Volume. XXX, No. 1
Sunday, 05 July 2015

Women and the Nurture of Children - Part 1


The word nurture originated from the Latin word meaning “act of nursing, to suckle or nourish.”  In our English language, its broader meaning includes “to further the development of, to train.” Nurturing is essential for everyone’s well-being. It follows then that if a woman’s gentle nurturing touch is missing, society will surely degenerate. You do not have to look far for evidence that this is happening all around us. The world’s children are crying out for a womanly nurturing touch. But to submit to God’s plan for the maternal essence of our being takes discipline.


God’s Word teaches that nurturing a physical life is uniquely a female privilege. We are all daughters of Eve, whose name, we are told in Genesis 3:20, means “mother of all living.” Each of us, like Eve, has been given a body designed to nurture life. The creation of our physical bodies is the evidence of this purpose. For women who have or will not give birth, this nurturing nature will necessarily extend to those who are not her children. It is not just the natural process of pregnancy and childbirth that makes a daughter of Eve a nurturer.


A complex passage of Scripture emphasizes the importance of nurturing. In 1 Timothy 2:15 Paul advises,


Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. 


Paul does not mean that Christian women will be “saved” from death in childbirth. Countless godly women have died while giving life to a child. The context clearly indicates that Paul is speaking of being “saved” in a spiritual sense. We also know that women who have never given birth are heirs of salvation. So then what does the apostle mean?


In the immediate context of this passage, Paul is instructing us about the behaviour of godly women as distinct from that of godly men, especially in reference to how we should behave at home and in the church. Paul directs our attention back to Creation and the ordained differences between Adam and Eve from the very beginning. He uses childbearing as a universal example of the God-given difference between the roles of men and women. Men do not give birth. Therefore, when Paul says, “women will be saved through childbearing,” he means that by living out their God-given roles and not seeking a man’s role, they will more likely remain in the heart attitude that invites salvation and its attendant blessings.  The essential attitude here is one of submission. Of course, godliness for both men and women always begins with submission to God’s will.  But in this text, we women are encouraged to submit to the God-given nurturing realm for which we were designed, willingly abiding in the four virtues of “faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” Certainly mothering and nurturing will not save us physically or spiritually.  But the cultivation of a mother’s heart and a nurturing role under God will place our submissive souls in the way of salvation and this the greatest blessing in the kingdom of God


Nurturing Children at Home


In the Old Testament, God intended that His people should teach their own children. They were to be taught the law of God (Deuteronomy 6:7-9) when the parents are responsible to nurture them under all possible circumstances.


Covenant theology informs us of the importance of family worship led by the head of the home which is the husband (Ephesians 5:22-25). When the head of the home is not available, the wife or mother has to assume the responsibility by the strength of God. A biblical example can be found in the home of Timothy who was taught by his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15). Monica raised up Augustine who became a great church father and Suzanna, the Wesley brothers who later served the Lord as revivalists. 


In the Christian home, the general upbringing and instruction should be distinctive. It should be “of the Lord”. This is something which non- Christians cannot do. It is something which believing parents are called to do. The thought that the children are to be brought to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, should be dominant in the minds of Christian parents. This should be their desire and ambition for their children and a sacred task as well. This great responsibility must be carried out by the godly parents and not passed on to anyone else, be their pastor, Sunday school teacher, relative or day school teacher. It is quite clear from the Bible that the task of teaching children the Word of God and leading them to the knowledge of Christ is primarily the responsibility of parents and this can be carried out in the following ways:


By Setting an Example


One of the greatest influences in a child’s life will be the example of godly parents. Children need to see the lives of their parents what a true Christian is. Parents should show their children that being a Christian and having communion with God is the most wonderful thing in the world. When they see this, they may long to have that privilege too. It is important that Christian values permeate every aspect of home life: your relationships with those inside and outside the family, your attitude to work, money and leisure, and so on. Children will soon see that there is a great difference between their homes and that of their non-Christian friends. Children who see this difference will ask questions. This will provide opportunities to explain more of the Christian message. Parents whose lifestyle is inconsistent with their profession of faith can be a stumbling block to their children when they see such contradiction, they often resolved to have nothing to do with the Christian faith.


