Three Guidelines For Rearing 3-D Children
August 6, 2022
Matthew 18: 1-6; 19: 13-15
When I was growing up back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and there were no T.V's or video games, we enjoyed more simpler forms of entertainment: like weeding the garden, and reading. One of my favorite forms of reading was comic books. We called them "Funny Books" because back then they were. They never got any more violent than Elmer Fudd chasing that "Kwasy rabbit" out of his Carwot Patch; never any more occult than Casper the Friendly Ghost. There were never any megamuscle heroes. One happy day when I was at the local drug store I spied one of the "neato-est" things I thought I'd ever seen. Neato enough to lay down my whole allowance to have one: A 3-D Comic Book. But it was even better than that. It was a Mighty Mouse 3-D Comic Book. The comics came with a special pair of cardboard and plastic glasses of which when you put them on, Mighty Mouse came flying right out of the page at you. It made you want to duck. 3-D Comic Books made the characters stand out. 3-D childrearing can make your children stand out. Not in a worldly sort of way but in a way that will bring glory to God, Joy to your hearts, and a blessing to those who know them. Let's take a brief look at 3-D Childrearing in Proverbs 22:6, The Wisdom Literature is part of our Bible. Remember: A Proverb is a short saying, with a long history which is generally true.
Discipline: "Train a child". The word "train" comes from a Hebrew root word which means "to narrow." We have trouble with the word "narrow" in our permissive society but it's not a bad word when used properly, particularly with children.
Psychologists tell us that one of the causes of anxiety in both young people and adults today is too many choices. This is not only true with material things but also with morality, by what rules we choose to govern our personal lives. What the first part of this verse is dealing with is discipline, the inner quality of self-control. Equipping our children for choice making that leads to life, not destruction.
Parents are the "trainers" being spoken to here, and the training which helps develop self-control, or inner control in the child involves at least a couple of things on the part of the parents.
Outward controls: Parents provide outward controls while helping their children to grow and develop inward controls. According to the Scriptures the parent is the "boss" in the home, not the child. It is not helpful, or healthy to attempt to reason with young children. Children are not reasonable (most of the time we adults are not reasonable). Sometimes the best answer to the "Why do I have ta?" question is simply, "Because I said so." "Oh!"
A plan to go by. In Ephesians 6:4 we read: "Fathers (or parents), do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." The apostle Paul may have had Proverbs 22:6 in mind when he penned these words.
Direction: (Following the plan): "...in the way he (or she) should go "The word way comes from a Hebrew root word meaning "a road," a well-trodden way. A path well-traveled and proven. The implied meaning here is that there are not a lot of ways but a way or "the way" which should be pursued in raising children. Proverbs 14: 12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." E. Stanley Jones, in his book, "The Unshakeable Kingdom", and the Unchanging Person argues that there are only two courses a person can follow in this life: "The Way," and "not the way."
Jesus said in John 14:6; "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." So then, Jesus would have us to understand that, for us He is the Way referred to in the text before us. But how is this worked out? Jesus summarizes this for us in John 14;6: Bring your children to Jesus. In Matthew 18:1 we find the disciples asking Jesus: "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" In other words, "Who stands out?" We might, without doing damage to the text: "Who makes the best Christian?" Jesus "called a little child and had him stand among them." Childhood is the best time to come to Christ before the heart becomes cluttered with the burdensome baggage of worldly wisdom. We need to get our children "saved" to use old fashioned, fundamental terms. Life is not a neutral ground. In this life of ours the indirected go astray, the haphazard becomes chaotic, what Is left to chance is abandoned. Have you ever prayed with your children asking them if they would like to invite Jesus into their heart? Bring your children up in the "Truth" of God's Word. Raise your children by the "Book." Let the Bible be the final Court of Appeals in your household. Teach it, don't "cram it" however. Teach your children the Jesus Lifestyle as you understand it from studying His life in the Gospels. And Remember, more is caught than taught! You've got to live the life before them.
Destination: "...and when he is old he will not turn from it." This is an observation, based on long-term experience, not a promise, but if you raise your children for the Lord they'll most likely follow the Lord in adulthood. Keep your eyes on the goal. You may not see the fruit of your labors immediately. Pray for your children with a vision of what they can become in the Lord. Raise up heroes of the Faith for your children through reading to them when they are small. Guide them away from the violent, immoral heroes the world raises up in movies, comic books, and even video games. Have wholesome videos in your home that promote Biblical values. Compliment, and celebrate the Christ-like values your children embrace and give them your trust as they are able to handle the inner quality of trustworthiness. Discipline, direction, and destination. Guidelines for raising 3-D children. Children who stand out in the way they bring glory to God, joy to your hearts, and a blessing to all who know them.
Pastor Joe 1040 - 2021