Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Life Lessons from Biblical Parents: Noah

Although we usually end the account of Noah with every one coming out of the ark under the brilliant colors of a rainbow, that is not the last that we hear of Noah. 

After Noah and his family began to settle the earth, he planted and grew a vineyard.  One day, Noah made wine from the grapes and became drunk.  His son Ham walked into his tent and found Noah drunk and n*ked on his bed.  Rather than taking care of the situation himself, Ham went out, found his brothers, and told them what he had found.  Shem and Japheth went into their father's tent backwards with a garment between them and laid it on their father so they would not see his n*kedness.  After Noah woke from being drunk, he knew what Ham had done and gave him a tongue lashing.

So what can we learn from this account?  I think there are two main lessons for us as parents. 1) As parents, we need to maintain a high standard of conduct for ourselves, and 2) our children need to be taught to honor us.

As parents, our behavior can make our children proud or put them in an awkward position.  Because Noah became drunk, he put his son Ham in the awkward position of finding him.  We teach our children about godly conduct, manners, and behavior, but what are they going to think, and how do we expect them to respond,  if we act in ways that do not live up to the standards we have set for them?  The whole "Do as I say, not as I do" method does not work, because our children will learn by our example more than they will by our words.  We cannot expect them to do anything or live up to a standard that we are not willing to do or live up to ourselves.

Our children (as wonderful as they are!) were born with a sin nature and have to be taught right from wrong.  One of the most important things that we can teach them is to honor us as parents because, first, God has given us the position and title of parent and, second, because it is the first commandment with a promise.  As a teacher, I heard so many references to parents in disrespectful ways.  I saw how students treated their parents.  I heard how students spoke to and about their parents.  And it was horrible.  God has made us to be parents, not big friends.  He has given us a position of authority.  As parents, we need to make sure that our children see and respect the position and the people holding the position.  Think about it, if our children do not respect us as parents, how can we expect them to respect any other position or person of authority.   

I know that neither of these positions is popular in today's way of thinking, but I'm more interested in what God says rather than society.... which happens to be another lesson we need to teach our children.


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