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Parenting Wisdom to Live by (Mark Bailey)

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[00:00:29] It’s about time for us to get started. So we’re glad you can be here with us tonight for our midweek Bible study. We’ve got our fall seminar going on tonight. We’ve got one of our own, Mark Bailey is going to be speaking to us with wisdom for parenting. I’d say March, probably pretty qualified to bring us some wisdom on that.

[00:00:51] So.

[00:00:55] I looked before I got up here and none of my kids are here. So that’s, that’s good. So I appreciate your presence tonight. I want to welcome everybody and we hope that if you’re visiting with us, you’ll come back again. Uh, hopefully tonight I won’t run you off. We have better speakers, so please come back and be with us.

[00:01:20] I want to begin tonight by letting you know that I am indeed humbled by this topic and I really feel inadequate to address it.  there is so much that we could discuss, but we really have such little time, so I hope that our discussion will benefit you. As we think together about this really challenging activity that we call parenting.

[00:01:48] And let me say it at the outset that we have such good families here at West Huntsville. We have such good parents, and many of you who are older have been examples for Laurie and I, and I want to say up front that I thank you for the font examples that you have been, and I see some of the younger ones also doing a great job with her children, and so I commend you for that.

[00:02:14] In preparing for this lesson, I’ve reflected a lot about the last 23 years that I’ve been a parent. Laurie and I became parents, uh, about the same time that the internet was becoming more accessible to people. And so now I know that these guys over here laughing and saying, boy, he really, really is old, isn’t he?

[00:02:37] So. Our children are literally grew up with the internet. And I think those of you who are old or know what I’m talking about, but in those 23 years, I have seen a tremendous change in society and culture. And I’ve concluded, and I truly believe this, I believe that today’s parents and those of you who are becoming parents.

[00:03:05] Now face more challenges than ever before. Yeah. So parenting certainly isn’t for cowards, and those of us who dare to take it on, have to be brave. Okay. You know, I’m thinking back and I can remember with anticipation, the birth of our first child, I’m thinking about Emily and she’s not here tonight, so I can talk about her.

[00:03:27] Yeah. We attended childbirth classes and we went to. Parenting classes at Huntsville hospital and there were showers to attend. There was nursery preparation. I was reading books and I was reading magazines and, and all of this was in preparation for the big day. Then she arrived and I can remember carrying her home from the hospital and we had her all strapped in her car seat for the first time and we’re driving home and we stopped by Chick-Filet on the way home.

[00:04:02] And we are at home, at our table, eating our sandwich and looking down at her, sitting in the car seat and admiring her, and then it hit. Yeah. I was struck with this overwhelming sense of awareness that this little person sitting in that car seat was totally dependent on me and her mother.

[00:04:30] To keep her alive, to feed her to cleaner, to protect her and so on. Wow. What a feeling it was. It was really scary. So, you know, there’s a, there’s a big change that takes place in a couple’s life once a child comes along. God began to teach us about service by giving us somebody who is infinitely more demanding and needy than we are.

[00:05:07] And the good news is though, that he hasn’t left us alone in our struggle. As always, we can look to his word for wisdom and guidance and principles, which can help us be successful in raising children. I really think raising children, it’s the most difficult, the most noble, the most, uh, rewarding job that you’ll ever have.

[00:05:31] So tonight we want to look at what I call some bad rock passages, bedrock passages, which are going to be helpful to us as parents, and we’ll strive to be as practical as possible. And hopefully we’ll have something for everyone. So if you want to, you can turn in your Bibles to Ephesians chapter six.

[00:05:50] And we’ll read from there in just a moment. Recall the context of this passage in Ephesians chapter four Paul begins by describing what the new life in Christ looks like, and he’s really highlighting the transition or the change that has to take place in the life of the Christian. Then in chapter five, what he does is he begins to transition and talk about the family.

[00:06:17] And specifically in chapter five he talks about the roles of the husband and the wife. And this all leads us to chapter six and he talks about the special role as the parent. So let’s begin to read there in Ephesians chapter six beginning of verse one children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right honor your father and mother.

[00:06:44] This is the first commandment with a promise. It may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. Fathers do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. There’s a companion passage to this one. It is found in Colossians chapter three where much the same thoughts are expressed, but the words are, are slightly different.

