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Living the Sermon as Parents


      The purpose of this lesson will be to make practical application of certain principles taught by Jesus in His “Sermon On The Mount” to parenting. The principles covered will be limited to those addressed in Matthew 5:10-42 (since the weekly Scripture readings in this week’s Fall Focus are based on this section of the sermon). While the objective of our Lord in presenting the truths contained in our text was not to directly address the subject of parenting, it is certainly appropriate to consider His teaching in view of this important consideration.


I.       The World Strikes Back (Matthew 5:10-12).

A.      Seeking to raise children in accordance with the principles of Scripture has the potential to bring Christian parents into conflict with the world. Permissive perspectives on parenting might someday develop to the point at which Christians will be subjected to possible legal action for exercising discipline in the home (Proverbs 13:24; 22:15; 29:15). Teaching our children to see the world from a Biblical viewpoint might create challenges given the worldly attitude of many educators (Ephesians 6:4; 2 Timothy 3:14-16).

B.     Parents can find true happiness in raising children God’s way knowing that He is pleased with such – “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righeousness . . . Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me” (Matthew 5:10-11).

C.     We should be motivated by the eternal rewards of doing what is right as parents – “Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12).

II.      Anger Management (Matthew 5:21-26).

A.      There are very few relationships in which the potential for anger is greater than the parent / child one. The apostle Paul prefaced his admonition to fathers to bring children up “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” with these words: “do not provoke your children to anger” (Ephesians 6:4). Paul also instructed in a parallel passage “Fathers, do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart” (Colossians 3:21).

B.     While anger itself is not a sin, there is no place for it in raising children (cf. Ephesians 4:26-27).

C.     Consider also the damaging impact of expressions of anger in the home upon our fellowship with God – “ . . . leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled . . . and then come and present your offering” (Matthew 5:24).

III.     Morality and Marriage (Matthew 5:27-32).

A.      A key objective of parenting is to prepare children for life (Proverbs 22:6).

1.      The “way” in which our children are to go as adults in life includes following Jesus’ teaching on morality and marriage (cf. Matthew 19:3-11).

2.      As parents, we should model behavior in the home that teaches our children the sanctity of the marriage relationship (Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Peter 3:1-7).

B.     The importance of maintaining purity in marriage is clearly emphasized in Jesus’ instruction: “And if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you . . . And if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off . . . ” (Matthew 5:30).

C.     No greater blessing can be given to our children than a home founded upon a solid foundation of Biblical love and one in which husband and wife are committed to the permanency of marriage (Genesis 2:24-25).

IV.      Integrity Matters (Matthew 5:33-37).

A.      Numerous business scandals over the past few years have served to highlight the lack of integrity that exists in many corporate boardrooms. Such conduct should be strongly taught against by parents who are striving to raise a Godly offspring (cf. the example of Abraham and Joshua – Genesis 18:17-20; Joshua 24:14-15).

B.     Parents should raise their children to be honest citizens committed to executing any agreements into which they enter (Romans 1:31; Hebrews 6:18; Proverbs 6:16-19; cf. also God’s attitude toward the breaking of a covenant at Malachi 2:14-16).

C.     Jesus’ teaching “raises the bar” of integrity to a level that is seldom seen in our society today – “But I say to you, make no oath at all . . . But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; and anything beyond these is of evil” (Matthew 5:34, 37).

V.      My Personal Space (Matthew 5:38-42).

A.      Never has there been a time when personal rights have been given such prominence in society than the present. The desire to protect “my personal space” seems to be paramount in the minds of many as evidenced by the litigious nature of our culture. Such selfishness is antagonistic to the spirit of our Lord’s teaching on discipleship (Matthew 10:37-40; Luke 14:25-27).

B.     As parents, we should recognize the tremendous challenge our children face in developing a “self-less” disposition in life. We must begin early teaching them the importance of acting toward others based upon Biblical principles rather than a spirit of revenge or retaliation (Philippians 2:3-7; Romans 12:17-21; 1 Corinthians 4:12-13; 6:7; 1 Peter 3:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:15).

C.     The emphasis of Jesus in this section of His sermon seems to upon “going the second mile” – “And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two” (Matthew 5:41). It is the subordination of personal rights to the rights of others. That is, the rights of others to be blessed by behavior that reflects the heart of God (cf. Matthew 5:48).


      The teaching of Jesus in the “Sermon On The Mount” was designed to prepare His followers for kingdom living. As parents we should commit ourselves to modeling and teaching these Biblical truths so as to prepare our children to someday be citizens of our Lord’s kingdom. In this manner, we will play an integral role in God’s purpose that His Kingdom stand until the Lord’s return.


Glory to God in the church by Christ Jesus
Franklin Church of Christ