Parenting Ain’t For Cowards

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands (the 10 commandments listed in chapter 5) that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Deut. 6:5-7 NLT

I’ve been discovering anew that it doesn’t take much effort for children to learn to sin but it takes tremendous effort to correct sinful behaviors. Recently, I picked our grandson up from day care. The teacher indicated that he had not had a good day. When I asked him what happened he immediately confessed his transgressions. And even at 2 and a half, he already has in innate sense of blame-shifting. That’s not something he’s been taught. When we ride through the city playing the ‘what do you see game’ we’ve already had to have conversations about not saying you’ve seen something if you haven’t.

Scripture teaches that we are born in sin. From the moment we arrive on this earth we are constantly battling the sinful nature. As parents and grandparents I believe we too readily and too easily excuse childish behavior as just that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that we start casting out demons every time our children make a mistake or do something wrong. What I am suggesting -actually what God commands – is that we recognize the slippery slope of sin and begin, from the time our children are born, teaching them God’s standards. From the beginning we need to help children see their behaviors in the light of the standards set by a loving God. Dennis Rainey teaches in One Home At A Time that we are either raising our children to be missionaries or a mission field. When we fail to teach them God’s standards, when we fail to impart a Godly vision for their behaviors, attitudes and their future, we send them UNPREPARED into a culture, into a world that TAKES NO PRISONERS. We are in a war and wartime requires aggressive defensive and offensive moves. Parenting ain’t for cowards! Time is out for passive parenting. Get in the game before it’s too late!

Let’s keep the dialogue going.

Be blessed.

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4 Responses

  1. Don’t forget that we also must set a good example by demonstrating obedience. Do we behave inappropriately when we are driving and someone cuts us off? Do we ask our spouses to tell the person on the phone we’re not there or not available because we just don’t feel like talking? Do we get angry and act a fool at our child’s athletic event? Are we polite and respectful to our spouse in the presence of our children? Children learn what they live, and they do as you do not as you say. So let’s be careful what we teach our children by example and be sure to point out when other adults around them are setting a bad example as well.

  2. Wow!! I agree with your perspective.. Starting a family at a young age and when your thought of being finished comes, There’s the shame. The interesting thing I find these days is that we’re raising other “OLDER” children that did not have these principles at a young age.. They’re aggresive in their opinions and bring their lifestyle to intrude yours…and they have no spiritual guidance..I’m reminding my children that they are a light… We need not drop the ball, but get on the ball. The Word is perfect for correction.. that the Man and Woman of God be thoroughly furnished unto all good works.. Let’s shine our lights of love to sinners.. Thank you for the reminder… Desperately needed to advance the Kingdom of God..

  3. You are very right, Greg. This is why I don’t proclaim to be ‘religious.’ There is a huge difference between being a Christian and being religious. Scripture teaches that we are in the world but not OF it. That means we are made of a different substance if we are IN Christ. But as you said we are to engage the world. That’s what Christ did. Christ didn’t shy away from ‘sinners.’ But He did make a difference in the lives of the sinners He met. We need to teach our children to be light in a dark and dying world. God told us to put on ARMOR so we could fight not sit on the sidelines. Thanks for commenting!!

  4. I really like this post. I think it demonstrates what is meant by being born in sin. Sin is our carnal self – the animal self – trying to assert itself. It is a “natural” behavior and indeed we are born with that tendency. Our life’s spiritual work is subjecting the carnal self to the will of the spiritual self.

    One thing I think it important to remember is that our relationship to God and his will and standards is a Breast Plate, Sword and Shield. We must teach out children to conform to God’s standards, but we have to be careful to teach them that this conformity is not meant to hide them from “the world” or serve as an escape from “the world”; but it is to allow them to engage the world and be active in it, while living above its carnal nature.

    I think many religious people use religion to retreat from the world. The immerse themselves in church and religion and “Godly” behavior; not as a source of POWER that enables them to take on the world, but as a hiding place. Our children need to know that God wants us out there, engaged with the world, engaged even with the worldly – so far as we do so as an example – not cloistered in a religious cocoon

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