Wednesday, November 13, 2013
BC&D Schedule for the rest of 2013
November 13: BCF-16 Parenting-1 “Godly Mothering”
November 20: BCF-16 Parenting-2 “Godly Fathering”
November 27: Thanksgiving Service/No Class
December 4: BCF-17 Parenting-3 “Parental Praying”
December 11: BCF-17 Parenting-4 “The Myth of Perfect Parenting”
December 18: BC&D Christmas Party & Fellowship
December 25 & 31 Christmas Break/No Class
January 8: BCF-17 Parenting-5 “Godly Sons & Daughters”
November 13: BCF-16 Parenting-1 “Godly Mothering”
Page 272: Parents have a blessed privilege and solemn responsibility before the Lord to bring up their children in a manner that pleases Him and to train them to understand the principles of Scripture. Accomplishing this task in a biblical manner will result in the blessings of the Lord. Failing to bring up
children according to God’s Word will bring heartache and grief (based on Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Proverbs 10:1, 13:18, 17:25, 22:6, 29:17; Colossians 1:10: James 1:25).
Page 273: God’s principles and precepts are applicable to parents and children alike. Parents are to be of one mind as they teach the Scriptures to their children in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord, and children are to respond faithfully to this teaching as unto the Lord (based on Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Psalm 19:7-11; Proverbs 22:6; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:20; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3-4).
I. God’s View: (Principle 69)Children are a gift (heritage) of the Lord (Psalm 127:3). They are to be brought up according to the directives of God’s Word (based on Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:14-17) and not according to the arbitrary decisions of parents or the philosophies of man (Proverbs 3:5, 16:2; Isaiah
55:8-11; 1 Corinthians 3:18-20). Parents are to train up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Deuteronomy 4:9; 6:6-7, 20-25; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4).
Godly Mothers Love Their Children
The Bible is written to be profitable to Christ’s Church, and all of us need to pause from time to time and look beyond our niche in His church and see the grand view of all that He is doing in and through us. All of Life Needs the Big Picture of __________________________ with God
Today you and I are part of something big, something grand, something that dwarfs even all our exciting summer vacation plans, or the harsh realities of life that consume us like our broken down cars, wearing out houses, lost jobs, bad health, work pressures, social problems, or even personal loneliness. Through Jesus Christ, you and I are a part of what God has chosen as His priority in the Universe. We are in partnership with GOD. Think of that. You and I are equity holders in something that will never end, never fail, never decay–we are a vital part of Christ’s church! God’s plan to work in the world is through
His church. Why not remind yourself of that by looking at three passages of Scripture with me.
The First Word of Our Purpose in Life is ___________________________.
Each of us in Christ’s church has a mission that Paul summarized as “Pleasing God” (I Thessalonians 4:1) “Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God” (NKJV). We have a mission to please, glorify, serve, and live for God. So if you are a teacher, please God in the way you teach; and if you are a nurse, please God in the way you care for people; and if you are a student, please God in the way you study; and if you are a mother, an engineer, a retiree, what ever we do to fill our day—our mission is to please God.
The Second Word of Our Purpose in Life is __________________________.
Our mission is accomplished by the proclamation of a message Paul summarized as “the Gospel of Grace” (Acts 20:24) “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God (NKJV). This message of grace—that God did everything possible to be done and anyone can come to Him merely by faith seems impossible. The Gospel is the message of an endless source of divine energy for abundant living!
The Final Word of Our Purpose in Life is ____________________________.
But the most amazing part is that God’s plan to do all this through us is by a method spelled out in Titus 2. Paul summarized this plan as men and women energized by God’s grace to live in partnership with God, a lifestyle that is otherwise impossible. So how did God instruct Paul to prepare Christ’s church for these great social challenges and family pressures? Again, God’s Word has the solution. God says that the way that tired, burned out, and depressed mothers get relief is from the faithful army of godly grace-energized role models.
