Parenting…It feels like a constant chess game, doesn’t it? Over the years, my husband and I have approached parenting many different ways. One way has worked with one kid, but not another; so, we’ve had to “re-strategize.” Each child has moved into different phases of life, and what may have been “successful” at one point has needed to be changed at another. It’s definitely a journey! It’s a rewarding one in SO many ways, but I’m being real; it can be hard!
MY PRAYER: HOW CAN I DISCIPLE THE KIDS WELL?…AND GOD’S ANSWER
I’ve been praying about discipling our kiddos well. Two weeks ago, the LORD answered in a couple different ways:
A reminder from our pastor in his sermon that discipleship has RELATIONSHIP at its center. He also noted Christ’s instructions, in Matthew 28:19-20, for how to make disciples. It’s teaching them to obey what Christ has commanded them. These commands aren’t just a list of dos and don’ts; they have purpose with a specific end result in mind. I can focus on the moment too intently and lose sight of the long-term goal. A shift in focus can make a HUGE difference!
An email from our Children’s Ministry Director, inviting me and others to watch a live stream, featuring Dr. Kathy Koch, titled, “Secure Children’s Hearts to Unlock Their Potential.” It was, in my opinion, worth sharing, whether you’re a parent of littles, teens, or adults; work with kiddos; have grandkids; or influence the life of one.
“SECURE CHILDREN’S HEARTS TO UNLOCK THEIR POTENTIAL” NOTES AND APPLICATIONS
Here are some of my notes from Dr. Kathy’s talk with some applications; if you want to dig into one point more deeply to hear exactly what she had to say, you can find the full talk at the end of this post. I pray you, too, will be challenged and encouraged!
* KIDS HAVE POTENTIAL AND CURRENT VALUE!
We’re raising adults, not children.
Kids are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS! Celebrate WHO THEY ARE (they’re character, heart, and who they’re becoming), not WHAT THEY DO/DID.
* CHILDREN DESERVE TO BE AND MUST BE TAUGHT, NOT TOLD OR YELLED AT.
They’re not stupid; they’re just inexperienced.
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil,learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.”
Isaiah 1:16-17 NKJV
They have to be taught what IS evil to know what to STOP doing.
They have to be taught what IS good to know what TO do.
Teach character and beliefs (they won’t always absorb truth just from living with us).
Teach how to change. The word “change” means “exchange” (to replace with something different); teach them how to change something that doesn’t line up with what God prefers (i.e., what can they replace it with–the opposite of what you’re seeing). Make sure to apply what you’re teaching to your own life!
“if indeed you heard about Him and were taught in Him, just as the truth is in Jesus. You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to put on the new man, who has been created in God’s image–in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.”
Ephesians 4:21-24 NETB
Pray that the Spirit will reveal what needs to be “laid aside” in our own lives, as well, as parents, to model the righteousness and holiness of Christ better to our kids.
* BELIEFS CAUSE BEHAVIOR.
Deal with the heart. Interview; ask about the cause for their behavior. Talk about their beliefs.
Inspect; look for patterns (i.e., Does the behavior show up only when substitutes are in the classroom, when they’re hungry, when they’re on electronics?). If there’s no pattern/consistency, they’re still trying to work it out, internally. If there’s a specific pattern, it’s become part of their essence.
Talk more about what you WANT than what you SEE (i.e., We’re supposed to show love–who God IS–by showing kindness/mercy to those who don’t deserve it. How could you have let the Holy Spirit help you respond to _______ differently and shown them kindness/mercy in that situation?).
NEXT POST: NOTES AND APPLICATIONS FROM DR. KATHY‘S Q & A!
DEEP DIVE…WATCH THE LIVE STREAM
If you have the time and would like to take in the speaking event I watched, featuring Dr. Kathy, check it out below.
Beginning: 16:00 mark
Duration: 36 mins
Q & A session beginning (follows Dr. Kathy’s speech): 53:00 mark
I hope you’re as blessed as I’ve been! Help other readers by commenting below, if there’s something that stuck out to you from her lecture that I don’t have listed above.
Shoo! It's been a long while since I've settled in to work on the study! The LORD, however, gave me a verse yesterday to dig into. I thought it was going to be for the blog, but as I sat down and dove into the verses around it, I asked Him if it was for the study, instead. It, indeed, was; He continued to show me different connections with the theme of the study. I didn't deep dive far into it, but that wasn't His intention today. He just showed me some notes He wanted me to get started on and gave me a bit of quiet time to do so. So exciting to me!! Thank You, LORD, for directing my steps toward obedience in Your purpose for me!