Sunday, April 3, 2016

More from the Weekend Parenting Conference

Last night I shared some of the ideas communicated by Dr. John Street at the parenting conference our church hosted this weekend.  I cut it short as I was bleary-eyed and needed some shut eye, but I have more things I want to share here on the blog.  What I share will be a hodgepodge of various nuggets of wisdom from my conference notes.  In this post I am primarily sharing notes on the topic of wisdom versus foolishness.  Please forgive any typos as I'm pretty much cutting and pasting a bunch of stuff from what I typed during the conference.  Hopefully something I share here will be encouraging to my readers.  I know many of these truths were refreshing for me to hear and pray about this weekend.

Proverbs 4:3 says, “When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me, Let your heart hold fast my words keep my commandments and live.  Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.”  

Your children do not naturally go after wise things!  This is not naturally in keeping with their nature.  They have to be instructed and you’re the one to do that.  This culture is ruled by self definition.  Everything is self defined today.  Children need to say, “I don’t define myself.  God defines me.”   We do not want to raise foolish children.  

Our psychologized culture says a foolish child: 

*Is a slave to close-minded principles, the child must be free to self-expression! 

*Is not educated in all world-view systems and does not accept each as equally valid! 

*Is limited by authoritative structures! 

Proverbs 1:22 has a description of three stages a child will go through in becoming thoroughly foolish!  

*Open minded/without discernment/Naive
*Scoffer: Thinks high of his own opinions/A know it all (Psalm 2:4)
*Fool: Believes restrictions are bad/ “I am a law unto myself.”  

This is oftentimes our children.  How do you deal with children like this?  Wisdom and knowledge begin with the fear of the Lord.  

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” 
Proverbs 1:29 “Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices.” 

The child has to choose the fear of the Lord before they can become wise.  They have to daily choose to obey God over their natural inclinations.  A child who is respectful of the Word of God and humble and teachable will live a secure, confidant life.  This is a truly wise child, and it begins with the choice they make to fear the Lord.  Teach your children that fearing the Lord is a choice they make daily when they choose obedience to God over their natural desires.  It is a dangerous sin before God to belittle godly counsel.  
One type of fool is thickheaded and stubborn.  This comes from a heart given over to laziness.  Another type of fool lacks spiritual perception……the Hebrew word Nabal.  A third type is arrogant, having dangerously high self-esteem.  (self-love, self-esteem, self-focused) This fool will belittle godly wisdom, counsel and discipline.  Like walking off the top of building your child will eventually suffer the consequences of this.  Warn your child about the appeal of the wicked life.  Wicked living will always carry a sheen of alluring excitement.  (1:11-14) A person who is genuinely wise thinks about long term consequences and what this behavior is going to do.  But God has designed it so that the wicked will never ultimately be able to enjoy their spoils. (1:15-19) Evil and sinfulness has a boomerang effect.  Crime doesn’t pay in a God created world.  Children need to understand that is the way God has designed life.  Spurned wisdom will haunt the child that rejects it. (1:24-32)  God will mock those who mock His truth.  A parent cannot force child to walk in righteousness, but the parent can sure warn the child of the consequences of sin.  

 “Disaster pursues sinners.” - Proverbs 13:21

 If our children will devote themselves to godly counsel there will be an attractiveness to their lives.  God’s grace will be evident in their lives.   

“But whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” - Proverbs 1:33

A godly heart and godly disciplines begin in childhood.  

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Parenting Conference

This weekend our church hosted a parenting conference with John and Janie Street from the Master's Seminary in California.  I took extensive notes and thought I would share some of the content here on the blog.  I am just going to share some various thoughts on different subjects as there were so many great things shared!

Parenting in the 21st century presents new challenges.....our children are faced with ideas and choices we never had to make at such young ages.  As parents it is imperative that we view the Scripture not as one of the answers out there but as THE ANSWER!

On the topic of how young can a child be saved this quote was shared: "A child who knowingly sins can savingly believe." - Charles Spurgeon

A common form of parenting in our post modern culture is that of lots and lots of instruction and very little structural parameters.  An example of this is saying to your child, "When you do that you make Mommy unhappy" without giving a consequence.  The child likely does not care if Mommy is unhappy......he just wants his own way.  If a parent only gives verbal input without consequences the child will be left to go according to his or her own sinful nature.  This kind of home is a permissive home and brings harm to the whole family.

"Discipline your son and he will give you rest.  He will give delight to your heart." - Proverbs 29:17

The opposite of the permissive home is a more dictatorial home where there are many structural parameters and instruction, but there is not a lot of heart connection where parents disciple and explain the why behind the rules.  It is more of a police state home where parents are like cops looking for any infraction of the law.  This kind of heavy handed leadership without relationship is also very dangerous.

What should be happening in the christian home?  

We can help our child exegete their own heart.

Proverbs 29:15 “  The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.”  

What desire made you willing to disobey God in………?
Was that desire godly or ungodly?
What does the Bible call that?  
What do you need to do? 
Admit your sin and ask for forgiveness.  
What did you do wrong?  

It is much easier to be a behavioristic parent and say, “STOP.”  These mundane moments are the most teachable moments in our parenting.  Buy up these opportunities.  Help your children exegete their own hearts.  

Well, that is just a sample of pages and pages of notes I took.  It was a blessing to attend a parenting conference and be reminded of some foundational principles to parenting according to the Word of God.