Wednesday, August 23, 2017

PARENTING CHILDREN WHO HAVE FREE WILL, Dan Mayfield

When a child is growing, the child has no wisdom to be guided by their own will. They have a will and are ready to exercise it. But they need guidance for many years so they stay out of trouble and so they learn to walk with in the Truth. This is God's design that parents impress their will upon the children. At what point does a parent lose control of the will of a child? At 3? At 13? At 18? It is usually at the point that the parent is not willing to press his will upon the child.
Start early. A 1-year-old is guided by the will of the parents. At 3, the child will fall into mischief and needs the will of parents to train him to keep going the right way. When the child begins school, there is much to learn and parents need to be deeply involved to make sure the child is not led astray in attitudes or
beliefs that often come from a secular education and peers. When the teenage years begin, there's much physical, emotional and spiritual change that challenges and occurs and requires wise parents to be close by to guide the child along the right path. This is not the time for parents to back off on impressing their will upon the children. This is a very important pivotal transition time and if parents are not pressing their wills on their children, the peers, the teachers, the secular world will be. The child is in no way ready to start acting like "free will agents" as if parents can not back off. If parents back off at this point, they have abdicated their powerful role God gave them and have left their children to the unspiritual wolves.
Parenting is the job of making your children to be like you. And they will be like you in what you hold dearest. If dearest to you is Alabama football, your child will grow up to be an ardent football fan. If you are a big believer in degrees and higher education, your children will go to college and become doctors and lawyers. If you believe there's nothing more important than family going camping every weekend to get in touch with nature, your sons and daughters will insist on buying tents and camp stoves when they are older. And if the Holy God is first in your life and if He is the reason for everything that happens in your home, your talking about it and your living it will always be dear to your children.
Are children strong willed? Certainly. It's not rebellion as much as it is the exercise of the individuality God placed in each soul. The parents job is to steer that individuality to the truth.
If a parent is cutting corners, fudging a bit on the spiritual, showing a little too much of the world in her thinking, the children will latch on to it to see what it means. Children know innately if something being professed is being hypocritically compromised by the parents. Children are not going to invest their lives in a hypocrisy. Children don't only need to hear the truth; they need to see that people are actually living it. Parents to bring their children to the Lord must have the unbending and unyielding mindset that their children are going to know and love the Lord. No compromise!

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