Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart;
then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.
Children are typically a source of pride for their parents. Sometimes things do not work out right and children become a source of shame to their parents. In any case, children’s performance will positively or negatively affect morale and the reputation of the parents because, in great measure, the behavior that can be observed in children is related to the type of upbringing they have received or are currently receiving. Wisdom, whose principle is the fear of God, is something quite rare in individuals, the basic reason is that offspring are not taught to show respect, reverence and obedience to God. The most recent psychological theories recommend that parents try to intervene as little as possible in the process of creation and strengthening of the personality of their children, presumably so the child does not suffer traumas that eventually may result in behavioral disorders. There is nothing more wrong than allowing a child to grow unchecked and according to his own nature because that nature, as in every human being, is sinful and evil. Children must be taught that there are limits and that certain behaviors are morally unacceptable.
Unfortunately, these modern psychological theories are gaining ground rapidly and its disastrous results are already becoming apparent in the trends of society. While it is true that in other periods of history disorder and lack of morals have proliferated, these misguided practices multiply stronger today with the purpose of disrupting the system and considering good as evil and evil as good. As parents we have a responsibility we can not evade. We will be accountable for what we do with the education and upbringing of our children when we appear before the tribunal of Christ. God grant us that we have been able to carry out this important aspect of our stewardship and can be proud and not ashamed before the Lord. To God alone be the glory!
They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to false gods.
They shed innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
and the land was desecrated by their blood.
They defiled themselves by what they did;
by their deeds they prostituted themselves.
God had a good reason to forbid the Israelites who left Egypt to mix with the people who temporarily occupied extensions of the land of Canaan and surrounding regions. Not only were they forbidden to associate with the pagan people but they were ordered to utterly destroy all of them. Many have used these instructions from God to the people of Israel , taking the word of God out of context, to say that God is a cruel and unloving god. They conveniently ignore the intrinsic justice that belongs to the divine nature. The barbarities and abominations that these people were accustomed to do in the name of their religion were truly horrific and despicable. One of his most gruesome ritual was the sacrifice of their children to idols. Giving children’s lives in bloody sacrifice to demons posing as gods is totally unacceptable and incomprehensible to those of us who live in more civilized times.
Yet somehow, in general we have allowed our children to be surrendered in sacrifice to the world and even to the enemy of our souls by condoning their desire to live according to the ideas that prevail in these times. In these postmodern times the material dominates over the spiritual, the exterior over the interior, the temporal over the enduring, the urgent over the important, the superficial over the fundamental, confusion over what is solid, randomness over firmness, the ambiguous over the absolute. All these new (actually not so new) ideas that are contrary to the principles and the established paths laid out in the word of God are common and prevalent today. Our children have embraced these ideas and we have passively allowed the world to hijack the minds and hearts of our boys and girls. Let us act with decision and courage to rescue our children from the idols and demons that shape this decadent society. It is never too late when the purpose is the salvation of their souls. With the help of our Lord Jesus Christ we shall overcome. To God alone be the glory!
The father of a righteous child has great joy;
a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.
May your father and mother rejoice;
may she who gave you birth be joyful!
Egocentrism makes us pay attention on things that only concern us and disregard everything that is out of our being. When we are young, it is of little concern to us if our behavior is pleasing to our parents or if instead it is causing anguish in their hearts. At this stage of our lives we only care about what we ourselves think or feel. As soon as we get married and we have children the perspective changes completely and then we realize the severe impact that children’s behavior has on the peace and welfare of parents. That’s when we also realize the follies that we have committed and we understand the pain or shame that our way of life caused to our parents. It is only then when we can put ourselves in their place and start to understand why they had to gives us all the exhortations and warnings that we received while we were under their care and responsibility.
Children themselves are a great blessing. How much more if those children behave wisely and always walk in the fear of the LORD! How good it would be if we could understand these things as early as possible in our lives so that we could spare us a lot of pain and tribulations. Let us at all times be a cause for celebration to those who gave us life. May our parents say as the apostle John in his third letter: “Nothing gives me more joy than to hear that my children practice the truth.”  Only to God be the glory!
 3 John 4
To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
Every time we need to talk about the attributes of God we must be very careful not to try to define things from a strictly human point of view. Clearly it is very difficult for us to take a different approach as we are not God. However, every time we make a statement regarding his nature we have to stretch our thoughts in such a way that our analytical capabilities are able to grasp a better understanding of our heavenly Father. It’s like when dealing with a very young child. If an adult tries to communicate with the child using adult language, much as the adult tries to explain some issues to the boy, the little one will never fully understand what the adult wants to convey. In this particular case that we are discussing today we are the children and God is the adult. Warning! Any attempt to describe God will be incomplete and unsuccessful. Obviously, God is more capable and wiser than any human and he will find a way to break the communication gap. In our case, God describes in His Word situations well known to us so our limited minds can somewhat approach a bit and manage to understand something of the spiritual reality.
