Me and My Real Family - Part 4 (06.10.18)
Godly Parenting: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
What I want you to know today, that in Genesis chapter 25, we have the first reality parenting show. Isaac and Rebekah are whose lives are exposed and laid bare for everyone to see the faults and the successes of parenting. I want to share these with you today! First, let’s examine
I. The Good (vs. 19-34) Let’s read: Genesis 25:19-21
1. Marriage is God’s Plan
Isaac and Rebekah Marriage is the direct result of a father’s prayer.
Abraham, Isaac father and the father of all of us who are in Christ, worried about Isaac. He worried about his future and knew that the only way to secure and perpetuate the promise was through Isaac marrying the right person. That marriage would become the hope and help he needed for his seed to become the family God had promised to bless and be a blessing to the entire world. One son… one marriage…everything would ride on it being successful.
Please bear in mind, even though they were a marriage made in heaven, they grew up and lived in worlds apart. They seemed to have never been able to bridge the cultural, gender and expectations gap and their gaping personal differences in personality, preferences and priorities.
2. Marriages that Pray Together – Stay Together.
- Prayer binds and bonds two distinct persons together. They were joined together and made fertile through prayer! (verse 21)
A. Praying together as husband and wife is cool! Praying together as a couple unites you unlike anything else can!
Are you and your spouse praying together? For your kids? For your marriage? For your family?
They were diligent and deliberate at praying! (verse 20 & 26)
How long did Isaac and Rebekah pray? I’m so glad the text reveals it! If you’re not careful, you’ll miss it. I did! How old was Isaac when he married Rebekah? (for a hint, see verse 20.) He was 40 years old when he prayed for Rebekah! How old was Isaac when his twin boys were born? Verse 26. Isaac was 60 years old when Rebekah gave birth! That means…ISAAC AND REBEKAH PRAYED FOR 20 YEARS!
Be diligent and persistent in praying! I know we have parents who pray for your kids faithfully. You pray for their future spouse.
While you are praying and waiting, God is making YOU spiritually fit to receive what he’s gonna do! God’s working on you!
And every time you kneel down in faith, God is working on YOU! He’s working on your faith! Prayer just isn’t changing things and situations…prayer changes us!
What was God doing for the 20 years while Isaac prayed? God was working on Isaac!
3. Take your problems to God! They went to God with their problems (verse 22 & 23)
She felt something was not right with this pregnancy! Those who have been pregnant and lost a baby, you can understand the worry, the anxiety that Rebekah was feeling!
Rebecca had been barren her whole life. And finally, she was pregnant, and she didn’t want to lose these babies! She didn’t have a doctor she could visit. She didn’t have ultra-sounds. She did have God! So, she went to God and God told her exactly what’s going on. And it’s just ‘great’ news! God tells her that the kids she is carrying are not going to get along when they are born…and they are already going at it before they were born!
God tells them in verse 23 that the OLDER SON, WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER ONE! The Law of the Lesser… practice it and save yourself a lot of grief and sorrow.
When your family is faced with a crisis who do you go to? Doctors are great! God given blessing! Go see the doctor! Counselors are wonderful! Wisdom from another one’s perspective can be enlightening and is certainly Biblical! But the along with those things, the first place you and your family need to go is to your knees in prayer before the Lord!
How many times have you said, “Honey, we need to pray about this!” in the past year?
Parents - when you are faced with trouble…GO TO GOD…AS A FAMILY!!!
4. Allow you children to learn from their mistake. Give them the gift of consequences. Do not run to their rescue every time they are in trouble…so not defend them every time when you know in your heart they have misbehaved. Ultimately, Jacob y Rebecca let their kids learn from their mistakes! (verses 29-34)
29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!"
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is: ALLOW YOUR KIDS TO MAKE MISTAKES! --BUT DON’T LET THEM MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES THAT WILL FOREVER HURT THEM OR FOREVER SCAR THEM: Do not tolerate or turn a blind eye to Rebellion and irreverence toward God, disrespect you and those in authority, never ever condone premarital sex, DRUGS and any lifestyle choice that runs counter to biblical principles and best practices.
But there were some bad things they did as parents. Let’s talk about that:
II. The Bad
1. They failed to anticipate and appreciate the unique distinctions and differences of their sons.
Jacob and Esau may have been twins…but they were different!
2. They failed to cultivate a special and unique relationship with each son.
3. They chose to be partisan and allow the sin of favoritism to take root.
And the problem wasn’t that they were different, the problem was that the parents preferred one over the other. And how did they show which one they loved more? Who knows?
But parents…go out of your way to make sure your kids love them all the same! And the best way to show you love them the same is through consistency!
Consistent in your discipline!
Consistent in your gifts!
Consistent in your rules!
Consistent in your love!
Consistent in your expectations!
When you don’t treat your kids with the same kind of love, it breeds jealousy! Nothing good comes from playing favorites!
ILLUSTRATION: What did Jacob learn as a result of his mom and dad’s unhealthy love? Jacob had favorites!
Well, let’s look at the ugly side of parenting…
III. The Ugly
They broke the number 1 rule of parenting – Be a Team
The UGLY side of parenting is when your kids make poor decisions that just break your heart! That don’t honor how you’ve trained them to be!
When your kids grow up and go out on their own, they are going to be responsible for their own decisions.
It’s more than sad…it’s ugly! Look at three decisions that didn’t bring honor to their parents:
Isaac and Rebekah did not model unity and solidarity
They sowed the seeds of dissension, division, and betrayal
They were both engaged in the destructive path of gamesmanship. It drove a poisoned stake into the heart of Esau and Jacob. Both prisoners and pawns of their parents petty and yet deeply personal “two can play that game” syndrome.
Rebecca was complicit and convince Jacob deceived his father! He had to pay a heavy price and carry an unbearable burden for over 20 years. --Lying to your parents doesn’t bring them honor! It doesn’t make them proud! It doesn’t make them say: “that’s my boy!”
They married ungodly women!
Notice what it says: Genesis 26:34,35
CONCLUSION: Parents, I want to leave you with this question: what is the goal of parenting? Successful parenting is doing all you can you to raise Christian kids that honor you and bring glory to God. And so, I want to leave you with the model for successful parenting as found in the Bible.
Four things that a healthy family has and does:
1. Serves a Sovereign God who Rules! –The psalmist says in Ps 146:10 “The LORD Our God reigns forever; Yes, your God, O Zion, reigns for all generations! Praise the LORD!”
No matter what you are going through or regardless of what is vexing you. We serve a mighty God… a good, gracious God’s, a strong and sovereign God who is large and in charge. Our God Rules… there is nothing he cannot do, no one He cannot change and never grow weary and never runs out of options and never gives up on His children. Read the Word, spend time in his presence, give God your best time, treasure and talent and when…not if, but when He blesses you beyond measure…Give God the Glory!!!
2. Solid Dad who Loves and Leads! – Solid…there’s a word that connotes and commands respect, responsibility, resiliency and resourcefulness.
3. Steady and Supportive Mom who Respects and Honors! – a loving, steady, supportive mom is invaluable if our families are to thrive.
4. Sympathetic Kids who Obey! Sympathetic is another word for understanding, cooperative, concern and caring. These traits do not necessarily manifest on their own as children can be the exact opposite. But these qualities can be modeled, sown and cultivated in the hearts of our children. The Bible unabashedly proffers, promises and prophies’… “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he matures…comes of age, he will not depart from the path.”