Colossians Episode 9
Hitting The Quick. The Apostle discusses the fathers role in a connected family.
"Humor thy father and thy mother!!!"
The Apostle has addressed, to this point, the wives, the husbands and the children. He is giving to us the basics for the foundation of a connected family who reside "In the Lord."
Now, he comes back to the fathers. He zeros in on them and hits the quick - the sensitive area - Where it is most needed. Times haven't changed that much have they?
All of these matters are still relevant aren't they? Same issues today as 2000 years ago.
If you had one thing that you could say to fathers, what would it be? Would it be "stay?" It is so important for fathers to stay.
Would it be "man up" to your responsibilities? Every time a father shirks his responsibility he is "dumping on" the mother and the children.
This generation is facing difficult times. Broken promises, non-Christian fathers and mothers. "Christian" mothers and fathers who don't pay attention are as irresponsible and uncaring as any worldly parent.
Shattered dreams, broken promises, and irresponsibility are poor and shaky foundations to life. It is time to come to grips with the value and purpose of human life. It must begin with the church.
Getting down now to the quick - where the nerves are!
PROPOSITION: Please consider with me two things that fathers must avoid with their children.
AVOID PROVOKING THE CHILDREN.
A principle: Proverbs 29:1; Add Ephesians 6:4
Project your child to a 50 year old. What do you see? Do you see a disciplined, self-reliant adult or a needy, irresponsible, demanding, whiny adult? Which one?
What does "provoke" mean? It means to excite, irritate, to kindle to intensity. It means to set in motion the seeds of resentment and rebellion.
Whatever parental conduct that actually causes a child to loose heart, to be disheartened, to loose spirit, to feel hopeless is the meaning of "provoke."
Through NOT doing what should be done or doing what ought to be done with wrong motives, can exasperate.
Not being there. Not being responsible. Not being firm.
Having little or no order in the home...all of these matters have an effect on the child.
- "Picking" at the kids is often an excuse for no training. Always nagging at the kids about the same thing without training and enforcement. Words without meaning. Kids quickly learn to ignore their parents. Why?
- N0 follow through. A perfectly good kid ruined by a slothful and ineffective parent. This scenario often leads to an intensity of resistance. Knowing when to stop! This is a lesson that many can learn from.
You can move someone into the most undesirable action by not knowing when to stop. Always getting beat over the head and every shortcoming and fault put between the parent and the child leads to a "no use to try" attitude. Parents can be thieves of enthusiasm.
With a dog: Exercise, train and then love. If you start with "goo," you end up with mush. With children you can end up with disordered, discontented, scattered brains, and ruined adults who continue to destroy their own life along with whoever they come in contact with.
With children three things:
- Adequate exercise. Including exploration. Scheduled and sufficient sleep in a scheduled space in peace and adhered to. Balanced diet - the long look at eating habits that affect health in later years.
- Then training.
- Then expressions of love. Always in acceptance.
The need for most children to be involved with some adventure in keeping with their age and interests. This is why parents are supreme. With adventure there is always some calculated risks. This is where a child learns to calculate their risks in future activities.
Sometimes the chain is too short. This can be very stifling to the naturally adventuresome child. The shorter the chain the less predictable the conduct
The dog on a chain illustrates this. Also, societies illustrate this. The tighter the control the less predictable a society becomes. We aim for responsible freedom. We aim for an orderly life with boundaries.
Children need positive instruction and then involvement with selected activities. Not just sports. LIFE SKILLS !
HOW ABOUT HYGIENE, DIET, SLEEP? Kindness to family? There are "Christian" parents who do not instruct a child and then make sure it happens that life is ordered -- a time and place to sleep - a preparation for sleep - time of calmness, prayer time, brushing the teeth, cleansing the body and use of sleeping clothes.In your mind's eye picture a 50 year old - Do you see an adult at the emotional level of a 3 year old?? Needy, Whiny, irresponsible?
Avoid picking on or showing partiality between children. Favoritism is deadly. God is NO respecter of persons. Godly parents are sensitive to this.
What children think of their dad may well determine what they will eventually think of God.
How the mother speaks of and acts toward the father often sets the tone.
Fathers are instructed to NOT provoke in any way. NOT to have actions or words that lead a child to anger.
What is it that stirring up a child to anger will do? Dishearten. Dishearten by one's absence, neglect, indifference, harshness, cruelty.
THEREFORE, AVOID DISHEARTENING THE CHILDREN.
To dishearten the children we mean to exasperate, to deprive of courage, to dampen the spirit, to deter excellence, to roughen up the skin to be irritating. Ephesians 6:4 calls it "anger." Waiting for the opportunity to "get even."
Some examples: Some purposes are to instill confidence, self-esteem, and a God-consciousness.
Two mistakes made:
A boy was building a Kayak. The boy began building and was struggling with the project but doing fine. The dad thought that he could do it better. Once the dad got started, the boy quit. Disheartened. The boy never regained his enthusiasm for the job. He was disheartened in a loss of confidence.
A child was given too many presents for Christmas. Packing the gifts to his room the child said, "I feel so guilty." The child had received too much stuff and somehow felt that it was a buyoff in exchange for quality time and the kid was right!!! He was bought off. That will take the heart right out of a kid.
A positive example:
A son was doing something and the father came to him and said, "I know you can do it!" The son looked up at the father and said "I didn't realize you had that much confidence in me." He bounced around for days on that conveyance of confidence by the father.
Avoid provoking. It will lead to a broken spirit and a broken adult who will forever be needy, irresponsible and a burden on others constantly. Why try? Dad will only be critical.
"In the Jar" we are looking at what connected families ought to be. Then the joy and contentment that comes with connected families. The example to the world!
There is always a price to be paid to get it right. There is a bigger price if we don't get it right!
There is the price of time, organization, thoughtfulness, dignity, discipline. Is it worth it? "In the Lord" we believe in the value and dignity and the purpose for every human being.
The change we need in Coolidge for those "In Him:" Fathers taking heed to the Word that dwells among us. Families, as a unit, are only as strong as the weakest link.
Fathers - follow through on your responsibilities to your family.
When you fail to be responsible, someone else will need to clean up after you. You are the head of your household 24/7. You mess up, your whole family suffers.
So, today, Get a grip! Man-up to the job. This will be what "Hits the Quick" and stir the fathers to responsibility and honor.
The beginning of a new day in the City of Coolidge in and through the church of Jesus Christ.