“Let him who boasts boast of this: That he knows and understands me that I am the Lord who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness.” ~ Jeremiah. 9:24
When my four children were young, I had a daily commitment to introduce God to them. As I mentioned in earlier posts , I know Jesus told me to”make disciples of all nations, ” Mt 25 and these were my most important disciples
It was my priority to reveal to them our God as a loving Father who was good all the time and who was intricately involved in caring for all the details of their lives.
This was huge! This was the primary foundation which I dedicated my life to daily for over 25 years.
I took the Deuteronomy 6 passage very seriously and spoke with each of my children about the Lord and His ways all day long. This was when we first got up and had our “devotions”, reading the Word, when we sat at meals, when we drove to functions, and throughout their daily activities of school. We studied how to develop godly character qualities regularly, especially when they were young. When there was a conflict or a difficult decision to make , I would ask them “what does God say about it?”, encouraging them to pray and find His words on the matter in Scriptures. We studied the characteristics of God from Scriptures and memorized verses that told of His faithfulness and love.
( For those interested, I plan to publish ideas of how to do this and make it fun!)
This was the main reason I felt called to home school my children, and honestly, while I had them all home throughout their entire education through high school( with the exception of their supplemental program twice a week in high school years), I always felt that there was so much more to learn about the Lord. God’s multifaceted ways, character, and eternal words are endless so we will never finish looking at Him and being fascinated! We will do this for all of eternity. I think this is why He created the four living creatures with eyes all over their bodies who never stop watching Him and worshiping!
We have looked at some verses in the past on God’s mandate to parents to train and instruct their children. Another is found in Ephesians 6 where Paul fathers to not exasperate their children but instead to “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (King James version say the nurture and admonition of the Lord, which is defined as authoritative counsel). Ephesians 6:4
This verse follows Paul’s directive to children:
“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother-which is the first commandment with a promise, that it will go well with you and that you will enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3
Wow! This is so powerful. I recently heard Bill Johnson mention this command by putting it this way,” It’s the system of honor that brings life. When children honor their parents they increase the length and quality of their lives and parents help to insure it by encouraging honor from their children.” Dreaming with God.
If the passage is looked at conversely, our children’s lives will not go well and will be shorter if they don’t learn to honor their parents! How horrible to think that we will actually contribute to our own children’s demise by not teaching them to honor us!
What is honoring? The dictionary says, to honor is to “esteem with great respect. It implies acknowledgement of a person’s right to this respect; reverence– which combines profound respect with love and devotion“.
HONOR IS A MATTER OF THE HEART! OBEDIENCE COMES EASILY WHEN IT IS MOTIVATED BY THIS KIND OF LOVING RESPECT AND REVERENCE
Reverence is a lost concept in our society. It has as it’s origin from Latin- re-” expressing intensive force, and vereri-“to fear”.By definition this kind of honoring entails a love and devotion which characterizes the relationship, but also expresses it in a respectful way.
I had a very loving father who will forever represent my heavenly Father to me. He was kind, self-sacrificing, generous, and incredibly loving towards me all my life. He devoted his life to caring for his family and showing us his love. There was no problem for me to revere him, respect him, and also have a healthy fear of him because of his godly authority in my life. Growing up it was easy for me to submit to him and obey him.I had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home where my parents modeled godly character and love, but also how to honor and respect those in authority.. They taught me Scriptures from an early age, including this one on honoring and obeying your parents. My relationship with them both had at its core incredible love always expressing itself in reverence and respect.
This week in March my dad went to be with the Lord six years ago. I still miss him daily.
You may be wondering, ” Why would God want children to revere their parents in this way?”
I believe it is the key to their walking with the Lord in the way He desires for us to walk as His children.
We will look at the book of Proverbs in my subsequent posts, which was written with its purpose to:
To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,..
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
My son, hear the instruction of your father,
And do not forsake the teaching of your mother;
For they will be a graceful ornament on your head,
And chains about your neck.