Summary: Good parents want what is in the long-term best interest of their children, not what makes them happy for the moment. God’s Word offers us some balanced principles of parenting.

Parenting: The Forest View

(Ephesians 6:1-4)

1. Parenting has its challenges. Part of the reason parenting is so challenging is that no two kids are exactly alike. Proverbs 22:6 is a principle, not a promise. Freewill.

2. (CBS News) Jake Barnett is one in 10 million. The Indianapolis 13-year-old has been acing college math and science courses since he was eight years old. Now Jake is a college sophomore taking honors classes in math and physics, while also doing scientific research and tutoring fellow students. No one could have predicted that Jake would even make it to college. At age two, Jake began to regress - he stopped speaking and making eye contact. The diagnosis: autism. Jake is proud of his autism. "That, I believe, is the reason why I am in college and I am so successful," he tells Morley Safer.

3. There is a big difference between parenting someone like Jake and another child who is the ultimate people-person or an athlete.or a typical Joe or Jill.

4. That’s why God’s Word offers us broad directions that we can adjust to each child, yet instructions specific enough so that we have some firm boundaries.

Main Idea: Good parents want what is in the long-term best interest of their children, not what makes them happy for the moment. God’s Word offers us some balanced principles of parenting.

I. Do Not Be AFRAID of Setting the Agenda (1-3)

A. Children need to be TAUGHT to respect parental authority (1-2)

1. Noah’s son, Ham, was disrespectful to his father while drunk; cursed

2. “In the Lord,” George Sweeting’s dad: learn to obey me, easier to obey God

3. The motivation is to raise children who will honor God, and teaching them to honor us helps that end

4. Our children are a stewardship, our goals are long term, aimed at their adulthood (like 2 Tim. 2:2 for families)

5. "Children" refers to minor children; we honor our parents differently as adults

6. Some parents want their kids to love them, but not concerned about being honored or respected by them

B. We all need to understand that God’s way brings BLESSING (3)

• May be connected to length of life for obvious reasons

• Think of all the young people who have died from disobedience: speeding, drinking, drugs, the wrong crowd, daredevil behaviors…

C. Parents need to be comfortable TELLING, not just asking

1. True of younger children; too many ask young kids to make choices they should not be given

2. If we are not comfortable with our authority as parents, that’s bad

3. The way to correct an example set from your parents is to aim for balance, not opposite

4. Many families out there in which pleasing the kids is the priority…bad news

D. Blended families may bring COMPLICATIONS

II. Steer Clear of FRUSTRATING Your Children (4a)

A. Some parents never even CONSIDER this command

• They used to say children should be seen, not heard

• They were wrong

• Many parents rear their children like everyone else does…

• Jesus at the Temple, notice how Mary and Joseph handled it…

B. Parents must be ALERT to how they impact their kids

Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your children is to be happily married and committed to your spouse. Some families do not have this foundation. There is not replacement after that; if kids do not have that foundation, we can only seek to minimize this handicap

Kids really want mom and dad to get along and enjoy one another.

Ways we may exasperate our children (

1. Abuse in all its forms, including verbal

2. Name calling and labeling

3. Sarcasm

4. Nagging

5. Threats and bribery

6. Too much praise (insincere)

7. Fault finding, overly critical

8. Too many rules/picky picky

9. Comparing

10. Not listening/giving attention

11. Being unreasonable

12. Quick to become angry, blowing up

13. With holding independence (should assume age-approp. indedpendence)

14. Standards that are too high

15. Too permissive

16. Lack of headship in family

17. Inconsistent discipline/public discipline

18. Hypocrisy

19. Passive aggressive

20. Absenteeism

C. INTENTION is not as important as is what is DELIVERED

• Most parents intend to do what is best, what they actually do is what counts

• Some children, overly sensitive; what is appropriate for one not the other…

• Strong willed children need differing standards…

D. The fruit of frustration is DISENCHANTMENT

• I know many adults who resent their parents; sometimes it takes adulthood for this to become obvious

III. Be Intentional With Both Discipline and INSTRUCTION (4b)

A. Discipline is mostly STRUCTURE and CONSISTENT expectations

1. Not mainly punishment (but should be swift)

2. Expectations may vary between children

3. Vacillation negates discipline (take time deciding punishment)

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