Rearing godly children is not the responsibility of the state, government, or the general society. It does not take a village! Rearing godly children is first the responsibility of fathers (surprised you that I didn’t say “mothers,” huh?). Rearing godly children comes from one man marrying one woman, staying together in oneness at some level, and building upon the stability of that union.
So, the kingdom culture has little room for children’s ministry. The kingdom culture has less room for youth ministries. The kingdom culture abhors government education as a means of instilling the pagan culture into the kingdom’s inheritors.
Yep, I said that out loud.
Do we still need children’s ministry and youth ministry? Maybe. Making that decision would depend more upon the design and definition of each, but if anything needs to go away quickly, it would be youth ministry.
Rearing Godly Children
The inability of adults to control children is the reason we stopped taking kids to church. I chose each of those words carefully, especially the word “control.” Your inward alarm about that word does not come from God, but the world system that conditioned you to think children should be out of control by labeling lawlessness as liberty.
Nothing more clearly disregards the Word of God as the idea that children do not need control to avoid being out of control. Adults do not require control, but children do. The sooner they learn to submit to control, the sooner they can be free of restraint.
If you are out of your mind stupid enough to think children will naturally do right, you and the enemies of the Father agree.
So, once parents stopped controlling the behaviors of young children, all hell broke loose in the church, and children’s ministries became essential to have a properly-planned and choreographed public event. Modern church-anity is event-driven and run by event planners, and out of control children mess up the show.
Children need to be entertained because no one believes they can sit still long enough to enjoy that show. So, adults stay home from events if they have to work with out of control children during the event. Children embarrass them in public, mess up the show for other people, and generally ruin everything planned for the event.
So, we cook up some extra-Biblical and a-Biblical ideas about what children need that they never get in the adult church to justify doing something the Bible sees as abnormal. A whole generation now lives and breathes that has never experienced what was normal for centuries, and they all think this new approach to church-anity is an improvement.
We have lost kingdom culture, and we do not even know we’ve lost it.
Nobody has the courage to tackle this monster, so we limp about on wooden legs instead of influencing the existing culture toward the Word of God.
Godly Means Obedient and Honoring
Godly children are obedient. Godly children honor. Godly children respond concerning adults who correct them. Godly children have some basic manners that reveal honor and obedience that were once part of the existing culture but have disappeared to the point that mentioning them produces a blank look upon people’s faces.
“Sit not while others stand.” George Washington had a few axioms of honor and obedience he shared. But, in this generation, a trip to WalMart will reveal a general lack of essential honor for anyone, including a bit of honor for one’s self. The door opens, and no child waits for someone older to enter first. A woman will cuss you into the next state if you take the parking spot she wanted even though the next available one is a mere seven paces further from the door.
“You go first” sounds like Klingon language to moderns who believe in “I got here first, so I win” as the most basic principles of human interaction.
If your children honor you, their parents, they will require a tiny nudge to get this right, not WW3. If they do not honor you, they will not honor others or God or recognize when honor is proper and appropriate.
That has destroyed the opportunity to rear godly children for most parents. The first commandment with a promise is the first place to start rearing devout parents. It is repeated in the New Testament to elevate its importance in the love of God and love of others. It is the result of training, not the natural response of the soul.
Discipline is Godly
God disciplines. Painful, physical, consistent, and applied discipline. If you do not, you are not like God, and you do not have the opportunity to represent God in children, so they become “godly.”
Busting butt is basic.
Screaming out your frustration is futile and destructive. Whacking behinds without anger to instill the strength of will to avoid wrong and do right are as fundamental to the kingdom of God as “Dear Jesus” and “Amen.”
Here come the exaggerations: “I’m not going to live a life a beating up on my children all the time.” Yeah, me either. If you have to beat on them all the time, you are doing something radically wrong – the problem isn’t the children. “I just love them so much they want to do right.” Baloney in your macaroni! Children will not do right because you love them because you just redefined “love” as something as ridiculous as pink unicorns flying through cotton candy skies to swim in a lake of syrup fed by a chocolate fountain. Anybody who tells that love means no discipline is teaching ungodliness!
If you do not discipline your children physically, you are worse than a pagan. You should bring an idol named “this world that hates the Father” into you living and bow to it three times a day and offer your children to it as sacrifices. That is precisely what you are doing if you refuse to discipline children. You are worse than a heathen and the enemy of the Father.
