Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Raising The Next Generation

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

Since today is Halloween and is such a fun day for children, I thought it appropriate to remind everyone that as parents and role models of the younger generation, we are all responsible for teaching and mentoring the children of the world to do the ‘right’ thing; to make the right decisions; let them know that it is ok to make a mistake; make them feel good about themselves; talk to them about issues important to them; and teach them about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  Children are very impressionable, and always seeking to understand ‘why’.  Take every opportunity to explain the best you can in an age appropriate manner.  Engage them when they are young in a church community that will grow with them and support them in their early years and beyond!  By getting children engaged young, it will become normal to continue and stay connected with their church friends even through to High School.

In today’s world, we are hearing more and more about children bullying each other, and that is not acceptable behavior.  That type of behavior only escalates into even worse behaviors, and guns in the schools, etc.  It is up to every one of us, parent or no parent, to take the children of the world under our wings and give them love, attention, and help them grow into the leaders of our future that we would be proud to call our children.  There is a fine line on certain subjects with children that are not your own, so you need to be cautious of that. Ask for permission and clarify with the parents your role in mentoring their child.  Then, whenever the opportunity may present itself, take the time to make a difference. 

It is so important to spend quality time with our children and truly talk with them with no outside distractions.  That means, put your phones down, stop texting, and truly listen to what your child has to say; you just might learn something.  And if they say, “fine”, “ok”, “nothing really”, that’s when you have to play the open ended question game.  Start with, “what is the best thing that happened to you today?”, “how did that make you feel?”, and then praise and encourage them.  If they are struggling, “What can you do differently to get better at it?”  It’s those times, when you really have to listen and remind them on when they did do well, and how they did overcome and succeed.  Let them know that God will help them and so will you!  You might even want to ask yourselves these same questions; because we are all children at heart and everyone needs support and love.  

 Let’s make it our mission to support, love, and lead the young children of the world towards God and doing the right thing at all times.  Then we will have peace knowing we too did the right thing and these children will grow up believing in God and watching their dreams come true as they succeed, beyond their wildest dreams, in a life that is fulfilling and pleasing to God!  Imagine if all of us started that young in our journey with God!  

“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:15-16)

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