Thursday, January 15, 2015

Paul's Parenting Principles on hold until February 3rd

We completed our study through I Timothy on Tuesday, but I promised we would take time at the end to cover gender issues as related to parenting principles. This is still my intention, however we are moving this weekend so I will be taking the next two weeks off to get moved and settled. We will be resuming on February 3rd.

Blessings and thanks for being patient with me!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Paul's Parenting Principles- I Timothy 6:8

I Timothy 6:8-

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

In our world of overabundance, many are starting to wonder, what is really necessary? How can we scale back and what is truly a need? This tiny verse in I Timothy is the answer. Food, clothing and shelter. (The word raiment here can mean both clothing and more broadly, a covering or shelter.) You can do without everything else. I think you know that this doesn't mean God promises us we can have sushi, Gucci and a mansion. It may mean for some of us, tuna fish, thrift stores and a tiny apartment. Others may have big things, but having basic needs met, should satisfy us. We have enough. It may not be your ideal and that's okay. But you have the essentials.

When training our children to be content, there are two things to remember. One is that it is caught, not taught. If they see you content with where you are, i.e. not complaining and worrying about how little you have and wanting what you don't have, then they are much more likely to be content themselves.

Second, there will more likely than not be a season (or two) where food, clothing and shelter is all you get. Needs are met, but no room for wants. You can't start talking about contentment when you are down. It has to be your attitude and talked about before so when the time comes, they know the expectation.

Prepare them for what may come. And show them that no matter what, God is providing for them too!

Blessings!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Paul's Parenting Principles- I Timothy 6:7

I Timothy 6:7-

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

The Christian life is all about perspective. We live on earth, but we invest in heaven. In all we do, we have to remind ourselves that we can expect different outcomes and different rewards because this world is not our home.

We were talking about gain last time and we spend a good deal of time in our everyday lives thinking about gain and how to get more things. But as Christians and adults, deep down we know we can't take it with us. We know we bring nothing and take nothing when we go. But what are we teaching our children by our actions and attitudes? Do they know from the way we interact with our stuff, the truth of this verse? Things are fine; they make life easier or provide us with fun or many other things. But remember they do not last, so teach them to hold them loosely. Enjoy them, but know that they are here today and gone tomorrow.

What are some ways your family has taken this to heart?

Blessings!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Paul's Parenting Principles- I Timothy 6:6

I Timothy 6:6-

But godliness with contentment is great gain.

We can be easily consumed with getting. Coming off of Christmas, though he had received many wonderful gifts, including a special fire engine, my son was insisting that he "needed" a play cell phone, because firemen need to have a phone. While I can understand his desire for authenticity, I also know he would find contentment great gain. If he would see that with a little imagination, he could make a phone with a toy he already has, he would be content to play with what he already has and not find a "need" for something more.

We can laugh at the things our children think they need, but so often this is our attitude about life. If we just had *insert something we don't have here*, we would be happy.

There is something in us that knows we need something and most of the time we default to material things to fill it. Here is our chance to show our children, because they won't suddenly become content just because we tell them how great it is, what godliness and contentment look like and just what a great benefit it is to us.  Showing our children contentment is a hard thing but if we focus on godliness, or more specifically the doctrine that promotes godliness (piety towards God), then with contentment (peace with what you have) our children will have the "gain" they seek.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

An Apology to my Readers

I had meant to keep posting through Christmas, but life had different plans. So, I will be resuming my series on Paul's Parenting Principles on Tuesday January 6.


I pray y'all will have a blessed rest of 2014!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Paul's Parenting Principles- I Timothy 5:24-25

I Timothy 5:24-25

Some men's sins are open before hand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. Likewise also the good works of some are manifest before hand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.

One of the hardest lessons to learn as a child or adult, is why sometimes sin is not punished and why righteousness is not rewarded immediately. I'm pretty sure all of us has asked that at least once...a day. :D

Remember last time we were talking about fairness and favoritism? Sometimes we feel like God is playing favorites by not punishing someone or by rewarding someone else. But by having that kind of attitude, we are opening the door for our children to say the same things to us, and with more justice, for we as humans are much more partial than God.

I have been so encouraged lately about this from reading Psalm 73. I encourage you to read it for yourself and pray God will help you have His perspective on this issue.

The main key is we need to teach our children that justice and rewards will be handed out but we don't get to choose the time. It can be very obvious to us that some one is a liar and yet no one seems to be calling them on it. Rest knowing that God has a reason for allowing him or her to continue. If we can show them peace in our hearts with God's timing, they will feel the same.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Paul's Parenting Principles- I Timothy 5:21

I Timothy 5:21:

I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

Often as parents, we are drawn to one child or another because of a similarity in interest or personality. There is also usually at least one child that we clash with for the same reasons. (This is usually the one who acts just like us but we don't see that side of ourselves.) But whereas you can choose your friends based on similar interest, you can't choose your children. Each one was chosen for you by God, some to mold and shape you, and some to refine you as by fire! You need each one of them and they need you. They need to know that you love them just as much as their siblings. Nothing causes strife in siblings, like the feeling that they need to fight for your attention and affection. Nothing causes resentment and bitterness like favoritism.

This is not to say that you need to treat all your children exactly alike. My daughter loves Little House on the Prairie and wants me to read it to her every moment of every day. My son wants to read about firemen, but not nearly as long as his sister. He has truck to play with and places to run! There is no partiality in reading different things to each of them, as long as I am reading to both. And I don't have to count minutes and worry that I read a whole chapter to the girls, while only a short picture book to the boys. Now, I'm sure as they get older, things will change and my son may enjoy sitting and listening more, and we will be reading The Swiss Family Robinson chapters instead but that's okay. Meet them where they are at!

When disciplining our children, we have to be fair as well. When I was little, the worse thing in the world for me was having to sit by myself. I hated being alone and having to be quiet in my room was near torture! My husband, on the other hand, loves being alone. Being sent to his room was almost a treat! To one of us, it was stiff discipline, to the other, it was rest. Being fair doesn't always mean doing exactly the same thing.

Like all other things, our attitude is key. Ask the Lord to search your heart and help you see where you are prone to show partiality. Or maybe you already know. Check your heart as you find yourself struggling to be patient with that one child you clash so often with. Make sure you are not showing favoritism to one or the other. Love them all as Jesus loves us.

Blessings!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Paul's Parenting Principles- I Timothy 5:17-19

I Timothy 5:17-19

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. 

It is important that we teach our children to respect those in authority, not just for our own sake, though they need to respect their parents, but also because it encourages a respect for God. If we learn young to respect the authority we can see, then respecting God's authority as we get older because second nature. This passage tells us to make sure to give extra honour to those who rule well. If the elder is someone who has proven themselves faithful, then make sure they get the honour they deserve.

On the flip side, make sure that your children also see the consequences of not ruling well. We always want to be very careful before making an accusation against someone in authority. Not that they are never wrong but like David, we don't want to speak against the Lord's anointed and ruin their witness, especially if we are wrong. But, if we know something to be true, then handling it in an appropriate way is necessary. Our children need to know that sin is sin, even if it is someone in authority. When an elder sins, because of their public standing, they must be rebuked publicly. No sweeping under the rug because they are leaders. That is the main reason we need to be sure of what we are saying before we say it. What may start as an angry vent, can turn into something much bigger.

(Note: When we are talking of sin, the public nature is referring to those sins that affect the Body. The same standard that applies to the Body, applies to the elders. If they are living unrepentant or a lifestyle of sin, then is the time for public rebuke. A sin committed and repented of needs no more further action than if someone of no public standing had done it.)

Blessing, friends!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Paul's Parenting Principles- I Timothy 5:1-2

I Timothy 5:1-2

Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

A rebuke is a harsh and forceful. It is chastisement and not meant for someone older. We are supposed to admonish and exhort, as long as it is done with purity.

So what does this mean for our little ones in training? We need to teach respect, of course. Scripture is full of commands to honour elders, parents, teachers, but we also need to teach them that it's okay to exhort an elder, as long as it is done with respect. All of us are sinners, and we all need to be reminded of things from time to time. Just treat them as family; exhort and admonish them as you would someone you have to live with.

This maybe a bit short and sweet but that was what I felt God was showing me for today! Until Tuesday! :D

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Paul's Parenting Principles- I Timothy 4:16

I Timothy 4:16

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

This is one of those verses that we know in our hearts what to do, but doing it is an entirely different matter.

When raising our children, so often our focus is on their behaviors; what they do, what they say, etc... We forget that quite a lot of those behaviors are from us; either because they copy us or because we have trained them to do those things, whether we meant to or not.

When scripture tells us to take heed to yourself, it means give attention to yourself; look at what you are doing. So often, we forget to stop and look at what we do. But we need to evaluate ourselves. Make sure you are where you need to be; saying and living what you should. Your doctrine is what you teach; which is both what you live and what you say. And once you know you are living right, continue! Don't waver or change course. Stand fast in doing what you know you ought!

The best part of this way to living is that by doing so, by taking heed to what should be done by you, you are saving yourself and your children from the bondage of sin. We show them the way to live by example and if we reflect righteous living, we will help them (and ourselves) avoid a lifestyle of sin.

I hope this blesses y'all! Until Thursday...

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