Saturday, September 6, 2014

Joys of Parenting: Triplets of Blessing

As we have seen in earlier posts, God’s Word offers parenting advice and prayers for our children in patterns of three. Not surprisingly, God’s promises to parents who follow His instructions and raise their children according to His Word follow this same pattern, reflecting His Triune nature.

God gives us children as an inheritance, a reward, and a source of joy, as described in Psalm 127, which contains advice from David to his son Solomon regarding three important goals for his life: building the Lord’s house, ruling over His city Jerusalem, and raising children to continue in the royal blood line ultimately culminating in Jesus Himself (v. 1).  Although parenthood is not usually associated with sound sleep, at least not in our children’s early years, the psalmist notes God’s promise to give His beloved sleep, so that he does not need to awaken early, to stay up late, or to be sorrowful (v. 2).

This Psalm compares children to arrows – a symbol of a man’s power, happiness, and good reputation (v. 4,5). In Bible times, arrows had to be reused, so to have many arrows in the quiver were a sign of status; of protection, as the bow and arrow were a weapon against enemies; and of provision, as the bow and arrow were a way to hunt for food. If we take care of our children when they are young, according to Biblical principles, they will take care of us when we are old, offering the prestige, security, and sustenance we may no longer have on our own.

If parents train their children in God’s Word and to follow His general and specific will, the Bible promises that they will return to God’s path, even if they rebel for a time (Proverbs 22:6).This chapter of Proverbs describes three virtues we should instill in our children, all of which are worth more than material wealth: a good reputation, treating others with love, and being prudent to avoid evil (v. 1-3). If we raise our children to be humble, fear and respect the Lord, using discipline when necessary (v. 15), He will give them riches, honor, and life (v. 4).

The Bible extols the Proverbs 31 woman as the ideal woman, wife, and parent who is wise, kind, and industrious in caring for her household (v. 26, 27). As her children grow up, they will realize, appreciate and return their mother’s love, which will bless not only the mother, but also her husband and children (Proverbs 31:28-29).

Just as children are blessed by learning from Godly parents, these parents can be blessed by following their children’s example of wonder, faith and trust. Even the most worldly and jaded adult may see the world anew through the eyes of their children, as they discover the beauty in God’s creation (Psalm 19:1) pointing so clearly to the Creator. The creation reveals to us the invisible things of God, His eternal power and Godhead, or the Trinity reflected in the Triune nature of all that God designed (Romans 1:19-20).

Jesus Himself said that we need to receive His kingdom as a child would. Children do not rely on their own strength, wisdom and pride as much as adults do, so it is easier in some ways for them to be saved. Adults have much to learn from having childlike faith, trusting Him completely and honoring Him as Our Father (Luke 18:15-17; Matthew 18:2-6). In contrast, adults tend to question God, to think their own wisdom is greater than Bible truth (Proverbs 3:5-6), and to rely on their own flesh instead of His power (2 Corinthians 12:9).

In our church, and I’m sure in others also, unsaved parents may bring children to Vacation Bible School or other church activities as an inexpensive outing for the children that frees up the parents’ time. The children may be saved by hearing the Gospel, by realizing they are sinners and trusting in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only Way to Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 14:1-6). Unsaved relatives who come to see them baptized may also hear the Gospel and trust in Christ!

A Biblical example of childlike faith resulting in salvation for the parents is found in Rahab (Hebrews 11:31), a pagan prostitute who believed in Joshua’s God and hid him and his men from their enemies. As a result, Joshua saved not only Rahab, but her father's household, and all that she had. Among those saved were her father, her mother, and her brethren (Joshua 6:23-25),

All of us should follow Jesus’ example of loving, blessing and honoring children with the gift of our time, presence, and treasure, and He will reward us as if we bestowed this kindness on Him personally. On the other hand, God’s wrath, anger and judgment will pour out on those who deceive, abandon or abuse children (Matthew 18:5-6).

If we raise our children according to God’s plan, they are more likely to follow His commandments for how they treat us, how they relate to God, and how they live (Proverbs 13:1; 3:1-4; Deuteronomy 5:16; Ephesians 6:2).

Being a parent is one of God’s greatest blessings, yet one of the most awesome responsibilities He entrusts to us. There is no more important, rewarding and fruitful ministry than to raise a child according to God’s plan, rejoice as they are saved, and be blessed as they return our loving care in our later years.

May God bless all parents with His wisdom, love, and grace!

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

© 2014 Laurie Collett
children's ministry blogs

Top 1000
Womanhood With Purpose
Adorned From Above
No Ordinary Blog Hop


Nadwrażliwiec said...