[00:07:11] In Colassians chapter three beginning in verse 20 it says it this way. It says, children obey your parents and everything for this pleases the Lord. Fathers do not provoke your children lest they become discouraged. We really want to zero in on Ephesians chapter six verse four. And that particular verse is a dress specifically to fathers.

[00:07:38] But what I want to do tonight is I want to broaden its application to both moms and dads. The original word used here for anger suggest an attitude that grows slowly over time and is more lasting in nature, and in particular, it can suggest a condition. That is frequently associated with taking revenge.

[00:08:03] And that’s a little frightful when you think about it. So what is Paul saying here? Well, a paraphrase might be this don’t bring about in your children and abiding, vengeful mindset that developed slowly over time, but train them up with corrective action and words that teach. So what Paul is really talking about here is what we do to our children.

[00:08:33] Yes, I’ve said it. That’s discipline. That’s what we do to our children and what we say to our children. That’s instruction. So I want to take a few moments and I want to think about both of these for a little bit about discipline and instruction. So let’s make a few points now about discipline.

[00:08:55] Point number one, we need to set up and we need to enforce boundaries. You need to begin this early and you need to began by learning to say, no. You need to draw lines and be consistent. And this one is probably the most important. If you say something, you need to do it because if you say something and you don’t, it’s not going to work.

[00:09:24] Children really are happier if they know where the limitations are, if they know where the lines are, kids will obey you later in life if they learn to obey you early in life. In fact, discipline and restraint can lead your child to a lifelong freedom from the consequences of bad decision making.

[00:09:50] Are they going to be perfect? No, no one’s perfect. I’m certainly not that kids who are not used to discipline often grow up to be adults with severe problems. So children who are disciplined can accomplish great things and they’re way better equipped to handle the uncertainties of life. And we know how uncertain life is.

[00:10:18] Parents tend to fall in one of three categories, and what we’ll do is we’ll call this first category the enablers. This is by far the largest group of parents. Enablers are more interested in being popular with their kids. Then getting respect from their kids. Enablers are parents who tend to give in, they tend to give into pressure from people from the outside, and they also tend to give in to their kids.

[00:10:52] They let their kids make choices on their own when really they shouldn’t be making those choices. And these parents will often ignore bad behavior and they’ll even bail them out when they’re being punished. And I’ve actually seen enablers. And I agree that they are by far the largest group of parents.

[00:11:13] Unfortunately, in our society, we might call the second group of parents the limiters. This is the group who will set hard boundaries, that are rigid and not flexible, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. However, this can backfire on a parent. Since what happens is it tends to undermine the child’s ability to learn, to make good citizen decisions based on sound reasoning.

[00:11:43] So we, we, we kind of cripple the child and disable the person and being able to make decisions. So this last group or category of parents are what we call mentors. And this is where I want to be. I’m not quite sure this is where I am, but this is where I want to be. Parents who are mentors. I have found that the best practice is to take an active role in the corrective behavior of their children.

[00:12:10] And what I mean by this is that they communicate. The key to this is better communication with their children instead of making all their kids’ decisions or never making any of them on all. They fall in the middle, taking the time to explain the consequences for bad behavior. And why a decision is made.

[00:12:31] Now, does this mean that they don’t set boundaries or they let their kids get away with things? No, but what it means is that their goal is equipping them to make better choices. And this, this last group is certainly the minority and they’re in the minority because it takes a lot more energy and time.

[00:12:50] Sometimes it’s just easier to do something really quick, right? And try to take care of the problem. So mentors are those who fall in the middle between the limiters and the enablers. So let me ask you this. As a parent, where do you fall on this scale? As some of you are grandparents and you’re having to take the place of the parent?

[00:13:13] Where do you fall on this scale and don’t please don’t underestimate the importance of grandparents. Grandparents were extremely important. Which category best describes you and which, which category best describes me? Another important thing to consider when we’re thinking about discipline for children is the need to be balanced.

[00:13:37] Balanced. Parents know when to draw the line and they draw it when it’s necessary, but they also have the wisdom to know when to lighten up. So we should do our best to correct our children and let it go. It’s easier said than done, isn’t it? I know that I’ve struggled with this in the past, but if possible, what we we, we need to do is we, we really don’t need to sweat the small stuff.

