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Gods Mandate to Parents

Mike Connell

So you are an agent of God, to shape the child's heart, not just to try and control their behaviour. Many parents are only connected to the behaviours of the child. If the child's out of order, or they do something, they're naughty, then the parent reacts after a little while, but we're to do more than just stop them behaving badly. We want to actually shape their heart, so they have a heart for God. To shape the heart you've got to communicate. You've got to talk into them. You've got to connect with them. You've got to know what they're thinking, what they're feeling, what they're struggling with.

Okay, what does God say to the kids then? [Laughs] This is really good, see. Can we get this - discipline is an issue of honouring God. Discipline, training children, is an issue of whether you'll honour God, or dishonour Him. When you train and discipline, and correct and guide and nurture your children, you're honouring God, who gave you the role. When you won't do it, or you give it to someone else to do, you dishonour God, and disqualify yourself from greater blessing, because you haven't functioned well in the one place God put you. Hey, glory to God. Ephesians 6, 1 to 3; Children - here we are, if you're a young person - obey - oh quick! Underline it! Colour it! Obey, obey, obey! Oh, so this is right! So you remember what Abraham has commanded to teach his children, to bring them up in a way which is right? Children obeying their parents is right. Disobeying their parents is wrong. See, then notice what it says: children, honour your mother and your father, that it may go well with you, and you may live long on the earth. Now notice here, that there are two things that God wants children to do and to learn. One is obedience; and the other is honour or respect. So at least two things a parent must do, is teach children how to be obedient; how to be respectful. They need to respect. They need to respect authority. One of the major issues we have is disrespect for authority. We have to have something different operating in our families. They need to respect you.

So notice here, that there's a blessing God puts, when a child will position themself, by obeying and honouring their parents. What'll happen is, God's blessing comes on them. Things go well. Things go well. They don't just go well today and tomorrow; they go well over the course of your life. You look at the life of a child who is obedient, and respected authorities, and responded, developed his giftings, loved God. Their life is a blessed life. You'll see it over the course of their life. The child that does their own thing will be an embarrassment to everyone, so children must learn honour and obedience. Honour means you treat them with respect and esteem, because they represent God in your life. You say well, you don't know my dad! Well maybe he has got personal lacks and personal flaws - so do you. That doesn't change the fact God made him your dad, and put him in that place. What you're doing, is looking at his faults, and then excusing your rebellion. I don't have to, because look at him. That's not the deal. God says to respect him, because of the place he has in your life. Respect him, you'll find self-respect in God.

Obedience means, you submit yourself to the authority of another, and do what you're told to do. Get this; you do it without delay. Now when you get the children, tell them something to do, they take a long time to do it, you notice. That's disobedience, and most parents will do this: they'll tell them once, tell them twice, tell them three times. Then they've trained them on a certain note. When the mother's voice reaches a scream, and her eyes are bulging, and there's veins throbbing, then the child responds, [Laughter] because they're trained that way. Isn't that wonderful? They were trained that way. You're always going to train your children - you train them either God's way, or you train them another way, see?

So obedience, they do it when they're told, they do it without excuse, they do it without challenge - why should I? Careful, you're on dangerous ground. Dangerous ground, entering the ground of disobedience, because God doesn't always tell us why. He tells us to do. When we do, we grow in wisdom and knowledge, and He shares more with us. That's how life works. That's how God works, and of course today, you've got to reason out, got to give all the reasons, got to even give them a bribe. Listen, that's not character changing. What that is training them to do, it's training them to be selfish, that I will go along with things if I want to, that I'll do what I want, when I want, if I can manipulate my way there. They learn to be selfish, and manipulate the whole system. That's why parents have got to stand in agreement on this issue here.