Summary: Basics of being a good parent.
The other night, I sat down to watch a little TV and unwind before bed time. Just as I sat down, Drew started climbing on me and asking me to wrestle with him, like he does almost every night. Let me tell you, I was tired. It had been a long day, and all I wanted to do was to sit and veg for a while.
I got to thinking though. Drew turned 7 on Friday. Right now, he loves his Daddy and wants me to play with him constantly. In a few years though, he will be busy with his friends. He won’t have nearly as much time for Daddy as he does right now. Right now, when I tell him something, he usually believes it. That will change in a few years. When he becomes a teenager, he will probably question everything I tell him.
I am the only Daddy Drew has ever known, and I pray I will be his only Daddy. With the title “Daddy” or “Mommy” there comes a lot of joy. There comes a lot of opportunity. There also comes a great deal of responsibility. What can you and I do, to help our children grow up to be well-adjusted, mature, God-fearing adults?
In the Bible this morning I would like you to notice with me, 5 basics of good parenting. Look with me please as we see the syllabus to “Parenting 101” found in Deuteronomy.
- Read Deuteronomy 6:1-25
As we look at this passage, we find God had just led the Israelites out of Egypt. They have crossed the Red Sea, and their enemies had been destroyed. God gives them His 10 basic rules for Godly living, and then He says, “Look, this is what’s required if you’re going to succeed in the new land.” First:
I. LEARN ABOUT GOD YOURSELF
God says, “Learn my statues, learn my laws, learn about me.” My friend, if you want to be a great parent, if you want to rear godly children, you must first learn about God yourself. You must first get to know God personally, yourself.
My friend, how are you to teach your children the difference between right and wrong, how are you going to teach your grandchildren about getting the most out of life, if you haven’t learned about God yourself? What are you going to use as your guideline?
Let me ask you my friend, how well do you know God? How well do you know His Word? Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
A couple of years ago, the leadership team and I went through a study called the 21 laws of leadership. The first law John Maxwell gave in that book, is the “Law of the Lid.” The law of the lid says that you can never take people farther than you have gone yourself. You can never lead them where you haven’t been.
If you want your children to turn out well, if you want to help them along the path to godly living, you must learn the way yourself. The first key to great parenting, is to learn about God yourself.
Second, you must Live What You Profess.
II. LIVE WHAT YOU PROFESS - v6
Verse 6 says, ... these words are to be in your heart. In other words, you things you learn, you must live.
While in school, I had the opportunity to serve as a youth pastor in Arkansas for several years. The Lord blessed while I was there. Some young people came to Christ. We had some fun, and the youth and I learned. But, the greatest obstacle I faced there were the parents.
Do you know how tough it is to try and teach young folks about the difference Jesus can make in your life, when their parents say one thing at church and live something else at home? Do you know how hard it is to teach young people that there are things they need to avoid in life, when they see their parents pursuing those very things?
Folks, if you want your children to be honest, then you must be honest with them. Tell them the truth. Keep your promises to them. If you want them to avoid watching some of the junk on TV that will only tear them down, then don’t let them see you watching your junk on TV. No wonder they don’t understand why they can’t have the newest video game, or the nicest pair of sneakers, when they see you trying to buy your way to happiness. If you want them to understand that who you are is more important than what you have, then let them see you work more on your character than your closet.
If you want your children to be forgiving, then forgive them. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t hold some mistake they made in the past, over their heads. Forgive them. If you want them to be optimistic, hopeful people, then you must live that out in front of them.