10 Things To Teach Your Child

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I attended a parenting fellowship the other day.  Oh, how encouraging and refreshing it was to be with parents who readily  and humbly admit that they don’t have it all together. And like me, there are many short-comings and areas that totally need God’s grace and guidance.

As a mother of a soon-to-be teenage boy, it scares me to death on how I’m ever going to be able to handle the transition through puberty.  The thought of having to talk about sensitive issues freaks me out.

During the fellowship, I was reminded once again that I am not alone in raising my son. God is his Father who will guide and protect him.  And there are the men in church who are ever present and always willing to help steer him in the right path.  I was reminded once again of God’s promise:

Train up a child in the way he should go;

even when he is old he will not depart from it.  

Proverbs 22:6

So, what must parents teach their kids?  Here are the notes I took from a teaching by John MacArthur, which was shared during the fellowship.  If you are a parent reading this, I hope this will enlighten and encourage you to be more diligent in teaching your child the ways of the Lord.

10 Lessons To Teach Your Children

1. Teach your child to fear the Lord. (Proverbs 9:10)
Do everything in your life to show your honor to Him, to show your respect to Him, to worship Him.
Fail to teach your child to fear God and the devil will teach them to hate God.

2. Teach your child to guard their mind. (Proverbs 4:23)
“Watch over your heart – ” or your mind, means the same. “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Guard your mind.
Fail to teach your son to guard his mind and the devil will teach him to have an open mind.

3. Teach your child to obey their parents. (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:1, Colossians 3:20)
The first lessons of submission and critical obedience are in childhood. You can’t live in the world if you are a rebel. You can’t break laws in the world and have a peaceful life.
Fail to teach your child to obey his parents and the devil will teach him to rebel and break his parents’ heart.

4. Teach your child to select their companions. (Proverbs 1:10)
Fail to teach your child to select his companions and the devil choose them for him.

5. Teach your child to control their desires, to guard their body.
(
Proverbs 5:1, 5:7, 5:22, 2:16, 6:20, 7:1, 7:6, 9:13, 1 Thessalonians 4:3)
You cannot leave children uninstructed about the deadliness of sin. They have to be instructed or their own iniquities will capture them and their own sin will bind them. This is critical. This is the pathway to death.
Even in a society that doesn’t bring about capital punishment for adultery, death can come many ways, many ways. It can come through a disease. It can come through a murder. It can come because it’s simply an early death because of iniquity. It can come in a profoundly spiritual way and be the death of all hope for a good and noble and meaningful life.
Fail to teach your children to control their body and the devil will gladly teach them to give it over completely to lust.

6. Teach your child to be faithful to their spouse. Teach your children fidelity in marriage.
(
Proverbs 5:15, Proverbs 31)
Be content with your own wife or your own husband. Drink fresh water from your own well.
Fail to teach your children to enjoy the marriage partner and the devil will teach them to destroy the marriage.

7. Teach your child to watch their words.
(Proverbs 4:24, 5:2. 6:12, 10:11, 10:13-14, 10:18-21, 10:31-32, Ephesians 4:29, James 3)
What’s devious speech? Lying. Stop lying!
You can sin more readily with your tongue than any other physical component. You can say anything. It’s a fire; it’s a destroyer. Teach your children to guard their speech, their words – so very obvious, and so very basic. Watch your words. You need to discipline your children seriously and consistently when their speech is not wholesome and edifying and grace-giving.
Fail to teach your children to watch their words and the devil will fill their mouths.

8. Teach your child to pursue work. Teach them to work. (Proverbs 6:6, 10:2, 22:29)
Teach your children to work, not to waste their lives. Teach them to work. That don’t mean they all get a job. Teach your daughters to work at home, to be a Proverbs 31 woman, and do everything possible with all skills and diligence for the benefit of the family and the honor of God.
Fail to teach your children to pursue their work and the devil will make laziness a tool of unrighteousness

9. Teach your child to manage money. (Proverbs 3:9-10. 6:1, 13:22. 22:7)
Don’t be foolish with money. Be responsible for their money. They work hard for it.
Control your money to honor the Lord. You start by giving the first fruits to Him. Take care of your financial obligations immediately, get out of debt, and leave an inheritance.
Fail to teach your children to manage their money and the devil will teach them to waste it.

10. Teach your child to serve their neighbors. (Proverbs 3:27, 3:31)
In the midst of you being wise with your money, you still are called to love your neighbor as yourself. If somebody has a need and you have the resources, it’s your obligation: do it. You have the power to do it: do it.
Fail to teach your children to love their neighbor and the devil will gladly teach them to love only themselves.

 

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The Security Blanket

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Linus van Pelt.  He is the best friend of Charlie Brown from the famous comic strip Peanuts. Linus is known to many of us for having a security blanket in tow anywhere and everywhere he goes.

