Summary: Some of God’s guidelines on how to parent with positive attitudes and actions.
BECOMING A POSITIVE PARENT
Part 3 of 6 in the series "When Relationships Disappoint You – How to Find Peace in the Pain"
The national news recently revealed how Hollyweird actor Alec Baldwin royally chewed out his 12-year-old daughter by leaving her a very angry and belittling voicemail. In addition to the cursing, shouting and name-calling he threatened to fly from one coast of the country to the other to set her straight on her responsibilities as his daughter.
I was thinking of playing the audio of the call for you this morning but it was just too graphic in some spots – even with the curse words bleeped out. And I also realize that all parents do stupid things so I’m not mentioning this to beat up on the guy. What he did – and it being made public - is really embarrassing but we all do and say embarrassing things too and I’m sure we wouldn’t want them broadcast on national television.
So I want you to know that I’m not Mr. Baldwin’s judge but I am dismayed that a grown man would call his young daughter a “stupid little pig.” And instead of saying, “I’m going to fly across the country to show you how much I love you” – he says he’s going to fly across the country to set her straight. And I know he was angry with his ex-wife, Kim Bassinger.
I only mention this because I think this incident is all too indicative of the wrong direction many parents are headed with their children.
All of us should care – parents, grandparents, step-parents, foster parents, prospective parents, people who stand in positions of leading children – like teachers and children’s ministry workers. All of us should care about all children whether or not they are our children. But of course parents do have a special responsibility.
Parenting isn’t easy. At times it can be one of the most demanding jobs God has given us. But it can also be very rewarding. To know that God has entrusted souls to your care for feeding and leading – especially leading them to love the Lord – is a great honor.
Like every other relationship we need God’s help to parent.
So we’re going to look today at several things the Word of God says about Becoming a Positive Parent. I hope you aren’t following the negative nature of parenting that Mr. Baldwin and others have adopted. The Bible presents parenting as a positive role. God wants parenting to be an exciting and very joyous and rewarding role.
So He tells us in His Word, the Bible, what it takes to be a positive parent. In spite of all the negativity surrounding us – we can be positive in every area of life if we stay tuned in to God’s thinking.
1. NUTURE BY FOCUSING ON THE POSITIVE.
Although punishment is sometimes appropriate, a supportive relationship is the key to success as a father or mother.
The Bible describes how mothers are to act when it says this:
"We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children." 1 Thessalonians 2:7
Paul and his church-planting companions behaved toward the new believers as a mother should her children. When he wrote back to the Christ followers at Thessalonica he thought of the parenting role.
Fathers are also called on to be gentle and nurturing – not gruff like an army drill sergeant.
"For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory." 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
Circle that phrase, “encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God.” What a tremendous job description for parents! I know what I am supposed to do as a parent. I am to encourage my children. I am to comfort them. I am to urge them to live lives worthy of God.
So as a parent I have to evaluate my attitude and my actions by this benchmark. Do the ways I speak and act toward my children encourage them? Do they comfort? Do they urge them to live lives worthy of God?
Why haven’t parents followed this plan?
Of course there are several answers to this question.
One is – they don’t always know this is the plan. Today, you can say you know. But I don’t think ignorance is the biggest problem.
There is also the fact that there are so many negative role models. Some of you had parents who berated you and discouraged you and I’m truly sorry that happened. Your parents may or may not have been the best role models.
Or we see the way parenting is modeled on television and in other forms of media and it is often a pitiful display.