Sanctifying Our Sons and Daughters-part 1

Sanctifying Our Sons and Daughters

by Craig Smith
Listen Dads: we know our society today is saturated in
sex and sensuality. It is simply evil. We need a wellthought
strategy to help ourselves and our children survive
with anything like a healthy sexual outlook.
Sex education in schools has become little more than
pornographic how-to sessions. It is totally unacceptable.
Actually, “sex” education in NZ has been supplanted
in the schools by “sexuality” education. It is
equally pornographic but with perversions added.
Rather than being strictly “how-to,” this new stuff
helps children work out what gender they want to be.
On page 22 of the NZ Curriculum (published in November
2007), you will read that sexuality education is
one of “the seven key areas of learning…to be included
in teaching and learning programmes at both primary
and secondary levels” right along side things like
“physical activity, sport studies and outdoor education.”
See that? Exploring one’s sexuality is now considered
by our government educational gurus to be just
another recreational activity. Morality has gone completely
out the window. I Thessalonians 4:3 says that
the will of God for us and our children is our sanctification,
that we abstain from sexual immorality. Apart
from the marvelous efforts of Christians and other
moral people teaching in the government schools, the
NZ Curriculum will guide young people into all kinds
of perverted immorality. Government schools are no
longer suitable places for Christians to leave their children.
That’s why we’re home educating.
Let’s first try to get the Big Picture, a fuller context of
what we’re trying to do. Here in our culture, what you
might call the Western Christian Civilisation, we have
copied the classical Greek way of thinking. That is, we
take a logical, compartmentalised approach to knowledge.
But we need to realise that life is, in fact, an integrated
whole. Conventional schooling follows the logical
approach: we study maths, put it aside, pick up
English grammar, then lay that aside to concentrate on
History. But you never hear anyone point out the connections
and interrelationships among all the academic
disciplines of maths, English, History and all the rest.
Such a wholistic, knowledge-is-integrated approach is
more in line with the Hebrew or Biblical way of thinking:
after all, we do live in a Universe, God and His
word being the unifying factor. We do not live in a
multi-verse of many different truths, many different
In communicating with our children, therefore, it makes
a lot more sense not to deal with such things as sex in
isolation, as if it could be dealt with quite adequately all
by itself as a standalone, separate subject. We would be
better to consider sex, and all things else, in a much
wider context in our discussions. In addition, we need
to model for our children – as well as instruct them in –
every day morality; modesty in dress and speech;
decency; how men are wired up; how women are wired
up; what constitutes proper social intercourse, politeness
and manners; the purpose and roles of marriage, child-
rearing, etc., etc. These and many other factors of life, all
being interrelated, provide the wider context in which
we can then more properly understand and discuss, as
appropriate, sexual issues with our children. The
instruction starts from day one, not all of a sudden when
they reach the preteen years.
Perhaps we should also first of all lay to rest some of
our most cherished cultural fairy tales. The idea of
“falling in love” is deceitful. We cannot allow ideas
such as “falling in love and then seeing where that will
lead” to take root in our children’s minds. One of the
obvious problems is that our sexualised culture puts no
restrictions on where “falling in love” might lead. This
fairy tale concept of love is seen as one of the highest
forms of good one can pursue in life. You’ve heard the
ridiculous ways in which this idea is lionised: “It is
better to have loved and lost than never to have loved
at all.” “Love is never having to say you’re sorry.” To
begin with, these ideas are totally at odds with Biblical
“agape” love, which is a unilateral and disciplined decision
to rest your best actions, attentions and intentions
upon another no matter what, no matter how the
other responds. Those fairy-tale ideas about love are
expressions of purely selfish erotic love and have no
thought for the welfare of the other person.
This “falling in love” idea wreaks havoc with the
hearts and emotions of an ever-widening set of people.
Look again at I Thessalonians 4, at verses 3-6 this
time. It implies very strongly that not only are we parents
to play our part in sanctifying our children, helping
them to abstain from sexual immorality, but that
we should teach them how to take a spouse for themselves
or control their own bodies (depending on your
translation) in holiness and honour. We certainly do
not get this kind of coaching from TV or billboard
advertisements. In addition, it says we are not to chase
after a spouse “in the passion of lust like the heathen
who do not know God.” Wow! Messing around sexually,
presented to our young people from all sides by
the worldly culture around us as nothing more than another
form of physical recreation, is referred to here in
Scripture as a characteristic of those who are heathen.
We and our children’s lives must stand out as clearly
different to that kind of thing. And verse 6 says something
interesting: “that no man transgress and wrong
his brother in this matter.” So how does one wrong a
brother in this matter? Well, apart from the obvious
one of defiling another man’s wife or daughter (or another
woman’s husband or anyone’s child), one can
wrong a brother by flirting with a girl’s emotions,
breaking her heart, damaging her in other ways, then
moving on. She and her future husband are both
wronged by such behaviour. My wife has been counselling
a woman who has fallen in love with a string of
men, producing a total of six children to four of them.
Some of the children have identity problems, wondering
who to attach to, the biological or day-time parents.
The abortion she had was quite traumatic for some of
the children, for the murdered child was their sibling,
and it was traumatic for the family with whom the children
lived. I’ve talked to guys who have sired so many
so-called “love” children over the years, they cannot
help but wonder at times if the pretty young thing
they’re currently chasing isn’t in fact their own daughter…
that they might be close to committing incest.
This is where “falling in love” leads to right here in
New Zealand. It’s a total disaster. We need to thoroughly
repudiate the whole concept.
When young people do come to an age to consider
marriage, the young man and the young woman need
to review carefully how they might fit together culturally,
theologically, doctrinally; how committed they