My son has his security “blankie.”  Not one.  Six!   It started with just one – that one precious blanket that he refused to wash or be away from, which I somehow left in a vacation house out of town.  Not expecting to get it back, I got him a new one, and his grandma got him four (yep!).  So when the owners of that vacation house called to say they found my son’s blanket and would send it back, that made a total of six.

Much as I try, I can’t recall ever getting attached to any particular object as a child or even growing up.  What is the mystery behind such attachments?

Experts who have studied such behavior discovered that such “transitional objects” help individuals cope with change while clinging on to something familiar.    In my son’s case, he developed the dependence on the blanket when I started going back to work and he had to stay home.

It does make sense.  But when and how does it end?

While I try to understand my son and give him the space and time he needs, (after all, aren’t we all on the same boat?  At one point in our lives, we found that one thing or person that we latch on to like a barnacle); and while I am trying not to over-spiritualize this concern,  it is also my duty to give him a reality and spirtual check.

For the rest of us, whether we admit it our not, we also have our own  transitional object.  It could be an actual object we’ve been attached to since childhood.  It could be habits we developed.  It could be material possessions.  It could be careers that we’ve so passionately been building and working for all our lives.  It could be that best friend or spouse that occupied most of our hearts.  It could even be ourselves.

Looking at it that way, I did have my own share of “blankies.”

The bible calls it our idols.    An idol is anything or anyone that can satisfy our longings.  It is anything or anyone that consumes our emotions, time, mind, devotion and being.  It is anything or anyone that we run and cling on to make us feel better.  It is anything or anything that is not God.

Such idols need to be removed from our lives only by the grace and mercy of God.  Through prayer and constant feeding of the Word, God will slowly and surely reveal to us the idols in our lives and provide the strength to remove them.

Reference:  The Herald Tribune

Homeschooling And The Single Mom

I homeschool my son. Yes, I do!

“But you’re a single parent!  How do you do it – with work and all? Where do you find the time and the energy?”

“What about his social skills?”

“Is it because its cheaper than sending him to regular school?”

These are a few of many other questions I get when I tell others of my son’s education.   As a bible-believing follower of Jesus Christ, it has always been my goal to teach him of God’s ways.   More than anything, my goal is to teach my son to put God first and glorify Him in all the things he does – and that includes his studies.

It was definitely not a one-time decision that turned into an instant success. There were more than a few bumps along that road – there still are.

When he was old enough to go to school, I was working full time so the only option I was open to was to send him to a regular school. After searching and asking for referrals, we landed in a Christian school near our home.  But that ended up being a disaster of a decision because my son’s teacher ostracized him for being the son of a single mother (I’ve buried that hatchet so let’s not go into the details).

So before the school year even ended, I opened up to the option of homeschooling. For those of you who are not new to homeschooling, you would agree with me that this is a scary venture.  For me, self doubt came into play. After all, what qualifies me to teach my son?

Then the Lord gave me this verse:

Train up a child in the way he should go;

After speaking and consulting with friends and other homeschooling parents, it was crystal clear. God’s design was for parents to teach their children.  I made the decision to pull my son out and continued the school year at home.  Classes were conducted in the evenings when I got home from work.

It’s been four years since the Lord led me to make that giant leap of a decision and although we’d gone through trial and error situations, it’s been a continuous and consistent journey of God’s grace and faithfulness.

I write this while I wait for my son as he presents his school portfolio to our Family Adviser. What has my son gotten out of homeschooling?

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  • His love for the Lord continuously grows with a deep hunger for His Word.
  • He has a burden to share the gospel by giving out tracts.
  • In all the things he does, his primary motive is to obey God, do his best, and put a smile upon His face.

These things alone has already made our homeschool a success. While I cannot claim credit for my son’s faith and his walk with the LORD, I am grateful for having been used to influence his life. I am grateful that even at a young age, God has revealed His love to my son, which I pray he would remember and carry with him as he grows

How do I manage?  It’s a daily dependence on God’s strength!  It’s a constant dependence on His faithfulness to His promises.

I’d like to share these 100 Reasons written by Marianne Sunderland on why Homeschooling is good for families.  Click HERE

 

 

Parenting By Faith

It is every Christian parent’s desire to bring up their child in God’s ways.

It is every Christian parent’s desire to teach their child of God’s love and to love Him back with all their heart, with all their soul and with all their strength (Luke 10:27).

While the world has come up with so many ways for parents to rear their children, parents tend to forget and take forgranted that God has already given the best instruction on how to do this.  Systems and methods have been proliferating, seemingly to make parenting easier.  But what is it doing to the children?  Are we cultivating biblical moral values in their lives?

Biblical parenting is God centered, not child centered. Biblical parenting assumes that there are absolutes that must be taught to children. Practically, this tells us that children must be disciplined to conform to God’s direction. The child is ultimately accountable to God. Before God, children do not have the option of deciding that they won’t or can’t obey. This truth is what we must communicate to our children. It is a truth that will not change, even when your children are grown and have left your home.

Read about Parenting By Faith  by Shepherd Press.