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Daily Devo- Godly Parenting

As parents we have many responsibilities pertaining to raising our children. We literally have to teach our children everything- from eating- to walking/talking- to how to interact in the world as they grow. Our children rely on us to teach them life’s most basic needs and provide them with the tools and knowledge needed to survive and have a fulfilling, happy life.

When you ask parents what they feel is their responsibility to teach their children- you get answers like: Feed them- Protect them- Prepare them for life. These things are all necessary but we also need to further break it down and think about what we are teaching our children.

Is it positive? Is it helpful? Will the things they are learning from us, help them or hurt them, in their futures?

How do we know what we should and should not teach our children?

This world has been grossly misinformed on how our children should be raised. They are confused by ‘lovely-sounding’ misconceptions that ultimately lead to destruction at some point in their lives.

One example is the rose theory. It alleges that children are like rose buds- if no one bothers them or interferes with them- they will naturally unfold into gorgeous roses.

Sounds nice! The problem is- children are not born with the same needs as a plant. Children need strong, loving parents- not a friend or an observer- to watch them ‘naturally unfold’.

I have heard many times in my life that having a child does not come with a how-to or instruction book on raising them. However, as I grew and had my own child- I realized this is not entirely true.

Although, when I gave birth and was ready to leave the hospital with my new little bundle of joy- no one handed me a book and said read this and you will have perfect children. The thought of thinking you can raise a perfect child without any outside interference is a bit laughable for me at this point in life. There is no way to control or predict and prevent negative life experience’s for our children- it is guaranteed going to happen- we live in a sinful, fallen world.

But we do need to be teaching our children how to be prepared and how to respond, when unexpected things happen.

The Bible is God’s handbook on life. It has a lot to say about how to raise our children and how we should and should not live our lives- furthermore it also explains why we should raise our children in a specific manner- as it leads to joy, fulfillment, love, peace, and eternal life- just to name a few.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it

Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

Let us take a look at seven functions of great parenting according to God’s Word.

  1. Nurturing-
    Besides the obvious nurturing in healthy foods- As parents we should be feeding them spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and socially. We teach them how to handle emotions like anger and sadness correctly. We teach them how to play and share- how to recover from grief or loss- how to laugh and how to pray. We should be teaching them how to think, listen, and learn and how to communicate effectively. Above all we should be teaching our children about God.
  2. Protection-
    All infants need protection from a loving parent to survive. Good parents seek to find a balance between protection and overprotection- especially in a world that is becoming increasingly violent.

    But we also need to provide protection over their mind and soul in an eternal sense. We should be leading by example and teaching our children about God. Protecting their minds against agnosticism (the belief that there is not enough proof to say that God does or does not exist), prejudice, hatred, and injustice.

    We must counter cultural trends that encourage superficiality (lack of thoroughness, depth of character, or serious thought) and materialism (a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values) to be the basis of their thinking. We need to equip our children with the truth and train them in the way they are to live, according to God’s will, in order to protect them from these ways of thinking.

    They may temporarily rebel but they are likely to return to those good teachings they learned early in life.
  3. Creativity
    Good parents are creative with how they teach their children- correct them- play with them- spend their money- prepare them for the future- and even on teaching their children about God.

    Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NKJV- “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
  4. Education:
    Many parents seek out the best preschool for their toddlers in hopes the child will receive the best education and prep for elementary school. However, children need far more than just the text book basic academics. Children need to learn the foundation of trust.

    Trust comes from a consistent response to your child’s needs. Weather the response is tender love or tough love-likely a mixture of both, but either way the child knows you are there, you care, and will take charge for their well being.

    Preschoolers who learn how to respect boundaries and obey rules are more likely to be safer and more responsible teens. Proverbs 29:15,17 makes it clear that children respond to the rod of correction.

    One example I have seen is picturing the rod of correction as a shepherds hook- designed to prod wayward sheep away from danger. And at times, the hook is needed to rescue a sheep who has fell into real danger.

    Children can learn to know right from wrong- we simply must teach them. We need to teach them the qualities that later become the fruits of the Holy Spirit- love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

    By teaching our children these values we are preparing them for a future in eternity.
  5. Motivation
    You set the tone of your child’s inner voice. We should be teaching our children that their life is no accident- that God has a plan and purpose for them- their only job is to seek it- find it- and follow it.

