Lesson 8 – What the Bible teaches about being a good father, mother and team
What could help spread the cause of Christ more than Christian parents making their homes truly Christian. Parents ought to give the highest of priorities to being what God would have them to be and to bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).
Crucial to the church’s ability to do the job, which the Lord has given it to do, is the kind of “job” which parents do in the rearing of their children. What happens in the homes of Christians largely determines what the local church will be able to accomplish in the spreading of the gospel of Christ. This includes not only what happens between husbands and wives, but also what happens between parents and children and between brothers and sisters.
It seems clear that there is a great deal of unhappiness in the homes of our nation – even in many homes where both husband and wife are members of the Lord’s church. A large amount of the unhappiness is caused by the fact human’s look to materialistic gain for happiness. It is the responsibility of Christian parents to teach their children that humanity must find its happiness not in things but in the Lord (Luke 12:15, Eph. 1:3, Gal. 2:20).
The Godly example of a Christian life is a powerful factor in leading children to God. Fathers and mothers “preach” and teach not only by what they say but also by what they do (Matt. 5:13-16, II Cor. 3:1-3, I Pet. 3:1-2). Every parent needs to regularly ask themselves, “What am I teaching my children by what I do?” Children are keenly observant and will recognize the discrepancies between what we say and what we do. Our children may hear what we say but they most certainly will see what we do.
The Bible – as God’s infallible message to man – is all sufficient to provide man with the knowledge he needs to live in such a way so that he might spend eternity with God (Rev. 2:10, Gal. 6:6-9, Gal. 5:16-23, II Pet. 1:2-11). That being the case, the Bible teaches what parents should and should not do in the rearing of their children.
1. Being a good father
1.1. Let us consider these facts provided by the Department of Health and Human Services:
1.1.1. More than one-fourth of American children – 17 million – don’t live with their fathers.
1.1.2. In 1996, 42% of female-headed households with children were poor, compared with 8% of families with children headed by married parents.
1.1.3. Girls without fathers in their lives are 2.5 times more likely to get pregnant and 53% more likely to commit suicide.
1.1.4. Boys without fathers in their lives are 63% more likely to run away from home and 37% more likely to use drugs.
1.1.5. Boys and girls without father involvement are twice as likely to drop out of school, twice as likely to go to jail and nearly four times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioral problems.
1.1.6. The average American father spends only 7 ½ uninterrupted minutes per WEEK with his children.
1.2. He accepts being the role of leadership in the family
1.2.1. Eph. 5:22 – 6:4
1.3. He accepts being a father with great joy.
1.3.1. Proverbs 17:6
1.4. He accepts the responsibility that goes with being a father.
1.4.1. Love – Luke 15:11-32
1.4.2. Nurture – Is 1:2, Numbers 11:12
1.4.3. Teach – Deut. 6:6-7
220.127.116.11. Kindness – by being thoughtful and considerate at home
18.104.22.168. Honesty – by keeping promises and living as he directs others to live
22.214.171.124. Courage – living unafraid and trusting God
126.96.36.199. Justice – by being fair to all alike
188.8.131.52. Teach children how to cope with life in all its relationships - with parents, brothers and sisters and friends. Christian fathers should be always careful that these attitudes are spiritually instilled and that his children learn to face life with assurance and self-confidence born of a strong faith in Christ.
184.108.40.206. Godliness – by living obediently to God (I Tim. 4:12)
1.4.4. Instructs – Proverbs 1:8, I Thess. 2:11
1.4.5. Train – Proverbs 22:6
1.4.6. Find time for his children
1.4.7. Provide for his family
220.127.116.11. Physical needs - I Tim. 5:8
18.104.22.168. Spiritual needs – Deut. 32:46-47
1.4.8. Be patient – Eph. 6:4, Colossians 3:21
1.4.9. Discipline – Total training of the child
22.214.171.124. It must be established that the father, as well as the mother, is the authority over children.
126.96.36.199.1. Ask yourself, who controls the actions of our household, the parents or the children? Who runs the house?
188.8.131.52.2. Father’s must be a strong, controlling influence in the home and, as children grow older, a father’s hand on the reins becomes increasingly important. Boys especially need a strong image to identify with.
184.108.40.206. Punishment and reprimand are elements of discipline.
220.127.116.11.1. Make sure the child understands that the discipline is done in love not anger and that the discipline is based on disapproval of the action, not of the child themselves. Discipline is necessary but must be exercised patiently, and for the good of all concerned.
18.104.22.168.2. Harshness and bitterness – ruling with an iron hand will only serve to provoke children and run them off.
22.214.171.124.3. Bible instruction for discipline:
126.96.36.199.3.1. Prov. 3:12
188.8.131.52.3.2. Prov. 22:13
184.108.40.206.3.3. Heb. 12:5-9
1.5. He knows how to cry
1.5.1. He is no less a man when he cries over the right things.
1.6. He can admit when he is wrong
2. Being a good mother
2.1. She should appreciate the great privilege of motherhood.
2.1.1. Motherhood is a special and dignified position. Woman is uniquely qualified for the great work of bearing children, of keeping the home, and of fostering love, companionship, and security for her husband and children. God endowed the female with qualities of reacting more emotionally and mercifully than man to special needs and situations, of showing more love and sympathy, and of being able to more adequately minister to the demands of the child.
