Raising Next Generation: Parenting Upwards (Proverbs 1:1-7)

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Proverbs_Raising Next Gen_SPBCMD

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EXAMINE   Proverbs                      Title: Raising Next Gen: raising upward (head formation)

  • Previously I have taught a single message on parenting but not a series. This will be a 3-week series.
    • Raising Upward: Parenting Requires Purpose. Help locate a target and goals for parents. Too many are reactive rather than pro-active parents.
    • Raising Inward: Parenting Requires Discipline. Help bring intentionality and consistency in day-to-day parenting.
    • Raising Outward: Parenting Requires Release. Help launch children into maturity & mission.
  • Children have been at the forefront of my life.
    • I share these (again) to give you context of my familiarity with children & leadership… not so much as an expert parent.
    • I was a child. Some say I still act like a child!
  • My mother led a daycare since my inception through age 17. Children were always present from crack of dawn through evening. Observed families of shapes & sizes (divorced, single, 2parents, wild, uptight, morals, etc.).
  • I was involved in various recreation/sports teams observing family lives of others.
  • At age 18, I began teaching a Middle School Sunday School class. I learned not just to relate to teens but to lead them spiritually but also emotionally & even investing in their physical well being.
  • From age 18 I have been involved in youth ministry as a volunteer or as a pastor.
  • Currently I am the father of 4 children so I am invested in caring about the lives of children.
    • BC: Before children I used to have at least 4 good theories on parenting.
    • AC: Now I have 4 children and no good theories on parenting.
  • I am also a lead pastor of an average size church in addition to having a large weekday preschool ministry.
    • I see numerous families and hear the cry for help.
      • This was true in Jesus’ day too:
        • A widow cried out to Jesus after her only son died (Luke 7:12)
        • A soldier cried out to Jesus for healing of his dying teenage daughter (Luke 8:42)
        • A man begged Jesus to heal his son of demonic seizures (Luke 9:38)
        • Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)
  • I also have concern…
    • perhaps its anxiety as a father of four daughters J
    • perhaps its awareness and observation as a pastor… hearing, seeing from different perspective. Please don’t discount… and please don’t assume “it’s you” and send anonymous hate mail… This is what it means to be family and letting the Scriptures shape our life together. I am learning as much as you and hope there is dialogue that continues this journey.
    • perhaps its alertness of cultural drift away from morality
  • It’s been said, “whoever wants the next generation more will get them.” Make no mistake, there is a battle being waged for our children. There is a deep power struggle and the only way it will be won is by capturing hearts and minds. You will not be able to pay enough money, volunteer at enough sport activities, or meet enough demands from teachers or children themselves. It starts with the heart.
  • I believe Jesus wants the heart of families and churches. I believe Jesus wants vibrant families and ministry to children – and not to the exclusion but the involvement of intergenerational influence.
  • In all, children are like wet cement; whatever falls on them makes a lasting impression. Kids are not only impressionable but inquisitive, and therefore provide a tremendous opportunity for influencing a generation, who may impact future generations, for the Kingdom of God.
    • moral foundations begin around age 9
  • This message series will seek to encourage and equip parents on raising the next generation from the book of Proverbs.
    • What about those who are not parents?
  1. Life is not all about you. Sometimes message appeal more to you and not others…
  2. You may be a parent one day…
  3. You can help others parent. You’re in this church as one part of the body. So, take notes and share as God leads.
  4. You may think parenting days are done but you have grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, etc.
  5. Children & Teens can hear that people care… and perhaps be prompted toward faith action.

And we must also remind everyone that parenting cannot be reduced to an exact science as it deals with the complex dynamics of people and relationships. Of course there are numerous philosophies/theories & methods on raising children. Further, many parents will have varying parenting styles & approaches, especially on the variety of topics each face. This message is not out to present the grand, full-proof formula for success but simply to share Biblical truths and principles that may be applied slightly differently in each home or setting.

