PARENTING SIMPLIFIED In a not-so-simple world   

STABILITY AND FOUNDATION

“Sociologist Paul Amato estimates that if the United States enjoyed the same level of family stability today as it did in 1960, the nation would have 750,000 fewer children repeating grades, 1.2 million fewer school suspensions, approximately 500,000 fewer acts of teenage delinquency, about 600,000 fewer kids receiving therapy, and approximately 70,000 fewer suicides every year.”  — Source: Huffington Post “Breakdown of the Traditional Family”

TECHNOLOGY—-FRIEND AND FOE

A couple having a child today discovers “Information overload”. Adding to their own parents advise and example, the internet has become the prime source for how to raise this little one. Blogs, apps, tweets and chat-meets offer a myriad of opinions on endless subjects. What does this mean? It means that we must use media with wisdom and caution! Receive advice from the internet and well-meaning friends for what it is.

Feelings of being overwhelmed. Marriage readiness requires an enormous amount of personal maturity. (remaining married too) Now add the wide swing of emotions that child birth brings. Every parent, especially those coming from broken homes, will need much more than what the internet can provide. Two are strengthened by becoming one. Listen to those wise vows you made. Stay together and grow—grow in and through poverty, wealth, sickness and health!

But in the beginning God made a man and a woman. That’s why a man leaves his father and mother and gets married. He becomes like one person with his wife. Then they are no longer two people, but one. And no one should separate a couple that God has joined together.” Mark 10:6-9    

Parenting is two, imperfect yet growing individuals who understand love to be more than a feeling and commitment to be more than self-service.   

When this ideal is broken, as it often is, then one parent assumes even more reason to befriend his/her God and to connect with others who can assist in parenting beyond the norm. Both parents must continue to grow and support their child, even through the difficulties of broken lives and relationships.

Just because homes are broken at a rate of one half–Do not reject the ideal of two parents as the norm. This is to reject the God who establishes it to be so. The removal of ideals and standards never serve to salve our conscience, only to further the distance from peace and harmony in a life and home.

family breakdown

Not knowing who to trust. “With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgement. Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow.”  Proverbs 3:5-6   This is especially life-giving if you must support your child without a spouse. The internet can be a prime source for deception and poor advice. Friends and family are often wrong.

 

The injection of hyper-competition. Ever look at your friends POSTINGS with envy? How about their “super- child” formulating algebraic equations at two? Super parents who have it all together and a new _____to prove it?

“Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude.”    I Corinthians 13:4

 

VIDEO/TV   USE WITH CAUTION

WE CAN CONTROL THE “SCENE PACING” AND THE CONTENT

Video games and television contribute significantly (good and bad) to our children’s lives.  Dr. Klass reflects:

“The stimulation that video games provide is really about the pacing, how fast the scene changes per minute,” said Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a pediatrician at the University of Washington School of Medicine who studies children and media. If a child’s brain gets habituated to that pace and to the extreme alertness needed to keep responding and winning, he said, the child ultimately may “find the realities of the world underwhelming, under stimulating.”  (Perry Klass, M.D. New York Times, May 2011)

The pressure is on for our kids to be “super human” too. When this tension is too great, they act-out because they stress-out. Many children, especially those prematurely exposed to violent content along with adult-themes experience anxiety, depression and antisocial behavior. Blinded by our own hyper-work-tiredness and apathy, parents often miss the clues.

AN AGENT OF BALANCE, WISDOM AND MATURITY

Are we willing to read the bible, God’s Word, and measure all knowledge against it—trust Him to guide our lives?

When you look at your own life and your child, where does the Bible, Jesus and His church fit in, if at all?

You and I really do need His wisdom.

SLOW and good wisdom for us and our children:

“Respect and obey the Lord! This is the beginning of knowledge. Only a fool rejects wisdom and good advice.” Proverbs 1:7

“If you respect the Lord, you and your children have a strong fortress and a life-giving fountain that keeps you safe from deadly traps.”  Proverbs 14:26-27

“If you obey God, you will have something to leave your grandchildren. If you don’t obey God, those who live right will get what you leave.” Proverbs 13:22

“Teach your children right from wrong, and when they are grown they will still do right.” Proverbs 22:6

 

Personal Study and knowing when to seek help

There are many professional counseling centers and opportunities for self-help. Never be ashamed to seek help as a parent.

This is one of many fine places. http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/

Few of us went to school for a degree in parenting, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea.

 

FORGET ABOUT “TRADITIONAL”  WHAT DOES THAT MEAN ANYHOW?

