Tag Archives: children

Think About It—-


2Corinthians 13 “Do I Have to?”

When children are being disciplined they are often sent to their rooms to “think about it.” Paul is saying to his beloved Corinthian children to think about their faith and their character as a child of God. A child is still a parent’s child but they are to think about their actions as related to their status. The Corinthians were to examine themselves, not for their salvation, for Paul had affirmed that over and over. They were to be fruit inspectors and examine or test themselves ‘in the faith.’

So how does one test to see if you are in the faith?

This is not a list of “do’s and don’ts’. Instead Paul infers that one must check one’s lifestyle that is apparent to all. We could begin in Matthew 5 with the “Be-Attitudes.” As kingdom people we are to demonstrate kingdom character qualities: poor in spirit, mourning over personal sin, meekness under pressure, hungering and thirsting for righteousness. These character qualities are observable in kingdom people’s conduct: merciful to others, pure in heart; and being a peacemaker. As others observe our character and our conduct they can see that we are God’s child because we have been anointed by the Holy Spirit with His fruit:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Beloved, you are not being “sent to your room” because you need to check your status as God’s child, but you are being asked to examine your life according to the character of God. How do you stack up?



McNuggets or God-Nuggets?

proverbs-22-nuggets2A favorite fast food restaurant serves “McNuggets” as tidbits of chicken morsels that children really enjoy. The book of Proverbs serves up “God–nuggets” of wisdom for us to feed on each day. Chapter 22 gives us wisdom regarding one’s reputation, one’s wise counsel regarding the raising of children; wise counsel regarding how one is to respond to those who are poor. They are intertwined like beautiful jewels.

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great wealth, good favor more than silver or gold.” Money and riches can disappear in an instant and is only good in this life. On the opposite side, integrity is a key component that one has now and carries into the grave with them.

The world would tell us children only need more education, more of this and more of that yet the Word of God tells us otherwise. Feed them “God-Nuggets” as you train them the way they should go, and when they are old they will not turn from it.

Jesus said “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”  What “God-Nugget” will you feed on today?



Want Godly Children?

2tim 3 god breatheda It is an innate desire that we want to be known as godly parents/teachers and role models. We want and earnestly pray for godly children to be our legacy. How then does it begin and where does it begin? Paul gives us a glimpse as he writes this third chapter of 2 Timothy.

More than once Paul has commended Timothy’s mother and grandmother either directly or indirectly. It was because of Timothy’s heritage that he became who he was. Our children’s heritage, just as Timothy’s, begins at the knee of every parent where they learn godly traits. It is there that the scriptures are instilled into their lives thus fulfilling Ps 78: “tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord…” Why is this so important? It is the sacred writings/scripture that are able to give children wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. It is because scripture alone is “inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;” It is scripture that prepares children to be adequate and equipped for every good work and it is scripture that prepares them to be able to handle the word of truth with accuracy.

We live in a world that seems to have gone awry. but is no different than in the time of Paul. Just read through the list of ungodly traits he lists in this chapter. It reads like the list of the worst of the worst in men and we are seeing it in living color today all across our globe. These children, now adults, are revealing the traits taught them from early on.  It is therefore imperative that parents, teachers, and other godly adults model and teach the scriptures which will help children to be able to discern good and evil. [Heb 5]. It is the scriptures that will help them to avoid people who hold to a form of godliness but deny its power, who are deceiving and being deceived. It will prepare them to stand strong should they face persecution such as the OT Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who when faced with certain death proclaimed that God could deliver but even if he did not they would refuse to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s idol god. It will prepare them to be like the children beheaded by ISIS just because they would not deny Jesus.

How are we doing preparing our children?

The Heartbroken Parent Counsels from Proverbs 6

ImageWe all have experienced broken hearts over a child that has gone astray in some way, either through poor decision choices or rebellious spirits. As a parent we are especially vulnerable to the “broken heart syndrome” and often is heard: if only, if only. How then can we raise up children who will walk the talk and not stray from the God way? The first is to start early implanting God’s Word. Secondly, mirror for our children the right path following Deut 6 “teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up.” Thirdly,  stay on our knees for them [Eph 6, Col 4, 1Thess 5 and more]. But suppose after all of that they still slip into the enemy’s territory, what do you as a parent do? First, hide God’s Word in your heart and use it whenever you pray and whenever you share. God’s Word will not return void: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void,” [Is].

