Parents and Children: Ephesians 6:1-4


I'd invite you open up your Bible to the

book of Ephesians chapter six Ephesians

chapter six as you know we're working

through the book of Ephesians and we're

starting to bring it home now usually

when people think about Ephesians

chapter six people have been Christians

for a while who study the Bible what is

the particular text that they tend to

think about at the end of the book of

Ephesians you can just shout it out what

is it at the end of Ephesians chapter

six that our struggle is not against

flesh and blood but against the rulers

and powers and principalities of this

dark world against spiritual evil and

heavenly dimensions so we need to take

our stand and put on the full armor of

God you familiar with our text the

breastplate of righteousness the helmet

of salvation we're going to be getting

to that but you know before that text

God talks about one of the most

spiritually important things on this

earth that prepares us for spiritual

warfare that prepares us to put on the

armor of God that prepares us to stand

against evil in any generation God takes

time to talk about the family the family

husbands and wives

kids and parents and then he also talks

about how we interact with the people we

work with which at that time there's

talking about servants people working in

the home God cares about your home your

house your family your relationships

that how we interact with one another

specifically in terms of authority

relationships about how we exercise

leadership and how we respond to leaders

at home and in society have spiritual

ramifications for us because the

spiritual world operates on legal terms

and when we abuse Authority in

relationship so we respond incorrectly

to Authority in the most intimate

relationships in our lives we open up

darkness and we become vulnerable to the

evil one God wants our homes to be

strong families people that God brings

together and then grouping them in a

family called the

Church of God is how God conquers this

world for his kingdom never seen the

movie The Incredibles there's a new one

coming out I can't wait all right that's

the one where I'm gonna I'm gonna be the

first one there the first day I don't

even know if the kids are gonna be with

me I'm gonna be there we are

The Incredibles folks God has a purpose

the family was the original God Squad

that subunit of God's army meant to

fight against the evil one and spread

the kingdom families now that applies to

everyone in the Church of God because we

all are connected to relatives in some

way right we all have parents aunts

uncles kids grandkids maybe me however

it is and now even if we are at this

time living alone

maybe our family is all in another

country and we're single well guess what

you're part of another family called the

family of the Living God and you

interact with young people and with

spiritual mothers and fathers and kids

and this applies to all of us in some

way so I invite you to open your heart

to this topic that's an extremely

sensitive topic for so many of us right

because the concept of family is loaded

with all kinds of cultural expectations

right what makes a normal family there's

one family in this church that has

posted as you walk in the front door a

reminder says remember as far as

everyone knows we are a nice normal

family implication there's no reason to

disabuse them of that lie right but our

concept of what's normal is based

usually on what we grew up with now some

of us know well what I grew up with

definitely ain't normal but it's what we

know it's our experience and it's our

expectation of the way other families

should be sometimes it's a messy

business isn't it I remember when my son

Noah was born and you know I got him out

of here so I could talk about him behind

I'm gonna be very respectful but when he

was born I'll never forget freaking out

because he was born with his eyes open

right he popped out with these enormous

soulful eyes staring at me right but he

wasn't even all the well I'm you know

this is much more information than some

of you need but immediately the head

pops out and the eyes are staring at me

and I feel like I'm in some science

fiction movie I'm like it's alive it's

looking at me like whoa and then you

know they bring Noah over to it to a

table and you know because apparently he

had you know the water in there had

gotten dirty so they needed to suction

him and do some things and just clean

then once he was basically taken care of

but he was you know newly born babies

don't look like they look in the movies

right it's kind of it's a messy business

right you know especially when so he's

laying there and they're the doctors and

everyone and Kenneth says mom you know

they're all taking care of Kenneth right

cuz she deeded some taken care of around

that moment and I'm there just looking

at Noah staring at him he's staring

right at me I start talking he turned

his head right at me he's looking

looking me in the eye freaking me out

because he recognized my voice right and

I'm talking to and then I notice he

starts scratching himself he's got these

big long nails and he's scratching

himself and the nails are dirty because

he been in the dirty white and he's

scratching really hard and I'm like I'm

like wanting to call someone and like

excuse me um can somebody and they're

all like taking care of tennis and

they're like oh don't worry about it and

I'm like um it's a scratching so I start

kind of trying to hold his little arms

down hold him down and then I let go and

he starts scratching again and I'm like

and it occurred to me this is the

beginning of him trying to do dumb

things to hurt himself and me trying to

stop him and I feel like I get the

feeling this is never gonna end it's

been ten years now you know it's a messy

business isn't it it's humbling for all

of us if you think you've got your act


well child-raising we'll cure you of

that false assumption right and maybe

you have one kid that is like a perfect

little angel that behaves well

that first child and you think it well

of course good genes good parenting you

know we got this usually God will let

you have another kid

after that to show you that no no you're

as messed up as everyone else in the

world none of us has interact together

they're tumbling for everyone in the

Bible look at how the first family

worked out right Cain and Abel things

got a little messy there and it goes

downhill from there

parenting is a messy challenging

