Class Notes: 8/13/2008
Eph 6:1-4 The relationship between Parents and Children as part of the PPOG Part 2
Continuing where we left off in our study of the mandates of the PPOG for the church age believer, we are now looking at the mandates regarding parents and children found in Eph 6:1-4; and Col 3:20-21; in the context of the mandate found in Eph 4:32;
These passages restate the mandate of the Fifth Commandment found in Exod 20:12; but step them up because of the power of God the Holy Spirit and Bible Doctrine that is given to members of the Royal Family of God in the Church Age.
Eph 6:4; - Fathers, do not provoke-do not incite-your children to anger; but bring them up...
The word "bring them up" is the second of the two mandates in the verse; The first one that we saw last time was the imperative of prohibition "do not provoke your children to anger".
The second imperative of command, is the present active imperative of the verb: "ektrepho" (that means to nourish; rear; bring up; to nourish up to maturity.)
This word implies the provision of both physical and spiritual needs and therefore places on the parents the responsibility of logistical supply in both of these areas.
The father is the corporate head of the household and the duty of providing these logistical provisions falls upon him, and his wife becomes his chief assistant.
At this time in history, because of the decline in values in our nation, it has become politically incorrect to recommend or encourage women to stay home and care for their small children.
Whether a wife works or not is a decision made mutually between her and her husband in the privacy of their free volition.
However, It must be said, that when parents choose to procreate and when God selects the child into human life at birth, the child has been placed by God into the parents' protective care and they have the responsibility, obligation and accountability to God under the mandates of the PPOG and Divine Establishment to fulfill their responsibilities to the child.
God has given the mandate to procreate in Gen 9:1; and along with that mandate are promises from God that guarantee one's daily needs as described in Matt 6:33;
Remember that under his grace policy, God never mandates anything that he does not make full provision for through his grace policy.
This means that along with the mandate to supply necessities for children, God in his policy of grace has provided to the parents everything that is necessary for the children when the parents are willing to take on the responsibilities associated with rearing children.
The mandate to the husband in this regard is found in Genesis 3:19, "In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread."
Some of the essential duties of the wife in managing household affairs are described in Prov 31:10-31.
Failure to fulfill these responsibilities is condemned by Paul in 1Tim 5:8; "If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."
The mandate to the parents to "nourish the child up to maturity" requires that both parents become devoted and dedicated to providing their children's physical and spiritual needs.
The provision of logistics is initially designed to sustain the child until the age of accountability and the opportunity for an objective hearing of the gospel.
During this period the parents are to train, instruct, chastise, and punish the child in order to instill orientation to principles of order, harmony, and establishment.
Parents are the authority figures. No matter how stupid parents may be, they are geniuses compared to their children, and the child cannot survive without them.
Parents must never allow their child to control them for any reason. The parents are in charge, the father makes policies, both parents enforce them, and the father administers corporal punishment when necessary.
As we have seen in Prov 13:24; resorting to severity through corporal discipline is not mean or violent and it is actually prescribed in the word of God. It only becomes so when the parent allows arrogant and emotional sins to motivate its use.
Parents cannot beat children into submission. Submission can only be won by loving the child and adherence to righteous standards through just enforcement of policy.
Children are very quick to pick up on hypocrisy so the integrity of the parent that is established by their spiritual life inside the PPOG is critical.
Children must be instructed and led into the right course of action. Parents must be flexible in their response to the child and principles must be taught through repetition.
Corporal punishment is required when parents observe a rebellious mental attitude, but it must never be administered because the parent loses patience, becomes infuriated because his authority has been challenged, is caused embarrassment, or is fed up.
Corporal punishment must never be motivated by arrogance, power lust, or self-centeredness and never applied with such intensity that it amounts to cruelty.
Cruelty results when a parent's OSN is out of control. The lust to receive submission from his child can become such an obsession that the father loses sight of the fact that he is dealing with a child.
Parents may resort to corporal discipline because the child has misbehaved, made a mistake, or caused embarrassment.
But corporal punishment is really only intended for the purpose of correcting open rebellion in the child.
A father must learn to distinguish between the child's initiative, vim, vigor, their intelligent youthful persistency and, determination, their false steps from their lack of understanding, and outright rebellion, otherwise, he will be disciplining his child all the time.
Out-of-control fathers allow themselves to go way beyond the divine intent of corporal punishment and engage in cruelty which may include such motivations as vindictiveness, spitefulness, and power lust.
The administration of this type of punishment may not result in correction but instead result in bitterness because its application was brutal, heartless, ruthless, merciless, vicious, and mean.
Proper child rearing involves instruction, training, and repetition.
Children will not become responsible members of society overnight but their ability to behave will develop rapidly if their parents are vigilant, consistent, and patient.
This is made possible by the filling of the Holy Spirit, loyalty to the system of integrity of the PPOG, and unconditional love.
The Holy Spirit enables vigilance, loyalty to the system of integrity maintains and establishes consistency, and unconditional love provides patience.
Occasionally the parent must resort to corporal punishment simply because the child makes it necessary by rebellion. Parents must point out to the child that their mental attitude is the cause, rebellion is the effect, and punishment will always be the expected result.
It must be explained to the child that he has displeased his parents and that this is not honoring to the Lord. He must be assured that both his parents and God love him but that he must learn to love them back by obeying.
The child should admit to the wrongdoing before the punishment is applied. If sins are involved, the child should be taught to confess these sins to God for forgiveness.
The issue is not to get the child to say, "I am sorry," but to get him to admit or simply acknowledge, "I was wrong."
The Politically Correct approach that has been accepted by society for dealing with wrongdoing is quite different than this. The PC approach has established an evil system for achieving reconciliation between those who are at odds.
Since the Politically Correct reject the idea of absolute standards of right and wrong, the impact of wrongdoing is reduced to a simple social indiscretion. Therefore, a child is not required to say, "I was wrong," but rather, "I am sorry."
The expression, "I am sorry," currently carries with it the implied expectation of forgiveness from the victim and the self-serving presupposition that all will then be forgotten without reference to damages.
God is in the business of forgiving sins and will do so if they are confessed. If people are victims of other's behavior, it is their prerogative to forgive or not.
The perpetrator on the other hand has three obligations:
(1) Confess any sins involved to God;
(2) Admit wrongdoing and trust that the victim will apply the royal law; and
(3) Submit to the penalty clause that applies to the violation.
Parents must counsel the child to admit wrongdoing and then confess the sin to God. The parents then tell the child they forgive because God has forgiven. Eph 4:32;
Then it must be pointed out that justice demands punishment for violation of a divine standard or house rules. This is the way God loves his children who misbehave. He wants them to obey His rules and those of their parents and discipline is designed to achieve this.
It must be explained to the child that when he rebels his behavior is not honoring to the Lord, it disappoints his parents, and has been hurtful to his peers.
The device for punishment should never be the parent's hand. This makes the act personal.
It is not personal; it is policy. A neutral object, such as a dowel, is appropriate.
A dowel is a flexible, round rod that causes a sting but cannot cause injury unless applied in the inappropriate ways. The number of applications and their intensity should depend upon the age of the child, and as the child grows older, the extent of the violation.
Corporal punishment is not violence. This is hyperbole that used by those who promote the "politically correct" philosophies in the rearing of children.
It is used by Satan and the kingdom of darkness to create doubt in the parents' minds about its use and to cause guilt if they do.
When corporal punishment is used properly, it will quickly establish respect for authority in the soul of the child and its use will quickly become unnecessary.
Corporal punishment is designed to restore order it is not designed to bring further discord to the household. The use of the word "violence" to describe its use casts false assertions upon a divinely approved method of correction.
The adjective "violent" and the noun "violence" are defined in Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary as follows:
"Violent" - Marked by extreme force or sudden intense activity; notably furious or vehement; excited or mentally disordered to the point of loss of self-control.
"Violence"- Exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse; an instance of violent treatment or procedure; intense, turbulent, or furious; vehement feeling or expression.
These definitions do not properly define corporal punishment. When it is used with loving intent it not only corrects wrongdoing it also alters the child's thinking, motivates better decision making, changes behavior, and inspires adjustment to divine standards.
