Words To Live By: Reasons For Unfaithfulness - 20A


Uploaded by TFTWTV on 12.12.2012

Transcript:
The following program
is a production of Truth For The World.
íMU "Day by day, and with each passing moment,
"strength I find to meet my trials here.
"Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear." íMU
What are the reasons for unfaithfulness in the home?
Hello and welcome to the program Words To Live By.
In this series of programs,
we are examining the home and the family.
And while this topic is too broad and vast for us to be able
to cover every scenario or potential idea for discussion,
we do hope to give you God's instructions for the home
and family and thus give you Words To Live By.
You can then take these words and use them as your rules
and guidelines to follow when making decisions
about your own situations regarding the home and family.
In reality, the home and family are under attack today.
As we have begun to see in our previous programs,
there are those who would dismantle the home and family
by breaking down God's plan for marriage
and God's appointed roles for us in the family and home.
We continue looking at threats to the home and family
with this lesson called Reasons For Unfaithfulness in the Home.
B. J. Clarke will be leading us through the lesson.
In the book of Proverbs chapter 22 and verse 6, we read this,
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old,
he will not depart from it."
Is this always true?
Well, we have to remember that the book of Proverbs is just
that - a book filled with proverbs.
Proverbs are sayings or guidelines
that generally hold true but aren't guaranteed
to be the case in every situation.
So generally if we do train up a child in the ways of the Lord,
we should see that child following God later in life.
Certainly the opposite proverb would be true as well.
If we do NOT train up a child in the way that they should go,
then we generally will not see them following God later
in life.
But many parents know that even
if their children know what is right,
the child can still choose not to become a Christian
and not be faithful to the church.
The thing to remember is
that each child is a free moral agent.
They can grow up and make decisions
that will affect their lives, and yes,
even their eternal destiny.
But generally speaking, if we "train up a child in the way
that he should go, when he is old,
he will not depart from it."
Something to remember as B.J. Clarke will point out later is
that even though a child may have the best parents,
they still have the freewill to choose the wrong path.
A great example of this is in the Garden of Eden.
There we see Adam and Eve.
Who were the parents of Adam and Eve?
Well, who created them?
Was not God their parent, giving them life and instruction?
Yet we see that Adam and Eve both took of the forbidden fruit
and rebelled against God.
Why would they do that?
They certainly knew better.
God had provided everyhing they needed.
They knew the truth.
Well, the fact is they were tempted,
and they gave in to the temptation.
Parents must realize this as well.
They may give their children everything they need,
they may show them love, they may give them instruction,
and they may be a good example to them.
But that will not guarantee
that their child will remain faithful.
The child still has that choice to make.
Does that mean that parents don't have a responsibility?
Well, of course not.
Notice the book of Deuteronomy chapter 6, verses 4 through 7,
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day,
shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up."
So when should we be teaching children
about God and what is right?
Well, the correct answer is all the time.
Parents have a serious responsibility to train children
in the ways of the Lord.
The soul of the child is at stake.
And if parents do not do a good job teaching their children,
then the parents will answer for it
and their souls may be at stake as well.
The point is that parents need to be doing their part
in giving their children the instruction of the Lord,
being good examples to them, loving them,
caring for them and nurturing them.
But the final choice of whether any individual obeys the Lord is
up to the individual.
B. J. Clarke is going to be talking about some
of the reasons for unfaithfulness in the home.
And these may be areas
where parents are lacking or need improvement.
If you are a parent or think you may be one someday,
pay close attention to this lesson.
Make sure that these problems are not present
in your home and family.
Give your children what they need in order that they may know
about God, that they may grow up following Him
and being faithful to Him.
What are the causes of unfaithfulness in the home?
And may I say, in the first place, that all depends
on whose home we are talking about, doesn't it?
Because if I were to ask you, "What was the cause
of unfaithfulness in the first home, that existed in the Garden
of Eden", what would you say?
Would you say that unfaithfulness that cropped
up in the Garden of Eden was due to the fact that Adam
and Eve did not have a good father,
that they were not trained or educated well enough?
