Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Ephesians 6:4 - Fathers (Parents) do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

This is an excerpt from a Men's Conference, but I got so much out of it I thought I'd share. Hopefully, there is at least one item that you can benefit from. I posted 5 last week and here are the other 5. Enjoy!

Raising godly kids today takes intentionality--the right amount of structure, time, prayers, encouragement, and affection. My own children are grown now. I did a lot of things wrong, but here are ten practical love-in-action things I did right for you to consider. Remember, love is what love does.

6. Pray for and Encourage Your Children with Words Every Day
I realized that my wife and I were probably the only ones who would intentionally be praying for our kids every day. So I made up a list of things to pray over--their salvation, growth, integrity, work ethic, protection, future mates, and so on. I don't think it's a coincidence that all the specifics we prayed for are today a reality.
I also made it a goal to tell each of my children daily, "I love you and I'm proud of you"--words I didn't hear growing up, which still affects me today. There's biblical precedent for this: At both the baptism of Jesus and the transfiguration, God spoke and said, "You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy." In other words, "I love you and I'm proud of you."

7. Attend as Many of Your Children's Activities as Possible
Perhaps because of my own experience with my parents not attending my games, I decided from the start that I would never miss a recital or a game. And I never did. Fortunately, my work allowed that flexibility. One of my greatest joys came the day my son said, "Dad, I don't know what I want to do, but whatever it is, I want a career that lets me attend my kids' games like you attended mine."
8. Eat Dinner Together
The dinner table can be the medium that allows families to transfer spiritual and moral values from one generation to the next. So we made eating dinner together a priority. We worked around school activities and didn't answer the phone during dinner. That's not likely to happen every night without fail, but at least don't make choices that preclude it.

9. Expose Your Children to Ministry
We participated as a family in many of the ministry opportunities offered by our church. In fact, we selected ministries precisely because we could include our children, such as housing visiting missionaries and delivering Thanksgiving meals. When they were older, our kids went without us to youth camps and on mission trips, which helped them build confidence in their own faith.

10. Make Your Children Responsible to Attend Church
Just  as it's foolish to let your kids skip school, it's foolish to let them skip church. When kids are young, they will freely go to church if you go. Once our kids were teens, though, we experienced resistance. They were "too tired to go to church" after being out on Saturday night. So rather than do battle every Sunday morning, we transferred responsibility for attending church to them. If they were too tired to attend church, they could sleep in and skip church, but then the following Saturday night they needed to stay home so they wouldn't be so tired. Guess how many times that happened again?

You Hold an Awesome Power
Right now, your kids desperately need to know that someone loves them as they are. They yearn for someone who will overlook their faults, forgive their sins, and love them without reserve. They hunger for someone who delights in and believes in them. They thirst for someone who thinks they're great--who thinks the best of their motives. Whether they can articulate it or not, they long for someone who will make them feel safe.
You are God's designated solution. Are you willing to make the first move...and keep on making it?

Challenge yourself to risk everything to be a vessel of God's love. It will transform your relationships, starting at home. Use the love word indiscriminately, even recklessly. Ask God to empower you to be uninhibited in love. Jesus proved it's true: there's nothing more powerful in this world than a man who will love without reservation.

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