Sermon:  God Based Parenting

Summary:  Being a godly parent involves being both a nurturer and a disciplinarian.  This 
fits in with the character of God, who is the model parent.

Know:  As parents we need to look to God's instruction as well as his character to inform 
us on our style and manner of parenting.

Feel:  The desire to demonstrate God's character as a parent to our children

Do:  Describe what nurture and discipline are, and how these two concepts can be 
demonstrated in parents.  Reflect on how God's character provides a model for parenting, 
and choose two characteristics to pray about and strengthen.  Identify resources to help 
as a parent.

Text:  Eph 6:1-4

Scripture Reading:  Prov 22:6

1.  A Dad was grocery shopping with his squirming, whining son
	a.  He was saying, "stay calm George, don't get excited George, don't yell"
	b.  Woman noticed and commended him for his patience with George
	c.  Man was puzzled, then light bulb went on.
	d.  Maam, this is Bobby, I'm George!!
2.  Parenting is not easy, but it is very much a blessing
	-  If it were too easy, I don't think it would be such a blessing
3.  Eph 6:1-4
	a.  Context:  Brought together as God's new creation to fill purposes
	b.  That transforms ourselves AND our relationships
	c.  5:14f - Be filled with the Spirit, submit to one another
	d.  This morning, will apply it to parents  
		- Directed specifically at Fathers, because Mothers nurture well
		- Sometimes more of a struggle for fathers
		- Our goal is to train our children, to be faith trainers
		- In his book, Faith Training, Joe White says, "First of all, let me say 
		  that anyone can do this if they have a willing heart, a relentless spirit, 
		  and the desire to see your children run the race for God.  ANYONE CAN 
		  DO IT, the single father, single mother, the poverty stricken couple in 
		  the slums, the CEO, anyone can get the job done."
4.  Being a parent involves these important ingredients

	A.  “Bring them up” 
		1.  Grk:  extrepho - “Rear, bring up, nourish, cherish, feed” 
		2.  Same word also used in 5:29 concerning wives
	B.  Contrast provoke v.s. nurture
		1.  parorgizo - To make angry or provoke.  Translations:
			a.  JB - “And Parents, never drive your children to 
			b.  NEB - “You Fathers, again must not goad your children to 
			c.  NIV - “Fathers, do not exasperate your children”
			d.  Does this mean I can never let my kids get angry?
		2.  (Col. 3:21) - “Fathers, do not exasperate your children that they 
     		     may not lose heart”
			a.  Does not mean avoid anything that upsets them
			b.  Don't parent in such a way that they lose heart
		3.  What causes a child to lose heart?
			a)  Set expectations to high
				- They need to be high, but attainable
				- Straight A's or punish might be too much
			b)  Put downs and degrading remarks
				- Excessive negative reinforcement have opposite 
  				   effect that you intend
			c)  Comparing them with someone else
				- Try to live up to someone else's accomplishments
				- They learn to define self in terms of another person
			d)  Not respecting their feelings
				- Feelings are real, so acknowledge them
				- Don't judge or put feelings down, but talk about them
				- "A winner listens, a loser waits for his turn to talk"
		4.  Things that will nourish a child
			a)  Give responsibility
				- Words in themselves don't make child feel good
				- Feeling of success and job well done is great
			b)  Be generous with praise and encouragement
				- Praise is for after job well done
				- Encouragement is for the job in progress
			c)  Spend time
				- This is perhaps the most important
				- The learn to see themselves as valuable
			d)  Love unconditionally
	C.  ILL:  I think back to my own Dad
		1.  Used to read to me regularly when I was young
		2.  Remember lifting weights together
		3.  Remember playing ball in back yard, breaking window
		4.  Always take time off in the summer for family vacations
			a.  Sometimes we went away camping
			b.  Other times we went fishing at local lake
	D.  There are many ways to communicate nurturing cherishing love
		1.  We could probably come up with 100 if brainstormed
		2.  Here are a few ways:

	A.  Discipline and admonition of the Lord
		1.  Paideia - Upbringing, training, instruction, discipline
			a.  Many Bible's say "discipline"
			b.  English word, "disciple" a related word
			c.  Idea is of training and instruction
		2.  Nouthesia - Instruction, warning
			a.  Same word in Titus 3:10 - Reject a factious man after a 
     			     first and second "warning"
			b.  Means God has given responsibility for you to warn them
	B.  Characteristics of Discipline
		1.  Discipline involves instruction (2 Tim 3:16)
			a.  Profitable for "training" (paideia) in righteousness
			b.  The foundation for upbringing is God and his will
			c.  Used to say faith is more caught than taught,
			      I say it is BOTH caught and taught
		2.  Discipline involves pain (Prov 23:12-14)
			a.  Not the same as punishment
				- Goal of punishment is to punish
				- Goal of discipline is to learn from it
			b.  If you do it right, it wont harm him
				- We all come equipped with padding on backside
				- Pressure applied to it will not kill the child
				- It will save his soul
			c.  I have been spanked and popped in the mouth
				- I learned not to disrespect my elders
				- I learned to do what is right and avoid what is wrong
		3.  Discipline involves love (Prov 13:24)
			a.  If you avoid discipline, you hate your son
			b.  Need BOTH love and discipline
				- No love leads to no discipline, or to abuse
				- Can't be discipline without love
			c.  I never doubted my parents loved me
				- That is partially what made discipline effective
		4.  Discipline involves time
			a.  Don't have a scripture for this one
			b.  Common sense, if goal is to train, it takes time
			c.  Dad used to take me everywhere
				- Visiting on the bus, helping moves, working at blg
				- Learned just watching how he dealt with life
	C.  ILL:  I remember in Searcy AR, Stacey gave swat to one of the boys
		1.  Lady said, "I am going to call the authorities."
			a.  Stacey handled it better than I would have
			b.  She said, "Would you like a quarter?"
		2.  Time has already proven the failure of the non-directive 
      		    parenting style
		3.  "I am amazed at the tendency of today's parents to be nondirective with their 
		    children when they wouldn't dream of doing so with their employees, the 
		    appliance repairman, or their tax preparer.  Somewhere along the line - and 
		    I'll mention no name (but his initials are Carl Rogers) - the public was tricked 
		    into thinking that children arrive in this world with all the information they'll 
		    ever need to become productive members of society, and therefore our job is to 
		    just stay out of their way and watch the beautiful process unfold.  Under that 
		    plan, our society should be flourishing by now." (Joe White, Faith Training, p. 49)
	D.  Remember that as a parent, your goal is to train
		1.  Question:  Where will my child be 5, 10, 15 years from now?
		2.  Is my child getting the tools he needs?
		3.  Without nurture and discipline, he wont

