The High Calling of Parenting
Tuesday of Pentecost 21
16 October 2018
The fourth commandment is not just about how children ought to obey their parents. It also means that parents are responsible to God for the upbringing of their children (Eph 6:4). Parenting is a difficult, full-time job.
Parents may not be buddies to their children. Children need strong and faithful authority figures in their lives. Parents are required by God to be those authority figures. Children will have lots of friends, playmates, and buddies. They don't need their parents to be among them. It is not up to you whether or not you act like a parent. God requires you to act like a parent. He will call you to account for your stewardship of your children. There is no higher office than that of parent, both because God commands it in the fourth commandment, and also because you are his hands in the world. There is no better way in which you may represent your heavenly Father than to be a good parent to your children.
Everyone wants to find a better or higher calling than merely to be parents to their children. Parenting is difficult, frustrating, and messy work. Parents have to be good role models for children. They must discipline their own actions and mouths in the presence of their children. They must discipline their children when they need it. In showing personal disciple they will have integrity in expecting discipline from their children and imposing it on their children when necessary. Shortcuts have no place in the work of parenting. It is the highest calling to be parents. There is none better or higher.
Parents are the sign of God in the lives of their children. The first glimpse of God's face children get is the face peering over the crib at them. This doubles the already high stakes that burden the task of parenting. We are not leading our children into the future on our own authority or on the basis of our own predilections. Children are first and foremost the possession of our dear heavenly Father and we are to be stewards of them for Him. What a high calling this is! You are working for your Father by parenting your children and He is working together with you.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"It would be well to preach to the parents also, and to those who bear their office. Tell them how they should behave toward those who are given to them for their governance. This is not stated in the Ten Commandments. But it is still abundantly commanded in many places in the Scripture. God wants to have this included in this command when He speaks to father and mother. He does not wish to have rogues and tyrants in this office and government. He does not assign this honor to them, that is, power and authority to govern, so they can have themselves worshiped. But they should consider that they are obligated to obey God. First of all, they should seriously and faithfully fulfill their office, not only to support and provide for the bodily necessities of all their children, servants, subjects, and so on, but, most of all, they should train them to honor and praise God (Pro 22:6). Therefore, do not think that this matter is left to your pleasure and arbitrary will. This is God's strict command and order, to whom also you must give an account for it (1Pt 4:5),"

Martin Luther, Large Catechism,
Proverbs 22:6-15

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail.

Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.

Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease.

He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.

The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge, but he overthrows the words of the traitor.

The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!"

The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit; he with whom the LORD is angry will fall into it.

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him. (ESV)
Dear heavenly Father, give us faithful parents who will represent Your authority in the world. If we are parents, grant us the strength to direct the lives of the children You send to us, so that they may be faithful and know Your love toward them through us. Amen.
For Sophia Benton, that the Lord Jesus Christ would strengthen and uphold her as she grows and matures
For all persons who are responsible for public safety, that they would enforce good order as signs of our Father's will that we should live in peace and quietness
For all those sheltering away from home because of the damage caused by Hurricane Michael, that they might have peace in difficult circumstances
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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