Now, are we suggesting that parents have no influence
over the direction of a home?
I am not suggesting that at all.
As a matter of fact, what I want to do this morning is
to give some possible causes for unfaithfulness in the home,
and then I want to, as we conclude, caution us not
to paint with too broad of a brush when it comes
to deciding matters like this.
In the first place, it is very possible that unfaithfulness
in the home exists because of a lack of education.
You know as well as I do, that children can only be as good
as they are taught to be.
And you know as well as I do, that it is a responsibility
of parents to educate our children
in the ways of Almighty God.
A man, by the name of John Flavel,
is credited with writing these words.
He says to parents, "If you neglect
to instruct your children in the way of holiness,
will the Devil neglect to instruct them
in the way of wickedness?
No. If you will not teach them to pray,
Satan will teach them to lie and curse.
If ground is uncultivated, weeds will grow."
And there is so much truth to that.
Satan is not going to adopt a
"Hands off" policy toward your children and mine if you
and I decide, "Well, I am not going to try
to influence my children."
And sometimes you hear parents
who think they're doing the right thing say, "You know,
I'm not going to cram religion down my child's throat
by making them attend worship services
and making them do their Bible Class homework
and making them do this, that and the other."
And I remember, years ago, reading an article which took
that very position and showed the fallacy of it.
It says these same parents do not adopt such a philosophy
when it comes to secular education.
They are sure to make sure their children are up,
ready for school, that they have their homework done,
and they are ready to go.
And yet when it comes to the Bible School, we are told that,
"this is something my children will have to decide."
The children need influence, and the sculptor explained
on one occasion, when someone walked in his sculptor shop,
and they saw two heads there.
One of them was sharply defined.
The features were well chiseled and very easily distinguishable.
And there was another head right next to it
that was obviously made from the same mold,
but it was all blurred,
and there was no sharpness to the face.
And the sculptor was asked, "What is the difference
between these two heads?"
And referring to the one that was so blurry and undefined,
he said, "This particular one, the metal was allowed
to cool before it was stamped out, and therefore,
it would not take the impression."
The point being that the time for me and you
to educate our children is when they're small,
right from the beginning.
A mother was reading the Bible to her infant child on her lap,
and someone came up to her and said, "You don't really think
that your child understands a word you're saying, do you?"
And she said, "No, I don't think he does yet.
But I don't know when exactly that time will be,
and I would love for one of his first childhood memories to be
of mother reading the Bible to him."
Certainly education is really what it's all about.
You can't teach, though, what you don't know.
Parents cannot impart what they do not first know themselves.
Hence, look at Deuteronomy chapter 6
with me for just a moment.
Of course this is the classic text on this subject,
but it deserves our consideration again.
This is what Moses said in Deuteronomy the sixth chapter,
beginning in verse 6, "And these words
which I command you this day," notice, "first,
shall be in thine heart," the Bible "heart" being the mind.
And he says, "Thou shall teach them diligently unto thy
children," but notice first,
"you have to lay it up in your heart."
What did the psalmist say in Psalm 119 and verse 11?
"Thy word have I hidden in mine heart,
so that I might not sin against thee."
I cannot transmit to my children teaching on the subject
of calculus, because I don't know the first thing about it.
When they gave me an option in high school to choose
to take Geometry or Business Math,
I chose Business Math lickety-split,
because I'm just not very talented when it comes
to the field of mathematics.
As I got a little older and studied the field of Logic,
I wished I'd taken Geometry, because there is a lot
of logic involved in it.
But be that as it may, when we try to teach
on something we don't know, it becomes apparent very quickly.
And our children cannot be taught by parents,
if they're not first taught themselves.
That's why we're so thankful that when we read what Paul said
to Timothy, we understand how Timothy came
to know the Holy Scriptures, which were able
to make him wise unto salvation.
He'd known them from a babe.
How? Because of his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice.
He'd known the scriptures because they were first known
by his grandmother and mother and transmitted to him
because they educated him, and they did so diligently.
