Life At Its Best: Establish godly foundation in your children
I'll never forget watching my wife discipline our 4-year-old son one particular day. He had pulled his sister's hair and did not want to fess up.
My wife took his face in her hands, looked him straight in the eye and said, "Did you pull your sister's hair? Tell me the truth." He looked back and blurted out, "The truth." It was clear; he was only going to say what she wanted to hear in order to stay out of trouble.
We still laugh about that incident today. But the truth is kids don't naturally want to do the right thing. They have to be taught to do the right thing. And that's the job God has given us as parents. It's up to us to establish a godly foundation in their hearts that causes them to want to do right.
Foundations are critical parts of any structure. They determine how high a building can be built and how stable it will be. And parents, if we want our kids to reach their highest potential and enjoy stability, we have to give close attention to their foundation.
Jesus reminds us in Matthew 7, that an anchored and blessed life is one that hears and practices His words. He can help us build homes that can withstand the pressures of our day but it will take intentional effort on our part as parents.
What are some steps we can take?
Engage in what matters to them: We can't expect our kids just to come into our world; we have to be willing to enter their world. They need to know we're interested in what interests them and that we want to be a part of what matters to them.
There's no better way to bring influence and encouragement into their lives. Jesus did this for us. He entered our world to let us know we were loved and valued as people, and we can do the same for our children.
Oversee who and what influences their lives: One of our greatest responsibilities as parents is to protect our children. Never has there been more opportunity for them to be influenced by wrong sources.
As parents, we have to give careful attention to friendships, media and technology that they have access to. II Cor. 2:11 tells us not to be ignorant of the enemy's devices in our life. Let's make sure that our kids have positive influences that will keep them moving in God's direction for their life.
Impress God's word on their heart: Deuteronomy 6 tells us that God's word is first to be upon our hearts as parents, and then we are to impress it upon the hearts and minds of our kids. We can be their examples in learning and living out God's truth and then help our children to do the same. God's word is what brings blessing and protection.
It's never too late to turn our hearts toward our children and trust Him to help us build families that honor Him and bring us great joy.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.