Song of the week: Lead Me by Sanctus Real
I have been focusing on parenting this month during my quiet time, and since I happen to like SM Davis a lot, the sermons I picked to share this week are from him again. Pastor Davis has quite a bit of godly wisdom to share, and when he preaches I think it is kind of like listening to a firm, but kind, grandfather.
The first sermon is Bible Pictures of Godly Children, which helps you know what to expect from your younger children (if you recall, last week's sermon discussed What to Expect From a 12 Year Old). The second sermon discusses How to Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go, which covers the parent's responsibility to the children they are blessed with in more detail. You can scroll down and locate the sermon study sheets to go with each of these talks HERE.
Children are a blessing, and our heritage. Other than our relationship with the Lord, and after that, our relationship with our spouse, our children should be the most important thing in our lives; not our job, not our own "personal" fulfillment, not our friends, not our hobbies, nor any other forms of entertainment. Too many families these days are falling apart because they do not have their priorities in the right order. That's why I also listened to How Right Priorities Prevent or Solve Life's Problems to learn more. In retrospect, I might reverse the order for istening to these sermons, putting the one about priorities first, then the one about parenting, and then the one I listened to with my kids (Bible Pictures of Godly Children) last.
It has been my observation that children today, instead of being primarily influenced by the Lord and by their God-fearing parents, are greatly influenced by their peers, their teachers, their neighbors, the television and music they take in, and many others. Unfortunately, these days, many parents are eager to "farm" their kids out to others to raise, whether it is through public (or even private) school, multitudes of "enrichment" activities, or many outside relationships. Sometimes this is because the parents are just plain busy (working or "playing"), other times it is because they feel inadequate to the task of parenthood, and other times they are just "going with the flow," trying to give their child "all the extras" they think the child needs to stay "on top of the game."
These same parents often then become frustrated by behaviors their children begin to exhibit due to outside ungodly influences, or influences that perhaps while good, may not be in keeping with their personal family philosophy. I am not trying to imply that all outside influences are all bad. I am merely suggesting that we need to evaluate the importance outside things have in our lives and the lives of our children, and make sure that the highest level of influence upon our children remains the parents (and the Lord). It is then, when the home becomes the place our children learn from and are influenced by the most, that they will turn towards us (and the Lord), and we will truly have their hearts. If I can ensure that each of my children knows and loves the Lord and seeks His will, and that they love others (and each other), then no matter what other things (even good ones) may have had to be set aside, I will be truly happy.
Bible verse for the week:
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."
Deuteronomy 6: 4-9
I think, as parents with a God-given mandate to raise up our children for the Lord, we need to have a clearer picture of what we should be seeing in the lives of our children, and then we need to figure out how to build that up within our own homes. I hope that by listening to these three sermons, you will be inspired to see what God expects of all of His children...both those who are young, and their parents.
Remember, God gave YOU your children to raise, not someone else, and they are the most precious gift imaginable (other than Christ's gift to us on the cross of forgiveness and eternal life). We must all be very careful what we do with that gift. Our impact on their lives cannot be measured and should never be underestimated.
I pray that you are having a pleasant Sunday with your family. We are enjoying a much needed rainy day inside, doing puzzles, reading books, and simply enjoying each other's company as we rest, warm and dry, at Blessing Farm.
Blessings to you and your family,