business for everybody interacting with

parents you know even raising the son of

God even raising baby Jesus had its

complications didn't it what happened

when Jesus was twelve I didn't remember

that story how he wandered off and went

and just started chillin in the temple

with the elders for three days and Mary

and Joseph were looking for him they

finally get to him and Jesus why did you

treat us this way he's like mom and dad

didn't you know I have to be in my

father's business it was a little messy

now no sin involved right no sin he was

you know but he was being 12 and then he

came back and he said me realize you

don't wander off like that but parenting

is always messy when he was a young

adult beginning his ministry at the age

of thirty and he was preaching and he

was healing and and there was one moment

when he and his disciples were so busy

that they didn't even have time to eat

and the Bible says in the Gospel of Mark

that Jesus's family came and stood

outside to take charge of him because

they said he is out of his mind and then

a little later said Jesus your mother

and brothers are outside they want to

talk to you says who are my mother and

brothers right I don't know if Mary

really approved of Jesus's lifestyle at

that moment right now I know what most

of you are thinking you're like well of

course I would have done better right

because as humbled as we are in our

parenting for some reason everybody

still thinks they're an expert you ever

notice that and they're perfectly

willing to offer advice to whomever you

know if you do that it's okay I'm gonna

just tell you it could get annoying

cuz we all think we know better don't

you think that if you were raising Jesus

he wouldn't have run off when he was 12

for 3 days you know you'd have done

better than Mary and Joseph

you know you think so right we are

arrogant we all need to realize that we

all need God's help we are all people

who need God's wisdom that we need to

trust in him and that this is an

important thing for us to do we all have

a calling to build families and to build

the family of God now if you don't have

biological children of your own

you are still called to influence young

people for the kingdom of God

whether it's in society in your job as a

teacher here in the church in Sunday

school or just encouraging families you

know or with your nieces and nephews

some of the most encouraging guidance

and words that I have received about

parenting have come from my brothers and

sisters some of them who don't have

children of their own

but God's given them wisdom so we are

all called to this together and even if

you don't have biological children you

have parents and even if your parents

are with Jesus you are still connected

to them in your heart this relates to

all of us amen

so let's read with open hearts Ephesians

chapter 6 says children obey your

parents in the Lord and then there's a

lengthy theological explanation that

says for this is right it's just right

verse 2 honor your father and mother

which is the first commandment with a

promise so that it may go well with you

and that you may enjoy long life on the

earth verse 4 fathers and mothers

parents do not exasperate your children

instead bring them up in the training

and instruction of the Lord let's pray

father we come before you and we thank

you Lord that in this day of spiritual


where the devil seems to be targeting

homes and children and families like he

never has before

we come before you Lord as your people

and we pray for wisdom and for power

together as we open up your word in

Jesus name Amen

so it starts with parents with how we

are to interact with our parents if

you're a kid you honor your parents by

obeying them why because this is right

you almost get the feeling the Apostle

Paul is writing this expecting there to

be kids in the room and he says I'm

going to keep this real simple it's just

right to do it obey your parents how

many kids in the room any people under

18 you know you don't have to raise your

hand okay you can cool all right god

bless you we have kids in here and I

hope our kids know now we do have Sunday

school but kids are perfectly welcome to

be part of the service too at whatever

age they are know that you are an

important part of this community God

doesn't look at his people beginning 18

and up people under the age of 18 do not

have a mini soul just because they might

be smaller you are fully important in

the eyes of God and he has a calling on

your life he's got something he wants to

do with you you matter in this church

and the way you interact with others and

God makes a difference for everybody

here doesn't matter how old you are and

we need to help our kids to understand

that they need to obey their parents

simply because this is right rebellion

in the Old Testament it says that

rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft

that rebellion going against Authority

was really the devil's original sin his

sin deciding that he knew better than

God how to run the universe and when we

rebel against parents it unleashes a

poison in our psychology and in our

relationships and even in our our

intellectual life even physically

rebellion is poisonous and it poisons

the rest of our lives if we begin


against parents and we don't deal with

that attitude who are we can rebel

against next teachers coaches police

we're going to rebel against whoever

happens to be their bosses spouses

there's going to be a poison in our

relationship that's going to make it

very difficult to have stability

submitting with a healthy respect for

parents is the most healthy thing a

young person can do now if you're a

young adult so you're starting to get a

little bit older honoring parents means

continuing to take them seriously if you

have any people between the ages of

maybe 17 and say 30 in this room 17 and

25 we got some people in that range

we've got they've got are some young

adults we've got a good young adult

ministry well it's important to realize

that your parents are not as dumb as

they look they may not know if I heard

an amen from one of them they may not

know how their phone works but they do

know how the world works and we will do

well to ask for advice and listen they

know what they're doing because they

have learned the hard way they've tried

stuff that didn't work now we can either

either learn on our own we can decide to

listen to what they might have to tell

us amen why so that it might go well

with you so that you won't have to learn

