MARRIAGE AND PARENTING
Our kids learn healthy and appropriate intimacy through their parents. Love at home means time. How about loving other people? Our kids do watch us. We should be someone to whom children will look and want to emulate.
Insights on Raising our Kids
1. Our special task as parents is to influence our children.
This is our God ordained responsibility and we must regard it as more important than your personal goals, your hobbies, or even your career. As we set an example, we must also remember that we don‘t OWN our kids; our children are a sacred trust from God.
Psalms 127:3 “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.”
2. Because children are gifts from God – God is the one we should seek to please when we raise our children.
“We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.” II Thessalonians 2:4
“We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.” II Thessalonians 2:6
Our primary objective is to make sure that our actions pleased God. Even if those actions pleased no one else.
Our major concern should be:
· will our actions please God when we’re done?
· is our goal to bring our children up to honor God?
· or is our goal just to make sure they are happy with us?
Too often, parents raise their children with an eye toward whether or not they return our love. Many raise their children with an eye toward whether the kids like them or not.
3. God has given us the privilege of influencing the lives of our children.
God did that because God believes you are capable of modeling the qualities those kids will need.
“As a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God…” II Thessalonians 2:11-12
Dealing with our children in love is not always an easy task. It’s not always easy to encourage them, comfort them and urge them to live lives worthy of God.
But we are the only ones whose words of encouragement REALLY count.
We are the only ones whose words of comfort REALLY make a difference to them.
Our respect and our love for them are the only TRUE issues that matter to them.
4. What we SAY to our children is equally important with what we DO.
Our goal around our children is to strive to be HOLY and RIGHTEOUS and BLAMELESS in our homes. – II Thessalonians 2:10
When our kids watch our behavior… they should see someone who loves God.
When our kids listen to our words… they should hear someone whose words honor God.
BUT we may NOT always succeed:
· Our children may hear us become unreasonable and unfair.
· We may allow our temper to get out of hand.
· We might even get so angry that we use hurtful word.
· We may even curse.
The only solution we must do is to be HONEST in treating our children.
“…the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you.” (1 Thessalonians 2:3) “… we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed…”. (1 Thessalonians 2:5)
If we model dishonesty, our children will do the same thing to others.
When we are tempted to make excuses for ourselves, blame others for our failings, or find a way to ignore that we’ve misbehaved in front of children:
We teach our children to make excuses for their bad behavior.
We teach our children to blame others for their failures.
We teach our children to ignore their sinful actions.
The way you and I deal with our own failings is what we teach our children.
We must admit we’ve done wrong and ask forgiveness from them.
And when we model THAT KIND of Christianity to our children:
· they learn to be honest in their faith
· they learn to practice repentance and humility
· they learn that God’s people don’t fake it
5. The most important thing we can give our children is Salvation.
Paul wrote in verse 4: “…we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel…”
We must realize that our children need to see God so powerfully in our lives, so that they naturally want the relationship with God that we have.
Larry Crabb tells about watching his father pray when he was only 4 years old:
“It was Sunday morning, and about 50 people gathered in a circle at our (Lord’s Supper) service. The elements – covered simply with a white cloth – were on a table in the middle. It spoke of Christ as the center of our thoughts.
“Dad stood to pray. I was lying on the floor, looking up at him. Even now, the memory is clear. I thought to myself, ’He actually thinks he is talking to Someone. And whoever it is means more to him than anyone else…’”