My wife and I went to a seminar on parenting last weekend and below are a couple of practical things we walked away with after the seminar:
1. Responsibility of Parents: As parents it is easy to blame MTV, school, friends, movies, but the responsibility for exposing our children to a relational and powerful God who wants to be involved in our lives falls to the parents. In Judges 2 there was a lack of familiarity of God’s provision in the past and that responsibility ultimately falls on the parents.
As parents we need to be asking ourselves:
- Are you personally in awe of God?
- Are your children in awe of God?
- What needs to happen in your family to have a greater love for God?
- What have you experienced in the past that placed you in awe of God?
2. Children and all People ultimately want to be God (Genesis 2): Therefore they are going to push back on any kind of authority because ultimately we want to be the authority. It is the same with our children. This is the beauty of the church and family. It is in those social contexts we see our rebellion. We see how we hurt ourselves and hurt others, and we see are not qualified candidates who are worthy of worship, but we can point them to a God who is worthy of worship.
When the kids push back on authority it isn’t personal. They would push back on anyone. Instead address their heart of rebellion:
- We typically give threats (You better stop or else), guilt (How could you?), or rewards (If you obey then you get).
- Rules aren’t bad. They are there to protect, but rules don’t restore the heart. Grace restores the heart. How?
– Do they see their sin?
– If they don’t see they can’t grieve.
– If they don’t grieve they can’t confess.
– If they don’t confess they can’t repent.
Questions to lead them to a place of seeing their sin, grieving, confessing, and repenting.
– What is going on?
– What were you thinking / feeling when it happened? (Gets to the heart)
– What did you do in response?
– Why did you respond that way? What were you hoping to accomplish?
– What was the result?