the hard way now we all learn some

things the hard way but we don't have to

learn everything the hard way there are

some mistakes you never need to make

there are some disasters you never need

to experience now in life you will fall

in skinned your knee and that just

happens but there are some things you

never need to learn by personal

experience listen get some advice and

listen to them take them seriously I am

so grateful to see the way the spiritual

legacy passes

down to young adults who will embrace

the spiritual legacy of their parents

and their grandparents there's a verse

where the Apostle Paul's writing to

Timothy a young pastor and he says I'm

reminded of your sincere faith which

first lived in your grandmother Lois I

love it that a grandmother is mentioned

in that coal that lived in your

grandmother Lois

apparently the Apostle Paul knew her and

in your mother Eunice I love that she's

mentioned and I am persuaded now lives

in you also you see that anointing that

faith gets passed down from generation

to generation and it can be in you and

you can move in the anointing of your

parents and your grandparents I love

that in our young adult ministry I

really believe that they have an

attitude of embracing their spiritual

legacy in our young adults it's cool to


parents and abuelita's they have the

attitude that they want that old-world

spirituality that faith that their

parents learned in many of them in the

immigration experience and having to

take chances and suffer and sacrifice

and they're like I want that the good

news is that anointing not only passes

down it grows and it becomes even more

powerful that happens to people

unfortunately the negative also gets

passed down we'll talk about that later

but what do we do if you have parents

that are not necessarily Christians that

maybe your parents don't support you

coming to church they don't support you

seeking God the way you're doing what

then it's still possible to honor them

you know I accepted Jesus when I was 16

years old I was raised with a beautiful

Catholic faith by really good parents

and I'm not just saying that cuz I have

to they're really awesome parents I'm

not just saying that because they might

be watching me but they might they

started checking me out now like you

don't have to do that but they do they

check it out great parents but I had a

sort of my conversion experience I

accepted Jesus in my heart when I was 16

and around

same time my sister had her spiritual

experience with Jesus so suddenly my

parents had these two fanatics in the

house right I mean Jesus people with

capital you know whatever and of course

I was 16 so I already knew much better

than my parents had to do everything in

life and now I had a theological backing

for my rebellion right so of course I

told my mother everything that was wrong

with the Catholic Church and this and

that the other thing and I'm getting

driving lessons so I've got they've got

hours and hours to hear from me and over

the years I have come to see that they

they do know what they're doing and to

see that my faith coming to know Jesus

was a fulfillment of my Catholic

upbringing that all the beautiful

spiritual things sowed in me and that

spiritual background in my first

communion at my confirmation and all

that stuff it was culminated in my

meeting Jesus in that way it's not a

repudiation of my upbringing

it's an embracing of what they've sown

in me and my father the values that he

sowed in me too they're fulfilled in my

faith so even if your parents are not

part of our church you can still honor

them right you can still recognize that

that they have sown good things in you

they might be worried they might think

you're in some sort of a cult right what

are they doing there what do they do

I've seen stories I hear they fall over

they do strange things there's this

wacko gringo who says duh what are you

gonna do it's okay to realize they they

might be legitimately concerned for some

good reasons and they need to see that

no this is good this is gonna help you

grow and be a better person and be

closer to them not further away so it's

important to see that now Jesus does

warn us that he said that I didn't come

to bring peace on earth universally he

said in many cases I've come to bring a

sort of division even in families

children against parents siblings

against each other because if one person

serving Jesus and the other person is

against it there can be tension so

there's a place for that but at the same

time if we honor our parents we can get

through that okay because we gonna put

the word into practice amen you can say


what about if your parents are elderly


very you know there get really really

starting to get up there a big part of

how we honor them is simply taking care

of them and I think some those are some

of the most precious moments in the

entire lifetime when we give back in

that way but also to remember that an

extremely elderly parent still has a lot

to teach you even if you are 50 and

she's 80 she still got a lot to teach

you more than ever our elderly people

are treasures that we need to value we

need to hear from them we need to value

them not just as symbols of the

generations but know they still got

something to give but very often in the

caregiving process there's a reversal

sort of right because they need some

types of care that you need it when you

were a kid and now they're an adult even

then it's very important I believe to

protect the dignity of our elderly

parents and grandparents and I've heard

of one nursing home that has they keep

photographs of each person in the

nursing home outside the door of the

individual who's there when they were

young and healthy and so you walk down

the halls and you see right over the bed

or right over the door you see pictures

of young men in the service in World War

two and young women beautiful and doing

that and you realized that I need to

take this person seriously here this

person might be physically have-have you


weaker and not be able to not their mind

might not be what it once was but I need

to take them serious I need to respect

them and honor our parents now how about

if your parents have already gone on

from this world and are with the Lord

what then

just because the person is no longer

here does not mean the relationship in

your heart with the person ceases to

exist pastor Sam talks about this a lot

and I'm started for stealing your

thunder Sammy but he talks about when

