Wednesday, December 14, 2011

7 Minute Reminder for Parents

"As parents, we strive to instill respect and obedience in our children—and rightly so. That's part of our responsibility. We take pride in training them to sit quietly, listen carefully, speak graciously and obey promptly. Sometimes, we're tempted to think that's the ultimate goal of parenting—controlling our children's behavior. But is it? Listen as John MacArthur answers that question . . ."  

click here to watch video

She may be sitting on the outside, but what is the condition inside her heart? 
Who is she when you aren't watching? 

As we recognize the condition of our children's hearts and our responses to it, we do the only thing we are equipped to do, submit to God ourselves. Pray without ceasing. 

If the desire of our hearts are to be an instrument in the hand of God, to bring our children to Him, then we are on the right track.

If our ultimate desires are for our children to be obedient and perform acceptably, then we need to go back to His plan of salvation. 
Our children are sinners. 

When adults come to Christ we tell them again and again "you don't have to be perfect before you come to Him, it's God who gives us perfection" 
So with our children, their outward behaviors are just signs of inward beliefs. 

My grandson and I had a conversation when he was about 3ish. He was mad at a friend and hit him. In response to that, I tenderly drew Ethan close to me as we talked. I said "Buddy, is that the right thing to do, to hit a friend when he takes your car?" 
and without any hesitation he said 'YES! it was the right thing to do" I chuckled inside and understood, to Ethan, that WAS the right thing to do. He was working from a sinners mindset. 

The only way for him to be able to understand the things of godliness is for Him to have God in his heart.
 God is the one that is responsible for His conversion. 
We, as his family are responsible to be in submission to God, to be prayerful, to be in constant sanctification ourselves, so we can be useful vessels in these lives the Lord has given us to affect. 

That little girl in the chair that is standing up in her heart, 
that is a God issue. That is a prayer issue. 

We need to discipline and expect obedience because we live in a society, but those acceptable behaviors do not save a child's soul. They just make them more pleasant to live with. 

In the illustration of Ethan, I would not allow him to hit children. Hitting is not an acceptable, allowable, it's not an over lookable behavior, but, the real need is his hearts desire to not want to hit children. 

That times TIME. 
It took Ethan time to come to understand and realize the greater good and to see his actions as sinful. 

We come to Christ, are saved and then blessed with His Holy Spirit. That is what enables us to do any good at at all. 

 God takes time with us. 

That's the grace that God gives us. We are adults and we might hit with our words, lash out in anger. Yet, God is so kind to us.
 He never allows that sin in our lives but instead He disciples us, patiently, line upon line, teaches us to grow in Him.
So that we can trust in Him and not our own desires. 

That's what we give to our children. The same grace we are given. We are to be kind, never allowing sin but instead, discipleship and patiently, line upon line, teaching them to grow in Him. 
Praying without ceasing for their salvation and that their hearts would be soft towards Him.
That takes time. It takes time to grow and mature in the Lord. 

With prayer and His power we can be the useful vessels in His hand to grow children for HIM. 

Don and I have adult children and we never got things completely right, we were either to far this way or to far that way, but our one consolation as we tried and prayed is that God is good and He is able to to clean up after us. As you parent, you submit to God, He is so kind to clean up after us, to give hope to our children despite our parenting attempts. It is our Lord God ... He is our hope. 

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. 
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21 

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