Lovers of _____________________
Godly mothers who are in step with God’s Spirit and allow Him to energize them by His grace, are “lovers of children”. This character quality God seeks in godly moms is captured on paper by Paul with only one word in the Greek text: philoteknos and it means to be a lover of children. It is the second phrase of Titus 2:4: that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children. God is here reminding us that from time to time it becomes so very hard to take care of children. And moms of any century in history come to times when they no longer “feel” positive feelings towards her children. Parenting is hard, but God’s grace is always able to give us the strength to do His will.
The Bible clearly explains and illustrates this type of emotional love that was modeled by Christ. This love of close, companionship and friendship, is an emotional love that describes Christ’s relationship with Lazarus (John 11:3); and with “the disciple He loved” named John (John 20:2). This is also the word used in Revelation 3:19 for Christ’s love for true saints in His church. Jesus demonstrated His love to Lazarus and all who saw that friendship knew how close they were. The same was seen in Christ’s closeness to the Apostle John. That is how Jesus loves us, and wants us to know He loves us, feeling His closeness, and enjoying His friendship. And that phileo love that is emotional, close, and visible is what the Lord asks godly mothers to express towards their children. God says He wants moms in partnership with Him, strengthened by His grace to:Give the Priceless Gift of ________________________ to Your Children1
Do the loved ones in your family feel your love? Many husbands think that their wives admire other men more than them, especially as their wives say how, “So-and-so’s husband does this and that with his children or for his wife…”. Those men do not feel the respect and admiration of their wives. Likewise, many wives feel that their husbands think other women are either better at caring for their husbands, prettier, or better at caring for their families than they are. Those women do not feel the love and devotion of their husbands. But most importantly for Titus 2 mothers energized by grace, we need to consider that many kids hurt because they sense that their parents don’t even like them. Some ways a lack of love can harm our child.
• A struggling student watches his parents gloat about his sister’s straight A’s.
• A boy strikes out in a softball game and notices his father’s disappointment.
• An overweight daughter is told, “Stop snacking so much if you even care about your looks.”
This absence of loving approval, can lead to untold pain; whereas loved ones who feel approval and love face the daily challenges in their world with eagerness and confidence. Look at how Paul cultivated this type of love with a needy young man named Timothy. The mighty pastor of the church at Ephesus was also a young man with many physical and emotional needs. Paul nurtured his son in the faith Timothy, with love that could be seen and felt. That means: Paul Loved his “son” Timothy and it was ____________________. Paul loved his “son” in the faith. So as our example, how was his “love” for Timothy his “son” in the faith expressed? One of the most beautiful testimonies to the power of encouragement (or affirmation) in the New Testament is in the life of the Apostle Paul. If you turn to I Timothy 1 listen as Paul explained to Timothy who he saw him to be:
§ Paul told Timothy publicly that he was a gift from God to his life, because Timothy was ‘a true son’ (I Timothy 1:2); “To Timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” (NKJV);
§ Paul told others that Timothy’s life was deeply useful to God, because he was ‘an example to the flock’ (I Timothy 4:12) “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (NKJV);
§ Paul told Timothy that there was a unique and divine calling on his life because he ‘had a gift’ (I Timothy 4:14) “Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership” NKJV and needed to ‘stir it up’ (II Timothy 1:6) “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (NKJV).
§ Paul was very careful to not ‘belittle Timothy for his weaknesses’ (1 Timothy 5:23) “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities” (NKJV), and ‘his frequent tears’ (2 Timothy 1:4) “greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy” (NKJV).
§ Paul told Timothy he had a “treasure” entrusted him (I Timothy 6:20) “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—(NKJV), and that he should never stop no matter what lay ahead because he was ‘gifted’.
§ Paul reminded Timothy of his incredible spiritual heritage ‘and that from a child’ (II Timothy 3:15) “and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (NKJV).
§ Paul also told Timothy that God was ‘going to use him and reward him’ (2 Timothy 4:8) “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing (NKJV).
So Paul demonstrated how to love a “child” (in the faith) in the manner he loved Timothy; and shows how to love someone with love they could feel. Paul “affirmed” Timothy, and used tender and encouraging words to help him as his son in the faith Timothy. These exhortations were tenderly given to a struggling young man.
