From the 5th to the 10th Degree

I’m an advocate of the ‘old school.’ I like being old fashioned in more ways than I can count. One of the most important items considered old fashion today is the Bible. It’s pretty old, but by no means is it ‘old fashion.’ The Bible may be old, but the more we read it, the newer and more relevant it gets. It always seems to be changing, yet it remains the same as we change.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)

Too many have abandoned the Bible’s precepts and wisdom—even those who claim to adhere to it. Have you ever considered that God only created two perfect people? Adam and Eve were perfect until they chose to become imperfect after being deceived by Satan. They were wrong.  They should have followed the way of God. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), yet Satan told them, “Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). Guess what—wrong again! Of course they died. Death has followed every one of their descendants ever since they were cast out of the Garden of Eden. To this very day, we continue to pay the price for not listening to the Word of God.

“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” (Proverbs 1:8)

God dwelled with them in the Garden. Can you imagine God coming to your garden to meet you and your mate? On that ill-fated day when they heard His voice in the cool of the day, they hid themselves from Him because they had disobeyed the Word of God and were ashamed. God would never hide Himself from us—He loves those who diligently seek Him. Proverbs 20:11 states,

“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.”

5th to the 10th DegreeThese perfect children of God disobeyed their Father.  He wanted them to be perfect, right? However, as their Father, God had to discipline these first children. He presented guidelines and boundaries, but sadly, they disobeyed. Like God, parents want their children to be good as well. That’s why earthly parents must give their children guidelines too. We cannot successfully raise our children without rules.

Rules that are constantly bent or broken are not rules. It’s just wishful thinking on our part; it’s in fact a weakness in us! The children see our weakness and this leads them to disobey. They’ll take advantage of our inability to be firm, and they will continue as long as we allow it. Is that what God does—not make up His mind? No, not at all! Instead our Bible tell us,

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

God laid down the law and stuck to it. Proverbs 13:24 reminds us,

“He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

“Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.” (Proverbs 29:17)

Genesis 3:16 states:

“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

How things have changed. We disobeyed God again in our structure of the family. Children control their mothers and fathers, while mothers control the fathers in many families these days. There are many television programs depicting this reality.

Adam and Eve’s son, Cain, sinned by killing  his brother Abel.  And this tragic sin continues to this very day. Brother killing brother. Why?

Because we fail to do as we were instructed. However, praise God, for He has given us another chance through Jesus Christ, by repentance and baptism.  And afterward, if we commit to His way of life, He expects us to do the following,

“If you love me keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

Do you remember the fifth? It says, to honour your father and mother.

How are you doing with the fifth commandment? As adults, we need to recognize that this commandment applies to us as well. The importance of the fifth is very evident. God placed it before killing, adultery, stealing, lying, and coveting. Why? Because we have created through birth the possible future saints in God’s coming Kingdom. That’s a lot of responsibility for imperfect humans.

How are you doing with your little future rulers?

“A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” (Proverbs 10:1)

Are you ruling over your children, or is it the other way around? And you older adults, do you remember ever ruling the house when you were young? Right! Just like your parents did in your grandparents’ house, correct? Not hardly! In the ‘old days’ the parents ruled the home.

God is not a God of confusion. He doesn’t talk to hear Himself speak. When He commands something to be done, we better do it—or there will be consequences. The Bible is replete with examples of the consequences of disobeying God. Lessons should be learned, not debated; simply obeyed, period.

Parents, we have a huge responsibility to God and society at large. What kind of children are we raising in this world today? Are we raising fifth commandment children or are we raising Cains and Cain-ettes, Judas’ and Jezebels? Because the fact is: we are to be raising future kings and queens for the glory of God Almighty! Many today are not following God’s plan for parenthood. They have every excuse in the book for not fulfilling the awesome responsibility they have been given.

When my girls were small, I would tell them, “When you grow up, you’re going to rock this world. It’s going to shake a little because you’re in it.” They would ask “Why Dad?” And I would answer, “Because you’re a child of God, and with that comes responsibility.” Obviously, as parents it’s up to us, with God’s help, to make sure they’re up to it.

In the same breath I’d say, “Remember excuses are nothing but candy coated lies.” You know how much kids love sugar, not to mention their parents. We’re guilty too often, at slacking off at the most important and rewarding job in the world—parenthood. But there’s a catch; as you sow, so also shall you reap! And to complicate matters there is someone lurking, ready to reap a harvest. He is known as Satan the devil. Notice,

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

When a lion seeks out its prey, he’s looking for the sweet meat of the innocent little ones. They’re easier for him to take out, especially when they’re unattended, unprotected, undisciplined, and unloved by a parent’s neglect of duty.

So many parents fail. The streets, courts, jails, and graves are full of our youth. Regrettably, babies are having babies. What attracts them to a life of disobedience, breaking all the rules, from a tender age? The attraction occurs when a void of strict and disciplined love is present. People should learn that raising a child is a 100% full-time job. It takes all of you all the time. Until they leave the nest, you can’t rest.

What contributes to this failure is parents who are simply afraid of their children’s disapproval, so they give in, instead of disciplining them. Now the tables have turned. In order for you to stay friends with them, they call the shots. I’ve seen it too many times. I call it ‘The Mommy-Daddy Boss Syndrome.’ Parents have enabled and tolerated bad behaviour for too long. It can only lead children down a slippery slope of disrespect for authority.

“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15)

What we do today and everyday with our children will mirror and mould who they’ll become tomorrow. We need to stop calling bad good and good bad. Society needs to return to the old fashioned ways of rearing our children in this immoral world of today. Child psychologists say, children’s personalities are formed by the time they are six years old.  So to that, the question we need to ask is, “formed” on whose terms, theirs or yours?

It’s easy to raise a child, if you start at the beginning of their life. But if you need to start over, so be it. Children of all ages need their parents to invest their time and love in them. Hug them, kiss them, and hear them, in order to properly guide them. Believe it or not, your children really want you to be in charge. It’s a test. If you fail, it’s like being trapped in prison. Too many parents are at the mercy of their own children. The consequences are far too long to list. That’s why the phrase, “Do you know where your children are?” was mentioned at the beginning of every newscast on a local television station. The world needs to change. God’s people should be the example for that change.

One Sabbath our minister stated that our children should not be a distraction to others especially on that day because it’s a day of rest, not stress. And this is just one example that illustrates the need for training our children to properly behave in different situations. It’s so embarrassing when other adult onlookers publicly scrutinize parents because their children are sadly misbehaving in a restaurant, or at a friend’s home, at a funeral, or a wedding, in an airport, etc. Untrained and unruly neglected children usually cause stress for all of us and unfortunately, in extreme cases, become liabilities to society because of their rebellious choices and mistakes. Unfortunately, we all end up paying for parental neglect their duty.

Our children should be shining examples of light. God expects us to lead by example—His example.  Unfortunately, this article may leave a bad taste in some people’s mouths. Sometimes medicine does that. You’ve heard that commercial, “Buckley’s. It tastes awful, but it works!”

Your doctor doesn’t tell you to stop in the middle of your prescription because obviously, the problem won’t go away if you do that. If we expect progress with our children, stay the course, follow the instructions from the fifth to the tenth degree, and you will be immediately blessed of God with children who will glorify Him and your family.


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