Monthly Archives: May, 2013

Christian Checklist: How to Raise the Perfect Child

Checklist on How to Raise a Perfect Child

1. From the moment of conception: Never raise your voice in anger, think bad thoughts, talk behind people’s back, etc. because the baby will know.

2. From the moment they are born: Immediately start character training. They are being selfish and crying too much, give them a time-out. A 2-day old should know that it is not appropriate to cry to get everything they want. Say “use your words” to them.

3. From the moment they get home from the hospital: Make sure their bedroom is climate controlled to the optimum temperature, hang at least 3 pictures of Jesus with children on their walls, every book on their shelf needs to “Christian” (Dr. Seuss, P.D. Eastman, Shel Silverstein, etc will make your child too dreamy, too creative, and too worldly so don’t fill their minds with them).

4. From the moment they begin to talk: Teach them to say “Please, thank you, excuse me, etc.” These need to be taught before mama and dada.

I hope you’ve made it down this far in the post to know that I am being extremely sarcastic. Obviously, I am joking and by the title of this post you should guess that the statement is a complete ruse. The sad truth is that most of us as parents still try to attain this “perfect child” from among our broad of miscreants. We look over our children and can definitely rule-out certain ones from ever holding that title. My oldest, the one that hit his brother in the face with the bat last week, ummm no. The youngest, the one that thinks time-outs are funny and smiles the whole time, ummm not him either. But maybe if discipline them, structure them, mold them, shape them, feed them the proper diet, give them adequate sleep, read them enough stories, then they will be good children. The problem isn’t following steps A through Z to make your kids turn out right. They are not a lamp to be assembled in the proper order otherwise the light doesn’t turn on. The problem is that they are sinners. As discouraging as it can be when you tell a child something 10 times and they still choose the wrong path, they are genetically, spiritually, down-to-their core–sinners. Not to discourage you further, but look at the parents of the Bible.

Hebrews 11 (I read somewhere it could be referred to as the Hall of Faith)

1. Samuel (Heb 11:32)- a faithful follower of God.

Sam’s kids: 1 Samuel 8: 3 Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice.

2. David  (Acts 13:22) “And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said,‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’”

David’s son: 1 Kings 11:9 “And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord…”

3. Noah (Heb. 11:7) “heir of righteousness…”

Noah’s son: Ham (Genesis 9: 24) “When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said ‘Cursed be Canaan; a servant shall he be to his brothers.'”

So the Hall of Faith fathers had children that went astray. Not just went astray, but “turned away”. Man, I am in deep water without a life- jacket. I haven’t been a faithful prophet of God, a faithful king, or built a crazy huge boat. My name wasn’t written in Hebrews 11. These fathers of faith had some pretty imperfect kin.

My hope rests in kids like Timothy. (Acts 16: 1-2) “Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well-spoken of by the brothers…” Timothy was the son of a Christian mom and Greek (unbeliever) father. One thing to note about Timothy was (2 Tim 3:15) “…from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus…” Timothy wasn’t perfect though. Over and over Paul tells Timothy “Do not be ashamed” of the gospel. Was Paul just reciting a mantra so he wouldn’t be ashamed of Jesus? No. (Romans 1: 16) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation…” So if Paul wasn’t ashamed, who was? Perhaps, it was Timothy. My model example of a good kid maybe wasn’t so perfect.

In all equations of parenting none equal perfect child.

1. Faithful prophet + years of obeying God = corrupt sons.

2. Faithful king + man after God’s heart = faithful son until later in his life when he turns from God.

3. Faithful Boat Builder + righteous + blameless = son that dishonored his father.

So how can we raise perfect kids? We can’t, and hopefully this has changed your minds because We Shouldn’t Want perfect kids! Our  desire should be for our kids to be Purified sinners. Our hope and prayers should focus on our kids meeting Jesus and then seeing how horrible they are and want Jesus to make them clean. Then the fruit of the Spirit will start to bloom. Then in spite of our parenting example and style they will become like Jesus. Not from anything we did, but because of the work of Christ living in them.

Checklist: How to Raise a Perfect Purified Child

1. Pray for them

2. Read them the Bible

3. Tell them about Jesus

4. Realize there was only One Parent that had the Perfect Child. God had Jesus.

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Christian Checklist: Love Your Enemies

“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matt. 5:44

Do you ever find that when you read the Bible you see verses like that and put them in your head as a mental checklist? A reminder that next time I come across an enemy or get persecuted I need to love (check) and pray for them (check). Check them off, and then feel good about your obedience.

I work one day a week as a nurse at a clinic. I’ve been a nurse for 10 years and have been through many different situations and struggles. From the drunk man withdrawing from alcohol and becoming verbal to a seemingly sweet old lady with confusion that decided to try to bite me. I’ve had my share of difficult patients, coworkers, doctors, etc. I can’t say that I’ve had any enemies or anyone that has persecuted me. I’ve lost friends when I became a Christian. I’ve been made fun of. But enemies or persecution, no. I had to look up the word enemy and the definition is many things, but one is hostile. Someone that is hostile toward you. I met an enemy this week.

I was asked to take a phone call at work and long story short, the man was very hostile toward me. I was called a word that refers to female dogs, I was told to “shut the….” I’ll leave the rest to imagination. But I was stunned. I was tearful. I have never had someone be so hostile toward me. The drunk man I referred to before was obviously verbal due to the toxin he put in his body, and the cute confused woman became cannibalistic to me due to dementia so those situations I easily rolled off my back. But this man was not drunk and was not confused. He was angry. I was so offended that I broke down and started to cry. I mean, not small tears rolling down my cheek, but one of those ugly cries. I was near sobbing. You don’t know me very well, but I don’t cry very often. I’m one of those good German-descendant folks that can stand like a statue. I’m not an emotional person. Women that cry over certain things usually make me chuckle internally. So for me to break down in front of a group of people is highly rare. Probably freaked some of my coworkers out. When my coworkers spoke with me I tried to give grace to the gentleman. I came up with possible scenarios to explain why he was so hostile. The rest of the day was horrible. I couldn’t get the words out of my head. I came home and got into a funk. A state of depression/sadness/apathy. Then the Bible verse came to my head. Time to check off my list. Love my enemy, chec… no way. Pray for him…absolutely not. I couldn’t. With every ounce of my will I tried to do that verse. I didn’t want to do it. Someone like that doesn’t deserve love or prayer.

Someone like me didn’t deserve it either when Jesus died on the cross in my place. There is was. The gospel. The Holy Spirit worked through me and I prayed. I prayed for the man to come to know Jesus and be saved. I prayed the same for his family. God showed me that when Jesus spoke those words, it wasn’t a to-do checklist. We can love our children, we can love our friends, but we cannot love enemies. The Holy Spirit can.

This is difficult to teach children. It goes against our natural instincts to treat others kindly if they’ve treated us unkindly. When someone is hostile to us it is so easy to become hostile to them. The way to teach this to kids is by using the Bible, then by your example, letting God work through you especially when they see us fail. We admit our wrong, seek forgiveness, and pray that God can take over. My oldest son saw this a couple of days ago when my face couldn’t hide my discouragement. My husband said that we should pray for mommy because someone was really mean to her and then we will pray for the man.