Scriptural and Diligent Parenting…(1).
Genesis 18:18-19; Deut 4: 3 – 6; 6:6 -10;
Proverbs 19:18; 19:18.
Parenting is the art of bringing up a child by a father or mother or guardian from infancy to adulthood in a family setting. Scriptural and diligent parenting, therefore, is bringing up the child in a hard-working manner and being excellent at it within the confines of Biblical principles. Diligent and scriptural parenting takes time, energy, and wisdom to carry out. This explains why several parents simply provide food, clothing and shelter for their children abandoning the more difficult task of training and development — which require impartation, inculcation and , sometimes, indoctrination of values and virtues and character for the entire life’s journey. Because it’s demanding , very few ,even amongst Christians, succeed at this enterprise.
Indeed, there are so many children whose parents merely brought into the world without commitment to parenting them. Such parents delegate caring, nurturing,
training and development of their children to third parties including nannies and forster parents. This is part of the crises of humanity currently where men and women just bear children, only to abandon them to the elements. Somebody had said that if Hitler’s parents had done the needful, perhaps, the Holocaust would not have occurred. The presence of rebellious children any where indicates failed parenting. Some might argue otherwise. The Bible is our manual on the matter. The way forward depends on its application.
God is always jealous to ensure that children are brought up with His fear in their hearts. He calls children His own heritage and would do anything to protect them. When there is a failure of parenting God will always extract maximum punishment on the offending parties. We see this in the case of Eli the high priest in 1 Samuel 2. The abandonment of children by any parent is an affront to God. It’s unacceptable to Him because it leaves the society dysfunctional.
The command of God regarding children is very clear:
” Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6.
When therefore a child is misbehaving, the position of God in His word is failure in parenting. Most often, the punishment could be dire. Consider the declaration of God on Eli and his children and be guided as a christian parent. You can’t afford to be lax and indifferent in the way your children grow up. You are to train them by teaching them the part of truth, the way of righteousness and the present and eternal consequences of their options. Make them to also benefit from wisdom which begins with the FEAR of God.
1 Samuel 2:11 gives us the background of the sins of Eli’s children: Hophni and Phinehas. ” Now the sons of Eli were the sons of Beliel. They knew not the Lord,*
What was their sin?
They didn’t follow laid down rules in Temple worship and offerings. They were greedy, coveteous, wayward and sexually immoral . They slept with women in the sanctuary, thereby causing the people of God to also sin. (1 Samuel 2:22.)
What was God’s punishment on them,?
In one day, the sons of Eli died in war front. Eli died at hearing the news while Phinehas’ wife gave birth to a pre mature Ichabod because the glory of God had departed from Israel. God also cut off the lineage of Eli from the priesthood in Israel forever and his generation from growing old. They were cursed to be dying in their prime — all because a man allowed his children to dwell in sinful liberty as many of us BELIEVERS are doing to our children today. The calamitous reality of Eli’s judgement is a clear indication that God does not pretend to punish parents who fail to discipline their children. This is particularly so because children are a heritage of the Lord. They must be taught to honor Him and His word and to obey His statues and laws and judgements. As parents, we are only holding the children in trust for God who will require accountability from us on the day of judgement. We can’t afford to fail in this noble assignment.
One may ask: what does God expect of us regarding our children?
God wants us to develop our children as His own battle axe. In Jeremiah 1:5, God told Jeremiah that He anointed him and made him His own battle axe even from his mother’s womb. David was a child when he defeated Goliath in the same way Joseph was when he served in Portipha’s house and interpreted dreams. In Isaiah 8:18, the Bible declares that our children are for signs and wonders in the Land. That prophetic utterance isn’t just for old Israel. It is for us today also. Children who are properly trained and spiritual manifest and demonstrate God’s power in their lives.
The Bible also says that we were created in the image of God in order to showcase His glory. A child is equally God’s image and should show forth His glory. A child left to his or her devices and inventions can hardly fulfil this purpose. Such children even bring shame and ridicule to their parents. They are a pain to their families . Many of such children die early and violently. Some cause the early death of their parents too.
God testified in Genesis 18:18-19 that He was sure that Abraham would command his household to obey His laws. This is to perpetuate God’s knowledge and His fear among His people. . When children are not taught the fear of God, there may not be anybody to hand over the baton for the continuity of the gospel . Paul brought up Timothy and Titus for this purpose. He also challenged them to do so . This should challenge us as parents to strive to diligently do the needful for our children. More so, our children should shine the light of the gospel to save the perishing world. Matthew 6:13-16.
How does a parent achieve these,?
.(To be continued next edition).
* Pastor Okoro can be contacted on his mobile no: 08051000462