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Sermon outlines
by Edward Thomason
The "in's and out's" of parenting
text: Prov 22:6

Source: written by Edward E.Thomason Ė Preach
Date preached:________  place: Church of Christ
Objective: Supportive
Sermon Plan Theme
Our Home Life - topical

The "in's and out's" of parenting
text: Prov 22:6

Someone has said, "there is no place like home if you donít have the money to go out." The reason we find humor in that statement is because somewhere in the back of our minds we are thinking... "You know there is some truth to that." Yet, we also know that our homes (while always in need of maintenance and upkeep) our homes/ our families are a great blessing in our lives. It is there that we are nurtured and find our greatest fulfillment and happiness. 

Most parents, even the best, are always eager to learn more about the skills of parenthood. Of course our children, which are a gift and heritage from the Lord, donít come fully assembled. It is our responsibility as parents to follow the instructions of Godís word and put them together piece by piece, day by day so that they become healthy, mature and spiritually minded and well rounded adults.

This is not always an easy task. There are times when we have to do some sanding and hammering and pulling and tugging to get all the parts to fit properly. But when we do our job carefully and consistently, we may see our children growing even as the Lord himself grew. Luke 2:52 says that Jesus: "increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."

Our lesson this morning is titled: "The ins and outs of parenting."

And we will begin by looking first at:
I. Some of the typical "ins and outs" of parenting

A. Lets begin with some typical "outs:"

We "think" especially as young parents, that we can stay ahead of our children - "after all we are the adults!" Right? Wrong!

1. We think we can "out reach" them (But they just start climbing)
2. We think we can "out run" them (But they are faster than we ever imagined)
3. We think we can "out yell" them (But they just stop listening)
4. We think we can "out think" them (But they are smart - after all they are our children)
5. We think we can "out number" them (Mom and Dad are 2 against 1, but they soon learn to divide and conquer.)
6. We think we can "out maneuver" them (But they quickly learn all of our moves.)
7. We think we can "out weigh" them (Maybe if we sit on them - right? But they soon grow taller and bigger.)
8. We think we can "out last" them (But at last, youth and vitality is on their side.)

B. And so much for the "outs" of parenting. What about the typical "ins?"

1. Often because we are "give-out" we find ourselves "giving-in."
2. And so typically, may parents choose to "in-dulge."
(Whatever our child wants - they get. No discipline.
3. Or we may typically go to just the opposite extreme and we "in-flame."

(Many good parents feel backed into a corner and even if they are wrong, they want their child to know who is "boss.")

4. Yet in the end our strong arm tactics only "provoke to wrath." (cf., Eph 6:4.)
5. The overly dominant parent who has rules without purpose, who refuses to listen and use reason with a child will often provoke a child to anger and rebellion and even cause him or her to be greatly discouraged in life. (Col 3:21)

C. Are there not better choices for us to make than the typical ones that often lead to heartbreak and unhealthy homes?

II. Consider the not so typical "ins and outs" of parenting.

A. Rather than "give out" we can "out give" our children.

1. You can "Out-pray" your child. Take your childís needs and problems before a higher power... Each day we should thank God for our children and seek Godís help in caring for them and nurturing them.

a. In the Old Testament, "Job" was a "not so typical" parent who prayed even for his grown adult children. Our children never get too old to need our prayers.
b. You may not be able to "out-yell" your child but you can quietly "out-pray" him!

2. You can also "Out-love" your child. Sooner or later your child will learn that no matter what he or she does to disappoint you or even to hurt you, they canít make you stop loving them.

a. Sure our love is sentimental, but a parents love must also at times be a tough love... that will allow "a hard headed" child to learn "hard lessons."
b. Our love may at times need to be a sacrificial love.... that will give up personal ambitions or goals for the well being of our child. (The kind of unselfish love that Jesus had for us, Phil 2:5-8.
c. Our love may at times need to be a forgiving love... that will overlook the pain that adolescence and even young adult years can inflict.
-- Eph 4:32 teaches us to "be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God in Christ also forgave you." (This applies to our physical family as much as to our spiritual family.) I read somewhere that failing to forgive and storing up bits and pieces of past arguments and fusses is like a slop bucket. Harboring resent can destroy a home.
d. You may not be able to "out-run" and "out-last" your children, But you can "out-pray" them and "out-love" them.

B. But in addition to "out-praying" and "out-loving" our children, we can also engage in the not so typical "ins" of parenting.

