The ABCs (Absolute Basic Criteria) for Raising Spiritually Sensitive Children – Part 12
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.
W is for WIN
In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, Stephen R. Covey recommends that we begin with the end in mind. “Ultimately, we must decide either to steer or to go where the river takes us. The key to successful steering is to be intentional about our family rituals.”
Let’s decide now, by faith, that our children will serve the Lord as adults. We will WIN as mom’s raising character-centered kids who will choose to follow Christ. We can intentionally steer our children to win in their walk with Christ.
If you’re like most defensive moms, you think you’re doing a pretty good job. You probably believe you’re doing a better job than most of the people that you compare yourself with. But what is your goal? Is it to raise your kids with a life-impacting faith? Raise your level of expectancy, because what you expect is probably what you will get.
What does the bible say about Winning?
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed? He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. LORD, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call! (Psalm 20:4-9 NIV)
I am talking about a spiritual win. Don’t be confused by our culture’s definition of wining. That could be a problem. Here are some thoughts on this topic from Dr. Kathy Koch:
Today’s children may have a greater desire or need to win because they have a greater need to feel valued and worthy. It’s scary, though, because if feeling worthy is based on winning, they’ll have to keep winning. That’s not realistic. How valued and worthy do the children in your world feel? Do they depend on winning in order to feel good? How do you know?
“Win” is rooted in a word that means to fight, endure, struggle and contend. Easy victories don’t mean as much as those we earn through effort and struggle. Children must have enough challenge in their academic work so they feel victorious when they do well. This feeling can help them persevere again and again.
To have a spiritual win, we must trust and follow the right people. How are we at identifying them? Helping our children find and follow them?
Losing can cement an identity of victim, dumb or good-for-nothing. Or it can compel people to work for new identities like victor, smarter and becoming someone better. What makes the difference?
Competitive television shows have trained children and teens to want and expect a judge to immediately score them and tell them how they did. They’re often not good at self-evaluation. How can we help them become more comfortable with accurate self-evaluation? Why is it important?
What observations about competition, winning and losing have you made as you observe the culture? What do you want to be careful of or to address with your children? When? How? Now? Great!
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV)
W is for Win. You can win, and the victory will be yours through Christ Jesus. We are in a spiritual battle for the souls of our kids. Trust God! Claim the big win for you, your children and grandchildren. Mothering with the end in mind is not accidental; it’s intentional. Go for the gold!
X is for eXample
My grandma says, “If you are walking with the Lord with your whole heart, then it’s OK with Him if your kids become exactly like you, because He will then add to them their own attributes, and their life will glorify Him in even a greater way.”
Your example is critical. The power of influence is so important. We are supposed to walk with the Lord in such a way that if our kids are a replica of us, they will glorify the Lord.
“That boy is a spittin’ image of his dad” is the saying. This is what we are supposed to be — people who reflect the image of our heavenly Father.
Monkey see, monkey do. That’s the point. Your kids will copy what you do. When they are young, you can tell them what to do, but when they grow up, they will do what they see you do. It’s totally natural. Moms, take inventory of your bad habits, because they too will be passed on to your children.
My grandma always said that she wanted to have a home exactly like the home that she grew up in, a home of peace and love. Guess what? She did. That’s the home that my mom grew up in, and it also was a home of peace and love, because that was the example that came from her grandparents. My mom followed the example of her parents, creating a home of peace and love. That’s the home that I grew up in. I also wanted to have the same kind of home atmosphere for my husband and children, a home of peace and love. Now my children have followed my example, and they have created peace and love in their homes too.
The example and values that are modeled in your home will be passed on from generation to generation.
X is for Example. Sixty percent of the learning that affects people’s behavior is based upon watching someone they know and trusting that they are doing something significant.
Children have built-in hypocrisy detectors. However you expect them to behave had better be modeled by you. Children expect parents to provide correction and guidance, but the real key is to model the behavior that you expect. For instance: If you expect your child to talk to you in a respectful tone, then it only makes sense that you would also speak to them with respect. If you expect your child to be patient, then it is easy for them to understand when you are also patient.
When you accept the role of the primary and dominant spiritual mentor and model for your children to follow, you can be sure your example is a great one. One parent put it well: “Children reflect what they see. I knew they had a lot of choices, but I wanted to be the best option for them to imitate. Every day I thought about what I could and would do to persuade them that what I was teaching them was their best alternative. It was hard work, but it paid off.”
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.