Do Not Sin Against Your Children!

 

Do Not Sin Against Your Children!

Richard Hollerman

It is a terrible thing to sin against another person.  Scripture says that when we sin against a brother, we actually sin against Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 8:12). When we sin against another person, we sin against God. We also sin when we wrong a child. This society gravely and grossly sins against children!

The Lord Jesus said, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). It may be true that Jesus’ reference to these “little ones” was a reference to young believers (cf. vv. 1-6, 14), but it is also true that God holds us accountable when we actually offend or hurt a child or young person. A child is precious to God (cf. 18:2-4) and we must never do anything that would harm him or her in any way.

God Planned for Children

God’s respect for children may be noticed throughout the Bible.  At the time of creation, Moses tells us that God “blessed” Adam and Eve and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). Even after sin entered the world, God said that the woman would be characterized by childbirth (3:16). Years later, after the flood of Noah’s day, the Lord said, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (9:1). This speaks to God’s plan for married couples to normally have children and multiply. God’s plan is for children!

But we all know that it is easy to bear children; it is something more to be a loving, responsible, and accountable “father” or “Dad” and “mother” or “Mama.” God elevated motherhood when He chose to have His Son, Jesus Christ, to be born of a woman.  As Paul puts it, “God sent forth His Son, born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4). Gabriel the angel appeared to the chaste Mary in Nazareth and made this announcement: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus” (Luke 1:30-31).

God Gave Instructions to Fathers at Ephesians 6:4: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Paul also wrote, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart” (Colossians 3:21).

The apostle further said that Timothy received the faith that was passed on by his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois (2 Timothy 1:5). They must have taught young Timothy much about the Lord for Paul could write, “From childhood you have known the sacred writings which are also to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (3:15).

Although there are notable exceptions, we discover that normally God wants young men and women to marry and bear children.  For example, young women are to “love their husbands” and “love their children” (Titus 2:4-5). Even widows are counseled to marry, when feasible: “I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach” (1 Timothy 5:14). Again, there are many exceptions, for some desire marriage but God doesn’t seem to provide for this blessing. And we know that in some cases, God can use people in their celibate single state (1 Corinthians 7). But generally, God does desire for people to be married and have children.

The Book of Proverbs Informs Us

The book of Proverbs has many instructions about children obeying their parents and parents teaching and training their children. Solomon writes, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (1:8). Again, “Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father” (4:1). The wise man also instructs us: “My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother” (6:20).

Since it is so important for a child to obey his or her parents, we see the huge responsibility that rests on the shoulders of a father and mother.  They grievously sin against both their children and God when they shirk their responsibilities. A mother is to be “gentle” toward her children and must “tenderly care for her own children” (cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:7). A father is to exhort, encourage, and implore his children (2:11). The task of a father and mother is not part time—but requires full time attention. God will hold parents accountable in the nurturing of their sons and daughters.

Teaching Children the Ways of God

Moses tells us that love for God must fill the heart of parents, and God’s commands were to be on the heart of parents (Deuteronomy 6:5-6). These commands were to be the focus of attention in the teaching process: “You shall teach them [the commands] diligently to your sons 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 up” (v. 7; cf. 11:18-22). If this was so under Moses, surely in the body of Christ, parents (who have much more to impart in the New Covenant) must diligently teach and train their children in the ways of the Lord.

Today, the world encourages children to sit before the television and view the world’s corruption hours each day. Or children are allowed to listen to the world’s music (noise?) that corrupts their impressionable hearts.  Or children may spend hour upon hour with the internet or computer games, all of which further influences children according to the world’s philosophies. Or children’s peers may exert huge influences on their heart. Scripture says that “foolishness is bound up on the heart of a child” and this foolishness is emphasized and promoted through these worldly influences. The public school system is a massive influence for harm in the life of a child, but parents who don’t want to take the time and trouble to educate their children at home continue to send their children to be influenced by the pagan world system.

A Father and a Mother are Assumed

We are living in strange times when only a minority of American families consist of a father, a mother, and children.  Variations abound. Perhaps the father deserts the family, leaving the children in the sole care of the mother. Or the reverse sometimes happens.  It may be that the parents divorce and one or both of them may remarry. This results in the painful and dangerous situation of the “blended” family.  Occasionally, children are sent to live with a grandmother which may be a difficult arrangement. Children are raised by a single parent, a step-parent, two parents (one of whom is absent), or aunts and uncles.

