We touched on this briefly in our last post, but let’s take a longer look at what is probably the most important and vital relationship a child will ever have.
The parent-child relationship should be protected and nurtured by everyone in a community. The success or failure of that bond affects us all. God loves children and gave them as a special gift to parents.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward..As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.” Psalms 127:3-4
God told Israel how important the home and family are to children and impressed the responsibility parents have to do what is right for their children.
“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.” Deuteronomy 11:18-23
Children need to learn how important they are to God and how precious they are to their parents. Parents and children don’t always know how to say what’s in their hearts to each other, so a gentle nudge from God’s Spirit is often helpful in developing the deeper relationships possible within families.
God speaks clearly to children about the importance of loving and obeying their parents. It should be in reponse to parents who are loving and obeying God. If both are true in a family relationship, God will be praised and glorified in every city. The truth of relationships is that parents are not always as loving as they should be and children are not always as loving as they should be, but that is not an excuse for disobeying God’s direction to each. The Bible says, “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (Proverbs 21:3) A parent should love their children whether the love is returned or not. The same is true for the child who has an unloving parent. This life is not perfect and many Christians find themselves in difficult circumstances within the walls of their own homes, but God’s Word is true and what He tells us to do in relation to members of our family is true. Obey God and let Him work the miracles.
Solomon, the world’s wisest person, had much to say about the importance and benefits of children obeying their parents and their parents raising them in the knowledge and understanding of God. Notice both the commands and the life benefits promised.
“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.” Proverbs 1:8-9
“My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding.” Proverbs 2:1-2
“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” Proverbs 3:1-2
“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.” Proverbs 4:1-13
“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22
“My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.” Proverbs 5:1-2
“My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.” Proverbs 7:1-3
“The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” Proverbs 10:1
“A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.” Proverbs 13:1
“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Proverbs 13:24
“A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.” Proverbs 15:5
“A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.” Proverbs 15:20
“A foolish son is the calamity of his father …” Proverbs 19:13
“Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” Proverbs 19:18
“He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach. Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” Proverbs 19:26-27
“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Proverbs 20:11
“Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.” Proverbs 20:20
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” Proverbs 22:15
“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” Proverbs 23:13-14
“My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine.” Proverbs 23:15
“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old. Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice. My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” Proverbs 23:22-26
“My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.” Proverbs 24:13-14
“My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.” Proverbs 27:11
“Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer.” Proverbs 28:24
“Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.” Proverbs 29:17
“There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.” Proverbs 30:11-14
“The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.” Proverbs 30:17
The New Testament also teaches parents and children much about the importance of their relationship.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:1-4
“Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Colossians 3:20-21
“As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
“One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity … Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.” 1 Timothy 3:4,12
“But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.” 1 Timothy 5:4
“If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.” Titus 1:6
“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:4-5
God gives fathers, mothers and children shared responsibility in the success of the parent-child relationship. Parents and children have a big job and need the support of family and friends to be the best they can be for the glory of God.
Please pray for all of the families in your sphere of influence.