1. We can begin by "in-stilling" Godís word in the hearts/ minds of our children.

2. From an early age, we should "in-struct" them about God and his will for their lives. But more than that... a love for God and His word must be deeply "in-stilled" within them.
a. In Deut 6:6-9, Israelite parents were commanded by Moses:
"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart... (Notice that unless we put Godís word in our hearts first, we probably want do a very good job of putting it into the hearts of our children.) Moses continues to say..."And thou shalt teach them (Godís words) diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up..." (Every day, something from Godís word was to be mentioned, talked about and taught to the children.) How often do we engage in religious discussions in our homes around our children?
b. In 2 Timothy 1:5, the apostle Paul gave credit where credit was due for the genuine faith he could see in Timothy. The credit went to his mother and grandmother who in-stilled a trust in God in Timothy by teaching him Godís word from his youth. Interestingly, the faith that was in Timothy was first in his mother and grandmother.
c. Children will listen and learn from the instruction of their parents. And the Bible says that such instruction and wisdom becomes like "an ornament of grace" on their heads and like "chains" of gold around their necks (Prov 1:8-9) In a Christian home, the family jewels are instruction and wisdom.

2. We must also "in-volve" our children

a. Children learn best from "on hands training." We must not only tell them what are the right things to do, we should involve them in doing those things.
b. When Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem to worship at the temple, they didnít leave Jesus at home! They took Jesus with them... he was involved.
c. If we really want our children to love the Lord and be involved in the work of the church, we as parents must involve them.
-- A son who goes with his father to the nursing home to visit a shut-in or to carry the Lordís supper to them will learn how to do these things.
-- A daughter who helps her mom cook for a family in grief and takes it to the home will learn how to do these things. If we want them to be involved in the church in their young adult years and beyond, we must help them become involved now.

3. And we must "in-sist" when it comes to our children.

a. Prov 22:6 says, Train up a child...."
b. This is a general rule of thumb... that some parents ignore.
c. The word "train" means to "help them acquire a taste." (Like teaching them to like certain table foods, we put it in their mouths and keep feeding it to them until they come to acquire a taste.)
d. Training children in the way they should go is not an easy task but we must "insist" again and again that they follow the strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life. (This takes discipline on our part as parents and discipline administered. A child must know that we will "persist as we insist" that they do the right things.)
e. And children do sometimes get lazy. They would not at time bother to get their Bible class lessons unless we as parents insist. They may be reluctant to attend a youth rally unless we insist. they may not even want to go to church unless we insist. We must insist that they do good things.

4. And we must "in-vest" in our children.

a. The greatest investment of our entire lives may very well be the time we spend with our children.
b. I once asked my wife what she thought was the greatest gift. Her response was quick. She said, "Itís yourself."
-- How true that is. The greatest gift Jesus gave was himself.
-- The greatest gift we can give the Lord is ourselves.
-- And in the home, the greatest gift we can give our family is ourselves.
c. Invest your time wisely. Invest your time in something worthwhile. Invest your time in your family.

5. And we must also "in-sulate" our children.

a. We are living in a X rated world, where we need some PG (parental guidance)
b. Who is going to protect our children from the wolves if we donít?
c. A child should never have to completely "fend for itself."
It is our job as parents to help insulate them from exposure to the ugly and vulgar elements of this world.

6. Finally, while more could be said, let me say that as parents
-- we must also "in-spire" our children.

a. Children seem to go thru various phases in their relationship with parents.
-- They love and adore us as small children
-- They love and ignore us as adolescents and teens
-- They love and admire us as young adults.
b. Like it or not, even in those trying teenage years, we are still their heroes.
(They just donít want to admit it to their friends.)
c. But it is our responsibility as parents of young, older, middle aged, or even grey headed children... to continue to "inspire" them to be their best and do what is best.


1. We have not, of course, exhausted this subject.

2. But we have looked at some of the ins and outs of parenting.

-- Let us "out-pray" and "out-love" them - all the days of our lives.
-- Let us In-still and in-struct,
in-volve and in-sist, in-vest and in-sulate, and hopefully in-spire our children in the ways of the Lord.

3. May God help us to be the very best parents we can be by first becoming the very best of His children that we can be.


Are you putting God first in your hearts? How can you instill it into the hearts of your children if it is not first in yours? If you need to do that, why not do so this morning?

-- As a non-Christian: Come in obedient faith, repenting, confessing Christ, and submit to being baptized today.
-- As an erring-Christian: Come in obedient faith, repent and acknowledge you sins in prayer seeking Godís forgiveness.
-- As a faithful-Christian parent: You may wish to come in obedient faith, seeking prayers from others as you make a new commitment and resolve to bring your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.


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