[00:14:07] Okay? We need to learn to pick our . We need to ask ourselves. Is the issue really worth addressing? So we need to ask is our child sinning? And we need to realize if that’s the case, and if they are, then that’s probably something worth addressing. We need to ask ourself, is our child violating our family’s core values?

[00:14:33] Are they in danger? Is this a lesson that really needs to be taught. Or can he or she learn it for themselves? And that’s a very difficult thing to do. That’s something that I struggle with. When do I let my children learn a lesson for themselves? Challenging thing for a parent. Another thing when it comes to discipline, our children, we need to think about is, uh, we need to be able to handle our temper.

[00:15:04] We need to deal with angry outbursts. Angry outbursts tend to destroy whatever is in its path and can really hurt your relationship with your kids. These moments are remembered crystal clear by your family. To this day, my girls can recall a certain episode that I’m thinking about, right male that I had and is something I’m not proud of.

[00:15:33] And I too. When I think back and I think about the behavior of some of my friend’s parents, especially their dads, um, it’s hard to forget. So many people are just not prepared for how difficult parenting is going to be. The fact is, you will be angry at some point. Parenting can be physically tiring and it can be emotionally exhausting.

[00:16:02] Just talk to any parent. So how, how should we respond when it comes to dealing with angry outbursts and with managing our temper? Well, we can begin by trying to apply what’s written in Proverbs chapter 15 verse one and this is a passage that I’ve, I’ve tried to live by, not always done a great job of it, but Proverbs 15 one says this, it says, a soft answer turns away wrath.

[00:16:28] But a harsh word stirs up anger. Okay? Your kids and people in general will respond to you better if you use a soft voice, but yelling gets quick results, doesn’t it? It might, but most of the time you’re going to be wrong. If you assume that. The fact is that if you give respect, you will often receive respect in return.

[00:16:57] And again, this is a lesson that I’ve learned in my own experience. Someone has written this. When we use a loud voice, our attempt to instruct is worthless because we’ve proven to be a worthless instructor. Another thing to think about when we were thinking about this topic here is if it’s appropriate, we should be willing to ask our children and our family for forgiveness.

[00:17:25] I’ve done this  but do it only when it’s necessary to do so. And if temper or angry outburst, if that’s a behavior that becomes a pattern for us. Then we really need to find the source of what our anger is and we need to seek to remove it. And above all, we need to ask God. We need to humble ourselves before God and ask for his help.

[00:17:51] So these are some points that we should consider when we think about what we do to our children or what I call a discipline. Now let’s turn our attention to instruction or what we say to our children. And the first point I want to make here. Is as a parent, you need to realize that it’s your responsibility to teach your child.

[00:18:17] It’s not the school teachers. It’s not the Bible class teachers. It’s not the coaches. It’s not the band directors. It’s not the youth ministers. It’s not even the grandparents. Unless you find yourself in the sole role of being a parent. All of these other people exist to supplement what should already be going on in your home.

[00:18:43] So you have to realize when it comes to instruction of your children, it’s your responsibility as the parent. Don’t pawn that responsibility off on someone else. Point number two I would make about instruction is this. You need to start while they’re young. In second Timothy chapter three beginning of verse 14.

[00:19:04] Paul says this to Timothy, he says, but you must continue in the things which you have learned had been assured of knowing from whom you have learned them and that from childhood you have known the Holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus.

[00:19:25] Timothy had been taught from a young age by his mother and his grandmother, and Paul was now building on top of that foundation that had been laid by working with our children from a young age. We’re going to better prepare them for the bigger challenges that are going to lie ahead when they get older.

[00:19:46] So point number two is to start while they’re young. Point number three about instructing our children is realize that communication is the key. Let me repeat this one. Communication is the key, and I look back at generations and I think that this generation is doing a way better job than even my parents’ generation and the generation before and communicating to their children.

[00:20:17] The fact is we simply can’t instruct our children if we’re not willing to talk to them. And our communication has to be intentional. It has to have purpose, it has to be specific, and it has to be direct and hear me out on this. It is simply not acceptable. In today’s world for Christian parents to avoid certain topics because they are embarrassed.

[00:20:49] So you have to be willing to talk to your children about everything, even the topics that you think are embarrassing. We have to get to our kids before their peers get to them. I don’t know about you, but I want my kids. To learn the most valuable lessons in their life for me. I don’t want them learning it from somebody else, especially from their peers.

