Dr. Donald J. Ralston

Active Commitment

I. In the past four weeks, we have looked at the four elements in blessing our spouse or our children

A. Those four things are - meaningful touch, spoken words, words that express high value, and picturing a special future

1. But the mortar that holds them together is the fifth and that is an active commitment

2. What do we mean by active commitment?

B. Let's illustrate by means of Scripture - James 2:15-16

1. "If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, - depart in peace, be warned and filled, - but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?"

2. Mere words of blessing are not enough. We must take action if we are to give the blessing

I. God made an active commitment to Jacob

A. When Jacob , fearful of his life, was fleeing his brothers anger, he stopped to sleep out of sheer exhaustion

1. In that trying hour God spoke to him and said: "I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac ... behold I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you." (Gen. 28:13-15)

2. Notice the Lord god commits Himself to Jacob - I am with you - I will bring you back - I will never leave you

B. We need to commit to our child's best interest

1. Jacob, in blessing his children, recognized an important principle - he recognized each child was unique

2. In Genesis 48 and 49 Jacob pronounced a blessing on each of his sons

C. After he finished blessing each son, we read - "He blessed them everyone with the blessing appropriate to him." (Gen. 49:28 NASB)

1. Literally, the Hebrew scholar translates this verse , "He blessed them everyone with his own blessing."

2. One daughter might need ten hugs a day while the sister or brother only needs two; more might make them feel smothered

3. Wise parents realize each child has their own unique set of needs

D. Proverbs 22:6 could be translated this way - "Train up a child according to his bent."

1. Blessing our children means understanding their unique bent

2. It includes being willing to do what is best for that child

II. Blessing children also includes discipline

A. To some, discipline is the very opposite of blessing another person

1. If you genuinely love your child you will not stand by and watch them stray into sin

2. God Himself disciplines His children - Hebrews 12:5-6, "My son, do not despise the disciplines of the Lord for those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines."

B. If we love our children, we need to discipline them in two ways

1. We need to correct them verbally telling them when they are not acting properly

2. We first ask them to cease from certain actions. We should speak no more than twice, not screaming but calmly and firmly making your wishes known.

C. After speaking to them twice then we move to the rod of correction (Prov. 22:15- 23:13)

1. We are told to correct our son. Proverb 29:17

2. If we refuse to use the rod we do not love him. Prov. 13:24

3. Paddling drives evil from the heart Prov. 23:13-14

D. The word rod is simply a stick - my mother used a ruler, some use a wooden spoon

1. Please don't misunderstand me - you don't beat your kid until you run out of steam. You are only serving your own selfish ends

2. You paddle a child with 2 or 3 licks that's all it takes. You don't beat them black and blue

3. Corporal punishment does not generate violence s some try to tell you

4. It will produce violence if the end of your punishment is to ventilate your anger. If you beat on them and they are left with this horrible anger and yelling, indeed they will become anti-social

5. We only paddle with restraint, afterward we sit and explain why it was necessary and the fact that you love them and want them to be obedient children

6. I have found after watching parents for 34 years that those children that are not paddled end up selfish, and a problem to society.

III. Proverbs describes a woman who blesses her family

A. The last chapter of Proverbs describes the woman who truly blesses her family

1. In verse 10, she is virtuous - in verse 11, she is faithful to her husband

2. In verse 13, she is industrious - in verse 20, she is compassionate toward the poor

3. In verse 20, she speaks wisely and her speech reflects kindness

4. She looks after her children - she wants to know what their doing and where they are (27).

5. It is worth it to follow these principles? It was for this woman

B. Read what her family has to say about her

1. Her children rise up and call her blessed

2. Her husband praises her (v. 28:29)

C. Bubs Roussel was only 17 when Pearl Harbor was attacked

1. He joined the army and was assigned as a radio operator on a B 29 Bomber

2. On the morning of December 13, 1944 eighteen bombers were sent on a bombing raid on Nagaya Japan

3. Four of those bombers never returned, Bubs was one of them

4. About a month after his plane went down, his parent received a letter that was sent before his last mission.

D. Dear folks:

I have left this with instructions to send it on to you if anything happens to me. I send you my love and blessings. My life has been a full one. I have been loved like very few persons ever. I love you all with the best that is in me. It hasn't been hard for me, knowing you believe in me, trust me, and stand behind me in fair or foul. Knowing this has made me strong

1. Would our children be able to write a letter like this?

2. Giving our children the blessing is like casting bread upon the waters. In years to come, they too will rise up and bless us

3. My prayer for every person in this room is, that you will become a person of blessing

4. The cost is a genuine commitment to it but the rewards will last a lifetime and even beyond this life.