our parents are with Jesus we continue

to honor them by living the legacy that

they taught us and every time you put

into practice what they taught you to do

you're honoring them and there

and there's this feeling of I'm not

alone as I do it I've got the

generations behind me now if your

parents maybe did not leave you a great

legacy to follow maybe they weren't

Christians maybe they didn't live the

best life people are people some people

don't we can still honor them by doing

the best we can with the life that they

gave us and every tygon you know maybe

your mom or dad maybe they whatever

maybe you don't want to imitate their

lifestyle but they did give you life and

when you use that life and you love your

kids and your neighbors and you serve

the community and you serve Jesus you're

saying I'm taking the life you gave me

and I'm using it for God's glory and in

that way I'm honoring the name that you

gave me and the life that you gave me

let's honor our parents let's honor our

elders in the church and in society

because as we do there is a spiritual

blessing over our church and we become

stronger it doesn't seem all flashy and

exciting but boy I tell ya that's where

the power is amen okay now on to parents

how are parents supposed to interact

with their kids verse 4 and I have to

tell you I was as I'm preparing that's

like how in the world I could teach on

this it's been 10 years and I still feel

like I have no clue what I'm doing right

but then what are you gonna do and we

have so many hero parents in our church

but got to do it two edges my job I have

to preach on the next text so here it is

verse 4 it says father's which in the

Greek is inclusive fathers and mothers

is is part of that parents do not

exasperate your children instead bring

them up in the training and instruction

of the Lord I love that translation

exasperate exasperate the literal Greek

is to do not provoke them to anger now

don't push them too far I think it's

very interesting that the text begins by

setting parameters around the

appropriate use of parental authority

and putting limits so is not to

go too far in a way that is

counterproductive you got to understand

that this was scandalous at the time in

the ancient world children didn't have

any rights there were not social workers

looking out to be sure children no no it

was children were like property that you

could do whatever you want to them but

the Bible doesn't view children in that

way God views children is made in the

image of God and as human beings they

are to be treated with certain respect

and they are we are not to exasperate

them and I think this has spiritual

implications because just like I was

saying that rebellion against Authority

has is it opening a door of darkness for

the evil one so also abusing authority

opens a door of darkness for the evil

one among us and that includes

especially how we treat our children

that excessive or inappropriate

punishment is not biblical now proverbs

does have some pretty strong verses

doesn't it and some of you might want to

stand up right now in quote him to me

says whoever spares the rod hates his

son but he who loves him is diligent to

discipline him Amen right

but discipline and and we don't teach

that now in our society there are

society in general is very squeamish

about any kind of corporal punishment or

spanking or like that and I don't concur

with that social movement I do believe

there is a place sometimes for

appropriate limited well administered

spanking if whatever however you want to

do it I know my mother had and we've all

got stories don't we you know my mother

had her wooden spoon if she's it she's

Italian she was you know imagine for 11

Italian really cute made a sauce she had

said am I gonna have to get the wooden

spoon out you know cuz apparently she

had a grandmother that really used the

wooden spoon she get out that wooden

spoon and start chasing me around the

house I have vivid memories she never

meant to catch me right that's it it

took get me wrong there would be little

you know the issue with the the

punishment we're going to talk about

that it's the far

the counts right it doesn't have to be

yeah we're gonna come back around okay

we can come back around to this but just

cuz the Bible talks about not sparing

the rod it does not mean that Christians

are obligated biblically to hit kids

with sticks okay any more than all the

verses about working in the fields means

that Christians are obligated to be

farmers okay now I'm not saying I'm

saying there's different ways that

people can apply things in their own

household but I'm just saying that you

don't take every proverb and a prop and

apply it with exact literal application

okay it was written in a time the

principle there is that we are to be

careful to discipline kids to teach them

right from wrong in an appropriate way

without exasperated and I think we all

know that there's a difference between

disciplining and abusing don't we

there's a line there's a line and we

need to know what that line is and we

need to honor that it is never okay to

beat up a kid it is never okay to punish

in anger and violent rage some

discipline that exasperates

is going to be counterproductive it's

going to do damage you're not going to

teach the kid you're gonna damage the

kid disciplining in anger we're we're

just venting our anger we're doing that

not for the kid we're doing that for us

just to vent right shaming or demeaning

a kid comparing the child to others why

can't you be more like your brother why

can't you be more like someone else kids

are super sensitive to that sometimes

even if you don't say it they they can

hear it

cursing or name-calling you always do

this you'll never amount to anything

don't exasperate your kids sometimes we

need to step away and give ourselves a

good time out don't we you say but after

what that but what they did they need to

be disciplined yes they do but if you

discipline them the way you're about to

discipline them then you're just gonna

create another problem now sometimes you

need to just step away take a deep

breath and then revisit the situation

and say okay let's talk about what just

happened here and then you can talk


consequences inappropriate discipline

we'll come back to this later because

discipline is part of training right but

our goal and this is what it says next

in Ephesians 6 ver right there verse 4

it says instead of this bring your

children up now I don't want to skip

over that bring them up in the training

