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Summary: Biblical parenting principals will help to raise a healthy child.

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How can I raise a "normal" child in a world that is out of control?

Proverbs 22:6

School shootings, sexual experimentation, drugs, gangs, cable television, poor academic standards . . . times have changed. What's a parent to do? How can we raise a "normal" child in a world that is spinning out of control?

This is a subject that doesn't have any easy answers. No one in this room has experience raising children in the 21st Century. Though times are changing, I'm certainly glad that some things never change-like the truths of the scripture. Solomon wrote, "Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6 NASB)

That promise remains intact today.

But I suppose the question is, how can we best "train a child?"

In the best selling book "She said Yes!" Missy Bernall tells the story of her daughter Cassie, one of the students killed at Columbine High School. Cassie grew up in church, she came from a nice family, had friends and a nice life.

Then it all changed.

When Cassie entered high school (not Columbine) she changed peer groups. She became friends with some teens who were into Satanic Rituals and other destructive behaviors. Soon Cassie and her friends we praying to Satan for a teacher's and their parents' death. Life at home with Cassie became unbearable. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong, until it couldn't get any worse. And then it got worse.

Missy, Cassie's mom, found some letters between Cassie and her friends describing their plans for murdering their parents. When they confronted Cassie all 'hell' broke loose. Grounding her didn't help. Cutting her off from the phone didn't solve it. In fact, telling the police and getting the families together only made it worse--Cassie's parents became the target of blame.

Where had they gone wrong? The Bernall's were providing a nice home for Cassie, they loved her, they took her to church, and yet she was becoming their worst nightmare. Like many Christians, the Bernall's squeezed in time for their children, but something had to change-what they were doing wasn't working! (From FreshIllustrations http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)

You know the feeling don't you? We run out of daylight long before we run of things to do.

Today, many parents are taking on extra hours and second jobs to provide for their families. Overtime and second jobs means more money but also means less time for family.

A recent Gallup Poll revealed that a nationwide survey of parents of children ages 7-12 that family time has decreased since 1976. The percentage of respondents who engaged frequently in attending religious services together decreased from 38 percent in 1976 to 29 percent in 1997. The percentage who engaged frequently in watching television together decreased from 54 percent to 42 percent. The percentage who engaged frequently in sitting and talking together decreased from 53 percent to 42 percent. The percentage of respondents who frequently have the main meal together on weekdays decreased from 72 percent to 58 percent -- and the percentage who take a vacation together decreased from 53 percent to 38percent.


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