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Then, the Scripture gives the type of BEHAVIOR that will lead to BLESSING in each of the areas in which families are challenged.
1. Families are challenged in the FUNDAMENTALS. Proverbs 3:1-2
1My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
2For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
Every parent is looking for children to obey their law and commandments. This is fundamental.
The BEHAVIOR needed is OBEDIENCE FROM THE HEART - "let thine heart keep my commandments."
Fathers and mothers must seek to guide a childís heart if they expect them to follow their instructions. The kind of obedience that God wants in all of us comes from love.
The BLESSING rewarded is A LONG AND PEACEFUL LIFE.
Many psychological and physical problems in life stem from inward disobedience. ATTITUDES are essentially important to a blessed life.
Helping our children obtain and maintain a positive attitude by our example and instructions, by the way we reward ATTITUDES, not just BEHAVIOR, is the foundation to child behavior modification.
2. Families are challenged in FORGIVENESS. Proverbs 3:3-4
3Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
4So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
These verses teach that mercy and truth must be balanced. Mercy is the disposition to forgive.
The BEHAVIOR sought is FORGIVENESS by TRUTH.
There are basically three types of parent:
1) The Permissive Parent, who allows anything, failing to lovingly confront their childís misbehavior out of laziness, ignorance, or misunderstanding of their God-given place as a parent. (Children raised by this type of parent have a hard time leaving the nest.)
2) The Authoritarian Parent, who goes too far in discipline by judgmentalism without builing a loving relationship. (Chilren raised by this typeof parent canít wait to leave the nest!)
3) The Authoritative Parent, who balances love and discipline. The child knows his or her boundaries but also knows he or she has been given those boundaries because of love. (Children raised by this type of parent will leave the nest at the right time with a good attitude.)
The Authoritative Parent balances MERCY and TRUTH properly as these verse teach. They raise well-adjusted children who are able to get along with others and function productively in society and when they begin their own families.
The Authoritative Parent is a reflection of how God parents. His correction of us includes mercy and truth!
The BLESSING of authoritative parenting, that blends mercy and truth, is FAVOR AND UNDERSTANDING from God.
3. Families are challenged in regard to the FUTURE. Proverbs 3:5-6
5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
The BEHAVIOR sought after is TRUST. When we think of the future for ourselves and our children we could be plagued with worry if we fail to trust God. As we trust Him our children follow our lead. They become confident and well-adjusted because they acknowledge God.
The BLESSING of TRUST is DIRECTION
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