By Answering their Questions


Children will ask questions like these: “What is God like?” “What happens when you die?” “Why are you praying?” “When will I die?” “Is the Lord Jesus here now?” They ask questions like these and many less profound ones. It is important to answer these questions, when they are asked, if possible.  Answer truthfully, and at their level.  Make sure you know the answers and, in a natural way, without preaching at the children, give the information they have asked for. The Jews were instructed to keep the feast of the Passover and to explain it to their children when asked what it meant (Exodus 12:26-27). Similarly, today’s children often have many questions to ask about Christian worship and practices, for example, the communion service, if they are present. It is good that they see these things and answers to their questions can provide opportunities to explain more Gospel truth.


By Careful Instruction of the Word


A godly example and honest answers to children’s questions must be coupled with careful instruction in the Gospel. Christian parents, like Old Testament Jewish parents, must teach their children diligently. Such instruction should be planned for in the family’s normal day.


It is good that at some time during the day, there should be family worship. A short passage of Scripture is read, a short explanation is given, and a family member prays. During this time, the parents will make sure that various Gospel truths are read, explained and applied to their children. Also, many parents find it valuable to spend time with each individual child before they go to bed. This too will be a time for teaching. The parent and child may look together at a passage of Scripture, or work together on the child’s Bible reading notes. It is vital that there should be this daily time of teaching in every Christian home, in order that the parents can carry out their God-given responsibility to evangelise their own children. They should also bring their children with them to a sound local church where they can hear the Gospel preached and be saved (Romans 10:9-10).


By Being Available to them


When the Holy Spirit is working in the life of a child, that child may well come to his father or mother saying that he wants to be saved.  The parent should explain clearly how he can be saved. If the child understands, and is in earnest about trusting the Saviour, the parent can point his own child to Christ. This is a wonderful joy and privilege for any parent to have. But it is good for parents from time to time to let their children know that they should always feel free to come and speak with them concerning any questions or problems they might have. They should also tell the children that if they are not saved and would like to be, but are not sure how, they would always be ready to speak with them personally about this – but at their request only. Parents should never exert pressure on their children to make a profession of faith. This will do untold damage and lead to disillusionment in later years. Children should sense that their parents’ longing for their salvation, but they must never feel this is something they must do in order to please their parents or to get their love and acceptance. Christian parents should surround their children with prayer, the word and worship that God would work in their lives and bring them to know, love and obey the Lord Jesus Christ by example.


………...to be continued)


Mrs Angelina Sin, Maranatha BPC Weekly, 29 March 2015 (with permission from Rev Jack Sin).


More Lively Hope



*Kitchen Roster - Today: Group E. Next Lord’s Day: Group A. Please refer to roster on the notice board next to office window.
*Vacation Bible School: Please invite children of your relatives and friends to attend. Invites available on the literature table.
*Hospitality Roster for VBS speaker, Rev Kevin Currell, is being prepared. Please invite Rev Currell for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
*Winter recess: No Adult Sunday School, History of Thoughts class, Neighbourhood Bible Study & Tiny Tots Sing-a-long in July.
*Ministry reports for ACM: All leaders of the various ministries & fellowship groups are reminded to submit their reports to Dn Colin Gan by 26 July. Earlier submissions appreciated.
*Creation Ministries: A/Prof John Hartnett is giving a One Day Seminar “Age and Reason” on Sat, 1 Aug, 9am - 5 pm. Location: Hope Church, 11-16 South Tce, Adelaide.
*Jan-Feb 2015 “Bible Witness” available on the literature table in the foyer. Please help yourself.
**Please refer to hard copies of Lively Hope
Praise & Thanksgiving
1. Journey mercies
2. Church activities in the past week.
3. Visitors & new worshippers.
4. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
5. Safe labour and delivery
Prayer Items
1. Health & God’s healing
2. Special Prayer
3. God’s healing: Sis Wol Hee Kim & DaHee (S Korea). 
4. iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim
5. Cambodia Missions
67. New Life BPC (London) - Dr Carl Martin; God’s guidance & encouragement for congregation.
8. Providence B-P Church, Mawson Lakes - Ps David & Sis Susan Weng, & congregation.
9. Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church.
10. Journey mercies
11. Health in pregnancy
12. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
13. Jobs: Those seeking for jobs in Adelaide.
14. Persecuted believers in Islamic countries.
15. Protection & Preservation of Israel. Salvation of Jews.
16. God’s guidance: purchase of new church property.
17. Australia: God’s wisdom for our political leaders. People to repent and to turn to God.
18. Ministry in Cebu: Pastor Ki.
19. Vacation Bible School: Speaker - Rev Kevin Currell; Sunday school teachers, organisers, helpers & children.
20. Holland: Rev George van Buuren



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