Generation Cedar

“Parenting is hard”.  My friend announced their family motto.  I agree with her 100%.

There’s the delicate balance between “training them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” and all that entails, and the work that only the Lord can do in a heart.

We require obedience, but obedience must ultimately be from a heart of love.  We teach them character, to be thankful, to be cheerful to be servant-minded, but all those things must spring from a heart that acts in gratitude toward a risen Savior.

Sometimes it all seems to flow together naturally.  Sometimes we see the two realities merging together down the road.

But sometimes, we see the Deceptor’s hand at work using love of Self to breed rebellion and ingratitude.

It brings every parent to the throne of grace faster than anything.  We can talk, we can plead; but it soon becomes evident that only a work of God can soften that heart, bringing it to a place of joyful submission to the Lord.

But we are parents!  We must be faithful to continue steadfastly loving, encouraging and training godly character into the lives our children, teaching them that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”.

We can’t change the heart.  But there are things we CAN do do bring them toward the One who can…

The Bible says,

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”                          2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Listen to it.  Our “weapons” are mighty and we must give our children those weapons to fight the fight and pull down the strong holds that bind them.

This is our job.  It’s what we can–no, what we must do.

How is it done?

Here are some practical ways to help our children wield the weapons of warfare:

1.  Meditation on Scripture--To use the “sword of the spirit” one must be able to, like Jesus did, recall applicable Scripture (we call them “fightin’ words”).  Scripture memorization is simply an inestimable tool for the child of God.

2.  Exercises in gratefulness--Make lists of things for which we are thankful, forcing them to see what blessings we have.

3.  Reading about others who demonstrate exemplary character, particularly in times of trial.

4.  Shifting our focus through prayer–Nothing will take one’s eyes and mind off himself as praying for others will.  Daily discipline in the humble petition for those around us holds tremendous power in changing our hearts.

May we be encouraged to love our children enough to give them the tools they need to resist the enemy of their soul.

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7 Responses

  1. This has been one of the most difficult things for me as a parent. I can’t change my child’s heart. I can require obedience, and I do. I can require my children to have a good attitude, but ultimately, the real work comes from God.

  2. I like these posts.

    I know to do these things, but I forget so much. It’s so nice to be reminded regularly! Thank you again.

  3. Very good points, Kelly. Beautiful points. God bless you. It reminds me of the verse, “For it is God that worketh in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)

  4. Great points and reminders. I was just discussing with a friend today the difference between the children who grow up in a “religious” home and the children who grow up in a home that fears the Lord and teaches their children their depravity apart from Christ. The religious are often rebellious and in all sorts of trouble. Those who are trained in the way they should go, don’t depart from their REAL relationship with Christ.
    So important, those differences!

  5. Hi Kelly, Thank you so much for your wisdom. I have been thinking about this very issue for some time now and I will put this into action with my two precious daughters!! I have so many many verses that I want to pour into my girls heads, it is hard to narrow them down. Any favorites that your family has memorized?
    In HIS Mighty Grip

  6. Shelley,

    I love Romans 12, man of the Psalms (portions of 119, for example). The very first chapter our children learn is Psalm 1. Philippians has some great chapters, and I love James 3, just for starters 😉

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