Saturday, November 7, 2009

Giving Children An Advantage

The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage. Proverbs 21:5a
And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 NASV

I have mentioned before in one of my devotionals that I came to the Lord with very few good habits or character qualities. I was the youngest of 3 girls and for some reason my mom didn’t instill in me very much responsibility or life skills. My older sisters were left to take up the slack. I didn’t do things like make up my bed or clean up after myself by hanging clothes etc. Guess what? Those habits didn’t magically appear once I was saved. Every bit of discipline and good life management skills that I have came in a long and slow process. To grow up with good habits and life skills coupled with spiritual wisdom is a huge advantage.

I don’t care how smart or gifted or spiritual you may be I don’t think we can underestimate the value of good habits. So, I am writing this to encourage anyone who has a hand in raising children to model and lovingly help them to develop good habits. Children are sponges and they are soaking up the character, habits, and life skills displayed in your home. My challenge to you is to realize that you will never have a greater opportunity to impact lives and shape character more than your children, or if you are fortunate to have them near, your grandchildren. They are watching and absorbing their habits and life skills from you. They are learning many lessons whether you are aware of it or not.

  • They will learn teamwork or the lack of it by observing how their parents work together and with others.
  • They are learning stewardship by the way you take care of your house, yard, car, clothes, shoes, etc.
  • They are either learning to do things when they feel like it or the discipline of doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done. They are learning to be either diligent or procrastinators.
  • They are learning to take care of their bodies with good eating and health habits or they are going to learn self-indulgence and disregard of the consequences.
  • They are learning how to handle money wisely or foolishly.
  • They are learning to put God first in everything or keep Him on the periphery of their lives. Does any little distraction keep you out of church or are you faithful?
  • They are learning genuineness or hypocrisy by whether both your public and private behavior is consistent.

    I am not talking perfection. Neither God nor children expect us to be. No one gets it totally right. But we should be prayerful that we wisely use the opportunity of a lifetime to make an imprint on young and impressionable lives.

    MY PRAYER: Father, we need your wisdom and your power to model wise behavior and habits for the children in our lives. All your habits were good and we want to be like you. Help us to instill love for you and diligence in our children. In the name above all names, amen.

    MY CONFESSION: Lord you say in Proverbs that the hand of the diligent will rule. You also tell us if we lack wisdom all we have to do is ask and believe and you will give it. We receive the wisdom we need to influence our children from you. We stand on your Word!

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