Hello Kid

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Up til now all my parenting post have been focused on understanding Deuteronomy 6:4-7. Monday I began to focus in the letters to Timothy. Letters that are essentially from a parent to an adult child. As it is clearly stated that Paul called Timothy his son in the faith, so we could say adopted son.There are a lot of things to learn from these letters from history to personal maintenance, person to person relationships to picking your fights.

Today, let’s look at Paul’s greeting, verse one, where he doesn’t just say hi it’s me Paul.

Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope.

Paul is defining who he is and who he serves. He could have just said hi it’s me Paul. Timothy knew who he was. But everyone of Paul’s letters starts with a greeting. Most say Paul an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. 1 Thessalonians he just says Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy. But my point isn’t about ancient methods of letter greetings. It’s simply the thought that Paul wanted to remind Timothy who he serves and Paul didn’t necessarily need to do that. Timothy spent time on the missionary field with Paul. His training as a preacher may of started at the knees of his mother and grandmother, but he learned to sharpen his mind and the sword of God in the field and his teacher was one of the best. He was a chosen by Jesus apostle.

In a pagan world, back then 2000 years and ago, as well as today it’s easy to end up tending to the needs of this world and forget who we are and who we serve. There is a necessity to not just remind ourselves of this, but to remind our children. Paul had the credentials to back his claim of who he was and he got then not simply by his training to be a rabbi, or his road to Damascus conversion. Timothy didn’t see those things. He saw Paul’s service to his Lord.

I don’t think I can remind any parent enough how much your daily life is shared with your children. They see and learn, or rebel based on their first teacher, you. When they are infants they watch your face and learn to smile and how to form words. They watch you sit down, stand up, and walk, and then do their best to copy. None of that copying stops at the sight of your bad habits. Nor does it completely stop when they learn from other new or more and more teachers of the world. It may feel like it. If you look closely at actions and attitudes, or tendencies you’ll see yourself in what they do.

What you do and say from day to day teaches your children who you are and who you serve. It is a large part of how they learn who they are and who they serve. Are you serving your worldly cares or are you serving Christ?

The Importance of Diligence

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Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all saints, Ephesians 6:14-18

A soldier is not sent out to fight without having been first equipped and trained. They are mentally, and physically educated with the intent to have them prepared for what they are about to face. They are not only handed weapons, but are trained in the care and use of those weapons. Their education is not done a bit here and a bit there. Boot camp is an intense disciple that is taught and inspected with great diligence. The military knows that the better their solders are trained the more likely it  is that, not only will they win the war, but that they will survive the war.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the authorities, against cosmic powers  over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Ephesians 6:10-14

What tends to slip the hearts and minds of us Christian parents is that we are in the middle of a supernatural war. That when our children, as adults, leave our nest they are walking into battle. Our daily adherence to the ways laid out in the Word of God is ours and our children’s training. We must be prepared to survive what the world throws at us.

If we lets kids be kids, wanting them to simply enjoy childhood we fail to prepared them for the spiritual battle that they face daily. Let alone the one they will face as adults. Or as parents themselves. Their physical and mental growth is inevitable. But spiritually they will either be dead or alive.

 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made a good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12

Lead By Example

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In those days they shall no longer say: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge. Jeremiah 31:29-30

While we are each held accountable for our own sins, your sins impact your children. Visualize yourself standing in the middle of a mud puddle with your children and other loved ones standing around you. And then,  you stomp. Not just once, you lift your foot and bring it down with some force. And then, you lift the other foot and down it comes. The mud splatters getting on everyone around you. Well, now that they have mud on themselves why not join in the fun?

This is how it is with sin. Everything you do is something you teach your children. And when your children repeat that sin they are held accountable for their part in it. For it will not always be as if they don’t know any better. There is a point in a person’s life when they know, for God will lay it on their heart, that the sin is wrong. That it goes against God. 

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:33

Jesus said follow me many times over in the bible.

If anyone serve me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26

Paul said be a follower of me as I am a follower of Christ.

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1

When Jesus taught the disciples he didn’t sit them down with books or scrolls, and paper. They travelled from town to town and they talked along the way. He taught them while they were at meals. He taught them while they sat together.  And he lead by example in everything he did. His love, his compassion, the washing of the disciples feet, his becoming a man and dying for us.

When it comes to education and learning there are three avenues of learning, sight, hearing, and by doing. In the feast celebrated by the Isrealites we see God using and commanding the use of all three avenues of learning.  According to Deuteronomy 6:6-7 as you sit, travel, work, and rest, when you are in your home and when you are outside you are to help your children see, hear, and live according to God’s word. You are to do it together as they follow you. As you follow Christ.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children,and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way,  when you lie down, and when you rise.Deuteronomy 6:6-7

The Gospel is Foundational

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The following is from the Heidelberg Catechism. I wanted you to take note of this portion of the first question.

What is your only comfort in life and in death?

