Summary: 7 Biblical Directives to childrearing will help us "turn sticks into arrows" in our quiver. Link to Formatted Text and Powerpoint included.
Getting God’s Help in Raising Children
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Think w/ me: Does the Lord build every house? (v. 1)
Are all parents happy? (v. 5)
The point here is not quantity, but quality.
(Quantity depends upon the size of YOUR quiver)
This passage says that children are the heritage of the Lord…but, does it say that children are arrows? Not necessarily!
Children are not born as straight arrows—they are born as crooked twigs! (sin nature)
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Rom. 5 (children of Adam)
And so, our mandate from God, is to take crooked twigs and to somehow form it and fashion it into a true, straight, polished arrow.
7 rules for making arrows out of sticks:
1. Start early
v. 4 “of their youth”
Trust factor—put a toddler up on the cabinet, tell them to jump, and w/ no hesitation they will jump right into your arms. This is the trust factor! The older we get, the more cynical we get. This is the time to instill trust.
Memory factor—much easier to memorize when young. (are your kids like Jacob, able to recite back entire books you’ve read or videos they’ve watched?)
Did you know there are certain chemicals that the brain releases only from age birth thru 5? They will never, for the rest of your life be released again. Science says they are extremely imp’t in the learning of language. (scripture memorization easier than for adults, and will last longer)
I’m losing my memory already (Sr. moments: some of you are even older than me!)
Joke—older lady said to husband, I’m losing my mind: 1/2 way up stairs, can’t remember if going up or down/1 foot in tub—getting’ in or out/he said, hope I never get like that, knock on wood, who’s at the door?!
Humility Factor—Jesus said you can only be saved w/ the faith of a child. A child has not yet learned to be proud, or arrogant. A child is humble. And even an adult has to humble himself to be saved.
A child is soft and moldable when young, but the longer you wait, the harder the clay gets.
Curiosity Factor—Children are so curious. What is their #1 question they ask? “Why!”
“where are we going?”/springfield/why?/that’s where Lincoln’s old house is/who’s lincoln?/why did he live there?/ “he just did”/where’s springfield?/35 miles w. on 72/oh, ok…what’s 72?
We should strive to be patient w/ their curiosity, because tomorrow they won’t be curious any more.
All human beings are born w/ an innate desire to answer 3 questions:
Where did I come from?
Why am I here?
Where am I going?
If we don’t answer the children’s questions, someone else will! (evolutionist will be happy to answer/secular humanist/cults)
1. start early
2. Be creative
Deut. 6 tells you when to teach your children the Bible. “when you’re walking/standing/sitting/lying down”… “paste it to your forehead, and on the jam of each doorway they will walk thru!” Every day has different opportunities to teach if you look for them
3. Make character the goal
the greatest needs in our society today is character and integrity.
Examine any walk of life: politicians, athletes, factory workers, health professionals, white collar, blue collar…no collar!…priests, ministers, evangelists: it’s not hard to find people of low character in any walk of life.
We need to teach this next generation that what’s most imp’t is not your achievement, but your character.
Ill.—rather my child bring home a report card w/ honest C’s, than dishonest A’s…perhaps one day they’d make an honest dime, rather than a dishonest dollar!
Ill.—a little boy named James ran up to his dad and said, I’ve got an extra nickel!/where’d ya get it?/on the trolley, the driver forgot to take it, so I can ride tomorrow for free!…with great disappointment on his face, his father said, today, you traded your integrity for a nickel.
James never forgot it, and James Cash Penney went on to build a world empire in retail based on principles of character and integrity.
4. Set limits
In the OT, Eli, the temple priest, had 2 evil sons. They seduced women at the temple where he served. They stole people’s sacrifices right off the altar, and would eat them!
And I Sam. 3 says his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
Set limits! Be the boss! Restrain them! Take charge!
I used to go to Wal-Mart, and see that spoiled brat in line, throwing his temper tantrum, and say, “I’d like to get a hold of that child for 5 minutes!”/now, “parents”!
Children need limits…it makes them feel secure, to know their boundaries.
“my children push the limits!”
Yes! That’s right! Now you get it. They push and test the limits, hoping you’ll pass the test! And when you do, they gain a sense of security. “dad is consistent”… “mom means what she says.”