[00:21:16] So each one of our children is different. And so you need to figure out, you know, the proper time to teach and communicate. But you need to be aware of the right timing because if you don’t, they’re going to learn it from somebody else. So communication is the key. Point number four about instruction is we need to instruct them and what I call things that are essential.

[00:21:40] You know, there’s a lot of things that we need to instruct a man, but here are just some suggestions. We need to teach them who God is and not just talk about God and not just tell them sweet little bedtime stories, but as they get older, we need to equip them with evidence for God. They’re growing up in a world that is way more challenging than the world that we grew up in.

[00:22:03] And their faith is challenged on every front. And he begins with the challenge of the existence of God. And so it’s extremely important that we teach who God is. And, uh, the accountability that we have to him, we need to teach them what our goal in life should really be. And it’s, it’s not to. Go to college one day, get a well paying job, and then live happily ever after.

[00:22:29] That’s not it. We need to teach them really what true success is, right? That’s our goal. And we know about that. It was tussle ride. It’s living our lives and going to heaven, and we can do that. Whether we’re a wealthy person or whether we’re a poor person, we need to teach them how to take care of their bodies.

[00:22:48] And I’m speaking here about obviously teaching them about purity. And taken care of their bodies as it res, as it relates to that. But also I think it’s very important to teach them how to take care of their bodies physically. So it’s, it’s important for them to learn these things. It’s important for them to learn about the concept of sowing and reaping.

[00:23:09] It’s important to teach them about stewardship. It’s very important to teach them about financial stewardship, obviously, but I think just as important, we need to teach them about time and stewardship of their time. Uh, and this can run over into good time management skills, which is critical to them.

[00:23:29] And we’ll care them long in life if they know how to manage their time. We need to teach them to live by the golden rule. You know, when my girls were little. I told him that I wanted him to be the president of the golden rule club. And what would happen is they would come home and they would see, uh, some of their friends being mistreated at school or, or whatever.

[00:23:55] And, you know, we’d sit down and we talk about it. And I always told him, I said, I want you to be the president of the golden rule club. And what I was trying to teach them is, be sure and, and, and treat other people the way that you want to be treated. Very valuable thing for them to learn. We need to teach them about a work ethic.

[00:24:15] We need to teach them how to develop a work ethic, and you can learn various ways on how to do that, but it’s extremely important thing to teach. And probably one of the most important things to teach them is how valuable they are, where their true sense of worth comes from. Uh, it comes from their relationship with God.

[00:24:37] It doesn’t come from the approval of their friends or if anyone else is, especially young ladies. It doesn’t come from the approval of some old boy. I’m a dad of two daughters, and you’ve heard me say that. They’ve heard me say that several times, but that goes both ways. Their sense of worth and their sense of value has to come from their relationship with God as, to me, that’s one of the most important things to instruct our kids, kids, him.

[00:25:06] And the last point I would make about instruction, and this is something that I’m learning to do even now, is we should try to teach our children with questions. Someone has said this, the best way to teach our kids is to rephrase our teaching. Inadequate Mark. So if you think about it, Jesus did this and he did it very effectively.

[00:25:30] Jesus would ask questions to teach. He would often ask a question, and then he would sit back and listen. And of course he would choose his words very wisely. After listening, you know, questions, calls people to stop and, and think. And when asking questions, we can begin to ask the general questions and then we can move onto the more specific.

[00:25:54] And in the, as is the case with our kids, we can move on to more personal things. You know, I’ve seen good teachers and one of the things that I’ve seen in good teachers is that they tend to lead the student to a decision. And a lot of times they’ll do that by asking questions. So as parents, we should make it our goal to help our kids think through those decisions.

[00:26:17] And we can do that by learning how to teach by asking questions. So to wrap this point up, our first bedrock passage is from a sea. Ephesians chapter six verse four and it speaks about what we do to our kids as discipline and what we say to our kids. That’s what I call instruction. All right? Our next bedrock passage, our next bedrock passage that we need to consider is found in Deuteronomy chapter six and I’m going to have to speed up here, which says this, and these words which I command you today shall be in your heart UCL.

[00:26:55] Teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk, by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. The words, you sit, you walk, you lie down, and you rise are comprehensive and they represent pretty much everything that we do. Enough particular interest in this passage to me is this term walk.