    Motivation to make one’s life count for God is taught at a young age. Parents who bless their children with this truth and help them to discover God’s best for them live a happier, more fulfilling life.

    Unfortunately, some parents choose a different route of motivation in their parenting- they declare things over their children that are negative predictions- usually done in bits of anger. These statements are detrimental to a child’s mental health and become the very curse that causes some children to fail. They believe the lies and curses their parents have said over them to be true and it robs them of the healthy motivation it takes to accomplish what they are called to do in life.

    Paul wrote in Colossians 3:20-21
    Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

    When parents bless their children- it is easier for children to be obedient. We as parents can not ignore, neglect, or abuse our children physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally and think that they would or even should be obedient to us.

    God calls children to be obedient to their parents and show respect but He also tells parents NOT to provoke (stimulate or incite (someone) to do or feel something, especially by arousing anger in them.) their children.

    Bless your children with the love of Christ and they will grow to do the same.
  6. Relinquishment
    The goal of Godly parenting and training our children up in the way they should go is to raise happy, healthy, and God-fearing adults whose lives will make a positive impact in the world.

    Teaching our children responsibility through giving them chores or tasks to complete- showing them how to complete them well- and than expressing approval and appreciation will prepare them to become independent, motivated adults.

    Letting our children go out on their own into the world is a scary process. However, this process can be easier when parents have the reassurance that they are transferring them from the shelter of their parental wings to the perfect care of God.
  7. A place to return
    Teaching our children the foundational truths in God’s word will prepare them for times of struggle in life. Having a solid foundation is important for our children to successfully navigate through life’s storms.

    Sometimes children stray away from God, but they almost always find their way back. This is because they have the solid foundation in which their childhood formative years were built upon.

    This will also help bring comfort as we grow older and eventually pass away. Our children will know they are never alone- that they are a child of God and can fully rely on Him for every need.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being a Father of love- for being patient with each of us- and for giving us Your Word so we may study it and learn more about who You are and who we are in You. Lord, I thank you for giving us this message and showing us through scripture how we should be parenting our children. I pray parents all across the nation will open their hearts to You and seek Your guidance. Lord, the world is so lost and many are chasing what they desire without giving any thought to their eternal destiny and they are falling into the traps of Satan and choosing the ways of the world. Lord, many do not even know who You really are and have never tried to know You. Many were never taught about Your love, mercy, and power and Lord I pray they would have an undeniable encounter with You. That they would feel Your love and presence and be moved to seek You more. I pray parents everywhere, including myself, would remember to teach our children about You and to live by example. I pray for Your protection over each of us and our nation as a whole. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- July 24 2019

Deuteronomy 20:4 (NKJV)

for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

Home, Life, Family, Encouragement

FREE GIFT: Mercy

Do you like free gifts? No strings attached, a gift that you do not have to earn? What if the gift that is being offered could guarantee you happiness, joy, peace, and overflowing love and acceptance? Would you accept the gift? Would you be willing to receive it and all the benefits that come from the gift? That is what I would like to share with you today….God’s mercy which is an absolutely FREE gift to anyone and everyone whom is willing to receive Him.

Mercy is defined as disposition to be kind and forgiving, the feeling that motivates compassion. Our God is a merciful God, as he sent Jesus, His only begotten son, for those of us who are needy, imperfect, and weak. He sent Jesus to be our help, to rescue, deliver, and save us from death. To die for our sins, so that we may have eternal life. Yes, that is right, Jesus was tortured and ultimately killed for sinners like you and I to be saved! WOW! That is one great example of how merciful, compassionate, and loving God is.

What this means is you can’t force God to love you, he loves you freely. I find peace in knowing that God’s love will NEVER change. You also can’t earn God’s mercy, He has already given it to you, all you have to do is freely and openly receive it. God’s mercy is an overflowing mercy, and the Bible tells us, at least 44 times, that God’s mercy endures forever.

God’s word, the Bible, has many references to how God is a God of mercy.

Psalms 59:17 (NKJV)

To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; For God is my defense, My God of mercy.