	A.  Text says, "admonition of the Lord"
		1.  God has to be the foundation of this whole endeavor
		2.  God sometimes refers to Israel as his bride
		3.  Jesus refers to the church as his bride
		4.  God also refers to Israel as his "son"
	B.  God is the model parent (Heb 12:5-11)
		1.  Don't compare God to parents, but parents to God
		2.  God is the standard
		3.  God expresses his love as an active parent  
	C.  What can we learn from God about parenting
		1.  Join in the battle alongside the children
			a. See this in the incarnation
			b.  For us, it means integrity
				- They need to see that we are in the battle to
				- Children can detect baloney, so be honest and real
		2.  Communicate grace and love to your children
			a.  From the beginning God communicated this
			b.  God forgave, gave grace.
			c.  Did not give up on Israel, or on man
		3.  Model godly principles
			a.  Jesus humbled himself and did this for us
			b.  Jesus didn't have to, but chose to in order to teach us
		4.  Help your child be useful to the master by giving responsibility
			a.  Gave Israel responsibilities
			b.  Jesus gave his disciples responsibilities
		5.  Spend time together, meals, working, etc.
			- Jesus did this with his disciples
		6.  Don't be overly coercive
			a.  God allowed his children to learn from their mistakes
			b.  He warned them, instructed them, disciplined them
			c.  They had consequences and rewards, natural ones
				- eg: Alliance with Assyria, Assyria turned on them
				- eg: Immorality, oppression, country became weak
				- eg: Rom 1:18f - God "gives them over" to their sin
			d.  If we overly coercive, not learn to be responsible
		7.  Equip them with the tools they need to fight the battle
			a.  Teach them to pray, as Jesus did
			b.  Study alongside them, make reading a habit
			c.  Minister to others with them, make ministry a lifestyle
			d.  Talk to them about life and a Biblical view of life
			e.  Strive for excellence in faith, and in all things
	D.  When you study for application
		1.  Ask yourself what a passage teaches you about God
		2.  Then ask yourself how God wants you to incorporate it into 

1.  God is the ultimate parent.  He wants us to turn to him and be his child (invitation)
2.  We are at different stages concerning parenting
	a.  Some of us are still being parented.  
		- Listen to your parents, and to God's instructions
		- Focus on becoming a person of godly character
	b.  Some of us have not yet become parents
		- This instruction is still good
	c.  Some of us are struggling parents
		- Nurture, discipline, and God as the model
		- If struggling, or wish to do better, CFS provides a service
	d.  Some of us have raised up our children
		- You are a wonderful resource
		- Please be willing to share your insight, we will ask.
3.  There may be other applications of this principle
	a.  Training a new Christian to be a disciple
	b.  Will reflect on these more in Life Groups.

Small Group Questions:  God Based Parenting

Summary:  Being a godly parent involves being both a nurturer and a disciplinarian.  This 
fits in with the character of God, who is the model parent.

Open: (choose one)
- Which set of parents would you most like to be like?  Ward and June Cleaver, Mike and Jan 
Brady, Archie and Edith Bunker, George and Jane Jetson, Ray and Deborah Barone, other?
- Which of these do you think is most unrealistic?

Explore:  (Eph 6:1-4; Col 3:21)

1.  List some synonyms and antonyms for the prohibitions and commands in these verses.  

2.  What is the significance of the words nurture and discipline?  How do they contrast to 
provoke, or exasperate?  

3.  God addresses fathers specifically and does not address mothers.  What does this say 
to you?

4.  (Heb 12:4-11).  How does this passage provide insight on the nature of discipline and 

5.  The passage in Hebrews reveals that God is the model parent.  What are some characteristics 
of God, or ways that he deals with his children?


6.  What are some aspects of God's parenting model that is most challenging to you?  What can 
you do about it?

7.  Identify some resources to help you as a parent.  How can you yourself be a resource to other 
parents?  If you are not yet a parent, how can this lesson help you?

8.  Are there other applications for the principles in this lesson?  What applications might this 
lesson have in helping a new Christian?  For grandparents?  For teachers?

(Prov 22:6)