SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

OUR CHILDREN?

Psalm 127:3-5

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord ,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.”
 

Children are a gift of God! Raising a child is one of the greatest responsibilities that exist in the life of a man and woman. As often as is the case, we see the gift, but forget the one who gave them to us!

Are we leading our children closer to God?

What is most needed in the lives of our children is discipline; yet, it seems to be the last thing we want to give them. This is a lesson on the discipline required to save our children !

 

Lesson One: Discipline!

Moms and Dads:

Discipline for our children requires that we take a hard look at ourselves first. In order to properly discipline our children , there must first be a sense of discipline in our own lives. We cannot expect our children to value that which we fail to establish as truly important in our own lives.

Our children will learn more from what we display than what we say! If we want our children to love God, we had better love Him in deed! If we want our children to understand the sanctity of the marriage relationship, we had better live that sanctity!

We could continue this list virtually to exhaustion; however, suffice it to say that children are a gift of God, but with a tremendous responsibility!

Consider your realm of influence? Your actions will mold your children in their knowledge, behavior, and actions in religion, social, and moral decisions. Are we acting in the best interest of our children ? Does our present behavior reflect our true concern for their souls?

 

A special note to the parents who have children that are now fully grown and to grand-parents; I have yet to find a passage of scripture that dismisses us from being a living example to our children , or one that excuses us from wielding influence!

 

However, what I do find is the Apostle Paul writing to the church of Corinth as if he was their father and they, his children, note:

1 Corinthians 4:14-16 “I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. 15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me .”

 

Can any of make this claim to our children ?

 

What is Discipline?

Discipline is training!

Ephesians 6:4 “And you, fathers , do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord .”

By the way, did you notice who was responsible for this? That's right gents, the responsibility falls directly on your shoulders. You establish the godly home, you set the tone for service to God, and you are responsible for the training and admonition of our children in the Lord!

Your wives as your help-meet; help you achieve each of these goals, but they are yours to establish and enforce.

Discipline is designed to shape a specific training and behavior, note:

Hebrews 12:7-11 “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

 

What discipline is NOT:

Discipline is a subject that is often misunderstood and clouded by much emotion. Because of this the misuse of discipline, parents often accomplish Satan's work for him in provoking our children .

Remember that discipline is training. Training requires communication. How many of us respond positively when yelled and screamed at by our bosses at work. By the time my boss was done yelling at me, I could not have told you half the things he even said. I immediately dismissed everything he was telling me, just because he was yelling.

Kids are smart (regardless of how they behave at times). My kids will tell you to this day, that they dreaded the lectures even more than the seat adjustments.

If we are to successfully discourage behavior in our children that is detrimental, we have to be fully in control of our thoughts. This cannot be achieved when our emotions are in control of our ability to think. King David had some advice, note:

Psalm 4:4 “Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.” Selah

This advice can be universally applied in virtually every aspect of our lives that requires us to communicate well, note:

2 Timothy 2:24-25 “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,”

There are times when at certain ages in the development of our children , when consequences for their actions must be enforced (and that might require getting to the seat of the problem). However, just like the previous note; all discipline is for the correction of detrimental behavior (training), and must not be dispensed when one is not in control of their faculties. This is not to say that our children can't push our buttons. Yet, the discipline required of us as parents is far greater and must be achieved for the sake of our children !

When I was a boy, I cut all the hair off my sister's head! In my defense, she dared me! However, when my father found out, he was immediately enraged. In his wisdom, he told my mother to get me out of his sight until he calmed down enough to deal with me. That hour was the longest of my life. Let's just say that I never cut her hair again!

 

Right along with this, we could add, “ Because I told you so !” As I mentioned earlier, our children are smart and can recognize hypocrisy and schism a mile away. Since discipline is training, sometimes kids just need to know why it's important.

If we are demanding things of our children that we are not willing to do ourselves, it communicates to them that it is not very important. In that case the discipline required is for ourselves before our children .

 

True discipline that will save our children is about being firm , fair , and consistent . Discipline for training will never be achieved without defined consequences for behavior that falls short of that which is desired.

When a child is unruly and is warned, but never disciplined for the bad behavior; there is no deterrent for the behavior. This actually enables the child and promotes worse behavior.

Remember that if God was firm in His expectations of Israel , fair in that he warned them, consistent in that He punished them for disobedience as a nation; likewise, we can do it for our children .

 

This practice has led to a generation that wants wealth without work, and pleasure without consequence. Teach them a work ethic and earned privilege. This is the expectation of Christians, why wouldn't we expect it from our children?

1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

 

In addition to the things we have already mentioned, compromise is not discipline . If we are to train our children in the admonition of the Lord and obedience to us as parents, they cannot negotiate what they want to obey and what they don't.

Remember that it is far easier to go from restraint to freedoms, than to go from freedoms to restraint. Teach them that there is blessing in good behavior (earned privilege).

 

Next: “ Prepare Them