The Covenant Family (03) - Helping Children Mature
Ephesians 2:12–22 NRSV - Remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ . . . that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace . . . So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
"Christ is the wound of the world to stitch the wounds of the world." Paul Zahl
The Covenantal Responsibilities of Parents - Many texts address the role of parents:
Genesis 18:19 - For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.”
Deuteronomy 6:7 - “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
Ephesians 6:4 - Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Colossians 3:21- Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him. And Proverbs 29:15 - The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.
Avoid hypocrisy . . .
The Covenant Responsibilities of Children - Children are required to obey, but it also brings blessing.
Exodus 20:12 - Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
Proverbs 6:20 - My son, observe the commandment of your father And do not forsake the teaching of your mother.
Proverbs 19:20 - He who curses his father or his mother, His lamp will go out in time of darkness.
Proverbs 2:16 - To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words; 17 That leaves the companion of her youth And forgets the covenant of her God.
Proverbs 13:20 - He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.
The goal of wisdom is to deliver our children and ourselves from evil and misery. Biblical Wisdom helps us consider our company, think through the consequences of our actions, and plan for well-doing.
THE KIND OF HOME THAT HELPS CHILDREN MATURE IS A PEACEFUL HOME
Proverbs 19:13 A foolish son is destruction to his father, And the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping.
2X Proverbs 21:9 and 25:24 It is better to live in a corner of the roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.
Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute.
Proverbs 17:1 Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it Than a house full of feasting with strife.
THESE ARE GENERALIZATIONS: Use these for reflection.
The Abdicating Father - never there; he’s not around; he finds his work, his friends, and his hobbies an escape from the family. It produces resentments and rebellion. Gospel application: He will be God to you children after you; God’s covenant grace motivates us to know Him and be like Him.
The Inadequate Mother - can’t get it all done; dysfunctional family; hard time getting dinner on the table;
Gospel application: Christ has taken all of our inadequacies and he will give us a new name that no one knows; we are unique and gifted. Do the baby steps you need.
The Angry Father - overly authoritarian; blows up at simple problems; everyone must walk on egg shells around him;
Why are you angry? Are you embarrassed? Gospel application: But Christ took our embarrassment, our shame and it was nailed to the cross. Be angry but don’t sin; Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.
The Anxious Mother - overprotective, treats a teenage son like a 4 year old, frets, worries, stresses out; when problems happen there is a crisis; This produces stress in the home and not peace.
Gospel applicaiton: Realize Christ is in your life; you have failed and will fail; But trust Christ; Practice t