That I am not my own, but belong-body and soul, in life and in death- to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and he has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can call from my head without the will of my father in heaven in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that lamb without blemish or spot.1 Peter 1:18-19

While atheists are telling you to not push your religion on your children what is Peter saying here? Over and over in the Old Testament the fathers faith is called an inheritance. A lack of faith and a sin nature are also an inheritance. 

What atheists and government institutions are using is a purposeful, powerful, spiritual war tactic to remove from you and your children the ability to stand your ground. To have the intellectual, mental, and moral stability of your own conscience to rule your own life.  It is tyranny from sinful men and from the devil. When you follow the instruction of Deuteronomy 6 on introducing your children to God you are laying the rock foundation of an inheritance of faith by which your children will build the house of their life on.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them  will be like a wise man who builds his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on the house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. Matthew 7:24

We as parents often don’t take the time to consider this one comfort in life and whether or not our children know and understand this comfort. The gospel is foundational to a stable life. A stable life is foundational to peace and comfort when facing a world that is antithetical to Christ.

To ponder the idea that we fail to teach our children this foundation to the faith truth which is their only comfort in life and in death is heartbreaking.

Reflecting the Light of the Universe

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be as signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made two lights- the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night-and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light to the earth, to rule over the day and over the night , and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. Genesis 1:14-19
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Genesis 1:1-2

The more times I read the bible over and the more God deepens my faith through my life’s journey the more  these two verses make me meditate. Sometimes it drives me crazy with questions. Yet, it also leads me to a deeper appreciation of God and the universe he created. After reading the first chapter of Genesis one might be inclined to ask,  “how can this help train children?” A quick glance or thought; God prepared a place. He didn’t just blindly make a man. He planned and prepared a place. And knowing that mankind would sin he planned a Savior.

When I married my love over forty years ago I was excited about marriage, home, and kids. I wanted all that, but I never spent time in preparation. Marriage, home, and kids are big pictures. There is a ton of details in every one of  those concepts. I must say I was a foolish young person. I planned on doing what everybody else did without thought as to how to accomplish it. What kind of education my kids would have? Were we going to be church people? The closest my husband and I came to planning was that having me be a stay at home mom. Being a homemaker was something I had wanted since I was five years old. The truth is my mother starting working when I was five. And I resented it.

And God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. And God saw that the light was good. God separated the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:3-4
And God made the two great lights-the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night-and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and the night, and separate the light and the darkness. And God saw that it was good.  Genesis 1:16-18

He acknowledged a distinction between day and night, light and dark, and then he set the sun and the moon to help us, to point out this distinction as well as its value for guidance. It’s the  start of a good routine. That we might make a choice between following the light over stumbling in the dark.

As parents we must reflect the light of the creator of the universe. Like the moon reflects the sun we are to reflect Jesus.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

While people call it ‘raising kids,’ what you are doing is raising responsible Christian adults. That doesn’t happen in a vacuum. And it is not automatically imprinted on them because you go to church and say you love Jesus. Infants’ intellects and moral values are like the earth was, without form and void, and because we are all born with a sin nature there is a darkness over the face of our soul. When we disciple our children we are helping them to know how to divide the light from the darkness.  Disciplining them, the teaching portion,  is taking the chaos out of  life and forming it into a life in which they are more capable of choosing to follow the light of the world, the God of the universe who is the light of all men.

Our lives, the things we say and do are to reflect Christ. And when people know that we a Christians and we sin this reflects poorly on Christ and Christianity. Not just before others, but before our children.

that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,  Philippians 2:15
 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved Children. Ephesians 5:1

You’ve heard the expression monkey see monkey do? Consider the fact that your children have you as the example of how to lead a life. If your life is filled with the things or ways of the world, then so will theirs. If you fail to lead a life that seeks the peace, patience, and kindness of Christ than your children will not only fail to have these identifier in their life they will disdain Christ. In a world of darkness we were put here to be light. To imitate Christ is to be a reflection of God, our greatest light.

While you have light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." John 12:36

The Most Powerful Parenting Tool

And God said, “Let there be light, ” and there was light. Genesis 1:3

Language is what God used in Genesis chapter one to create the universe and everything in it.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

Language is a powerful tool of persuasion. The Greek word, ‘Word’ that John uses here also means Logos, which means logic. People have written entire books on this word in this passage, because the names of God have that much power and that much meaning.Language is so important that God calls himself the Word.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
   and the name by which he is called is a The Word of God. Revelations 19:13

God has told you the way to teach your children is through language:

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way,  when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Language has the power to change hearts and to bring light into a world or a soul filled with darkness. More importantly this is a command of the Lord to talk with your children. Through talk we improve our children’s language skills. And through conversation we improve their thinking skills. Through conversation we get to know them better and they us.