I just heard momma Sue writing a comment pounding on the computer keys so hard they break into pieces: “I never hit my kids, and they turned out OK.” Since its too late to do anything about that, let’s move on to something will help, alright? If you didn’t discipline your children, we would never know who they might be with discipline, will we? Don’t tell this generation you are a success because you disobeyed God’s Word. They already think the Bible has nothing to say about rearing children.
Discipline Begins with Honor
If I observe a mother speaking to her children and being ignored, I know that she is attempting to rear children without instilling honor. The very first step in discipline is honor. Train your children to respond to your voice, so you do not have to repeat yourself, raise your voice, change your tone, or apply physical pressure.
That will mean that you do not allow the TV to rear your children or will enable the iPad to govern their attention span. It will mean that they will experience sitting still and paying attention to you at some point in the day as they would in church, the same amount of time it takes to sit still for an adult church event would be part of their day. They would gain experience in honoring you and your voice as a basis for honoring other people and the assembled saints in public.
I know you don’t want to hear about it, but my dad –
All my dad needed to do when all four boys were sitting with our parents in a church event was calmly clear his throat. Even though I was already paying attention, I sat up a bit straighter just in case. If my dad had to look at me to alter my behavior, I knew what the afternoon would be like.
Yeah, and I didn’t grow up to abuse my children. Oddly enough, physical discipline is not abusive, and disciplining children does not produce abusive parents. That is a lie from the father of lies who hates the Father and wants you to think like him.
Remember, I grew up attending all the adult services from the time of my first visit to church. I didn’t become a monster because my parents put the fear of God in me. It didn’t stump my growth or destroy my identity in Christ.
If you buy the left coast version of spiritual Dr. Spock, you will believe that love can save someone. Get a Bible! Loving someone means disciplining someone. If that doesn’t fit your philosophy, change. Become more godly yourself by agreeing with God by reading, understanding, studying, applying, and implementing what the Bible says. Forget the surface slush mush that exaggerates love like its a magic wand. Love produces action and lifestyle.
That is Not “So Old Testament”
First, the Old Testament did not go the shredder when the New Testament was finished. Every New Testament writer honors the Old Testament as equal in inspiration. When Paul tells Timothy every “graphe” (writing) of Scripture is inspired and profitable, he isn’t talking New Testament only. That is ridiculous, upside down, illogical, and self-explanatory error.
The New Testament quotes the Old. Jesus quotes the Old. Paul quotes the Old. John cites the Old. Enough of this “that’s so Old Testament” stuff! That is like saying, “That is so Bible!” as if that means it means nothing.
The New Testament provides no suggestions. While it does not offer a child-rearing manual, everything It says about rearing children is 100% from God, true, eternal, and up-to-date for you rearing your children right here and now.
Stop with the “beating on kids all the time” rhetoric. No good parent needs to do that if they provide loving discipline. It is the frustrated parent who never instills honor as the basis for training that does that.
Church for Children
How wonderful it would be to restore children to the kingdom culture instead of shipping them out for brief exposure to “children’s ministry.” To have the family sitting together in kingdom events would be a picture this generation needs to see.
We cannot do that until parents get their children under their control, however, so we are back to kingdom culture basics. We are resetting the foundations. We are restoring the authority of the Bible in our personal lives. We are confronting the enemies of the Father and the present culture within the kingdom, to rid the saints of perverting thinking and lifestyles.
I’m not saying this is utopian. I’m assuming this is normal. Then, when you do have age-specific teaching and activities – which are kingdom normal as well – you do so with an intention to work with maturing saints who happen to be children, not as a third-rate excuse to entertain kids because they have an attention span that requires a commercial break every 14 minutes!
The church has hammered normal Christian family life into the wrong culture.
To serve the pagan world, we sacrifice kingdom culture. We were commissioned to do the exact opposite, but our warped church-growthism compelled us to ignore kingdom culture to be more relevant. Now, the church is pagan with Jesus as an after-market add-on feature.
Enough! We can both serve the existing culture and confront it with kingdom culture! We can rear godly children and minister to pagan families. We can go to Disney without becoming pagan. We can act like kingdom citizens without crusading against the logo on energy drinks and looking for Nephilim in cartoons. We all know that our culture is pagan. The point is to present God’s representative influence of kingdom culture, not become a subculture.
We do not infiltrate well when we are the ones infiltrated.
In the “Kingdom Culture Project” series, we address the foundational principles, processes, and protocols of the kingdom culture as commanded by Jesus, recorded in the Bible, and applied and implemented in the kingdom Ecclesia.