There's a lot of work to do yet to study the passage itself, but this train of thought is compelling (at the moment).
Sermon Text: Colossians 3:20-21
20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
The conversation has been something like this (slightly edited):
I want to use the Shemah some for this sermon (at least, I'm leaning that way). I think the command to not exasperate, might be understood in the positive with DO disciple your children (your OWN children). Not only does North Dallas resemble pieces of this in the busyness of our culture, but those in the church tend to look to the church to disciple their children. Proverbs 1:8 actually says "do not forsake the Torah of your mother." Solomon's words here are referring back to the Shemah, given by God through Moses. Here, he is telling us to take the Torah (the law through Moses, the Shemah being the esseence) on as a necklace, as a garland. Jews used to wear the Shemah on their foreheads and tied around their arms. Solomon is playing with words and painting a picture of receiveing instruction from your parents (which assumes it is an essential part of who they are) like wearing the Shemah on your head. It's good, like a prized necklace. That's discipleship. Not exasperation.
I'm suprised at the number of parents who call us wanting us to disciple their kids. Certainly, we want them discipled and we do many, but the kids have to want it. I sometimes challenge the parents with, "I could show you how to do it. Would you be interested?"
I think there are some powerful insights to be had in transitioning from being an enforcer of rules to being a discipler.
Bruce: I like your sermon thoughts and I'd love to see you tie in discipline also if it fits.
I believe that the command "bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" encompasses discipling and disciplining.
Maybe the trick is in the balancing of the two. We tend to get stuck on discipline alone and end up frustrating/exasperating our children. If we begin to take the challenge to train and coach we move out of this as they grow old enough. I need to see the Greek and see if the word for children carries any age connotation. If these are little children or young people.
The "children obey your parents in everything" part may keep me away from some of this (because it's not about discipleship or seeking their wisdom), but there may still be a connection. It's the magic bullet really, children who obey and parents who don't frustrate them... If we can give them something practical to walk away with that morning, we'll have done them a great service.