Instead, focus on effectiveness and all that is best for your child. Look at what God has designed with yearning. If you have yet to reach His perfect order, then welcome to the world the rest of us understand so well. But never stop learning His best and seeking to do it.

Children really do need super parents; both living together—Mom and Dad.

In today’s world, more than half of our children will not experience the benefits of this ideal. Mom and dad must always be focused on their own growth and maturity as individuals—married, widowed or divorced. When both parents are not available to a child, through death or divorce, this child will need additional security and love through other relatives and a caring church family.

“Children, you belong to the Lord, and you do the right thing when you obey your parents…Parents, don’t be too hard on your children. Raise them properly. Teach them and instruct them about the Lord.” Ephesians 6:1,4

Of course, this means that you must know the Lord yourself.

Children follow our examples, especially in matters of faith, hope and love.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A SUPER PARENT?

Follow the simplicity of scripture. God cannot lie. Trust the truth of His Word for your life and family. The following is His design. Be aware that this is quite contrary to our worlds system and design. It comes from the bible. COLOSSIANS 3:18-21

A wife must put her husband first. This is her duty as a follower of the Lord.                                                                                                               

 A husband must love his wife and not abuse her.  

Children must always obey their parents. This pleases the Lord.                                                                                    

Parents, don’t be too hard on your children. If you are, they might give up.”    

 

Children think of themselves the same as does the most significant person in their life. Imagine that! Even when they reach the impressionable teen-aged years when their friends and media impose clever advertising campaigns, parents can still remain the super heroes. How?

—From your own relationship with your past, honor your children by telling them how you have failed and how God forgives and sustains us when we confess and repent. RECOVERY is a necessary coping mechanism for all of us in life.

—From your own relationship with Jesus, teach them the value God wills to them. This world will only use them and a parents task is to protect them from harm while allowing them to grow up in a fallen, often dangerous world.

 

LOVE

Love God more than you love your spouse or children and if you do not, you can crush them with your expectations that only God can meet. Keep your family in a local church for bible study, worship and kinship.

 

LISTEN TO WISDOM AND HEED IT

wisdom-from-above

“But the wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere.” James 3:17

Television and Social Media alone can influence your child adversely by premature exposure to all things adult.

Read this ABC News article about the effects of exposure to sexual themes: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/AmericanFamily/story?id=126534&page=1

Mom—Dad, would you allow poisonous snakes and spiders into your home and in your child’s rooms?

HERE ARE FIVE BITS OF WISDOM TO FOLLOW

Run from temptations that capture young people. 

Always do the right thing.

Be faithful, loving and easy to get along with. 

Worship with people whose hearts are pure.

Stay away from stupid and senseless arguments.”                     II Timothy 2:22-23

 

UNDERSTAND  THAT THIS WORLD WILL NOT “GET BETTER”.

This is because parents who ignore God, His Word, His Son and His Purpose will most often raise children who live out the same denials. Here is what the bible says about our future:

Understand that the last days will be dangerous times.

People will be selfish and love money.

They will be the kind of people who brag and who are proud.

They will slander others, and they will be disobedient to their parents.

They will be ungrateful, unholy, unloving, contrary, and critical.

They will be without self-control and brutal, and they won’t love what is good.

They will be people who are disloyal, reckless, and conceited.

They will love pleasure instead of loving God.

They will look like they are religious but deny God’s power.

Avoid people like this.”            II Timothy 3:1-5

 

UNDERSTAND NOT TO BE AFRAID. OUR ROLE IS TO BE SALT AND LIGHT. THIS BRINGS US DELIGHT AND SECURITY AS WE LIVE FOR HIM–AS WE FIND OUR SIGNIFICANCE AND PURPOSE IN SERVING HIM.

HOW TO BECOME A CHILD OF GOD While all of us are created and loved by God, not all are His child.

In child-like faith—Turn, Trust and Receive Jesus today. “Only God’s Spirit can change you into a child of God.”  John 3

“God has also said that he gave us eternal life and that this life comes to us from his Son. And so, if we have God’s Son, we have this life. But if we don’t have the Son, we don’t have this life.”   I John 5:11-12 CEV    

“Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.”  John 14:6 NIV    

“Money paid to workers isn’t a gift. It is something they earn by working. But you cannot make God accept you because of something you do. God accepts sinners only because they have faith in Him.”  Romans 4:4 CEV    

“So you will be saved, if you honestly say, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death. God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this and tell it to others.”              Romans 10:9-10 CEV    

 

PARENTS WHO TRULY KNOW CHRIST AND SEEK TO FOLLOW HIM AS A DISCIPLE WILL DISCOVER THE SIMPLICITY OF PARENTING IN A NOT-SO-SIMPLE WORLD.

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