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Gods Mandate to Parents

Mike Connell

I went down to a school thing just recently, and they were telling us - they wanted parents to come and meet and hear about the latest thing. Okay, I'll see the latest thing that they're doing - and the latest thing apparently was phonics. I said: well isn't this a lovely thing. Thirty years ago I battled with the Department over phonics. They said phonics is out. I argued with them and said it works, so we're not putting it out, we're keeping it, and we had all kinds of contentions over it. I said: well who's going to help the children that you'll mess up on the way with your new fancy programming? And you know 20 to 30 years later, we've got a whole generation don't read too well, and part of it is the programmes they brought in, that were at the wisdom of the experts. I almost put my hand up and said: this new programme was a proven programme 20 to 30 years ago, was taken out by experts, and you're bringing it back in. Here's my question; who will put their hand up and say: we were wrong?

I have no confidence in the experts - confidence in the word of God. You've got to think that way. You're a Christian. Your orientation's how God says it's to be. Okay then, so keep going, then we read - so notice here the responsibility. Now look at this in Ephesians 6, Verse 4; Fathers - now does this mean mothers are not included, no. Fathers, God speaks to fathers, because He puts the responsibility right at the top. Father's called to be the head of the home, head of the wife, and as a partner they work together, and part of the responsibility of husband and wife of course, is to raise their children. You can't raise your children right unless you're in agreement, and cultivate your marriage relationship where it overflows to raise the children right. If you don't cultivate your marriage, then you don't bear a witness that God's ways work. You're actually a living excuse for sin. Don't be surprised if your kids rebel.

Okay, notice what it says here, Verse 4; You fathers, okay then, you fathers - now mothers, you can listen in with this, but realise the mandate's given to dad. You share the mandate together, because God brought the woman to work with the man, as a partner in life for him. So fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, don't get them angry - well I won't go down all the reasons you get them angry, but one way you get them angry, is you lash out them. You try to discipline them with anger and frustration, or you're not there, you're too busy in your work, or you're inconsistent in what you do, or you don't explain and talk and enter their heart. These are all the ways that get kids really, really angry. Smacking can get kids really angry, if there's no heart connection, and consistent principles of why you're doing this, and what it's designed to do; so you have to actually have an explanation. You have to actually have relationship, so it says: fathers, do not get your kids mad at you, or angry or upset and frustrated.

Now one of the problems I had in teaching, is the numbers of young people that are angry, and they're angry because of the way parents are wrongly parenting them, and so we've got to learn what to do. Notice, now it tells us what to do, tells us don't do that, don't get them mad. Don't get them all angry. Well they will get angry sometimes, when you cross their way. He's not talking about that here. Bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord, or bring them up. Bring them up. In other words it says, you must give direction, dads. You are responsible in the home, to give leadership to your family, to train them. That's to prepare them for something in life, and to bring them up in the admonition of the Lord. That means you are warning them, encouraging them, confronting them, about God's ways of life; how to succeed in life. Now that's a whole - I could share a lot on it. We'll just keep it at that point. You are called to actually shape and form the young life, that they might be useful to God, and to do that, there's certain things are right and certain things are wrong, and you've sometimes got to direct them which is the right way.