June 3, 2009

Charting The Course

Here are a few passages to ponder as you continue charting your course through the parenting series.

Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

You must know where you want to go and how you are going to get there.

Proverbs 4:26-27 Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.

Once a course is charted you must consistently stick to it.

Galatians 6:7-9 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Parents plant things into their children daily. The things planted will produce a harvest. A parent cannot plant criticism, sarcasm, and insults into their children and expect them to produce love, encouragement, and kindness.

II Corinthians 9:6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

You must make certain commitments to your children and keep them in order to reap the rewards of pleasant children. Two hours of family time a week cannot compete with unending hours of television, computer and other influences. (Remember the Duet. 6:4-7 principle).

II Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice ,and I am persuaded is in you also.

One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is a genuine faith. Leaving a legacy of spiritual fervor rather than just having a religion is essential to passing on a godly seed.

Proverbs 23:4-5 Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! 5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.

“A child’s birthright is the right to spend time with his family.”
Frank Minirth

Setting time aside at the beginning of each year to pray and seek God’s direction as you chart your course for your family is helpful. Tim and I have done this for many years. We typically get away one weekend in January. The whole purpose for our trip is to reevaluate our goals from the previous year and then to seek God’s direction for the current year. Our charting includes many aspects of our lives. When our children were young we would discuss areas we thought we needed to improve in as parents, as well as areas of difficulty for our children. We would develop a plan as to how we could possibly teach and train them in those areas to help them grow stronger. We would typically focus on particular character traits as well as certain behaviors. For example, one year our goal was to focus on being a servant to others. We felt that some of our children were struggling with selfishness and ungratefulness. In order to combat this attitude, we spent time volunteering and doing acts of service as a family. We reinforced the concept of being a servant by memorizing scripture pertaining to serving others, reading books about those who serve, as well as consistently addressing attitudes that were opposite from that of a servant. Behavior problems were a bit different. We would define the problem and then decide as a couple what we thought were appropriate consequences. After informing our child of our decision, we would work together at being consistent with discipline. Though working together as a couple makes it so much easier, I am aware that you don’t all have that luxury. I encourage you that if you don’t have an involved partner, consider seeking the Lord for guidance and begin to implement a plan as an individual. Parenting is a difficult stewardship and without the support of your partner it can be quite challenging. When you get discouraged and want to quit always remember that Grace-Works.

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Just a few pictures of Julia from our recent camping trip!