CHILDREN, OUR GREATEST HERITAGE
Elder Joseph Hayes
In Psalms 127:3 we find this written, “Lo children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
Perhaps the greatest blessing bestowed upon any marriage union is that of children. However, when the blessing of children comes, they do not come with instructions. It is a grave responsibility to be a parent, and especially in the difficult and trying times in which we live. Since children don't come with instructions we must take our instruction from the Word of God. We are told in Ephesians 6:4 to bring our children up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. The word nurture means to nourish or feed. We're then to nourish our children with the proper love and chastisement.
In parenting, loving a child is the easy part. A child will bring sunshine and warmth to any household. It's the chastisement that's the hardest of the two. However, chastisement is taught in the Scriptures. The Lord Himself believed in chastisement for He says in Rev. 3; 19, “as many as I love I rebuke and chasten...” In Hebrews 12:6 it says, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” Verse 8 of the same chapter says “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons.” So the chastisement of our children is taught in the Scriptures. Chastisement then is a necessary tool in the training of our children.
Methods of chastisement is a much discussed subject in our world today. Some modern day psychologists will tell us that spanking a child will forever warp his personality. The Scriptures teach us differently. But I want it made clear that the Scriptures do not teach abuse. There is absolutely no excuse for the abuse of our children, whether it be physical, or mental. But in Proverbs 13:24 it says, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasenth him betimes.” Again in Proverbs 22: 15 it says, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” So let us as Christian parents in general, and Primitive Baptist parents in particular, love our children continually, and chastise our children when necessary. Also let us nurture and admonish our children that we might produce good moral adults, and the age old question, “What is the younger generation coming to?” will forever be settled.
CHILDREN OUR GREATEST HE RITAGE (PART TWO)
Elder Joseph Hayes
In our world today there are forces that are teaching our children that the principles and ideas of their parents are old fashioned and out of date for our modern day. However, if parents and children use the Word of God as their means of instruction, then their principles and ideas cannot be out of date in either case.
Children can receive vital and applicable instruction from the Word of God to conquer the problems of growing up. If children use the Word of God as their guide then the instruction of their parents is not old fashioned. For the Word of God instructs parents to teach their children. In Proverbs 1:8-9 it says “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.” In Proverbs 4: 1 it says “Hear ye children the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.” The greatest instruction then that children can receive, outside the Word of God, is the instruction of their parents. In my own experience as a small child, I heard my father say that he would rather I learn from him than anyone else on earth. In this troubled world the greatest learning experience a child can have is to learn from Godly parents.
Children are also to be obedient to their parents. In Ephesians 6:1 it says “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.” If children aren't taught to be obedient to parental law and authority in the home, then we cannot expect them to respect the laws of the land as they become adults.
So let us as Christian people in general and Primitive Baptist people in particular, pray for the grace of God, to instruct our children to respect the laws of God that they might mature to good moral adults.