Monday, September 18, 2006

What Can We DO?

Many people are confused about a very important issue when it comes to training their children. They wonder what they can do to put their children on a godly path. They read everything on child training they can get their hands on, attend numerous seminars, and invest in character training curriculum only to experience deep frustration when their children do not seem to be “getting it.” Though these well-meaning parents have put a lot of effort into guiding their children down the right path, their offspring may very well snub their nose at the whole business and go on their own merry way, leaving the parents to wonder what they did wrong.

The key word to that entire previous paragraph was the words “did,” and “do.” I believe with all my heart that, though what we do is vastly important in the eyes of our children, it is what we ARE that makes them into what they will be. It is not so much what we DO that is important, it is what we ARE.

This is an extremely important concept, which many overlook. That means that for any work of eternal value to occur in the lives of our children, it is virtually wholly dependent on what we ARE as parents, not what we DO, though what we do is also important. We want our children to be godly Christians. ARE we godly Christians ourselves? We want our children to be submissive to God and to us – ARE we submissive to God and to our husbands? We want them to read their Bibles and have a vibrant relationship with God – ARE we living as close to God as we should?

You see, it is much harder to BE different than it is to just DO some different things. We are now talking about our flesh – our stony heart of flesh. In our flesh, we are able to put on a good show and work hard, if necessary. We can determine that we will do a certain thing and make sure it gets accomplished. We can do a very good job at lots of things. But to BE is a different matter. To BE loving, to BE patient, to BE kind, to BE joyful, to BE gentle, to BE longsuffering – that requires the Holy Spirit of God. It would be so easy to write about a method to get children to do something, but to write about getting children to BE something for God requires the parents Being something for God.

There are so many child training methods out there, all of them the subject of much debate. Demand feeding or scheduled feeding? Use the rod, or no? Which curriculum is best? How can we teach them to be responsible? Keep a schedule, or not? Unschooling, or classical education? What should we DO????

The world is loaded with literature on the HOW of child training, and yet, it is the state of BEING of the parents that is the crux point. It is so much easier just to do something good – follow a formula, or a prescribed set of rules or regulations – than it is to BE something good. And this is right where it gets difficult – this issue demands every parent to examine herself, searching her own motives and desires. It goes right to the HEART of the matter.

The Bible says we should “keep our hearts with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” It is the heart which is the parent to what we do, and how we deal with our children. Do we want our children to be patient? You know where I’m going with all this – are WE patient?

So they question is not, “DID you use the rod or didn’t you?” The question is now, “ARE you consistent?” It is not, “DO you have a schedule or not?” The question is now, “ARE you seeking to please the Lord with the use of your time?” The question is not, “DID you do school today?” It is now, “ARE you seeking to do God’s Will today?”

Oh, how we desperately need the Spirit of God to guide and help us as we examine ourselves, and to humble ourselves before Him. Though what we do is vastly important, it is not so much what we do, as what we are!

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