Special Guest Post From . . .

30 Nov

My wife!  Cindy shared this insight with me from her Bible reading the other day and I asked her if she would put it in a blog article that I could post here. After reading her article, I think I should just hand over the blog to her and let her write the article every day. This is an excellent article and well worth your time. I am planning to interact with this article tomorrow, pointing to some ways the principle Cindy lays out can be applied in the church and home.

Thanks, Cindy, for this very helpful article.

Diligent, prepared, eager, good communicator…

 

Wouldn’t we all want our children to possess these wonderful qualities?  In my personal reading through Proverbs 7 recently, I came across these very characteristics.  But wait…to whom were these qualities assigned?  Take a look – I’ll give you a minute.

So now you may have discovered that these words all describe the harlot on the corner of the street in verses 10-23.  In listing the attributes of the harlot, I was surprised to discover how many of them are taught to our children in character-based curricula.  In verse 12 we see her persistence in finding a victim; in verse 14 she is shown to be disciplined in outward religious observance; in verse 15 she has been diligent in seeking and finding this man; she has prepared her bed in advance, anticipating his arrival; and in verses 14-21 we see her skill at communication and ability to persuade.  The proverbial light bulb came on in my mind.  The harlot had so many good character qualities, but her heart was idolatrous, so all of her actions flowed from the idol she served.  This will be true for our children as well, if we do not make the GOSPEL the center of our parenting efforts.

I know that every Christian parent would agree that the GOSPEL must be the heart of our teaching with our children, but do we bear this out when we work so hard to teach our children to be GOOD?  Our parenting must not and can not be the source of our children’s right living.  Children must not have any reason to believe that they are anything but desperate sinners in need of God’s amazing grace.  Once they have realized this through our loving teaching (yes, this teaching can be done in love) and by the power of the Holy Spirit, and they have responded in repentance and faith in Jesus alone for salvation, then the character qualities we so desperately want to see in our children will begin, in seed form, to flow from the power of the Holy Spirit and to the glory of God, the Father.   Then, and only then, can their diligence result in work done for the Lord; their resourcefulness result in efficient use of resources for the kingdom; and their preparedness result in worship and service for God.  Otherwise all these good qualities will result only in a puffed up, self-serving person who thinks he or she is right with God because of his or her strong character.

So, what is the place of teaching the character qualities so clearly shown all over the Bible, both in direct teaching and by example?  Every one of these qualities is a reflection of the perfect character of God.  Study His character with your children.  When they demonstrate an aspect of His character, give Him glory by calling attention to His perfection in that quality.  When they fall short or demonstrate the opposite of a characteristic of God, remind them that they, as all people, have a sinful heart which must be punished.  Point them to the glorious reality that Jesus came to take the punishment that all of us deserve for our sinful hearts and actions.

Make God’s spectacular provision for man’s desperately sinful condition the focus of your parenting.  Hallelujah, what a Savior!

 

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