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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Parenting with a Purpose - Part 2

Before we get started I do need to say this. I will be the first to say that I am not perfect, neither is my parenting. With the Lord's help and guidance, we'll continue to grow and learn more about parenting our children the Lord's way. That said, get a cup of tea and take your time going through the following.

So, goal #1 - Raise Your Children in the Admonition of the Lord:

“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.” (Deut 11:18-21)

This verse talks about teaching your child about the Lord every waking moment! I won't make this a discussion about whether or not I think you should homeschool or send your child to a Christian school. I will say this; if you send your child to a public institution where they do not teach the ways of the Lord (and worse yet, teach against it), how much more do you have your work cut out for you in teaching your children of the Lord. Your child is in that situation more waking hours than you will see him/her. You must be on guard, teach your child and battle for their souls even more so because of the negative impact their schooling is having on them.

I also encourage you to watch the dvd, Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World by Ken Ham. We have a few more complimentary copies in our home if you're interested. Just ask how you can receive your own copy.

Goal #2 - Teaching Your Child To Love and Receive Love:

1 Corinthians 13 tells us all about love and how to go about that. I won't list them all here. When I was a preteen and young adult, I thought love was more fuzzy feelings than anything else. That was one of the many reasons I chose to stray from the protection of my father, away from my God, the church and everything I had been taught. I didn't learn till I was working with my (now) husband's mother that love is an action. How so glad I am to her for speaking those words to me while we were working together.

Goal #3 - Obedience:

Here is what the Lord does for us as his children.

Hebrews 12:6
Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.

Here is what we must do for our children.

Ephesians 6:4
Fahter's, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

1 Timothy 3:4 who manages his household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity.

Proverbs 19:18
Discipline your son while there is still hope, And do not desire his death.

I can't begin to tell you how many times I've seen parents say "oh he'll grow out of that". When a child is allowed to willfully disobey at the toddler age, and is not disciplined for it, there is no reason for him to "grow out of it". Take heed with this verse. Otherwise, you may very well wind up saying when your child is a preteen "I just don't understand why Johnny is this way". The one thing I encourage parents to do is find something that works and stay consistent with it. And for goodness sake, don't take advice from other new parents. It's just a disaster waiting to happen. There are many good parenting resources out there. We've found that we don't stick with one, but instead mesh many together. Here's a few good ones to look into.

Raising Kids God's Way
Love and Logic - I don't think this should ever be used on it's own. Too much lacking.
Raising Godly Tomatoes
To Train Up A Child - controversial for those who don't truly understand it.

Make sure your child knows what your boundaries are and what happens when they cross them. Make sure to parent in love, not out of anger. Glaring, yelling or striking out in anger is never and will never be ok in parenting a child. If you struggle with this, go to the Lord and your spouse. Be in prayer about this and find a way to get out of this rut. It's sometimes great to have a discipline chart or list that spells out disobedient behavior and the consequences. That way when a child is out of control, it gives mama or dad time to cool off while going to get the list. Since it's in writing, it keeps you from making empty threats.

Goal #4: True Happiness and Contentment

True happiness and contentment is not found in this world, but in the Lord alone. We can try to grasp for happiness but our human attempts always fail. How many people do we meet that are not content with their looks, their financial status, their house, car, etc... What are you not happy with today? I'm sure we can all find something. Let's learn to be content with what the Lord has given us and happy where he has put us. This is definitely one of those times where actions will speak much louder than words. More often than not, a discontent child has a discontent parent. Is that something you want for your child? If not, go to the Lord today in prayer and petition to change your heart and mind. To get it on the right focus so that in any circumstance, you can be joyful.

Phillipians 4:11-13
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Luke 3:14
them. Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?" He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely—be content with your pay."

Goal #5 - To recognize sin and ask for and accept forgiveness.

Another goal for children is that they have the ability to live in fellowship with God, through Biblical confession of sin, to support daily growth in the spiritual life.

When I was younger, there were several movies and children I personally knew that taught me about "white lies". How many times have you heard that phrase? It's kind of like the "grey area". The bible makes it clear to us whether what we're doing, thinking and acting on is sinful or not. There is no grey area; we are either sinning or we're not. How very important for our children to be taught what sin is and how we can ask for forgiveness of those sins. How we don't have to live under guilt for our sins after we have confessed them because they were already bought at a price and paid for - they are done and over with. Do you have guilt from past sins today that God has already forgiven you for? Instead of letting Satan have power over you with that guilt, go to the Lord and ask him to take it away from you. Guilt can be a nasty thing Satan throws up at us. We can sometimes trick ourselves into thinking other people think ill of us because of our own guilt when in all reality, that's just not true. Teach your children to accept God's amazing forgiveness of sin the first time they ask for it. May it not be a cloud to hang over them and overshadow then for years to come. This can also tie in with teaching your children to forgive others.

