Saturday, August 22, 2009

Are you bringing honor to your parents?

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother',which is the first commandment with promise:'That it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.' And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:1-4 This is a verse for all in our family. God just isn't directing His words to the children of the home, but to the parents as well. As we want our children to obey, we must also obey God and not be severe with our children. It is a balance for both sides. We teach our children to love and obey the Lord. We teach them to respect others, and to obey us as their parents. Just as my children learned from me, I too learned from my children. As I was young I didn't always obey my parents. I thought at times I was getting away with things, but I never did really. Even though we may think our parents don't see, God sees all, and one day we will be accountable for our actions. You begin with trust in your children. Once they break that trust it is hard to gain back. Once we begin to dishonor our parents, it breaks a bond that you share. I know my parents loved me very much, but during that time I know I disappointed them. As we want our children to be accountable we too must be accountable for our actions. There are times as our children are growing, we can't understand everything. When they disobey, we hurt also. We hurt for them, and for our relationship. There were times I said and did things that only came from my mouth out of hurt, but needless to say I should have kept my mouth with soothing,loving,words of disipline. We all make mistakes, we learn new each day with our children. Many times its those very mistakes that have helped us to learn and grow. We need to be the examples for our children. We need to be walking in Christ daily to show them how to grow in Christ. I always taught my children if they were obeying God, then they too would obey me. When God is first in our lives, all else falls natural. When we are in God's word as a parent we are more likely to speak with love when we are angry, then to shout out in anger with words we cannot take back. Thats the thing with words, once they are out there, the hurt is already felt, and no matter how many times we say we are sorry, the hurt is still there in that open wound, and takes time to heal. We must teach our children to follow Christ, and to be themselves, and to seek the will of God. If we are seeking His will, then we are going to honor and respect those around us. It is a relationship, our relationship with Christ as we walk with Him, and a relationship with our children as we walk with them.Children need to see their parents loving each other, not arguing within their hearing. When our children are home, it is a building block for the rest of their lives. We are either teaching them about Christ and walking with Him, or we are teaching them the things of this world. Children want to be loved, they want disipline. There is a big difference in disipline and anger. After we disipline our children, we must be willing to explain why, to teach them the ways of Christ. I can honestly say these words have come from experience. I have lived them during my childhood, and with my children also. I have great children, they are a rich blessing. But with those blessings come trials. I cannot share all those trials, it would not be fair. We struggle at times with what to do in situations with our children. Some choices I have made were blessings, and then their are those choices that did not bring glory to God. You have to be willing to apologize to your children when you have messed up. As we grow as parents it is a learning experience. It seems with each child we learn more and more. But if we are right where we need to be with Christ, and if our answers are in soft spoken words, filled with love, our circumstances are going to change for the better. Today, times are different than when I was a child, and that really wasn't that long ago. Children today face many different trials that I never had to face. Our children can be the young adults Christ wants them to be if we lead in a Godly manner, teach them with love, and if we pray for them. I have prayed for my children since the time I was carrying them. I have prayed for all things, their husband or wife to be, their children, their safety, for them to grow in the Lord and never turn away from Him. I have made a list, and kept to it, praying daily for my children. Sometimes our children make a decision to turn away from Christ and their teachings. They go through a period of wanting to live life on their own, and make their own decisions. We must pray that God will show Himself to them, and they will come back to Christ, following Him. There is a verse I hang on to, it is one that brings comfort to all parents. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 God knows us and He is prepared for everything that comes. Nothing surprises Him, He has seen it all, and He will whisper His words to all to bring them to Him. Just as our children can move away from Christ, we too as parents can move backward. There were times I would move forward two steps only to move back four more. We must forgive ourselves. As parents we are not perfect, as much as we try and only want the best for our children, we will falter, but we must remember Christ is there, and He will lift us up and put us back on the path we need to be. Today as my mom is seventy-one, I still obey her. I should say I have learned to obey her more with the years I have grown. I am closer to her today than when I was young. We have a wonderful relationship that I cherish. Today, it is me taking care of my mom. The roles have reversed, things have changed. I am humble and proud to care for my mom. As she struggles today, it is me she calls when she is ill or afraid. Our relationships are a circle. A circle of love. There may be trials with our children, if you haven't faced them, you may call yourself blessed, but if you have you may also call yourself blessed. Having children is a blessing and I wouldn't change being a mom for anything. My life would have never been the same without my children. When you see them you can see a glimpse of me. When I was young I wanted to make my parents proud, and today I still do. As you raise your children, raise them up to God, your strength and wisdom will come from the Lord if you allow Him to control, take that control out of your hands, and place it in His, and watch all the blessings begin to fall upon you...
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