Elder’s Children….What if?

Titus 1:5-9 Appointing Elders Who Love What Is Good
5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7 Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

1 Timothy 3:4-5 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)

So How do we understand this in light of the call for children to believe and be obedient and not wild? Churches vary on how to apply this to the church, is it only for Children in the home or is it life long? Is this achieved by our children being good citizens but not necessarily Christian? Would it vary depending upon culture? Can we grade on a curve? These questions and many more come to mind when we look at this passage. The black and white view is yes children are children for life, and God is clear on what the fruit of a christian looks like. Many churches simply govern their churches this way. Others have considered more variables, like the adult point or culture. It is important for Elders to have a determination before an issue comes up. To come to a conclusion while facing an issue will put the elder board in a position to be pragmatic instead of biblical.

We are still struggling in the flesh, Romans 7 gives us a clear confession from the apostle Paul’s struggle. So do we then attempt to judge the severity of the sins? Which always seems to be legalistic any way you cut it? Are the children of elders given less grace? How about this thought, are all children of elders automatically part of the elect? If not, then this can’t be black and white. We clearly see God save families, but it is never an absolute rule that all in a Godly family will believe. is it fair to say in Matthew 13:24 The Parable of the Weeds, there will be some unbelievers in the family and the church?

Titus 1:5 “The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.”
Consider the context here Titus is assigning the task of choosing elders, upon choosing an elder the family is seen in time, a snap shot so to speak, an elders family at that moment would look to be saved, but consider what Jesus taught in Matthew 13:1 The Parable of the Sower, Some do follow for awhile, but in time turn back to following the world.

Titus 6:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. KJV
“Having faithful children” (v. 6b). Faithful means “believing.” The bishop’s children should be Christians. After all, if a servant of God cannot win his own children to Christ, what success can he expect with outsiders? The Bible exposition commentary
This commentary puts the “winning” into the hands of the elder alone. We proclaim, plant water and pray! It is God that does the winning.

it’s most likely true that many daughters of elders have lost their virginity and no one knows. If they get pregnant, and know their dad will lose his position in the church, they may go off and get an abortion and no one knows. If she gets pregnant keeps the baby then it’s known, the witness of the church is tarnished, But what about the daughter? The failure of the elder to impart to his daughter how serous sin is to God needs to be shown. The elder should be disciplined or suspended for the sake of the body, but for the daughters sake, the punishment should not be a complete disqualification from the elder board, so her guilt isn’t overwhelming. Efforts to minister to the daughter must also take place.

Don’t ask don’t tell, comes to mind, some children are sexually active without the churches knowledge. It would be up to the elders to discern what kind of relationships their children are having, and for that matter what other sins they may be enslaved to. It would be reasonable for the elder of an adult child to continue to express God’s standard and their disapproval of their lifestyle. They’re always going to be your children and they should always honor you so it will go well for them. (Deuteronomy 5:16)

Here’s our conclusion, We go forward only, which is to say, over time the Church leadership should improve if the high ground of Holiness continues to be preached and lived out. Since Elder’s children are either born again, on the path to becoming born again or unregenerate it would be reasonable to view Titus 1:6 as the preferred high ground rather then a black and white command. Please understand, as an Elder board we will pick elders that have believing children, but in time we will choose grace first with a prayerful look and what discipline we may apply to the elder if his child were to go wayward.

Church leadership is judged more severely and likewise their children are held to a higher standard. So continue to pray, counsel and raise up the children of the church in the ways of the Lord. Consider giving grace when wayward children of elders are examined.

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