December 12, 2017

How Much do we Love our Children? (3)

Ben Strohbehn

This is the third of three parts • One • Two

From Dr. Strohbehn’s introduction to part one:

In essence Solomon says that the more dearly he was loved by his parents (“I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother”), the more carefully was he taught (“he taught me also,”), Do we love our children that much? Enough to respect the relationship? Enough to regard the responsibility? Enough to reverence the reward?

Part One covered the point “Do we love our children enough to respect the relationship?”

Part Two partially covered the point “Do we love our children enough to regard the responsibility?” We continue with that discussion here.

After David’s death and Solomon had become the king, the Bible says that God appeared “unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said unto God, … Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go faith-for-the-familyout and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great? And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like” (II Chronicles 1:7-12).

Thus, as David taught Solomon about priorities, so should we teach our children. Do we love our children enough to regard the responsibility to teach?

Solomon also needed to be taught about purity, So David taught him! “Hear, 0 my son, and receive my sayings; and the ·years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths … Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men … The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble” (Proverbs 4:10-19). In Proverbs 7 Solomon was further exhorted: “My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee … that they may keep thee from the strange woman.” Unless parents today begin to recognize real love and concern for their own children and begin to teach Scriptural lessons on purity, the next generation will know no restraints whatsoever. If we love our children as we say we do, then we ought to prove it by regarding the responsibility to teach about purity.

Another important lesson which David taught Solomon, and a lesson of equal import for our children, has to do with prayer. Through the experiences of his life, war, sin, suffering, fleeing from enemies, or needing direction and wisdom, David had learned the important necessity of prayer; thus, he wanted Solomon also to be able to utilize its power in his position as king, as he determined his priorities, and as he maintained his purity. Perhaps the most notable instance of David’s praying for Solomon is recorded in I Chronicles 29:10-19. After David praises the Lord on behalf of Solomon, saying, “And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes …” Yes, Solomon could truthfully say, “He taught me about prayer.” But can your children say the same of you? A teenage girl was once heard to say, “If my dad is a Christian, and he says he is, then I would like to hear him pray. I’ve never heard my daddy pray.” John G. Paton, missionary to the New Hebrides, used to crouch outside his father’s bedroom door to hear him pray. Susanna Wesley, with seventeen children, spent one hour each day shut up with God alone in her room, praying for them. Billy Sunday told of a minister who, making calls, came to a certain home and asked for the mother. The child who opened the door answered, “You cannot see Mother, for she prays from nine to ten.” The question today is not do we love our children; the question is do we love them enough to regard the responsibility to teach them, to train them, to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?”

Do we love our children enough to reverence the reward? Because David did reverence the reward, Solomon wrote: “He said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.” The meaning is, “And thou shalt enjoy a long and happy life.” Although the temporal life alone seems to be indicated, certainly the context would allow reference to the spiritual life and to the need of teaching our children with eternity’s values in view, being conscious of the fact that they are going to live somewhere forever and that our children are the only earthly possessions we can take with us to glory. In other words, we ought to love our children enough to be sure that they come to know Christ in salvation that they may be assured of Heaven. To guide our offspring toward heaven is also to take thought for today, for to have confidence when He appears is to have the right conduct until He appears.

Parents, how much do you love your children? Enough to help them’ “seek first the kingdom of God?” Enough to bring them to the experience that “today is the day of salvation?” Enough to “forsake not the assembling of yourselves together?” Enough to “pray without ceasing?” Enough to “avoid the appearance of evil?” Enough to take His testimonies “as an heritage forever?” Enough to “speak the things which become sound doctrine?” Enough to “be careful to maintain good works?” Enough to “turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God: And to wait for his Son from heaven?” To love your children this much is to reverence the reward, and to anticipate the Lord Jesus saying, “Well done!”


The Faith for the Family biography on original publication: Dr. Ben Strohbehn is a native of New Plymouth, Idaho. He holds degrees in Christian Education, including a Ph.D. All were awarded by Bob Jones University. After a number of years on the faculty of BJU, Dr. Strohbehn entered the pastorate at First Christian Church, Wakarusa, Indiana. He is currently the pastor of the Bible Baptist Church of Kokomo, Indiana.

This article originally appeared in the March/April 1973 edition of Faith for the Family, and appears here by permission.


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