We never like to address the inconveniences of parenting. We don’t like to tell expecting moms and dads, “Sleep now, because you won’t be sleeping for the next few years.” Or, “Enjoy that pre-baby vacation because it’ll be awhile before vacations are relaxing.” It all sound so “glass-half-empty,” doesn’t it? Here’s the reality: Raising children is inconvenient, but it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. When the Lord blesses us with children through adoption or birth, He has entrusted a young soul into our care for teaching, training, and affection. Your plans are going to be interrupted, and at what seems like the worst moments! How do we react to these interruptions?
If you don't have any major plans this evening (or Thursday), it would be worth your time to go out and see Kirk Cameron's new film "Connect.": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hiltak3hsZc This movie covers how the digital age is affecting our children and provides insight into how we can equip and protect them. Today's parents grew up with… Continue reading Do You Have a Cell Phone? Does Your Child? Here’s a Film You Need to Watch.
We can talk about our blessings all we want. We can make well-designed memes on giving thanks. We can give Texas-sized tributes to God’s gifts, but If we do not end the complaining, we negate the benefits of “thanksgiving.” Worse still, our children mimic the behavior, perpetuating the attitude of ingratitude. Before I correct the grumblings of my children, I should start by curbing my own. If I want my children to live like Christ, I need to model Christ-like behavior.
So many families have no choice but to be dual-income. With the cost of living rising faster than wages and divorce rates elevated, many parents are unable to volunteer in their kids' classes. Some parents have to put their kids into after-school care with people they don't know all that well. Homeschool parents also get overwhelmed, particularly if they have children with developmental, physical or behavioral disorders. Grandparents, retired from full-time work, can play a valuable role in the lives of their grandchildren while providing some much needed help for their children.
As we press through August and into the fall, we will see frequent signs that school is back in session. Gradually, a few parents will develop a worry line or two. Homeschool moms may find themselves sobbing as perfect lesson plans implode in the face of another autistic episode. Another mom may be quietly sobbing in an empty room as their youngest child moves three or three hundred miles away from home in pursuit of a college degree. A dad may be getting stomach ulcers worrying about the safety of his daughter around all those teenage boys. On top of all the back-to-school changes, these parents are still facing life with all it's pressures and frustrations. Are we sensitive to their needs? Are we reaching out to be supportive? Encouraging? Helpful?
Parenting is inconvenient. Yes, I just said that. Once you have a child, your life will be forever changed. You will be humbled. Humiliated. Screamed at. Loved with abandon. Squeezed with unimaginable strength by those little arms. Amazed. Shocked. heartbroken. Overwhelmed with love. Filled with a newfound awe for your own parents. Unfortunately, once the baby… Continue reading Is Your Parenting on Cruise Control?
This article is part of the series “Building GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here. Somewhere in the past, someone concluded the primary reason children were leaving the church was somehow related to it's boringness. There was a slow movement toward making entertainment more important than education and edification. And yet, in spite of the hyped up… Continue reading Entrust: Involving Children in the Important within the church (part 2)
This article is part of the series “Building GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here. It is a valuable exercise to read books such as Little House in the Big Woods and In Grandma's Attic. These stories reveal how children used to be entrusted with so much more than cleaning up their rooms. They had cows… Continue reading Entrust: Involving Children in the Important (part 1)
Elisabeth Elliot has mentioned in multiple books how her family had devotional time every morning. Corrie Ten Boom noted that her father read a chapter from the Bible every morning. In both cases, all the children in their families grew up with a love for the Lord. That tells me that consistent, active teaching is of great value.
The ancient Israelites showcase the rewards of following God and the pitfalls of apathy. We would do well to learn from their mistakes. The above passage from Deuteronomy, while addressed to the Israelites, holds a very important principle for parents and teachers alike: actively teach your children about the Lord and His commands. In this series on training GenNext Christians, we have covered two of our 6 E's---Engage and Exemplify. This next string of posts will cover E number three: Equip: Teach and Train.