It was here in Deuteronomy where I began to understand something of what the bible was teaching about parenting. This passage was a wedge. It let a crack of light in and it would lead me to see how buried into the heart of “modern” culture was a purposeful division between us, our children, and our God.  And it was first put there through conversation.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

To send our children to an institutional school is to have someone else, who we don’t know well, whose worldview we don’t know well, if at all, to do the talking to our children. Someone else to fill their hearts and minds. Someone for whom it is to their advantage to remove the influence of parents, family, and God.

After preparing the earth for mankind God created man,  and then he created marriage and family. There was food and shelter,  and then, later, there was clothing. They were to work the garden together. They were not to spend everyday constantly busy and constantly divided. There wasn’t any instituting of government school.  In Deuteronomy God instructed the Israelites to educate their children on a daily basis as part of everyday life and work.

 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.You shall teach them diligently to your children,and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way,  when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:6-7

When The Floods Come

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on the house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”Matthew 7:24-27

People know this passage and its meaning is simple, but how many people stop to think, or meditate on it. Take a deeper think. Here is an analogy about your life. It has an impact on your physical, metal, and spiritual life. It, also, has impact on your children’s life. Not just in your ability bring the peace and the stability of Jesus into your life’s troubles, but in teaching your children how to have a solid foundation for their lives.

When the world promises good luck charms, sugar plums, equality and rainbows your children will know to follow their Shepard’s voice. They will know that the secular worldview is a house of illusions. It changes what is right based on an arbitrary value systems which suits its needs in order to control you. Nothing it offers is as good as it seems on first thoughts.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8

With every prayer, every song of praise, every biblical lesson and every choice in your daily life you are building your life’s house of values. You are also providing the knowledge-materials necessary for your children to know the difference between the shifting sand of world philosophies and the solid foundation of Christ.

Chewing on Thoughts

You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them by Moses. “Leviticus 10:10-11

Parents like priests must teach their children to distinguish between the worldly and the ways of the Lord. 

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. Hebrews 5:12

When a baby is born he is nourished on milk. As he gets older he is given mushy foods and eventually he is not only eating meat, but is feeding himself. Babies and toddlers test things by putting nearly everything in their mouths.In a world filled with philosophies there is an abundance of foods for thought one can put into one’s head. Just as there is healthy foods and there are foods that lack any real nutrition, there is the godless ways of the world and there is the righteousness of God’s word.

They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common,  and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean. Ezekiel44:23

Consider what would you and your family’s physical health would be like if all you consumed throughout the week was milk. No fruits or vegetables. And then, on Sunday you had a nice sit down balanced family meal. What would your health, your ability to fight of disease and infection be like? This is what your spiritual life is like when you don’t make a point of including God and God’s word in your daily life. And then, attend church on Sunday. Your ability to fight off the wiles of worldly philosophies will be greatly weakened. God, in his word, has told us how to have a strong spiritual life.

Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heat.You shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.Deuteronomy 6:4-7

We Only Want What’s Best For The Children

Matthew 7:15-20  “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you recognize them by their fruits.

It seems like when people read this passage they think parents and their children, good parenting and bad parenting. This morning when I read it I thought of groups and ideology. And how secular and anti-religious  groups, in the 1950s and 1960s, convince parents that they shouldn’t impose their religion on their children. That children should choose for themselves. This is antithetical to the teaching of the bible. Christianity is a treasure, a heritage to be passed down.

This is the secular group that advocates compulsory school, even when the school is a failing school. It is the group that said we have to teach sex education in schools, and then the number of unwed mothers skyrocketed. This is the group that now has young people so brainwashed into communism that not only does this generation not know that they are supporting communism, but are acting out this totalitarian ideology in the streets rioting and tearing things/ society down. This is the fruit of the false prophets of the secular.

If it’s not from God it’s not good fruit. For all the claims from secular groups of wanting what’s best for the children, whether they are sincere or not, they come from a place of anything but God and his ways. Therefore, their ideologies for the governing of society, let alone your home will never provide good fruit.

1 Peter 5:8 & 9 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

Point-blank and They Still Didn’t Believe

When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the son of man will be delivered up to be crucified.” Matthew 26:1&2

He told them Point Blank what was going to happen. And still they were shocked. They were together three years, and still they didn’t understand. They knew who Jesus was. They saw all those miracles.  And yet, they were shocked and dismayed, and they scattered when Jesus was arrested. They were surprised when he rose from the dead.So when you have to repeat the gospel and God’s ways to your children over and over, and still they don’t believe remember the disciples.

Should it surprise you that you have to repeat yourself so often when teaching your children? The gospel isn’t something you teach once. The ways of Christianity isn’t something you tell them once. It is a way of life and the way to life. It is conversations that you have daily. It is prayers that you have daily. It is the things you read from the Bible, to them daily.

God didn’t give your child/children to your church. Nor did he give your child/children to the governmental or institutional school. God blessed you with your child/children and told you to raise them.

Fathers do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  Ephesians 6:4

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

4 Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heat. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6: 4:7