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LAYING FOUNDATIONS FOR A SPIRITUALLY SUCCESSFUL FAMILY LIFE (Ex. 2:1-10: Gen.12:1-8)
by Dr. Fred Wittman
II.C. Beholding Family Roles
Introduction: The mother of Charles and John Wesley was a God-fearing young woman of seventeen children. She set some excellent principles for child-rearing. John recorded them in his journal. When they turned one year old (some before that), they were taught to fear the rod and to cry softly. By so doing they escaped abundance of correction which they otherwise might have received. Most odious noise of the crying children was rarely heard in the house. The family usually lived in as much quietness as if there was not a child among them. In order to form the minds of children, the first thing to be done is to conquer the will, and bring them to an obedient temper. To inform the understanding is a work which takes time. With children it must progress by slow degrees as they are able to bear it. However subjecting the will is an absolutely necessary thing to “be done at once, and the sooner the better.” Because by neglecting timely correction they will contract a stubbornness and obstinacy which is very rarely conquered. “Whenever a child is corrected that one must be conquered; and this will be no hard matter to do, if it be not grown headstrong by too much indulgence. . . . I cannot yet dismiss this subject. Self-will is the root of all sin and misery.” So in whatever child this is cherished after-wretchedness is insured; whatever checks and mortifies this it insures the child’s future happiness.
The Children’s Essential Role
1. Heritage of The LORD (Gen. 33:5; Ps. 127:3)
God has given us our children not as our possession, but as an heritage, a precious inheritance of which we are required to care for, protect, preserve for a future generation, and leave behind as a remembrance of The God and His goodness.
2. Obedience (Eph. 6:1; Col. 3:20)
a. Disobedience - is displayed in three degrees:
(1) Incomplete Obedience (1 Sam. 15:19,20);
(2) Delayed Obedience (2 Cor. 6:2).
(3) Willful Disobedience - this is the most blatant kind of disobedience. It is often called rebellion. Samuel likened it to witchcraft, iniquity, and idolatry as well as rebellion (1 Sam. 15:22,23 cf. Deut. 18:10-12; Ex. 22:18; Heb. 10:26,27);
b. Obedience is threefold:
(1) Immediate Obedience - prompt, undelayed (Gal. 1:15-17);
(2) Implicit Obedience - precise, unquestioning (Josh. 22:2,3);
(3) Importunate Obedience - persistent, uninterrupted, continuous (Phil. 2:12; Rom. 6:16; Eph. 6:1-3).
3. Mirror (Reflection) of our disposition and behavior before The God.
Children imitate what they see in and hear from their parents. Observe your children well, carefully, objectively. How do they obey? How do you obey The God and His Word? Are your children reflecting as in a mirror their parents obedience or disobedience to The God?
4. Arrows (Ps.127:4)
a. For Protection;
b. For Assistance in the Battle of Life;
c. For Motivation;
d. For Provision in Old Age.
5. Honor (Prov. 17:6; Ex.20:12; Eph. 6:2,3).
6. Propagation (Joel 1:3; Ps.132:12).
Review the six points above. Emphasize obedience. You can ignore the challenge of The God’s Word to make a total commitment to The Lord Jesus Christ and obey all that God has said, or refuse it, or act upon it NOW.
To delay or procrastinate is rejection and disobedience in the sight of The God. Children, what choice will you make NOW in regard to obedience to The God’s Word and to your parents? Parents what choice will you make in regard to obedience to your parents and to The God’s Word?
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