The Impact of a Godly Parent
By Dr. Charles Stanley
Watch The Impact of a Godly Parent video.
Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:1-5; Ephesians 4:32
I. Introduction: Mothers and fathers have a tremendous influence on the success and happiness of their children later in life. That's why it's so important for parents to model the Christian life and purposefully instruct their sons and daughters in the ways of God.
II. Message: Dr. Stanley's mother Rebecca taught him:
- To read the Bible. Rebecca Stanley taught her son the importance of God's Word and patiently showed him how to apply it in daily life.
- To pray. Teach your children to pray by talking to the Lord with them. Dr. Stanley and his mother prayed together every night, even when he was in college. She impressed upon him the importance of listening to God.
- To trust God for every need. His mother worked hard in a textile mill but was paid little. Rebecca and her son would take their needs to the Lord in prayer and expect Him to provide.
- To obey God. Dr. Stanley's mother taught him to respect the Lord simply because He is God. Children first learn about obeying God by honoring their parents. When Dr. Stanley disobeyed, his mother disciplined him appropriately, either with a verbal reprimand or with a switch.
- To be forgiving (Eph. 4:32). Dr. Stanley's mother remarried when he was nine. His stepfather abused his mother, yet she never became bitter. Her son watched her model genuine forgiveness. The lessons Dr. Stanley learned from her about the benefits of forgiveness have served him well as a pastor.
- To be persistent. Quitting was foreign to Rebecca Stanley. She could not be diverted from what she felt was the right thing to do. Dr. Stanley heard over and over, "Don't give up. Don't quit, no matter what." Unless God gives you clear direction, don't leave a position or abandon a goal.
- To live by principle, not feelings. Since emotions are unreliable, we shouldn't let them dictate our actions or hinder us from doing God's will. Many times, Dr. Stanley's mother didn't feel like going into work or cleaning the home, but she did it anyway.
- To have a servant spirit. Rebecca was always ready to help a neighbor or church member in trouble. She raised her brothers and sisters when her parents died. And after she retired from the textile mill, she worked in a nursing home and ministered to the dying.
- To live an orderly life. Although the homes Dr. Stanley and his mother lived in were small, everything was in its proper place. "Cleanliness is next to godliness" isn't found in the Bible, but Rebecca Stanley lived by this principle. She also told her son, "Remember to look your best, do your best, and be your best." She'd learned early in life how much she could get done, and didn't try to complete tasks by hurrying.
- To be an encourager. His mother never expected perfect grades from him. If he had done his best, that was good enough for her. Later on, she encouraged his preaching by sitting in the front row and praying for him. Her example inspired Dr. Stanley to focus primarily on declaring the truth rather than on preaching against specific sins and false doctrines.
- To love unconditionally. Although Rebecca knew her son's faults and failures, she expressed her love for him each time they met. Dr. Stanley's mother was a living picture of God's love for us.
III. Closing: The Lord uses godly mothers and fathers to build character into the lives of their children. The most effective parents explain a biblical principle and seek to live it out themselves. If you haven't been the mother or father God has called you to be, don't let Satan condemn and discourage you. Surrender your life to God, and ask Him to help you correct your course.