1 John:1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 2:38
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Mat 6:14-15 (NIV) "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

Col 3:12-13 (Jer) You are God's chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same.

Goal #6: Respect for Authority

I have heard it said that if a child is not taught to respect and obey their parents, they will not respect and obey those in authority over them. Some examples are teachers, their boss, and worse yet, their God. How very true this is. The bible talks about a wife being in submission and to the husband, to love his wife like Christ loves the church. When a child sees this biblical role being played out properly, what a great foundation from them to learn from! The one thing we've been teaching our pre-teen lately is that she may not agree with our decisions or understand them: she doesn't even have to like them, but she does have to respectively obey. What a huge difference alone this has made in her life and her response to us.

Colossians 3:18-25
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.

Goal #7 A Biblical Worldview
Many people today have no idea that there is indeed a biblical worldview and a secular worldview. Most have been taught or been around a secular world view all their lives and don't even realize it. Put very simply, a biblical world view is taking what the bible has to say as your first and foremost authority, and getting your thinking from there. A lovely ministry called Answers In Genesis ( is a fantastic resource on teaching you how to view the world from biblical glasses. They say that for every question you may have, you can get the answer from Genesis chapters 1-11. Where did Cain get his wife? Why do we have a 7 week day? Where did marriage first start? Did dinosaurs live with humans? And so on and so forth. When you teach the bible as the authoritative word of God, the answers come much more simply. Not only that, but we are better equipped to test and approve the will of God. What a wonderful tool this will be for your children.

Romans 12:1-2
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Psalm 32:8-10
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you."
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.
Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the LORD's unfailing love
surrounds the man who trusts in him."

Philippians 4:4-7
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I'm sure there are many other things we can cover but to recap, here are some important areas in parenting you'll want to purposely cover.

1. Raise your children in the admonition of the Lord.

2. Teach your children to love and receive love.

3. Teach your children obedience.

4. Teach your child contentment and happiness.

5. Teach your child to recognize sin and ask for forgiveness.

6. Teach your child to respect authority.

7. Teach your child to see the world through biblical glass, not secular glasses.

As human parents, ,we will never be perfect. However, we have an amazing God who will always hear you when you pray. He can help you through your latest struggle in parenting your children. Don't let the excuse of not being perfect keep you from purposely raising your children for the Lord. Instead, realize that you need the Lord's help in raising your children. I can hear some people mumbling under their breathe, "yeah, I've seen Christian kids go wrong all the time. What makes you think my kids have a chance?" "Kids these days are up against too much, I can't compete with that", etc... You know what, yes, the bible speaks of the world getting more wicked as we get close to the end. Yes our kids are up against a lot. That is why now more than ever we need to battle for their souls. There will come a time when your children will be old enough to make their own decisions - and some will stray. However, I cling to this verse as I'm sure did my mother. You see, I was a prodigal child that returned back to the arms of my mother and father - and my heavenly Father.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

I encourage you to be aliens of this world so that others may see a difference in you and your family and want to know the Lord. It's easy to walk the road the rest of the world walks, but that road will only lead to eternal destruction. Stand firm for the Lord! Our children are given to us for such a short time, do all you can now while you still have the chance. Whether you need to brush up on or implement one or all of these areas, take your time and bring your requests to the Lord. Maybe focus on one area per week or month.

Happy Parenting!


jennifer kittell said...

thanks Mandi! Its always good to be reminded of where we need to be as parents. You have a gift of staying focused and I really appreciate that!

Jamie said...

I also really like Grace Based Parenting. I love Raising Godly Tomatoes too. We find it is effective when you apply the principals and don't really find it necessary to spank. I think the idea, though, of keeping a close eye on your children and expecting obedience is so important, as well as consitancy and making sure you follow through. I am not a fan of to train up a child (I did read it all, though) because I think it's too harsh and focuses too much on training in through physical means. BUT, I do agree with the basic idea that you cannot expect a child to learn right from wrong and obedience withough guideance/training/whatever you want to call it, from the parents. Also, I like how it talks about a child that is taught to obey at home is less likely to act out in public, etc.... making public correction unnecessary. I just think it does not correctly interpret the rod verses. There is al ot of Scripture admonish parents not to exasperate or be overly harsh with their children, which should put some parameters around the use of the rod and how often it should be applied, which is where I feel that that books goes overboard. Anyway, thanks for the reminder, I REALLY needed it this week :)