(The following is adapted from Paul D. Tripp, Age of Opportunity, P&R 2001)
Review: Last week we identified three goals for discipleship of our children. In teaching and encouraging them to be followers of Jesus we want them to 1) be wise and do good, 2) possess an accurate understanding of their own situation and 3) gain biblical personal insight (in other words the ability to detect their own sin and hate it!). Of course our primary objective is still spiritual fruit.
Main Idea - Hebrews 3:12-13, "Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called 'today,' that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."
Hebrews 12:7-17 – God allows us to continue to struggle with our sinfulness even after our conversion rather than simply delivering us out of it. He is treating us as if we were his own sons...because we are, by adoption, his own sons and thus heirs (Romans 8:12-17).
- God allows us to experience the consequences of sin in order that we might come to hate our sin. If we hate our sin we will run from our sin (Romans 7, esp. v. 24-25).
- Discipline is more than consequences; it's a training regimen. The result of discipline is not mere behavior modification. The result is spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).
- Verses 12-17 warn, generally speaking, against hardness of heart...the opposite of spiritual fruit.
Physical v. Spiritual Blindness – If you are physically blinded (someone ties a bandana around your eyes) you can’t see…but at least you know that you can’t see. The tricky thing with spiritual blindness is we don’t even know that we can’t see. Our children certainly do not know!
Chew on this...
Obviously you can’t walk into your kids’ rooms and have “the talk” every night. No one wants that! What will you talk about? (Need some ideas? Look to the right.)
What challenges exist to threaten an open, running dialogue between you and your children? Perhaps some of these challenges are beyond your control, but are all of them? Which are those you may be able to address and how do you plan to do so?