[00:27:23] And so what we want to do now is we want to think about this term walk and we want to use it to represent the way that we behave as parents. And the way that we live. So the key point here is we must walk with our kids. And so what I want us to think about now is what we do with our kids, instead of just telling them what to do.

[00:27:47] So you can think of it this way. Think of it as participating in life together, joint participation. And we might refer to this as bonding. And we can not underestimate the power of bonding with our kids. In fact, when parents are asked what their biggest regret is, once their children are grown, the number one answer is in the area of bonding.

[00:28:14] So we cannot afford to skimp on bonding. Bonding will really help your children open up to you as a parent. So how do we do it? How do we walk with our children and really bond with them? So here’s some points to consider. Point number one, realize it’s going to take time. So you have to make sacrifices.

[00:28:38] As a parent, you gotta sacrifice your time. In fact, it’s going to take large quantities of time to get small amounts of quality time. We need to just say yes. No matter how inconvenient it is, saying no to your child when they are asking you to do something with them is a big mistake. Is it really true that you don’t have time?

[00:29:07] Listen to this one report is stated that the average adult spends up to nine hours and 51 minutes a day on entertainment and technology. And the average among that, that block of time for watching television is four hours and 59 minutes a day.  we have to remember that our kids need us more than anything else and it’s going to take time.

[00:29:38] It’s going to take time. Point number two, we have to notice them. We really need to notice our kids. And you think, well, that’s crazy, Mark. Hear me out. Okay. Do you really know your kids?  where would you have to go? Where would you have to show up on a mouse to get a glimpse into your kid’s world?

[00:30:05] Are you present enough in their life to see who they really, really are? Yeah. What happens when we don’t notice? Well. Kids are really good at flying under the radar and then boom, a wake up call occurs and we wonder what happened. Young people yearn to be noticed. They want to be liked and they want to be heard, and smart phones and social media have just magnified this 10 fold, hundred phone.

[00:30:45] A young lady when she makes a post, she may be looking for likes and comments. In fact, she may be looking for at least a hundred or she may consider it a failure. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s sad. Young people will leave and go to an extreme length of deleting a picture or a post if they don’t get enough likes.

[00:31:09] They are looking for confirmation. They’re looking for relevance. Your kids want you to be a part of their lives, so you got to do the hard work to get there. You have to, you got to realize how important this is. Here are some things that can help us be more effective in noticing our kids. Number one, we just need to stop and listen.

[00:31:32] We’re all busy, but we need to stop and listen to our kids. We can learn a great deal about our kids by listening to them talk. In fact, it’s especially effective if you happen to be around their friends and you just stop and listen. Now, when I was the youth guy, what I would do a lot is I would drive the van and I would just sit there and I would drive and I would listen and boy did I get an education and I try my best to keep it all in confidence.

[00:32:00] But you will learn a lot if you’ll just stop and listen to your kids. Another thing we can do in noticing our children is we can learn to ask what I call well-placed questions. You know, asking the right question at the right time can really get your kid talking to you and you really want to do that.

[00:32:21] And the last thing I would recommend to you is I would recommend to you that you have a social media presence. Now, I know a lot of you already have that, and especially if you’re a younger person and you’re a parent, you know, when we decided to allow the girls to have social media accounts, Laurie and I created our own accounts.

[00:32:37] And of course I locked them down and I sat them down and explained to them what our expectations were and how to use it. And of course, the first friend or follower was good old dad, right? And I highly recommend that you do that. If your kid is on social media, you need to be on there. You need to be understanding what they’re doing on social media, social media.

[00:32:59] Listen to this. Social media allows your child to show who they really are, but guess what? It also allows them to show who they really want to be, and that’s scary. And so you need to be there and you need to notice what they’re doing on social media. The bottom line is this. If you invest time in noticing your kids, the chances are you’re going to know when they’re involved in things that they all not be involved in.

[00:33:28] But you’ve got to do the work to notice your kids. And the last point to make, when we think about walking with our kids or what we do with our kids, is we just simply need to do things to get, uh, our impact as parents is going to be way greater. When it comes to time spent with them and doing things with them, just instead of talking to them about something, the more that we take part in their lives, the more opportunities there’s going to be for this bonding and the more opportunity to teach and help them make good decisions.