How to raise a child with God’s Word within that will be lived without comes directly from Prov 6 in today’s reading. “The advice in this section provides a good example of what prudence is. A prudent person is one who is capable of exercising sound judgment in practical matters. He or she is cautious and discreet in conduct, is circumspect, and is sensible.” [Dr. Constable]

  1. Vs 1-5 Teach and show about the dangers of being unequally yoked with those whose heart is not aligned with God’s.
  2. Vs 6-11 Assign chores to teach teamwork and responsibility early on. Allow consequences and rewards to be visible and tangible.
  3. Vs 12-15 Teach how to discern people’s unsavory qualities as well as those whose lives mirror godliness.
  4. Vs 16-19 Observe and teach what qualities God hates as well the contrasting qualities God loves. In particular note vs 19 about the results when those qualities of ungodliness arise which is discord and strife in contrast to what Paul taught “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people.” [Rom 12]
  5. Vs 20 and Ex 20 Honoring thy parents comes with a promise as well as a consequence for dishonoring them
  6. Vs 21 – 23 The whole purpose of this is that God’s Word is like a flashlight and the rebukes of discipline are like a roadmap.

Beloved, we who are parents have much to glean from this chapter and for those of who have raised children it is a guide to share truths that might fall upon fallow ground when a child wants to not follow or listen to a parent. Wisdom begins when one fears the Lord and wisdom exercised is found when one heeds the rules the Word offers. May you this day find encouragement as you ponder each truth.


The Heart of the “Meter”

ImageWhy study Proverbs 3? This chapter is  one of the most excellent in all this book as it teaches us to be wise, discerning, and gives us directions on how to bring it about. It begins with these words “My child.” And we are all children—But to all who have received him – those who believe in his name – he has given the right to become God’s children [John].  As God’s children we need wisdom and counsel to direct our steps, our thinking and our decisions. The author Solomon begins by stating two commands in verse one that every child should heed. (1) Do not forget his teaching and (2) Let your heart keep my commandments.

Jesus taught that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. [Matt] What is this heart; what is the underlying meaning? It is the inner man, the center for our moral, spiritual, intellectual life. Thus it encompasses who we are. Our heart can be uncircumcised or circumcised; it can be hardened or softened; wicked or pure; deceitful and desperately wicked defiling our entire being or it can be renewed by God’s love and grace making it tender towards him and his love.   

Chapter 3 is thus filled with precepts and principles that will guide us and it all begins in the heart. If we choose to follow that step we will be rewarded to see this truth:  Rom 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways! It is because of that principle we can trust that although our own understanding may lead us astray God’s never will because he plainly says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” [Is 55]. That is why we can trust in Him to guide us in the proper direction, to instill in us the proper understanding. God would never lead his own children astray! Remember this truth: God may not reveal to us each step we take but asks us to trust Him as we take each step. It is then that we can know without a shadow of doubt that “he will make our paths straight.”

So how is your heart meter registering today?



To Our Children….Ps 78

ImageIn Matt 25 we sat at the feet of Jesus as he answered the disciple’s questions. We listened as he taught through 2 powerful parables about the eternal consequences of being faithful or being faithless. This is the same point that Asaph makes in Ps 78. He reminds his listeners that the source of being faithful begins early with a grateful heart, teaching the young to be grateful to God for all He has done, grateful to God for who He is.

Asaph says this where we have gone astray. We have not heeded Deut 6 about the Word being taught while sitting, standing and walking. In addition, Asaph says we must resurrect the age old mantra: listen, heed, and incline your ears. But, we do not… instead we talk, talk talk and we escalate our words and the volume until the children just turn us off.  Asaph said if we want to be wise and learn we must go back to the past and resurrect the real way it is to be done. And then he adds: he who would be wise will observe and learn.

Let me once again remind you, or so Asaph says, “I will “begin at the beginning” and make insightful observations about the past.” First, avoid the mistakes of your ancestors who were stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful. Secondly, you parents, teachers etc, why are you not teaching doctrine and lessons you have learned to this generation? You must begin to teach them to honor and praise the Lord. Thirdly, a key point ! Share about the Lord’s praiseworthy acts, about his strength and the amazing things he has done. Too often we get caught up in the stories but forget to show how God was the orchestrator and the conductor as he rehearsed his musical creation. We fail to teach the children the names of God and His attributes.

Why is this so needed? In vs 6-7 Asaph says “so that the next generation, children yet to be born, might know about them. They will grow up and tell their descendants about them. Then they will place their confidence in God. They will not forget the works of God, and they will obey his commands.” This is how they will grow and mature into faithful followers of our Master. To neglect these principles is to leave children drifting and heading into faithlessness.

Our mandate is to carry that message to this generation and the next and the next and the next. This year I stepped up and taught 1st graders in VBS and soon will work  in Good News Club at a local elementary school. So here’s my question to you:

Where are you fulfilling this mandate in your home, church or wherever God has planted you?