DADS, WHAT ARE WE
TEACHING OUR CHILDREN
Text: Deut. 6:5-9
Our text clearly outlines the responsibilities of parent. Using that as a springboard, I want to title my message, “Dads, What Are We Teaching Our Children?”
Those of us who are parents should realize the awesome responsibility that comes with being a parent.
Ephesians 6:4 makes it even more personal when God directs the major responsibility to the fathers, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Proverbs 22:6 is part of the parental foundation established in Deut. 6:5-9, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
With that is mind, the questions of the hour are:
“What are we teaching our children?”
“How are we bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?”
“What kind of training are we using?”
Dads, we have an awesome responsibility when it comes to our children.
How are we doing?
There are several questions we must ask ourselves if we sincerely want to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
This morning I want us to ask ourselves several questions:
1. WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN WHEN WE MISS CHURCH?
We are teaching them that Hebrews 10:23-25 is not true and that the church is not really that important.
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised.) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
“Well, now, Preacher, sometimes we have family things and we have to miss church.”
Okay, what are you going to do with Matt. 10:37? “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
What are you going to do with Luke 14:26? “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
The number one problem with this generation is that they do not believe that church attendance is important and they learned it from their parents.
If it was important enough for Christ to die for, then it ought to be important for us to attend. (Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”)
I know that Christ did not die for this building, but He did die for the people who gather together for worship and wherever that group of people decides to meet, we ought to be there!
2. WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN WHEN WE CUSS?
We are teaching them that foul language and gutter-mouth talk is okay and that Eph. 4:29 is wrong.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
A person who cusses and uses profanity is simply covering up a lack of intelligence and a deficiency in English grammar. That means they are not smart enough to think of any thing else to say.
It is shocking to hear the language coming out of the mouths of people who claim to be Christians.
I had a man sit in my house and at my dining room table and cuss three times and never realize or even apologize. He claims to be a Christian and is a member of an independent Baptist church. Any guesses to the number of his children who are faithfully serving the Lord in a church somewhere? You knew the answer to that question as soon as I asked it.
Parents, we have got to clean up our mouths!
3. WHAT ARE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN WHEN WE CRITICIZE THE PREACHER?
We teach them that the man of God is not to be trusted and that Gal. 6:10 is wrong.
You will regret your criticism one of these days when you want the preacher to try to help your children and family.
You will regret your backbiting one of these days when your life and your kids’ lives are falling apart and your kids will not have anything to do with church.
Gal. 6:7 is still true -- “for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
First, we can all agree that the preacher is human and he will make mistakes. That is one thing that everyone can agree on. But we must also agree that he is the preacher and we need to follow the man of God.
If you have a problem with the preacher, why can’t you be Christian enough and Scriptural about it and go to him instead of having “roast preacher” for Sunday lunch.
The Bible teaches this matter of “followship.”
In Judges 3, Ehud says, “Follow after me.”
In Judges 7, Gideon says, “Look on me, and do likewise.”
In I Kings 19:20, “I will follow thee.”
Hebrews 13:17, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves.”
I Cor. 11:1, “Be ye followers of me, even as I am also of Christ.”
I Cor. 4:16, “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.”
I Thess. 1:6, “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord.”
II Thess. 3:7, “For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us.”
HOW MANY VERSES TO YOU NEED?
I will guarantee you that if you will follow the man of God instead of criticizing him, you and your children will end up a whole better off spiritually.
4. WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN WHEN ARE NOT ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN OUR CHURCH?
We teach them that Jesus was lying in Mark 1:17 when He said He would make us “fishers of men.”
We teach them that Eph. 4:12 is a lie when it talks about the “work of the ministry.”
We teach them that Prov. 11:30 is a lie when it says, “and he that winneth souls is wise.”
We teach them that commitment is not necessary.
We teach them that obedience is not important.
Of course, part of the problem is that we have never made them stick to a commitment in their lives. They have quit almost everything they have ever started.
They grow up thinking that church is okay but not that important.
They grow up thinking that working in the church is for other people.
Beside all that, what do you do with Deut. 10:12? “And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”
Surely we don’t believe coming to church and doing absolutely nothing but sitting in a pew can be considered serving “with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”
5. WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN WHEN WE DO JUST THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT IS PREACHED FROM THE PULPIT?
Simply put, we teach them that the preacher is a liar and that the Bible is a book of lies.
That is the choice we force them to make. It may not be a conscious choice, but that is exactly where it is going to end up.
Listen, you can try to explain away Deut. 22:5 but somewhere your children have to decide if you are lying or the preacher is lying about this matter of women wearing pants.
You can try to explain away passages and dismiss passages in the Bible but sooner or later you are going to force your children to decide if you are telling the truth or if the preacher is.
Please, let that soak in. Sooner or later your children are going to have to decide if the preacher is lying.
Sooner or later your children are going to have to decide if the Bible is true.
And when we give the liberty to pick and choose what is right and wrong, we have opened the door for a life of trouble.
What we need is for more parents to say, “I believe this Bible and we are going to live by it. I stand by the preacher and we are going to follow his leadership. Case closed!”
Let me ask you a question.
Which parents are going to be better off in the long run? The parents who teach their children to live by the Book and follow the preacher OR the parents who teach that some of the Bible is for today and that sometimes we follow the preacher.
I am afraid many parents today fall into the category of some of the Galatians. “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (5:7)
“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth...” (3:1)
“This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.” (5:8)
There is trouble ahead for the parents who live opposite of what is taught from the pulpit.
6. WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN WHEN WE WORK AND MISS CHURCH SERVICES?
We are teaching them that work is more important than the house of God.
