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!


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?


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.


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