Summary: How do we raise our children to honor Christ?
Seizing our Window of Opportunity
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
A church newsletter included this essay by Danny Dutton, age 8. His third grade Sunday School teacher had asked her students to explain God. "One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes these to put in the place of the ones that die so there will be enough people to take care of things here on earth. He doesn’t make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn’t have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that up to the moms and dads. I think it works out pretty good. "God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, cause some people, like preachers and things, pray other times besides bedtime, and Grandpa and Grandma Dutton pray every time they eat (except for snacks). God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or TV on account of this. Cause God hears everything, not only prayers, there must be a terrible lot of noise going on in his ears unless he has thought of a way to turn it off. I think we should all be a little quieter. God sees everything and hears everything and keeps everything and is everywhere. Which keeps him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting his time asking for things that aren’t very important or go over your parents’ heads and ask for something they said you couldn’t have."
Love Them: How do we demonstrate our love for our children?
Affirmation: Communicate acceptance and appreciation for who they are and what they do. Look for the good. Phil. 4.8, A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Hebrews 3.13 Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Physical Touch: Mark 9.36-37 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”
Acts of Service: Mark 10.45 “(Jesus) did not come to be served but to serve.”
Receiving Gifts: Acts 20.35 “more blessed to give than …”
Time: Eph 5.16 “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
The best thing to spend on your children is your time.
Lead Them: What boundaries need to be established?
Our children could all tell you that the sole purpose of their middle name is to let them know that they are outside one of our boundaries.
Dr. James Dobson reports the findings of an interesting study done on school children recently in his film series "Focus on the Family." A group of educators decided to remove the chain-like fences from around the school playgrounds. They believed the fences promoted feelings of confinement and restraint. The curious thing they noticed, however, that as soon as the fences were removed, the children huddled in the center of the playground to play. Conclusion: Children need boundaries.