We are teaching them that the almighty dollar is more important than our place of worship.
We are teaching them that God cannot take care of me if I am obedient to God’s Word.
We are teaching them that we have got everything under control in case God fails to provide.
7. WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN WHEN WE EXCUSE DIVORCE?
We are teaching them that Jesus lied in Matt. 5:31-32.
and in Matt. 19:9,
and in Mark 10:11-12,
and in Luke 16:18.
We are teaching them that marriage is not permanent as the Bible teaches.
We teach them that marriage is a convenience rather than a commitment.
We teach them that feelings come before children.
We teach them to be selfish and self-centered.
And, whether you like it or not, the statistics prove that you teach them to divorce just like you did.
The sad truth is that children from divorced homes are more likely to divorce themselves.
And, even worse, children from divorced homes are more likely to have bad grades, commit violent crimes, get involved in teenage sex and pregnancy, and be involved in drug abuse.
8. WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN WHEN WE LOOK AND ACT LIKE THE WORLD?
We teach them the Bible is a lie in II John 2:15.
We teach them the Bible is a lie in I Tim. 2:9.
We teach them the Bible is a lie in Rom. 12:1-2.
We teach them the Bible is a lie in I Peter 1:15-16.
We teach them the Bible is a lie in Deut. 22:5.
We teach them the Bible is a lie in Col. 3:17.
We teach them the Bible is a lie in I Cor. 6:19-20.
We teach them that MTV is right and the Sunday School teacher is wrong.
We teach them that Garth is right and the preacher is wrong.
We teach them that Hollywood is right and the Children’s Church teacher is wrong.
We teach them that Michael Jordon is right and men like Jim Vineyard and Eric Capaci are wrong.
9. WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN WHEN WE ALLOW THEM TO WATCH NUDITY, PROFANITY, ADULTERY, FORNICATION AND UNGODLINESS?
What are we teaching our children when we allow them to watch television programs and movies that promote and glorify sex and violence?
We are teaching them that Lam. 3:51, “Mine eye affecteth my heart...”
We forget Matt. 6:22-23.
We forget I Cor. 15:33.
An interesting study has some strong evidence that leads us to believe that we have found a reason for young people today reaching puberty at such young ages. Since the mind stimulates the body, the perversion being watched on television is stimulating children and causing hormones to act in ways that previous generations never experienced. Conversation also stimulates the mind and young people today are hearing and seeing so much more perversion than any other previous generation. It is no wonder that we are seeing the problems we are seeing.
To earn a Ph. D you must have over 2,200 hours of course study in your major. If that be the case, then the average 12 year old has a Ph. D in filth because they have watched over 2,200 hours of perverted and wicked TV, not counting the movie theaters and rented movies.
10. WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN WHEN WE ALLOW THEM TO GO TO CHURCHES OF DIFFERENT FAITH?
We teach them that Eph. 4:4-6 is a lie.
We teach them that everyone is going to get to heaven their own way.
That’s what most people believe, anyway.
Of course, after people of different denominations marry, they then discover the truth. They fuss over which church the children are going to attend. And, usually, they end not going to church at all. Of course, then the children flounder spiritually.
Children who marry outside their religion have no clue about what they believe or why they believe it.
They have no clue about what their church believes and practices than the man in the moon.
How could a Baptist who believes that salvation is by grace alone marry a church of Christ member who believes you have to be baptized in a church of Christ church in order to get to heaven?
SIMPLE! The Baptist is Biblically illiterate and does not know what they believe or why their parents believe what they believe.
Why is that some parents are surprised when their little Baptist church kid marries a Catholic, or a Mormon?
We are in trouble and do not even realize it.
This list could go on and on and I believe we are getting the picture. But, let’s move on in another direction.
Now, before we move on, I want to let you know that this portion of the message is definitely going to be embarrassing.
This part of the message is going to put some pressure on us as parents.
A) WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN WHEN WE READ THE BIBLE WITH THEM?
We teach them that Psalm 119:105 is true,
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
We teach them that the Bible is true in Prov. 30:5, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”
We teach them the importance of Matt. 4:4 when Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
We teach them that we are trying to live by II Tim. 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Reading the Bible with your children is one of the most important things we can do with our children.
Let’s take a poll right now.
How many of us, who are grown, did our dads read the Bible with us at one time or another in our lives?
How about our moms? How many of us had a mother who read the Bible with us?
Therein lies our problem.
B) WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN WHEN WE PRAY WITH THEM?
Mark 11:24, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
John 14:13, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
John 15:16, “...that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
James 4:2, “...ye have not, because ye ask not.”
And the list goes on and on...
Prayer is so essential to our Christian lives and yet it is so neglected.
I can prove it to you right now.
If you have a prayer list that you regularly pray over, a list with names and prayer requests, please stand.
Last summer, how many people took a Walking With God Notebook?
I rest my case.
Our Bible reading and prayer lives are not in very good shape.
Most Christians do not read their Bible,
most Christians do not read their Bibles with their children,
most Christians do not pray,
most Christians do not pray with their children,
and most Christians do not have a prayer list that they regularly pray over.
Let’s take a poll again.
If you had a mother or father who regularly prayed with you and who read the Bible with you, please stand.
Is it any wonder that we are losing our children?
Sooner or later there must be some parents who make the connection between rebellious children and a lack of Bible reading and prayer in the home.
Surely someone will make the connection between children who do not give a rip about church and a lack of Bible reading and prayer in the home.
C) WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN WHEN WE GO TO CHURCH EVERY TIME THE DOORS ARE OPEN?
I would like to rephrase that question and say, “What are we teaching our children when we go to church every time the hinges squeak?”