If we are teaching our children to be followers of Jesus, we must teach and encourage them to help others! Children naturally love to help, yet we often get so involved in what we need to accomplish as parents that we forget to include our children when we are serving. We can give them age-appropriate opportunities, and we can model what it looks like to help others, so they can learn to show God’s love by meeting people’s physical, monetary, emotional, and spiritual needs.
As a mom dedicated to raising my kids to know God, follow Him, and stay away from the temptations of the world, I have been wondering how and when to teach my kids about sexuality and purity. This topic has begun to come up among circles of mom friends, as our oldest children are now mid elementary age, and it can be an intimidating subject to approach. I started to research the topic more and invested in some books to find a methodical approach I could use, and I have been overwhelmed by the many different and contradicting Christian thoughts and approaches on how and when to talk to kids about sex and puberty.
I am sure we have all experienced the scene of an enraged toddler pounding his fists, stomping his feet, and screaming in the middle of the store isle, “I WANT THAT TOY!” Everyone goes about their business pretending like they don’t notice the racket and trying not to cover their ears and make a mad dash for the door.
Last month I had an opportunity to interview Joey and Carla Link from Parenting Made Practical, and in “part two” of our interview, they share some practical tips and resources for teaching our kids to obey. Moms that find themselves parenting through difficult circumstances will be encouraged that, while it may not be easy, teaching your children to obey is possible!
When my kids were very young, I had a hard time not losing my patience with them on a daily basis. I love kids, but I just expected my kids to- well, be perfect, and perfect, they weren’t! Of course they were growing and maturing, but it felt like such a slow process when they were in the middle of it and still so young. When they went against my rules, the anger would sometimes get the best of me, and I would think, “How DARE those kids disrespect me like that?!”
I recently read the book, Why Can’t I Get My Kids to Behave, by Joey and Carla Link of Parenting Made Practical, and I love how they not only explain the importance of teaching children to obey but also the practical side of how to do it! The Links get to the heart of obedience and provide practical tools to help train your kids that are easy to understand and implement.
It is clear from scripture that one of the ways we can disciple our children is to teach them to be good listeners. God wants His children to learn to listen to Him and His Word, pay attention to authority to gain wisdom, and be attentive to the needs of others.
While praying about which character trait to focus on for my monthly devotional, the word “secure” kept coming to my mind. This is not a traditional character trait that we tend to focus on as parents, and I tried to brush it away, but I felt God continuing to press it into my heart.
As I continued to pray and seek God on the matter, I felt that He wanted us as parents to focus on security, because it is one of the most important attributes our children need to thrive in this life.
Some of my favorite verses to pray both for my relationship with my husband and with my kids are from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, where God defines true love.
Good character is not something that just sprouts out of our lovely children on its own, although that would be really nice if it did! On the contrary it must be modeled, taught, reinforced, and encouraged.