Summary: Sermon 3 of 4: Four principles from framing applied to raising our children.
Extreme Home Makeovers
Framing Values Into Our Kids
Woodlawn Baptist Church
September 18, 2005
(The idea for this sermon title and series came from Outreach Magazine)
Imagine the scene with me. You’ve decided to build your own home; found the right place to build, chosen the look you’re after and the foundation has been laid. You walk up to a blank slab, the place where you hope to build a home that will stand the storms of life and where you will grow together as a family. You intend to raise your kids here, spend your holidays together, drink your morning coffee and enjoy the evening meals together. Today you stand facing an empty foundation, and with the exception of a few pipes sticking up out of it, it is absolutely up to you how the home proceeds from here.
We’re going to be talking about framing values into our kids today, but before we do, let’s take a moment to read Psalm 127.
“Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who hath is quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
The Bible says that children are a heritage, or a gift from God, and they have been given especially to you by God. He has placed them in your stewardship to raise, and like the house you will build; the final outcome is largely up to you. As I speak to parents today who are still raising their children, I realize that some of you have already raised yours. They are grown and gone, and though they may not answer to your authority any longer, don’t ignore the place of influence God has you in.
Now, the first time I walked up to an empty slab, I’ll have to admit that the feeling was very intimidating. A blank slab is a far cry from living rooms and bathrooms and bedrooms and closets, but as I worked with some guys who were experienced at framing, I learned five principles that I want to apply to raising children.
Know the Plan
Why are you raising your kids the way you’re raising them? Maybe you haven’t thought about it much, but we all raise our kids with a certain end result in mind. It may be that you want them to have a great education, so your discipline, their extracurricular activities, bedtimes and your talks in the car seem to return over and over to doing well in school. Maybe you want them to have it better than you did, or you want them to behave a certain way. You want them to enjoy life, be laid back, easy going and playful, so perhaps you give them lots of room and not so many rules. Whatever that ideology is, whether you consciously think about it or not, determines how you raise your children.
The problem is that most of us don’t consciously think about the end result, so we take a haphazard approach to framing their lives as though we hope they will turn out okay by accident.
Listen, before anything else can be done: before the first nail can be driven, you’ve got to know what you’re building. In other words, what is the house supposed to look like? If you don’t know, then you’ll spend your days frustrated and confused. “Is this going to look right?” “Will I be happy with this when we’re through?” “Will others see it and laugh or will they say ‘Good job?’” That first house I helped build was built with no plans. The owner and the carpenter I worked for had verbally agreed on the general idea of the home, but it was never drawn out on paper, so those of us who had to do all the framing were constantly frustrated. Every day it seemed like we were asking, “Now what?” And what I’ve come to realize is that many, if not most parents spend their days asking that very same question when it comes to raising their children.
Do you know God’s plan? Have you looked over the blueprints? Think through this with me. God says in His Word that you were created for His glory.
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”