[00:34:03] The most important thing, obviously to do with your children is spiritual things. Uh, worshiping with them, going to Bible class. That’s gotta be a given. But I’m talking about going beyond that, doing things that will really help them grow spiritually. We need to study the Bible with them in the home or at other times.

[00:34:24] We need to memorize scripture with them. We need to serve with them. Some of the best memories I’ve ever had are doing things with our kids. In service to God, I would recommend that you participate in last and leaders. We use it effectively here as a tool, as a structured approach for helping train our kids.

[00:34:43] You know, you can work with them at home on this. You can even volunteer to coach and help them and their friends. But I would say this, to be willing to participate as well, be that adult that’s willing to read the Bible through in a year, be that adult that’s willing to memorize scripture, be that adult that’s willing to participate in good Samaritan.

[00:35:05] Here’s the point. Don’t expect them to do something you’re not willing to do as the point. You know, it’s also important to help them make good decisions about entertainment and technology. And we’ve already mentioned that. And my recommendation on this is we need to watch what they watch. We need to listen to what they listened to and we need to read what they read.

[00:35:28] Co view co watch, go listen. Now what we did in our family is Lori read every book the girls ever read. Man, I’m running out. Tom will have to hurry up and the girls would argue with this, but. The girls and I have a lot of the same musical tastes that we listened to the music together and we even go to concerts together.

[00:35:49] It’s a, it’s a, it’s another bonding opportunity. I would also say that we need to play games with them, coach their sports team, participate in extracurricular activities. When the girls were young, I sat them down and I told them, I said, I want you to learn to play one sport because I’m active and I’ve always been on teams and learned a lot from that experience.

[00:36:10] And so we just had to figure out what that sport was and it turned out that it happened to be soccer and soccer is something that even to this day, we enjoy doing together. Now that they’re older, these are opportunities to really connect with your kid. Don’t pass them up.  alright, bedrock passage number three.

[00:36:30] Quickly, Psalm one 27. Beginning of verse three, the whole children are a heritage from the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is our reward, like arrows in the hand of a warrior. So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man whose quiver is full of them. Now, I’m not an Archer and I’m certainly not a bow Hunter like Alan Foy, but from what I read, I understand that not all arrows are the same each one.

[00:37:04] Can be designed for a different target. Arrows are though all intended for flight with the purpose of having a maximum impact on their target. And arrows are really only as good as the Archer who knocked as them on the bow and accuracy of that arrow requires a trained in full draw with a good release.

[00:37:27] Now think about your kids. They’re different. But they’re also similar. Each one was created by God and prepared for flight from the walls of our homes. You know, the quiver is not intended to hold arrows forever. It’s simply a vehicle that carries them until they’re ready to be released. So it is with our kids.

[00:37:53] They are not intended to stay in the walls of our homes forever. Home is simply the vehicle that we use to shape them and to straighten them. And when the moment comes, they were made to fly. They were made to fly to their target. So we as parents were responsible for this. We’re responsible for releasing these precious arrows in our possession.

[00:38:19] So it’s vital that we think carefully and intentionally about that important process. Why is it so hard to let them go? Well, it’s because we fear loss of influence and we fear loss of control. After all, we’ve been responsible for them. Since then, birth we’ve provided for them, we’ve protected them, we have agonized over them.

[00:38:44] We’ve defended them, we’ve prayed for them, and letting go diminishes that, but we have to let them go. And I’m going to tell you, this is where I’m at right now. This is where I’m at. That’s the thing about parenting is just where they got it figured out. Guess what? Everything changes and you have to adapt.

[00:39:05] Letting go as a process. It’s not an act. It should be a lifelong mindset. It’s not a quick decision. Letting our kids go is an act of the will. It’s progressive and it’s deliberate. What do you think about it? Releasing our children really begins at birth. It’s done at many memorable milestones along the way with key decision points attached to each one.

[00:39:35] So how do we let them go? Well, we have to decrease one thing and we have to increase another. We need to decrease the boundaries that we’ve set for them, and then we need to increase their ability to make. Decisions on their own. After all, if mom and dad keep making all their decisions for them, how are they ever going to learn to make those decisions for themselves?

[00:40:00] So our job is really this, our job is to give them incremental independence. And I would say this, we have to raise them with a biblical worldview, and then we’ve got to convince them to become Christians. And then we help them make good decisions and help them learn how to make good decisions, and then we give them more and more responsibility as they get older.

