The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 1:8-19 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head And ornaments about your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause; Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit; We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil; Throw in your lot with us, We shall all have one purse,” My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, For their feet run to evil And they hasten to shed blood. Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net In the sight of any bird; But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; It takes away the life of its possessors.
Parents, the duty, responsibility, and charge laid at your feet from the Word of God is that you, and you alone, are responsible for the education, discipline, and training of your children. Fathers, as the head of your households, the buck stops with you. Not the state. Not your wife. Not some well intentioned youth pastor or Sunday school teacher. A quick look at Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Ephesians 6:4 reveals to us the foundation of our instruction towards our children: the Word of God. Men, we are often lazy and find it simpler to outsource the training of our children to others, allowing the pursuit of stuff, ease, entertainment, and status in life be the legacy we leave behind, rather than a quiver full of sharpened arrows. Women, your desire to rule over your husband (Gen 3:16, Isaiah 3:12) often leads to the children suffering, being trained in the ways of the world by hirelings who have little concern for your children's souls. Children, the first verse of our passage today highlights two temptations which you will be prone to entertain: 1) Not hearing your father’s instruction, and 2) forsaking your mother’s teaching.
We talk much about biblical manhood and womanhood here at Sovereign King Church, and there are many reasons for this. Whether in our workplace, doing street evangelism, on the TV, or in our own homes, we recognize that the distinctions between man and woman, father and mother, boy and girl, are foundational issues which our enemies found in the world, our own flesh, and satan himself, seek to not only blur, but rather tear down and do away with. We recognize the importance of faithful men and women of God training their children in the fear and instruction of the Lord. Far too often we encounter young men and women who have been trained by sesame street that they can be whatever they want, do whatever they want, “love” whoever they want, and have not been taught the ramifications of this thinking in light of a Holy, Just God Who says “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it”. This narrow gate found only in the Word of God must serve as the foundation upon which your child is trained and educated.
So fathers, what is a practical way you can begin instructing your children today? Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13). This means men, that you must lead your home. You must be aware of the pitfalls that your children face. Your teaching of them must be grounded in the Word of God. Do not teach your children a version of manhood which places the duty of protecting, providing, and working hard with your hands upon the shoulders of your wife.. Teach your sons the value of work. Whatever God gives you to do, do it mightily unto the Lord and let your son see it, and participate in it as much as possible. Make war with your sin, and teach this to your children. Teach your sons how to love their wives the way Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her. You can do this by being willing to swallow your pride and make tough, unpopular decisions meant for the good of your home, decisions which may rail against your own desires and flesh.
Mothers, the world is full of hard women. Just a few days ago the Pastor and I were speaking hard truths to two female deathscorts at the abortion mill. These women had chopped of their hair, were covered in tattoos, and sought to look tough. What they wound up looking like were cheap imitations of sailors and construction workers. They had a hardness to them that definitely distorted their femininity. However, the manliness they sought to convey was nothing more than a pathetic caricature of male masculinity. Mothers, teach your children that women are soft, that women are the weaker vessel, that submission to headship is a beautiful, God honoring quality. Teach them with your gentle and quiet spirit. Mothers, your sons and daughters will have their relationship with the opposite sex greatly impacted by how you relate to your husband and manage your home. Do not fall into the trap of believing that you as a woman have nothing to teach your children. Show them what a godly wife and mother looks like.
Children, these instructions and teachings from your father and mother “are a graceful wreath to your head And ornaments about your neck”. Albert Barnes said “To the Israelites mind no signs or badges of joy or glory were higher in worth than the garland around the head, the gold chain around the neck, worn by kings and the favorites of kings”.
Brothers and sisters, the instructions of fathers and teachings of mothers toward their children are signs of God’s love and grace towards us, and of your love for your children. They are treasures to be cherished. Scripture teaches us “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. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”Hebrews 12:5-11 NASB
Fathers and mothers, to fail in your duty to train your child in the fear and instruction of the Lord, leaves your child as illegitimate children with no father or mother. This is not how our heavenly Father deals with us as His sons and daughters. We must repent of this. If you are able, at this time let us kneel together and ask God for grace, mercy, and the forgiveness of sins.
Heavenly Father, we come before you this Lord’s Day, with hearts that are frequently full of pride. We often believe we can flip Your created order upside down and still enjoy the benefits of Your blessings. We as men and women believe that we can shirk our responsibilities as fathers and mothers, live a life contrary to Your best for us, and our homes will still thrive. Father, we are very weak in this area. We are susceptible to trusting in our weak arm of flesh rather than in Your might. We are frequently led along by our circumstances and appetites, rather than by Your Word and Spirit. Father, far too often we say we love our children, yet fail to teach them as we ought. Far too often our children feign obedience, while despising our teachings from Your Word. Please be merciful towards us Father. Please forgive us for our hearts of rebellion. Please forgive us for when we throw off duty and despise Your teachings. Please help us to be faithful men, women, boys and girls in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Colossians 1:13-14 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!