Summary: Effective family living series Part 4

How to be a Great Kid

Ephesians 6:1-3 (NIV)

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

2 "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise--

3 "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

Look at our world… Is it not a terrifying world? These past weeks, we hear of kids being abused by Roman Catholic priests in North America. We hear in Toronto, seven year old Randal Dooley whose birth mother said: "He died worse than a dog being hit by a vehicle” who was murdered and abused by his father and stepmother. Then we hear of A 19-year-old student who had been expelled several weeks ago went on a shooting rampage, all dressed in black, in his former school in Erfurt in eastern Germany, killing at least 18 people and wounding some six others. Most of those who died were teachers. Another Columbine! The problem even goes hi-tech, I was at a meeting in my kids’ school, and it was revealed many are being harassed and bullied on-line. Folks, this is the real world… how can we have great kids in a world like this?

Look around who are the heroes kids can follow. Sharon, Arafat and Bin Laden are touted as heroes in parts of our world. They have pin-up posters of them made! Who do we have here in North America? Bart Simpson, Britney Spears? This week we may have Spiderman but we’ve got to get real, no one in this world is going to be bitten by a genetically altered or radioactive spider. No one is going to get a spider sense. Most of heroes we have, are the GI Joe type that shoot and ask questions later. It seems to me, the heroes we have sure do not look very good. Our heroes seem to pepetuate a culture of violence. That tells me kids today will have a tough time to be great citizens or great kids, they will struggle. How can we help them?

The Bible’s remedy is…

A. OBEY: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (v.1)

Be a great kid eh? Remember in tht time when this was written, violence erupted there too like today. They were riots like the ones we just had on May 1, at a mall downtown. Kids were treated like slaves, just as child pornographer Robin Sharpe wants to do today. Yet Paul says...Just obey the parents that God gave us. It is within God’s will “in the Lord” …“for this is right!” In the original text the word “obey” comes from two words, “under” and “to listen”. Literally “to listen under”, i.e. a conscious and deliberate listening, listening so as to really hear.

Here’s a test to see if you listen well…

1. A bicycle can’t stand on its own because it is two-tired.

2. What’s the definition of a will? (It’s a dead giveaway).

3. In democracy it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism it’s your count that votes.

4. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

5. A lot of money is tainted. It taint yours and it taint mine.

6. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.

7. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

8. Once you’ve seen one shopping centre you’ve seen a mall.

9. When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.

10. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

11. Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeet.

You won’t get the joke unless you listen well and take time to digest the info. It’s not that kids don’t listen, it is rather they don’t listen well. In one ear, out the other. It is same with adults too! Too many things complicate and compete for our ears.

In our culture the biggest culprit is TV. TV critic Michael Medved notes that families in USA began falling apart around 1960—the time the first generation raised on TV hit adolescence. These kids grew up on the wholesome sitcoms of the 1950s. Yet by 1965 the family, by every measure, had undergone massive deterioration. TV’s message is …

· Instant gratification: Every imaginable problem can be solved in thirty minutes. "And the whole point of commercials," Medved adds, "is to make you want things and to want them now." Both of these elements undermine obedience, does it not? Makes for lots of shouting matches and tantrums. Problems are seldom worked out patiently, caringly, for long-term growth.

· Relentless negativity: The focus of TV news is relentlessly negative, Medved observes. What is deemed news worthy, what gets top billing – only the shootings. Disasters, scandals, riots, who divorced who, gossip,

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