I came across this the other day and plan on using it tonight for our family devotions. It is called, “No More Crying” and is an annotated outline of one of J.C. Ryle’s sermons for children. I am sharing it with you in hopes you will do the same for your family.
Today we’re going to talk about three places:
- A place where there is a lot of crying
- A place where there is nothing but crying
- A place where there is no more crying
There is a place where there is a lot of crying.
- The world we live in (John 16:33 … in this world you will have trouble …)
- What makes you cry? Why do we cry?
- Sin ultimately caused crying … pain, sickness, hurt, loneliness, death resulted from the fall
There is a place where there is nothing but crying.
- Where do you think that is?
- Hell is the place where there is constant crying (“weeping and gnashing of teeth”)
- Hell is real, it is not made up – Jesus spoke about it more than anyone
- Why do all people deserve to go there? (Read Romans 6:23)
- How can we escape this horrible place?
There is a place where there is no more crying.
- Do you know where this is?
- Do a Sword Drill (look up Revelation 21:4 – volunteer read)
- What do you think heaven will be like? … Bible gives us some clues (Rev. 21:10-27)
- What’s the best part about heaven? – Jesus is there!
Do you know that Jesus cried when he was on earth?
- When did Jesus cry?
- Remember the story of Lazarus (May want to refer to John 11:1-44)
- Jesus cried for those he loved
- Jesus is a man and knows what it feels like to be sad and cry
- Jesus is also God and He gives us life
- Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, even though he dies, yet he will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26).
- How can you live forever in heaven? Believe in Jesus!
Great thoughts here from the Resurgence website on how to raise godly children:
1. We are confident in our God-given parental authority.
God has set parents in place as the authority figures in the lives of children. Hebrews 12 speaks of how discipline is actually a privilege of being a son. Don’t fear that your child will resent your discipline. On the contrary, they will soon realise that it is a sign of your love for them.
2. We never count to three.
The counting-to-three routine undermines your authority and places your child in the driving seat. You are training them that, essentially, obedience is a negotiation and they can determine the timing of their obedience. Train them to think, “I must obey straight away.”
3. We model it ourselves to authority figures in our lives.
Several times a year there is a clash between what my “boss” is asking me to do and what my family and I would like to do. I always seize these opportunities to explain to my boys that I must obey my boss straight away and with a good attitude, and that although I would much rather spend Saturday morning with them, I must obey my “boss” and go to that meeting.
4. We try not to exasperate our children (Eph. 6:4).
Avoid petty rules. Pick your battles. Be merciful and compassionate. When you are in the wrong, say a sincere “sorry” to them. Also, make sure that you are giving them sufficient attention so that they are not compelled to rebel just to get some time and attention from you.
5. We use appropriate forms of punishment.
We discipline mostly for three D’s: disobedience, disrespect, and destruction (of property or your brother’s nose). Punishment must be proportional to the offense and also proportional to the child’s stage of life. If it is not then you will find that you exasperate a growing child. Also, the mode of punishment must be what will best help the child. Different parents have more “faith” in some forms of punishment than others, and different children respond differently to different forms of punishment. I acknowledge and respect that, although we have had continued success with the primary biblical form of disciplining children with a wooden spoon on their chubby bottoms.
6. We are convinced that it really is worth the effort.
The joy of parenting increases dramatically when you have obedient children, and most importantly, you are equipping your children with the vital life-skill of obedience, which will stand them in good stead in their obedience to God, life, at school, and in the workplace.
I am a firm believer in family worship. It is discouraging to me that so few families worship together anymore (at church or at home!). Perhaps one reason why so few do it is they don’t know where to start. With that in mind, James Grant has a very helpful post on starting family worship. For the sake of your family, your church, and your community read it now!