Child Rearing from the Ground Up, Part II
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Several weeks after delivering their baby, parents schedule a doctor’s visit so the doctor can examine the child and assure that it is well formed and developing. In Deuteronomy, the Lord is a proud father/doctor, examining His son Israel, the covenant people of God. He is examining their hearing and their hearts. After blessing them with redemption, freedom, a covenant and law, He was about to give them the Promised Land of milk and honey. He wanted in return their love, obedience, and rearing of their children in reverence to Him. Today, many parents are preoccupied with the cost of child rearing, but with little regard to teaching them the fear and admonition of the Lord. Parents must:
TEACH THE SOUL. God is Holy and has no equal, and is to be related to like no other. Out of love and deference to Him, we are to be careful not to commit certain deeds to not demonstrate contempt, disrespect, ignorance or arrogance towards Him. The soul must be taught to love God wholeheartedly at all times, in all places, among all peoples, and under all circumstances.
SHEPHERD THE HEART. A shepherd leads, feed, guards, corrects and waters the flock. Shepherding the heart, or soul, involves guiding and protecting the child’s spiritual development. Is the child’s heart healthy, vibrant and passionate for God, or cold, indifferent, angry, hostile, heavy or crushed by the parents’ actions, filled with skepticism or caught up in the world, embracing what God condemns?
BUILD THEIR SPIRIT. Parents are to be careful not to crush, traumatize or devastate the spirits of their children. Those who do so with mean-spirited, heavy-handed actions, callousness, broken promises, lack of attention and absenteeism can lose the child not just for life, but for eternity. Build their spirits with praise, encouragement, sacrifice, prudence, sacrifice and faith.