Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Stay True

Children are more astute than we often think. They may not be able to verbalize an awareness of insincerity, but they innately perceive disingenuousness.

With that in mind, as parents we must always be aware of our motives. They must be pure. If we propose to be acting with our children's interests in mind, but the bottom line is actually a concern for us, they will intuitively know. And it is crushing for them, even though they are probably not able to comprehend the damage or communicate the hurt. In the spirit realm, the harm is real. The enemy of their souls will wreak havoc and minister rejection and sorrow of heart. This is real disappointment. The very ones intended to be looking out for their best interest are actually more concerned with their own interests.

Pretense in this arena will not carry the day. Children need genuine, legitimate care.

So what to do if we examine our hearts and find that we are more concerned about their behavior because of its reflection on us? We can try to muster up care. "Johnny, I want you to learn how to be respectful because of the promises given in the Word to children who show respect." Right words, but what was the true spirit? You cannot bluff the Spirit of God.

Are you truly wanting only their best, or do you have some self-interest at heart? Are your words of instruction or your disciplinary action really because you want to better them, or are you actually more concerned about what the on-lookers might be thinking? If you get the words right but cannot get a right heart, be honest with Him. It comes down to the same ol' thing. Repent, seek His help, obtain grace, and let Him change your heart.

Whatever else you do, be honest -- first with Him, and then with the kids. They all will know anyway.

4 Comments:

Anonymous brietta said...

This morning I told Gabriel, "Daddy and I are committed to you learning obedience," and his prompt response was, "And Nana and Papa are committed to Merrick."

I'm not sure I can be glad that he seems to get it; rather, he seems to have trouble focusing on his own issues, rather than his uncle's! :)

7:44 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Great advice! When we were at the store last week, my patience was wearing very thin.... I found myself looking around to see who was "watching"! Then I decided I needed to just act like God wanted me to.... and not really let others influence what I said or didn't say.
I had to mention to the little girls that we would be discussing their behavior and recieving the right consequences for them, after we got home! One of the girls was instantly a little sombered, the other had to ask "what consequences?"....
We can't shelter them from outside activities or cringe at the thought of who might see something.... we have to go on with our daily lives and use every day to learn more.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous LisaCriscitello said...

Remember the post I shared about black & white? Well, it's still happening. How I view things has changed. It's very strange, and I'm still not totally sure what to make of it. I'm sharing this part with you for this reason- it has to do with Generational Building. I know that it's super important to you and I know you'd be excited. My father-in-law had the opportunity last Saturday to bang nails with Timothy on a deck that he and Eric had built years ago for a lovely widow we know. As they were working- he remebered the men he used to envy before he knew Christ...men with money, power, etc. Then, he vividly recalled how as a new Christian he began to 'envy' those older men who loved the Lord enough to pass Him down. He saw the legacy they were leaving behind and prayed that(through his repentance)one day God would allow him this priviledge. As he watched Timothy work by his side, and Eric, too, in the distance, he realized that God had honored his prayer and granted him that very desire of his heart. He shared this with tears in his eyes, reminding me that this is NOT to say that the work is finished, but everyday we have to purpose to build and pour into the lives that come after us. I know you share our excitement in what God has done when Dad was willing those many years ago. Things have changed in this family so drastically from generations past. It can only be explained by the work of the Spirit. Our prayer is that we can continue to glorify the Father more and more and more. Unfortunately, now- as I shared with you before, there is another family we know who is going in the very opposite direction. They had great wealth and health for generations so they sailed along, forgetting to thank Him and praise Him, simply pushing Him aside. Now the life they had known has crumbled and they are playing the 'you hurt me and I'll hurt you' game. 3 innocent children are the only true victims. Every part of this mess is so contrary to God's plan. Anger, bitterness, adultery, revenge, etc. The other night I read the quote, "When you are shocked at anything anyone does you have been blind to the true nature of man." These people are in the middle of self-destruct. I write 'self' because they CHOSE to turn away from the God who had joined them. The God who blessed them with children is the God they cast off when things were going 'smoothly'. The Scriptures my husband is giving them to read are already highlighted in their Bible from the day when they were walking the right path. This burden is so much bigger than anything I have ever had to share and if you have anything to interject...by all means. If not, please continue to pray with us. Again, as HUGE as it seems when it's happening to someone we know- it's so very common. I know this. And God is growing me (us) greatly through it -particularly in the 'hope' respect and the 'remain in Me and I will remain in you' respect. This may very well be the longest comment you've ever received. Thanks for your patience.

6:56 AM  
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3:51 AM  

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