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Gods Mandate to Parents

Mike Connell

Introduction:
· Role of Government and Stewardship/Protection.
· When character/responsibility decreases then government by law increases.
· NZ – appalling record in relation to ‘Child Abuse’ => family decline.
· Cannot change this by changing the laws.
· Proposal change – Repeal section 59 of the Cries Act.
“Every person in the place of a parent of a child is justified in using force by way of correction towards the child, if the force used is reasonable in the circumstances”.
· Proposed change – won’t solve the problem; will turn good parents into law breakers, and neighbours and teachers into government agents reporting.
· “Police will be required by law to act if a complaint is made”.
· “Effect of act will be to place child in the same position as an adult” - QC.

God’s Mandate to Parents – Purpose; Responsibility; Authority; Accountability.
· God calls every person to live under authority – preference to correction.
· He has invested authority in people – family, church, government, business.
· Romans 13:1-2 - “Let every soul be subject to authorities”.
Subject = lupotasso = to position yourself in place of yielding and cooperation with one in authority to work together for common purpose.
· Parents have authority because God calls you to be an authority in a child’s life.
e.g. Genesis 18:19 - “I have chosen Abraham, I will know him that he will command his children and household after him and they shall keep the way of the Lord”.
e.g. Deuteronomy 6:4-6 - “The great commandment – love Lord God teach children”.
e.g. Ephesians 6:4 - “Do not provoke children – bring them up in the nature of the Lord”.
· Parents have the authority to act on behalf of God – fulfill his directions.
· Parents have the responsibility to fulfill as God’s representatives.
· God defines the task – you act on his behalf.
· You are a person under authority – as well as the child – same Lord but different roles.
· Because God has given responsibility – you don’t need the child’s permission to act.
· You are in charge – you have the responsibility – Shepherd child.
· Proverbs 22:6 - “ Train up the child in the way he should go”.
· Train = to narrow, rub the palate, discipline => direction
· You are God’s agent to shape the child’s heart attitudes and behaviour.
· Discipline is an issue of honoring God and character formation
- communicate and Rod of the Lord.
- no place for anger


3. God’s Mandate to Children:
· Ephesians 6:1-3 - Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.
· God’s directive to children: Obey and Honor (Respect)
· God’s blessing: Things go well – life is blessed.
· Key issues; Children must learn to honor and obedient.
· Honor => Treat parents with respect and esteem them because of position/authority.
· Obedience => Willing submission of one person to the authority of another. Do what told – without delay; without excuse; without challenge.
· Submission to authority => child will have to do things don’t want to.
· Implications:
1) Parents must train their children in honor, respect and obedience.
2) Parents themselves must be an example in attitude and action.
· Inevitably there will be a clash of wills.

4. The Root is a Heart Issue:
· Luke 6:43 - Out of the heart!
· Children are not born morally neutral.
· Their actions and words flow out of what is in the heart.
· Their behaviors are the overflow of the heart.
· Jeremiah 17:9 - Heart is wicked – desperately wicked.
· Proverbs 22:15 - “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child but the rod of correction will drive it far from him”.
· God’s Word = something wrong in the heart of a child/reflects in action.
· Folly/Foolishness = reject God; do not want to hear correction.
· Fool rejects God’s authority and ways, follows own desires.
· Purpose of rod = humble heart of child so can be subject to parental instruction and direction.
· For the rod to work => no anger; no frustration; no ‘punishment’.
Requires: communication, faith, correction, love – Proverbs 13:24
· Rod of correction restores child to a place of relationship/blessing.
Requires: clear explanation, clear conscience, identify behaviour – heart issue, correction, reconciliation.
· God never endorses hitting children whenever we wish.

5. What should we do?
· When the law invades the home and conflicts with God’s word e.g. China – parents forbidden to communicate the Gospel to their children.
· Actions:
1) develop a submissive attitude to authority (respect)
2) Reuse voice over proposed changes.
3) Develop parenting skills – understanding.
4) Personal decision over issue speaking;
* right attitude
* disobedience or rebellion
* accept consequences e.g Daniel’s fiends
e.g. Apostles, Hebrews 12:5-11