We know that God can even work in these unnatural family relationships. Moses, for example, was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter instead of his father and mother (Hebrews 11:24). There was Josiah, the grandson of the wicked king Manasseh and the son of the wicked king Amon (2 Kings 21). This young son and grandson was only eight years old when he became king and “he did right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the way of his father David, nor did he turn aside to the right or to the left” (22:2). We also recall that Timothy was the son of a pagan father, but apparently the influence of his mother and grandmother made an impression that led to his godly upbringing (Acts 16:2; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15). Thus, although some situations are not ideal, God in His grace may work through them for the benefit of the children and for God’s glory.

The Bizarre Arrangement of Two Fathers or Two Mothers

We know that when there has been a divorce and remarriage, and then a blended family, it may be that there are two “fathers” or two “mothers” (with two “parents” locally training the child). These are unfortunate and not at all ideal. But this would not be the only situation that should bring us concern.

Today, in America, increasing numbers of homosexuals (lesbians and sodomites) enter into sexual unions. They often insist that these immoral unions be considered a “marriage”! You know and I know that this cannot be a marriage, for a true marriage consists of a man and a woman joined for life. Jesus explained, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Matthew 19:5). He continued, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate” (v. 6). The Lord made it clear that a God-approved marriage consists of an eligible man and a woman who become one.

Children deserve to have both a father and a mother.  This is God’s general will, although we know that in this fallen world, a death may sometimes occur, resulting in a one-parent family. But generally speaking, God knows that children need the input, the teaching, the training, and the example of both a father and a mother.

In this perverted age in which we live, many millions are promoting a different family arrangement. Twenty years ago it would have been inconceivable and maybe even ten years ago, it could hardly be imagined. But today, many liberal and immoral people are insisting that sodomite couples (two men or two women united in what they call a “marriage”) should be given the privilege of adopting children! They reason, “After all, we are a family ourselves, though we may not be a ‘traditional’ family.” They insist that society recognize their “marriage” status and recognize their fitness to be parents of children. Amazingly, in a growing number of cases—in the thousands—authorities have placed children with two men or two women. Additionally, in some cases, one of the sodomite parents continue to raise his or her own natural children—with the result that sodomite “marriage” partners have children.

This week, as I waited for my car to be worked on at the garage, I picked up a current copy of U.S.A Today (April 22, 2015). This is what I read:

Gay couples, no less than straight couples, are capable of raising children and providing stable family for them. The quality of such relationships, and the capacity to raise children within them, turns not on sexual orientation but on individual choices and individual commitment, according to Judge Jeffrey Sutton (on November 5, 2014).

This preposterous position is no more realistic and accurate as it would be to say that an unmarried couple may be as good of parents for children as married parents. Or perhaps some say that an adulterous couples may provide as good a family life as a marriage of two eligible parents. People of the world have an way of making “rational” decisions that are irrational, immoral, and worldly.

D. Paul Sullins, a Catholic University sociology professor, opposes the idea that sodomite couples should be given the right to adopt children. He asks, “If children don’t do as well when they are raised by same-sex parents, why would we want to establish or encourage that as a social norm?” He contends that “children brought up by two parents of the same sex have a higher rate of emotional problems than their peers raised by heterosexual parents” (“Gay Parents Draw Criticism,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, April 22, 2015).   He says, “The idea that there are no differences is emphatically mistaken. I don’t know how else to say that.”

While we aren’t Catholic, we believe that Sullins is accurate. How can it be for the good of children to be raised by two men who are committing unspeakable and perverse sexual acts right in their own home where children are being raised? How can two sodomite women continue to engage in perverse sexual acts and this kind of immorality not affect the moral well-being of adopted children? This evil influence is self-evident to the objective and moral observer.

Obviously, the problem is not just adoption by sexually immoral parents, for there are millions of adulterous parents who are raising birth children or adopted children. This can’t be good for those children, for children do need the best of examples in their parents. But surely it would not be as bad as having parents who are perverted in their sexual appetites. Without doubt there will be some wrongful influence exerted on those children.

Parents, Take Your Responsibilities Seriously

As we have noticed in this article, God has planned for parents—a father and a mother—to have children of their own.  This idea is often not feasible for one may be barren, or the parents may be aged, or there may be a series of miscarriages. But if God does bless the couple with children—whether one child or twenty children—those parents have a weighty responsibility to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

If you are married with children, determine now that you will redouble your commitment to give the necessary time and efforts to raise godly children. Do all you can to teach and train those children in the ways of God and the teaching of His Word. This is the only way of family blessing. One day you will give an account to the Lord Himself for the way you have carried out this weighty responsibility.

 

 

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