Week 7: The New Testament and Children Cont’d
Day 5: Our Hearts Know – 1 Timothy 3:4-12; Titus 1:6
Not only was God careful to tell children how they were to behave, He also wanted their parents to know how their children were to behave. Two passages clearly show us that God expected the men who were leading the churches to first know how to lead their homes. 1 Timothy makes it very plain that this was one of the qualifications not only for pastors but also for deacons:
“A bishop then must be blameless…One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)…Likewise must the deacons be grave…Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.” (1 Timothy 3:2,4,5,8,12)
Paul left Titus in Crete to ordain elders. As he did so, he was to look for certain qualities: “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.” (Titus 1:6)
As used here, the word “faithful” means “someone who has become convinced that Jesus is the Messiah and the author of salvation.” The bishop’s children are to be firm believers. They are not to be living a dissolute, extravagant, wasteful, abandoned life (riot), nor are they to be insubordinate and disobedient (unruly).
These men needed to know what God expected of them, how He wanted them to train their children; but were these expectations restricted only to the children of church leaders? God wants to see all of our children living in a manner that is pleasing to Him. After all, we are all supposed to be maturing. Though God may not call every man and his family into ministry, what about the moments when a void occurs and someone needs to step in for a time? Will our families be ready, or will we find that we have led our homes in a manner that disqualifies us?
Is God’s desire for the fatherless any different than His desire for other children? No. He wants them to come to faith in Christ! Once they have been saved, just as we desire for the children in our lives to grow, He desires for His children to grow. But once again, we come up against that same old problem – How will they learn without someone to teach them?
We are coming very near the end of this series, just a couple more weeks. This question has been put forth time and time again. Many have read it. What will we do about it? Someday we will stand before God, how will we answer Him when it comes to this issue of caring for the fatherless?
We can try to close our eyes, try to turn our heads, but our hearts still know.
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