and instruction of the Lord bring up a

kid is a very interesting word in the

Greek is the word act ref oh it

literally means food you're putting food

into that kid you're nurturing that

child you're feeding that child like a

plant that needs to grow and prosper

xref will cultivate that child realize

that you are the primary spiritual

influence in their lives not the school

not the church you are the pastor

teacher coach therapist doctor you're

the one as soon as you like I didn't

apply for that yeah isn't it amazing you

have the baby at the hospital and they

just give you the baby and send you home

and you're like you're just gonna give

it to me do you realize that I don't

know what I'm doing it's on-the-job

training right you learn how to do it

but your calling is to have that

spiritual influence here in the church

our Sunday School and our youth

ministries are not meant to replace

parents they're meant to support parents

to do their ministry meant to come

alongside them and I'm grateful that I

really see that in this church I see I

don't see families just saying here take

care of my kids for me no no I see in

this church people having an attitude of

saying I'm going to raise my kids and

the church provides structures in which

we can do that pooling our resources and

putting curriculum together in classes

but we're working together in doing that

amen and we have got parents who are

stepping up to the plate because shaping

kids is an awesome and holy ministry and

we have heroes in our midst we have

people who do this really really well

I thank God that as a young dad when I

just we just had the kids I was like I

got to talk to somebody here I gotta

start getting input and I started

looking around for some father's that I

thought you know I would like to learn

from this one or that one

and some people that are the least you

would expect people who were real

low-key who you would never notice but

who are good at how to raise their kids

and I'd sit down with him and I said

talk to me tell me stories I never

forget one father telling me a great guy

who who told me his stories and he's

someone you would never expect you would

never know who he is he said he never

studied psychology or seminary anything

like that he works and he just told me

you know I remember once when I lost my

temper with my daughter in a certain way

and then 20 minutes later I heard her

yelling at the dog using the exact same

words that I was using and he said is

that the way I sound he told me that 10

years ago and I never forgot what I say

to them they're gonna say to others take

you're not just gonna say it to the dog

they'll say it to other people someday

they'll repeat and in the influence of

talking to moms and dads and as I

already mentioned mentioned earlier

teachers aunts uncles not just people

who have biological kids but people who

have wisdom who can provide support you

see parents we have an awesome

responsibility now let's break down some

of the words of what parents are

supposed to do so it says raise them up

bring them up nurture them in the

training and instruction of the Lord the

first word there for training is Paideia

Paideia it's a beautiful word in the

Greek that does not translate easily to

English but I believe it does actually

translate better into Spanish in Spanish

there's a certain word that is used for

how you raise children it's the word

advocacy on educación I never forget

talking to someone when I was just

starting to learn Spanish this was about

30 years ago right and he was talking

about someone with bad manners and he

said Kamala educación and I was like

what a school have to do with bad


but you see the idea of educación in

spanish is that the education of a child

is not just them learning information in

school it's about their their behavior

their morality their their work ethic

their manners how they interact with

people that's all part of their

education of their it's not just

learning it's and they try to get it in

English it's their training it's that

you're training a child in how to live

el ocasion de los ninos pi there pi

there and we do that by teaching them

and I like us to put up deuteronomy 6

verse 5 to 7 if you could del toro

Gnomeo Cinco seis Cinco siete

Deuteronomy 6:5 to 7 says the following

here o Israel the Lord your God is one

you shall love the Lord your God with

all your heart and with all your soul

and with all your strength and these

commandments that I give you today are

to be on your hearts impress them on

your children talk about them when you

sit at home and when you walk along the

road and when you lie down and when you

get up amen impress them on your

children talk about them when you sit at

home when you walk along the road when

you lie down and when you get up realize

that all of life is the classroom for

the children and it begins speaking to

the parents before you can impress these

Commandments on your children they need

to be on your heart first right before

you can teach kids to love the Lord your

God you need to love the Lord your God

with all your heart mind soul and

strength the main way we teach is by


kids will copy what they see you doing

now is that a pleasant concept for all

of us I have at times observed my son

behaving in certain ways and I'll just

sit there thinking is that what I do is

that how I act and I am voting oh yeah

that's just the way you are that's where

he got it sometimes of your parents I

don't understand how can my child be so

strong-willed and those of us that know

the parent like well I figured I think I

know where she got it right right do you

think that and every day because we pass

things down sometimes Kerris will do or

say certain things and I know I

shouldn't but I just looked right over

it my beloved wife and just see and then

she does the same to me we're like see

it's going right on down the generations

it's in the Bible unfortunately sin does

pass down and neuroses and all kinds of

bad things passed down the generations

they do they do the Bible says that the

sins of the fathers are visited on the

children but thank God the blessing goes

down to a thousand generations the

blessing is stronger than the curse but

we do need to face the fact that what I

do will transmit to them that's why I

often tell parents who start coming to

church who are talking about

difficulties with children the first

order of business is to get your own

spirituality your own life moving in the