Little _______________________ to Give Away Love
1. Godly moms partnering with God in raising their children: love their children in a way that can be felt when they _________________ special words for them. Like Paul they used tender and encouraging words to help his son in the faith Timothy, they speak to their children. And Like Paul they won’t belittle their children for their weaknesses and tears. We should always remember that hugs aren’t enough. Tell your children how you feel about them! Those who are left to fill in the blanks often feel worthless and insecure. At best, only confusion can come from silence. Far too many of us are really not that encouraging. It’s not that we have a critical spirit. Rather, we just say nothing. Our loved ones are not mind readers. We can do better than just expecting them to know we are in their corner, loving and admiring them silently. They need to hear it! Grace-energized-mothers make an effort to catch them
doing something good, right, thoughtful, considerate, well done, etc. and point it out. Highlight it! “Hey, you really handled that situation very well.”
2. Godly moms partnering with God in raising their children: love their children in a way that can be felt when they ______________________high value to them. Remember what we saw in Paul, how he told Timothy he had a “treasure” entrusted him; and that he was “gifted”; and that God was “going to use him”. Grace-energized-mothers tell their children the qualities you admire in them.
3. Godly moms partnering with God in raising their children: love their children in a way that can be felt when they ________________________a bright future for them. Paul told Timothy about a “crown” that was awaiting him as he ran the “race” set before him; and that the Lord was going to “reward” him. So we also should express what God can do with them as they follow Him in their life. Grace-energized-mothers explain to their children how they can become the greatest servant of the Lord in what ever field God has gifted them. Explain why you think their gifts and character traits will be useful
throughout their lives. Avoid the overuse of negative admonitions; use Biblical affirmations to inspire confident dependence upon God.
4. Godly moms partnering with God in raising their children: love their children in a way that can be felt when they make a commitment to ________________________ through life with them. One of Christ’s most precious promises to us is that He is with us always, to the end (Matthew 28:20). We can express so much love that can be felt as we stand by our children through the months and years ahead to help make our words of affirmation
become a reality. Express ways you want to be a deeper part of their life (monthly dates, weekly prayer studies, nightly prayer times, on going shared prayer list, etc.) Don’t quit as soon as you miss a scheduled time because of a conflict or your loved one hurts or discourages you, or your child fails in some area. What words rang in Christ’s disciples ears from the “Great Commission”? For the rest of their life they heard Him say, “I am with YOU always!”
5. Godly moms partnering with God in raising their children: love their children in a way that can be felt when they make a commitment to ______________________ through life with them. Godly-mothers pray for their children. Let them know you’ve made a commitment to pray for them. Start a life-long prayer list with specific areas that you have learned from them need prayer, and then PRAY. Ask for updates. Celebrate answers. Pray together. If you are not praying for them each day, who is? Regardless of their age, they need you to lift them up before the Lord in prayer each day. Think about their day. Think about their setting. Think about the people they will be with. Pray about these situations. We need all the help we can get, and much of what happens to us or to our children in this life is beyond our control, but can be entrusted each day prayerfully to God’s control. John 17 is Christ’s model prayer for us to treasure just as His disciples did back then as they heard Him pray for THEM. That is giving them a heart that prays.
6. Godly moms partnering with God in raising their children: love their children in a way that can be felt when they ____________________ meaningful touches with them. That is what Jesus did (Mark 10:16) when he blessed the children, He was always touching those He ministered to. He could have healed them with a word, eight times in Mark alone Jesus touches those He served. So should we! The act of touch is a key to communicating warmth and affirmation. It is even essential to physical health. Be generous with your hugs.
7. Godly moms partnering with God in raising their children: love their children in a way that can be felt when they become a ____________________ of their child’s life. Jesus started His ministry with the Twelve by one simple plan in Mark 3:14, “and He ordained 12 that they should be with Him”. Watch them, share their ups and downs; know where they are in their spiritual life, their school life, work life, home life. Find out who they are close to and who they are not close to—and why. Just a few ways that we can study our child’s life:
• Take an interest in whatever seems to interest your children. Become a close observer and recorder of what delights your child. Spend enough time with them to identify some of their joys. Love that can be felt involves learning how to get into his or her world.
• Be lovingly persistent in communicating with your children. That is, keep trying to set up times when meaningful communication can occur. Find the times when they want to talk, when they want to open the windows of their hearts.
