"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16 (NIV)
God's offer of salvation is open to every single man, woman, boy and girl. His love for humanity knows no limits, that's why He gave the best Heaven could offer. Have you received His gift of eternal life? His will is that none should perish, but all should receive life. Turn to Christ today - He is only a prayer away.
Have you ever heard your child say to you “mum … I want this, or Dad … can I have that?”
It might be the latest iPhone … or that new pair of jeans … or the latest gadget … or that bag of lollies in the supermarket … either way your child just HAS to have it. Well, if you’re a parent like me … you’ve probably discovered that what your child WANTS and what your child NEEDS are often very different.
The first thing to understand is that your child may not yet have learnt to distinguish between wants and needs.
After all … they are seeing it everywhere … the latest thing comes on the tele, or they see a friend with something new. This is where you can sit down with them … and if they are little … go through a magazine … cut out pictures of wants and pictures of needs, and put them in separate columns on a page.
As they grow older … explain to them that the reason why companies promote their latest product on TV is because they are wanting you to purchase more of their product, to make money.
Explain to them the dangers of an entitlement mentality … that there is a cost for everything … that they are not entitled to more stuff … and that the more you have … the more you will want.
Explain to them the power of learning to be content with what they have, but always grateful for anything received. Teach them how to budget … how to honour God with finance … and how to prioritise important things over wants. It says in Heb 13:5 “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Have you ever wondered about your child’s character … and what it the best way to shape their character for the best? If you’re a parent like me … you probably know what I’m talking about. My wife and I have 3 children … and we want their character to be shaped and formed ready for their future.
See, you can learn a lot of good things from books … but perhaps the best teaching tool at your disposal IS YOU. Your everyday actions and reactions are what your children will see … and so as you love, respect, and honor others in the home … your child will begin to do the same. What’s important to you, will become important to them … even when they act as if you don’t exist.
Maybe you’ve heard it said, “The family that plays together, and prays together, stays together.”
But now with TVs, computers, and iPhones … dinner time can seem like a revolving door … and it can be a real struggle to do things together. But can I encourage you to persevere. Develop a culture of togetherness.
Look for ways to invest into your child’s character by modelling character to them.
Set aside time with your child, and if you can, just begin to talk to your Heavenly Father with them. It doesn't matter how it sounds. Then if you have a Bible … read something together … and explain to them how God has worked in your life and answered your prayers … and shaped your character, even through difficult times.
Romans 5:4 tells us that “… endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
And Psalm 1 says “Blessed is the one who walks not in the counsel of the wicked … but his delight is in the ways of the Lord.”
The Talk, the dreaded talk…but aren’t talks classified by our children as lectures? And we all know, lectures don’t work well. God’s Word tells us these talks should be conversational, like our talks with Him. Every day, as we sit in our houses, ride in our cars, every time opportunities arises to dispense what my Dad called little pearls of wisdom. Jesus took Dad home almost twenty years ago, yet I still hear those treasured words in my head and in my heart.
Parenting isn’t a part-time birth-through-high-school occupation. It’s a full-time, life-long assignment given by God to husbands and wives. Children are gifts and blessings from Him, not nuisances. But these babies are little mimes who mimic what they see. What you want them to learn, they must see lived out in you each day.
“You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul…and you shall teach them to your sons (and daughters), talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up…” - (Deuteronomy 11:18-19)
1. The Bully TalkBullying has invaded our schools, our homes, even our churches. Bullies are made, not born. Mom often quoted--Actions are caught, not taught. If you’re dealing with a bully, it’s probably learned behavior within their family, or attention seeking behavior. But if your child is being bullied make sure they understand they must act, not react, to remove themselves from the bully—seeking immediate help from the adult in charge and from you.
What saturates our minds colors our reactions, and that applies to kids as well as adults. Explain to your child why you monitor what they read, see, and why you need to know their friends. But you’re already doing this, right? Pray with your child each day, asking God to protect them, even if there isn’t a bully in their life at the moment. There’s great comfort for a child to hear their parent praying for them.
Trust is a key word in this discussion. Your child must trust you will be in their corner, ready to defend and protect them, even if it means facing the bully’s parents or a judge. This trust building begins the day you bring them home from the hospital, while you are always listening and available. Guarding. Guiding. Able to discern, by your child’s actions or attitudes, when they have a problem, or if they are the problem.
“By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother” - (1 John 3:10)