LET’S TALK ABOUT PARENTING. I heard a few conversations in Disney and saw a couple things that I can’t say I’m shocked by. One conversation: a man and a woman were conversing about teens getting into trouble and the lady says, “Just put them in a lot of extra curricular activities so they don’t have time to get into trouble.” Lady, you cannot run that far. Second conversation: one kid talking to another kid in the pool, “My mom lies and tells Disney she is handicapped and we get to go to the front of all the lines”. Great parenting right there.
Another thing I saw was parents with their pre-teens and teens dressed extremely provocative. Little girls with their daddies showing their bellies and butts. Dad, your responsible to protect your child until she is out on her own. It’s not cute and it’s not sexy. Parenting fail. Lots of kids sassily talking back to their parents, kids hitting their parents, and empty threats from parents to unruly kids, “I’ll take you back to the hotel”. I heard one mom threaten about 5 times and they have no intention of doing just that. I give young kids lots of leniency in a hot atmosphere and give room for tired and cranky interactions; but there are things that should not and must not be tolerated.
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Benson’s commentary: Train up — Hebrew, חנךְ, initiate, or instruct; a child in the way he should go — Or, according to his way, that is, in that course or manner of life which thou wouldest have him to choose and follow. Or, as some render the clause, in the beginning of his way, that is, in his tender years, as soon as he is capable of receiving instruction, the Hebrew על פי דרכו, signifying, literally, in the mouth of his way, and the mouth being often put for the beginning or entrance of a place or thing.
This is not a promise that your children will always follow the Lord, but it is wisdom. They will one day make their own choice to follow and obey the Lord; but you can make their decision easier or harder depending on how you train them. You can help produce lukewarm followers of Christ are you can aid in producing faithful and obedient followers of Christ by your training. Not training is actually training them for a certain path of destruction.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
Parents, training is hard work. It requires consistency and discipline. It means telling your children, “no” and teaching them to obey immediately. There’s been numerous parenting books that tell the parent to let the child choose and that grace means letting them constantly get away with things. This is not training. This is not discipline. This is godless and will lead to destruction. Have you ever read how an Olympian trains? It’s a rigorous schedule of discipline in eating, exercise, down time, etc. Training is not for the faint of heart. “Train up a child”, from the time he first begins to understand and a trained teen will make the right choices in relation to friendships and they will avert trouble. Over scheduling will just produce more creative ways to get into trouble.
Train your children in righteousness. Teach them to not lie, but to tell the truth even if it gets them in trouble. Train them in relationships and communication. Discipline them swiftly and immediately. Embarrass them if you have to. It is better they get embarrassed than go to hell. Make your kids apologize and teach them how to repent. Train them how to work hard and teach them self-control. For the love of all that’s holy, train them to honor respect their elders and authority. This is lacking in America. I’ve heard parents say, “pick your battles”; well yes. But battles over clothing and friendships needs to be fought. You are their protector. You are responsible for them.
Whatever you allow, they will carry with them into adulthood. And in this lukewarm, “I do what I want” society we live in; take your children to a God-fearing church. You can teach the Bible at home, how to pray and fast; but to be a member of the brethren, they have to learn in the body. The church is the pillar and foundation of truth. Train them to love the body of Christ, to tithe and give generously, serve and love the brethren, obey the authority God has placed over the local body. This is God’s plan and it is sinful for you to neglect the gathering. You are training your children how to be rebellious.
The world will know us by how we love THE BRETHREN (John 13:35). This Scripture is very often misquoted. It’s good to feed the poor, but we are known by how we love one another in the body. There’s a special love for our brothers and sisters in Christ that’s thicker and more binding than even familial love. You cannot live out this Scripture outside and disconnected from a local body. You are training your kids to live life outside the church brethren. This too is sin and will lead to destruction.
Fathers, train your children. I do not like the NLT because it seeks to take away the gender roles of Scripture. In most places in the Hebrew that the NLT translates as “parents”, the original language is “fathers”. Fathers are a necessity in the family. I heard a famous sports figure say he was raised without a father and it didn’t affect him. That’s a lie. It does affect you, whether or not you will admit it. There is a huge lack of fatherhood in America. I was raised by a single mom and didn’t even meet my bio dad until I was 32. It greatly affected me on many different levels. The enemy has worked hard at removing fathers from the family because he knows when the father leads the way, the children will follow. A mother does not have the same anointing as a father.
According to data collected by Promise Keepers and Baptist Press, if a father does not go to church, even if his wife does, only 1 child in 50 will become a regular worshiper. If a father does go regularly, regardless of what the mother does, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will attend church as adults. If a father attends church irregularly, between half and two-thirds of their kids will attend church with some regularity as adults.
Another set of stats produced similar results: If both father and mother attend regularly, 33 percent of their children will end up as regular churchgoers, and 41 percent will end up attending irregularly. Only a quarter of their children will end up not practicing at all. If the father is irregular and mother regular, only 3 percent of the children will subsequently become regulars themselves, while a further 59 percent will become irregulars. Thirty-eight percent will be lost.
If the father is non-practicing and mother regular, only 2 percent of children will become regular worshippers, and 37 percent will attend irregularly. Over 60 percent of their children will be lost completely to the church.
Another survey found that if a child is the first person in a household to become a Christian, there is a 3.5% probability everyone else in the household will follow. If the mother is the first to become a Christian, there is a 17% probability everyone else in the household will follow. However, when the father is first, there is a 93% probability everyone else in the household will follow.
I don’t often speak to men, but fathers, “Man up!” Your family’s souls are at stake. Lead your family in the ways of the Lord and righteousness. Train your children. There’s too many passive fathers. You were anointed to lead- LEAD. Moms, be your husband’s help-mate and support him in parenting and discipline. Stop worshiping your children and put them on the altar. Sunday is the Lord’s day, not your kid’s sport’s day. Worship Jesus alone and honor Him above all. Single moms, pray for help from the Lord to guide you in training and for godly men in the church to be spiritual fathers. God provides that which we lack. He is a good good Father. This is not an exhaustive guide to parenting, just a few tips.
It’s not too late to start doing things right. Bathe everything in prayer. When you don’t know what to do: pray. When you mess up: pray. In all things and in all ways: pray. But you have to put in the work. If you’re not used to saying, “no”, your kids will buck. But keep being consistent. Training is hard and exhausting work, but it’ll be worth it. And lastly, give your children lots of hugs and tell them more than you think you should, “I love you”. A loved child will receive discipline because they know you love them. #runyourrace
To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page