• Share activities. Use any means possible to build friendship. Invite them to join you as you go to the grocery store, or try building a family time camping together, or even just ask them to do what you are doing with you (cooking, yard work, running errands). It is always loving: to want them, include them, and ask for them to spend time with you.
• Take the initiative in asking your children questions. Have an endless learning time asking about what they think, what they feel, what they like or don’t like—and why. Learn their favorite flavor, favorite food, favorite activity, dreamed of place to go, and so much more. Write it down afterward to see what you remembered, and ask again until you do remember. Then surprise them with something they like!
• Listen to your children with full attention. Let them see your eyes light up when they talk to you. Mothers Energized by Grace ___________________ Spiritual Assets A servant of God has their heart set on spiritual treasures and measures life by the acquisition of spiritual assets rather than merely physical assets. Do you keep track of your Spiritual Assets? Often we know our house value, our retirement investment value, the worth of our collections and treasures—but do you keep an inventory of spiritual assets? What are some of our spiritual assets? These are things like:
§ Knowing where your kid’s are reading in God’s Word so they remember when they grow up and leave home that you always cared how they were doing
§ Asking your husband or wife each week what they are finding in God’s Word that is helping them to make it through the day. And, actually remembering what they said the last time because you care. This is a spiritual treasure because it forges a strong bond in your hearts of a shared spiritual walk.
§ Finding and learning scripture memory verses that you share in common with your loved ones are a spiritual treasure. Not hundreds or even dozens, but a handful that you all have learned and share in common. What a treasure to quote them around the living room when the power goes out, or an ice storm cancels church, or when you are traveling, to have this body of Scripture that you together as a couple and a family learned is a true spiritual treasure. Some of the more valuable passages are Psalm 23, the love chapter–I Corinthians 13, the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5, and key verses on the tongue and faith in James.
§ Collecting testimonies of salvation is a record of each person’s greatest treasure, isn’t it? The only thing that lasts forever from this world will be people and whatever we send up to Heaven before we leave. So, who are you taking to Heaven with you? Have you heard, understood, and savored the testimonies of your family? Can you tell your husband’s or wife’s testimony? How about your children? What an incredible treasure is our salvation. Take a spiritual inventory of the status of each soul around you in those you love.
§ Recording and remembering those spiritual milestones, have you started on this spiritual asset yet? Do you record your loved ones salvation date, baptism date, when they started the habit of personal devotional quiet times, what they are doing in that QT? Have you started yet to celebrate each other’s spiritual birthdays? Do you keep a record of, share and celebrate any souls led to Christ by you or by loved ones, and then uphold them by prayer? Who can your family say that you as a family are “taking to Heaven”?
§ Finally, one of the great spiritual treasures is a lifelong prayer journal. Even if you’ve never started, it is never too late to start watching God at work through prayer. Any type of list will do, just date it, hold onto it, and be specific enough in your requests—and there you have it—an actual record of the God of Heaven moving in and through your life by prayer. A list of family needs, specific challenges, hurdles, obstacles, great goals, and so on are all prayed over. As well the verses for Christ’s formation in the lives of those you love are always such a tool. Just a sheet of paper, dated, written out and prayed over faithfully until it wears out and then a new one started will harvest great spiritual gains and treasures.
Following the Script God Left for Us
Today you and I are part of something big, something grand, something that dwarfs even all our exciting summer vacation plans, or the harsh realities of life that consume us like our broken down cars, wearing out houses, lost jobs, bad health, work pressures, social problems, or even personal loneliness. This morning through Jesus Christ, you and I are a part of what God has chosen as His priority in the Universe. And moms, Titus 2:4 says that God wants you to allow Him to share that second priority He has given you, summed up in one word in the Greek text, philoteknos and it means to be a lover of children.
And that phileo love that is emotional, close, and visible is what the Lord asks from graceenergized mothers towards their children.
I hope that today you will be that calling to be God’s priority for your life.
1 These ideas are adapted from The Blessing (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986, Nashville) and The Blessing Workbook (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993, Nashville) by Gary Smalley and John Trent, Ph.D.