“Wisdom hath builded her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars” Proverbs 9:1
A family needs an operating system – a system of concepts and principles upon which all the activities and strategies of the family run. Here are 7 key ideas that will form a sure foundation for your home.
1. No Punishment
When Jesus Christ took the wrath of God for all sin He took it out of the way and allowed love to flow in relationships. Relationships based on a fulfilled judicial system – the finished work of Christ – are free from the penal code. The law of life in Jesus has freed parents so they no longer punish their children in wrath but to chasten them in love. 1 John 2:2 tells us that Jesus is the propitiation for our sins and not ours only but the sins of the whole world. This means Jesus satisfied justice’s wrath against sin, all sin for all people – including your children. The new life that flows from the cross of Calvary through the Holy Spirit takes parents out of the role of the police, judge, and jury and puts them into the role of Father, mother, coach, teacher, and friend. Chastening happens when a parent, for the child’s sake, doesn’t give his child what he deserves, but rather what he needs. Chastening can often look like punishment but it isn’t. The parent who loves his child will chasten him.
2. The Same Goal
Parents will be much less controlling and much more understanding when they realize both they and their child have the same life mission – to be mature in Christ. The process we see in Ephesians 4 prescribed for the Church is the same for an adult as for a child. The teaching of the Bible equips a child for ministry and makes him mature and stable so he is no longer tossed about like a child by deceitful teachings. The result of this process is maturity and a life characterized by love – the love they received from their parents who themselves received it from Christ.
3. Rules for Children and not Children for Rules
Jesus said man is not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man. This means the rules God has given are given for His children’s sake. The purpose of children is NOT to obey the rules, but the purpose of children is to be loved by God and to in turn love God. For the one who loves God, the rules are not a problem (1 John 5:3). Of course, parents can present the rules and concern themselves with enforcing them, but this is getting the cart before the horse. Relationship establishes the foundation for citizenship in a home. A people who are loved and served by their king are blessed and joyfully submit to the rules of the king. Is this pie in the sky? No, it is wisdom from above.
4. Adulthood Happens Early – Don’t Miss the Change
When does a puppy become a dog? When does a kitten become a cat or a chick a chicken? Parenting that misses the conversion of a child to an adult begins to sabotage its own mission to raise a fully empowered adult person. Childhood lasts a short 10 years for most children. The human mind and body begin the staging process in preparation for puberty as early as 9 years old. Parents need to see their 7-year-old as a soon to be adult – able to be a father or mother. During the transition years, parents need to move from a role of schoolmaster and boss to one of counselor and coach. Relationship is the key to maintaining the unobstructed flow of wisdom from the parent to their children.Relationship is the key to maintaining the unobstructed flow of wisdom from the parent to their children. Click To Tweet
5. Teach Them a Good Grace Ethic
A child is naturally works-oriented – he constantly trying to win his parents’ approval and blessing through his own performance and production. A parent must be wise to overcome this natural value system and establish a good grace ethic in the child’s heart. It is good that our hearts are established in grace the writer of Hebrews states. It is good that a child knows he is loved, accepted, respected, valued – not because of what he does, but because of who he is. Beware of the law of sin and death that requires good performance to earn good rewards.
6. Rules – Age Appropriate, Well-communicated and Consistent
God knows that we are made of dust and our frame is frail. He is gentle toward us. This means he doesn’t put on us more than we are able to bear. A child needs boundaries to know he is loved and cared for. A child needs boundaries to know he is loved and cared for. Click To TweetThese boundaries act as bumpers to guide his decision-making and formation of proper standards. Parents need to make sure their expectations are appropriate to the child’s capacities according to his particular age and abilities. Expectations also need to be well communicated, so the parent has confidence the rules are understood. Lastly, parents need to be consistent, not changing from one mood to the next or becoming unstable because of anger and frustration.
7. All Children are Created Equal
Let all be done without partiality. Parents must be on guard against favoritism, being a respecter of persons in the home. God has made each child unique and of infinite value. To weigh children on the scale of personal preference or performance would be an attack against God’s declaration that each is equally important, accepted, and valuable. This is why we don’t speak evil of our children, treat them with disrespect, or belittle them. They are so precious to God the Father that He gave His Son to die for them. Parents need to take on the mind of Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to show them that all children are created equally and are infinitely valuable. Give each one his due benevolence.
Jesus came to turn the hearts of Fathers to their children. Parenting is a divine calling. Do it willingly, joyfully, and with all your heart and you will be a great blessing to your children and your children’s children.