right direction if you start seeking God

and submitting to him and letting God

work on you that will be contagious to

the kids there's a reason why on Friday

night hi Kennesaw I was just talking

about you sorry then see sorry yeah you

can check the video but there's a reason

why on Friday night we have our

children's discipleship program awana

and our adult discipleship program

running at the same time because the

idea you want a family that's just

coming to Christ we want mom and dad to

get disciple too right along with their

kids because you can't give what you

don't have

amen we need to focus on me get my life

in order repent of my sins

and break the different bondages I've

inherited maybe from my generations

right many of us do things and we think

wow I'm becoming my dad anyone ever felt

like that my father his health story

here again I was dangerous because he

watches the video sometimes my father is

of German descent

he's German right and I mean second

third generation but he's extremely

organized he fulfills all the

stereotypes you would have of you know

his basement is so clean you could eat

off the floor if you wanted right his

desk was totally organized he would

clear it off between projects suppose

it'd be totally empty and he'd be

sitting there and people would be like

do you do any work you know totally

organized when we go to a hotel room the

first thing he would do immediately

unpack and put everything away in the

drawers and the rest of us how did the

rest of us in the family normally live

you just live out of the suitcase you

know you're just pull stuff out that's

what you do right I'll never forget I

was maybe late 20s early 30s I was on a

trip I got to a hotel room and

immediately unpacked and put everything

away and sat there and thought I've just

become my dad I didn't mean for it to

happen but it's happening we need to be

aware now sometimes those are good

things like you know maybe good things

defending but sometimes they're not so

good things and we're like oh I hear my

father speaker and my mother speaking

and they're negative things that we've

inherited and that's we're in Christ you

have authority to break negative

patterns that you've inherited over the

generation there's some people who say

well I have a struggle with alcohol I

drink and so did my father and so did my

grandfather and so do my

great-grandfather and now I drink well I

got good news for you you're a new

creation in Christ the old has gone the

new has come now we need to recognize

that there is an influence there but in

Jesus I'm going to take a stand and said

as for me and my household we will serve

the Lord and we confess our sins and the

sins of the generations and the father's

and say God forgive us as a family for

this negative pattern and in the name of

Jesus I break it for me and my kids and

my grandkids we will be different in the


of Jesus amen we have pioneers in this

church people who are starting new

patterns who are breaking negative ones

and are saying I'm gonna start a new

pattern for my family we're becoming

that matriarch and patriarch that

someday grandkids will say I want to be

just like them but we have to take that

stand and break it because our influence

our example is what's going to impress

the kids we need to work on ourselves

and then we need to simply be present in

order to influence our kids I remember

when we were expecting our first child I

I was like okay I've gotta learn how to

be a dad in like nine months okay so try

think of what books am I gonna get and

you know the only book I felt led to

read was a book on time management book

on time a really good one Stephen Covey

putting first things that weird and like

time management I'm expecting you know

James Dobson you know Focus on the

Family great books Charles Stanley all

these good books but no time management

and I really felt the Lord telling me I

want you to read this one and I figured

I'm sitting down and I'm talking with a

friend of mine Steven Johnson you let me

know him he's married to mate a sister

he's a pastor in Dedham and I say it's

not strange I feel God leading me to

read a book on time management in

preparing for Parenthood and he's like

well it doesn't matter how good a father

you are if you're not there right you

could be an expert but if you're simply

not there what can you do you got to

make time you have to be present to have

that influence because life is a

classroom talk about these commands when

you sit at home and when you walk along

the road and when you lie down and when

you get up so when you sit at home is

there any time when we sit at home if

you're like us you know many of us you

know both mom and dad are working you're

taking turns you're doing the handoff

here's the kid boom you run out you're

doing two is there any time when we're

just together long enough

so that there can be opportunity for

conversation just about whatever that

might come up it could be something as

simple as watching a TV show together

nowadays because of the streaming

everyone's watching their own show right

Evans got a different device watching

their show nothing wrong with that

necessarily but the beauty of watching

something together is that you can talk

about it right you can see what they're

what they're watching I remember one day

watching a TV show with and my father

was there and my sister was there and it

was hears I'm going to date myself it

was Barney Miller anyone remember that

one there's like three of you who are

like you know okay Barney might we're

watching Barney Miller and there was

this one Saints a police show it's a

normal show there was nothing bad in it

there wasn't violence there wasn't sex

or things like that but there was one

moment where there was a scene where

they were talking about how one of them

had a kid who was going to go to college

and one of the character said oh well

you know that kids good they're gonna be

sleeping around when they're there they

said really and in the show it's like

yeah what do you think you do in college

you sleep around that's what everyone

does it was just a comment that was made

it was really interesting because

afterwards my father was really angry

about that he said you remember him

telling me this I was 13 years old he's

like that gets me so angry

I mean angrier than a scene with

violence or something he says because

your sister is about to go to college

now she's gonna see that scene and she's

gonna think that that's normal in

