The ABCs (Absolute Basic Criteria) for Raising Spiritually Sensitive Children – Part 9
The Bible provides sufficient principles for child rearing, but it does not give us a detailed blueprint for every action. Let’s keep in mind that God’s Word speaks clearly of the righteous goal for parenting: “Be ye holy for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).
It is my desire to show you the practical side of biblical truth. There is no greater joy than to see your children grown, serving the Lord and raising your grandchildren with the same biblical goal of holiness.
U is for Unique
“Parenting is a celebration of the UNIQUENESS and individuality of children,” says Pastor Ed Young.
If you have more than one child then you understand, ever so clearly, how different and individual each child is. Psalm 139:14 confirms that they are each individually, uniquely, fearfully and wonderfully made.
Proverbs 22:6, “Train a child in the way he should go.” The word “way” in Hebrew actually means bent.
Each child has a bent and a unique calling on their life by God, their Creator. It is our job to discern their uniqueness intentionally and strategically. Once we have discovered their natural strengths, then we can partner with God to affirm their bents.
Tom Rath, author of the New York Times Bestseller Strengths Finder 2.0, does the math like this, “Talent x Investment = Strength.”
Talent is the natural, unique bent and way of thinking, feeling or behaving. Investment is the time spent practicing, developing skills and building the knowledge base. Multiply those things and you have your Strength, which is the ability to consistently provide near perfect performance.
Maybe our kids will follow in our footsteps or maybe not. Just because my husband was a star football player and I was a dancer, doesn’t necessarily mean that our children will be too, even if we begin teaching them to do those things at a very young age. My parents were both excellent pianists, but neither my brother nor I had a talent for the piano. My brother’s natural talent was studying science, and mine was … well let’s just say it wasn’t playing the piano! (Even though my parents forced me to practice and I took lessons from the best teacher for 5 long years.)
When we partner with God and invest in improving what our child is already naturally good at … ding ding — we have a WINNER!
My parents finally gave up on piano lessons and put me in ballet class, which I loved and was naturally good at. I was graceful, creative and a group lesson was a better match for my social, people-loving personality. When I grew up, I owned a dance studio and taught tap, ballet and jazz lessons for 18 years. I am unique and so are my kids.
It’s time to get serious about the uniqueness of your child. Help them to focus and spend their valuable time on only the best activities and education for them. Let the others go, even if it is your dream for them. You are their parent, not their agent. Trust me, it is best that way.
When you help them find their talent and then make the investment, their unique strength will be released straight toward the target and hit the bull’s eye every time. To God be the glory!
V is for Virtue, Vision and Victory
We live a post 911 world of violence, and every act of violence is perpetrated by somebody’s child. What can we do to raise Virtuous children who, with loving guidance, can affect the world without becoming infected by it? That’s the question.
First of all we must love Virtue and hate violence. Unfortunately, because our society for the past four decades has emphasized self-esteem rather than self-respect in kids, we have far more disrespectful children than respectful children. Disrespectful children grow up, on some level, to be violent and self-centered adults. Old fashioned Virtues and courtesies have become unimportant, and we’ve lost our moral foundation; the result is violence.
Respect lies at the heart of manners and morals. A person’s respect for authority, others and self go a long way toward determining the moral decisions that person makes. Manners instilled in the early years become the foundation for moral behavior in the later years. Scripture affirms the relationship of morals and manners. The morals and Virtues in the heart are the basis for outward behavior.
Luke 6:45 (The Message Bible)
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
Good people do good things because of the good in their hearts. Bad people do bad things because of the evil in their hearts. Your words show what is in your heart.
It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.
Moms, don’t let your children be angry. No tantrums allowed! They are not allowed to express themselves by mouthing off to you either. You must train and discipline respect.
When your children respect you, they will more easily respect God, and in the process respect others and themselves. Virtue is trained and taught to your children by you. It’s a tough job, but you can do it.
As a parent, you have to own a detailed Vision of what your child will blossom into as an adult. Having that concept clear in your mind will enable you to develop a plan, with related benchmarks, that facilitates meaningful accountability and adjustments. Child rearing is the art of handling the unexpected without losing sight of the ultimate goal and Vision. What is the ultimate Vision and goal? It’s to raise a God-honoring human being.
You need a game plan. Begin with the end in mind. The end is Victory. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Failure is not an option and you are the primary coach.
Be proactive, not reactive. Each of your children will require a different, custom-made game plan. Your plan of action every day begins with prayer. You are in a battle and the Victory has already been won through Christ. Ephesians 6 is God’s insurance plan for your family. It’s your job to stand and hold the shield of faith for your children until each can carry it in their own faith.
Happy New Year, actually Happy New Decade! 1-11-11 is a new beginning, with a new Vision of raising Virtuous children in a violent world.
It’s time to party and celebrate our Victory!
Read more of these great tips from the series.
Trina Titus Lozano, mother of four grown children and grandmother of nine, is a former professor of home economics at Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, and the creator of The Home Experience Semester Course. The daughter of Devi and Larry Titus, Trina is the author of Wait, the Smart Choice Abstinence Education for Public Schools, and the vice president of Wonderful Days, a nonprofit organization based in Fort Worth, Texas. Trina is a counselor, cognitive therapist and popular inspirational speaker at public schools nationwide. She has been recognized by the state of Texas premarital counseling program, Twogether in TEXAS. Trina is the author of The ABC’s, Absolute Basic Criteria for Raising the Next Christian Generation, and is an ordained Christian minister. She is open and candid, and her messages apply to real-life issues. Trina and her husband, James (since 1983), reside in Colleyville, Texas.