Exodus 20:6 (NKJV)

but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Deuteronomy 5:10 (NKJV)

but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

I Chronicles 16:34 (NKJV)

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

We make mistakes and fall short of the glory of God daily, that is what makes us human. Its our reaction and responses to the mistake that determine if we are going to grow in God and with God or grow away from Him. When you make a mistake recognize it and choose to react differently.

Don’t Say.. I am not what I should be, I will never get there, I am a bad person, I have failed, what is the point…

Do say.. I made a mistake and I am sorry. I am thankful that You, God, are a merciful and forgiving God. Lord have mercy on me and forgive me for my sin(s).

Psalms 51:1 (NKJV)

Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.

 

It’s a journey with God, a walk, made up of many, many small steps. As you walk with the Lord, you begin to grow and He changes you from the inside out. God is looking for progress not perfection and He wants you to be happy and celebrate your progress no matter how big or small it may seem.

I myself have struggled with this very concept, God doesn’t expect us to be perfect and to change over night, I mean He should know right? He created us and He is the one working in us and changing our heart. So if God created us and God is the one changing us then why do we act like God is surprised when we mess up? Truth is, God is not surprised, you and people in this world around you might be surprised, but God is not.

Dr. Phil Willingham, pastor of Heartland Christian Center, said it like this during one of his sermons…

  • Justice is GETTING what we deserve
  • Mercy is NOT getting what we deserve
  • Grace is GETTING what we DON’T deserve.
  • The word “mercy” is used 252 times in the Bible and it literally means, “Love in action.”

Truth is none of us really want what we truly deserve.

Either by nature or by nurture many people believe God is a fickle God and you never know what He is going to do. This is not true the Bible tells us exactly whom God is, what He wants for us, how to handle the world we live in, and what to do when we “mess up” along the way.

Receiving and accepting mercy is not an easy task for many people.

After a lot of reading, studying, and research, this is what I have found (I am sorry I didn’t keep track of my sources) Here are a few reasons why it’s difficult for some people to receive mercy ….

1. They were never given mercy as a child.

2. They have perfectionist temperaments and usually only see what is wrong instead of what is right.

3. They have learned an improper teaching of God’s character.  (God is NOT mad at you! However if you have a rule-oriented, religious attitude, you will think God is expecting things from you that He is not. You will feel pressure continually feeling like He is angry or displeased The Bible says God is slow to anger.)

Psalms 103:8 (NKJV)

The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

4. They feel mercy is not fair. Its given to those who do not deserve it and that is difficult for some to grasp. (But…..If we are all honest with ourselves we know we have all done things that we (or God) are not proud of and that puts us in the I don’t deserve God’s mercy category).

The struggle with mercy could be linked to our struggle with accepting genuine love (not worldly love). Mercy is love in action, so as humans, we often unknowingly compare Gods love with those whom we love and interact with in the world daily. Here is an example from my pastor that helped me….

Human love often looks like this…

I love you….UNTIL you frustrate me.

I love you….UNTIL its easier to love someone else.

I love you….UNTIL you make me mad.

I love you….UNTIL (you fill in the blank)

Gods Love looks like this.

I love you….UNTIL eternity, no matter what.

Gods love is unchanging and unshakeable.

Gods love is steadfast and knows no end.

I ask you today, if you have not already, will you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Have you done this? This is GREAT NEWS and calls for celebration! Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior does not change you overnight… you must spend time with Him in His word (the Bible) and learn about who He is and the promises He offers to those whom accept Him, seek Him, and love Him with all their heart.

My prayer for you:

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus I pray that this post will reach those whom need to hear your message. God I pray that you open each and every one of their hearts. I pray you give them eyes to see the way you see things. Ears to hear Your word and direction. I pray they would have understanding and clarity about what you are speaking to them today. God I pray they accept Your free gift of mercy that You offer to each of us that are willing to be faithful and follow Your path. God I pray that they will have all the mercy they need in Your name. For your ways are higher than our ways, and Your plans are better than our plans. God I pray who ever is reading this will be moved by your spirit and put their trust in You and Your Word. It is in Jesus mighty name I pray. Amen.

 

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- August 1, 2016

Deuteronomy 11:18- “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand.”

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- July 25, 2016

Deuteronomy 30:16- in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statues, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.