His & Hers: Family Foundations (Proverbs 1:8-9)

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Distance is attractive…

  • Children can’t wait to become teenager
  • youth can’t wait to obtain driver’s license
  • teens can’t wait to graduate high school
  • young adults can’t wait to get married
  • married adults can’t wait for kids to grow up and leave house
  • older adults wish they could go back to being a kid.

The same principle applies to life’s purpose.

  • Everyone wants to change the world but few will help mom clean the dishes.
  • Everyone wants praise but few puts forth the perspiration.

We often have little appreciation for the present moment or serving in the minutia of everyday life.

àToday, I want to share a challenge to families for the present moment and in light of mother’s day.

àAlso, we are starting a new series: His & Hers: Messages for Men and Words for Women

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EXAMINE    observations for today’s men & women

Proverbs 1:8-9 “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.”
cf. Prov 6:20; 10:1; 15:20; 19:26; 20:20; 23:22; 23:25; 28:24; 30:17.

  1. Family is God’s foundation.
  • God started the world and intended to sustain it with a family (Genesis 1 – 2).
  • God’s salvation through Jesus, the Son, was born into a family (Matthew 1).
  • God’s kingdom involves family through adoption, where we are siblings in Christ (Romans 8:15; Ephesians 3:14-15).

~ Mother’s Day is not primarily about being a mother to receive honor but about having a mother to give honor to the one God gave to you. Therefore, mother’s day is for everyone. Mother’s are a precious gift from God.

  • Church often seeks to promote family and at times the context of singleness is left unaddressed. Again, family includes singles… Mother’s Day includes singles because singles have a mother.
  • Jesus said, “Who are my mother and brothers? Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:33-35). In other words, the American traditional family is not God’s foundation, but the kingdom of God’s family is His foundation.
  • Earthly marriage is not ultimate, but eternal marriage. Therefore, in God’s kingdom perspective significant relationships and spiritual children become more important than biological children.

à Are you connected to a spiritual family?

  • The person who led you to Christ.
  • The church that facilitated your spiritual growth.
  • The local church that holds you accountable for identifying with Christ and Scripture.
  • The spiritual children you are called & commanded by Jesus for making disciples.
  1. Father’s and mothers are fundamental to a child’s success.
  • God’s design for the family was more than just reproduction but inclusion of raising children physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, morally, and spiritually. A baby is just the beginning of the task.
    • Being raised is not natural. Some tendencies are natural: an infant’s latching to eat, a toddler’s tumbling while walking, an individual’s eye tearing when obstructed by an object or bright light.
    • Raising children is unnatural and takes great patience, perseverance, and prayer.
  • Father’s instruction (mûsār = discipline, reproof, instruction). Mother’s teaching (tôrâ = principles, teaching). Both parents are to equally be involved in the raising of their children.
  • Parenting and the home is where primary responsibility of instruction takes place; not the school, government, or even the church.
  • Parenting is a school of equipping.
    • Parents are like a police escort to guide children on the journey of their intended destination.
    • Parents are like coffee filters that protect children from impurities getting into their life.
    • Parents are like boot camp to prepare and train children for the fight of faith.
      • Convictions: God, Scripture, Humanity, Sin, Salvation, Social
      • Character: 10 Commandments; Fruit of the Spirit – – – behavioral applications of beliefs
      • Capabilities: Spiritual Disciplines, Life Skills, Positive Habits and Work Ethic

What would things look like if Satan really took control of our nation? All of the bars would be banished, drug pushing would be discontinued, pornography and prostitution would be prohibited, all sexual immorality will be stopped, crime will cease, even swearing and smoking will be suspended from daily life. In fact, our nations streets will be full of sweet and moral children and our churches would be full of people from each of their communities. But Jesus will not be preached; the gospel will be a Christ-less and cross-less Christianity.[1]

