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Cursed Children

Cursed Children
By Rev. George Burkinshaw
 
 
 
“ The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”  Prov 29:15
In over thirty years of pastoring, I have noticed the continual and rapid decline of parental control over children in our society.  The inability of many parents to control and discipline their children is the main reason we have seen such a large decline in learning at school and an ever increasing rate of crime in our streets.  Until this aspect of our national culture is correctly addressed, no amount of government spending or legislation will change the curve of declining grades or diminish the lawlessness in our land.
 
As the climate of our homes and nation degenerate to a lower and lower moral standard, it appears that we are producing a generation like that which is spoken of in the Word of God:  “There is a generation that curseth their father , and doth not bless their mother.  There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.  There is a generation, O’ how lofty are their eyes!  And their eyelids are lifted up.  There is a generation whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.”  Prov. 30: 11-14.
 
“CHILDREN, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth, And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  Eph. 6: 1-4
Counselors tell us that the problem children often from those very homes where parents have relinquished their responsibilities for Biblical and educational training and where discipline is absent or inconsistently administered.
The real reason that many children are failing academically is that at home they have not been trained to receive instruction.  Hence the fulfillment of the Biblical proverb: “Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?”  Prov. 17:16
 
As grave as our present dilemma appears to be, we are not without a solution to the problem of child correction and training.  It is true that far too many parents can neither train, control, nor discipline their children.  Yet, the Word of God has the needed instruction on child rearing that effectively produces mature, healthy and educable children.
Such was the case of the house of Eli: “ for I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.”  1 Sam 3:13
 
The severe judgement on Eli’s house was not met out by God because Eli did not understand right or wrong.  In fact, Eli had spoken to his sons about their conduct.  He even showed some displeasure to their vile ways.
“And he said unto them, why do ye such things? For I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.  Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord’s people to transgress.  If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him:  but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him?  Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them.”  1 Sam 2: 23-25
 
A side from salvation, a child is the most precious gift given to men.  Therefore, the scriptures have much to say in the raising and caring of our children.  It behoves us to take the earnest heed to every Word of God when raising our children.  Without moral training and correction, children are set adrift like Eli’s sons and the good attributes of the parent are not passed on.
 
Parents must recognize the need to correct the dilemma of national decline in academics and the expanding population of hideous, blatantly unruly children.  The child’s defiant and unruly will must be checked by strong parental control.  Parents have allowed moral standards and moral discipline to sink to such a low level that unfit parents now feel there is nothing wrong with their undisciplined, unruly children (at least not enough to take necessary, positive corrective action that wound end their ill-mannered conduct).
 
Selfish, lazy, ill-mannered, belligerent, cruel, crass children are not the result of heredity or a defective gene pool.  Rather, they are the product of parental failure to train and properly educate their children.  “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”  Prov. 29:15
 
Training children is not a hit-or-miss proposition in which the parent has no control.  It is not that some children just turn out okay while other may not.  There is no such thing as a bad see.  Even though a child could conceivably reject all attempts to train him properly he would have to choose clearly against what he knows to be right.  Even the child that rebels against good child training is likely to return to a productive life after his period of rebellion.
 
“And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,  And am no more worthy to be called thy son:  make me as one of thy hired servants.”  Luke 15: 17-19
 
Clearly then, God and nature show that the responsibility for training children rest on the parent and they alone are responsible for the result of the child’s behavior.  “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest, yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.”  Prov. 29:17  “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  Prov. 22:6
 
Child training takes time and effort.  Some children will, through their natural God given gifts, train easier and whicker than others.  But with patience, love and a firm resolution, all children can be trained to obey and understand God’s commandments.  “Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”  Exodus 20:12
 
In the story of the prodigal son the hero of the story is the father.  His son returned to him when he realized that his father’s love and character had sustained him all his life.  How rewarding had the years of sacrifice, love, labor, and prayer turned out to be when the erring son returned home forever more.
 
God promises the faithful parents the most rewarding joys of life.  “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice, and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.  Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that are thee shall rejoice.”  Prov. 23:24-25  “Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” Prov. 31:28
 
One of the most heart wrenching, frustrating burdens cast upon the minister of God today, with few exceptions, is that almost every parent that I have talked with, either implied by their actions or their speech, expected their children to automatically comprehend and submit to parental authority because they as a parent had supplied the basic necessities of life: food, clothing and housing.
 
Parents, wake up to your responsibility!  Even natural physical growth requires the input of food to sustain it and exercise to tone it.  How much more, then, do your children require your diligent training in morals and conduct to help them develop into a child that has love and respect for his/her parents and others.
“And these word, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Duet. 6:6-7
 
If you’re a parent who truly loves your children and wish for them to develop good Christian morals and principles such as love, compassion, honesty, integrity, justice, obedience, etc.,  you must take responsibility and make time for them.  Bring them to church this Sunday and start by learning together.
 
“And art confident that tou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.  Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?  Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?  Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery?  Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?”  Rom 2:19-22
 
For about the last sixty years there has been a gradual decline in parental discipline and education of children which has brought us to our present state of corruption.  The only thing worse than unruly, self-willed, undisciplined children is when those children become tax collectors, police officers, judges, soldiers and parents.
“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”  Malachi 4:6