Clay Center, Kansas – Isaac and Rebecca were an elderly couple with two sons. As Isaac was nearing death, he wanted to impart a spiritual blessing to his eldest son, Esau. Rebecca hearing of this, desperately wanted Jacob, her youngest son, to receive the blessing instead. She conspired with Jacob to deceive her husband and steal the blessing from her eldest son. The Bible shares about this ancient story, “So [Jacob] went into his father and said, ‘My father.’ And [Isaac] said, ‘Here I am. Who are you, my son?’ Jacob said to his father, ‘I am Esau your first-born.’” (Genesis 27:18-19) As the story unfolds, Jacob told lie after lie to his father, with ample opportunities to realize the wrong he was doing and stop. He was a grown man, who was responsible for his actions, but also influenced to do wrong by his mother. Jacob was clearly disobedient and dishonoring to his father, but later when Isaac learned about his son’s disobedience, he did nothing. The way Jacob was permitted to treat his father, is the way he lived many years of his life, until he eventually humbled himself before God and was changed.
The Bible says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1) The story illustrates the need for this command from God. For when it is not followed, it always is a set up for disaster in the home and for the future of the child.
The Creator knows the heart of people and the society in which they live. Each person is born in sin, with an instinctive propensity to rebel against God and other forms of authority, beginning with their own parents. As children develop, this becomes more and more evident. Complicating this, each child is also raised with parents who are the same way, and is part of a larger society that is also the same. The Bible predicts that in the time before Jesus returns people throughout the world will be “proud, arrogant, abusive [and] disobedient to their parents . . .” (1 Timothy 3:2).
God knows the task of raising obedient children is a long, winding and uphill road. Because it often seems nearly impossible, it can bring parents to feel like giving up and letting the kids have their way. Therefore, God gives a plan to help parents succeed with practical guidance saying, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4) 1. Dads should lead in the spiritual instruction of the children. In the case, where a dad refuses, is absent or has died, this is the mother’s role. God is clear on this, parents are in charge of the home, not the children. 2. Do not stir up your kids to anger. When parents ignore, threaten, yell, curse or hit their kids to get them to obey it only serves a ball of fire to them, which will be hit back with great force in the moment or in the future. 3. Raise your children on God’s Word. The Bible is a parent’s curriculum for spiritual instruction. Help your children to read it, memorize it, study it, pray it, learn it and ultimately; do what it says. If you feel inadequate, admit it and walk together with your children on this. The Bible has an answer for every problem your child will face, continually point them to it. 4. A divine promise to children who persevere to the end. God states, “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (Eph. 6:3) This ancient Hebrew expression communicates the promise of God’s continual presence, provision and power to children who walk faithfully with the Lord God through trusting in His glorious Son.
A prayer for you – “Lord God, help parents to know whatever obstacle they face in teaching their children to obey, you can overcome. Persuade them to teach their children the Bible day-by-day, and fill parents with all manner of love and humility for this work. May families walk according to your conditions to have your promise poured out on them in great measure. In Jesus name. Amen.”
Clint Decker is President of Great Awakenings. Please share your comment with Clint at email@example.com and follow his blog at clintdecker.blogspot.com.
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