AL MENCONI 6-15
- Friday, June 11, 1999
When I make that statement in seminars, I get puzzled looks from the concerned parents. Although they don't say it out loud, you can almost see their thoughts, "How could it be my problem, it's my child who is listening to that awful music!" That may be true, but how you respond to their behavior is up to you.
The first thing you have to do is decide what your goal is for your child. Is it to control his behavior? Or is it to teach him how to think in a spiritual context? Do you spend all your efforts getting your child to conform to your image or to God's? I'm afraid most of us spend our time managing our children's behavior and trying you get them to submit to our authority at the expense of learning how to submit to God's.
Is it wrong to want your children to be obedient and submissive? Not at all. As a matter of fact, the Bible teaches that children should be obedient. My question has to do with how we get them to obey. Do we spend our time telling our children what to think or do we take the time to teach them how to think biblically?
Did you realize the vast majority of children raised by Christian parents do not live for Jesus as adults? Some reports say 70% or more children with Christian parents will not live for Jesus as adults. Why? Don't we have the right answer? The problem isn't the right answer; we have the right answer. Jesus is God. There is no other way for salvation. The Bible is God's complete word.
The problem is found in how we convey the right answer to our children. How we say things is almost more important than what we say. I'm afraid most Christian parents simply tell their kids what to think instead of taking the time to teach them how to think. Often a parent asks, "Isn't that what a parent should do? Tell my child about the Truths of Scripture?"
Again, let me ask you a question. Would you send your children to a school where all the tests were multiple choice and all the right answers were filled in? All your child would have to do to get a perfect paper is simply sign his name. Of course not. Why not? Because he wouldn't be learning. He wouldn't be taught to think. He would learn what to think, but not how to think.
Think about it, when you confront your child about his spiritual beliefs or his entertainment choices, are you merely coercing him to "sign his name?" Or are you challenging them to think spiritually? Are you filling in the answers for them or are you teaching them how to find the answers in the Word of God? What is your goal for your child?
If we are going to change our goal for our children, by definition it will change our methods for how we talk to them.
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