Parenting requires a wise purpose. (Proverbs 1:1-7)                   3 aspects of wisdom

1:1 “The proverbs…”

Proverbs are short sayings that communicate truth in a unique way.

Ex. of favorite proverbs

  • A penny saved is a penny earned.
  • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
  • A leopard cannot change its spots.
  • A picture paints a thousand words.
    • All that glitters is not gold.
    • If it aint broke, don’t fix it.
    • If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
  • If you lie down with dogs, you get fleas.
    • The early bird gets the worm.
    • Many hands make light work.
  • Misery loves company.
    • Money doesn’t grow on trees.
    • Never judge a book by its cover.
    • No man is an island.
    • Two wrongs don’t make a right.
  • When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
    • There’s no place like home
  • Beggars can’t be choosers.
    • Actions speak louder than words.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  • You can lead a horse to water but can’t make him drink.
  • Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
  • A good man is hard to find.
  • Like father, like son.

Ex. of favorite biblical proverbs

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for from it everything flows.”

Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before fall”

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

Wisdom is royal leadership.

1:1 “The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel.”

Solomon was one of the wisest men in all of human history. When Solomon became King God offered to bless Solomon with whatever he desired and he asked for wisdom to govern Israel (1Kings 3:9). God granted this request and the book of Proverbs is one of the products of this blessing. Solomon wrote over 3000 proverbs (1Kings 4:32) and the book is known for its concise and clever statements about human nature and living life.

He understood if the nation was to succeed that he would need kingly wisdom beyond his own abilities. He was king and ruler and needed to rule well. As goes the king so goes the nation…
“When the righteous increase the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule the people groan.” Proverbs 29:2

  • Many leaders are aware of this principle. Sometimes leaders are humble and they hire staff who are likewise intelligent and gifted to form a powerful team. Other times leaders are obsessive and paranoid and hire staff who will submit to the leader and not have their own opinions. Which do you think most succeed?
  • Likewise, parents you must seek wisdom to rule in your home.
  • Unfortunately, many families are run by Kid-CEO. The children are in charge.
    • Mom, you have to let me go to the mall… have to give me a cell phone…
      Dad, you have to buy me this toy… have to let me use the car…
    • Parents, are often giving in to demands rather than standing up with directions to children.
  • Parents you are the God-given earthly royal authority in your child’s life.
  • Parents show royal leadership through heart discipline… more next message.

à Parents, today make a commitment to listen, learn and then lead wisdom as a parent.

  • Peruse Proverbs. This book is a wealthy of insight.
  • Find Friends. Get to know people through Bible Groups. Identify mentors who are in a prior generation than you that has gained experience & insight as a parent. Start with your own parents!
  • Proverbs 13:20 “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm.”

Wisdom is relational transformation.

1:2-3 “To know wisdom and instruction… wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity… to the youth

Solomon writes Proverbs to share wisdom in relationship to his son.

  • references to teaching a “son” repeatedly 24+x (1:8, 1:10; 1:15; 2:1; 3:1; 3:11; 3:21; 4:1; 4:10; 4:20; 5:1; 6:1; 6:20; 7:1; 7:24; 7:32; 10:1; 13:1; 15:20; 19:13; 24:13; 24:21; 27:11; 31:2).
  • Chapters 1 – 9 is an introductory message from Solomon to his son. These chapters establish the foundation for life and wisdom.
  • Solomon is saying, “I have found wisdom and it is pure gold. You can have it too… here, it is available!” Solomon’s wisdom is more than intelligence & IQ & information – it’s about transformation bringing together knowledge and understanding to create discernment & wisdom.

Many people view Proverbs as the Hebrew version of “Dr. Phil”. However, Proverbs are more than pithy sayings, they present the path to life. Like Psalms is to prayer, Proverbs is to life’s purpose.

