Summary: This is the second sermon looking at tips for successful parenting.
Pitfalls of Parenting from the bottom of the Pit 2
I think it was John Wilmot 2 Earle of Rochester who said, “Before I was married I had six theories on raising children, now I have six children and no theories.” Last week we looked at Proverbs 22:6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. And I said then that we had to notice that Solomon only mentioned two age groups there, a child and when he was old, not even Solomon who was considered by many to be the wisest man to live was going to hazard a guess about those turbulent teenage years. It was Mark Twain who said that “when a child turns thirteen he should be put into a barrel and fed through the bung hole, when he turns sixteen you should close up the bung hole.” Twain must have had similar experiences to Will Rogers who said, “Bury them at thirteen dig them up at twenty-one”
But we don’t want to put them in a barrel or bury them, at least not very often, instead isn’t our hope as a parent that we can show our kids a path, a good path that they will able to follow throughout their life? As far as I can figure out the best way to paraphrase Proverbs 22:6 would be “Do your best when they are young and hope for the best when they grow up.”
Two things that we looked at last week to start us off this week, 1) If you have children who are grown up and you have never had any real problems with them and they are serving God then I would suggest that instead of patting yourself on the back that you would be far better to get down on your knees and thank God, because as my daddy used to say “I would expect it is more good luck then good management” And 2) is just as important. If your kids haven’t turned out the way you think they should have and if you feel a little disappointed and even a mite embarrassed sometimes then I have a deep and profound thought for you, write it down and carry it in your wallet, engrave it on your mind cause here it is, “Always remember that God has trouble with his kids too.”
A group of pastors and their spouses were talking one day about our kids and how they had turned out and one of the women made a comment that has stuck with me and she said, “I will take some of the blame but I won’t take all of the blame.” And then she said “And if I’m going to take some of the blame I’m going to take some of the credit too.”
Last week we looked at five points for raising good kids they were: 1) pray hard 2) Remember that conflict is normal 3) Don’t don’t don’t compare your children to one another 4) encourage your children 5) Expect the best
Titus 2:7And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. 6) This is probably the most difficult one of all, Model What You Expect. One day a little boy’s mom caught his tell a fib. “Do you know” she warned “what happens to little boys who tell lies?” “No what, Mommy?” he asked. “Well,” she said, “there is a man up in the moon, a little green man with just one eye, who sweeps down in the middle of the night and flies away to the moon with little boys who tell lies and makes them pick up sticks all the rest of their lives. Now you won’t tell lies any more will you for it’s awfully, awfully naughty.”
American author James Baldwin nailed it when he said “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
Nowhere is it truer then at home that more is caught then taught. Now you may be able to rationalise to your satisfaction why you can do something and they can’t by using the standard, “because I’m an adult” but that doesn’t always cut it with a child or a teen. “Do as I say not as I do” is no longer a valid child raising technique. Maybe we ought to change Proverbs 22:6 to read Direct your children onto the right path and then walk in it yourself
There is no place that the consistency of your Christian walk will be examined more closely or more minutely then at home by your children. For better or for worse your kids will probably grow up just like you, and ain’t that a thrilling thought.