Friday, October 19, 2012

By the Hand

"Father’s, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.” Ephesians 6:4, The Message

One of the greatest and most rewarding responsibilities that any of us can have is that of a parent. Beth and I love what we do as pastors, we love our church, we love our calling, but way above all of that, we love being parents. What an awesome opportunity God has given us to lead our kids in the way of the Master.

I first learned today’s text in the King James version, which tells parents and particularly Dad’s what our role as parents should be-- “but bring them (our kids) up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Let’s take a look at those words, nurture and admonition.

#1 Nurture - To nurture is simply to teach, to train and to coach our kids by our actions. Our actions speak way louder than our words. We can’t expect to raise balanced kids if our words and our actions are out of balance. We need to be the real thing in front of our kids. If we want our kids to be loving, than we need to be loving. If we want our kids to be forgiving, then we need to be forgiving. If we want our kids to be generous, than we need to be generous. The list goes on and on, but I think you get the picture.

#2 Admonition - It’s one of those words that has a couple of different meanings, but the one I like is: to give friendly, earnest advice or encouragement. I think we all get that our kids need to be taught and coached, but we need to remember that the words we speak to them and over them, have a huge affect on how they see themselves. Our words can either motivate or demotivate. They can encourage or discourage. They can build our kids up or they can tear them down. And words are like bullets in a gun, once you pull the trigger it’s too late to stop them.

So let’s take a quick inventory of our life as parents.... Are your actions lining up with your words? Are your kids seeing you being the kind of person that you are asking them to be? What are you saying to your kids and about your kids? Sometimes it’s easier to pick out the things that your kids are doing wrong, rather than intentionally looking for what they are doing right. Let them know how proud you are of them and how much they mean to you. Your words of admonition can help guide them for years to come.

Right actions mixed with right words produce great kids. So take those kids by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. You won’t regret it.

Say It: “Father, I thank You for my kids and appreciate Your guidance as I bring them up in the nurture and admonition of You. Help me to be a great example of someone who has submitted their life to You. I pray that my words and my actions both say the same thing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Right actions mixed with right words produce great kids. @jrjones

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