The question we need to address now is how this problem of complacency or being hypocritical will look like in the home. Praise the Lord that this is not the case in every home, but these problems are found in many evangelical Christian homes of America. The problems exist because too many have gone too long with too little prayer, too little Bible study, and too little fellowship with other believers who will help hold each other accountable.
Listen to the solemn proclamation from God through the ministry of Hosea. Hosea 4:6 states, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”
What a solemn verse to consider. The truth is that God is speaking to those who were willfully lacking in their knowledge of the holy. They have rejected the truth of God’s commands and the laws that He gave for them to obey. The awful conclusion is that by forgetting the law of God, He will forget the children that He granted as a heritage to those who keep His ways. We cannot draw any conclusion other than that we have a responsibility to be biblical parents, not just biological ones.
So, where or what exactly is the disconnect between biblical parenting and biological parenting when it comes to life in the average Christian home?
Let’s consider a few thoughts to put our role as parents into perspective and see if what we are doing is striving to be merely a biological parent or a Biblical parent.
While we intend on addressing marriage concerns within the home in another article, I want to begin now with the fathers because God has ordained a certain order even within the home. Fathers, we are called to be leaders in every sense of the word. It is an awesome responsibility and when taken upon our shoulders helps our home to have the correct perspective of who God is and what He requires of us and then of our homes. We will make this simple.
First, I want to share a personal illustration to point out the problem facing the men in our churches. As a young married believer, we were at a July 4th celebration. My wife was sitting with the women and I was speaking with several men, all of whom claimed to be believers.
As we sat there at the park, a woman wearing very little clothing jogged by. Two of the deacons and the pastor were in attendance and after she had passed out of earshot, one of the deacons commented, “Men, just because we can’t touch or eat the candy doesn’t mean we can’t look!” The pastor laughed his own agreement. To say I was stunned would be an understatement. They had broken the law of Christ to love God with all their heart, soul, and mind, and then to love their neighbor as themselves.
Christian men, I want to encourage you to be a testimony to the young boys growing up very quickly. This means that we must be careful what we watch, read, and listen to as well. Things that appeal to the flesh such as violence, vulgarity, and pornography will destroy your soul. You cannot feed on the filth of the world and expect those young boys watching you to have respect for their mothers and sisters.
Fathers, if your time is being invested in the trash Hollywood produces, you will never grow in your faith and you will never be able to keep your mind, heart, and body focused on exalting Jesus Christ. You cannot expect your children to respect your authority if you are not pointing them to Jesus Christ even in what you do for entertainment.
Now to the mothers in the body of Christ, Christian ladies, I want to encourage you to be a testimony to the young girls growing up very quickly. This means you must be careful what you watch, read and listen to. Things like “The Twilight Series” and Harlequin romances are demonic and no true believer should be filling their mind with such garbage that is completely and totally dishonoring to Christ. We would never approve of our beautiful daughters dating an old man much less an old vampire who wants to suck their blood in order to gain immortality. Ladies, there is no possible way to read things like this and keep your mind, heart, and body focused on exalting Jesus Christ.
As a pastor in England, I remember visiting a home where a group of people had gathered for a party. With but one exception, every individual claimed to be a true believer. As my wife and I walked in, these “Christian” women were talking about how “hot” a certain actor was. The wife of one of the deacons said, “If I had a chance to go on a date with no questions asked with that person, I would most definitely do it.” Her husband sitting on the other side of the room turned red and made a smart-aleck comment about who he would go on a date with as well. I made a comment to those present that this was no conversation that true believers should be having but was ignored. We excused ourselves, and the party continued. How tragic and hypocritical the picture they were painting to their children.
Mothers, if you are struggling with what your daughters desire to wear, maybe it is time to check the closet and see if it contains something not pleasing to the Lord. If it is not right for our daughters to flaunt their bodies for the attention they can get from males, then it should be just as wrong for mom to do the same. Here is a great question to consider. Would you wear to church what you wear when you are not at church? Would you be ashamed of your clothing if God walked up to you?
Parents, what our children see us filling our heads and hearts with will ultimately not only come out in our lives but will show up in their lives as well. We cannot expect to have any credibility when telling them they should not listen to the vulgar rap and hip-hop lyrics of the day if we are filling our own ears with the country, soul, or jazz songs that speak just as flippantly of God and of illicit relationships. We are hypocrites if we watch movies that take the Lord’s name in vain or portray any kind of sexual activity and then think that our children will not do the same.
Parents, we cannot expect our children to keep their bodies pure until marriage when we allow them to give away their hearts and souls every time they move from one relationship to the next. I would also say that our children will see us as hypocrites when we tell them to practice full abstinence but in front of them we laugh and smirk our way through the titillating sex scenes in popular movies. Lord willing, the area of biblical parenting in the realm of relationships will be considered in a future article.
For now, I want to conclude this second article by way of illustration. Two of our children are adopted. They have different biological parents. These parents did not care for them and in the providence of God, these beautiful girls became a part of our family. Sadly, our girls carry the scars of abuse because the gift God granted to these parents was not cared for. The main reason is because they were not biblical parents. Had the biological parents of our girls sought to be godly parents, there would have been no need for us to adopt them.
In like manner, there are many children today who are being scarred in ways that are not necessarily caused by physical or sexual abuse. Children can suffer through emotional or mental heartache. Further, being created in the image of God, we are called to fellowship with Him. When we fail to point our children to Christ and teach them His laws, we are scarring our children spiritually. Yes, it really is that serious because as biological parents we are called to biblical parenting.
Consider the words of Deuteronomy 6:5-9 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
As we concluded the first article, we will reiterate here, “Parents, there is an answer to the problem, but it will not be an easy fix. If you are in any of the situations I have described, the first step to change is to humble yourself before God. Confess your sin and repent before Him. Then, make the time to humble yourself before your children. Parents, your children already see your failures but will gain respect for you if you will humble yourself in this way. Admit your sin to them and ask for their forgiveness where you have failed in your God-given responsibility to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”