Generation Cedar

Yes, life-changing. The following list, all rooted in Scripture, takes deliberate, faithful teaching, but will pay big dividends in the lives of your children.

Teach them to:

1. not be easily offended. Luke 6:29 speaks of turning the other cheek when slapped. The principle here is, love is not easily provoked and covers a multitude of sins. Don’t get your feelings hurt easily. If your are the recipient of a mild injustice, don’t nurse it. Let it go. You will be healthier, your relationships will be stronger and things will go much better for you.

2. focus on what is right instead of what is wrong in their lives–gratitude. We all have the choice to dwell in the negative or focus on the positive. While that may sound trite, the power of choosing gratitude can not be overstated. One potentially thriving person pines his life away in crippling bitterness because he can’t let go of injustices done to him which are out of his control. Another, dealt enormous obstacles in life, chooses gratitude and his obstacles become a boon to him instead of a hindrance.

3. take responsibility. It’s very easy to blame others for our failures or mistakes. Some children are experts at the blame game. We need to carefully help them examine themselves and not fall prey to shifting blame and avoiding responsibility for their actions. Failure to pass this on to our children will be the source of tremendous hardship for them in life.

4. hold other’s opinions lightly, finding their worth in their identity in Christ. We all too easily crave the praise of man more than the praise of the Father. Children, especially, can let others’ opinions of them become an idol, influencing their choices or hindering their confidence in their uniqueness. Parents can even be guilty of placing wrong emphasis on external traits and accomplishments rather than internal worth. Helping our children find their identity and acceptance in the Lord is one of the most important things we can do for them.

5. do their work diligently. “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much…” Teaching young children to do a job diligently will lay the foundation for their worldly success later in life. While it most certainly takes more time and effort to call a child back to redo a job, the work will pay off in huge dividends. We need to encourage our children to be thorough, to see even the smallest tasks as Kingdom work when they are doing their work as to the Lord and not unto man. We need to remind them that Scripture urges us to be diligent and that obedience to that will make an enormous difference in our lives, whatever we set our hands to do.

Keep up the good work. We are planting an eternal garden.


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14 Responses

  1. And sometimes the mom needs to learn the lessons just as much as the kids. Thank you, Kelly. This was just the straight talk, Biblical and loving, that I’ve needed lately.

  2. I think it is most important that adults learn and model these principles. Without the modeling, it is just do as I say, not as I do. Children learn most from what is modeled.

  3. I have been trying to teach these to the children I work with. I appreicate your putting them in a list. I have been teaching rather randomly, but I will print this list and work at being more purposeful.

    1. Lynda,

      Well, we all feel like that from time to time. It’s important to keep going back to God’s Word, being affirmed in His calling on our lives. “Faithful is He who called you, who also will do it.”

      We haven’t been given a task to do alone; but we also haven’t been promised an easy road. Days are hard and long sometimes. It’s important that we look beyond those and keep our vision focused. We’re in this for the long haul, like doing the hard work of planting, tending and weeding an ever-growing garden. In due season we will reap if we do not faint.

    2. Lynda, What has freed me from getting stuck and down in the moment is the realization that God doesn’t owe me a “fulfilling” existence here on earth in the flesh… In our pop culture (even within the church), it’s easy to pick up on the message that everything that is “good” (meaning money, health, and self-fulfillment) is from God and everything that is hard, confusing, or sacrificing is from Satan and is “bad”…(and should be avoided). I often think of Corrie ten Boom, who watched her sister die in a concentration camp, and knew suffering up close, came to realize that God is good even when her sister died… and that if she had to endure every kind of suffering while on earth and in the flesh, but was saved in eternity… God was STILL offering grace and mercy, since what we each deserve is just wrath… meaning deserved wrath… And also being able to look at this moment and this situation with all its difficulties, limitations, frustrations and say, ” THIS is God’s will–His perfect will”… Not a subpar will, or a side will because I’m not worthy of a better one, but exactly in it… Understanding that so much of our day to day existence that He orchestrates (that we don’t) is only marred by our sinfulness… meaning that our sin is the only part of my situation that is not His will… If God was sovereign in Ravensbruck Prison Camp and worked good in that place, He can be sovereign in whatever situation I am facing…and He can work out His will IN IT. Understanding this more fully has helped me hold this life more loosely and learn to say more willingly, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes, blessed be the name of the Lord.” I don’t mean any of this tritely, and learning this was a long process for me… and a concept that isn’t not generally taught in even Bible believing churches… but what a relief!!

  4. Really nice advice. About number 1, I tell my daughter (and myself) that most people do not care enough about you to try to hurt you/offend you/ insult you on purpose. We are not as important to them as we may think we are.

    Chose to get over it, it has two results.
    1) the person never meant insult and you acted accordingly. You didn’t prove to be be someone ruled by their emotions.
    2) the person mean insult and you chose to not care enough about their actions to let it effect you. You cared abut God’s opinion most.

    I really love all the points.
    Either way, you win.

  5. #4 reminds me of something Andree Seu wrote in a column for World Magazine some years ago. She quoted her late husband as having told her something like, “Don’t worry about what other people think of you. They don’t think of you.” 😉

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