Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Joyful Home-Part 3

I think a basic question that needs answered is, “Why is this man qualified to tell me how to raise my kids?” The answer to that could be short and smart aleck. Because I am a pastor and can deliver God’s Word to you about how to do this. If the Bible says it and I say what the Bible says then you are all obligated to follow. In one sense this is true and we all ought to be willing to hear the Bible and wisdom from whatever quarter it comes from. We ought to be able to learn from godly wise men and we ought to be able to learn from the foolish.

Solomon, himself, uses this tack. He teaches his son from a storehouse of wisdom, through many victories and many failures. He also asks his son to come over and look out the window at a young man being seduced by an adulteress. He wants his son to see the fool being led to his doom. So, even fools can teach wisdom to a wise man. To him who has, even more will be given.
I am not asserting a bald truth kind of authority here. I do intend to teach biblical principles and to show them applied in the world in which we live. But my qualification is more than words, even bible words, or books or knowledge or simply being right. I need to have those qualifications but if I have those and I do not have this other qualification, then I would not expect you to have much confidence in the things that I am going to say.

So, what is this other basic qualification? If it is not intrinsic or learned knowledge, bible beating, formulated God-speak, ordination magic, or anything else of that nature, then what is it?

Well, quite simply said, it is my children.

“Now that’s an arrogant thing to say! Another one of those perfect kid maniacs telling everyone else how to do it.”

Well, I hope not. I have read enough of the paint by numbers child trainging sorts of books and seen enough train wrecks of lives from that methodology, that this is manifestly NOT what I am presenting here.

I do want to give you biblical principles. I do want to hold out hope to you. I do want to proclaim the promises of God in Christ for you and your children. All of this while robustly affirming the nature of our Triune God. He is One in Three. This nature of God is the foundation for every form of diversity in the body of Christ. We are all different. Our families are different. Parents have very different backgrounds. Number of children, gender make-up of the children, church and historical background, and a thousand other variables give us a wonderful tapestry of families in the church. They should all be woven together into a glorious picture of faithfulness in God’s promises. It will look very different from family to family. But what ought to be evident in all of these very different Christian families is love, respect, honor, obedience, cheerfulness and service.

I will give you some very practical ‘how tos’ but that always makes me a bit nervous. Whenever the teaching gets too method oriented, the tendency is to latch on to the method as the principle. I don’t want this to happen. We lose the sense of diversity, or the Triune nature of God and end up insisting on training and education having to be done a particular way. That is a grave and costly mistake. It is one that invariably sucks the love and life out of the process. The parents are frustrated and the children end up despising the things that they should love. And that is our real goal in training and educating our children; to get them to love the things that we love, particularly our God and our neighbor.

No comments: