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Pandemic Perspective – Part 14 Parenting Pandemic

Deuteronomy 6:1-9

“These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

In recent weeks we have seen many people gathering together to protest police brutality. So why are people protesting despite the dangers from experts who warn of another wave of the Corona virus? Because treating other people with disrespect and a lack of dignity and taking someone’s life regardless of race is wrong. We are all created in God’s image and it is time that we stopped looking at people’s skin and start seeing their soul. This like so many things has divided our nation. It is impossible to condone this action and call yourself a Christian. But I also believe it is just as wrong to condone the resulting violence. There is a big difference between protesting and violence. It is hypocrisy to say you are protesting murder with murder. The Bible clearly states in the Ten commandments “You shall not murder.” The media has told us that our problem is one of racism, but where does it come from? What we are seeing is the symptom but what is the source? What if we don’t have a police or a protesting problem but a parenting pandemic? I am sure there will be many who will be upset by these words, but children are not born racist they are taught it. In Deuteronomy 6:1-9 we are told to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” But we have turned from being lovers of God to lovers of self. As a result, we are looking to government not to God for the solution. Notice that it tells us that “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.” In other words, not just a head knowledge but not a heart knowing. If God’s truth doesn’t travel from our heads to our hearts, we will have information without transformation. God’s Word here doesn’t just tell us what to do but also why, “so that you may enjoy long life.” God wants to bless us but the pathway to blessing doesn’t come through serving self but through seeking the Savior. We are also called in this passage to teach these truths to our kids. But you can’t teach something you don’t know. That is why scripture calls us to practice truth before we preach it. In order to teach something, I have to understand it. So, the challenge is are you living it or just lecturing about it? Because God calls parents to live out His law not just to lecture about it. The police officer who killed George Floyd should never have done what he did not because he had more police training but because he had been trained by his parents. Basic parenting 101 is to teach our kids to treat others the way they want to be treated. To respect other people and their property. Today we have a parenting pandemic. Many kids are growing up without the influence of parents. Sometimes this is because parents are completely absent from the home but many times its because parents are home but not present. Are you actively engaging with your kids to teach them about the love of God and the importance of loving others? As parents it is our job to impress God’s commands on our children. To talk about them when we sit at home and when we walk along the road, when we lie down and when we get up. This includes both formal and informal teaching. There are times when we need to intentionally sit down with our kids and teach them but there are also times where it’s not scripted and planned, where they learn because we are not just mouthing but also modeling God’s truth. More things are caught than taught. Your kids will mimic what you model and the fact that we are still dealing with racism is a sad reminder that we are teaching our children the wrong things. The goal of parenting should be the Glory of God, but many of us are making parenting about looking good instead of reflecting God. Our kids are messengers that we send into a time we will not see, the message we model will most likely be the message they mouth. Many of us have made the purpose of parenting more about how it reflects on us than on the Lord. We want our kids to achieve because it makes us look good instead of because they love God. What if we stopped focusing on the symptoms and started dealing with the source, our parenting pandemic. So let me ask you what messages are you modeling? Because preaching without practice is not just pointless its pernicious.