Homes, Parents, Children, Love For God
And The Value Of Common Sense
There is a great deal of mutual responsibility in a family. Parents are responsible to provide for the welfare of their children. They are to care for their physical and their spiritual needs. Parents must provide unconditional love for their children. Children must respond with loving respect for their parents. By inspiration of God Paul wrote, "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (1Timothy 5:8)
Through the influence and example of parents children are taught values and attitudes that have an effect on their entire earthly life and also on their eternity. Children must then respond to their parents in loving respect and obedience. Solomon wrote, "My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother." (Proverbs 1:8) Children must understand how much their parents have loved and sacrificed for their sake. Love, gratitude and respect are the defining attitudes that determine a child's reactions to their parents. A child grows under the loving care of his parents. Common sense would tell us that children have great responsibility to parents.
Children's Responsibility to their Parents: The New Testament provides some simple, sober and serious statements concerning the responsibility of children toward their parents. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." (Ephesians 6:1-3) Key words to remember are "Obey" and "Honor." The teaching of obedience and honor for parents is not just for small children. There is no time limit on these commandments. You are not free from these simple commands though you may be married, have your own family and even be older yourself.
As we speak of love and responsibility of children toward parents we are thinking of the attitude and respect that must be displayed toward parents. The goal of the parent should be to help the child grow into a decent person that is prepared to be a responsible citizen and a servant in God's kingdom. The training of the child, the honor and obedience to parents and the life lessons learned have an effect on generations yet unborn. In Psalm seventy-eight Asaph wrote this profound truth, "Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God." (Psalm 78:1-8).
Love for God and common sense says children must be willing to respect the teachings and instructions of their parents. "My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother." (Proverbs 1:8) Children who do not listen to their parents bring misery to themselves and to their parents.
Love for God and common sense says children must be willing to resist the company of sinners. "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not." (Proverbs 1:10) It is still true -- "evil companions corrupt good morals." (1 Corinthians 15:33)
Love for God and common sense says children must be willing to refuse wine and strong drink." "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." (Proverbs 20:1) Alcohol and other drugs are working havoc among our young. Let all refuse that which destroys internally, externally and eternally.
Love for God and common sense says children must be willing to not fear men. "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe." (Proverbs 29:25) This is that thing that we call peer pressure.
Love for God and common sense says children must be willing to attend the assemblies of the church. Attendance at the assemblies is a matter of conscience because God commanded it. The Hebrew writer shows that Christians should never be guilty of willfully forsaking the assembly. Conscience would not allow this! "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching..." (Hebrews 10:24-31)
Love for God and common sense says children must be willing to avoid the works of darkness. Christians are to "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light." (Ephesians 5:11-13) Children must not practice, condone or defend works of darkness. They must actively oppose those evil things. This is done through reproof of those things, avoiding involvement in them, refusing to consider their practice and taking no pleasure in the doing of them. Children must cause God's light to shine because the light makes manifest (known) works of darkness. Wickedness will be a grief to your parents. Wickedness profits nothing!
Love for God and common sense says children must be willing to accept the theme of the Bible. Man has a sin problem. "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2) God formed a plan to save man through the sacrifice of Jesus as Savior. The theme of the Bible is salvation through Jesus. There is salvation in no other. (Acts 4:12)
Love for God and common sense says children must be willing to be strand strong for the church. Jesus promised to build His church, and did build His one church. "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18) The saved are added to Christ's church. (Acts 2:47) The gospel of Christ produces the one body or church of Christ. (Ephesians 4:4) If children know the scriptures they will be content to be united in God's one family, the church.
Love for God and common sense says children must be willing to accept baptism as essential to salvation. Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16) Denominations teach, "He that believeth is saved and is then baptized to join the church." The Bible teaches that baptism is the final step in becoming a Christian. "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:27)
Love for God and common sense says children must be willing to honor their parents. Before itís too late send your parents a letter to thank them for the sacrifices they made for you. Before itís too late show your respect by spending time with them. Before its too late honor your parents by expressing in words your love and appreciation for them. Before itís too late be kind to your parents and see that all their needs are met!
Some final thoughts as parents and children prepare for eternity: Parents are taught, "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." (Deuteronomy 6:5-7) Children are taught, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." (Ephesians 6:1-3)
Those parents and children that appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus must believe in Him (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 2:38), Confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized into Christ for salvation. (Romans 6:3-4) Do you, as a parent or a child, really want to be saved? Do you really want to go to heaven? Do you want to be an honor to God? If so, ďArise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.Ē (Acts 22:16) Salvation is within your grasp. Do you really want to have eternal life? Do you really want the life that is in Christ Jesus? Tragic as it is may be many still remain in that state of sin and death that was brought into the world by Adam. Please obey God and have life through Christ before it is too late. Gather your family around you and say, "Let's go to heaven together." Then do what is necessary to do it!
By Charles Box, Walnuts Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA