The Encourager

The Encourager

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The Responsibility of Being a Parent

Saturday, October 09, 2021

The Responsibility of Being a Parent

by Charles Boshart

Parental responsibility seems to resolve itself into two fundamental duties: 1) Teaching, 2) Providing. Parents must regard themselves as teachers. This is God’s assignment.

Genesis 18:19 says of Abraham, “For I have known him to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of Jehovah…”

Moses said to the Israelites regarding the words he had commanded, “…and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…” (Deuteronomy 6:7).

In 1 Timothy 1:5, Paul writes to Timothy saying that he is “reminded of the unfeigned faith that” was “in” him “which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and, I am persuaded, in thee also.” He later stated, “But abide thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings…” (2 Timothy 3:14-15).

Fathers must “nurture” their children “in the chastening and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). And children must be given the opportunity to “forsake not the law of” their “mother” (Proverbs 1:8).

Parents are teachers and if anyone is not mature enough to teach children, he/she is not mature enough to have children. “Parenting” (the current fad trend) calls for more than the ability to reproduce.

But, in order to be a teacher, one must be an open-minded learner and observer. “Christians” are, after all “disciples” (Acts 11:26) and they are to be carefully observant of their children. Proverbs 22:6 had previously stated, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it.” The phrase “in the way he should go” is alternately given in the ASV footnote, “conformably to his way,” i.e., the training or instruction “ought to regulate itself according to the stage of life, and its peculiarities; the method ought to be arranged according to the degree of development which the mental and bodily life of the youth has arrived at” (Keil, Commentary… Book of Proverbs, Vol. II., pp. 86-87).

Parents must also regard themselves as providers. This, too, is God’s assignment. Parenthood has time and energy demands that change one’s life dramatically. And these changes concern the well-being of someone else.

Parents should provide a strong marriage for their children. Otherwise, they will contribute to their insecurity. “Wives” should “be in subjection unto” their “own husbands as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22) and “Husbands” should “love” their “wives as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for

it…” (Ephesians 5:25). A marriage should be strong before there are children. Children should not be brought into the world in order to make a weak and faltering marriage strong. This is an adult responsibility, not a childs.

Parents should provide for the physical needs of their children. 1 Timothy 5:8 states, “But if any provide not for his own, and especially they of his own household, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

Parents should provide an atmosphere that contributes to the developing and maturing of their children. This will call for, among other things, love. “Let all that ye do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14). There should be an atmosphere of accountability. Parents should show they respect “what” “Jehovah” “doth” “require of” them (Micah 6:8). Parents should work to create an active learning atmosphere as they “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). And this will result in an atmosphere of dedication to spirituality.

Parents cannot do it all. Children have their part also (see Ephesians 6:1-3). And children can be failures too. But parents have the responsibility of teaching and providing. This is God’s assignment and the children’s need.

The Preceptor, April 1996

Varied Reactions to Gospel Preaching

Saturday, October 02, 2021

Varied Reactions to Gospel Preaching

by Keith Greer

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). God’s message is His power to save sinful men (Rom. 1:16). Aimed at the hearts of men to accomplish the purpose of why He sent it. Whenever and wherever the gospel is preached, there will be a response. Of those who hear the gospel, some will:

Deem it foolishness. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God...For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:18, 21). This remains true today - some think the gospel is just nonsense. Some also thought this during the time of the early church. “Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad! But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason” (Acts 26:24-25).

Be offended. “Then His disciples came and said to Him, ‘Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?’ But He answered and said, ‘Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch’” (Matthew 15:12-14). Some will be offended by the preaching of truth. Why? Because it calls on them to repent and to change their conduct and manner of life. Things have not changed much since the days of old: “...Is there not still a prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of Him? So, the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD; but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.’ And Jehoshaphat said, ‘Let not the king say such things!’” (1 Kings 22:7-8).

Be indifferent and ignore. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matthew 7:26-27). Some would try to convince folks that the Bible is too difficult to understand and demands what is impossible. Those who believe this lie will remain indifferent and ignore the teaching of understandable truth. Sadly, it will be too late when they realize it was true - in death!

Sadly decline. “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Matthew 19:22). The rich young ruler wanted eternal life. He came to the right person and got the right answer. What happened? The price was too high for him to pay. Such is the case with many today - the cost of discipleship is too high for them!

Gladly accept. “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:41). Some will answer from honest hearts, see their true condition, and make the needed change.

Continue faithful. “But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). Some will remain faithful to Him during the time they live on earth. Others will not (1 Timothy 4:1-3).

Pray your heart will always be tender toward God’s word. He has revealed everything we need to know. What kind of reaction are you displaying?

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