How Do We Reform The Way We Think About Our Children?

Advanced Family Strategies CD #1

By, Doug and Beall Phillips

How do we reform the way we think about our children?

The Problem: We live in a culture that is constantly disparaging of the family, a culture that emphasizes fragmentation, as opposed to family unity. Consequently a culture that emphasizes selfishness. We are instructed to have our “me time”, (IE- advertisements of all these activities for kids for the summer otherwise how are parents going to make it through the summer if you have to spend all day with your kids.) The message: “Get away from your kids and lead your own life.”

Attitude #1: “My children are just a pain in the neck!  There are just too many problems, constant problems! Help!”

Attitude #2: “My children are so expensive!”

Some parents feel their real joy & happiness is when they get away from their kids.

We are laying up our treasure in our private time and our entertainment & our own adult peer groups & agendas. That becomes the idolatry of our lives.

Language of division and fragmentation is another problem. The way we talk to our children and about our children contributes to the way we think about them.  When we look at scripture we see a tender language between fathers and sons, “Son give me your heart let your eyes observe my ways.”  (Prov 23:26)

Dishonorable talk in our homes is another problem. When you speak honorably about someone, you will begin to feel  honor toward them.  If speaking negatively (“The old ball and chain”) we begin to think negatively about that person. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)

The goal for this topic is to set a “Joy Goal”: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth”. (3 John 4)

Whatever joy I have in work or with my friends, it’s not as important as seeing my children walk in truth.

How do we cultivate this in our home?

Look at our children & imagine them as old men and women. We will long be gone from this earth when they are 80 years of age. What kind of legacy will we be leaving them? We are looking at a person who will stand before the Lord & hopefully will impact hundreds or more for the kingdom of God.  All the hope of the future rests on our children. Understand that we don’t own these children , God does. We are just stewards of them. This helps remind us of the responsibility we have toward God & not just looking at their behavior and worry about what others will think if they act a certain way. We as parents need to get over our selfishness & ask ourselves, ”What is the big picture of this child’s life?”

Do not wait for tomorrow to enjoy our children. Delight in your children. Our duty is to discipline them, but also delight in them as our reward.  It is an honor that we get to work with our children for this short time. The act of enjoying our children is a muscle that needs to be exercised. Not in just watching their soccer game. Delight in the fact that they are reading for the first time, that they are learning and growing, that they are hugging you.

Delighting in them doesn’t come naturally for all of us. There are things we can do to reform our actions:

#1 Affirming our kids every single day:

#2 Being physical with our children: Kissing, hugging, playing

#3 Get a good nights sleep!

#4 Don’t put our children on our checklist for the day. Develop a relationship with them.

Don’t wait until they are gone and then say,”Why didn’t I spend more time with them?”