The ABCs (Absolute Basic Criteria) for Raising Spiritually Sensitive Children – Part 5
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. Here are the next two topics (M and N).
M is for Maturity
My daughter Brittany is 19 years old and was married a few weeks ago. Most people, including Dr. Laura, agree that she is too young to get married.
I considered that opinion, but as I carefully examined her characteristics with my parental senses, I found the evidence of absolute, undeniable maturity. Just like when you touch and smell a piece of fruit that has come into ripeness. It is in its “state of maturity”—fully developed, its perfected condition.
But what is true maturity?
Maturity means acting responsibly; it means learning from your mistakes and trying not to make the same ones over and over; it means seeing life in the broader context; it means relying on your own resources to resolve problems and challenges that come up in your everyday life; and it means sacrificing play when there is work to be done.
My grandma recently made a statement that caused me to stop and listen more carefully. She said, “Brittany has always been mature.” I was confused. I didn’t understand at first, so I asked for further explanation. She continued, “When she was 2, she behaved as a 2-year-old should, and at 5, 10, 13, 16 and 18, she embraced each new stage, accepting the added responsibilities. Maturity is acting your age.”
As our conversation continued, my grandma was very complimentary—as most grandmas would be—for my being mature and raising mature children.
I was very intentional about training my children to be mature. Here is an idea of my Training Agenda:
Age 2: Potty train.
Age 5: Teach them to read.
Age 10: Teach them to do their own laundry.
Age 13: Teach them to handle relationships with the opposite sex.
Age 16: Teach them to drive.
Age 18: Teach them to budget and to do their taxes.
Along with many other items on my Training Agenda, these tasks became my number one priority at these ages.
I Corinthians 13 may be the love chapter, but don’t forget 2 Corinthians 13. Do you know it? It’s the maturity chapter. I encourage you to read it and apply it as you help your children mature.
N is for Naked
I admit that it seems incredibly weird that I have chosen NAKED—for crying out loud—as my “N” word.
“Nice” is good, too. I agree that it is super important for parents to be, at the very least, nice to their kids, to each other and to others. Talk nice, act nice, play nice, etc. I also think that many moms are not strict enough about teaching their kids to be nice to their siblings. Yes, “nice” is a great N word. I recommend that you enforce being NICE in your home.
So why naked?
Well, I’m not recommending that you and your family move to a nudist colony (however, that would keep the laundry and ironing from piling up). I am actually talking about being completely open about your mistakes. As long as parents hide behind a fig leaf and fake their own perfection that their kids will never live up to, their kids will learn how to hide, too.
Rather than hiding and pretending that you are perfect and have never had any sin or temptation, that you’ve never experienced any failure or disappointment, it is much better to relate to and understand your child’s growing pains and their natural desire to hide and keep secrets about their sin.
If you become naked about how Christ has set you free from the bondage of sin and that you now walk in forgiveness rather than shame, it will be a blessing to your children. They will also desire to seek openness and forgiveness in their own lives.
It is better to be naked and unashamed than to be all covered up in shame with a hard heart.
Take a lesson from Moses: Let’s not contribute to our own children’s hardened hearts by remaining veiled ourselves. Instead, let’s look at verse 18, “With unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.”
This is what being naked is all about: God’s glory in our lives and in the lives of our children.
2 Corinthians 3:16-17 continues: “But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
Bottom Line: GET NAKED, and be FREE!
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.