JOY OF A WORD FILLED FAMILY SERIES
How Do We Raise Pure Children?
Let’s be blunt: don’t say you are committed to Christ unless you are pursuing the mind of Christ! God has a will for your mind! Saturated with the word.
So the goal is the mind of Christ. We need to pray and seek and plan how to promote our and their growth in Christ's Mind!
So the scandal is Christian neglect. We can’t let another day go by without praying for their minds. We need to plan for their purity. We need to expose them to the right things.
The cure is to saturate your mind with the word. We read to them. We hlp them read. We discuss the Word of God. We demonstrate by our love that we love God's word!
- Stop indiscriminate and endless watching of TV and videos.
- Start systematically and prayerfully reading and studying God’s word
- You have the time -- take it!
Let’s choose the mind God has willed us to have today.
Some Further Thoughts on How to Win
The only way to gain purity is by obedience to God's command that we mortify our lusts. Here are eight practical action items to begin the MORTIFICATION process in our life and the life of our family. That word means
· To throttle sin and crush it in our lives, sapping it of It's strength, rooting it out, and depriving it of It's influence. ...
· Mortification involves the cultivation of new habits of godliness, combined with the elimination of old sinful habits from our behavior.
Probably the most helpful presentation of this vital subject is found in the book The Vanishing Conscience by John MacArthur. The seventh chapter entitled “Hacking Agag to Pieces”, is wonderful. Listen to these key Biblical commands, we can start with today, that are highlighted:
1. Abstain from fleshly lusts. If there are specific areas we know RIGHT NOW are sin, we must repent of them.
2. Make no provision for the flesh. We need to cut the supply routes. If there are magazines, videos and so on that are less than Christly, destroy them. If there are avenues like cable that defile, cancel it. Do what ever it takes to starve the evil desires of our and their flesh.
3. Fix your heart on Christ. This is daily and purposeful and planned.
4. Meditate on God’s Word. After we read and ponder, we memorize and then comes meditation.
5. Pray without ceasing. This is the best, greatest and most powerful way to touch their lives.
6. Watch and pray. Be on the constant lookout for Satan’s advances. Never trust the flesh. Resist the devil.
7. Exercise self-control. This is a daily pattern of saying no to specific temptations and saying yes to the Holy Spirit as he prompts us.
8. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Which is letting the Word of God fill our lives!
Each of these Biblical commands are for us as Christians to obey. They are not something we pray for and wait. They are for us to actively grab a hold of and obey.
The realities of life dictate that we move from this calm and tranquil haven of joy--the God designed home--to 1998.
The Crumbling World Around Us
When school started this fall, a group of 3.6 million children born in 1979, that the U. S. Government has been tracking since 1986 will be in their second year of college in September, 1998. Of these 3.6 Million:
· 504,000 grew up with unmarried parents -- one in seven.
· 936,000 were latchkey, “raise yourself” kids -- one in three.
· 1,080,000 have seen mom and dad split up since they began in kindergarten -- one in three, so far.
If we aren’t leading our children in the right way, the world will sweep them away!
Danger Signs for Dads
A few years ago, the
1) Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way he will grow up to believe the world owes him a living.
2) When he picks up bad words, laugh at him. This will make him think he’s cute. It will also encourage him to pick up ‘cuter’ phrases that will blow off the top of your head later.
3) Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he is 21 and then let him ‘decide for himself.’
4) Avoid use of the word ‘wrong.’ It may develop a guilt complex. This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing a car, that society is against him and he is being persecuted.
5) Pick up everything he leaves lying around--books, shoes and clothing. Do everything for him so he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility onto others.
6) Let him read printed matter he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but let his mind feast on garbage.
7) Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children. In this way they will not be too shocked when the home is broken up later. (The behavior of parents toward one another must be governed by one principal condition: obedience to God. Who can hope that children will turn out well, when the marriage from which they spring has turned out ill? The development of the children is not something isolated, which can succeed without respect to the relationships which are connected with it. They are members of a moral organism.)
8) Give a child all the spending money he wants. Never let him earn his own. Why should he have things as tough as YOU had them?
9) Satisfy his every craving for food, drink and comfort. See that every sensual desire is gratified. Denial may lead to a harmful frustration.
