3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
If God has given us children, then we must realize that He has given us a great blessing. In the above passage alone, we are told that children are a gift, a reward, and a source of strength and happiness.
Children are a great blessing, but with great blessings comes great responsibilities. It has been said that children are like lumps of clay to be molded. Taking that lump of clay and molding it into a godly young man or woman is the task that God has given parents. This responsibility does not belong to the grandparents, extended family, friends, teachers, elders, preacher, etc. While these individuals can be expected to provide a good influence upon children, God has singled out fathers and mothers and given them instructions concerning their responsibilities towards the “heritage” that they have received “from the Lord.” Continue reading » Responsibilities of Parents
Solomon wrote, “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers” (Proverbs 17:6). Most young people look forward to a day when they have a child of their own. Thoughts of children in the home are exciting and joyous. David wrote, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them” (Psalms 127:4-5 / NKJVB). The happiness of having a child is difficult to put in words. The excitement of watching the child grow and develop various abilities is fascinating. Christians must always remember; however, that there are great responsibilities that come with having children. Continue reading » Proverbs on Parenting
Have you heard this said? I have. From time to time you have probably heard this statement. When the person who says this realizes that you are a member of the Lord’s church they tell you this. Why is that? Is it an attempt at making some kind of connection of mutual attitude? Is it an attempt by them to let you know they “know where you are coming from”? If you “grew up” church of Christ what happened? What event took place that caused you to out-grow the Lord’s church? Where are they now? What are their religious beliefs and practices? Are there any at all?
Unfortunately, this is happening all of the time as people who were once a part of the Lord’s church, the church of Christ, leave for other pastures when they grew into adulthood. Somewhere along the path of their life they either are lured away from Christ by the doctrines of man or they simply fall away, lured by the world and its lusts.
Continue reading » I Grew up Church of Christ
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5).
The Genesis account reveals God’s intention that man “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it;&ldots;” (Genesis 1:28). The account also reveals that the sexual act is to be between a man and his wife. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Concerning the sexual nature of the husband/wife relationship, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews commented, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (13:4).
Continue reading » The Parent/Child Relationship
It is not unusual these days to hear a teenager say to his parents, "I’m so tired of all these rules and regulations that you lay down for me that I’ll be glad when I’m on my own and can do as I please!" Quite often the "rules and regulations" to which they refer are those which are for their own good, however vexsome. While it is possible that parents can sometimes be unfair and arbitrary in fixing rules, most often parents have the good of their children in mind when they supply the regulations for a family.
Children are often too impatient to attempt to see the wisdom behind rules. They are not looking at events from the mature standpoint that only years of experience can bring; they are viewing events through the impatience and immaturity of youth. Such immaturity seldom seeks to find the wisdom behind a rule, particularly if it interferes with the immediate gratification of a desire. The guiding light of youth is expressed in the sentiment, "I want…" and "I want it now…" Consequently, when any restricting rule is enforced which inhibits or restricts, a young person who has no respect for experience or for the Biblical injunction of obedience will rebel. Whether the rule is a curfew on dating nights, attendance at worship services, homework, housework or personal grooming guidelines, compliance is grudging, if at all.
Continue reading » Associate Editorial: "I’m On My Own"
When my daughter was 8 or 9 years old, she had her first “conflict” between worldly and spiritual activities. Her softball team was in a tournament, and had an important game scheduled on Sunday morning. My daughter dearly wanted to be at that game. When we got to services, she saw one of her favorite “grandmas” at the front of the building. She ran up to her and said, “I’m having to miss my softball game this morning because of church!” I will never forget and will always appreciate this wise sister’s answer to her. She hugged her, and said, “That’s wonderful! I’m so proud of you!” My daughter walked away from her happy and proud that her sacrifice was appreciated, rather than sad at her “loss.”
In the years that have followed, all of my children have suffered similarly, as gospel meetings, Wednesday night classes, and even Sunday morning assemblies have conflicted with their secular schedules. These are rather mild cases, but are nevertheless characteristic examples of how those who follow Christ suffer in the face of an uncaring world. Paul said that such would be the lot of all Christians, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Anyone who names the name of Christ will suffer as a result of his profession.
I am proud to say that my children have suffered these persecutions stoically, but it breaks my heart that they have had to give up even this little bit for their faith. Having said that, I believe these “losses” to be among the most powerful and important lessons they have learned in their short lives as Christians. Continue reading » Editorial: Are We Protecting Our Children?
