Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas
I want to talk to you about parental responsibilities. We are living in a time where family values are getting very, very low. There is no love and bond within the family. Children are running away from homes, children are being abused physically and verbally, high rate of crimes committed by children, children being exposed to drugs and adultery at an early age. What has gone wrong? What is the solution for our families? The solution lies in good, godly parenting.
So what are our parenting responsibilities?
Apostle Paul in Ephesians teaches us on godly parenting. Ephesians 6:1-4: 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
1. Parents must obey and honour God.
Now you maybe thinking that I am taking a children passage and talking to the parents. Absolutely, as much as we are parents, we also are children; children to our earthly parents and definitely children to our heavenly father. Parents if you want your children to obey you, they need to see you obedient to God.
Billy Graham once said, “Children will invariably talk, eat, walk, think, respond, and act like their parents.”
Listen, Paul is not addressing to the parents here. He is not telling the parents have your kids obey, have your children honor you. Paul is addressing children to obey their parents. Obviously children who are young and dependant cannot understand this passage and put into practice. Paul is talking generally, Paul is addressing this to every person living under the roof of a parent’s home. So whether you are 2 or 10 or 20 or 60 we have to obey and honor God. And when our children see us honor and obey our God, they will in turn obey and honor us.
Parents are you obeying your father? In order to see our kids obey, they must see us obey. Do our children see us obeying God?
2. Parents give God and church your first priority.
One of the main areas in family that I’m concerned is that children and youngsters refusing to come to church. We find the perfect family example in Mary and Joseph where they took Jesus to the temple. I have seen parents conveniently miss Sunday worship services, some miss service in the name of children, and sometimes parents come to church but leave their kids back at home. You are giving them wrong signals and distancing them from God.
Secondly, do not talk negative about God and church at home. If your children hear you talking bad about God’s servants, talking on how boring the sermons are, talking the issues of the church and how bad that brother or sister is, then you are automatically sowing a seed of distancing them from your church. Bring your children closer to God and church.
Moms, Dads, never miss a Sunday service. Bring your kids to church. Worship in one church, church isn’t optional for you. Do not entertain tuitions, sports, or any other activity on a Sunday worship time. Parents, let your kids see that God is your priority. Teach them to put God first while they are young.
3. Do not provoke your children.
Here are some ways that we can provoke our kids.
1. Smother them, pamper them. Never giving them a chance to take chances.
4. Discipline, instruct, and correct your children.
Proverbs 19:18 "Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death."
Parents, we have a perfect example in our Heavenly Father to bring up our children. We have a Father who is selfless & sacrificial. He gave His very best so that we can be our very best. He nurtures us, instructs us, teaches and disciplines us. He never gives up on us and is always encouraging us to higher levels of love and grace. He is faithful, reliable, dependable, and consistent.
Illustration: One construction company was building a big church. A passerby curious as to what was coming up ask asked a mason on the construction project what he was doing. He replied that he was laying bricks. Not getting the right answer he asked a helper carrying the cement as to what he was doing. The laborer with genuine esteem for his work said, "I am raising a great cathedral."
Parents God has given us a great privilege and great responsibility in raising our children. Don’t only think that you are providing for them, taking care of them, and supporting them. Of course you are doing that but above all that we are raising our next generation for Christ and his purposes. Let us unfold our parenting responsibility seriously.
Today we have 3 children to be dedicated to the Lord.
Call the parents in front.
Br. __________ & Sis. __________ in presenting this child for dedication you not only signify your faith in Christ and the Christian way of life, but also indicate your desire that he/she should grow to know the Lord and live a Christian life.
Today, you have come with thanks in your hearts for the little life which God has placed in your care. But in order for this dedication to be complete you must say to the Lord, “We give back to You, Lord that which is really Your own. Make of him/her what you desire. Use him for Your glory. Keep him/her in Your will until the day you take him/her to be with yourself.”
We give the child to God because only God knows the possibilities that are wrapped up in this little life and only God can develop in this child all the possibilities that are there. In addition to surrendering this child to God you have another responsibility. Just as Moses was given back to his mother, Jochebed to rear as a son of Pharaoh’ daughter, so will this child be given back to you to rear for God.
• You will need to bring this child in Godly values.
Charge to Parents:
1. In the sight of God and in the presence of these witnesses do you solemnly undertake to bring up this child in the fear of the Lord?
Prayer of Dedication: (Holding child in minister’s hands.)
We thank you for this little baby and for what you will do with this life. Now I dedicate you, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Sprit.
From this day forward this child will be called _______________ in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Let the Holy Spirit convict him/her of sin as he comes to the age of accountability.
Return child to parents:
Now we lend your back to you to rear her in the fear of the Lord.
Pray for the Parents.
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