In life, there are winners and losers. In school, there is a right answer, and a wrong answer. Everything comes at you in groups of two.
In the Beatitudes, Jesus spoke of everything in two's. There was either a right way, or a wrong way. In life, there was, and are, no in-betweens. The same philosophy applies to the raising of children.
In restaurants and stores, young children scream until they get their way. They protest with folded arms and bad attitudes. In an attempt to smooth things over, parents typically negotiate or give in. the children recognize how they won, and repeat the same action and activity if they don't get their way the next time.
In malls and movie theaters, they dress and speak beyond their years. Their dress, like their language, is revealing and provocative. And parents, in silence, voice their approval.
Our children are constantly seeking someone, or something, to follow. Don't believe me? You should go into any school and see how children are dressed. The shoes, the coats and the clothes all look the same.
The book of Ephesians, chapter 6, speaks of how are children are to be raised. There are two ways to raise children. You can raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord, or you can raise them to wrath. There is no halfway, there is no middle ground, we are either raising them right, or wrong.
Where to begin? Start you children in the book of Proverbs. Have them study the portraits of those who are considered wise, and those who are not. Have your children study the Beatitudes, where Jesus speaks of humility and meekness. After you have shown it to them in the Bible, show it to them in your life and lifestyle.
The parental strategy to bring children up fearing God should consist of the following:
1. Know where to take them. This includes church, Bible Study and other Christian/positive locations and activities designed to show them that Christians can have fun.
2. Know and communicate your limits. There should be a line that young people are not allowed to cross. Parents should consistently communicate what is and is not tolerable.
3. Know the Bible. In order to teach it, you have to live it. In order to live it, you have to study it. In order to study it, you have to read it. You cannot give young people a sense of the benefits of serving a God that you don't have a relationship with.
Now more than ever, young people need to know that God exists in their homes and lives. They need to understand what it means to fear God, and what it means to follow Him. Parents need to know that temper tantrums, if unchecked, become rebellious teens.
They need to know that their parents serve and believe...so it all starts..with.... YOU
Steve Thomas is a telecommunications executive, a Sunday school teacher, and a writer for the Examiner magazine. His articles focus on careers and Christianity. For more articles, go to: http://www.examiner.com/christianity-in-chicago/why-saint-patrick-s-day-should-be-renamed
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