Welcome To The Jackson Drive Church Of Christ Website!
Listen to the Jackson Drive internet radio station 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Click the play button below to listen. Christians at Jackson Drive is on Mixlr
Schedule Of Services:
Jackson Drive's Address:
May 7, 2017
A Good and Wise Parent
I have noticed through teaching, and you probably have noticed the same thing, that there seems to be a problem with parenting these days. There might have always been, but it is sure easy to see that there must be a problem when we look at the direction so many young people—and society in general—are taking. Bad parenting shows up in bad children. We might like to blame the government; we might like to blame the schools. It all starts with parents. God intended it that way: “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4); “Train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6); “Do not hold back discipline from the child” (Proverbs 23:13). So, what does it take to be a good and wise parent?
The child who is blessed with a good mother knows that she will always have a sympathetic ear for his woes. By nature children thrive on love. A parent has a loving concern. They know each child. They know where each child is every moment. Loving parents are fair and impartial.
Good parents give their children instruction in what is right and wrong. They give their children the benefit of their wisdom and experience. Good instruction fortifies a child.
Sometimes I think we forget what it means to provide. Certainly, we are to provide the needed things for the life of our families: “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1Timothy 5:8). But, at the same time children are to be provided responsibility in the home. They must be provided with certain duties to perform as they grow. Provision does not mean giving a child everything they want—it is giving the child what they need.
Not many people seem to like this word or this concept. Basically, discipline is teaching, but with an eye to needed correction or punishment when needed. While perhaps not admitting it, children crave discipline. The child who is properly disciplined responds to that discipline by being a happy child. The one who is given his way is invariably an unhappy child. The child who receives loving discipline feels secure and content in a natural recognition of parental authority.
Children naturally imitate their parents in many ways—they begin early by responding to a parents facial expressions. As they grow, they might try to wear a parent’s shoes or hat. Children are being taught by what they see and hear and experience. Example—what a responsibility for a parent.
I hope the things noted above can be of help to us all with our own children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews. However, this message is not really about just that. It is a message us to understand our Parent, our unfailing Parent—our eternal Father. You see, all of the above instruction is learned from Him. Until we learn of and respect our Father, what hope could we ever have of being good and wise parents ourselves?
God loves his children. “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are” (1John 3:1). God's love for His children is sympathetic and understanding. He would have us come to Him with all our cares and problems—“casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1Peter 5:7). God's love for His children is enduring. The prodigal's friends may forsake him and leave him in the hog pen; but when he comes to himself and returns home, the Father will be moved with compassion and will receive him joyfully. God's love for His children is a concerned love. Being concerned about the welfare of each child, God does not neglect nor forsake any child a single moment, nor does He pamper and spoil. God's love for His children is fair and impartial. If we can have the same kind of love for our children that God has for His, then our children can grow up in an atmosphere that naturally will help to produce in them the finest personality and the purest, strongest character.
God instructs his children. God has not left His children in the dark in regard to what is right and what is wrong. He has revealed His infinite wisdom. His revealed will, the sacred writings, make His children “wise unto salvation” and furnish them “completely unto every good work” (2Timothy 3:15,17). He gives His children the benefit of His knowledge and experience: “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him” (Proverbs 30:5). His word has been put to the test through the ages, and it has stood. Now if we have absolute confidence in God's word, and bring up our children in His nurture and admonition, we will prove ourselves good and wise parents. We will be fortifying our children to meet any eventuality in life, to overcome any temptation of the devil, to solve any of life's problems as they should be solved.
God provides for his children. God provides some things unconditionally: the sunshine, the rain, life itself; but in a well regulated home each member has his responsibility. So, God expects His children to look after their "chores." His children who pray for their daily bread are not to sit down and wait for the Father to hand them bread from heaven but are to work for the necessities of life. “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either” (2Thessalonians 3:10).
God disciplines his children. When God speaks to His child, He means exactly what He says. He does not follow the course of "Johnny, I'm going to spank you." "Johnny, if you do that one more time, I'm going to spank you." "Johnny, if you do that one more time, I'm going to tell your daddy on you." When God punishes his children, it is always a needed punishment, and always for the good of the children. “And you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.” It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness” (Hebrews 12:5-10).
God sets a perfect example for his children. Moses said concerning God, “The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He” (Deuteronomy 32:4). Jesus said, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
Though God is such a loving and wise Father, His children do not always requite His love, nor do they submit to His righteous will. As parents we can look to God as the perfect example of fatherhood, and as children we can look to Christ as the perfect example of sonship. In recognition and appreciation of the love and wisdom of the Father He said, “not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
S. Scott Richardson Sr.