college that gets me angry and I was

like whoa you know my dad doesn't he's

pretty even-keeled that I was 13 years

old that was an awfully long time ago

and I still remember that little

conversation about a TV show amen

it just comes up stuff comes up in life

if we're paying attention there's

opportunity to talk about the things of

life as we experience them together with

the kids of the young people just making

time to be together when you walk along

the road as you drive together talking

what are you listening to in the car

what are you talking about in the car

there's all kinds of opportunities


you deal with the commuting that we have

to do the schlepping the kids around

well there's time to talk there when you

lie down bedtime bath time book time

potty time you know we talked about that

a little earlier I know of one little

male offspring who would wax very

philosophical during that part of the

day and I learned if I happen now not

anymore right he's old enough to do

things in private but as a little baby

sometimes kids they're on the potty and

they just started to start thinking

about life now if you're there now don't

get me wrong I'm not saying you hover

over every little biological function

but if you happen to be there well maybe

when the kid just starts talking about

something you you observe the moment you

go with it now sometimes our kids become

very philosophical after the lights go

out at bedtime because they know there

are certain comments they're gonna make

they're gonna keep the day extending

just a little longer right if they bring

up Jesus with me at 10 o'clock it's very

hard for me to say just go to sleep you

know cuz I'm like well they know they

know what to do their evil little

geniuses these kids you know when you

get up in the morning it's like what

what does your morning routine look like

what kind of spirit do we transmit to

the kids in the morning right I think

it's hardest hardest at that part of the

day you're rushing you're trying to get

going but you can do this you can teach

better than you think you can you are

the pastor and the pastor of your house

and your children and you can do this if

your kids are in Sunday school or in

awana they're learning versus you can

talk them but what's the verse you're

learning you can come up with games and

activities you could you okay here's one

for you here's what any of us can do you

can read about Abraham and how Abraham

obeyed and followed God even though he

didn't know where he was going right

what does it mean to trust God then you

could say okay we're gonna do a game you

could tie a blindfold around their eyes

and do a faith walk around the apartment

right and maybe even put a treat in

their mouth as you go right it don't do

it but that it tastes good and see that

God does that for us sometimes but you

can do that right that's not so fancy

that's not so complicated

we can do this we can teach our kids and

you could take a balloon right I read

this one just recently in Dobson book

you can blow it up and then you can let

it go and let it float around and say

what made the balloon move air well just

like air God is there isn't it a great

phrase a good one yeah I just stole that

from someone but boom there's a lesson

right you can do that just like air God

is there you can't see him but he moves

you okay Wow all right trained a child

in the way he should go and when he or

she is old they will not turn from it

they'll remember some of these moments

and they'll come back to them now

Paideia does include discipline the word

Paideia for training includes discipline

in the book of Hebrews it says my son

don't make light of the Lord's

discipline and don't lose heart when he

rebukes you because the Lord disciplines

the one he loves he chastens the one who

accepts as a son so discipline is part

of teaching but that's the key moment

and the key emphasis is that discipline

is not meant to vent anger and to into

punishment discipline is meant to teach

meant to be instructive and meant to

provide guidance and that means setting

clear and appropriate limits that then

have consequences that follow and again

don't threaten things you're not going

to do I said will you do this then we're

just never going to the park again right

do you really mean that right look you

got it you got it you got to do it

things that you know you can do now

again there's a difference between

disciplining appropriately and

disciplining in ways that produce

exasperation and anxiety in the kids now

I know for our kids it takes very little

just the thought of me spanking them is

enough to like you know produce a lot of

blood-curdling you know because it's not

a phase not because because I spank hard

no I don't have to say just boom boom

just a little thing where God put

padding it's the thought that counts

because it's more the implication that


what are you doing here

there is never an excuse to beat up a

kid we can discipline and set boundaries

and there are different ways that we can

provide consequences right there are

different ways to do it

there's the timeout thing you could do

that you could take away a precious ten

minutes of video game time you could

take away TV you can there's all kinds

of different things a person you could

just do a simple talking to about why

that wasn't right the key is to just be

on top of things and be paying attention

and being appropriate with your kids

that's part of training jesus said those

whom I love I rebuke and discipline now

when he does that Jesus you see in the

book of Revelation where he speaks to

the churches like each church is a child

he starts by saying all the good things

they're doing you're doing this right

you're doing that right I'm so proud of

this but I have one thing against you

and then he brings the word of

correction if we are constantly

correcting and criticizing our kids

it becomes nagging and white noise it

doesn't go anywhere but if there's all

kinds of words of affirmation followed

by a word of Correction well then

they're ready to hear it because they

know that you love them and it's not

just constant negativity Paideia is

discipline is part of that training and

teaching now I want to talk about one

more word and then we'll bring it home

it says also bring them up in the

training and the last word there in

verse 4 is an instruction of the work of

the of the Lord now the the meaning of

that Greek is not instruction is okay

but it actually means better in the King

James admonition admonition what does