I remember, that when I was teenager, my Mum had a lot of problems with me. It was before my convertion, and I think, that a lot of my problems in that time was caused by ocultism and false cults, in which I was involved. Of course, today my life isn't without problems, but I trust God and He sorrowed all my "adventures" from my teenage life.
I think we must pray for children in teenagers. Last time I read Serbian newspaper - there is problem with demoralisation of youth. The same, if not bigger, is in Poland. In most cases it is caused by lack of parents - literally (because milions of Polish adult people emigrated for job to Western Europe, leaving their own children), or not literally (a lot of parents must work today by 10 or more hours, so they don't have time for children). It is the cause of tragedies...
I greet You from sunny South Poland :)

Laurie Collett said...

Very true, Zim -- it seems that alienation of children from their parents is getting worse and worse in these End Times, mostly because parents do not follow God's plan for their lives. Even for those who do, there are so many Satanic influences in the world, looking to lead our children away from God.
Blessing and greetings to you from rainy Florida -- glad you're now having good weather!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Laurie! I'm stopping by from The Loft. As a mom of multiples (twins), I thought you were writing about actual triplets. :) But I do appreciate these truths you've shared about the blessings of children. Our present culture tends to see them as nuisances, but we know better. There is no greater joy than seeing our children grow in Christ! Our littlest two are very close to understanding the gospel - in fact, I'm sure our daughter already does. That's truly something to be thankful for! Thanks for linking up with us.
Jen :)

Kathy Schwanke said...

Amen! No greater joy than to know that my children walk in truth. I'm so thankful that God gave us His word and wisdom for our children!

Thanks for linking up at The Loft! May many mamas be encouraged by your words! xo

Arabah said...

Thanks for visiting The Loft! I'm native to Plant City, now living on the other side of the world.... so it was fun to read about you and your blog today :)

Leah Adams said...

What a neat post!! I had never thought about the triplets in the Bible. So glad you stopped by and joined us at The Loft!!!

Helene said...

I never thought of it as "triplets" either but I totally agree that many people are brought to faith through their children and our children are a very precious resource in our churches!

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Jen! Thanks so much for your lovely comment and for hosting. The twins must be a great blessing! Praise God that you are leading them in His truth.
Blessings to you, your ministry, and precious family,

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Kathy! Praise God for guiding us through the amazing journey of parenting! I appreciate your sweet comment and hope you'll visit again soon.
God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Such a small world these days! May God bless you where He has placed you!

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Leah, for your kin comment! Triplets in the Bible, reflecting His Triune nature as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is a favorite topic of mine!
Thanks for hosting and God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Helen! Our children are a precious blessing not only to their own family, but to the church family as well! How wonderful when children are raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
May you have a blessed week in Him,

Donald Fishgrab said...

God gave the parents the responsibility for raising the children, but our world wants to avoid the responsibility by turning it over to babysitters, schools, and youth programs, then wonders why society is falling apart.

For thousands of years the most stable societies have been those that followed God's plan, yet in our arrogance, we think we have a better way.

Great post,

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
Thanks again for highlighting the Triune nature of raising children as good parents.
As it is for children to believe in Christ than for adults to do so brought to mind what Jesus himself, after taking a child to stand in front of him, declared that unless you (as an adult) become like this little child, you will never enter the Kingdom of God. (Mark 9:36-37; 10:15.)
Oh, for the pride of man to think of himself above God!
God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

So true, Donald -- the world gives up this most precious gift and must face the consequences. If only we would follow His wisdom and not our own foolishness.
Thanks as always for your comment & God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
No wonder the wisdom of Christ seems paradoxical or even backward to the unsaved -- adults must become as children; we must lose our lives to save our souls; he who is last will be first, etc. May we swallow our foolish pride and place Him above all else.
Thanks for sharing your insights, and God bless,

Brenda said...

Laurie, the scripture that I was pondering on as I awoke this morning was 'Except you become as a little child you will in no way enter the kingdom of God'. Yesterday I was looking at something I wrote a long time ago that I might put on my blog as a post and how we must be re - taught completely. I come over to your blog and you have it written here.
As for 'Train a child in the way it should go and it will remember it when it is older.' . This definitely proved true in my own life, my parents' teachings, particularly my father's regarding the Lord's ways, being used to help guide me to the Lord after many years of wildly going astray.
Lovely post Laurie,
God bless you, your family and your ministry.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Brenda,
I love how God speaks to our heart in several different ways to impress the same point on us. As always, I appreciate your visit and your kind words of encouragement.
Many blessings to you, your loved ones and your ministry,