|Children, obey your parent in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor you father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.|
For many of us, it is easy to honor our father and mother. For those of us who were blessed with godly or moral parents, they are worthy of honor because their actions are honorable. But some of us are not in this category; unfortunately, some of us were abandoned by our parents or suffered physical or emotional abuse growing up. How do we honor such parents? Should we honor them?
With the help of the Holy Spirit, the first way to honor an abusive parent is to come to a place of forgiveness. We all must forgive those who have wronged us, no matter how grievous the wound. This will honor your parent and bring a measure of healing to your own heart. This does not mean that you should allow the abuse to continue. It is important to set up appropriate boundaries. If conditions allow, you can discuss those boundaries with them and explain why they are needed. In many cases though, this may not be fruitful or wise. It is not possible to provide good counsel for each individual circumstance in a general sermon or newsletter. If you have suffered abuse from a parent (biological parents or other caregivers), I would encourage you to seek a mentor or Christian counselor if you need help establishing proper boundaries and working through forgiveness.
Honoring our parents means that we work to ensure that they are cared for, especially as they age. It does not mean that we meet their every expectation or desire. But we should maintain involvement and connection with them (again, assuming abuse or neglect is not an issue). Few people have ever expressed regret over giving their parents too much of their time, but many have regretted losing connection with their parents. I know how easy it is for the weeks to slip by, but I am reminded of how important it is to stay in touch. In closing, I want to address the discipline of young children.
As I detailed Sunday, the Bible uses the word “rod” in describing how to discipline a child, but the “rod” itself is not described. It is important to never wound your child, so the use of a proper “rod” will ensure that you get their attention and correct their heart attitude without abuse. A good “rod” for young children is a simple one-gallon paint stirrer. Again, if you have questions, please reach out to older parents who have successfully raised their children.
|“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”|
2 Corinthians 1:5
Please continue in prayer for Afghanistan, our fellow Christians facing increasing persecution, and our soldiers in harms way. First, with the August 31 deadline approaching when the Biden administration will end the airlift, we must continue in prayer for the escape of Christians and others from the captivity of Taliban rule. Join us TONIGHT at the Patterson’s house for prayer. Second, many airlift efforts are underway by public and private organizations. If you feel led to contribute to the airlift effort, I suggest donating to Samaritan’s Purse or No One Left Behind (nooneleft.org). Both organizations are well established, well organized, and have already effectively evacuated 1,000s of people in their target groups.
Book Review: “Alongside: Loving Teenagers with the Gospel” by Drew Hill
I want to recommend an excellent and unique book. I think we all struggle with how to best love and communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ to teenagers. We all know teenagers, and many of us have teenagers, that we love deeply. We should long more than anything for them to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and follow after Jesus with genuine faith. But we live in highly divided and confusing times. There seem to be new competing and conflicting struggles every day that make it harder and harder to communicate with our teens – much less communicate life changing spiritual truths.
“Alongside” teaches parents and youth workers, through inspiring and practical chapters, how to walk with our teens through the struggles of life. Each short chapter includes vital teaching, practical advice for parents, practical advice for youth workers, and lots of questions. These questions are not for you, but for your teen. The questions apply the truth of the chapter in a way that gets the conversation going with your teen. The beginning of any relationship is conversation. If you’re not talking with your teen in a meaningful way, your relationship is doomed.
In my opinion the single greatest theme of this book is that we show our gospel love for our teens by pursuing them. Often teens withdraw to themselves, or for some reason conflict comes into our relationship and shuts down communication. It’s our job to show our teens how much we love them by pursuing them. We must demonstrate the love of Christ through relationship. This is not the kind of book you sit down and burn through. This is the kind of book you read one chapter a week and then do your best to apply each week.
I strongly suggest every parent of teenagers read this book, and prayerfully get after pursuing your teens for Jesus. I thank God every week for the work that Mark and Kimberly do with our teens, but the role is given primarily to us as parents. May God bless your efforts and may none of our children be lost to the world.
Mission Trip Rwanda: From September 2-12 Pastor Vic, Rodney Swann, Clay Hicks, and Coleson Herron will be working with International Mission Board missionary Josiah Luttrull in Kigali, Rwanda. This trip will be a combination of preaching, teaching, evangelism, encouraging local pastors, and encouraging our local missionaries on the ground. Please pray for clear passage there and back and for open hearts to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for the Luttrulls and for local churches in Kigali.
Thank you for you faithful giving to Redeemer Bible Church. Most of the cost of this trip, for all participants, was offset by the general church budget. We believe strongly that the budget of the church should support foreign mission efforts. This is the first of many trips, God willing, that will be sent out from Redeemer. We plan to continue work with the Luttrulls and expand to work with unreached people in Madagascar through the work of Nathan and Tessa Baker.
Church Planting Podcast: I had the chance to tell some of my story for the first on “The Church Planting Podcast.” This started as a journey Maria and I were on together, but along the way we all joined in together to plant a church. It’s our story now! Only Jesus knows what will happen over the coming years, but I’m excited to find out.
Episode 1: here
Episode 2: here
May the good news of the gospel be proclaimed by each of us this week,