Larry Sheehy-050811Listen to Thinking of God with Larry Sheehy - The influence of great parenting
Where would we be without parents? Well, without parents, we wouldn't "be" at all. In creation, God premeditated to continuously populate the earth by the procreative union of husband and wives.
But is the birth of children the only thing God had in mind? No, just as nearly every newborn in nature requires care and attention until maturity, human children must have constant care in their early years. An added spiritual element increases the importance of the quality of care.
Its an understatement to say that bringing up children is difficult. This has never been truer than today. Most parents are constantly bombarded with questions about childrearing, and experience doubts as to whether they will succeed. This must have been true of Amram and Jochebed, the parents Moses, born an Egyptian slave.
The story of Moses' early life serves as a classic example of parental faithfulness and determination. He evidently was taught about his Hebrew heritage. "By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharoah's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time." (Hebrews 11:24-25) Further, he knew something about the Messianic promise, and the spiritual endowment of God's people. "[Moses] regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible." (Hebrews 11:26-27) Although he probably didn't understand what we can about those promises, he did believe in the providence of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
As parents, Amra and Jochebed were key factors in the path taken by their youngest son. "By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict." (Hebrews 11:23) They exerted a strong influence on him in spite of the pressure of the Egyptian culture. They didn't allow him to lose his sense of identity as a Hebrew and heir of the spiritual heritage of his family. The few details we have of his early life give evidence of God's providence. In spite of their position as slaves, Amram and Jochebed were determined to protect their child, and, by their faith, hide him in the will of God.
Godly parents of every generation should exercise their faith in raising their children in the will of God, protected from the temptations of their Egypt. As "aliens and strangers in the world," we are called on to abstain from sinful desires, which war against our souls (1 Peter 2:11). Lessons on self-control must be taught to our children. This doesn't mean we should cut off all contact with those who are not Christian in belief and lifestyle. But we must understand the spiritual danger of the world we live in. We must appreciate the warning that "Bad company corrupts good character." (1 Corinthians 15:33) We must refuse to submit in fear to the threats and assaults of the devil, and be willing to do whatever is necessary to protect our children.
Our children need to be taught the spiritual heritage of Christianity. Regardless of the physical background of our families, every child of God can trace his or her spiritual "roots" back to the first century community of faith in Christ, and even beyond Abraham to God's planning before the world began (Matthew 25:34; Ephesians 1:4).