by material acquisitions. LUK 12:15. a. Do you have any room left in your garage or closet? b. Do you smother the child with stuff as if you think by that to buy the child's affection or obedience? c. It is much more important to give children something to live for rather than things to live with. d. You don't want the child to think that the world revolves around them. 10. You want your children to abstain from fornication and develop godly desires for the opposite sex. a. b. c. d. 11. In a. What are they learning from the things they see you reading or watching? Is your son learning that women are nothing more than sex objects? Is your daughter learning that she has to act and dress like a harlot to get a man? When was the last time you meditated on MAL 2:15? short, you want the child to learn good values. Values are taught through lifestyles, preferences and priorities---not just words. A bad example of values in fathering would be Lot. GEN 19:8, 14, 30-36. b. C. The effective father will also lead through verbal communication. 1. Words may build or destroy. PRO 18:21. 2. Fathers are to be managers initiating productivity and creativity. Instruction should be: a. clear. Is the instruction expressed as a wish or a command? As a child develops positive patterns, less instruction should be needed. b. well-defined and within the child's comprehension and ability to perform. Mind that not every child develops these traits at the same age. c. certain. Do not train your child to respond only to increased volume of command. Delayed obedience should be considered disobedience. 3. Responsible leaders will check for results. LUK 19:15; 2CO 9:2-3. D. The effective father will use action more than words to get proper action out of children. 1. That which drives foolishness from children is the rod (PRO 22:15; 23:13), not the screams or shouts. 2. Your rebukes and chastisements should be directed at correcting the child for his good. Exhortations and Warnings for Youth 12-29-13 Page 6 3. Discipline should not be merely a temper tantrum because of fatigue, pent-up frustrations, irritability or your own irresponsibility. E. The effective father will take advantage of opportunities to have a child assist in responsibility. Don't always do things for the child just to get them out of the way. F. The effective father will be approachable. Turning away children who want to communicate when they are small will lead to breach of communication when they are older. G. The effective father will not perpetuate his own errors of youth! 1. Fathers, were you ever led astray by unnecessary exposure to television? 2. Fathers, if you had had easy and ungoverned access to the internet in your youth, what would you have been doing? 3. “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1CO 15:33). H. There are costs to effective fathering. 1. Evaluate children in a long-term perspective. It is easy to reckon other demands of time more important when children are small. 2. The rich young ruler would not make needed adjustments in his lifestyle. MAR 10:13-27. 3. Personal freedoms such as leisure time, habits, words and phrases and evaluations made in the presence of children may have to go. 4. Because of a lack of time due to numerous involvements, a father may handle problems in the home with haste and force when patience and understanding would prove more effective. 5. Effective fathers must have a definition of success different from that of the world. Submission to God's claims relative to fatherhood may be painful and costly. I. Fathers, remember Abraham who was praised as a commander of his household. GEN 18:19. 1. command: To order, enjoin, bid with authority or influence. 2. Clearly, the godly father does not let wife or children take the helm. 3. Mind that commanding includes bidding with influence. a. influence: (v) To affect the mind or action of; to move or induce by influence. b. influence: (n) The capacity or faculty of producing effects by insensible means, without the employment of material force, or the exercise of formal authority; ascendancy of a person or social group; moral power over or with a person; ascendancy, sway, control, or authority, not formally or overtly expressed. c. How a father lives, acts, reacts, speaks, considers, decides, steers, etc. are powerful influences to youth. 4. In view of the above, a wise commander will not overdrive the flock. GEN 33:13. a. Excessive burdens cause futility and rebellion. 1KI 12:14-16. b. A wise commander will consider the interests of those he commands. 1SAM 25:32-33; 1CH 13:1-4. J. Fathers, ever point your children to, and remind them of, your Father in heaven. 1CH 28:9. 1. Show them your love of, and trust in God. Praise Him for His goodness, mercy, helps, deliverances and chastening. 