Monday, June 22, 2009

Leigh's Thesis: Chapter 2 (5)


Who should provide instruction? (cont'd.)

Most of Timothy deals with studying for God’s glory in order to disciple our families to capture all thoughts to Christ. Titus 1 admonishes fathers to care for their families in a manner similar to Timothy. Both letters instruct that we cannot be church leaders when we can’t even teach our own children to live for God’s glory.

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NASB) reminds families that we can’t fool ourselves into sending our children to pagan schools to evangelize. Paul says, “Do not be deceived: ‘bad company corrupts good morals.’” In fact, we are instructed to train our children’s character so they will confidently “let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe” (1Tim 4:12, NASB).

Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV) explains to the church, “It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” It is qualified in Ephesians 6:4 (NIV) as, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

So the role of the church was to equip the adults to train their families to work in unity as they transformed culture. Without the help of the church, an entire body of believers, an already difficult task becomes even harder.

1 Kings 12:26-30 (NIV) relates Jeroboam’s efforts to rewrite history so the chosen people would be faithful to him instead of to God:
“Jeroboam thought to himself, ‘The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.’ After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, ‘It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’ One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. And this thing became a sin; the people went even as far as Dan to worship the one there.”
“It is too much for you,” said wicked Jeroboam. Of course it is too hard to do anything without God, especially to obey Him. 2 Corinthians 3:5 (NASB) says, “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.” Even so, we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens [us]” (Phil 4:13, NKJV).

Parents easily rationalize excuses for not training their children: “I’m not smart enough.” Of course you are not, so study with them.

“My kids won’t obey me.” Well then, you ought to lay aside all other activities in your family until they do.

“I wouldn’t know where to begin.” C.S. Lewis said, “The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while conditions are still unfavourable. Favourable conditions never come.”

(1) C.S. Lewis, “Learning in War-times,” The Weight of Glory, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 60.

Copyright © 2009 by Leigh A. Bortins. All Rights Reserved

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