Parents, when your children sin and they are not respectful to you, how do you want to respond? If you make the matter primarily a personal offense against yourself and respond in anger and frustration, you will do what any ordinary parent might do.
Raised by two lesbian mothers, Meg* was an ardent feminist, gay rights and pro-choice activist who fully embraced moral relativism. Seeing Christians who carried signs that proclaimed "God hates sinners" and "AIDS cures homosexuality" at gay pride parades, Meg seethed against Christians, believing them all to be characterized by hate.
The heart is the seat of motivation. Think about it in this way. Behavior has a when, a what, and a why. The when of behavior is the circumstance for the behavior. The what of behavior are things that one does or says. The why of behavior is the motive.
I'll never forget the first "sex talk" I had with our oldest son. The "talk" occurred at my office at the company we owned at the time. It was after hours when no one was in the office but him and me. It was a very scary moment - for me and him - but I'm glad I did it then.
An encouragement to remember Christmas may seem like something that is not really needed. After all, who forgets Christmas, especially children? Well, it is true that few forget about December 25th and it's associated collection of wrapped treasures. But sometimes the real "why" of Christmas gets lost amidst the busy holiday schedule.
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.
Being a parent is a consuming vocation. The unexpected and unplanned for circumstances just seem to keep on coming. In this mess, Christ can become distant, your life experience resembles being drawn into a swirling vortex.
In a selfless act, a mother from Aurora, Colo., made a decision during childbirth that put the life of her unborn baby son before her own. That decision ultimately ended her life while saving her seven-pound, four-ounce "miracle."
Patience is often referred to as something that can be lost - as in "you are really causing me to lose my patience." But how would it sound if you were to say "you are really causing me to lose my love for you?" If love is patient, then "losing" patience can be equated to losing love. Said this way the idea of losing patience is not a pretty one.
It is easy to show kindness when your children are respectful and obey quickly with a smile. It is easy to show kindness when they clean the living room without being told. But when they are disrespectful and make a mess instead, being kind seldom enters our minds.
James tells the story of two kinds of wisdom. In Chapter 3:13-18, he talks about wisdom from above and contrasts it with "wisdom" that is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. Which of these two forms of wisdom characterize your parenting? How can you tell the difference?
Parents have no problem instructing their children to obey quickly or to be kind to others. There is no dispute about teaching children that they should not hit each other or that they should respect authority. But what about commanding your children to praise God? Does that seem a bit unusual?
The Bible's straight-forward commands are there for a reason. As Moses says, these commands are our life. They help us lead our children to life. Ask God to help you listen more to your kids and less to yourself.
What you and your children need to hear is that God is the place of safety no matter how challenging the circumstance. Note carefully the strength of the language in Psalm 46. Even though the ground gives way and mountains fall into the sea, God is your refuge. T
It is no secret teenagers face powerful temptations. Parents want to make sure that consequences are in place to help protect their children. It is good to put deterrents in place for behavior that is unacceptable and sinful. But, for your teenager, still it comes down to that moment of decision; is the consequence enough to make a difference?
I was talking to another dad recently. We were comparing notes. Both of us are empty nesters. We recognized - equally - that being the parent of adult children is sometimes more difficult than when the children are still at home.
That's hard for some parents with teenage children to believe - isn't it?