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Archive for the ‘Childrearing’ Category

From my sermon on childrearing this past Sunday:

And then we see it in Psalm 78. There the Psalmist wrote: “1 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! 2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, 3 things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation [So, one part of parenting is that we are to open our mouths and tell things to our children; it’s not just provide them with clothes and food and education; it’s not just take them fishing or to the playground; it’s not just giving them memorable birthdays; it’s opening your mouth and telling them things; and what we tell them is more than “brush your teeth” or “early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise” or “make your bed” or “Did you get your homework done?” or even “I love you” or … we open our mouths and tell them of] the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. [We tell them of his attributes, we tell them he made the universe by speaking, we tell them he appeared in a bush as a fire without burning the bush, we tell them his name is ‘I am’ – that he always has existed and depends on no one for his existence and is life in himself, we tell them he made the sun stand still, we tell them he gave barren Sarah a child, we tell them he parted a sea for his people to cross over, we tell them he rescued his people from bondage and he can still do that, we tell them he used a little boy to slay a giant, and we tell them he forgave that boy when he became a king of his adulterous murderous ways, we tell them he is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, we tell them he by no means … we tell them he killed Uzzah for touching the ark and the sons of Eli for bringing a strange offering to him, we tell them he knows all things, upholds all things, gives life to all things, owns all things, sees all things, that he burns with love for his people and anger toward the wicked, that he has mercy on whom he will have mercy and compassion on whom he will have compassion, that he sent his only begotten Son to die on the cross for their sins and that their sins are many and they need a Savior – that’s what we tell them – are you telling your children the glorious deeds of the Lord? SS teachers are you telling your children the glorious deeds of the Lord? And are you telling them with ‘piercing’ conviction?] 5 He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, [That’s the Ten Commandments and all the other laws that when with them.] which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, [Now, there’s the command to teach God’s testimony (a story, a testimony – think of a testimony in a courtroom or a church service – it’s a story about what happened) – we teach them what happened and will happen, and we do so that they will put their hope in God; look at that phrase – what do you need hope for? Hope is needed when you need help, when things are tough, when things look bleak – so what do we want our kids to put their hope in when they are successful or when they are failures? When the cancer comes or when a big payday comes? When they make the winning shot or when they miss the winning free throws? When they ace the test or when they fail it miserably? When they are feeling strong or dying of disease? We want their hope to be in God. All other saviors are false and will leave us hopeless. Parents what do you think you are teaching your children to put their hope in on a daily basis?] 6 that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, 7 so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; 8 and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.”

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what’s your goal?

From yesterday’s sermon:

Earlier I mentioned that you may have not asked the question, “What is my goal in raising kids? What kind of child am I trying to make?” You may have not thought about it (which would be a good indicator that you probably aren’t doing well with this – look, he who aims at nothing hits it every time – which means if you are not intentional about something, you will not accomplish it, including raising godly offspring). But here’s the thing: no matter how you answer that question, whether it’s with silence or a detailed program, you have a goal – it may be unstated or it may be written on every wall in your house – you may have written a song about it or it’s just assumed. But you have a goal for your kids and all anyone has to do is just see what you do with your kids.

Your life tells us what your goal is. What do your conversations with them sound like? What are you teaching them? Where are you hauling them all over God’s earth and what they doing when they get there? When you talk to them what do you talk about? Or forget for a moment your direct interaction with them, when you pray for them, what shapes your prayers? What do you pray about? What are you asking God for when it comes to them? When you think about investing in their future what is the plan? When you worry about them, what worries you the most about them? What keeps you up at night regarding your children? When you talk about your kids with other people, what is the topic of conversation?

Here’s the thing, I would imagine most of you here would agree with me that the goal of childrearing is to raise a disciple of Christ, to raise Jesus-lovers. I can’t imagine anyone saying, “No preacher, I am a follower of Jesus, but my chief goal is not that they follow Jesus, but rather what I want most for my kids is that they would make lots of money … or that they would be famous … or that they would discover the cure for cancer.” I don’t think anyone here would disagree with what I am saying and what the clear teaching of the Bible is on this. But the obvious question is does your life and all that you are doing match the biblical goal?

What is the all-consuming vision for your children that compels you and shapes your plans and desires for your kids? The point is that it needs to be bigger and better than happiness and affluence, wealth and health, nice cars and nice houses and nice education and nice & close to me, … Here’s what I know. We live in a world that compels us to live for the here and now, that compels us to live for temporary things, that exalts athletic prowess, academic achievement, good looks, popularity, financial success, comfortability, convenience, respectability [none of which are necessarily wrong and none of which are wrong to desire for your kids – please hear that], but if we are not careful we lose sight of what we are living for, our vision is easily clouded, and by extension the vision God calls us to have for our kids is co-opted by a less compelling vision; and beloved it is less compelling [winning a Nobel Prize is less compelling than living for Jesus in the backwoods of KY; being a prominent scientist is less compelling than living for Jesus in a place where no one knows your name; being at peace and happy is less compelling than finding peace and joy in Christ].

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Here’s an interesting list of books.

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I so wished I had seen this poem around Father’s Day. But here it is:

I would rather be the daddy
Of a romping, roguish crew,
Of a bright-eyed chubby laddie
And a little girl or two,
Than the monarch of a nation
In his high and lofty seat
Taking empty adoration
From the subjects at his feet.

I would rather own their kisses
As at night to me they run,
Than to be the king who misses
All the simpler forms of fun.
When his dreary day is ending
He is dismally alone,
But when my sun is descending
There are joys for me to own.

He may ride to horns and drumming;
I must walk a quiet street,
But when once they see me coming
Then on joyous, flying feet
They come racing to me madly
And I catch them with a swing
And I say it proudly, gladly,
That I’m happier than a king.

You may talk of lofty places,
You may boast of pomp and power,
Men may turn their eager faces
To the glory of an hour,
But give me the humble station
With its joys that long survive,
For the daddies of the nation
Are the happiest men alive.

– Edgar Guest

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Ah, church education …

Actually, you should supply the caption. Try it in the comments section.

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[3] Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. [4] Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. [5] Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:3-5

“Nothing is said of monetary wealth or position: an upstanding family wealth enough and honor enough. And it is not untypical of God’s gifts that first they are liabilities, or at least responsibilities, before they become obvious assets. The greater their promise, the more likely that these sons will be a handful before they are a quiverful.” (Derek Kidner, Psalms, 478; italics mine)

Don’t give up moms and dads. Raise your children to love Jesus. The wounds they leave may be deep in your heart before they are deep in the heart of our great enemy.

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Here’s a funny passed along to me this week:

I almost thought this said, “The Parent Trap.” Remember that movie?

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