“GOOD ADVICE FOR THE KIDS” Proverbs 1:8-9
INTRO – How many of you know what a “pop quiz” is? It’s when the teacher “pops” a quiz on you w/out prior announcement. Always have to be ready. Had a prof in college that did “pop” major exams. Not fun!
Going to have a pop quiz today. Get piece of paper, pen/pencil, or use your phone to write down your answers. So here goes: 3 questions in our “pop” quiz today & they’re all “true” or “false” questions:
- A child should obey his/her parents.
- Obeying your parents & being good will make you a Christian.
- God doesn’t love you when you disobey your parents.
Now, let’s think about your answers to the pop quiz questions.
A child should obey his parents – TRUE. All through the Bible we find this teaching.
- It’s the 5th Commandment – “Honor your father & mother.”
- Jesus repeated that in Matt. 15:3. The young man in the story I read said that he had kept that commandment ever since he was a child.
- 6:1 – “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
- 3:20 – “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”
Obeying your parents & being good will make you a Christian – FALSE. Some people think that they can be good enough to be a Christian. They think that they can be good enough that they will get to go to heaven when they die. They think that somehow, God will let them into heaven based on how well they obeyed their parents, how nice they were to older people, how good they were in school & didn’t cheat on tests & chew gum in class & talk in class.
But the Bible says in Rom. 3:10-11, “No one is good – no one in all the world is innocent. No one has ever really followed God’s path or even truly wanted to.” Rom. 3:23 – “…everyone has sinned, everyone falls short of the beauty of God’s plan.” (Phillips)
It is true that we should obey our parents & honor them. No doubt about that. I’m not saying that they aren’t important in our lives. They are the most important people in your lives right now. But that’s not what makes us a Christian, that’s not what saves us. Think back to the young man & Jesus. That young man was a really good man. Kept the commandments. Honored his mother & father. But was that enough for him to be saved, “to inherit eternal life” (Mk. 10:17)? NO! He had to FOLLOW JESUS! There couldn’t be anything more important in his life than that! We are saved & become a Christian when we realize that we can’t be good enough, that we are sinners, & we need to follow Jesus! So, we have to turn away from our sins, believe that Jesus is the only way we can be saved, & ask Him to save us. He died on the cross to pay the price for our sins, & only by trusting Him & Him alone can we be saved. CHAIR ILLUSTATION. Rom. 10:13 – “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
God doesn’t love you when you disobey your parents – FALSE. I want you to write this down. It’s something MY mama told me a long time ago when I was a little boy & it has stuck w/ me all through my life: There is nothing you can do to make God love you any more, & there is nothing you can do to make God love you any less.
Jesus knew that the young man in the story had not truly kept all the commandments 100% of the time. No one can do that! He knew that, at some point, the young man had disobeyed his parents. But, what does it say in v. 21? “Jesus looked at Him & LOVED him.” And, you know what? He is doing the same thing today. He is looking at YOU & He loves YOU!
And b/c He loves you so much, He came into the world & died on the cross for us. Rom. 5:8 – “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
Let me share a brief word w/ parents now:
- God is Perfect – plans are perfect; Word is perfect; ways are perfect –
- Ps. 18:30 – “As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s Word is flawless…”
- God is Powerful – powerful in creation; powerful in world’s operation; powerful in our individual, personal lives – Holy Spirit –
- Ex. 15:6 – “Your right hand, O Lord, is majestic in power…”
- Eph. 3:20 – “Now to Him who is able to immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work w/in us…”
- God is Purposeful – does nothing by mistake; does nothing “off the cuff”; does all things by design –
- Rom. 8:28 – “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
And b/c He is, He has given us as parents the amazing opportunity to impact our children’s lives & impact our world by imparting to them the Godly instruction they need. What a high calling!!! Let’s don’t mess this up!
A Positive Word – “Listen” – Prov. 1:8a
“Listen” – “Hear” – to understand things heard; to heed; obey; able to hear; receive news
“instruction” – discipline; chastening; correction; admonition; example, doctrine, education, warning, reminder
A Negative Warning – “Do not forsake” – Prov. 1:8b
“forsake” – to leave fallow, uncultivated; to throw down; to hand over; to give up; to leave off, leave unheeded; to overrun; to be rampant; to lie unnoticed; abandon
“teaching” – direction; instruction; law; decision; rule
If our kids are going to listen to us; if we don’t want our kids to forsake our teaching – then we better make sure that what we are telling & teaching them is the Godly instruction they need, ESPECIALLY in the world they’re growing up in today!
Why does Solomon mention parental teaching immediately after he says the “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge?” B/c we as parents are partners with God in teaching our children.
See the remarks about the garland and the chain? These are marks of distinction. It means that children who obey the Godly instruction of their parents will stand above the crowd. They will not only have their lives as an “ornament,” they may actually find success in life. You & I have the unbelievable opportunity to place that garland of character & victory on their heads, that chain of integrity & commitment around their necks.