2.1.2. It was woman who gave birth and reared Christ (Luke 1:26-38).
2.1.3. The Law of Moses demanded that:
220.127.116.11. Mothers be honored (Exodus 20:12) and respected (Lev. 19:3).
18.104.22.168. Her teaching was not to be abandoned (Proverbs 1:8; 6:20)
22.214.171.124. She was not to be despised, mocked, or scorned (Prov. 15:20, 17:25; 19:26; 23:22; 30:17)
2.1.4. To have a child is a tremendous joy
126.96.36.199. Gen. 21:6-7; Luke 1:46-55; Psalms 113:9
2.2. She should honor and treat with dignity sacred human life in the womb
2.2.1. John 16:21
2.2.2. Millions of unborn children have died since the Roe v. Wade decision came down in 1973. Abortion is murder, and murder is a sin (Romans 13:9).
2.2.3. The fetus has all properties that are essential to being a human being. In Psalms 139:13-16, David makes reference to when he was in his mother’s womb. The pronouns “me”, “my”, and “I” are used throughout the passage in reference to David’s pre-natal state.
2.2.4. One of the clearest statements in the Bible concerning the humanity of a fetus is found in Jeremiah 1:5. In this passage Jeremiah states that the Lord knew him before he was born and that the Lord sanctified him as a prophet while he was still in his mother’s womb.
2.2.5. Two nations struggled in Rebekah’s womb (Gen. 25:22-23).
2.2.6. John showed life in the womb of Elizabeth (Luke 1:44).
2.2.7. As for other forms of abuse and neglect of the fetus, such as drinking, drugs, smoking etc., read I Cor. 6:19. The body within you is a temple of God.
2.3. She is responsible for much more than simply bringing children into the world.
2.3.1. She and her husband complement each other in the molding of their children into what God would have them to be. God put the husband and wife together so that the parental unit could function.
2.4. She should love her children
2.4.1. Along with her husband she gives good gifts to her children
188.8.131.52. Matthew 7:9-11
184.108.40.206. II Corinthians 12:14
2.4.2. Shows the proper kind of love (I Corinthians 13:4-8).
2.4.3. Older women are to teach the younger to love their children (Tit. 2:4, I Cor. 13:4-7).
2.5. She should be a good woman
2.5.1. Mary “found favor with God,” thus he was with her (Luke 1:28-30).
2.5.2. Proverbs 31
2.6. She should guide and teach her children
2.6.1. A major portion of the mother’s time will be spent with her children leading and protecting them. Children go in the direction that they are aimed. The Hebrews realized how important it was to pass the godly life-style to their children (Deut. 11:18-21).
2.6.2. Elizabeth was righteous and blameless (Luke 1:6). She passed this onto John.
2.6.3. The faith which Eunice exhibited was evident in the life of Timothy (II Tim. 1:5).
2.7. She is a comforter
2.7.1. Isaiah 66:13
2.8. She is must exercise proper discipline upon her children
2.8.1. She must be an extension and complement to the rules laid down by the husband.
3. Being a good team
3.1. Understand this is NOT a competition!
3.2. Assume your God defined role in the family.
3.3. Understand the extreme blessing and responsibility God has bestowed upon you (Gen. 33:4-5, Prov 22:6).
3.3.1. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
3.3.2. Every leader of our world, godly or ungodly, was once a child sitting on the knee of a parent.
3.3.3. Provide training and correction for your children.
220.127.116.11. See what happens when Eli does not (I Sam. 3).
3.3.4. You are the guardians of an inheritance (Prov. 13:22).
3.3.5. Show your love for your children by word, conduct, and by physical contact (hug, kiss, etc.) Children should be recognized and praised for their accomplishments, and corrected for their misconduct.
3.4. Children should be exposed to a consistent, godly example in word and deed from both parents.
3.4.1. Joseph, son of Jacob and Rachel
3.5. Parent’s need to seriously consider the spiritual damage which quarreling, bickering, and fighting can – and does – inflict, not only on each other but also upon their children.
3.5.1. Children want and need for their parents to love each other.
3.6. Spend time with your children.
3.6.1. Quality time does NOT take the place of quantity time. Both are EXTREMELY important!
3.6.2. Spending money on your children is not an adequate substitute; it sends the wrong message about priorities.
3.7. Answer your children’s questions.
3.7.1. They will get the answers from somewhere.
3.8. Shun bad environments, unlike Lot in Genesis 13:12.
3.9. Do NOT show favoritism to a child over others as Jacob did in Genesis 37.
3.10.Teach your children honesty, unlike Rebekah in Genesis 27.
3.11.Teach your children of the actions and goodness of God (Exodus 13:8-14).
3.12.Never underestimate the power of evil or worldly allurements (Eph. 2:2, Is. 56:11-12).
3.12.1. Children should be taught to have the resolution of Moses (Heb. 11:24-26).
3.12.2. Of Christ (Matt. 4:1-11)
3.13.Be consistent and fair in the punishment of your children
3.14.Parents should pray for their children (I Sam. 12:23).
3.15.Parents should teach their children:
3.15.1. About the sexual relationship in marriage.
3.15.2. About whom to marry.
3.15.3. About what God intends for married life to be like (the biggest lesson in this area should come by the example the children see everyday).
3.15.4. About respect.
3.15.5. About building and maintaining human relationships.
3.15.6. About sin.
3.15.7. To believe in God.
3.15.8. To believe in the Bible as the word of God.
3.15.9. To love and worship God.
3.15.10.About the power of the blood of Christ to save
3.15.11.About living a Christian life