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Kingdom Marriage 5 - Parenting

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"... bring them up ..."

Ephesians 6'4.

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The wonder of producing children comes to God's married ones when He gives life to their love at conception. Parenthood has begun!

The first birth brings about the first family celebration.

Of course, there's a next one - with the Lord's Family for a time of thanksgiving for and presenting the Child to God.

It's the one thing Mary and Joseph did that, under the grace of Jesus believing Parents can do today: "A Presentation".

Here's what they were required to do:

"... when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord," Luke 2'21-22.

Under The Law they were involved in two separate ceremonies for two distinct purposes, neither of which are required of Believers.

The striking thing these words convey is the couple's sincere worshipful disposition. And from them Believing Parents can receive some guidance for "A Presentation".

These things stand out: There's the announcement of the Child's name. The presentation of the Child is made to our heavenly Father in Jesus' name.

Also, the Parents confess to bring up the Child in His nurture and admonition according to the word of Christ.

From this time on the love of God's married ones begins extending to include the others who are born to them.

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Being yoked together, Kingdom parenting responsibilities are shared responsibilities and Parents work out how to share them. And how to encourage each other in doing them.

One very significant responsibility toward children (and also toward each other!) is being consistent.

While parents seem to naturally expect their growing children to obey them, being consistent is a major obligation Parents owe their Children.

The realisation of their consistency in the mind of the child depends much on their parents being faithful to each other in carrying it out.

More than that, their marital faithfulness in itself will have a lifelong affect on their offspring.

So while scripture exhorts children to obey their parents they must know from the way they are treated from their first day that Dad and Mum are in harmony.

As part of their natural need to learn, all children test their parents' unity and take advantage of any discord very quickly.

Being in harmony is something that requires talking about and agreeing on, even before the first child is born.

Most importantly, if disagreement should arise in a situation, it should not be displayed in the presence of the child.

A disagreement should be resolved at a later time and any change conveyed to the child.

In short, parents should control their feelings (and their tongues!) and never contradict one another in front of the child, however young he/she is.

Things stick in children's minds. It's always suprising when a parent talks about their child to other adults in their presence or involves them in adult conversation or problems.

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Just as the Children are to obey, Fathers are exhorted to conduct themselves in a loving manner:

"Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged," Colossians 3'20-21.

Children who have greater understanding are called to obey followed by a promise:

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

'Honour your father and mother,' which is the first commandment with promise:

'that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth'," Ephesians 6'1-4.

Dads are held responsible, especially in their behaviour, for the way the couple's children are brought up:

"You, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath,

but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord," Ephesians 6'4.

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