Also, a parent who utilizes corporal discipline is not mean. This word is defined as follows in the New Oxford American Dictionary:
"Mean"- Unkind, spiteful, or unfair; vicious or aggressive in behavior.
The use of the words "violent" and "mean" with regard to corporal punishment is verbal inflation and hyperbole, and anyone who looks up the definitions for each would naturally reject the idea of participating in such unacceptable behavior.
Meanness is sinful and it is inappropriate to describe the proper execution of parental authority and proper discipline as being mean.
The definition of "mean" describes a sinful attitude that results in sinful behavior.
The Bible indicates that the best English word to describe parental authority, supervision, and justice is "severe."
To explain this, we will first look at a definition from: Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary:
"Severe"- Strict in judgment, discipline, or government; a strict or stern bearing or manner; rigorous in restraint, punishment, or requirement: stringent, restrictive. Maintaining a scrupulously exacting standard of behavior or discipline.
This Implies standards that are enforced without indulgence, leniency or laxity.
Severity describes the side of divine justice that applies punishment and discipline on those who reject and violate divine standards.
Benevolence is the word that describes the side of divine justice that imputes blessing and reward to those who accept and comply with divine standards.
This contrast of Benevolence and Severity is the subject of:
Romans 11:22 - Behold the benevolence of God (the Greek word "chrestotes" that means blessing and reward from the justice of God)] and the severity of God (the Greek word "apotomia" that means punishment and discipline from the justice of God) on the one hand, severity to those who fell [Jewish unbelievers], but on the other hand, the benevolence of God to you [Gentile believers], if you persist in the sphere of His integrity (3d class condition of "if" for maintenance of client nation status) Otherwise you also will be cut off (taken out with the 5th cycle of discipline).
In this passage Paul is addressing the issue of client nation status. Israel has lost their client nation status due to national apostasy. Gentile nations have replaced Israel as the client nations during the Church Age with Rome being the first. Israel fell, or was "cut off" in A.D. 70
The United States is the current client nation under divine benevolence but courting severity.
Recovery will restore the former but further decline will invite the latter and the risk of being "cut off."
The application to our study has to do with the example found in Heb 12:4-11; where discipline by our earthly fathers is used to illustrate the discipline of our heavenly Father. But for discipline by earthly fathers to serve as a valid illustration of divine discipline then their approach must emulate God's.
This brings us to a definition of the Greek word "aptomia" that is translated "severity" that is provided in the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament in Volume 8 Page 106-107.
" apotomia" - The noun apotomia does not occur until the Hellenistic period. In an overwhelming majority of instances apotomia means "strictness." Legal strictness without "prautes " (gentleness, humility, courtesy, considerateness) and "epieikeia" (clemency, graciousness, forbearance) is a mark of the tyrant.
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines the English translations as follows:
"Gentleness" - Free of violence; delicate.
"Humility" - Free of arrogance; submissive to authority.
"Courtesy" - Respect and consideration; politeness.
"Considerate" - Given to careful consideration; thoughtful regard for the feelings of others.
The translations of the Greek word "epieikeia" are:
"Clemency" - A merciful disposition in one having the power or duty of punishing.
"Graciousness" - Marked by compassion and kindness, tact and delicacy.
"Forbearance" - Patience and leniency.
The etymology of the Greek wood "apotomia" provides us with an understanding of its use in the context of integrity.
Severity is the mental attitude that is used when discipline is necessary and called for.
The mental attitude of severity is balanced by a mental attitude of gentleness, humility, courtesy, considerateness when discipline is not an issue and by clemency, graciousness, and forbearance when it is an issue.
A parent must evaluate circumstances to determine if punishment is necessary and if so, what level of intensity would be appropriate.
Wisdom instructs us to carefully pick our battles. It is often wise to allow certain things to be permitted to slide for a time. This is clemency, graciousness, and forbearance and allows the child the time to self-correct.
If the poor behavior becomes repetitive then measures must be taken.
The concept behind the use of the word severity is that when there is an obvious need for discipline that it be consistently imposed, and when there is obvious rebellion that it be consistently administered.
The reason and purpose of discipline at every level of intensity is designed to bring the recalcitrant and the straying back into right thinking and right action that is honoring to the Lord.
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