Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Developing Respect For God

Perhaps the most important thing children learn from discipline is that there are powers greater than themselves and rules than must be obeyed.  If it is done properly, they learn not only to obey but also to respect their parents.  Ephesians 6:1-4 commands, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.  And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

 Learning to respect and obey their parents can help them avoid potentially fatal decisions, as wel as helping them do things in way that makes their life better.  For the children to learn proper respect is crucial that the parents be consistent in their discipline, teaching him to do what is right and not making arbitrary, senseless demands, while making it clear they love the child.

The most dangerous lack of all is a lack of respect for God.  Since their parents are their first authority figure, they tend to base their idea of God on their parents, and especially their father.  Because their parents have not disciplined children properly, many children today have little or no respect for their parents.  It has been said that if children do not respect their parents, they will never respect anyone.  This has resulted in disrespect for authority, for other people or their lives, or for moral standards.  Since so many fathers today desert or neglect their families, many children grow up with the idea that God doesn’t really care, or that he is just a source of money or gifts.  They have no idea what role God plays in their life because the father does not play his proper role.  Sadly, some mothers deliberately play on that absence to focus the attention on themselves, further drawing more attention away from God.

Children need to be taught that God is the creator of the world, as Genesis 1:1 tells us.   “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”  They need to understand that Just as they would not exist without their father, and that they have inherited some of their father’s physical traits, humanity was created by God and has certain traits similar to his, as Genesis 1:26-27 tells us.   “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  Only when they understand that can they understand why God has the right to set standards for humans to follow.  Until they understand that he loves them, they will have a hard time understanding that the standards he has set are intended to protect them and help them to have the best life possible. 

When they have a proper respect for their parents they will find it relatively easy to develop a proper respect for God, and there are a number of promises for those who have a proper respect for Him.  Proverbs 1:1 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  Reverence or respect for God is the foundation of all knowledge.  The only reason we can understand physics, or chemistry, or mathematics is because God has designed the world to function in a certain logical manner, obeying physical laws that do not change.  Gravity always pulls objects toward the center of the earth, for example, and boats float because the density of mass of the entire boat is smaller than that of the water, so that gravity pulls the water down harder than it does the boat.   The boat floats when its mass displaces an equal mass of water.  Similar laws govern everything in nature from the motion of the planets to genetics, to the weather, to electricity and nuclear energy.  They If the rules changed, we could never know what would happen when we take an action.  Sometimes the boat would float and other times it would sink.  The transgender movement is the ultimate rejection of God’s authority and power, declaring that He had no right to decide which sex they would be and that they can break his genetic laws by mutilating their bodies with sex change operations and hormone treatments.    

People who insist that there is no God, and thus no absolutes are stuck with the position that ultimately it is a waste of time to learn those laws because they are not always true and the world evolved in a random manner.  The universe clearly demonstrates they are wrong by following certain established rules for thousands of years.  The belief in a logical creator was the impetus which inspired people to study the various sciences, even though some worshipped other gods.  The principles God established still govern the world, and the transgender woman is still just a man pretending to be a woman who has had plastic surgery to help with the pretense.   As the head of the Johns Hopkins psychiatry department said, they have serious psychological problems to believe they can just ignore the laws of nature.    Supporting them in their efforts demonstrates one’s own lack of respect for God and his laws. 

Because God established certain fixed principles that govern how things work, respect for God and his logical creation enables us to apply the principles to make our life easier and better, and avoid dangerous actions.  Proverbs 14:27 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.”  These two things about respect for God are only the tip of the iceberg, but they illustrate the importance of a proper respect for Him. 

If parents are to teach their children to have a proper respect for God, it is crucial they have a respect for him as well.  The more they obey his commands and follow his principles, the more their children will respect them and ultimately God.  To train the children properly, parents must to set the example.  Otherwise our society will continue to deteriorate.  

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