that mean advertencia warnings letting

them know that there are certain things

that if you do them there will be

negative consequences

that's where dialogue comes in have you

ever tried this with kid the kid you

tell the child what to do what not to do

and they say why how do we normally

answer that because I said so we got


now there's nothing wrong with because I

said so answer because you are the

parent and you said so and that's good

enough because I said so that's why

what's the problem with it always being

because I said so because I said so

because I said so what if they never

understand why then when they have the

freedom to do it why not he's not here

saying so anymore you know I asked why

now I can say why not if they understand

the purpose behind it there is a place

for dialogue for example especially with

media and the movies and TV shows the

kids are watching

I'll find with with Noah especially but

with both of them we'll talk about why

we edit certain scenes for them like so

my kids real into Star Trek right and

we've watched a lot of Star Trek's on

Netflix there are some scenes in some of

the series that I'm like at least a

couple years ago I'm like I'm sorry

you're just too young to see that

particular scene and he's like why I

said well because your mind and your

emotions are still forming and

developing and if you see certain sexual

scenes or violent scenes they're gonna

mark your mind or emotions in ways that

could affect you in a bad way and I want

to keep your mind and emotions healthy

and strong and so I want to wait till

you're able to process these some of

these images before you see them and

you're literally young to process those

images right now like okay no problem

whatever and then we do it because and I

explain why and I said you know what

there are some images that I that I

don't want in my own mind and emotions

right there are some TV shows and movies

things that I won't let myself watch

because of how it's going to affect me

so this applies to everyone but

especially for children when you're

growing so boom he gets it and what I

found is it even if I'm not right there

if there are certain scenes I'll notice

that they'll they'll skip through

certain things now I don't want to rely

on that right I want to make it it is

impossible as possible for them not to

see certain things but by explaining and

understanding within reason then they

can internalize because of the warnings

and the explanations we've given so that

when they have the freedom hopefully

they can apply those standards on their

own that we're not just forcing them to

do the right thing now part of that

means talking about the consequences of

decisions they make and again that's

where some discipline comes in the word

enabling you ever heard about that idea

of enabling a person maybe who has an

addiction by helping them to keep doing

something negative the idea there to

enable someone to keep doing something


means we protect people from the

negative consequences of their actions

and if we do that they'll never learn

about the negative consequence of what

they're doing and they'll keep doing it

same with children there are times where

we warn them and there are times when we

let them learn the hard way within

reason and then help them understand

that so that we don't enable them now

this is the word that was applied to a

man of God in the Old Testament named

Eli and I take these verses very

seriously he was a priest who ministered

in the house of God but he had sons that

also worked in the priesthood with him

and these sons were scoundrels they were

corrupt they would steal the best part

of the offering they would commit

adultery with the women in the who would

come and serve in the tabernacle and the

Bible says that Eli failed to restrain

his sons it's the same word here he

failed to admonish them and so God took

that very seriously

we can't abdicate our duty it's our job

to do the best we can so that our kids

will live a life that honors the Lord

now even as I say this though I think

about the parents among us who did

everything I'm talking about you

discipline them you taught them in love

you brought them the Word of God you

prayed you fasted and they're still

making some bad decisions and so as we

begin to conclude this I'm going to talk

about someone else who struggled with


the prophet Samuel at the same time as

Eli was doing his thing he was a great

prophet a great man of God but when it

came time for him to be replaced the

people of Israel said your sons don't

walk in your ways now we

know what they did or didn't do but we

do know that in some way Samuels sons

weren't living at the same spiritual

level that Samuel was living at and in

no place does it say Samuel failed as a

father it just said that he had sons who

were not making the best decisions at

that time now if you are a parent who is

struggling with that you've got kids who

have grown and and and that you love and

that you took care of and you served and

you prayed for them and now they're

making some bad decisions I do feel like

I have something that God has put on my

heart I think God wants you to know that

he knows how you feel the story of the

prodigal son is about a father a good

father who loved his sons one of them

ran away from home the other stayed home

but neither of them understood the love

of their father God is the father of the

prodigal son and daughter

he knows the pain of a parent who is

longing for his kids to serve the Lord

and they're still not home they're not

doing it now that parable ends with a

son coming home to his father and in the

story it says that the father saw him

when he was a long way off and he went

running out to meet him and the word

that I feel like I have from God for the

parents of kids who are still away from

the house of God I feel like God wants

you to leave the door open because the

prodigal is coming home that your prayer

and your sacrifice and your love for

your kids is not in vain what you sowed

in their lives will pay off open that


keep the door open cuz they're on their

way home some of you were the prodigal

son or daughter and you have come home

so you know that it happens now some of

us here might be thinking Greg I made a

lot of mistakes as a parent there's so

many things I wish I could do


and I want to invite you today to

forgive yourself please

forgive yourself in the name of the Lord

you can't change the past you can only

deal with the present