Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Raising Godly Children

Today at our church's mom's group we hear about raising Godly children. We all want children to be Godly, to be nice and good and to learn how to discern the junk in their life and lead good lives.
But, in today's society, with all the garbage that society allows, our children are constantly under attack. Raising Godly children is a long-term process. We need to be by their side, filtering out the junk and guiding them along. We need to keep our eyes on our goals and not be sidelined. It's a tough job, one that is subject to criticism and mockery.
As our speaker said, don’t let getting your child saved be the end all goal. Once they are saved, it doesn’t mean we are done. It’s a long term process of spiritual mentoring.
Here are more notes, with questions to ponder:
Don’t get sidetracked by focusing on other things. You child is good at sports, dance, academics but those shouldn’t be the focus. Instead, how can those be used to serve God?
Don’t fall into making their outward behavior look good, while ignoring their character. Christian woman fall into the trap of wanting GOOD children so they focus on the outward factors instead of building up their character and their heart, which makes them good people.
Your kids should know God. Gently guide them and lead them into an on-going relationship with Christ. The word of God is living, active and meaningful to them.
You want your kids to be growing in the Fruits of the Spirit.
Things to do (here she provided some visuals)
1) Intentional Commitment (a day planner): Make an intentional commitment in guiding them and leading and discipling them. Be intentional about sharing God’s word with them. (Deut. 11: 18-21)
We also need to be available. We need to be available to listen to them, talk to them, teach them morals and give them Godly advice to be better young men and women. Make sure we are spiritually available.
How to be intentional??
Read the Bible to them. If you do story time at night, add a Bible story.
Watch TV together. (She talked of a family who plays a game called Spot the Lie. They will call out the lies found in ads and shows.)
Family Devotions (don’t expect it to be a perfect family time. People will have their baggage/issues/attitudes but the devotion could end to speaking to them.)
She reads Missionary Biographies to her children so they can see God’s hand at work in the lives of missionaries
Memorize Bible verses as a family
Act out Bible stories
2) Be a filter (she showed a filter from a humidifier. Yuck!)
We need to guard what our kids are exposed to. Some things are blatant but some are not. We need to set boundaries with the kids. Just because culture says shows are kid friendly does not mean they are.
But we also have to set our own values. Kids are watching us. We need to be in the word of God. And they need to see that. Just because everyone if doing “it” does not mean IT honors God.
Some things to consider: Harry Potter, Abby Cadabie (Sesame Street), Evolution, Homosexuality, Dating. How would we address those issues with our kids. We have to be ready to tackle them and be firm in our beliefs, even when others mock us and criticize us.
3) she showed a mirror and said that kids are watching how you live out your life, what you say, what you do. You want your words to model what your life is all about. You yell at your kids and yet you tell them not to yell, etc. We want to live transparently with our kids. Don’t ever think your kids aren’t watching you!
4) Be vigilant (she held up a bike horn)
What are our kids getting in to?? (Ez. 33: 1-9)
We are appointed by God to be sentinels. We have to warn them of danger. We have to discipline them. She gave an example of a garden: how she would go in and quickly teat out all the big weeds but leave the little ones, only to find days later how fast they grow. We need to dig up those little roots of disobedience. Get them while they are little. God challenges us to blow our little bugle horns.
5) We can’t underestimate the power of prayer.
We are in a huge battle for our children. The Enemy wants them! We are in a battle for our kids minds. Pray for them…pray they would know God with their hearts, for their future spouses, for them to be able to discern and more. She recommended Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie OMartin.
6) Live a life of faith and endurance. (she showed a cross)
God calls us to parent by faith not fear. We are to model Godly living. And yet, at the end of the day, the work is God’s. We need to trust God with the outcome of our kids. Keep loving and investing in our kids.
What are some of your goals in raising your children? What is most important to you?
What kinds of messages are you sending to your children about what is really important and what really matters? How is your focus off-track with your parenting? How is it on-track?
What role, if any, do you think personal holiness and your personal devotion to God has to do with raising Godly children?
What are some negative influences that are present in our culture today? Be specific (shows, songs, philosophies, fashion)
What does the Bible say about these influences? How will you respond to them?
Share ways that you are being intentional in your commitment to raise Godly children. How does this look for your family? What has worked? What needs improvement?
What personal character issues or personality traits are you seeing mirrored in your children’s lives---reflecting good and bad things of you and your husband?
What traits would you like to see in the future and what changes need to take place in your life to bring about these changes?

1 comment:

Joshua Grover-David Patterson said...

These are good things to think about. J and I would not be in total agreement with everything the speaker had to say, but much of it sounds really valuable. Thanks for posting/sharing the information. :) K