Listen further to Deuteronomy 6.
He says, "Talk of them when thou sitteth in thine house,
when thou walkest by the way,
when thou liest down, when thou risest up."
That pretty much covers the gamut of the day, doesn't it?
When you get up, when you go to bed, when you're walking
around during the day, when you're sitting
down during the day - that pretty much covers it.
And parents look for opportunities to teach,
and they try to educate.
Psalm 78 is beautiful also in this department.
Psalm 78 says, "Which we have heard and known."
How did we hear and know these spiritual truths?
He says, "Our fathers have told us."
"We were educated by fathers who knew the word
and loved it, and taught it to us.
That's how we came to know it."
And Isaiah chapter 38 and verse number 19 says that,
"The father is to make known the truth of God to his children."
And certainly that is every child's privilege, or right,
to have a father and mother to teach them the word of God.
Do you remember, in Joshua chapter 4,
this statement is made, "When your children ask you in time
to come, What does this mean?"
The parents were expected to be able to explain it.
"Here's what it means."
And when our children today ask us "Mom, Dad,
why don't we use instruments like Johnny
and the congregation he goes to, my friend at school?
Why don't we do this, why don't we do that?"
The best thing we can do is say, "Well the Bible says,"
and to teach them what the Bible says, and we don't always want
to be in the department of saying "Well,
we'll have to ask the preacher tomorrow, honey,
because we don't really know."
Parents need to know, and they need
to educate their children accordingly.
First Peter 3:15 says, "Be ready to give an answer to every man
that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you
with meekness and fear."
We're to do it.
And that certainly applies
to parents answering the questions of their children.
We're to be ready to answer.
The only way to be ready to answer is to study, to study,
and to study some more.
Now my children have asked me some questions over the years
that were very difficult for me to answer.
At which time I would immediately say,
"Go ask your mother."
No, I'm just kidding about that.
Maybe I did that once or twice, but we need to try to study
and to be able to give an answer.
Now Brother Thomas Eves, years ago, wrote a little piece,
small piece, for the bulletin, but oh, how powerful it was.
And I want you to hear this, please.
He wrote a powerful piece on why we are losing our young people.
This is what he wrote, "Parents in the past have come
to preachers with tear-filled eyes, wringing their hands
in anguish over the spiritual conditions of their children.
They were heard to say, I just don't understand it.
My son or daughter has attended services and worship since he
or she was a toddler, and now they've gone astray."
And Brother Eves asks in this article, "Where did they sit?
On the back rows.
What did they do?
They played.
What did they learn?
Not God's word.
They didn't hear it."
My Brethren, many parents will continue to agonize
over the spiritual state of their children as long
as they are allowed to socialize on the back seats
of the worship service building or of meeting houses.
It's the responsibility of parents
to teach their children the value of worship
and hearing God's word and to supervise their children
as God's people gather to worship.
Parents, it is the eleventh hour.
Do you know where your children are?
In the house of worship,
do you know in what activities they are engaged?
I wish that I was making this up, but at a congregation
that my father once preached at,
there were two teenagers kissing passionately
on the back row during the worship services.
At which time, my father finally had had such enough of it,
as he was trying to preach God's holy word, that he called them
down in the most discrete fashion he could,
because others were being distracted by it.
As it turns out, one of the parties involved was the son
of one of the deacons, and so my father was then censured
by the elders for embarrassing them.
I do not know why they were not called in by the elders
and asked, "What do you think you're doing in worship to God?"
This is sinful!
It is blasphemous!
I am suggesting to you this: That if we do not,
it's not enough to bring our children to worship services.
We need to know that while they're there,
they're connected, they're plugged in,
that they are learning.
And we can know that by asking questions on the way home
after services, "What do you think about this point?
How did you react, or what is your response to this?
How did you like that song?"
Whatever the case may be, we talk about it and we educate.
Now one of the aspects of education
that certainly is important is discipline.
Now I'm not the first to notice that the word discipline,
if you cut the very ending off, looks like the word "disciple."
Because what is discipline all about?
