Archie R. Green
Following worship Sunday morning, I began to reflect on a conversation that had been carried on by our Young Adult Bible Class that centered on the subject of inconsistency. You see, our class participants often get into a fairly “heated” discourse over the joys and ills of parenting and erratic teaching and modeling seem to be at the base of it all. The majority of us are between the ages 25 and 55 and have experienced parenthood at least once. And no matter what the beginning subject or lesson, it seems that we all ultimately “run headlong” into what can we do better or differently in reference to childrearing. It’s not that any of us have a supreme argument over the principal found in Proverbs 22:6. As a matter of fact, the surplus of information gleaned throughout the entire Bible allows us to be sufficient in God’s will for our lives and the lives of the ones that are in our keep. 2 Peter 1:3 We are all in agreement that doctrine must be obeyed in order to be pleasing unto God and for our own personal salvation. 1 Timothy 4:16 But the question is how to go about it? Here is where I would like to offer one integral item that affects the entire matter…constancy; it’s what makes the world go round. What we often notice from generation to generation is that variations are made in what the world deems as “nurturing” and not always for the better. Deuteronomy 31:19-21. Take an example from the carnal world in the teaching styles that our parents delivered to us. A generation ago when your dad taught you driving or how to change the oil in the car he would demonstrate not only how, but also gave you the why. You see it made a difference how things were accomplished. To be meticulous was caring. When you did not do exactly as demonstrated, often there was a “POP” across the top of your head. This meant you needed to focus and concentrate. What about Mom when she taught the girls how to cook? She would painstakingly give you more than enough reason as to when, where, how and the why of how to prepare a loving meal for the entire family. She would make a soufflé and not even allow you to breathe for fear that it would “drop” and the entire endeavor would have to start all over. She taught you how to cook with your ears, eyes, nose and the touch of your hand…details. When we were young we were taught to color "between the lines" now it is considered creative when our children scribble all over the place. How many times a day did you hear, “Money doesn’t grow on trees!” Now it obviously does. A different age group saw these things as a means to ensure that precious possessions would not end up damaged or destroyed by carelessness. And many God fearing Christians have resolved that these are the guards that have continually held true within scripture. Titus 2:1-8 But times have changed. And many of these deficiencies have lapped over into the spiritual. Remember when you did not have to teach someone that they should have their own wife or their own husband? 1 Corinthians 7:1-3 “Sleeping around” meant we were headed off to camp. There was no such thing as a “little white lie” it was taught that it was wrong anytime and for any reason. The “end did not justify the means”. Proverbs 12:22 Remember when God’s Plan of Salvation was clearly delivered to us as children over and over again so that we would understand that it is eternal and without flaw. Ephesians 1:4 You could never walk out of worship without having been explained why we “this do in remembrance of me”. Luke22:19 It was taught that this is not just a “habit” we have or just a “practice” of the church of Christ, but one that is mandated from Heaven and unavoidable towards salvation. Deuteronomy 29:24 Details, details and more details and perhaps that’s just the problem. Possibly we just got tired of hearing and doing it over and over again. We just simply decided to give it to our kids. With no application it just became useless information and ritual to them. (Possibly with many of us also) Maybe, just maybe we have neglected being unswerving in our teaching. 1 Corinthians 7:17 Or maybe we have decided that God does not know best for our lives. As Bible students, have we ever taken into consideration the prayers and actions of Hannah? 1 Samuel 1:10-11 Shouldn’t we realize that the children we have are only “on loan” and must be given back to God? 1 Samuel 1:28 What about the request made by Manoah, the father of Sampson, in Judges 13:8, “Then Manoah intreated the Lord, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.” And the question he prompted in verse “Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?” Are we that unwilling as a generation, as a people of God, to delay in asking Him what He desires of us? If we only have our children for a short time, is there any more precious gift we can give them other than the wisdom and fear of God? Our kids still need the specifics today. Our Father in heaven stands firm and consistent as an example to all. Hebrews 13:8 He encourages us to rise above the standards of this world and become victorious in Christ. 1 Corinthians15:57 Remember, God has no “grandchildren”; only joint heirs with Christ. Romans 8:17 They are not our personal possessions. We should not treat them like cheap “Bric-a-brac” that can so easily be replaced. Proverbs 20:7 I am reminded of a time when I was in West Texas working for Athletic Supply Warehouse. They sold CHAMPION brand gear. I loved their logo and still feel it is valuable statement today for us all and in all things…"It takes a little more to make a Champion!" The statement implied that in order to be better, you have to do better than what everyone else is willing to do. The world does not care about our children and definitely will not subscribe to Biblical wisdoms. Proverbs 14:33 What about us? Are we willing to put out just a little bit more effort for what is right and become like many of those honorable people that came before? Hebrews 11 No matter what it takes…no matter what the sacrifice is…let's commit to making our selves Champions…and our kids as well! Romans 8:37 God Bless.