Changing the

Heart of a Rebel

   

(Excerpted from the book by the same title)

   

   

by Pastor S. M. Davis

     

  

     

One of the greatest gifts God has given us is our children. They are also a great responsibility.

   

Raising children is a challenge.

   

Raising good children is a big challenge.

   

Raising Godly children is an incredible, but possible, challenge!

   

There are several important ingredients needed to raise Godly children. One is teaching children to obey. Another is teaching them to show respect and honor. Then, too, parents must protect children from evil. It is a false philosophy that says you produce better children by exposing them to the filth of this world. Romans 16:19 says, "I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple [or ignorant] concerning evil."

   

Many parents in our day are accused of over-protecting their children. Could I give you my observation of that? We don't lose our children because of being over-protective; we lose our children because of being harsh and critical or from being inconsistent in our own lives.

   

By far the majority of families I know are not protective enough of their children.

  

Teaching obedience and respect and protecting children from evil are key ingredients necessary to raise Godly children. But they are not the key ingredient. In fact, you may have those ingredients and still not succeed in raising a wise, Godly child without the key ingredient.

   

In Proverbs 23:26 we read, "My son, give me thine heart."

   

Malachi 4:6 is a prophecy concerning the ministry of John the Baptist: "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers..."

   

But that's not the end of the verse. The verse ends with a warning of what God does if fathers don't turn their hearts to their children: "lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

   

We are witnessing the fulfillment of that verse all around us when kids shoot kids, and when schools have to have armed guards and metal detectors, and when people are afraid to walk city streets alone.

   

Luke 1:17 is a further exposition of Malachi 4:6: "And he [John the Baptist] shall go before Him [Jesus] in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient [that's the children] to the wisdom of the just [that's what parents are supposed to be]."

   

The number one characteristic of wisdom is justice. When children see parents as just, rather than unjust, then children are more likely to cease their disobedience and rebellion and give their hearts to their parent.

   

The last phrase of the verse says: "...to make ready a people prepared to for the Lord." Young people are not prepared for God to work in their lives until their hearts are turned from themselves or from others to their parents."

   

   

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Used with permission from and appreciation to Dr. S. M. Davis.

The remainder of his book, Changing the Heart of a Rebel, delves into the "how's" and "why's" of doing what he suggests is needful, also giving examples and biblical illustrations. (We sell it in the Relationship with and Discipline of Children  section.)

Dr. Davis has written several other timely and excellent books

and also has many video and audio tapes available.

For information on this ministry, contact:

   

Park Meadows Baptist Church

800 Memorial Park Road

Lincoln, IL 62656    

(217) 732-6900.

  

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 ...and the plaid heart from:

  

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