Sons and Daughters

daughtersPsalm 144:12English Standard Version (ESV) 12 May our sons in their youth be like plants full-grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace;

As we move through Scripture through the days of our lives we realize that there truly is no clear way to spell out God's manual for raising our kids.  I mean, to say, that you can't just go to one book or one chapter of the Bible and get a step by step way to raise your children the way that God wants you to raise them.  However, as you read through the Bible (over and over should be our posture) as this is a life-giving manual, then you can see may different applications that are true precepts and statutes for us to learn and submit and obey (and then we are instructed to teach our children).

This is a very serious call for a parent.  If we miss this, we miss our mission field that God has given us authority over.  There are a lot of studies that give us varying degrees of how to raise a child, but there are so many different parenting styles and God has made each of us uniquely.  Add to that, when you have a husband and a wife in union with God' covenant marriage, we are called (as dads) to be prophets, priests and kings of our homes.

Here are some non-negotiable applications, as parents, that we all have to do:

  • Pray for our children
  • Pray for their spouses and spouses families
  • Live by the Bible
  • Practice what we preach
  • Make our faith real to them
  • Allow our children to fail (to lose) and to understand loss
  • Trust the Lord (he has them)
  • Be there for them as much as we possibly can (this thing of quality over quantity is horse rubbish - it should be quantity with quality wrapped inside of the quantity)
  • Read scripture with them
  • Teach them to memorize scripture (thereby which, we have to memorize scripture)
  • Tell them stories of the Bible and life applications when devotions come (how does this text become relevant in our lives)

When my wife was sick and in the hospital for 6 days the first year and the 3 days for the second year I found myself in one of the worst trials and tribulations of my life.  I found myself praying more and more and relying more and more on God's will for my life.  I was angry, sad, mad, depressed, stressed and every possible emotion you can imagine.   I read the Book of Job a lot during this time.

If you remember that God allowed Satan to test Job by taking away his wealth and health and children.  His wife and friends thought he did something in his life and accused him instead of being there for him:  Comforting him, encouraging him and urging him to live a life worthy of God.  His wife, at one point, said to him to curse God and die!?!  Those were tough times for Job and when you think that things cannot get any worse - they do!

Job, however, knew something that not every person does:  There is a Redeemer.  There is a mediator between God and man and His name is Jesus.  Job had not met this Redeemer, BUT he knew that He lives!  That is pretty cool and that sustained me during my trials and tribulations with my wife.  In the end, we learn that God is in control and that nothing happens without God ordaining them.

As we are all different people from different walks and different talks in life, we realize that when we getting married in a biblical marriage (a covenant marriage) we realize that there are not just one sinner but two sinners coming together to make one flesh and who have little sinners that we are called to raise and train up in the Lord.  Understand the math: 1 sinner + 1 sinner = more sinners.  We are all broken and in need of a Savior.  God understands our weaknesses and daily struggles and Jesus left us the Holy Spirit.  Our bodies are a temple of the living God - we are called to be holy.

IMG_4541This past weekend, my wife and I had the pleasure to go to a wedding (Friday - dinner rehearsal, Saturday the wedding) and spend time with this family that we love.  The bride was our baby sitter with our kids for over 10 years.  She (and her two brothers) are different from most families.   They are real with their faith.  They love God and the church.  They are teachable and humble.    My wife and I felt that at any given time we could have literally left our kids with this you adult for a week, a month and or a year (not that we would) and that she could manage very well.  Our children adore her and the older two had to go and see the wedding ceremony.

One of these days, my wife and I are going to do dinner with her parents and pick their brains for a few hours and then we are going to have all three children (young woman and two young men) over for dinner and interview them about their parents and ask them what their parent did that has their faith so real (but this will be for another post).

We may not all have the same parenting training manual but there are things that we should do consistently for sons and things we should do consistently for daughters as legacy dads.

For Sons:

  • Do not lie to them
  • Teach them the values of Honor, Courtesy, Integrity, Self-control, Perseverance, Courage and Community
  • Be real in our faith with them (struggles, fears, wrongdoings and repentance)
  • Model love for them (with our children and with our wives)
  • Teach them Scripture (read and memorize with them)
  • Teach them how to treat women (not just by words but by action)
  • Teach them the importance of purity (from this world, media and others around)
  • Teach them how to pray (pray with them)
  • Play with them (toys, games, board games, go see movies, fish, sports - just don't make things an idol before God)
  • Give them hugs, kisses and your time

For Daughters:

  • Do not lie to them
  • Teach them the values of Honor, Courtesy, Integrity, Self-control, Perseverance, Courage and Community
  • Be real in our faith with them (struggles, fears, wrongdoings and repentance)
  • Model love for them (with our children and with our wives)
  • Teach them Scripture (read and memorize with them)
  • Teach them how to treat men (not just by words but by action - honor their moms and encourage them to follow her lead)
  • Teach them the importance of purity (from this world, media and others around)
  • Teach them how to pray (pray with them)
  • Play with them (toys, games, board games, go see movies, fish, sports - just don't make things an idol before God)
  • Give them hugs, kisses and your time

In everything that we do either as individuals or parents, first seek the Kingdom of God.  Second ask for His will and third lean on His understanding and not our own.  When in doubt - pray!  In all things, strive to make your faith real (this requires a real prayer life and the daily reading of the Word).

Blessings,

Dante