Jump Start # 3385
Ephesians 6:4 “And, fathers do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
The other day I was around several of our grandchildren. They are always bubbly, talking fast, full of energy and always excited to see PJ (that’s me). Their parents, my kids, always seem tired. Boy, I remember those days. There is a reason why God gives children to young adults. Those of us in the senior crowd would need far too many naps to deal with them every day.
God has grand expectations for those who walk with Him. Sprinkled throughout the O.T. and into the N.T. is the spirit of actively raising your children to know the Lord. The home is the first true school. It is in the home that the child learns about responsibility, sharing, accountability and respect. Those core principles set the person on the right path in life.
Your child will learn about God, either the Biblical way from you, or some manufactured God that the modern church presents. That God lets you do anything you want. That God wants you to be happy more than anything else. That God doesn’t care much about the Bible, doctrine or details. Just love, that’s all that matters. Your child will learn the right way or the wrong way.
Your child will learn about the Bible, either correctly through you, that it is God’s word and inspired, or, from a confused college professor who claims it is nothing more than a collection of old tales and fables. But, your child will learn about the Bible.
Your child will learn about the church and worship, either correctly through you, or from a friend at a mega church that is feeling based and entertainment driven. But, your child wil learn about worship.
Your child will learn about money, either responsibly from you, or what he sees in our culture and that is being massively indebt, with no plans, goals or ideas. Your child will learn about money.
Your child will learn about love, marriage and sexuality, either Biblically from you, or from someone they are dating as they sit in the backseat of a car. One way or another, they will learn.
God expects parents to be the leaders, shepherds, teachers in the home. But raising children can leave one tired. There are a series of paradoxes about parenting.
· The Paradox of emotions: Raising children is one of the greatest joys, but it can also be very frustrating.
· The Paradox of responsibility: There is that eagerness to see them on their own and the reluctance to let them go.
· The Paradox of growing older: There is an appreciation for your child’s help and the resignation of reversing the roles.
For every battle that is fought in the home, realize that you are teaching, illustrating and trying to win their hearts to the Lord. The issue isn’t about the cell phone, or how late they stay up, but there is a greater battle and that is about right and wrong. It’s hard arguing with teens. They have it in their minds that they know and they know everything. The problem is, your teen has never been twenty-five years old. You have. Your teen has never had to pay a mortgage. You have. Your teen has never had to balance schedules, figure out how to pay for everything, and how to think about every single person in that house. You have. And, that gives you, the parent not only wisdom and an advantage, it gives you an insight. You have been a teenager. They have never been your age.
Remember, it’s not who shouts the loudest. It’s not about who gets the other most frustrated. It’s about doing what the Lord wants. Keep the Lord in the discussion. Keep the Lord before their eyes. Young Joseph. Young David. Young Timothy. Young Josiah. Spiritually strong, confident and influencing others. Your teen can do that, but he needs your help.
The paradox of parenting…sure is something to think about.