Know Your Bible

VOL. 13                                                                                                                         August 17, 2014                                                                                                                            NO. 24



THE TEXT:  "And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger;

                         but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of

                         the Lord."

THE STATE is not in Eph. 6:4. Educational institutions cannot be counted on, especially for moral teaching.  In fact, you had better be watchful because some schools may even promote the exact opposite of your values.  Your child might be encouraged to reject God as the Creator, reject the counsel of Scripture and explore their sexuality, even to the extent of homosexual conduct. Keeping a pulse on your child's education is more important now than ever.

THE LOCAL CHURCH is not in Eph. 6:4.  As important as local churches can be in assisting parents in the great responsibility, God never instructed a group of Christians to raise my children to know the Lord. He instead charges every father with that responsibility.

     An institutional mindset about the church and her Bible classes is very easily developed.  We may squawk, and rightfully so, at liberal churches usurping the parental role of providing entertainment for our children. On the other hand, if we depend completely on the local church to instruct our children in the Lord's way, have we not abdicated the responsibility God gave to us to "the institution?"

How many examples could be cited of children who sat in Bible classes Sunday after Sunday and Wednesday after Wednesday who no longer serve the Lord? And of those examples, what percentage do you suppose received very little teaching in the home?How many of them heard very little positive being said about the brethren or about serving them? How many prayers were prayed besides at mealtimes, if even then?

Bible classes should merely supplement the greater, daily, life-consistent, short-term work of parents in the home.  Yes, it is short-term work.  Eighteen years fly by seemingly in a moment. That means training children is an urgent work. The greatest spiritual influence is not the quality of their Bible classes or the talents of those who teach them, but the example and behavior of parents. The local church is no substitute for " shall teach them (God's word, His desires) diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up" (Deut. 6:7).

MOM is not in Eph. 6:4. Certainly, Mom can be an invaluable asset in rearing children to know the Lord. Timothy's mother and grandmother serve as a great example (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14-17). If the father does not fulfill his God-given responsibility, then a mother who cares about the souls of her children must shoulder the responsibility.  But our passage calls for leadership from the husband and father!  He may employ the assistance of his helper, his godly wife, but the responsibility is still his nonetheless.

Does a perception exist that Bible study is not manly? Do some think "That's woman's work"? The example of Jesus, the ultimate Man, dispels such a notion. Fathers, step up to the plate! Read the Bible with and to your kids. Present its treasures to them as just that...a treasure-trove full of wisdom. Speak specifically of application. Warn them of potential dangers. Explain your trust in and love for God. Pray with them. Teach them to pray. Display contentment. Do not murmur. Rejoice. Paint a clear portrait of real manhood and womanhood (a Biblical definition). Show them a loving, honoring, self-sacrificing relationship between husband and wife.

Let them know that what you want for them more than anything, and I do mean anything, is for them to become Christians and to go to heaven when they die. Once they have obeyed the gospel of the Lord Jesus, further admonish them to live obediently, genuinely as Christians and to be an upstanding example for others to imitate.

What is the focus of your home? Dare you ask your children for the answer to that question! You might want to think about doing so for the sake of their souls' salvation and your own. These most precious souls need instruction in the good and right way before it is too late (cf. 1 Sam. 12:23).    

—Tony Amuck

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All godly parents are concerned about bringing up their children to be good, God-fearing people. In fact, we are commanded to do so (Ephesians 6:4).

There are lots of negative influences in the world that make this an increasingly difficult job. We worry about the impact of the schools, peer pressure, wickedness in the media, etc. In the face of all these forces that seek to ruin our kids, how can we succeed in teaching and training them to do what is right?

While there are many Scriptural principles that might be mentioned here, we want to emphasize just one — consistency. A key in bringing up faithful children is to be consistent.

An obvious area where this consistency needs to be seen is in attendance at the assemblies. If you allow your kids to miss the worship services in order to be at a ball game, you are teaching them that the ball game is more important than the Lord. If you let them skip the assemblies for school functions, band trips, dramas or plays,  or to go camping, fishing or hunting, in all of these ways you are demonstrating that there are things that are more important than God. If you fail to worship when you are traveling or on vacation, you are showing them that serving God is something you do only when it is convenient. If you let them take part-time jobs that interfere with their attendance, you are giving them a clear sign that work and career considerations are higher in priority than spiritual things.

Many parents who are violating the principles stated above will scoff at these warnings. Yet the personal experiences of many people, as well as the plain teachings of God’s Word indicate that this is the truth. Joshua had it right when he said, "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). There would be no compromise in his family. He would LEAD them in a consistent, faithful path. Let's imitate his example of consistency!

——Greg Gwin

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Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

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