Monday, April 8, 2013

Shepherding Our Children

The hard drive crashed in the desktop yesterday so after figuring out what would be the best route to take, Hubs decided to buy a new desktop. He's been busy setting that up tonight and I was bored so I decided to read more of "Shepherding a child's heart" by Tedd Tripp. I started it a while ago when I was working out at the gym but haven't read it in a while.

What I read tonight rocked my world.

It's not new scripture to me. And probably not new to you, either.

Ephesians 6:1-3 says "Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise: that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

But the way it was explained, expanded on is something that I've never really given much consideration before. First off, I have to say it's not about US, the parents. Sure, I am aware that my children are supposed to honor and obey me. It's not about laying down the law and demanding honor and obedience.

Why are our children to honor and obey us? Because it pleases God. I know this and I tell it to my kids but that's just surface level. Tripp takes it a step further. WHY is it important to please God? Because raising kids who honor and obey their parents is about their relationship with God. By honoring and obeying us, they are kept under God's covering, within his covenant blessing- he promised that if they honor their father and mother, theat it will go well for them and they will enjoy long life on earth.

Our children need to honor and obey us because it benefits THEM. It is for their sake, not our own, that we need to require honor and obedience.

In addition, our children need to know that obedience is a response to God; we are made for God, we have a duty to Him, we OWE him obedience. Our children will never submit to us if they don't understand this. They need to see living in terms of bringing glory to God.

It's so easy when we're instructing our kids to tell them do this, don't do that. And to remind them that the Bible commands them to obey their parents. But what about the promise? Oh, there's a promise! A wonderful promise that we should not be neglecting to teach our children.

I'd like to add another verse to this. Ephesians 6:4 says "Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." What do you suppose we do when we make honor and obedience about us? Provoke them to wrath. That's exactly what it does to them. How frustrating it must be to them to be told do this, don't do that. But to not know WHY.

Eye opening and heart breaking yet encouraging and inspiring. I am going to try, and I encourage you to do the same if you're not already, to remember the promise when we instruct our children. To remember it's not about us, it's about them and their relationship with God. I think this is going to be revolutionary in our parenting and in our kids' relationships with God.


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