A. This lesson and our next lesson are necessarily joined together as they deal with the household of a man desiring the office of a bishop. We will be talking about his faithful children today, but understand two things before we proceed.
- A household includes anyone under this man’s care and/or oversight and is NOT just about his children (I Timothy 5:4-8).
- As we proceed please keep in mind that the standard of faithful children applies to being qualified to be an elder. It DOES NOT mean a parent is lost if the children are not faithful (Deuteronomy 24:16 and Ezekiel 18:1-22).
- Children have a God-given freewill to do right or wrong that a parent cannot prevent them from exercising (Deuteronomy 5:28-29, Luke 15:11-32, and Philippians 2:12).
- Good parenting is not the all powerful solution to that FACT that few will be saved (Matthew 7:13-14 and Luke 13:23-24).
- The world was called wicked (I John 5:19) and has NOT gotten better over time (II Timothy 3:13).
- The power of ungodly influences abound (I Corinthians 15:33).
- Thus, a father who is a proper shepherd has mastered the very difficult task of properly teaching his children to keep them from evil (Proverbs 6:20-23).
II. Body: Having Faithful Children… (Titus 1:6).
A. The word translated “faithful” in the KJV or “children that believe” (ASV 1901) means: “trustworthy; subjectively, trustful: — believe(-ing, -r), faithful(-ly), sure, true” (Strong’s # 4103).
- The word “faithful” is often a debated subject. Does it mean faithful to God? Does it mean faithful to the parent? That fact is, you cannot separate the two for a faithful father will teach his children to obey the Lord all of their lives (Deuteronomy 6:20-24, Proverbs 22:6, Luke 2:41-52, and II Timothy 3:15).
- This debated word is translated in another context meaning those who have been converted and are faithful in Christ (Ephesians 1:1).
- It also speaks, as translated in another context, of continued dependability as a brother (I Peter 5:12).
- It is life-long faithfulness (Revelation 2:10).
- Some just qualify this as “faithful in attendance”, but being a believer, a faithful child of God, is about one’s whole life rather than a show up and be counted principle (I Timothy 4:12).
- There is often a debate over whether “children” can mean one child, more than one, etc. More than one leaves no debate and thus is the route the faithful will always follow (Romans 14:23).
- Can a man lead his children to honestly submit to him without forcing them to do so (Ephesians 6:1-4)?
- He must be able to lead without lording over others (I Peter 5:1-3).
- Again, has he taught his children (Proverbs 4:1-13)?
- Has he shepherded his children rather than forcing them to obedience? Think about our chief shepherd here (I Peter 5:4; cf. Matthew 23:37).
- A qualified elder is a disciplinarian (Proverbs 3:12, Proverbs 13:24, and Proverbs 19:18) for he certainly will need that trait to guide the local congregation (Titus 1:12-13).
- Yet, he is not just a disciplinarian (Psalms 103:13).
- Do his children revere him (Hebrews 12:9)?
- Not accused or charged in the sense of not bringing reproach upon an elder of the Lord’s body (Proverbs 19:26).
- His children are not accused of riot [which is translated only in two other verses being tied to drinking alcohol and partying in such a state] (Ephesians 5:18 and I Peter 4:3-4).
- His children are not unruly [disobedient, that is not put under] (Colossians 3:20).
III. Conclusion: All Of Us Whom Are Parents Must Consider What Our Children’s Behavior Can Indicate About Us (Proverbs 28:7 and Proverbs 29:15).