Summary: In this message we look at the need for boundaries in the lives of our children. Not only do children need boundaries, they actually want them.
“Boundaries for our Kids”
For me when I was growing up there was not a better show on television than the Andy Griffith show. And one of my favorite characters was Ron Howard, AKA Opie. I never missed an episode of that show. Just a couple of years ago Ross was working at the Intercontinental hotel in Tampa. They have a lot of special guests there. One was Vince Gill. Ross spent time with him and drove him to a basketball game in St Pete. Then one day Ron Howard came through the door. Ross said he was definitely a different kind of celebrity.
First of all he parked his own car. 2nd he carried his own luggage into the hotel. He was a quiet, reserved person. The management at the hotel had a rule that you did not disturb these celebrities when they came in. Don’t ask for autographs and so forth. Ross went out on a limb, called Ron Howard’s room and says Opie, Mr. Taylor, I am really sorry to bother you but I wanted to know if you would have time to meet my Dad. He is your biggest fan. Would it be possible for you to meet him while you are here?
He was very gracious and said yes. I’m eating breakfast at 9:00 in the morning. Ask him to meet me in the lobby and I can meet him and then I‘ll have my breakfast. So I drove over that Saturday morning and stood in the lobby waiting and sure enough at 9:00 he enters the lobby. We were able to talk about 10 minutes. I told him how much I had enjoyed the show through the years. He thanked me and I asked him what it was like being on that show as a child. He said well the funny thing was that when they aired the first episodes they came on at night and he said he was too young and his parents wouldn’t let him stay up to watch them. But he said that Andy Griffith became like a father to him and he said he taught me values, morals and things about honesty and life that I carry with me to this day. It was like family. We talked a few minutes I had my picture taken and he left for the ballpark.
Let me ask you a question. What training did you have for raising your children and where did you get it? And the training that you had was it enough? I think that’s actually three questions.
Where is it that we get our training to be parents? Parenting is without a doubt one of the most difficult jobs we ever undertake. There is probably no job that is more critically important in our world than parenting yet most of us go into it without any knowledge of what to do or how to do it.
(1) One of the sources we go to is our own parents. We learn by experience so we watched as our parents raised us. You may not have thought about it as a child but you were learning about parenting. And perhaps your parents did a great job, maybe an average job or maybe it was not so good but all of that time you were learning. In my college major I had numerous courses that focused on families, child abuse and how children are affected in these families and then discovering ways to help them. One statistic I learned still disturbs me today. 90% of all adults who abuse their children were abused when they were children. It’s a cycle that must be broken. These children grow up and abuse their children because their bad experience is the only resource they have.
(2) Another source we go to is other significant adults. These may be parents of our friends or we have met them at church when we were children and we respected them or perhaps we worked for them as teenagers but there was something about them that you admired that caused you to think I would like to be like that person so you began to evaluate their behavior and without realizing it now, it has made you a better parent.
(3) Another source is the scripture. If you were raised in a strong Christian home you learned that the reason your parents did what they did was because they knew the scripture.
Proverbs 23:13, 14
(4) Christian books on raising children. I have books listed in your outline this morning that are very helpful. Now not all of the advice we need can be found in these books and some of these things work for certain children and may not for others. As you know children are very different. Look at your kids this morning and tell them, you’re different.