Thursday, November 7, 2013

Are YOU Part of Your Child's Problem?

My husband and I were having a discussion recently about how many Christian parents live unaware of how their actions affect their children.  Many people are long-time Christians, even leaders -- and yet they have no idea of the principle of sowing and reaping that is affecting their life and the life of their family.

Photo Credit: mdanys, Flickr
The other day as we were sharing a conversation over lunch, my husband said to me, “I hate when children are affected and parents don’t even realize what they’re doing to them!"

I concur. Parents often have no idea their own behavior is part of the reason their kids are making the choices they're making!"

We parents cannot control everything our children do, and sometimes despite all of our best attempts at parenting they choose things of their own free will – particularly when they are young adults. However -- the truth remains that we DO affect them through our actions, even when they are adults! Many times our kids are simply mimicking what they see, in us, in different ways.

While our kids have a choice of their free will to live for God, or not -- as Christian parents it is incumbent upon ourselves to ask:  am I living in such a way that impacts my children – in a positive way?

Some would say, “Well yes! I read my Bible. I go to church. I even serve in the church! I don’t smoke, drink to excess, or cheat on my spouse. I have set a positive example.”

Look deeper. 

There are parents who have “roast pastor” for lunch after church on Sunday and then wonder why their children don’t want to sit at the table of the family of God anymore.

(Common sense should tell them…why would their children want to go to a place that THEY criticize, and follow a leader that THEY talk about in a negative way???)  

p.s. Don't think your kids aren't listening from the other room.

 This should be a no-brainer, but many parents will look anywhere else for the reason of their child's bad choices -- blaming it on a girlfriend, a boyfriend, school influences, getting involved with "the wrong crowd," music, video games, etc. before turning the search light on themselves.

If our children do not have the passion for God that we long for them to have or they are straying in some way, let’s  take a deeper look at ourselves.

If our children are rebelling…have we done a check-up for rebellion in our own hearts?

We rebel against authority, then wonder why our own children are rebelling against us. 

We gossip and then wonder why our children say things we don’t like.

We aren't faithful to our responsibilities and then get upset when our kids don't do what we want them to do around the house.

We speak out of turn and then we get upset because our kids get mouthy. Instead of looking at our own critical mouth we say, “Kids these days!  What's wrong with them? If I talked to my parents that way back in the day, I wouldn’t still be here to talk about it…”   

Our children do things we don't like and then we blame Satan and cry that our family is under attack. Sometimes it's an attack from within! It's our own heart that needed to change, not a demon to blame.

Are we simply reaping what we have sown?

Sometimes children or adult-children, stray on their own despite our best attempts. But not always! Sometimes does not mean always and this is an important distinction!

Sometimes but not always is critical to this issue!  For the reason that sometimes we might be a contributing factor, as parents we must ask ourselves…am I contributing to my child’s wandering heart? If so how do I need to change?

Our children's bad choices are not always our fault but for the times we may be a factor, there is a place for looking inside ourselves to see what we might want to do differently going forward.

~Pastor Deanna

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