Devotional - 99-12-31 - Accountable?
The Family Series, Part 7
Ephesians 6:4 ...ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
I didn't quote all of the 1 Samuel passage; it's very long. It actually begins before this verse. To save time, I ask that you read it for your own understanding.
God set down some principles for each household:
He instructed parents to teach it to their children day and night by the way they talked, by the way they behaved, by the way they treated others. God instructed parents to write it on the doorposts, to talk about His laws. In everything that was said and done, His principles were to be proclaimed.
There were penalties if a child refused to obey the principles. They were to be admonished, the next step was a beating, and finally, if they still refused to obey, they were to be taken to the local magistrates and stoned to death. God hates sin.
No one has to teach a child to sin. We are each born with a "want-to" to do our own thing. What are needed are instructions in righteousness. There is only one place to find those instructions: God's Holy Word, the Bible.
When our children refuse to obey, it is up to us to set them on the straight path. Eli chose not to discipline his sons, and God punished them severely -- they were killed, as was Eli.
We have raised up a generation that has gone astray. We are a nation of victims. We all point at the other guy to explain why we are in the wrong. We say that it is "his fault".
God holds each of us accountable for our actions. Even a child by his actions is known. Parents are accountable to teach their children. Children are accountable to obey.
Our motto should be, "The buck stops here."
Father, forgive us. We are weak and love ourselves more than you. We want our children to love us, so we don't hold them accountable. There are no absolute rules in our homes because we are weak and afraid to stand firm. We don't know the truth because we don't spend time in Your Word. We find it easier to excuse and point our fingers than to examine ourselves. We are guilty. You said in Proverbs that a father who does not discipline his son does not love him. That is some tough stuff. And yet, You never lie. You are absolute truth. Give us the courage to teach that. Give us the courage to live that. Lord, help us, as parents to obey You so that our children will know how to walk. In the name of Jesus, our precious Redeemer and Lord. Amen.