I. "FATHER'S PROVOKE NOT YOUR CHILDREN TO WRATH."
A. In Colossians 3:21
Paul wrote, "Fathers provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged."
B. How do fathers provoke their children to wrath or anger?
1. When a child was very small, I have seen fathers provoking their child to the point of frustration by teasing them.
a. They thought that the temper tantrum that they had provoked was somehow cute.
b. They had some kind of delight in seeing the child thoroughly frustrated.
c. They would hold out a ball and when the child would reach for it they would withdraw it.
2. I believe that you can provoke a child to anger by unjust or unexplained punishment.
a. I had a great dad, not perfect, but great. I was always made to believe that I was an important part of the family. He did however have some serious flaws.
1. He was given to fits of anger, and often when he would lose his temper he would do things in a fit of rage that he would later regret and apologize for.
2. I can remember having a little leather purse with six cents in it. I was about four years old, and when he came home from work I was seeking to show it to him. I might have been bugging him to look at it, I cannot remember, all I remember is his taking that little coin purse and throwing it across the room and it went through the front window of the house.
3. The picture is still vivid in my mind today.
b. I had a younger brother who was seven years my junior. He was the favorite of the whole family, for we were all old enough to enjoy him.
1. My father had told my mother when she was pregnant that if she would give him a red haired freckled face boy, he would buy her a Cadillac. He had the red hair when he was born, and later got the freckles. She never got the Cadillac.
2. My father was over protective of him, and he soon learned how to use that for his own advantage.
3. Whenever he would get upset with my brother or me he would start just screaming this blood curdling scream and my dad would come out with his belt and wack my brother and me, and then would ask what's happening?
c. There was a book that was put out several years ago that was called, "Children, Fun or Frenzy." It advocated even waking your children up at night to spank them if you found out that they had done something wrong.
d. I do not believe in punishing your child when you are emotionally upset, for you are apt to overdue the punishment.
1. Sometimes when you have been frightened when your child did something that endangered their life and you were sure they were going to be killed, like running out in the street. You are relieved that the car was able to stop in time but are so emotionally overwrought fearing that your little one was going to be killed, you almost overreact with your punishment.
3. You can provoke your children to wrath by making unreasonable demands upon them.
a. As you were growing up you had certain goals that you did not fulfill, now you seek to fulfill them through your child, and you push them too hard.
b. Many of the things that you are overbearing about were things that you were guilty of doing and you want to make sure, your child is not just like you.
II. "BUT BRING THEM UP IN THE NURTURE AND ADMONITION OF THE LORD."
A. How is this done?
Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them to thy sons, and thy sons' sons;
1. Keeping your soul with all diligence. They are going to learn more by your example more than any other way.
2. Don't forget all that the Lord has done for you.
3. Teach them to your sons and your sons' sons.
4. It is sad that the mighty works of God are difficult to transmit to the next generation.
a. Usually that generation that sees and experiences the work of God seek and serve God with all of their heart. As a result God blesses them. With all of the blessings, they then try to spare their children the hardships and tests of faith that they went through by giving them the fruit of their blessings.
b. Thus the second generation have heard of what God did as a result of total trust and reliance in Him, but have not had to experience it for themselves, for everything was handed to them.
c. By the next generation they do not even hear of the work of God because their parents had no first hand experience.
d. A classic example of this is the descendants of the first missionaries in Hawaii. Their forbearers went through great hardships and sacrifices in going to Hawaii. God did a great work and the Island's of Hawaii were Christianized. The stories of the early missionaries are epics. So many of the descendants of the early missionary families inherited large portions of the land, and today run the foundations, but with little or no regard for the Lord. They have become land barons, and business tycoons.
e. The cure is to bring your children into a first generation experience of the power and work of God.
f. Then bring your grandchildren into that first generation experience of the power and work of God.
Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do [it]; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
1. Note that you are to teach them diligently to thy children.
a. You are to talk of them when you sit in your house, at the dinner table.
b. When you walk by the way.
c. When you lie down.
1. My mother always read us Bible stories when she put us down for naps, or at night when we were put to bed.
2. She shared with us answered prayers. Especially especially that of my sister being raised from the dead when she was two years old.
3. She prayed for every owie. We saw the miracles of God in answer to her prayers.
4. We became first generation.
d. When you rise up.
2. The importance of keeping a spiritual environment in your home.
a. Monitor the programs your children watch. We were shocked at how many of the young people of this church are allowed to watch MTV.
b. A parent should have their head examined who bring X-rated videos into their home. Or take their children to the movies.
c. One of the compromises of Satan offered to Moses by the Pharaoh, was you and the people can go into the wilderness to worship God but leave your children here. Don't deprive them the ease and luxury of Egypt which is spiritually a type of the flesh.
[And] when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What [mean] the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you?
Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand:
And the LORD shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes:
And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.
And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as [it is] at this day.
1. When they ask you about the rules for life set forth in the Bible you are to let them know that rules are the reason why we enjoy the blessings and the freedom of this land, and we must keep these rules if we are to stay blessed.
B. The dying words of David to his son Solomon.
Now, my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as he hath said of thee.
Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God.
Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.
And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever; for the sanctuary: be strong, and do [it].
And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do [it]: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, [even] my God, [will be] with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all [these things], and to build the palace, [for] the which I have made provision.
1. Later Solomon was to say,
Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.
For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
For I was my father's son, tender and only [beloved] in the sight of my mother.
He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; 1:39 PM 3/10/97until I have shewed thy strength unto [this] generation, [and] thy power to every one [that] is to come.
1. Our chief concern should be to pass it on.
We will not hide [them] from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
That the generation to come might know [them, even] the children [which] should be born; [who] should arise and declare [them] to their children:
That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
To Timothy, [my] dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, [and] peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I thank God, whom I serve from [my] forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them];
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.