each are to Scripture; how close they are in their concepts
of family, child bearing, child rearing, education,
roles within the home, finances, incurring debt, insurance
issues, commitment to aging parents, etc., etc.
Plenty of people have “fallen in love” and married…
only to find themselves married to near strangers with
a whole head full of foreign and even ugly ideas about
how things should be.
Draw up a time-line for each of your children with an
80-year life span. Mark off the halfway point, 40, and
the half-way point of that, 20. Point out that by the time
they reach the customary entrance to adulthood, age
20, a full quarter of their allotted years are gone.
Most of that last quarter of their lives, from 60 to death
at around 80, is usually thought of as “retirement”,
though both you and they should be re-thinking that
entirely, for at age 65, unless your health is really failing,
you should be an expert in your field, your calling,
full of wisdom and incredible life experiences, and you
should also be well along the road of sanctification and
growth in godliness, bearing the fruit of the Spirit: love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). You should
be an incredibly valuable asset to your family, your
church, your community…I’d say there is a very good
argument that only such men qualify as Elders in the
church since only they are actually elder. Oopps, I’ve
digressed again.
Point out on the timeline that your children have a
mere 10 years from around age 11 or so when they are
just starting to think straight, until entering into
adulthood at 20 to get their act together. If they (or you
as parents) mentally “write-off” the years from 13 to 17
as those wild, hormone-raging teenaged years when
you can’t expect much out of them except grunts and
rebellious attitudes, you have grievously undermined
your child’s primetime for setting the stage for the rest
of their lives. But look at the timeline again: straight
away you can see that there are unavoidable seasons:
childhood, young adult, married, career building, family
building, empty nest years, growing old. Until age 20
you and your children simply need to be concentrating
on getting the foundations solidly laid in their lives:
basic education, character training, work ethic and all
forms of home economics. A 20-year-old should be
able to do all the family budgeting, menu planning,
shopping, meal preparation and balance the cheque-
book. These are nothing more than basic survival skills…
and note that I didn’t even mention earning the income
to balance the chequebook…the boys for certain will
have to add that one on later. The early- and mid-20s
seem to be given over these days to gaining requisite
training: a university degree, trade certificate…
establishing some kind of career path qualifications.
If your sons get married at 25, have 5 children by age
38, then the youngest one (your grandchild) will turn
16 when your sons turn 54. The oldest one (of your
grandchildren) by then will be around 27…so in fact,
by then, your child could be a grandparent and you a
great-grandparent. So your child is 54, still has a teen
at home, has a married child and a grandchild, maybe a
couple of children at trade school or university, is at or
nearing the top rung of his career path, and you, the
parent of this powerhouse of a child now aged 54, are
over 75 and may be in declining health. What do you
want to be doing at age 75? Are you planning for it?
Draw up your own timeline of your own life. You may
be stunned to see how, as the work responsibilities
started to increase, so did your family and child rearing
and mortgage and other responsibilities. That period
between roughly 30 and 55 on your timeline should be
bulging with responsibility, while the earlier years look
slim and carefree.
Can you see the huge pile of responsibility your child
will have at this point if he has 5 children, a mortgage
and a career? More importantly, with the help of that
timeline, can your child see it and that it will require
that he be made of stern stuff? Where does your 14-
year-old want to be at age 54, in 40 years? He/she
needs to start planning for that now, planning for it, not
just hoping it will happen. Those few single years from
when our children’s rational minds start coming together,
until they can establish their own households,
are so vital, so crucial to how well they’ll be able to
handle the responsibilities, we simply cannot let them
slip by.
If they have not been regenerated by God’s Holy Spirit
until sometime late in their teens, it is going to be a real
challenge to get them to do all for the glory of God,
including the planning for their career paths, until then.
We don’t assume they are regenerate because they are
born into our Christian family, although clearly the
Scriptures indicate our children are “holy” by their believing
parentage alone (I Corinthians 7:14). But we do
have every reason to hope that they will be regenerated,
and so we train them up in the nurture and admonition
of the Lord, inculcating the one true worldview,
that Jesus Christ is Lord of all (Ephesians 1:21-23, Philippians
2:9-11) and commands all men every where to
repent (Acts 17:30). We do not train them up in the
nurture and admonition of the Lord, with family devotions
every day, Scripture memory several times a
week, involvement and commitment to the Church,
training them to acknowledge the supreme authority of
and to live every area of life according to the Scriptures…
to think that they can then choose to go their
own way. No. Jesus Christ is the Way and the Truth
and the Life. End of story.
We have a lot to do to prepare our children for all of
life, and they have a lot to do to get prepared for life…
and we just don’t have time to mess around. Make
every day count. I’ve seen my oldest three leave home,
and I am embarrassed at how woefully little I did to
prepare them. I had always planned to take my sons
fishing. I’ve got most of the gear. But I never did…in
all those 20 years they were at home, I never did. I
mean, how hard could it have been? I am here to tell
you: 20 years slips by mighty fast.
However, by God’s grace, these three are doing well.
And again by God’s grace, we have two more adopted
sons…I have another shot at it. Pray that I don’t miss
or squander those many daily opportunities this time

From Keystone Magazine

July 2008, Vol. XIV No. 75
P O Box 9064
Palmerston North
Phone: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389

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2 thoughts on “Sanctifying Our Sons and Daughters-part 1

  1. I typically dont write comments on posts,
    but your write-up
    urged me to commend your writings. Thanks for writing this, I am going to certainly come back once in awhile. Happy blogging.

  2. Your blog is definitely worth a read if anyone finds it. I’m lucky I did because now I’ve got a whole new view of this

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