“As I closed my last letter to you, I mentioned that we would discuss some things that were painful to us. I speak especially of myself. Writing to you like this does open some memories that were better buried. Up until now I have mentioned the pride that I felt in you, the joy you brought your mother and me and the anticipation that you would continue to do the same as you grew older. I don’t know how you feel about some of the things I will mention but as I put them into words, I wonder at how life changed for us. “As you know, my father is not a Christian. As far back as I can know, none of my people on my father’s side were Christians. So when I learned the truth and determined to live right, I hoped to establish a new order of things from myself into the future with this family. Being right with God is so good! It explains so many things in this world and lifts our eyes to life everlasting. It is such a joy to be a Christian that it destroys me to know you don’t have this conviction. If I fail to pass along this faith in Christ to you and to your sons and daughters after you, I will have failed miserably in the most important thing in this life. Can you imagine the intensity of this feeling in me? Can you realize how it saddens me to see you unconcerned about eternal life? Do you understand how much I feel a failure if you do not see the beauty of Christ and His truth? Continue reading » Third Letter: Our Child Is Dead
“My dear child: Memories and emotions are such powerful forces. When I wrote to you the last time, I mentioned a part of my memories of your childhood. I don’t know how that affected you, but it had a tremendous effect on me. Just speaking of these things intensifies my desire to see you restored to the fellowship of God. You were so happy then and I wish for you this same happiness once more. “Indulge me just a little more and see if you can remember when you were baptized. Since religion is no more an important part of your life, I am interested if you recall the sincerity with which you expressed a desire to me to obey your Lord by being baptized. I remember talking with you since you were a little young, I thought. You reminded me that people were taught to be baptized when they knew they were sinners and that you knew you had done things that were wrong and believed that you were lost. You said that you wanted to go to heaven when you died and knew baptism to be right. Your mother and I realized that this had to be your decision and were proud of you. We have the date marked down somewhere. It is printed indelibly in our minds. But can you remember your feelings then? Surely you must have loved God and had faith in Him at that moment in your life. You were not pressured into being baptized; it had never been a matter of force. You came seeking to do God’s will and seemed to do it gladly. I am wondering what importance you put on this even now. It was a great event for us then, and it remains so to this day. For us, it meant that you were a part of the kingdom of Christ, a member of His church. Your sins were washed away and as much as anything, it seemed that you were taking the initiative in living right. No one pushed you into baptism; it was something you wanted to do. Do you have any regrets about it now? If you had it to do over again, would you be so eager to be right with God? Continue reading » Second Letter: Our Child Is Reborn
Many Christians know the ache of David’s heart when he wept for his rebellious son, saying: “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son!”
(2 Samuel 18:33). David went aside by himself and wept bitter tears.Many Christians know the bitterness of such tears — the helplessness that David must have felt — the burden of regret and sorrow. One of the most terrible feelings known to Christians is that which is felt when a beloved son or daughter turns their back on Christ and becomes unfaithful. There are no words adequate to describe the broken hearts.
This series of “letters” will describe some of the feelings that parents have when children reject God. No one family is described; rather a composite family drawn from many experiences is projected. It is hoped that parents will use these articles to open the door of young people’s hearts to the tender love of Christ and remind them of their parents’ love. They are also an appeal to our young people who have forgotten the most important lesson they will ever learn, “Love God and keep His commandments.” Continue reading » First Letter: Unto Us A Child Is Born
The Need for Children to be Taught
There is a great need today for our young people to be taught the word of God. As I write this, I believe it goes without saying that this is true. The need for gospel teaching is seen in the words of Christ as He commanded His disciples to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:15-16). It is seen in Paul’s words, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2). Peter’s words also show us how important it is to be taught God’s word. This is because we must, “abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul,” and “speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet. 2:11, 4:11). There is no way a Christian (regardless of age) may live, speak, or teach others in a way that pleases God unless he/she is taught what pleases God.
The Need for Teaching Our Young PeopleIn considering our subject, why is it necessary to teach our young people? First of all, it is necessary because teaching our youth is commanded by God, as we have already shown. Teaching our young people also shows that we are following the apostolic example (1 Cor. 11:1; Phil. 3:16). Paul took time to impart his experience and knowledge to young men like Timothy and Titus. (Not unlike what Christ did for His disciples!). Paul knew he wasn’t going to live forever, and that men like Timothy and Titus were going to have to rise up and fill Paul’s place as a teacher and exhorter of brethren when he was gone. Continue reading » We Need Watchmen Because of Our Children