Last week I was busy enjoying my adult children and their friends in a beautiful beach in Mexico; maybe that explains why I didn't post here.
Chapter seven has three main principles that we don't want to overlook.
1. We are responsible for raising our children in the Lord, they are responsible for their own choices, but God alone can save our children.
Sovereign saving grace, God's desire to save the lost, and His covenantal faithfulness should be our hope and comfort.
What a wonderful reminder to our heavy souls that God is the one who does the changing in our children's lives. Not us. We don't have the power to change their heart.
What a convicting exhortation to parent our sons and daughters not motivated by guilt and fear but by genuine love that has learned to rest on God alone.
"Our dollars won't buy their love or repentance, and we can't fund their admission into God's Kingdom. Only the Holy Spirit can change their hearts."
2. We need help. We need help. We need help. Yes: WE NEED HELP!
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:5
The author says it in such a clear way that we cannot miss the exhortation:
"[T]he Bible is the only sufficient source of wisdom for our lives. In faith we need to trust in His Word, rather than merely following our own thoughts and feelings."
And then, an encouragement to seek the advice of godly people:
"We need objective (and sometimes tough) godly advice from friends who are not afraid of wounding us by their counsel when necessary (Prov.27:6)"
3. Saying "no" is many times the louder way to say, "I love you."
"Only with the Lord's help will we be able to be as strong and as patient as needed."I appreciated very much that under this principle, the authors advice parents to involve their pastors and elders (when the children are members of the church) in specific situations, even to the point of church discipline.
Understanding the role of the church as we raise our children is an important part of understanding the covenant bond among us.
It is important, however, to remember that saying "no," or making drastic changes, doesn't mean that we should totally shun them out of our lives. Maybe, you have the huge blessing of not having wayward children, but remember that we must apply these love principles with our friends' children to. Let us be always hospitable, waiting in hope.
Chapter Eight is, in my opinion, kind of repetitive. Do you agree with me?
It is a chapter about money management and how we should not finance our children's irresponsibility or sinful lifestyle. However, many of the important, wise, and timely advices the author mentions here, he has already pinpointed somewhere else in the book. So I want to avoid doing the same thing...
Next week we'll be talking about chapter nine: Marriage: Our Dreams, Their Dreams. I hope you can join us.
Praying for grace as we keep pressing on,