Discipleship is often labeled a “spiritual” activity. Nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus Christ showed His followers that discipleship encompasses every aspect of life. This article emphasizes the importance of balancing kids’ growth in three essential areas.
First Century Parenting
Just for fun, put yourself in the sandals of Joseph or Mary, Jesus’ earthly parents. While raising a child who never lied, never talked back, never undermined their authority, and always obeyed—what unique challenges did they face? A solitary verse summarizes Joseph and Mary’s parenting efforts: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). However easy or difficult raising Jesus may have been, His parents achieved a remarkable balance with their remarkable Son. His formation progressed intellectually (wisdom), physically (stature), spiritually (favor with God), and relationally (favor with men). Read the rest of this entry »
In early August I attended the Association of Marriage and Family Ministries conference in Phoenix, AZ. I came away encouraged that there seemed to be the genesis of an awakening. More people appear to be aware of the need to help parents take responsibility for the discipling of their children. As I reflected on the things I had learned and the people I met, I realized that I met just a few Sr Pastors and fewer children’s pastors at the conference. The people who could be the most influential had other things to do.
About twenty weekends a year I do a parenting seminar in local churches. The same thing happens at every meeting; about 5%-10% of the parents in the church attend. Invariably those who attended have the same comment, “I sure wish all of our parents had been here. Do you have a CD or DVD with this information?” And then, the person who worked diligently to encourage the parents to attend apologies for the small number of parents who made the meeting a priority. I can’t help but wonder if the parents in our churches see the spiritual nurturing of their children of any long-term value. Read the rest of this entry »
The Situation: Adults wonder, “Why are many children spoiled?” Children are selfish by nature. They enjoy the limelight. They like to receive gifts. They have learned to expect much from others. Children become so accustomed to having their needs met that they rarely think about serving others.
The Solution: Becoming a Christian is a selfish act. We need forgiveness-and Jesus Christ is the only source. Christian conduct, however, ought to reflect selflessness. Christians live as Christ lived-for others. We can freely give because Jesus has promised to meet our every need. In addition, the Holy Spirit empowers us and distributes spiritual gifts for us to serve others. Read the rest of this entry »