[00:40:25] So once the target Mark, well, it’s confident, kids who feel loved and encouraged and equipped to make it on their own. Another way of saying this is that our kids would be happy, faithful, productive Christians for life. And that’s a Glenn Colley. Quote, and I love that quote. That’s what I want for my kids.

[00:40:47] Think about it this way. Our children are the only messages that we will send to a world that we will never see. They are the only way that we will have to impact a world at a distance. How’s your, is your aim. So tonight we’ve talked about some bedrock passages which are helpful to us as parents.

[00:41:17] You know, we’ve talked about what we do to our children as discipline. We’ve talked about what we say to our children. That’s instruction. We talked about walking with our kids as what we do with them. And then we talked about letting them go and we talked and we talked about giving them incremental independence.

[00:41:37] So my wish and my prayer for use is that you’re blessed on this important journey, and if there’s any way that I can ever help you personally, I pray that you would come to me and ask for that help. I might not have the right answers, but I will do my dead level best to help you.

[00:41:57] Well, tonight we talked a lot about our physical families and the special role of parents. And we really didn’t focus on the individual roles of mom and dad or mother and father, but before we conclude, I did want to emphasize the importance of the father for just a minute. Someone’s written this.

[00:42:19] There are two ways to recognize power. One is to see it at work, and the other is to measure what happens when it’s gone. Either way, dad is pretty potent. Present or absent, positive or negative. The power of a father is incredible. Like no other person. The father possesses a special power to mold and others’ life.

[00:42:47] To shape it and give it form concepts of character flow from this man’s life is steam principles, identity and anchor points. And when you think about it a while. There are few things that are more powerful in a spiritual sense. Is this not true? When we think about the heavenly father in Genesis chapter one verse 26 the father’s recorded as saying, let us make man in our image from this, we learned that the father is the very source of life.

[00:43:29] And our very identity comes from him. He has provided for us principles to live by, which thankfully are recorded in his word for us to read. And those principles not only make life better for us here and now, but they will prepare us for the life that is yet to come. And as we said in the previous lesson.

[00:43:53] Our own sense of self worth must come from his attitude towards us. John chapter three verse 16 tells us that the father loved us so much that he was willing to give his only son to set up a system of forgiveness, and it’s through that act that the father has offered to us. Our relationship. At first.

[00:44:23] John chapter three verse one tells us the father is willing to call us his children. What an awesome thought. An almighty awesome God is willing to look down at me and considered me his child. Ephesians chapter one verse three tells us that all spiritual blessings are found in Christ. As power. And you see that power at work in the fruit that is produced in the life of a Christian.

[00:44:55] So without Christ, there are no spiritual blessings and therefore there really is no power to truly live. And in John chapter 14 verse six Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. And no one can come to the father except through me. So the question for you tonight is, are you a Christian?

[00:45:24] Do you have a relationship with the father? If not, you can become one tonight. You can be called a child of God tonight, a child of the father. You can do that by expressing your faith. Putting your belief in Jesus Christ as the son of God, confessing him before this audience and before the father.

[00:45:50] You know, confession literally means to say the same thing as another. So when we confess that Jesus Christ is the son of God, we’re saying the same thing that God would say, we are agreeing with the father. Yes, God, I believe that Jesus Christ is your son. Well, we can’t stop there. That’s not enough.

[00:46:10] We have to be willing to repent, and repentance literally means changing our minds with a result in a change of action. And after this, we have to be buried with him in baptism. Baptism according to Romans chapter six is what puts us into Christ death, which is where his blood was shed, which is where the blessings are.

[00:46:36] And after this, we’re raised to walk in newness of life. So if you want a relationship with the father, you have to go through Christ. So we offer that invitation to you tonight. However, if you are a Christian and you’ve considered maybe you’re a parent and you’ve considered some of the things that we’ve talked about tonight, and you’ve, you’ve realized that maybe there are some things that are amiss and you want to do better.

[00:47:01] Then why not come forward and confess that tonight we’d be happy to pray for you and with you. Maybe you’re not a parent, maybe you’re struggling with something else. Whatever it is, you have a place here where people will love you and try to help you with all our mind. So if you have a need tonight, we would be happy to assist you in whatever that need is.

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