Locations of visitors to this page
Parenting-Doing It God's Way
Scripture: Deuteronomy 8:5; Proverbs 3:11-12; Prove...
Track 7 of 7 in the Transforming Families series
Running time: 59 minutes, 24 seconds.

Click above to listen in this window.
Right-click to download MP3. With one-button mouse, control-click.

Be sure to scroll down to read the transcript.

Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

Parenting is really a serious venture. God places a really high value on being good parents and the affect good parenting has on the rest of your family, your church and the world around you. So much is riding on your ability to model Jesus to your kids through your role as a parent. Too often parents don't see it that way. Usually parents start out trying just to survive. What they do and how they react to situations is much like how their parents reacted when they were kids. But that is not what Jesus wants, he wants us to model parenting the way He is as a parent.

In our video last week Rob Bell asked a very important question; one I know I don't really think a lot about. The question is really important and we need to know how to answer because the answer has a lot to do with how we are as parent.

Do you believe that God is good? I mean, do you deep in your bones? What do you really believe that God is like? Because until we each deal with this question, then nothing's ever going to make sense, is it?

So do you believe that God is good? If so, then what does that really mean? If God is good, then what is God like? How do you explain this to a person who doesn't know God? How does this understanding affect your role as a parent to your kids? Do they see you the same way we see God as our Father?

Until we really possess a Biblical understanding of what our true relationship with God the Father is like, as his sons and daughters here on this earth, it will really be difficult for us as parents to keep the proper focus and perspective on what our relationship with our children should be. The model we are to follow is the model Jesus shows us every day.

Are your kids unique from each other or are they exactly the same? If your kids are totally different from one another, how do you parent each child who is totally different from one another? Do you treat each the same and work from the same play book? Is it better to have kids that are totally different from one another or would you prefer each to be the same? How many of you would prefer the perfect child; the kind of child that was like the category 1 child from last week?

Do we understand our Heavenly Father is continually parenting us with the right mix of love and discipline for our own good, and that the right mix is different for each one of us, because we are all different and unique creations of His?

There are many things in this life that just go together. One without the other would be considered an incomplete thought or idea. Some things are not meant to be apart. Example:

Coffee and Donuts
Cake and ice cream
Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
Mutt and Jeff
Peaches and cream
Cardinals and Cubs
Husband and wife
There are just some things that are naturals together. The same is with many things dealing with God. When it comes to parenting, there are two things that are essential and one works with the other. Many would consider them opposites but God wants us to know they are compliments; they together make the whole person; love and discipline.

There are so many scriptures dealing with God's perspective on parenting and raising children that include both love and discipline. These are also the two main elements that God uses as he continues parenting us.

Deuteronomy 8:5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

Proverbs 3:11-12 My son, do not despise the LORD'S discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Proverbs 13:24 He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

Hebrews 12:7-11 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

In order to be the best parent we can be and do it the way God wants us to, what does it first require? To accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Can our kids be successful in finding Jesus and having a spiritual foundation if we the parents aren't Christians…or don't act like Christians in the home. What are the obstacles? How important is Dad in passing on a spiritual foundation to the kids, especially the sons?

Top 10 Mistakes All Fathers Make: This list came from a book titled Better Dads, Stronger Sons; How Fathers Can Guide Boys to Become Men of Character

1. Emphasizing weaknesses, not strengths
2. Avoiding physical affection
3. Giving too little time
4. Pushing for performance
5. Forgetting to have fun
6. Fear of failure
7. Abusing your power
8. Neglecting your need for friendship
9. Being inconsistent
10. Being complacent and passive

I want to spend some time with the Dads because the role of Father is a very important role. In fact, we men realize too little how important being a father is to our kids. Think about this a minute, what title did God claim for himself more than any other title? Of all the titles he could have taken or called himself, Father is the one he preferred. (1,488 times in scripture).

Between the last time any prophet spoke from God until the time Jesus was to come as a human on this earth, there were 400 years of silence. For 400 years the nation of Israel would not hear any words from God. If you were God knowing you weren't going to say anything to your people for such a long time, what last words of importance would you say to your people?

Malachi 4:6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."

I think this verse is very interesting. God could have used any sign to mark the return of the Lord. He could have said everyone would go back to the temple, hunger or wars would end. Instead he chose to highlight the restoration of fathers to their children in connection with the return of the Lord. He also throws in a curse if fathers abdicate their God mandated role. The word for curse here is the most severe of all curses, complete annihilation.

What is happening to the role off Father in this country? Has it changed over the years? Has it been for better or worse? What consequences do we as a society face if the role of the father is eliminated?

Men, God has chosen you to lead your sons to make them into noble men. He has chosen you to show your family how Jesus loves the church by how you love your wife and as she willingly submits to your leadership as you love and adore her, your kids will see day after day the profound mystery and accept Jesus when the time is right in their lives due to your example.

Children will invariably talk, eat, walk, think, respond, and act like their parents. Give them a target to shoot at. Give them a goal to work toward. Give them a pattern that they can see clearly, and you give them something that gold and silver cannot buy. BILLY GRAHAM

If a child sees his parents day in and day out living without self-restraint or self-discipline, then he will come in the deepest fibers of his being to believe that that is the way to live. M. Scott Peck

Parents are the Spiritual Leaders in the Family

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

This passage provides the central theme of Deuteronomy. It sets a pattern that helps us relate the Word of God to our daily life. God emphasized the importance of parents' teaching the Bible to their children. The church and Christian schools cannot be used as an escape from this responsibility.

The Hebrews were extremely successful at making religion an integral part of life. The reason for their success was that religious education was life-oriented, not information-oriented. They used the context of daily life to teach about God. The key to teaching your children to love God is stated simply and clearly in these verses. If you want your children to follow God, you must make God a part of your everyday experiences. You must diligently teach your children to see God in all aspects of life, not just those that are church related.

This is something every parent should ask themselves, how many hours a day do I use to teach my children about God? I would bet in the normal Christian household, we are not talking about hours but maybe minutes or seconds when it comes to Bible teaching our kids. What are the consequences when parents pass the responsibility of Bible teaching to the Sunday school teachers, Keith or Matt or someone else in the Church?

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

God expects parents to be patient with their children. If our faith in Christ is real, it will usually prove itself at home, in our relationships with those who know us best. Children and parents have a responsibility to each other. Children should honor their parents even if the parents are demanding and unfair. Parents should care gently for their children, even if the children are disobedient and unpleasant.

The purpose of parental discipline is to help children grow, not to exasperate and provoke them to anger or discouragement. Parenting is not easy-it takes lots of patience to raise children in a loving, Christ-honoring manner. But frustration and anger should not be causes for discipline. Instead, parents should act in love, treating their children as Jesus treats the people he loves. This is vital to children's development and to their understanding of what Christ is like.

Why are these warnings targeted towards fathers and not toward mothers? I believe it is meant for both. The husband and wife are one and so work together as one. But it is in the image of the father where authority lays. I also believe that this problem lies more with fathers and is one of the 10 mistakes fathers make. The last and main reason is the father represents to the family what Jesus represents to the church. Family fathers are to be like our Heavenly Father and love and raise his children with the same tenderness Jesus has for the church. It is through the actions of earthly fathers as they imitate Jesus that children learn and grow honoring their parents and honoring God. It all has to do with the profound mystery being played out everyday in the home.

How can the church, how can this class help parents in this church to be Godly parents, raise their children in fear of the Lord and receive the honor they deserve from their children? What are the specific steps we can take to start helping in this area?