Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Life Lessons From Bibllical Parents: Adam and Eve

I don't know about you, but we are having to teach Addie that there are certain ways to do things, certain ways to respond, certain behaviors which are not acceptable, and certain ways to speak.  For example, right now (and this is my fault), Addie has gotten into the habit of saying, "Huh?" after someone says something to her.  The first time it was a surprise and cute, but after repeating yourself a second time because you don't think she heard you and then realize that this is a game to her, it gets a little old.  Unfortunately, she did learn this from me.  When she would talk to me, and I couldn't understand what she was saying, I was say, "Huh?" (I know, I know, that is terrible.  The correct response is, "Excuse me?").  She would then repeat herself.  Now the table has turned and she is the one saying, "Huh?"

Adam and Eve had to teach their chldren many things, but the most important lesson was how to bring an offering to God.  When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, they tried to cover themselves with fig leaves. However, God made it clear that leaves were not enough to cover their sin. Genesis 3: 21 says, "And the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them." Skin has to come off of something living. Something had to die in order for Adam and Eve's sin to be sufficiently covered.  Therefore, when bringing an offering to God, Cain and Abel were expected to bring an offering whose blood would cover their sins.

This is where the lesson for me (us) comes in. Teach them, "It's God's way or no way!" When the time for presenting an offering to God came, Abel brought of his firstlings, but Cain brought the fruit of the ground.  Presenting the fruit of the ground was not a true sacrifice.  Did Adam and Eve teach Cain and Abel what God's way was? I assume they did.  But Cain decided to do it his own way.  Why?  Maybe his parents were too passive.  Maybe when he insisted on doing things his own way, his parents just okayed it.  I don't know.  But what I do know is that he went to God on his own terms, and God rejected his offering.

We need to make sure that we teach our children that God tells us how He wants us to come to him in His Word.  John 14:6 is very clear.  Jesus states that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no one can come to the Father but through Him.  Our children need to realize that they do not have the option of having an understanding between them and God.  The same way that if we wanted to approach the President, we would have to do it on his terms, we have to approach God (who is greater than any human authority) on His terms.

We also need to make sure that our children obey us on our terms.  I heard once from a speaker who came to our church that the way our children obey and respond to us is the way they will obey and respond to God.  We are the miniature example to our children of the relationship that they have with God.  If we give them a command and they decide to obey us after the fifth time of hearing our command, they will obey God the same way. However, God expects to be obeyed the first time He says something.  So our children will be at a disadvantage if we allow them to take their time in obeying us. 

Something I heard from another speaker was to check your child's heart response to correction.  Cain's countenance showed his displeasure in God's response to him, and his actions towards Abel showed that his heart had not responded to God's correction.  The speaker said to have your child say they are sorry to you and then pray with them after their time of correction.  Even in a child as young as Addie, you can see the heart response to correction. 

Before she turned two, we had an incident where she had to be put in time out for a minute (a good gauge for how long a time-out should be is to give your child one minute for each year of their age).  When I went to get her, I asked her to say she was sorry.  She refused.  I left her in her crib (which is out time out spot).  A minute later, I went back, and once again she refused to say "I'm sorry".  Brian went into her room, and she gladly said "I'm sorry" to him, but the infraction had not been done to him so she was not let out of time out yet.  After about 10 minutes of going back and forth with the refusals to apologize, she finally (and tearfully) said she was sorry (I sarr).  We then prayed together that God would help Addie to be obedient to Mommy and Daddy, and she ended with "Amen!"

Just remember that we are not trying to break out children's spirits.  We are trying to mold them and teach them to respond in a way that is pleasing to God.  When your child is sensitive to the Lord, correction and training is much easier.


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