Friday, September 20, 2013

Who's Responsible for Honor?

It's always great when something you've read multiple times catches you in a fresh way.  I read through the whole of Ephesians a few days ago, and the whole book grabbed my attention - it's a great read, I'd recommend it.  

I want to focus on one part of it.  It's the part all parents love to read... out loud... to their kids... as often as possible!

Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do.“Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

So the kid gets to obey and honor - that's their responsibility, and then life will go well for them.

Great, right?

But hold on a moment.  What kid, left to their own devises is going to grow up obeying and honoring their parents?  Anyone who's ever had a 2 year old knows that's just not going to happen.  

How often do we read those verses and overlook the second half of verse 4? We are told to bring up our kids with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

Our kids, whether they are 2 or 15, are not going to obey and honor us if we haven't taught them to do so.  That is OUR responsibility, not theirs.

If we want our kids to have a long life that goes well for them - we need to take responsibility for bringing them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

Teach them well, empower them to choose obedience and honor, that it may go well for them.

Teenagers - And the Importance of Truth

Recently, one of our teens has had several attacks on her identity and we have been able to help her walk through this and reclaim who we know she is - a beloved child of God.

I've been encouraged through this process by the idea that, if at her age she can learn to recognise and fight the tactics of the evil one - she will be a mighty warrior.  Some of us (read: Me) are only learning this now and have much ground to take back.  May she not lose ground, because she learns how to take it and hold it while she is still young.

The teenage years are renown for being hard, tumultuous times, while our kids discover who they are, where they fit, and how their lives are going to impact the world around them.  These are pretty major questions and they come at a time when there is almost an expectation for teens to rebel and do crazy stuff - stuff that can really mess with the answers to those questions.

So, as a generation of parents, are we just completely sucked in by an enemy who only wants to rob, kill and destroy?

If he can mess up a young persons developing identity, value, and purpose - he can go a long way to destroying that life entirely.

How many young people with no sense of identity, value, and purpose, are ending their lives before they've even begun?  Is it just co-incidence?  Or are they being picked off at a vulnerable time of their life, by an enemy whose ultimate goal is death?

If no one is speaking purpose and life into our young people - then they live in a vacuum, hearing only what the world wants them to hear.  "You're not important." " You're a reject." " You're no good at anything." "No one will ever love you." "The world would be better off without you."

Who is going to tell our kids they're worth it?  That they have so much value someone was prepared to die for them?  That their life was planned and it has hope and a future?  That their life is a masterpiece, designed by a God who wants to shower them with love and goodness?

If our kids are not being told the truth, all they will hear are the lies.