Are you a buddy to your kids?

Imagine having to play a game, but no one tells you the rules. Every once in a while your team gets mad at you for not doing something right, and sends you off the field. After some time passes they let you back on, only to send you off again because you aren’t following rules that you don’t know. Wow, would that be frustrating!!

I know this is a strange analogy, but I would compare a parent trying to be a “buddy” or “best friend” to their kids, to not teaching them the rules of life. I know too many former students who told me they “hated” their parent(s). When I asked them why, or if their parents were “strict,” the kids who seemed to hate their parents the most were the ones who had no rules, or limits, and could do whatever they wanted.

Now, I know that kids will be prone to exaggerate, especially in front of their peers, but I have also known these kids well enough to believe what they were saying.

Parents can not afford to be a buddy or best friend to their kids. They must be the ones to set and enforce the limits, and especially when those limits are pushed or ignored by their kids.

Kids need limits. They need rules. They will try to break them, yes, but that is because they want to make sure those rules are really the rules. I have read child psychologist’ statements that knowing the rules actually makes it easier for a child to be happier, because they don’t need to constantly test to find the guidelines.

The Bible has a lot to say about raising up our kids. In most verses about child rearing, the Bible uses the term “rod.” I know not everyone believes in spanking, (although it is not illegal, contrary to popular opinion). I believe that if you replace that word with “discipline,” the verses still make sense. I could go on about this for far too long, so I wanted to put in one set of verses.

Ephesians 6: 1-4, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise – “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

 

Do we have freedom of speech?

Yes, in this country, we have freedom of speech. But with freedom of speech comes responsibility. Some people might disagree, but we do not have absolute freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is a God given right in this country, but there are people sharing made-up information on social media as though it was fact.  Even my Christian brothers and sisters are sharing it, and believing it.

Absolute freedom of speech destroys people, and ruins lives, because it maintains we can say anything we want to about anyone, especially if we don’t like them, or don’t agree with their views.

How is this Christian? We can not believe everything we see or read in social media! If information sounds silly, ridiculous, or even odd, it is probably a lie. If you aren’t sure if it is true or not – take the time to find out before you share it with others!

Jesus said we are to “Love one another” (John 13:34), and, “We love because He first loved us.” He did not say make sure our side wins. He is in control. In this crazy world, Christians need to be mindful that our job is to be ready to give a reason for the faith that we have,  not to share false information that makes one side sound better than the other.

I Peter 3:15, In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” (Bolding mine)

Can you keep a secret?

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When you are a parent, you hope and pray that the secrets your kids keep from you are minor issues, not major ones, right? And we, as our kids’ parents/grandparents, try to be the role models for how we want our kids to behave and live as adults, correct?

That doesn’t mean we tell our kids every detail of our lives though. There will be things we have done, and that have happened in our lives, that we may never tell them, or not until they are mature enough to handle or understand the information.

Someone we can’t keep a secret from, however, even though we may want to, is Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 4:13 it states, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

Just as we need to be “real” to our kids, which means sharing some of our weaknesses with them, we need to be completely real to our Lord Jesus. It doesn’t matter if we feel like we want to hide secrets from Him or not, He knows everything about us, and loves us anyway. Continuing with Ephesians 4:14, “For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet He did not sin.”

Jesus knows, really knows, you. We hide things from friends, coworkers, even our spouse once in awhile, but we can’t hide anything, from what we think, to what we do, from Christ. He knows us better than we know ourselves.

Our best role model is Jesus Christ. He is also our kids best role model, but they are going to look to you to lead them and help them grow as Christians. Be the role model your kids need, by closely following your ultimate role model, Jesus. He loves us despite our doubts and weaknesses. His love for us is unending and complete.

Keep the secrets that must be kept from your kids; hide nothing from Jesus.

Psalm 136:26 – “Give thanks to the God of Heaven, for His steadfast love endures forever.”

What would Jesus do?

Do you remember this question from a few years ago? “What would Jesus do?” “(WWJD?)” I have found myself coming back to this question several times, recently. The question isn’t in the Bible, as far as I know, but as Christian parents/grandparents we are to be “Christ like.” Meaning, we are to act in the same manner as Jesus would.

This needs to drive everything we do, especially when it comes to our kids and grandkids. They need to see us as Christ does. What does Christ see? We need to be about our Father’s business. Nothing more, nothing less. We need to remember who Jesus is,  and what He sacrificed for us. WWJD?

I Corinthians 13:1-7, 13 –  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2. And If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3. If I give away all I have and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5. or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6. it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

13. So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Are your kids learning integrity?

Do you expect to be able to trust your kids? If you are a normal parent/grandparent, the answer should be an emphatic “YES!” But, how often do you talk to them about responsibility and integrity?

If you have older kids, ask them what these words mean. Do they understand what responsibility and integrity mean? Ask them for examples of these traits in action.

As Christian parents/grandparents, we should be all about integrity. We aren’t perfect, and make silly, (and sometimes not very silly) mistakes, but our kids should be able to see and hear us apologize and take responsibility for our action, or lack of action. Proverbs 20:7 states (NKJV): The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.

We must be the role models for teaching responsibility, so our kids can learn the (Christian) values that we say we believe in. Many of their school teachers take the time to try to teach responsibility and values, but they won’t learn them from their friends.

Proverbs 12:22 states: Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight. II Corinthians 8:21 says it this way: For we aim (to do) what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.

The problem is that in today’s world, being “bad” is good, and being “good” is bad. How do we counter that nonsense? The best way that I can think of, is to: First, live what we are trying to teach our kids. If we “cheat a little” or “lie a little” we are just as bad as anyone who cheats and lies a lot. Next, talk to your kids from the time they are little, about being a person with integrity. I believe that all people, even those with very little integrity, admire someone that they know has integrity. Also, read verses from the Bible (there are many more than I have put here) that reinforce what you are trying to teach. Kids need to know that you are trying to follow God’s word, you aren’t just coming up with rules on your own!!

Check out these verses as well:   

2 Timothy 2:15,     Colossians 3:9,      Ephesians 4:25,      James 1:26,      Luke 6:31