Show God’s Love to Your Children

SCRIPTURE

“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.  And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”  John 9: 1 – 3

OBSERVATION

For a long time, dare I say up until very recently, I used to think that God rewarded me for obedience and punished me for my disobedience.  After all, it’s a common model perpetuated by my parents to which I became conditioned.  It was the same model that the Jews believed in too, that if something bad had happened to someone, whether it be an illness or accident, it was because they or their parents had sinned – God had punished them.

Jesus saw the blind man as He walked by.  His disciples wanted to know why this man was blind, was it because of his sin or his parents.  Jesus’ answer was that it was neither, but that this was an opportunity for God to be glorified. Moreover, it was an opportunity for God’s love for man to be truly exposed.

You see, this man was a sinner,  he was not even a believer in God.  He didn’t even ask Jesus to heal Him and in many ways we could define him as undeserving of God’s help.  But Jesus was willing to heal Him not because this man was obedient, but because He wanted to show people what His love is really about.

APPLICATION

God had to send Jesus in order for us to really get to know God.  We had already perpetuated untruths about God in relation to punishing people with sicknesses because of their sins. By Jesus’ example, we were able to really know who God is and dispel some of those myths.

So, how are my children going to know God if I perpetuate the same myths by punishing my child when they make mistakes.  After all, am I not God’s representative on Earth for my child?  Surely they will relate to God in the same way that they relate to me.  If I’m an angry tyrant, who shouts and punishes them for the slightest mistake, surely they will view God the same way.  They will also be afraid to try, fearing that they will fail and may be punished for it.

Even when our children make mistakes, sometimes we just need to give them another chance, even if they are undeserving, after all this is what God does for us, every day.

PRAYER

Dear God

Thank You for showing us Your unconditional love.  Please help us to teach our children about Your love through our own example.  Help us to teach our children that there are consequences that happen to us because this is a sinful world but God does not wait around for us to make mistakes in order to punish us. Please help us to how grace, mercy to our children when they make mistakes.  Help us to clearly explain the guidelines we have set for them so that when they make mistakes we can lovingly steer them back onto the right path and to give them the opportunity to correct their mistakes.  We really want our children to know You and to be able to turn to You when they make mistakes.

Thank You Lord for being a safe place for us to succeed and to fail, please help us to be that safe place for our children too.

In Jesus’ Name

Amen.

Train Up a Child…

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

 Proverbs 22: 6

When people train, it is usually to improve some aspect of their health or their abilities. Overall there is a goal to be reached that requires work, often times hard work. It is through the process of training we find that strength and endurance often increase; therefore what is required by the trainer will also increase. It often requires repetition over a course of time that ultimately help them reach their goal.  For example, when a trainee first begins to work out 10 sit-ups may have been all they are able to complete, however through training they are prepared to do 50 over a certain time.

The concept of training up a child does not mean that they will do things right the first time you tell them to do it. Just as working out one time will not meet your target weigh.  It is often through consistency and repetition that we see the results of the efforts made. Much like physical trainers your will need to both motivate, encourage and push them to their goals.  As parents you must carefully analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your child to determine what their needs are and how you will guide them.  As their knowledge, skill and abilities grow, so should their requirements. It makes them stronger.  When correcting your child remember, he or she will not always correct negative behavior the first, second or third time you work at it. Therefore be patient yet firm, just as God of father is both patient and firm with you.

More importantly remember, the trainer has to be even more disciplined than the trainee.  As parents the training process must be consistent, fair and above all, loving. Just as your child will not always get things right, neither will you, so be patient. As you too train to be the best parent you can be. Continue to pray for grace, mercy, endurance and wisdom as God trains us all.