Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Parenting - Lessons About Children

This is the second installment of "39 Lessons, 20 Tips and 10 "Don'ts" For Parenting" by Matt & Elizabeth Schmucker from the most recent edition of 9Marks E-Newsletter on Family and Parenting. Here are lessons 12-30 in which the Schumakers share what they have learned about children as parents.

12. Little kids need the strength of your youth; older kids need your wisdom (i.e. have children while you're young!).

13. Pack in truth while your children are little and trust the Lord to unpack it in his time.

14. Study your children. Know their "love language."

15. Consistent, loving, faithful discipline brings peace to the home. Inconsistency brings chaos.

16. Do not let your child see their value in light of the world's standards. The world rewards the 3 R's. God delights in the heart that is tuned toward his (Deuteronomy 30:8-10: "You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers, if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul").

17. God hands out "talents" to our children. The child with two talents who exercises both may in fact be more pleasing in the eyes of God than the one with five talents who exercises three (Matt. 25). Faithful stewardship is the goal!

18. On some days, it's just fine to accomplish nothing more than keeping your kids fed and safe.

19. Older children need to learn how to care for the weaker among them; doing so smells like Jesus. Matthew 18 reads, "And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." By contrast, Psalm 10:2 reads, "In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises."

20. Do not presume you will be able to speak into the lives of your older children if you do not live in their world when they are younger. Play with your children. There is a reap/sow principle at work here (2 Cor. 9:6: "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously").

21. There's nothing wrong with boredom for your children. It causes them to be creative.

22. Send your kids to bed well (and school!) (Eph. 4:26: "In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry").

23. Make sure your kids keep short accounts with each other. Create a culture of care and forgiveness in your home (1 Cor. 13:5: "Love…keeps no record of wrongs").

24. Teach your kids to be shock absorbers, not wave makers (Matt. 5:9: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God").

25. Kids can memorize scripture very quickly.

26. Teach your children to notice needs. Teach them to ask, "What can I do to help?" (Phil. 2:3: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves").

27. Teach your children to look adults in the eyes. It shows respect and recognizes authority.

28. Fight materialism by teaching your children to have a thankful heart (1 Thes. 5:18: "…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus").

29. Teach your children to receive reproof, correction, and instruction (Prov. 12:15 "The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice").

30. Let kids be kids. Let them dabble in various areas of extra-curricular activities (sports, art, drama, etc) rather than build a resume.

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