  • Note the equality of importance for raising children. It doesn’t say, “Father’s teach and mother’s put food on the table” or “Father’s discipline and mother’s change diapers.”
  • One mother’s self-made job description:
    I’m a wife, mother, friend, confidant, personal advisor, lover, referee, peacemaker, housekeeper, laundress, chauffeur, interior decorator, gardener, painter, wall paperer, dog groomer, veterinarian, manicurist, barber, seamstress, appointment manager, financial planner, bookkeeper, money manager, personal secretary, teacher, disciplinarian, entertainer, psychoanalyst, nurse, diagnostician, public relations expert, dietitian and nutritionist, baker, chef, fashion coordinator and letter writer for both sides of the family.
    I am also a travel agent, speech therapist, plumber and automobile maintenance and repair expert… From the studies done, it would cost more than $75,000 a year to replace me. I took time out of my busy day to write this letter, Ann, because there are still ignorant people who believe a housewife is nothing more than a baby sitter who sits on her behind all day and looks at soap operas. (Ann Landers, May 1988, quoted in Mom, You’re Incredible, by Linda Weber, Focus on the Family, 1994, pp. 23–24)

à It’s not Father’s Day, but still there is a challenge to Father’s to be involved not just in the provision of a home but in building a legacy in your child’s moral and spiritual upbringing.

à Motherhood is a mission field. Mom’s, you are vital to raise the next generation.

Mom’s you are vital but do not make the mistake of feeling overwhelmed or underappreciated.

  • Overwhelmed, anxiety, stress from not measuring up or being “mom enough”
  • Underappreciated, superior to others (the Father, the church, other mom’s, own parents, etc.)

~ Mother’s, often times your days are filled with distractions of how much an impact you make.
Rachel Pieh Jones, “Are You Mom Enough?” chapter 6

“From this issue of Time, from television, from Facebook, from blogs, and from Pinterest the message screamed at moms is this: unless you are fit to run marathons, breastfeed into the preschool years, own a spotless and creatively decorated home, tend a flourishing garden, prepare three home-cooked meals per day, work a high-powered job, and give your husband expert, sensual massages before bed, you are not ‘mom enough’.
From my perspective, however, the mommy war is over. Done. Finished. Kaput. And I lost.

I am not mom enough. Never was, never will be. But I am on the frontlines of another war. The battles are raging and the casualties could be my children, my husband, or myself. This war isn’t about me being ‘mom enough’. This war is about God being ‘God enough’.”

 

à Father’s & Mother’s will fall short but God’s strength & resources are sufficient to overcome parenting failures.

  1. Following parental guidance is expected for children.
    • Children are expected to love, trust, submit, and obey their parents. Children will be tempted to not listen to Father’s instruction, to leave (forsake – thrust off, rebel) mother’s law. Children, young & old, remember that your parents are not randomly placed in your life – God gave them to you.
      • Gen 4 Cain kills brother Abel as early result of the Fall.
      • Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
      • OT examples positive & negative (Abraham & Sarai; Isaac & Rebekah; Jacob & Rachel; Jochebd mother of Moses (sacrifice); Hannah mother of Samuel (prayer); …
      • Solomon respected his mother with an honorable bow (1Kings 2:19)
      • Proverbs
      • Ephesians 6:1-4 ; Colossians 3:20-21
  • A reward is promised by God
    • garland of grace for your head (ornament, wreath) – shows success and victory
    • pendants for your neck
    • social benefits of better health physically & emotional, moral and less crime, academic, etc. [2]

APPLY/THINK

Baltimore mom Toya Graham entered the national spotlight after confronting her 16-year old son Michael when he didn’t go straight home the day protests erupted in violence over the death of Freddie Gray. Toya Graham’s confrontation was for the motivation to protect her son from 1) bad behavior and 2) dangerous consequences of a violent life.

Parents are not perfect. Sometimes mom’s will misspeak, sometimes dad will react wrongly. But often is the case their motivation is love.

Proverbs 23:22 “Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”

Proverbs 23:25 “Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.”

3John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

  • Is there a broken relationship with your parents that needs reconciled? Today is opportunity for grace & forgiveness.
  • Are you taking mom for granted? Today is opportunity to show love and appreciation in a meaningful way.
  • Ultimately, today is opportunity to listen to your Heavenly Father who loves you expressed in taking your discipline and punishment of eternal death. He offers reconciliation, renewal, and a restart for life.

 

[1] Adapted from Michael Horton, Christless Christianity, 15.

[2] See http://familyfacts.org/briefs/6/benefits-of-family-for-children-and-adults, http://www.citizenlink.com/2010/06/17/30-years-of-research-that-tells-us-a-child-deserves-a-mother-and-a-father/ , http://www.markregnerus.com/uploads/4/0/6/5/4065759/regnerus_july_2012_ssr.pdf,

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