As parents we rightly focus on teaching our children to obey God. But, we must be more focused on teaching our children to love God first. This is where it is easy to turn away from the gospel in parenting.
Whether you read Deuteronomy, Matthew or Colossians, the first thing that God desires is that he is to be loved. Too often, when it comes to raising children, loving God is tacked on as an after thought to obedience. The thought process may run like this:
Jesus tells us in Matthew 7 that regardless of whether one is rich or poor, wise or unwise, prepared or unprepared, young or old, the storms will come. Still, when they do come we are often surprised. "Why is this happening?" Comfort comes when you and your children grasp that the storms are not random. Life's storms move at the command of Jesus Christ. He is the only source of protection and safety. With Christ your view, your emotional response to life's storms can be one of hope, confidence,
Children cycle through many phases and it shouldn't be too surprising if they go through a rebellious stage early in life. The terrible threes, or twos, as the case may be, most likely is the time when the child most openly expresses his or her independence. Here are 7 suggestions for surviving the terrible threes:
You just became impatient with your nine-year-old. He was slow doing his part of the spring yard work. You snapped at him and told him if he didn't work harder he would lose his computer privileges for six months. You immediately felt guilty. Here are some of the ways in which you might respond if you are not engaging in genuine repentance and renewal:
Your view of obedience controls how you give directions. Strange as it may seem, the way your garbage is taken out can reveal your functional understanding of obedience. The goal is to learn how to give holy, everyday directions that please God and bless your children.
Paul taught in I Timothy 6 that wealth is uncertain. As a matter of fact, wealth is so uncertain and unstable that it cannot provide hope. Contemplate this biblical reality - wealth is incapable of providing hope because it is uncertain.
When children lie parents sometimes tend to treat the problem as one of logic and intelligence; they puzzle over why their children would lie. Scripture solves the mystery. Humans are born liars. When we sin, we lose the ability to be logical. We are blinded by self-interest (Proverbs 4:19; Psalm 58:3).
You might be wondering how necessary it is for you to talk to your kid about sexting. And of course it differs from kid to kid. There are some ten-year-olds who need the talk, while there are probably some fifteen-year-olds who don't, so parental discernment is key. But let me just say this. When I travel and speak at high schools on porn, I'm always told, "we've had incidents of sexting." And yes, these are Catholic schools.
In Proverbs 6:20-22 Solomon tells children that God's instruction is so significant they must make it part of their inner life. This truth is precious; it is to be displayed like fine jewelry. But the success of the instruction is noted in verse 22 when truth begins to protect those who have heard it.
I suspect that many of you have listened in horror and dismay, as your child shared with you what they were being taught or exposed to in their public school. With the ever increasing depravity that is constantly being hurled at Christians, and our ever increasing marginalization, two things are clear. First, we as God's people have become paralyzed, and second,
Sometimes the deceitfulness of the world, the flesh, and the devil entices us to feel good about our anger. So when a child, a teenager, a spouse, or a friend crosses an arbitrary line we feel totally justified in letting them "have it." We cover our sin by saying, "I know I shouldn't be angry, but sometimes you just have to say enough is enough."
You have the unbearable burden of teaching your children God's wisdom. It is exhausting work. Sometimes you wonder why you even bother. All you ever get in return is frustration and resistance. It is almost unbelievable the effort it takes to teach your children to be kind and considerate, to be unselfish.
We tried to raise our daughter to do what's right, but she's gone off the deep end and is living in exactly the opposite way. The strange thing is that she still wants to be close to our family. Should we just overlook the way she's living and pretend it doesn't matter?
Parents are to build relationships that honor God. James 3:17 is a remarkable summary of what biblical wisdom looks like in the face of conflict. This verse provides what you need to build relationships that bless your family and honor God.
There is a problem with consequences in dealing with behavior. They are not enough. They will not bring change to the heart. What your children need is the gospel - they must learn Christ! That is the point.
It's true. We often injure our children unknowingly. No parent sets out to injure a child. Most parents go overboard to give their children all they need or want. We do the best we know to do. We want them to have more, do more and live better lives than we have experienced.
There is much debate this day about how to respond to horrific waves of violence. The Bible is clear. Evil inhabits the world we live in. Sometimes evil takes a violent form. When this happens a violent response is appropriate, even mandated! This is an important truth, a fact of life that your children must know.
Life is busy. It is tempting to think it doesn't matter how we get our children to obey as long as they obey. This thinking may well achieve its purpose today, but create serious problems in the years ahead.
Six year old Jennifer has shown a pattern of not responding quickly to her mother. Mom realizes the problem lies more with her than with Jennifer. Mom had allowed herself to be distracted by other things.
Living for your children will not sustain your life. If your hopes and dreams are bound to your children, you will be disappointed, perhaps even bitter. If you expect your children to provide the comfort and support that can only come from God you will be deeply hurt
It is important to educate and train your children. The question, of course, is what do you teach them and when. Here is one truth that is seldom taught because it something that people don't like to talk about, especially with children:
Parents, it is your choice. You can be your child's adversary or you can be his refuge. Someone might be thinking, "Wait a minute, my teenager is the adversary, not me. And if he wants refuge, then he needs to start acting like he wants that!" As a father of five children, I hear you. But stay with me.