I John 4:16b-20 read on
Matthew 5:13-14 read on
1 Peter 3:8-12 read on
Sermon: “This Wasn’t in the Brochure”
Theme: We parent as servants to God, entrusted with a responsibility to share Christ, to instruct, and to impart wisdom.
Examples from church: parents and children
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 20-25 Teach our children the laws and the reason why we have the statutes.
Ephesians 5:21; 6:1-4 Submit yourself to one another in love, parents, teach and discipline with love.
Questions: What is our role as parents when children are difficult? How does a parent find strength and support to be consistent and compassionate? How come there are so many children in our culture who are not well disciplined? Is it neglectful for a parent not to discipline children well? How do we support parents who encounter particularly difficult parenting situations?
Symbol: Baby Wipes
Accompaniment: Praise Band and Songs.
Are we only responsible to our own children? What is God’s expectation for us in terms of nurturing the faith of other people’s children? What can we do to impart wisdom to other people’s children?
Recent research (http://www.search-institute.org/research/family-well-being) shows that a very significant number of families do not have regular routines or well defined boundaries (such as bed times, curfews, monitoring of school work, etc.). What is the church’s Good News” to these families? What is our role as individual Christians among young people for whom this is a way of life?
In Deuteronomy adults are instructed to tell the story of God’s salvation to the children as a regular part of daily activities.
• What is our story of God’s mighty works? What is the story we should be telling our children?
• What are the activities today that would be “while you are at home and while you are away? What the times we should be telling our children about how God has acted in our lives?
• Why do we find ourselves reluctant to tell these stories?
Does “sacrificial parenting” mean we allow the children to run the house? In what ways do we need to teach discipline to children? How do we go about doing that in a way that shows “mutual submission?”
With each baptism of a child we take a vow to help that individual grow to know and follow Christ? How should we assist and instruct parents whose children are part of the church? What do we need to do in order to be sure that every child grows up to be a faithful disciple? Does this just mean setting up programming or is there something we should be doing in terms of relationships?
Have you ever been aware of a parent who was harsh or abusive of their child? How should we respond? What is our usual response? Are helping by being judgmental? What alternatives do we have?
What should we expect of parents who are members of the church? What should our responsibility be to parents? How should we seek to assist parents in raising healthy children who grow in the love of discipline of Christ?