à Parents, wisdom is seeing your children as a relational blessing not a relational burden (Psalm 127). Understand your children are not accidents or byproducts of your own will but one of God’s means for you to steward as well as to sanctify your own heart. As much as parents shape a child’s heart so is God using children to sanctify parents.

  • Studies show that Americans eat more than half their meals alone.[1] We have lost the value of table fellowship with families and communities. Our smartphones have provided the illusion of company with a constant flow of messages and media interaction. In fact, the reason why Starbucks and other shops & restaurants have smaller round tables is for the individual to not feel alone.[2]
  • Yet, studies show that families that eat together are better physically, emotionally, and spiritually.[3] In this case, children not only eat healthier, they gain increased vocabulary, get better grades & higher test scores in school, have less medical issues, lower anxiety, lower high risk behaviors and higher likelihood for positive social behaviors.

à Family challenge for SPBC families to have dinner together with at least 2 separate families (different generation)  in the month of February.

Wisdom is reverence toward God.
1:5 “Let the wise hear…”

Ultimately, Proverbs points us to the Person of Wisdom and Life – God. The question is, are you open to understanding? Do you have ear to hear His voice? Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God (1Cor 1:24) and is the greater Solomon speaking today (Matt 12:42).

Proverbs 2:6 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach and it will be given to him.”

QUESTION: Do we want good children or godly children?

1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Solomon understood the source of wisdom was not in school, not in governments, not in military, or in philosophy. Solomon knew wisdom comes from God; so we must reverence Him if we want life and in abundance.

Ex. God placed Adam & Eve in Garden of Eden with the tree of knowledge of good & evil in the middle. Why? Was it to test their will power? No, instead it was to test whom they would reverence more – themselves or God?

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”

Proverbs 1:28-29 God does not answer prayers for those who reject “the fear of the Lord”

Proverbs 2:5 “wisdom is understanding the fear of the Lord”

Proverbs 3:7 “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.”

Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.”

Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

Proverbs 10:27 “The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.”

Proverbs 14:26 “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.”

Proverbs 14:27 “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.”

Proverbs 15:16 “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it.”

Proverbs 15:33 “The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom.”

Proverbs 16:6 “by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.”

Proverbs 19:23 “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.”

Proverbs 22:4 “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.”

Proverbs 23:17 “Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.”

Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”

If we do not fear God then our families are doomed.

à Parents, your primary task is help your children learn wisdom.
This means not lecturing but helping children to learn, know, understand, and receive wisdom.

          – – > Listen… Ask question… Allow failure…. learning happens best in self-discovery.

APPLY/THINK

  • Read Proverbs 1 chapter a day in February (it’s a short month so you’ll miss 3 chapters…)
  • Muse & Memorize 1-2 proverbs a week as a family around dinner table. Ask questions…
  • Pray as family / spouse …
  • Meet with 2 other families this month for dinner & discussion. Choose at 1 time or throughout month.
    • What is your favorite Proverb? Or select one that currently stands out.
    • What do you want for your family’s reputation/legacy?
    • How can we pray for your family?
  • Will you commit to praying for your children and at least 1x week for our church’s CM/YM, and WEE?
  • Training & Parenting is never ending. That may be discouraging but it can also be motivating.
    • God has work for you. Your life has purpose!
    • What insights can you share with your adult children? or other younger parents?
    • What long-term goals for 5, 10, 20, and 50 years do you have for growing godly generations?
    • Parenting only has two pathways: wise/foolish; righteous/sinners; life/death
      Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
  • Ultimately, the most perfect parent is the Heavenly Father. He loves you and calls you to his home. Are you drifting… are you in discipline… are you discouraged…. come to Him.

[1] http://www.wsj.com/articles/bob-greene-dining-solo-in-the-age-of-the-smartphone-1418862855

[2] http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2014/08/08/americans-eat-more-than-half-their-meals-alone/

[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/01/12/the-most-important-thing-you-can-do-with-your-kids-eat-dinner-with-them/

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