2. Tell your children of the hope you have in God and how His promises are what you cling to in the midst of a difficult, perverse and corrupting world. Exhortations and Warnings for Youth 12-29-13 Page 7 3. Tell them about God's longsuffering and forbearance with sinners and that he is willing to forgive, being full of mercy. PSA 86:5; MIC 7:18; 1TI 1:15-16. a. Make sure they know that God considers the broken nature of man and is pitiful. PSA103:13-14. b. Remember how God has been longsuffering and forbearing with you; do likewise with your children. 4. Hold fast to the doctrine you have learned and encourage them to do likewise. Warn them about the implications and consequences of false doctrine. 5. Present Jesus Christ to them as the answer to all life's problems and the Judge of all things. Make sure they know that by folly they will escape His blessings but they will not escape His scrutiny or His judgments. X. Mothers! You play a vital role in the training of children towards godly maturity. A. Children are to obey their parentS. EPH 6:1; LUK 2:51. 1. The law of the mother is not to be forsaken. PRO 6:20. 2. law: A rule of conduct imposed by authority. 3. The godly mother will therefore exercise authority over her brood by law and enforcement of law. 4. The godly mother will not let the children rule the house or ruin themselves in her husband's absence. B. The mother is to guide (conduct the affairs of, manage) the house. 1TI 5:14. C. She is to be a teacher and a keeper at home. TIT 2:3-5. 1. keeper: One who has charge, care, or oversight of any person or thing; a guardian, warden, custodian. 2. She therefore has a great sphere of influence for good or bad. 2CH 22:1-3. D. There can be no doubt that the mother is generally the parent to whose rule, morals and example the children are most exposed. Therefore, mothers, consider your ways. 1. Your teaching by word and example will have a profound influence upon children. a. Do they know you to have regular prayer time or Bible reading? Do you prioritize God's house? Do you magnify or diminish the pastor's leadership in their presence? b. Do they hear from you wisdom and kindness or silliness and gossip? PRO 31:26. c. What kind of work ethic do they see in you? PRO 31:27. d. Do they see you honoring and reverencing your husband's person and leadership while he is there and while he is out? e. Do you want them to learn from your example that the only rule to submit to is flawless rule? 1PE 3:1. f. Do you view your children as your allies against your husband? g. Is it obvious to them that they mean more to you than your husband? h. Do you view your children as your personal pets or dolls, or as arrows to be sharpened and feathered for your husband's quiver? PSA 127:3-5. i. Do you give them the impression that maternal and domestic life is a good thing? j. Do you cave to their demands when you know you shouldn't because you can't bear the thought of them not loving you? 2. Mothers with daughters, what is your long-term goal for them? Does it accord with what Paul set forth in TIT 2:4-5? Exhortations and Warnings for Youth 12-29-13 Page 8  3. Mothers with sons, what is your long-term goal for them? a. Do you want to stifle their masculinity or encourage it? Do you want them to be men or feminized metro-sexuals? b. Do you want them to see that having a wife is a good thing for a man? What message are you giving them in this area? XI. Parents, take heed! A. In your guidance and influence of your children, steer them towards good choices in mates, careers, entertainments, etc. Deep down, most every child is looking for guidance. 1. You don't need to mandate every choice they make as long as they live under your roof, for then they would never actually be making a choice. And remember: maturity is about learning to make wise choices! 2. Gauge the options available to them according to their age and maturity. As a child shows increasing reliability in making sound choices, increase the range of options within a sphere with which you are comfortable. B. You need to restrict your children's association with youth who are bad influences. 1. Companions of fools will be destroyed. PRO 13:20. 2. Do not assume that just because you are in a Christian-school or a home-schooling organization that everybody shares your family and moral values. I know otherwise! 3. Solomon pointedly warned his son about associating with the wrong crowd. PRO 1:10-16; 4:14-17. C. There may have to be separation from youth who will not be controlled. 1. Moses' law had a very hard outlook on rebellious offspring. DEU 21:18-21. a. Mind that this was a law that was fulfilled by love. ROM 13:9-10. b. Love is defined in 1JO 5:3. 2. The child that habitually rejects parental instruction and rebuke is a scorner that needs to be cast out. PRO 13:1 c/w PRO 22:10. 3. It is ungodly to responsibly subsidize rebellion and ungodliness. a. No one has the right to condemn the civil government for subsidizing ungodliness with welfare programs when he does the same in the home. b. True love does not support injustice. PHIL 1:9-10; 1CO 13:6. Exhortations and Warnings for Youth 12-29-13 Page 9
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