Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bring Forth Godly Seed—Command or Option? A Summer Series #2

As some of you may remember, I embarked on a journey to read the Bible through late last year. Well as an aside note to this post, I am now reading in the book of Psalm. I believe that is about half way through. It has certainly been a journey, but I will have to save that for another post.

In this post, we are contemplating Malachi 2:15 where the Holy Spirit, through the writer of the text, makes it known that God seeks a Godly seed through the union of a husband and a wife. Before we go there though, I want to share just one of the tiny but huge ideas from the Bible regarding children that just seemed to leap off of the pages at me as I was reading in the early books of the Bible.

As God was “laying down the law” (quite literally), His thoughts about children from Leviticus 18:21 and Deuteronomy 18:10 jumped out at me:

And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord.

There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire…

The reason these seemingly quiet, and seemingly sideline sort of scriptures stood out to me was because I saw God’s heart for children kind of up-close and personal. I’d been told that “God loves all the little children of the world,” and I’d believed that He does, but to read His thoughts about children during a period in history when children were sacrificed on the altars of idol gods, just gave me a personal view of God’s love and passion for children. For Him to single out a parent’s relation to their children during His presentation of do’s and don’ts for this new culture that He was establishing, stood out to me as a subject that was very important to Him although it was seemingly hidden in all of the “super-important” stuff of Old Testament scripture.
Now let’s look at Malachi 2:15:

And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

Here, the Holy Spirit reveals that God desires a godly seed from the union of a husband and wife.
This leads me to the point of this post. As parents, we have been given permission to raise our children according to godliness. I use the word permission here intentionally. I know that being a parent today is difficult. One minute we are solid and resolute in our conviction and passion to raise our children according to biblical values. The next minute, we find ourselves torn, and trying to determine what’s too much and what’s not enough. When in actuality, we should know exactly what to do if we have singleness of purpose. This verse gives us the permission to have that singleness of purpose. If our purpose is to do what Malachi 2:15 says, then our purpose as parents is clear –bring forth a godly seed.

What does that look like?  How can we do that? I believe that it entails, steering our children’s thinking and their doing to line up with those ideas that we are convinced that God stands for and is pleased with.

For example, your kid lies to you, you deal with it according to the scriptures. You correct the action instead of ignoring it. Your kid mistreats another kid. Do you ignore it, or do you correct it? Yes, you correct it.

Seems pretty simple; however, after society adds its pressures of the media and entertainment, after kids at school add in the influences of their home life, and after your own child’s natural inclination toward sin, a parent can grow pretty tired of correcting.

But I want to encourage all of us through this post to press on and correct those things because it gives our children the compass that they will need to navigate this life. 

Society will tell us that our kid’s compass should come from going to school, and being with peers. Or that it should come from exposure to pop-culture. They argue that in order for a child to grow into a balanced adult who knows how to maneuver in our society, they have to be immersed in it. 

I disagree, I do believe that they should be exposed to certain aspects of culture as they grow, but that exposure needs to be age appropriate and guided by loving, purposeful parents. And in order for us to do that, we have to be resolute in what matters most in the raising of our children. We can’t be persuaded to let this slide or that slide or buy into the idea that they are children and will turn out how they will turn out-- no matter what (I had a friend to actually say this to me). No, we have to be engaged and connected. We have to be convinced and convicted to parenting God’s way!

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to share your thoughts on the matter!

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