It is teaching; it is educating.
Why are some unfaithful?
Because they've never been properly disciplined
to learn to respect authority.
And how many times have we said
that if our children do not learn to respect authority
in the home, they're not going to respect it in the schools,
and they're not going to respect it
from their heavenly Father when He speaks.
It's so imperative for us to make sure
that our children have been properly disciplined.
The Bible says in Proverbs 19:18,
"Chasten thy son while there is hope,
and let not thy soul spare for his crying."
I know you've seen it.
"I'll do better Mom.
Please don't spank me," after the fifteenth warning.
And you've see it as well as I do, "Foolishness is bound
up in the heart of the child."
But God has a solution for that.
"The rod of correction shall drive it far
from him," Proverbs 22:15.
And someone says, "Well,
I wonder whose child that's talking about?"
I've got news for you - that's talking about my child,
that's talking about your child.
You say, "You're saying my child?"
I'm saying all children have a degree of foolishness that has
to be taken out of them by forms of discipline.
We might not start with that as the first form of discipline.
But if others fail, then there's nothing wrong with going
to God's book and saying, "God said that certain forms
of discipline, such as spanking, with a measured dose
of discipline, may be the very thing your child needs
to get their attention."
Years ago, I preached at a congregation where a little boy
with his brand new cowboy boots - he was four years old -
went around the auditorium, kicking people
in the shins as hard as he could.
He thought it was hilarious.
Well, he kicked one of our elderly sisters,
and she began bleeding profusely.
I saw him do it.
And so I took him to his mother and father
and explained what I'd just seen and said,
"If my child had done this, I know I would want to know
so that I could correct it, and I just wanted to let you know."
At this point, the father took his four-year-old son
and picked him up and carried him
to where the sister was sitting on the front bench
and being attended to by members who were trying
to get her bleeding to stop.
He looked at his son and said, "Now I want you to apologize."
He said, "No!"
He said, "No, I want you to apologize to her."
And he said, "No!"
And he spit in his father's face.
The father reached up and wiped the warm drool off of the side
of his face and looked at his son and he said,
"Now we've talked about that.
Don't do that.
Now I'm asking you to apologize to her."
And he said, "No!"
and smacked his father in the face.
At this point, I was ready to adopt the child myself
and to educate the child,
because the father wasn't doing anything about it.
I wish that I could tell you that there was reason
and rationality when I talked to this - somehow I was selected
by the elders to go and talk to this family
about raising children.
I would love for them to have been with me to lead the way
or for them to go and for me to let them lead the way.
But you know, I sat down with this family.
And the woman brought out Dr. Spock's book and threw it
in my lap and said, "You need to read that chapter
on the terrible twos."
Now, remember, their child's four years old,
and I do not know exactly why I was supposed to read the chapter
on the terrible twos because the child was far
from two years old.
But I had my Bible with me, and as lovingly as I knew how,
I picked up the book in one hand, and said, "By the way,
I don't know if you're aware of it or not,
but Dr. Spock recanted his permissive philosophy
which was espoused in some
of the earlier editions of his work.
He explained that he was wrong
and that his permissiveness had not been the solution,
but it had caused problems, more problems."
I said, "But even if he'd never taken it back,
I want to ask you a question: I have two books in my hand.
One of them is the inspired word of God,
and the other is the uninspired writing of men.
Which of these two books - who knows more about the subject
of child-rearing than the one
who made children, the one who made man?
Which book is more authoritative
when it comes to raising children?"
And she grudgingly admitted that it was the Bible
but did not see the application.
It's so important for you and me to educate our children,
even if it means the spanking that they don't want.
The measured dose of discipline that says, "This is going
to hurt you, but I'm trying to keep you from a greater pain."
How many mothers in here have taken your children
for vaccinations?
Why, you're cruel.
Didn't you know that they were going to take a needle
and poke it into the body of your child
and cause your child to cry?
How could you be so cruel to put your child through that pain?
And you say, "Brother Clarke, I was trying to keep them
from a greater pain later on, and that is the actual disease!"
And I understand.
