Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Like a Shepherd Six: Benevolent Ruler: Parenting as King

With Jesus as our model we as parents rule as benevolent and merciful kings. The task of a benevolent king is fourfold: to establish the kingdom, to protect and provide for his subjects, to lead his subjects in battle and to order everything for the good of the kingdom and his glory.
1. Establish the kingdom where we rule and reign
The family, the little kingdom was established in Genesis where the Lord planted a garden where He put the man He had formed (2:8) and declared that a man should leave his mother and father, be joined to his wife and become one flesh. The little kingdom and the authority, headship, and unity of the family is established. Psalm 45, the marriage psalm tells us that the king is fair, full of grace, truthful, humble, and righteous, hating evil. With its fulfillment in Christ, the bridegroom brings everything under His headship. As parent representative kings, we are to graciously speak the truth in humility, love holiness and despise evil. We teach our children that daddy and mama are their God-given authority.
2. Protect and provide for the subjects in the kingdom. Psalm45:3. Gird your sword upon your thigh, O Mighty One, with your glory and majesty. The king is thoroughly armed and equipped for battle. Our children are to be protected by their parents.
*protected from themselves as the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it? Jer17:9. The first and greatest danger to our children and ourselves is the sin nature with which we are born. As Pogo says, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
*protected from outside forces and influences that are harmful, sinful, or inappropriate for our children's level of maturity. Our children are the targets of an avalanche of commercial goods, pressure to be highly skilled in athletics and academics, and the objects of a sex-obsessed culture. Childhood is vital to the maturing process of life where they discover their creativity in the image of God, learn to follow spoken and unspoken rules, negotiate friendships, develop self-control, etc.
*provide for the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well-being of our children. A stable home where daddy and mama love one another and Jesus Christ is the greatest stability and security children can be given. We need to consider if this
activity, friend, hobby, book, movie, video game, etc. will contribute positively to the well-being of my child's physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well-being. And later, don't forget to consider if what they are doing is legal. Seriously :(
3. Lead our subjects into battle. Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies and its peoples fall under you. v5. Benevolent parent-kings are proactive in the battle against the enemies of the family, beginning with sin in the hearts of family members. Every person's battle is for who is seated on the throne of the heart. Daddy, you go first. God is deadly serious about sin because it ultimately leads to spiritual death. How do we lead our children into battle?
*By covering them daily in prayer
*By teaching God's word straight from the Book
*By modeling for them godly living
*By consistently holding them accountable for their own sin and allowing them to bear its consequences
*By providing a safe kingdom where they may safely fail and receive correction and encouragement
*By encouraging them when there is evidence of God's work in their hearts. Praise God, encourage Junior.
4. Order everything for God's glory and the good of the kingdom
Psalm 45:10-17 Jesus reigns for the good of the kingdom to God's glory. In this kingdom:
*the people live and love to serve their king vs.10,11 He is such a good and gracious king that his people willingly forsake others to come to him. Our desire is that our children will learn to love and submit to parents they can see in order to love and submit to a God they cannot see.
*the people of the kingdom are made beautiful by the benevolence of the king v10
Jesus' death on the cross bought for us his righteous clothing. We are clothed in the garments of the king and made beautiful because of Him. Hearing and heeding God's word is a crown of victory for  their head and a pendant of priceless wisdom for their neck. That which brings glory to God is good for the well-being of the kingdom.
*the people of the kingdom know great joy v18
Because of the benevolence of the king, his protection and provision, life with Him is a life of joy. Our children need to see that their parents willing live in joyful service to this great King and that their heart's desire is to see their children walking in the truth.
*the kingdom is an everlasting kingdom vs16,17
The royal line of David is fulfilled Jesus Christ, an everlasting covenant from one generation to the next. The words of our mouths will be in the mouths of our children until that day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory and praise of the King.

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