Monday, July 23, 2007

The ABC's of Parenting Part 1

Some trust in horses,some trust in chariots, but we trust in the name of the LORD OUR GOD. (Psalm 20:7)

Quote: "In life, children have a tendency to transition from total dependence in their younger years, to total independence from their parents as they get older. The goal of parenting is to lead our childrern to interdependence within the framework of a strong Christian faith."

(In these next several blogs, we will be breaking down the ABC's of parenting into seperate articles. We realize that raising and training our children is not as easy as "ABC". However, we hope to impart the simple truth in that we serve a loving God, the only one true God who is trustworthy.)

A IS FOR ALIGNMENT- we must align ourselves with the truth and take action toward that truth.

Imagine you are a king and a warrior. You hear from your trusted watchmen that a massive army of men and chariots are planning to come against you. A feeling of dread and fear tries to settle upon you for you know your men do not equal in the strength and the number of your adversaries. The enemies possess elaborate chariots which can hold 3 or 4 soldiers and strong horses to pull them. These chariots also have sharp blades protruding forcefully from each wheel ready to mow down and slice up anything in its path. You ask the internal question, "What am I going to do? There is no way we can defeat, much less survive this multitude of aggressive warriors who have the weapons and the power to flatten us in a mere moment."

This was an actual event recorded in 1 Chronicles 18 and in 2 Samuel 10.
Whenever the Israelites were preparing to send a king into battle with his troops, a prayer would be spoken over the king and the army. Psalm 20 is the actual prayer spoken by the people over King David, Joab the commander, and the entire army. Because of the law of the land, the Isrealites were not allowed to have all of the intricate weapons that the Ammonites and the Syrians depended on. However, they had God and they knew He was all they needed. In Psalm 20:7, they declared, "Some trust in horses and some trust in chariots, but we trust in the Name of the Lord our God."
And because they truly trusted in the God who is trustworthy, David and his army faced their fear and defeated the enemy. Through his faith and dependence on the Lord, David and his men killed 40,000 men and destroyed 7000 charioteers!

What does this have to do with parenting? It has everything to do with parenting because it is all about trust. Where do we put our trust when it comes to raising our children in a godly way? This is a question we must continually ask ourselves as none of us are prone to getting off track. As Christians, we desire the best for our children, but even with the best intentions, we can fall so easily into leaning on the horses and chariots instead of the Chief Warrior, Jesus Christ. Some of the methods and ideas we look to are usually very good, but good elevated above the best becomes a detriment if placed on the throne above trusting the Lord.

Horses and Chariots represent our own strengths and our own reasonings of what will mold and make our children into successful, well behaved, well respectful human beings. In this segment we will share the first horse and chariot of parenting.


As parents we all have a strong desire to see our children be and become all that God wants them to be. However, sometimes we can get so caught up in the goals and dreams we have for our children we can become overly focused on the envisioned results and even succumb to using them as a measure of success in our parenting. When things are going well, we often become very relaxed and even a bit prideful. Family can become as a trophy or as a badge of honor to be admired by others or even God. This is a form of idolatry because our true security is from God, not how successful we are as parents.

In addition, we must realize that all idols require a sacrifice. Therefore, we end up sacrificing relationship with our children for the idol of the family. We make a trade here that was never our intent. We exchange their hearts for our reputation.

The world measures success in every area of our lives by the observed results. Because God's ways are not ours and His thoughts are far above our way of thinking, He defines success in moment by moment, day by day obedience.We have heard the statement over and over." The true test of your parenting is not evident until you see how the child turns out as an adult." How about all of the parents who are obedient and look to God with consistency and devotion and their children choose to go the wrong way in life? Can we really judge the parent? We must realize that God measures parents' success by obedience not by how their children choose to respond to their influence. Obedience is not the formula for success, obedience is the highest success. Isn't this a liberating truth?

(Check back soon for the next part, RELIGION OF AVOIDANCE)

1 comment:

Kathy Buurma said...

Thank you for blessing me today with your blog. Even though I am not a parent, it spoke to me as a teacher about to begin another school year. I too have to carefully guard against being result oriented. Lord, I cast down that idol. Kathy