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  • Jonathan Painter

Uncertainty in the Home


“For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” - I Corinthians 14:8

In years gone by it used to be that the commander in a battle would relay his commands to his army by way of a bugler. The bugler would hear the commanders command and then play a certain tune on his trumpet that would tell the army what the commander intended for them to do. There was a certain tune for a charge, and a retreat, and so forth. However, if the bugler did not play the proper tune than the army would be confused as to the command for the bugler gave off an uncertain sound for the battle. This is exactly what this verse is talking about.

Years ago, when I was a teenager, I had a great big German Shepherd dog. He was truly a massive dog weighing in at over one hundred and twenty pounds. When this dog was just a puppy, we went with him to obedience training classes. The dog trainer we worked with encouraged us not only to give him verbal commands, but also to engage physically and show the dog what we wanted done while we were in this training stage. It was important that the dog learn what it was that he was supposed to do. We would often include a physical signal to go along with the verbal command that we wished the dog to perform. However, in doing so the physical commands had to correspond with the verbal commands. For instance, you could not pat your leg and indicate that you wanted your dog to come, while giving him a verbal command to sit. Doing so would create confusion and the dog would not know what he was supposed to do. There needed to be a correspondence between what was physically done and what was said.

Our children are not animals, but we are commanded to train them, or teach them in the way that they should go. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) This also requires a correlation between what is said and what is done.

Our Christian homes have been plagued with a philosophy that says, “Do what I say and not what I do” Sadly, this is a very weak philosophy by which to educate our children. It is established in homes where parents have good and sincere intent but lack the spiritual fortitude with which to follow through in their own actions. This attitude in our parenting gives off an uncertain sound and causes our children not to be prepared for the battles of life to come.

We will fail to teach our children in the right way, when our own actions fail to be in the right way. True, we will stumble as parents, and our children will see the humanity of our wicked flesh, however they should also see in us that such stumbling brings remorse. Our children need to see that the standard for our own living is higher than our stumbling lest they justify their sin someday because of our own. The old adage that “Actions speak louder than words” is true and it will play out in our children if we are not wise.

How than can we as parents give a certain sound as we raise our children? There are several things we should do.

#1 Walk with the Lord – Build your relationship with your spiritual Father, and he will teach you how to be a good parent to your children. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. He has set a wonderful example for us, and He will help us to set a great example for our children.

#2 Lead by Example – A good general leads his army from the front. Even so, a good parent leads their children from the front. Decide what you want your children to do and then do it yourself. Do you want your children to be faithful? Then you be faithful and show them how. Do you want your children to control their temper? Then you control your temper and show them how. Do you want your children to serve the Lord? You must then serve the Lord and show them how.

#3 Be Consistent – Do not constantly change your expectations. Be certain in your leadership as a parent, establish your direction as a family and then stick to it. Your children will become confused when the point to reach continues to change. Set your standards, keep your standards, and be consistent.

The success or failure of your children’s future could hinge on how certain the sound you send forth in your home is. Don’t project uncertainty in your home.

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