Show and Tell

February 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Biblical Parenting, Common Expressions | 5 Comments
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Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

Deuteronomy 32:7 (emphasis added)

You probably remember from your kindergarten or elementary school years the day when your teacher would have you bring your baseball glove or your bottle cap collection or your talking dolly to class with you, so you could stand up in front of the other students and give a little oral report about this special item. We called it “Show (KJV: Shew) and Tell Day.”

In Deuteronomy 32 we have the song of Moses, and it’s like he’s telling God’s people that there are some things that your parents will show you, but there are other things that your grandparents will have to tell you about.

Moses admonished the people after they had been lead from captivity, and he warned them not to turn away from God. Likewise, we need to remind ourselves of both the great things God has done for us in the recent past, and the things He has done in for us in the “old days.” We have a responsibility to teach our children and our grandchildren about the Lord and His ways. I’m not necessarily opposed to children’s lessons in church, nor am I against finding a good Christian book on child-rearing. But, no matter how hard I try, I’m really going to have to depend on the same Person I’ve depended on throughout my whole career as a parent so far – the Holy Spirit. If I am willing to take my Bible and diligently attempt to instruct my children from it, He has promised to help me.

What to Buy for Your Kids

July 23, 2009 at 9:49 am | Posted in Biblical Parenting | 9 Comments
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The Bible tells us of three things that parents should be for their children:

Be an enforcer.
Be an encourager.
Be an example.

It also tells us three things that parents should do for their children:

Pray for them.
Play with them.
Pay attention to them.

Now, let’s conclude by looking at what parents should buy for their children.

We are not talking about material things, although obviously parents should provide certain material things for their children. We are not even talking about things like paying medical bills, or paying for their education. Those things are good, and I understand that parents want to give their children all the things they didn’t have when they were growing up. But “thou shalt give thy children all the things that thou didst not have” is not a command from Scripture. In fact, the things that your children don’t have – the things that aren’t given to them – the things they have to work for themselves – may just be the very things that God uses to make them the kind of men or women God wants them to be.

The Bible tells us what parents should buy for their children – and what parents should teach children to buy for themselves.

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Proverbs 23:23

Now, I know that “the truth” is not really for sale, but what the proverb means is that there are some things worth sacrificing for in this life, and the truth is one of them. I can spend my time as a parent investing in worldly or material things, and my children will learn to do the same. Or, I can invest in eternal things, and “buy” for my children something much more valuable. “Buy the truth and sell it not.”

As one preacher warns, “Do not sacrifice the eternal on the altar of the immediate.” Good works done for Christ will last. Everything else is vanity, and will not last.

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Proverbs 23:23

From where does wisdom come? It comes from the Lord. Instruction is the obtaining of wisdom, and the application of truth. Understanding comes from knowing God and His Word. These things are so valuable that they are invaluable. They are worth too much to be traded for anything.

When we see a Bible verse like Proverbs 23:23, we can do one of two things. One thing will bring great blessings, and the other thing will bring a great deal of trouble.

We can say, “I know that’s the Bible, and that’s God’s Word, and I see now that what I’m doing is different from what God says. Therefore, I’m wrong, and God is right, and I must change.” This attitude stings, but it brings great blessings.

Or, we can say, “I know that’s what the Bible says, but I’ve got my own way of doing things. Besides, that verse couldn’t be for me because it would be impossible for me to do things differently from the way I’m doing them now. God will just have to understand. My kids are different. My work schedule is an exception. My financial situation is an exception. God will just have to give me a break on this one. I can provide for my kids on my own. They’ll have a place to live, they’ll have nice clothes, something to eat, they’ll be happy.”

By taking this attitude, we cut ourselves off from God’s help.

All parents need to know this about God’s will: God’s will is perfect.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:2

God will never command us to do something, and then make it impossible for us to do it. He will never ordain something for us in His providence, and hold us accountable for it, unless He has made it so that we can handle it.

Parents will give an account before God of what we did with our children, along with (and possibly even before) giving an account for our time, talent, resources, and even our ministries.

Dad: Are you the most faithful person in your household? Are you the one who insists that your family will not miss church unless it’s absolutely necessary? Are you leading the way in Bible study, in prayer, in worship, in personal holiness?

As a father, on the day of accountability, I will not be able to say, “But Lord, I needed to earn more money to give to missions. I needed to spend more time with my friends – I was trying to get them to come to church.”

If “my” children, who are really “His” children, are lonely, needing affection, needing their father, needing somebody to protect them and keep them from going astray, I will answer to God for that.

When I do anything right as a father, I have to admit that the Holy Spirit gets the credit. But if I mess up, that’s on me. The truth is, I will do more right on accident while being led by the Spirit, than I will do on purpose leaning on my own understanding. However, that is not an excuse for me to just sit back, do my own thing, and trust that the Lord will fill in for me when I’m not on the job, leading my family. God is sovereign, but it may well be that, in His sovereignty, He has ordained me to be the means by which He protects and blesses my children.

The last two verses in the Old Testament are Malachi Chapter 4, Verses 5 and 6: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

The next time you’re out in public, take a moment to really look at the kids you see. I know we don’t judge people strictly by their outward appearance, but when you see the wildly spiked, multicolored hair – when you see the bizarre-looking piercings and tatoos – when you truly can’t figure out if some of the kids are boys or girls – see if you do not agree that today the hearts of children are turned away from their fathers like never before. I may be wrong, but I think the devil knows that the great and terrible day of the Lord – the day of the return of Elijah – is getting near. I think he’s doing everything he can to turn children’s hearts away from their parents.

My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

Proverbs 23:26

We must teach our children to keep constant watch on their attitude, actions, and acquaintances.

LIke Father, Like Child

June 8, 2009 at 9:10 am | Posted in Biblical Parenting, Biblical Walking | 10 Comments
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Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

Ephesians 5:1

Have you ever seen a little boy with a toy lawnmower, following closely behind as his father uses the real thing a few steps ahead?

https://swimthedeepend.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/dc787-sany0213.jpg

Or a little girl using a pretend steering wheel in the passenger seat of a car, as her mother drives down the road?

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQtAdqGSXwMmNRWlyyTvTRlxTXGhVZ7TZS81u8AlHDjng33dvglfAtoy steering wheel

It’s just a simple fact of life that children like to imitate their parents.

If you have been brought to repentance and redemption by the sovereign grace of God, then you have a “spiritual Father” that should be even more important to you than an earthly parent is to his or her child. In like manner, you should desire to walk after, and to imitate, your Heavenly Father.

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Ephesians 5:2

God is love (I John 4:8). For a Christian, born into the family of God, and therefore being a partaker of God’s divine nature (II Peter 1:4), to not be loving is to fail to be an imitator or a follower of our Father. It has been well said that, in the New Covenant, love is not something – love is the thing.


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