10) Take his part against neighbors, teachers and policemen. They are all prejudiced against your child.
11) When he gets into real trouble, apologize for yourself by saying ‘I never could do anything with him.’ And finally:
12) Prepare for a life of grief. You will be apt to have it.
That’s not God’s way...
Fathers: Would You Do It Any Differently?
One father summed it up this way. He said, “My family’s all grown, and the kids are all gone. But, if I had to do it all over again, this is what I’d do:
v I would love my wife more in front of my children.
v I would laugh with my children more--at our mistakes and our joys.
v I would listen more, even to the littlest child.
v I would be more honest about my own weaknesses, never pretending perfection.
v I would pray differently for my family--instead of focusing on them, I’d focus on me.
v I would do more things together with my children.
v I would encourage them more and bestow more praise.
v I would pay more attention to little things, like deeds and words of thoughtfulness.
I like the way Charlie Shedd described it in one of his original promises to his tiny son, Peter:
I hope that I will be able to make religion natural to you. It is natural. In fact, I think this relationship with God is the only thing that is one hundred percent natural. We will pray together until it is easy for you to put your arms on the window sill of heaven and look into the face of God. Before I put you back in your crib, I want to tell you something Philip said.
We had been out in the country for a ride. It was evening and we ran out of gas. We were walking along after we had been to the farm house, and I was carrying a can of gas. Philip was only four. He was playing along, throwing rocks at the telephone poles, picking flowers, and then, all of a sudden it got dark. Sometimes night comes all at once in the country. Philip came over, put his little hand in mine and said, “Take my hand, Daddy. I might get lost.”
Peter, there is a hand reaching to you from the heart of the universe. If you will lay your hand in the hand of God and walk with Him, you will never ever get lost.
Some Final Goals as God's Dads
The Biblical Method is for us as parents to be doing the following:
1. POINTING them in the way they should go Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (KJV)
2. LIVING around them with loving affection Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (KJV)
3. REMEMBERING that much depends on us. 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (KJV)
4. KEEPING conscious of the priority of their eternal soul. Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (KJV)
5. LEADING them into personal knowledge of the Scriptures 2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (KJV)
6. DEMONSTRATING our love for God's House and His People Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (KJV)
7. SHOWING them how to live by faith Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul [which] is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. (KJV)
8. CALLING them to the imperative of obedience Deuteronomy 6:1-7 Now these [are] the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do [them] in the land whither ye go to possess it: 2 That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do [it]; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (KJV)
9. EXPECTING them to always tell the truth Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. (KJV)
10. REMINDING them to redeem precious time Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (KJV)
11. EMPHASIZING personal discipline Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (KJV)
12. REMEMBERING God's pattern of dealing with His children Psalm 103:13 Like as a father pitieth [his] children, [so] the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (KJV)
13. EXEMPLIFYING God as the Perfect Parent. We should emulate the example and priorities of the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2:11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father [doth] his children, (KJV). Note the order and content of his parenting was:
14. POSTITIVE “exhorted”
15. PERSONAL “ and comforted”
16. PRACTICAL “ and charged every one”
17. ABHORING sin's potential grip on their lives John 8: 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. (KJV)
18. BELIEVING God's promises Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (KJV)
19. PRAYING for their personal habits of prayer 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing. (KJV)
What is God’s way? God’s way is for us as parents to actively and continually lead them into obedience! Let’s get started. Chuck Swindoll wrote a masterful treatment on this topic: Growing Wise in Family Life. Some think it is his best. Listen to him:
“Specifically, how do I respond to the evil bent in my child? You must counteract it. You don't dare leave it alone! Too many parents have chosen to do that. That’s why you read of ten-year-olds scheming the death of their parents, or twelve- and fifteen-year-olds committing heinous crimes. “First, to get the “inside help” you need, you need to lead the child to a knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That spiritually dead nature needs life. Only personal faith in Jesus Christ can make that happen. Salvation is of highest priority! “Second, you need to deal with wrong as it occurs. Deal with it sufficiently until the child learns that wrong won’t be permitted. Your child must learn to respect authority. Your child must also learn to obey. You don’t shrug and say, ‘I just can’t do anything with my five-year-old.’ You stay at it until your little one gets the message. If you need professional help, pursue it. Your desire is to shape that stubborn will with wisdom.”
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