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Our Children

August 24, 2015

Very early on in our marriage, a very kind and generous soul once asked me how our children were turning out so well. What was the key ingredient that helped my wife and me along the way? As I contemplated those questions over the next thirty minutes, I realized that what they were actually asking was something quite different than what they had verbalized. What they really wanted to know was the “secret sauce” of child rearing I could share which would make all of their problems disappear.  Well, we all know that it doesn’t quite work that way. There is much trial and error as new parents, and it is only by the leading of the Holy Spirit that child rearing can be accomplished. He and his wife were going through some challenging times with their children and were truly looking for some good biblical answers to their questions. I could tell by their expressions that it was not going to be a casual conversation. They were locked onto every word that I spoke that day. Quite frankly, the conversation took me aback. Who was I to offer any type of advice to those who seemed to be much more experienced and spiritual? I was a very immature Christian. As I look back at my fumbled answers to their many questions, I now realize that I could have offered much deeper and wider spiritual counsel on the subject. If I remember correctly, I gave them a few tips (in my inexperience and youth) that I hoped would help them along the way. These were crucial to me at the time. It was real basic stuff.

  • Keep them in the Bible
  • Love them
  • Be a disciplinarian

Well, that was basically all that I had to offer. I truly felt self-conscious in doing so because I felt terribly inadequate as a parent. I was much too impatient, had somewhat of a quick temper, and always wanted things done my way……right away. My children probably felt like they were in Christian boot camp! Truly, my wife was the better half in the child rearing department than I. But one thing is for sure, they knew without question that we loved them and would care for them at any cost. We told them that we loved them every single day while they were growing up. In my mind there is no doubt that the children knew we loved them. I praise God that our children turned out as they have. They are three Christian adults that are willing to serve the Lord and are contributing to society at large. Sinners saved by the grace of God.

While on the surface everything that I said that day in the way of encouragement and counsel is on target, reflecting back as a grandparent, I would elaborate even more. I would encourage our children (with our grandchildren) to contemplate the gift they have been given in a deeper and more meaningful spiritual way. Of course, the Word of God would still be the starting point and the anchor for any/all child rearing instructions.

Ephesians 6:4 – “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Proverbs 22:15 – “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Matthew 22:37 – “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Matthew 7:12 – “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

And with these verses as the solid rock and parenting foundation, I would offer the following thoughts, insights, and advice in the Lord.

  1. Love them

  2. Correct them

  3. Provide for them

  4. Encourage them

  5. Acknowledge the Lord’s sovereign power in their lives

  6. Diligently run the race

  7. Lead a disciplined Christian life as an example

  8. Ask for forgiveness when you make a mistake

  9. Have fun and enjoy them

  10. Love them

Yes, the bookends are by design. I hope that in some small way this tidbit of advice can help you become the parents that God wants you to be. Please do not look at our example as parents as the model. Please look to the Bible. Thank you Lord for our children and grandchildren!


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