You Did It; Why Can't I?
Mothers often prepare their teenage daughters for decisions about premarital sex by having special discussions about love, breast development, menstrual cycles, or birth control. They may feel guilty asking their teenage daughters to abstain from sex outside of marriage, especially if they did not. Meanwhile, most fathers avoid “the talk” and may look the other way when their teenage sons have sex, drink alcohol, or smoke pot … after all, “We did it when we were teens … how can we say ‘No’ now, even though we know the harm. The fundamental question we wrestle with, is telling them ‘No’ being a hypocrite?”
No matter what mistakes we may have made, they are history. If we have received Jesus’ forgiveness, the past is past. This is today … and God is calling us right now to train our children in the way they should go … the way that is pleasing to Him, not in the way that we went.
Because you broke rules and made mistakes does not mean that your children should follow the same pattern. It is vital that you learn from your wrongdoing and receive Christ’s forgiveness. Next, God calls you to love your children enough to teach them the right way … God’s way. But for your message to impact your children, the following 3 points are essential to influence your child to draw closer to God in her daily activity:
- Don’t just tell about the right decision, live it. Be a role model in all you do now. They will understand more from observing your conduct and listening to your explanations of why you act the right way.
- Understand the reasons that those wrong behaviors aren’t good and explain them to your child. Your explanations need to go deeper than “the Bible says so” or “because you’ll get in trouble.” The behaviors God deems as wrong are wrong because they are harmful psychologically and physiologically. God designed you. He knows exactly what injures and impedes His design. You know firsthand the consequences and fruit of the flesh you reaped immediately and all the ripples that came later. You need to examine what happened to you because God wants to use your experiences to help you teach your kids with conviction so your kids can benefit from them.
- Start equipping your children with a concrete strategy so they can become better decision-makers. Teach them decision-making skills and the rewards they will experience physiologically (their brain chemistry is renewed), psychologically (their personality and skills mature and grow), and spiritually (their connection to God and relationship with Him grow more powerfully). Yes, knowing the benefits of doing the right thing will help motivate them to do the right thing.
Today, remember you don’t have to do it alone. Ask God for the courage, strength, and wisdom to train your children in the way they should go. Today, do some self-assessment. Are you discipling and teaching practical Godly decision-making skills to your kids and to others that you to mentor? WITHIN REACH and Edging Forward teach unique practical principles as well as the actual mechanics of healthy decision-making so you can model it and teach it to your children. Whether you guide and teach your children Godly decision making principles, or you wing it everyday and hope a magical lightning bolt empowers their diploma to bring them decision-making knowledge is your decision, so choose well.
Dear God, help me to guide and disciple my children so that they won’t make the same mistakes that I did. Help me to train them in the way they should go. Impress upon me that training them isn’t just telling them, but also modeling great decision-making in my daily walk. Help me understand how You designed me and why I make the decisions I make. Show me how to make Godly decisions and then teach those principles and motivations to my children. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One You sent to train me in the way I should go, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
The Lord your God will delight in you if you obey his voice and keep the commands and decrees written in this Book of Instruction, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is within your reach. Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:10-11, 19-20
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