May 14, 2017
Parenting Kids in the Church
1. What does the process look like to determine when to press into/pursue a difficult person and when it's time to walk away? How long do you keep praying for the same person, especially if you're not around them anymore? How do you know when to let go?
Ultimately, the answer to how you should handle this comes through time in prayer and walking through the situation with wise council.
Before you do anything to invest in a difficult person, you need to do 2 things:
- You have to forgive them / choose to keep forgiving them for any way they have wronged you.
- You need to earnestly try to have God’s heart for them.
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
2 Timothy 2:23-26
23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
1 Corinthians 5:1-5
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? 3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. 4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.
You have to ask the question, is this person a Christian or a non-Christian?
If they’re not a Christian:
- Keep pouring into them as long as they’ll listen, you aren't being pulled away from God and they are getting closer to Him
If they are a Christian:
- Are they living openly in sin and they’re unrepentant? If so, go through the steps in Matthew 18.
- Are they difficult just because they have so much to work through?
At the end of the day, Jesus really loves difficult people, so we need to invest in them like He did.
2. What is a believers calling in social justice? And how do you fight and stand up for what is right when our culture has so blurred the lines of right and wrong?
It’s a popular idea in our culture that is there is no such thing as absolute truth; the idea that you can do whatever is best for you. This is not true and does not line up with the Bible. Jesus is absolute truth.
There are 2 central themes in the Bible:
- The story of God’s concern, mercy, love and provision for all of mankind.
- Our responsibility as believers to spread the kingdom everywhere we go.
It’s not just about you and Jesus, its also about you going outward and caring for your fellow man.
In the Old Testament, God told his people to do certain things to take care of people:
- Cancel debt every 7 years (Deuteronomy 15)
- Lend without interest to those in need (Exodus 22)
- Share 1/10th of their harvest with immigrants, poor, orphans and widows (Ruth)
- God often lead Old Testament prophets to confront the kings in the ways that they were not taking care of people that needed help
Some people may tribute social justice in our culture to Martin Luther King Jr. or Ghandi, but really the heart of social justice is built in Jesus alone. Right away in Jesus’ minstry, He hits on social justice and pushed to right the wrong in our culture.
- Deal with the fear of being criticized or judged
- Decide who we will serve because we can’t serve 2 masters
- Decide if we value the approval of man and the friendship of the world more than we value obedience to God and His word.
- Embrace social justice as an intrinsic part of being a Christian and in expressing the Gospel.
- Be servants who love others well.
- Bestow dignity on others.
- Pursue justice, truth, charity and service on behalf of others around us.
- Care for the poor and pursue avenues of change and equality for those around us.
Pursue effective avenues of change, equality, and empowerment for those around us in all the systems that seek to oppress us.
We are called to action that glorifies God. It’s not about a title or position. It’s about God being glorified and love others - not just with words but with action and truth.
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
16 Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
3. How do you discipline children with love, especially in relationships outside of a parent-child relationship, like a teacher to a student, or friends? How can you make sure they know it's out of love?
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.
Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
Discipline your children for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.
At some poing, we will give an account of our lives and how we raised our kids… Did we train them to be obedient, kind and respectful? Did we emulate God’s love and teach them about Jesus? As Christian parents, this is what we are called to do.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
As Christians, we need to train our kids really young what obedience is. God tells us to obey and obeying glorifies Him - "even mommy and daddy have to obey". If our kids are not obeying, there are consequences.
We also want to teach our kids that it is unacceptable to disrespect their elders or people in authority over them. If we allow our kids to blatantly disobey and disrespect authority in their lives, chances are they will also fight against God and not accept Him as the boss of their lives. Part of that is willing to let our kids be parented by the whole "village."
3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Whether you’re a teacher, a family friend, a neighbor, or an acquaintance at church, you’re the village. So what can the village do to help in terms of disciplining in love?
- Go over the top encouraging good behavior in the kids around you!
- If you hear a parent tell their child to do/not do something and they go back to it, chime in and ask the child if they are obeying.
- If you’re a teacher or babysitting, ask the parents what their expectations for discipline are, everyone has a different view or situation.
- Know that you bring an important and eternal piece of the puzzle to the children around you. Point them to Jesus - ask them what they learned in kid zone or youth so it sticks in their brain longer and stand up for what is Biblically right and explain it to them.
- I will seek God for strength to deal with the difficult people in my life.
- I will pray against the social injustices in the world around me.
- I will consistently look to serve and love the kids at Living Faith Church.
2120 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222