For us it is easy to understand that if someone acts with us in a certain way our response may be reciprocal, i.e., there will be correspondence between our response and the observed behavior. If they speak with us, we speak back, if we are ignored, we also ignore them, if we are attacked, the fight back, and so on. God gives us the freedom to set the tone of the conversation we have with him. If we look for him, he looks for us and if we turn away from him, he turns away from us. Again, this is only an imperfect attempt to describe God, but is a useful approach that allows us to have glimpse, however dimly, of his glory. Let us look for God at all times and we will see for sure that he is always close by, or rather, that we are always at his side and we will know that he has never left us alone. To God alone be the glory!
Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to words of knowledge.
Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
Punish them with the rod
and save them from death.
Oftentimes we find it very difficult to understand one of the tools that allow us some control over our behavior or that of others, mainly because we have a sinful nature that vigorously resists it. We are talking about discipline. No one likes discipline, neither to receive it nor to apply it. When we have to receive it, we focus on the negative side of it, that is, the pain inflicted on us but we ignore the benefits it produces once we have learned its lesson. When it comes to applying it, oftentimes we do it to vent to our anger rather than for the benefit it produces in those whom we are disciplining, usually our children. Whatever the case, we are too clumsy to understand it and accept it. It is even harder for us to apply it with wisdom. The key to understanding discipline is that it must always be accompanied with love for it to be effective. If love is not present when discipline is received there will be grumbling and resentment. If love is not present when discipline is applied, it becomes mere violence and aggression.
The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews explains: “They [our fathers] disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.” King Solomon himself said it this way: “because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Whether we are under discipline or we are to receive it, let us understand its loving purpose and let us look ahead with hope to the harvest of righteousness and peace it will bring upon us. To God alone be the glory!
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
They are a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.
It is true that our parents were not too skilled when applying discipline to us, but for sure they were full of good intentions and love. It is also true that sometimes they were a little severe and a tad violent when using the rod but everything was done so we could learn how to behave and so we could avoid getting ourselves into trouble later in our lives. They made mistakes ─just as we do now─ by letting them be carried away by their emotions and not by reason when trying to correct our misbehaviors. All in all, we are living proof that opportune discipline, applied in proportionality to the fault, brought much good to our lives. Of course, it was not until we became parents ourselves and had to deal with those little, rotten, spoiled, manipulative, hyperactive and tireless creatures that we call our children, that we realized the logic of many things related to discipline. (Just kidding, children are a great blessing.)
What we need to understand now that we have grown up, is that we still need correction and discipline in order for us to reach the perfection that our Heavenly Father demands of us, His children. It is His turn to correct and discipline us with love, truth and justice, “for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.” and to produce “a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” as the author of the letter to the Hebrews wrote. Let us march forward with renewed energy because God Himself is correcting and taking care of us in a perfect way. Only to God be the glory!
Then our sons in their youth
will be like well-nurtured plants,
and our daughters will be like pillars
carved to adorn a palace.
One of the ways that God blesses his children is through fertility. Only with fertility is that we can meet the requirement of the covenant of God with Noah and his descendants to be fruitful and multiply to fill the earth. Part of the blessing has to do with the health and strength with which the children entrusted to us by God for their upbringing will grow. Our sons will grow as robust trees with strong, deep roots in good soil with plenty of water so they will remain firm despite the strong winds that may blow in an attempt to pull them down. Our daughters will be beautiful maidens and exemplary women, full of inner and outer beauty, grace, energy, initiative, vitality, fertility, education and excellent behavior that they will be worthy of praise and they will fill us, their parents, with pride
Certainly, children are a blessing from the Lord and well we will do in raising them and firmly educating them in the faith, providing for their education and training, especially in regards to serving the Lord Jesus Christ, and interceding for them when they accidentally stray from the path of righteousness that God has prepared for all of His children. Now, I take the opportunity to send a blessing to all those who have supported us for so long in this ministry: May your sons in their youth be like well-nurtured plants, and may your daughters be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. Excellent blessing indeed are the children! To God alone be the glory!
A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son
and will share the inheritance as one of the family.
There are servants who behave like real children and children who behave like common servants. That’s the way it always has been. I’m sure that in Pharaoh’s royal family there had always been people with royal blood and succession rights who could have taken responsibility for the management of the finances, commerce and trade of the world power that Egypt was. However, Pharaoh, noticing the wisdom and successful business acumen that a young servant, foreigner and convict named Joseph has shown, appointed him prime minister with authority over all his kingdom. In these postmodern times is very common to see children who have lost respect for their parents and in general have lost respect for any authority. They want to live in freedom, that is, as they understand it, in debauchery. They ignore every precept of submission and respect for their parents and make disobedience and scorn a lifestyle. Likewise, there are children of God who sometimes behave like enemy’s children; acting in a way that we know does not please God.
We must behave as the apostle John pointed out when he wrote: “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” God gave us understanding to know who his image is before us. Our Lord Jesus Christ, all man and all God, true God and eternal life, is the perfect model of a true son. Let us walk, then, in his footsteps and act like the true children of God we have been made and not as the mere servants we used to be. To God alone be the glory!