Parenting Sons Without Regrets: The Discipline of Discipline
- Tuesday, April 30, 2013
2. Celebrate the victory of Joshua, and tell your son you celebrate his courageous triumphs as well. Moses rejoiced by building an altar which he named The Lord is my Banner, “recalling Moses’ petition with upraised hands, and testifying to the power of God displayed in defense of His people.”
3. Pour courage into your son by telling him the Lord is his Ban¬ner as well. On days when your son is obviously struggling with a sin¬ful behavior, pray together, asking God to help him make right choices today. Remind your son that the same God who helped Joshua will help him. This will help your son to realize God sees his struggle and desires to offer him strength for victory.
4. Promise your son you will faithfully serve as his prayer warrior, just as Moses did for Joshua. One of the most powerful influences you can have upon your son’s development into a godly man is to pray diligently on his behalf. Your position as intercessor, rather than in the middle of his every struggle, will prepare your son to be a man who relies upon his God for strength, and not upon his mother.
5. Commit yourself to praying for your son daily as he fights against temptation. Some common temptations your son may face are the compulsion to lie, being unkind to his friends, taking vengeance on someone, or cheating on his schoolwork. Throughout the day, pray for your son to resist these and other struggles.
Pray for the Prodigal
As a parent, you’ll come to see that there are times when children fall into sin and rebel against God. They may refuse to turn from their sinful ways, and reject their parents’ guidance and God’s authority over their lives.
What should you do if you find yourself in that situation? From Luke 15:11-32 there is much you can learn about responding to a rebellious son. When the younger son in that story asked his father to give him his inheritance early, his father acquiesced. The young prodigal left home and squandered every penny of his father’s money on care¬less, unholy living. It’s important to observe that even though the son’s choices would cost him dearly, the father never ran after him. Instead, the brokenhearted father stayed home and watched the horizon with the hope that one day, his rebellious son would return.
Notice also that the father allowed his son to experience the conse¬quences of his foolishness. Rather than sending his son more money after the inheritance money was squandered, the father let his son suffer from his rebellious choices. The father did not attempt to rescue, manipulate, or “guilt” the son into returning home. He simply waited for God to do whatever was necessary to bring his son to repentance. And then, when the son returned, the father welcomed him with open arms.
As much as you may ache over your son’s rebellion, remember that only the Lord can arrange circumstances to break your son’s hard heart (see 2 Samuel 14:14. Your attempt to control or engineer your son’s contrition may serve to push him farther away, or it may get in the way of whatever lessons God is trying to teach your son.
One of the worst things you can do is try to rescue your son from the consequences of his rebellion. God is likely working to bring him to brokenness, and your intervention may delay the Lord’s work. The greatest influence you can have upon a prodigal son is faithful prayer for his repentance from sin.
Saint Augustine’s Mom
Aurelius Augustine, who was born in AD 354, was a prodigal. His sinful rebellion grieved his mother. “Yet through it all, one thing remained constant: Aurelius had a godly, praying mother named Monica. He had broken her heart as a rebellious youth, but not her love. He had soiled her name, but nothing could stop her prayers.”
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