OPEN HEAVENS Devotional – Saturday February 13th 2016
TOPIC: FULFILLING GOD’S PURPOSE? IV
Memorize: And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them
Read: Genesis 18:17-19,
17 And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
Bible in one year: Mark 14:43-16:8, Job 21:1-16
The Bible declared the father as the head of the home – head of the mother and the children. As such, fathers have complete authority within the household to direct the affairs of the family, and to administer discipline when necessary. However, Apostle Paul admonishes that fathers should handle authority over their children with care; they are to be careful not to provoke their children to wrath. Some fathers are guilty of using their authority unreasonably in ways that cause their children to harbour resentment.
However, fathers have the responsibility to bring their children up in the way of the Lord. In many cultures today, parents have submitted and completely relinquished their God given responsibility to raise godly children to school teachers, Sunday schools teachers, pastors, or governmental institutions. Every Christian parent should know that God will hold them responsible for the success or failure of their wards. Children are God’s heritage, we have an awesome responsibility and authority over them, we are responsible for them before God, and we will surely render our account to God over them.
Are there any particular reason(s) why parents, particularly fathers, are called by God to play such a crucial, God ordained role in the upbringing or discipleship of their children?
Ephesians 6:1-4 gives us a clue:
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”.
God knows that from childhood, little children gradually learn to love and trust their parents because of the relationship they have. Children normally grow up to receive love and care from their parents in the form of feeding, clothing, washing, and protection from cold and other harmful circumstances. Therefore children naturally gravitate towards their parents. For the same reasons, children are more likely to learn the ways and manners of their parents by default. Most children would choose to learn from their parents because parents are the first heroes’ children. God in His wisdom is fully aware of these factors; He therefore designed the family to take advantage of the opportunity provided by nature.
The Bible provides a very good balance here; children are to obey their parents, while parents are to treat their children with respect so that they will obey them without coercion. God expects children to obey their parents for Christ’s sake, even if their parents are not believers. Also, children should not commit any sinful act just because their parents command them to. When faced with a choice between the two, children must obey God rather than man.
Father, please make me a successful parent; don’t let me fail You over my children.