And no, it's not a picnic for any parent to have
to discipline their child, and yeah, all those times
when my dad said, "This is going to hurt me more than you,"
I know realized that he was telling me the truth.
He wasn't just talking.
But I also know that there's a greater pain than the pain
of a spanking, and that is the pain
of an eternal hell that never ends.
And I would rather give my child a measured dose of pain here
to try to give them some form of rehabilitation
than to see them die lost because I didn't do that.
In looking at the lack of education as a reason
for unfaithfulness in the home, we must point out again
that it is the parents' responsibility to bring
up a child in the way that he should go.
It is the job of the parents to teach their children about God
when they sit in their house with their children,
when they walk with their children, when they lie down
and when they rise up.
Basically that means they need
to be constantly teaching their children
about God and His commandments.
Parents must not rely on the preacher,
the Bible class teacher or any school system
to teach their child what they need to know about God.
Yes, these might be good supplements, but they are not
to be the substitute for the real thing.
You might give your children vitamins as supplements
for your diet, but you should not just give them vitamins
instead of giving them any food.
We can also emphasize the seriousness of this education.
You and your children's souls are at stake.
Can there be anything more important than this?
Can we really say that we are too busy to make sure
that our child has a good Bible education?
Too busy doing something more important
than the salvation of your souls?
Really? If your child does not receive the proper spiritual
education, how can we expect them to grow up faithful
to the Lord and be saved?
If we do not teach our children as God has commanded,
should we expect our souls to stand before God
and He will be pleased?
The book of Second Timothy chapter 2
and verse 15 says this,
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth."
Parents, are you studying,
really studying, the word of God?
Are your children studying,
really studying, the word of God?
Are we placing more importance on the study of the word of God
than on the study of other things?
See, there may be parents who see
that their child is struggling with math in school.
They may have their children stay after school
and meet with the teacher.
They may hire a tutor.
They may ask others for help.
They may stay up late at night helping their kids finish
their homework.
And all this work is being done so that they can learn math,
which is a good thing to learn.
But will those same parents require their children
to study the word of God that diligently?
Will they stay up late with them, helping them
to understand a Bible passage or doctrine?
Will they ask the preacher to stay late after services
to explain something to their child
or to answer their questions?
Why would we not treat the study of the word of God,
which is much more important than math,
with even more diligence of study than math?
B. J. also pointed out that parents cannot teach children
what they do not know.
How important, then, is it for the parents to study God's word?
Well, even though we are looking at the physical home
and family during the course of these programs,
we need to mention the spiritual family.
The most important family
of which you can be a member is the spiritual family of God.
When we rebel against God's laws and do things our ways,
it's sin, and the punishment for that sin is death,
or separation from God.
Romans chapter 6 and verse 23 tells us that the "wages
of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord."
It's because of Jesus Christ
that we can have eternal life instead
of the death that we deserve.
Jesus, who is God, came down to earth and lived a sinless life,
and gave Himself as a perfect sacrifice of death
to pay the penalty of sin for all mankind.
If we accept that sacrifice on our behalf
and have our sins washed away, we can return to God's presence
after this life is over.
How do you do that?
You need to first believe that Jesus is the Son of God,
that He died for your sin as a perfect sacrifice.
Then you need to repent, turn away from your life of sin
and rebelling against God and follow Him and His laws.
Then confess that belief in Christ before others,
stating simply you believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
And next, be immersed, baptized, buried underwater,
for the remission of your sins, to have those sins washed away.
Then once you do that, you can rise to walk a new creature,
and live faithfully, following Jesus and His laws
for the rest of your life.
God will add you to the church.
God will add you to His family.
You will be a child of God, and then one day
after this life is over, you can return to the presence of God,
to the presence of Jesus, to the presence of the Holy Spirit,
and you can be there with God as His family for eternity.
Truth For The World is a work of the Duluth Church of Christ,
in cooperation with Churches of Christ throughout the world.
íMU "Day by day, and with each passing moment,
"strength I find to meet my trials here.
"Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear." íMU