Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. Titus 2:6
The following article is from an earlier age, a time far removed from our “instant society” and the “whoever has the biggest toys wins” mindset of our current culture. Thus, it may seem like the uttermost of folly to many.
During anesthesia school I had some pretty detailed classes on anatomy and physiology. Interestingly, when studying the anatomy of a blood cell I found out that in the middle of every blood cell there is a lot of squiggly little molecules called hemoglobin. It’s this stuff called hemoglobin that moves oxygen from the lungs to every part of the body. Well, on the end of these squiggly little hemoglobins is a thing called a “heme group.” When looking at pictures of this “heme group,” I discovered that right in the center of this “heme group” is a cross. Going further, right in the center of that molecular cross is an iron atom (Fe). Well, when the blood passes into the lungs, it goes through a very thin layer—so thin that it actually allows an oxygen molecule (O2) from the air to connect with that iron atom. This process brings “breath” to every part of the body. (Now, I don’t want to take this too far, you have to bear with me—anesthesia school can be pretty boring!) As I saw this, the whole thing made me meditate on the passage found in Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” In my boring anatomy class, my mind wandered to ... “Where is that place in human anatomy, ‘between soul and spirit?’” In Greek, the word spirit literally means breath; and the heme group is the very spot where “breath” connects with us. In this way, the blood—by bringing breath—actually brings life to every part of our body. And just for fun … I later found out that most historians believe that the nails used to crucify Jesus on the cross were made out of iron (Fe)—the very thing that is at the center of all of this amazing stuff. ~
Welcome to Sharpened Words. In Psalm 144, the Psalmist David likens our sons to “plants grown up in their youth.” The picture here is of a mature plant that has just reached the point of bearing fruit. It is still young and vibrant, not old, and it is bearing fruit. This surely is the goal of every sincere parent. There is nothing else quite like a godly young person who is full of holy, God-glorifying fruit. This stands out even more in the present state of our nation. Generation X has very little purpose. They stand for nothing. This is not entirely their fault. Very little has been put into them by their parents. The plants have not been nurtured.
There is much insight that we can glean from King David’s graphic words. Raising up a generation of children who bear godly fruit in their youth is just like raising up tender plants to the fruit-bearing stage. It requires much time and attention. If you neglect the basic principles of farming, guess what—you won’t get much of a crop! Our precious children are much the same, only the growing season is about twenty years instead of four months. We only have one opportunity. It is important that we read the grower’s manual often and follow its directives with care.
Teaching and training these little plants is like nurturing a small tomato plant. This process is likened unto watering, pruning, weeding, and fertilizing the children God has entrusted into our care. We desire to be a help and an encouragement to you as you seek to fulfill your calling with your children. Happy teaching. –The Editors
The soul of a child is molded one day at a time, 365 days a year, for twenty years. Although this is a long commitment for a father and mother to make, it is the way God has ordained for a small baby to be brought to a place of Christian maturity. There are many ways we could look at this task. We could say "Oh no! 7,300 days of duty until I’m done." Or we could say "Praise God! I have 7,300 precious days to mold the mind, will and emotions of my child for God." You may be at either end of this spectrum of parental desire or somewhere in the middle. I must confess that there are days when I am filled with enthusiasm for the task of the day, and there are days when I simply do what I do out of a sense of duty. We call it holy grit at our house. I have been amazed through the years at how many times I have entered into my responsibility out of duty only to see the Lord add to my task the inspiration and enthusiasm.
Sharpened Words is designed to aid you on those days when you lack ideas from which to teach. Take these ideas and build upon them. Add your own personal illustrations and make family applications. Oh, the beautiful, rewarding exercise of molding the soul of a child! The potential of each one can hardly be measured at the time of the molding. I want to encourage you to keep on being faithful to the task. The days will come when you will begin to see the beautiful character of Christ forming in your son or your daughter. May God bless your times of teaching.
Welcome to Sharpened Words for Little Ones. This little section of The Remnant is designed to help you step into the water of obedience and see God bring you through. I was thinking the other day how many sermons I get while conducting family devotions. Dozens of times as we are sitting together, and I am teaching from some portion of Scripture, it dawns on me, “This is a sermon.” These simple everyday responsibilities are truly used by God to train us and expand us for future ministry. I am sure that is one of the reasons that Paul told Timothy to check and see what a man’s home is like before you ordain him into the ministry.
A faithful man at home will be the same in the church. Consider also that a man who has consistently expounded the Word to his family will be ready to expound the Word to a flock of people. Oh, the mysterious ways of God. He gives us the task of telling Bible stories, giving character lessons, and teaching the truth with many different objects. We carry out our task, day in and day out for many years, and, behold, we have become an able minister without even going away to a school to prepare.
I remember the learning experiences that I had working among the poor people of North Chicago. The children were all TV addicts. They were used to being captivated with changing pictures and thoughts every fifteen seconds. This was a challenge to keep their attention on a Sunday School bus. Little did I know that God was teaching me how to preach and teach in simplicity. I want to encourage you fathers to rise up to the task that God has entrusted to you. God is also preparing you for other things. He that is faithful in the unseen things will be given bigger things to do in the future.