Parents and Patterns.
Parents & Patterns.
We just finished a full month of teaching on relationships based in the book of Genesis.
And we ended with the subject: ‘Parents and Patterns’.
We felt like we only scratched the surface of this ginormous topic, so here is a summary of some of the teaching we shared.
God Calls Us to Start Something New.
When God calls us He is inviting us out of our history and familiarity to start something new in us and through us. We see this in the life of Abraham. He is called out of where he was, where his father had died, to follow God to a new land, and start a new line that would follow God. (see Genesis 11&12)
The generations are important to God. We see that again and again in Genesis and the entire scripture. God is the God not only of Abraham but, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
God sees and thinks and blesses generationally.
This is a key in our parenting.
We must see our parenting as the opportunity with God to set up the next generation in His ways. Not just in our ways.
The Home Culture a Place of Discipleship.
God desires godly offspring that will live in His ways, and so the household becomes the place of discipleship.
God gives a mama and papa to raise up and teach and represent to their children who God is.
This sounds daunting, but God has given us the capacity as parents, with Him, to lead our children in His word and in His ways, to see them live in His blessing.
The culture of our homes then are to be imprinting on our young ones constantly the love, the presence, the provision, the leadership, the security and protection of God Himself.
It is also a place where children are learning to grow up honoring their parents.
God gives the command for children to honor their parents (10 Commandments), with a promise of living long in the land and being blessed.
If children will learn early to honor and respect and listen to their parents, knowing that they want the best for them, then in the time of their transition out of the home, they will go from honoring parents to honoring God as their ultimate Father and leader.
So how do you make this the culture of your home?
In Deuteronomy 6 there is a beautiful passage of Moses writing to Israel about the kind of culture they are to establish in their homes and lives that will raise up their children to love God:
5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
It Starts With You.
The first key is that they themselves, the adults, are to love the commands (the words) of God themselves.
How can we pass on what we ourselves do not value?
And so parents, is God’s Word important to you? Do you value His thoughts and ways?
If not, then you are the very first step in creating a culture in the home that loves and values God’s word.
Teach them with Intention.
The second key is that the parents are instructed to teach their children diligently.
This means its not to be vague, it requires thoughtfulness.
Make times of reading the word together normal.
Make times of prayer a priority.
Have open communication lines with your kids about all subjects. Including sexuality with pre teens and teenagers. (& don’t make it awkward, make it normal)
Set boundaries in your home. What you allow your kids to watch on tv, and listen to, is up to you.
Decide how much time they spend on computers and gaming. This is up to us to make the healthy boundary lines for them.
Ask them to tell you about what they already think and feel about Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Being intentional creates a home culture where God is being made known to our children right in the midst of everyday life.
In all different moments, in all different places.
And then it gives these pictures of the family doing all of these things in different moments and places all throughout their day. God is showing them to be natural about it.
You just do it as you get up, you do it as you sit together to have breakfast or dinner. You do it as you walk and as you drive, as you cook, as you play games. It is to be at all times in all ways.
This is also teaching the children that God is involved in every moment of their lives. Not just one specific organized moment.
In other words, invite God into all aspects of your family life.
Just Start Today.
Even if you read this and think, ‘I have a long way to go…’ don’t be overwhelmed. None of us has everything in a row. But when we desire to set new normals God’s way, then we will see the fruit come quickly. Just start with something new today.
And Ultimately, We Trust in God.
And having said all of this, with all that we do to teach our children who God is, we ultimately still need to trust God for their lives, and their choice to follow Him for themselves.
As parents we are stewards of our children, with an important role and responsibility, but ultimately they are the Lord’s to save and deliver.
If you are a single parent, know that God Himself is with you and will partner with you in raising your children as you do your best honoring His Word. And always be connected to faith filled community who can support you.
If you are a parent of those who have already left home, and you see them going another direction, don’t lose hope. God is gracious and good. Keep entrusting them over to the Lord, keep praying for them to find their way back to Him.
We pray this helps you even just a little in creating a healthy home that honors Jesus,
and sets up the next generation to know Him.