I hear my husband complain all the time about how his employees don't show up for work. I watch on the news as the crime rates rise. I see a society that has become overly permissive . I am not a conservative, but I am not okay with my children being exposed to all of the unhealthy influences out there. If you shrug your shoulders and say, that is just the way things are these days, then you should stop reading right now. A pastor at a church we attended in Arkansas did a series entitled
What if you were meant to change the world?
One week, a staff member went around with a video camera asking people in the community "How would you change the world?" Many of the people interviewed said things like stop world hunger, world peace and the like. Not that those aren't notable aspirations, but maybe we need to start a bit smaller and closer to home. We looked at how we could change the world in our own homes. Our pastor borrowed the title
Raising G-Rated Children in an X-Rated World
He said that if we, as parents, do everything right, our children still have free will just like Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. He suggest that we start by looking at the end product. What do we want our kids to be when they are adults? Do we want them to be well-adjusted? Is being well-adjusted in an x-rated world a good thing? Do we want them to be normal? With the divorce rate being what it is, is normal a good thing? Do we want our children to be popular like Lindsay Loham? The answer to those question is a resounding no for me.
If we want our children to be loving, honest, caring, Christians, we need to ask ourselves what God calls us to be. We need to have a regular dialogue with our children about faith. By God's design, we as parents have the greatest impact upon our children. Ask yourself if your speech is pure? Do the movies you watch, the music you listen to exemplify that of a Godly person? Do you lie? Do you confess your sins? Do you say and do one thing on Sunday and something completely different Monday-Saturday? Having that vision of what the finished products looks like, you can then figure out what it is that you, the parent, need to do in order to reach that goal.
Children do not naturally know right from wrong. As parents we are responsible to guide the family, don't let the children lead. The children will end up mirroring the culture in which they live. What you do, where you go, how the money is spent is the parents responsibility. We as parents need to take back the leadership role. We need to set appropriate boundaries. We also need to examine what values we are imposing when we let the children lead the family? Our pastor suggest that we start listening to the music our children are listen to, read their books, and watch their movies. How are we supposed to know our children, guide them, when we 'respect their privacy?' Remember that our values/choices get distorted by sin. To let a child do as he pleases is not love. Teach your child that bad choices have bad consequences.
We are also called to be thoughtful with our discipline. The purpose of discipline is not only to punish, but it is also to guide. It's not the child that is bad, it's his behavior, his choices. My son asked me one time why he was always getting grounded. I reminded him what choices he had made that caused him to get punished. We never tell our children that they are bad. Not only are we supposed to impress upon our children our values, we are also called to set the standards for fun. There should activities that you do as a family that are fun. Your child should have a belly ache from laughter in your the home.
Are you raising your kids to be the adults you want them to be?