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Section 4  - Let Your Light Shine Study #14  - Spiritual Families
The Christian Family: Parents And Children
 

Introduction:The family is the most basic unit of society. To understand the desperate plight our society is in, you need only to look at the desperate straits the average family is in! In stark contrast to families in the world— with their narrow outlook, poor communication, brewing resentments, undisciplined children and decaying marriages— the Christ-centered family is a breath of fresh air and a ray of hope.

The family following God’s word is a happy, communicative, warm, loving, committed and fruitful family. Just as Christian marriage is God’s wise plan for men and women to love and live together, so the Christian family is God’s answer to the ungodliness and selfishness of society. Family is the forum he has chosen for character development in his most precious gift to parents: their children.

The Scriptures:

Spiritual Focus

- Chain of command: Christ—husband—wife—children.

- If you want a great family life, you need discipling!

- Aim to have an evangelistically fruitful family.

Bringing Up Children

- Security and happiness:

   1. Time—you will need to reorder your priorities!

   2. Affection—without it, they will become insecure, cold, introverted and awkward around strangers.

   Spiritual examples (parents)—Ephesians 6:4, Deuteronomy 6:7

Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:7
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

- Discipline:

   1. Proverbs 23:13-14—it is unloving not to give it. Discipline is training.

Proverbs 23:13-14
13 Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
14 Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.


   2. Colossians 3:21—encouragement is necessary.

Colossians 3:21
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

   3. Proverbs 22:15, 29:15, 17, 19, 21—God commands discipline.

Proverbs 22:15
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.

Proverbs 29:15
The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.

Proverbs 29:17
Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.

Proverbs 29:19
A servant cannot be corrected by mere words; though he understands, he will not respond.

Proverbs 29:21
If a man pampers his servant from youth, he will bring grief in the end.

   4. The husband is the chief discipler.

   5. Wife and husband should agree on the “rules,” lest the children pick and choose whom to obey!

   6. Proverbs 22:6—areas of training: Respect toward authority, speech and openness, affection, manners, tidiness, moodiness.

Proverbs 22:6
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

   7. Have regular discipling times with each child.

Other Important Matters

- Regular, consistent family devotionals.

- Be on time to church. Allow extra time, particularly considering the children. Plan to come early!

- Pray with the children before they go to bed.

- Have a weekly family time.

- If you have Christian children, work with the preteen or teen ministry. Embrace feedback. Do not be defensive.

Practicals

- Create a simple system of allowances and incentives for the children.

- Take the whole family out evangelizing. Reach out to other families as a family.

- Ask Christians you respect to recommend helpful books.

The Spiritual Exercise: Have a fun-filled, spiritually focused, family devotional.