You know those verses that tell us children are a delight and a gift from God? Yeah, they’re not really helpful during a parenting crisis.
We're talking about those moments when your teenage son pushes his little sister across the room because she turned the channel from the NBA draft to a Disney show. She runs toward him and kicks him in the shins. Seconds later, they are both screaming, the dog is barking, and the entire house is in complete chaos.
When your kids, the TV and the dog are competing for the loudest-noise-ever award, the thought that children are a reward from the Lord is probably not going to cross your mind. That’s why, in the midst of day-to-day sibling rivalries, sarcasm, crude manners, drama and disobedience, we have to remember to parent with the end in mind.
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1. Proverbs 4:23: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (NASB)
Focus on your child's heart.
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The heart is what brings life to kids. It’s the glimmer in the eye of a happy baby, the sadness of a hurting boy, the shame of an abused little girl, the twinkle of a surprised kid, the hardness of a rebellious teen, the apathy of a defeated young man—the heart is the source of these things.
Parent the heart well and the actions you desire will follow.
2. Hebrews 3:13: “Encourage one another daily” (NIV)
Encouragement acts as a deposit into my child’s heart, while correction is like making a withdrawal.
When kids are feeling a deficit in relationship—when you no longer encouraging but constantly correcting—they act out. Often times, this results in providing more correction and even less encouragement.
3. Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (KJV)
Does it ever seem like your kids forget that they were made on purpose for a purpose?
They forget that there is more to life than video games, sports and Disney. They forget that they were created as an answer to a problem in this world.
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