Friday, August 25, 2017

Hard Question

Hard Question
Ecclesiastes 10:12 
Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious. . .

What do you do when your preadolescent child, a boy, comes to you and says, “I want to be a girl?”  With today’s culture, and the changing of traditional values, I’m sure it happens more than we would like to admit. Still, the question is how would you respond to this young boy’s statement? If you rush in too hard and approach your 10 year old with overwhelming information, it may cause them to identify more with this type of life-stye. 

As their parent, you need to calmly help them through the biblical definitions of male and female and God’s purpose and plan for them. Should you be concerned? Yes, of course, but do not over react to what your child has said. They may have just heard this expressed by someone at school,  or a friend and they’re testing the water using you as their sounding board. Ask them questions and don’t assume that they have grasped what they just repeated to you. Most likely, they don’t understand what is happening to them physically and what they are feeling emotionally. Be careful not to show a negative approach to this statement causing an adverse or damaging response. Your angry response may fuel a wrong desire and cause them to retaliate against you.

A parent needs to teach their child that sex and sexuality is positive, good and holy. The right kind of Biblical approach towards sex helps a child put things in the proper perspective. Of course, sex and the sexual desires of a young person need to be taught with the age of the child in mind. But unfortunately, most children are taught or are made to think that sex is bad. This causes them to have a negative view of what God has deemed virtuous, pure, and perfectly designed by Him. Parenting through the hard questions or declarations a child may bring to you takes wisdom that only our God can give. 

Lord, fill my words with Your grace.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Parenting Young Adults

Parenting Young Adults
Do you have children that would be considered a young adult? It is important that you, as a parent, have created a bridge from your heart to the heart of your child long before they launch out on their own. They’re getting ready to start careers, find a mate for life and some are even questioning their beliefs about the existence of God at this point. 

The attitudes young people have towards their parents are extremely important; considering they will be leaving the security and influence of their home. When following their God given desires, the remarks or statements made by you, the parent, will either encourage or discourage them in going forward. If a child is discouraged in pursuing their life long goals and ambitions, it can sway them into making wrong or sinful decisions.

What is it that a young adult needs to hear from their parents? They need to know that you are on the sideline cheering them on and not the referee throwing up flags telling them what they are doing wrong. Changes do happen during this stage of life and letting go is far more difficult then a parent thinks or wants to agree to. God works in the life of every believer and has entrusted to them desires of the heart that He has given (Psalm 37:4). Parents need to inspire their child to seek wisdom from other godly people which will help to secure their decisions towards a good and right path.

The consequence of good parenting is that your children will move out of your home and be a responsible adult spiritually, mentally and socially. We want to encourage our children to continue in their faith and rally around them to find a good church home. Hopefully, you have done all that you could to help them grow and mature in Christ while they were in the home. Now, God willing, their hearts will always be turned back to you for loving support especially during the hard times.

Lord, may I always be an encourager.  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Self-Righteousness or Saving Grace

          Self-Righteousness or Saving Grace

There are times, in Scripture, when someone has come to Jesus and asked, “What do I do to obtain eternal life?” They’re asking, “What works can I do to inherit eternal life?”  No one can obtain eternal life by their own doing, it is the gift from God, not a result of works (Ephesians 2:8,9).

In Luke 18:18-30, the rich ruler came to Jesus saying, “. . . Good Master (Teacher) what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” His response, “Why do you
call me good? No one is good except God alone.” This man was not recognizing that Jesus was God, only that He was a “Good Teacher.” Jesus told him to keep the commandments. This meant that the rich ruler must keep all of the commandments perfectly. If he were to break one, he would be breaking all of them (James 2:10). He tells Jesus of his self-righteousness and declares before God Himself he has kept all the commandments from his youth. He doesn’t think that he is a sinner and in need of God’s salvation. He is moral and believes he has done all things without flaw. Despite his self-righteous bragging, he walks away in sadness not knowing true saving grace.

“Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But he said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God”
(Luke 18:26-27). We can’t save ourselves no matter what we do. It is impossible for man to be saved through himself. It’s only possible with God, who gives us eternal life through the power of the gospel.

Salvation is not for the dedicated, or those who have kept the whole Law (impossible) but for those who see themselves as dead in their trespasses and sins and then brought to life. They have believed the gospel, the finished work of Christ! The gospel is so important to teach and preach because it is the power of God that brings Jew and Gentile to Christ (Romans 1:16).

Lord, may I never be ashamed of the Gospel.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Parenting Teens?

                   Parenting Teens?
If you could change anything about some past parenting failures, what would it be? Would you have shown more compassion, or given more grace instead of coming down with the Law–––the hammer?

As a parent of teenagers your goal should not be to fix them but to try to understand them. Help them through natural life tendencies. Encourage them to adjust and amend certain practices or habits that are not healthy for them to continue in. Have you been surprised by the changes that have come about in your young person’s life physically, mentally, or spiritually? Change is inevitable for them and mom and dad must accept the changes as long as they are not sinful.

Parents need to work together in their parenting principles and decide together how and when they are to approach their child/teenager in grace. The teenage years are very crucial when building long lasting relationships as they mature into adults. It’s extremely important for parents to develop and demonstrate a sincere invitation for their teen to come to talk with them. Confess any negligence, if necessary, of the lack of availability towards them. They need to feel safe when they come to you knowing that they will experience loving grace, the same grace Christ has given to you?

Most of the time the problem with the child is faulty parenting. For instance, how would you discipline a 14 year old when they have ignored or gone against your instructions? Not by screaming at them or punching them out. At this age, it’s the restriction of freedom that works best. When you pull back their freedom, it gets their attention. Being a responsible teenager gives freedom and when they don’t act responsible their freedom is taken from them. The teenage years are a wonderful time of life and we need not be fearful of their growing up, their questions, or their ideas. Love, acceptance, patience and much prayer will draw your child to you that you may nurture them through those “geeky, scary” years we call, “the teenage years.”

Lord, give me wisdom to parent.