18 March 2007
· Role of Government and Stewardship/Protection.
· When character/responsibility decreases then government by law increases.
· NZ – appalling record in relation to ‘Child Abuse’ => family decline.
· Cannot change this by changing the laws.
· Proposal change – Repeal section 59 of the Cries Act.
“Every person in the place of a parent of a child is justified in using force by way of correction towards the child, if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances”.
· Proposed change – won’t solve the problem; will turn good parents into law breakers, and neighbours and teachers into government agents reporting.
· “Police will be required by law to act if a complaint is made”.
· “Effect of act will be to place child in the same position as an adult” - QC.
· God calls every person to live under authority – preference to correction.
· He has invested authority in people – family, church, government, business.
· Romans 13:1-2 - “Let every soul be subject to authorities”.
Subject = lupotasso = to position yourself in place of yielding and cooperation with one in authority to work together for common purpose.
· Parents have authority because God calls you to be an authority in a child’s life.
e.g. Genesis 18:19 - “I have chosen Abraham, I will know him that he will command his children and household after him and they shall keep the way of the Lord”.
e.g. Deuteronomy 6:4-6 - “The great commandment – love Lord God teach children”.
e.g. Ephesians 6:4 - “Do not provoke children – bring them up in the nature of the Lord”.
· Parents have the authority to act on behalf of God – fulfill his directions.
· Parents have the responsibility to fulfill as God’s representatives.
· God defines the task – you act on his behalf.
· You are a person under authority – as well as the child – same Lord but different roles.
· Because God has given responsibility – you don’t need the child’s permission to act.
· You are in charge – you have the responsibility – Shepherd child.
· Proverbs 22:6 - “ Train up the child in the way he should go”.
· Train = to narrow, rub the palate, discipline => direction
· You are God’s agent to shape the child’s heart attitudes and behaviour.
· Discipline is an issue of honoring God and character formation
- communicate and Rod of the Lord.
- no place for anger
3. God’s Mandate to Children:
· Ephesians 6:1-3 - Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.
· God’s directive to children: Obey and Honor (Respect)
· God’s blessing: Things go well – life is blessed.
· Key issues; Children must learn to honor and obedient.
· Honor => Treat parents with respect and esteem them because of position/authority.
· Obedience => Willing submission of one person to the authority of another. Do what told – without delay; without excuse; without challenge.
· Submission to authority => child will have to do things don’t want to.
1) Parents must train their children in honor, respect and obedience.
2) Parents themselves must be an example in attitude and action.
· Inevitably there will be a clash of wills.
4. The Root is a Heart Issue:
· Luke 6:43 - Out of the heart!
· Children are not born morally neutral.
· Their actions and words flow out of what is in the heart.
· Their behaviors are the overflow of the heart.
· Jeremiah 17:9 - Heart is wicked – desperately wicked.
· Proverbs 22:15 - “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child but the rod of correction will drive it far from him”.
· God’s Word = something wrong in the heart of a child/reflects in action.
· Folly/Foolishness = reject God; do not want to hear correction.
· Fool rejects God’s authority and ways, follows own desires.
· Purpose of rod = humble heart of child so can be subject to parental instruction and direction.
· For the rod to work => no anger; no frustration; no ‘punishment’.
Requires: communication, faith, correction, love – Proverbs 13:24
· Rod of correction restores child to a place of relationship/blessing.
Requires: clear explanation, clear conscience, identify behaviour – heart issue, correction, reconciliation.
· God never endorses hitting children whenever we wish.
5. What should we do?
· When the law invades the home and conflicts with God’s word e.g. China – parents forbidden to communicate the Gospel to their children.
1) develop a submissive attitude to authority (respect)
2) Reuse voice over proposed changes.
3) Develop parenting skills – understanding.
4) Personal decision over issue speaking;
* right attitude
* disobedience or rebellion
* accept consequences e.g Daniel’s fiends
· Hebrews 12:5-11