1 Timothy 5:4, 8
“Home foreclosures, auto repossessions, workforce cutbacks, bank collapses, 401(k) losses. As a comedian used to say — “Is that all that’s troubling you, cousin?” But no one is really laughing.
Current economic conditions and the lack of employment opportunities in our country now have created many needy families. Although two parents may be present in these families, the main breadwinner has lost his or her job.
What can churches and friends do for these folks who suddenly find themselves without enough income to pay current bills?” Baptist Press, 02/18/2009
It’s 2013, 4 years down the road; many things have not changed significantly, or for the better. Primary focus of our text – widows. By no means only family-type language used in these verses: widow, children, grandchildren, parents, his own, household. Much instruction about “family ties” – both human family and church family. What are responsibilities of one to another? What principles should guide our care of those in need?
Please listen carefully – listen to whole paragraph, not just first two sentences! I don’t care what Hilary said, it’s not the responsibility of the village to raise the child. Nor is it the responsibility of the church to care for the poor. God has laid down clear principles, lines of responsibility – whose job it is to raise children, what duties of a local church are. General principle: it’s parents’ responsibility before God to raise child they brought into the world. It’s responsibility of the church to care for her own. God has particular design for both church and family, one is not to usurp the place of the other.
Focus is on widows; but… crucial principle underlies entire discussion and teaching. It’s principle that is engraved in stone: stone tablet, second page, written there by finger of God (Ex. 31:18). It’s the one that says “Honor your father and your mother” (Ex. 20:12). What you’re about to hear – message that must be impressed on people of all ages. We don’t need more focus on the family; need more families focused on God, committed to doing things his way.
A. basic principles.
commands have two aspects (at least), maybe more
what is explicitly stated and also its converse; e.g.
#6 murder – life issues – forbidding the unauthorized taking of human life, requiring certain attitude toward life
#7 adultery – sexual relationships whether married or unmarried – what is forbidden, encouraged
#8 stealing – both not taking and protecting what belongs to others
#9 false witness – avoiding untruths and affirming the truth
#10 coveting – not desiring neighbor’s stuff and being satisfied with God’s provision
duties enjoined in 5th commandment
honor mother and father
show respect to parents in word, thought and action
duties implied in 5th commandment
honor those in authority – parents and other authority figures in the home; authority figures outside the home: teachers, public officials, parent-age adults
provide for those in your care – parents for children, teachers for students, providers for dependents whatever specific relationship
actions forbidden by 5th commandment
neglect of duties enjoined or implied, either by children or parents
doing that which dishonors another
B. required of parentsLuke 2:51-52; v.8
be a parent – more than just biology; procreation is only beginning of a life-long relationship; never stop being parent, nature of role changes some
be a provider – don’t even think “ok – food, shelter, clothing, got it covered”; gated community on Mallison Falls Rd. does that, they aren’t exactly “parents”
be like Joseph and Mary – if Jesus is perfect example, his parents must rank right up there
Gospel record limited but describes result of their parenting – see Luke
how they trained Jesus resulted in his development / growth in four areas
wisdom – intellectual
parents are responsible for childrens’ education; constantly teaching them with or without books and worksheets
example set teaches values – what is important, what is priority; who gets best hours of your day, what consumes your energy, what gets you stressed, who receives your undivided attention
have liberty to delegate task of teaching some things to others; can’t delegate responsibility, though
be careful who you choose!! – what values are math problems teaching, what kinds of relationships promoted in reading books, what principles of authority emphasized in social studies and history and civics
more than simply communicating facts, teaching skills – it’s imparting a worldview: how to interpret facts, how to properly use skills
for Christian parents, to raise Christian children with biblical worldview, Bible must permeate own thinking and communication, be what is held up as the standard for thinking and doing
stature – physical
good food and good health – eating what they should, doing what they should because it’s good for them
requires more than booting off the couch, out the door, go play outside
involves physical training that develops particular skills and endurance – at least doing the basic things of pushing broom and mop, laundry, dishes, meals, how to plan task and work to accomplish it
favor with God – spiritual
must teach children what it means to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength
how to depend on God to meet daily needs
how to delight in God and be satisfied with his goodness
must teach them to find hope for future in Christ not MasterCard, in forgiveness he grants freely not stuff plastic can purchase
the model for this: Deut. 6:4-9 pattern for religion in the heart and home
favor with men – social
more than learning how to get along on the playground, or even pick the right kind of friends
parents teaching children how to relate to others as God requires whether superiors, inferiors or equals
those who have authority over them, over whom they have authority, their peers
as with other areas of development, parents taking the lead – showing how relationships should work
C. required of childrenEph. 6:1;Mat 15:4-6; v.4a
Fisher’s Catechism Q. 20. What are the duties of children to their parents?
A. To love them dearly, Gen. 46:29; to esteem and think highly of them in their minds, Lev. 19:3; Mal. 1:6; to hearken to their counsels; Proverbs 4:1, and obey their lawful commands, Eph. 6:1; to submit patiently to their corrections, Heb. 12:9; and to succour and relieve them in case of poverty and want, Gen. 47:12, especially in old age, Ruth 4:15.
show piety at home
first lesson to learn: practice religion at home; how is it learned? most powerfully by example
how you treat your parents has significant bearing on how children will treat you – if you shuffled them off to Shady Oaks, expect the same
how you treat your children has significant bearing on how children will treat you – was asked question: “if we put children in daycare when little, should we be surprised when they put us in nursing home when we’re old?”
Paul says “repay their parents” – train up your children so you’ll appreciate their repayment!!
if by choices, priorities make it clear self or stuff comes first, others after, should expect same pattern in children
case in point: Ruthie’s grandparents, my grandparents; parents; aunt
even Jesus doesn’t give much wiggle room! Giving resources to God instead of caring for parents is no excuse!
understand present-day life: people live longer, can have care needs that require a level of skilled help not practical in home
problem today isn’t with kind of care needed, it’s the attitude parents have and have reproduced in their children
to not care for parents is equivalent to denying the faith, acting worse than a pagan (v.8)
D. summary v.4b
so what’s the solution? parents and children alike must return to standard found in God’s Word
matters not where you are in the process – start doing what is “good and acceptable before God”, start now before it gets any later
means making sure Christ is at the center of all of life including home life
trusting in Christ for salvation first of all, forgiveness from sin, reconciliation with God
depending on Christ for daily strength to live counter-culturally, to say “no” to much of what world affirms, “yes” to what is acceptable before God
following example of humble servanthood Christ set – spending his life for the sake of those who couldn’t help themselves