Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Role of Grandparents in God’s Economy

Psalm 78
 1 My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
3 things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, His power, and the wonders He has done.
5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which He commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.
7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget His deeds but would keep His commands. 8 They would not be like their ancestors—a stubborn and rebellious generation,
whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to Him.

Being a grandparent is fun, but not just that. Grandparents should be repositories of God’s great deeds in the family. They should be the conscience and storehouse of the family. They provide a sort of family history that needs to be transferred to grand and great grandchildren. There is, or should be, an affinity between grandparents and grandchildren. This special love should open doors for countless “teachable moments” in which wisdom is shared. 

My grandkids have countless questions about their parents, what they were like when they were little, neat stories from their lives. I share all kinds of stories, but especially stories of how God worked in and through them. 

We had a sleep over last night and this morning, I had two five year olds climb in bed with me and snuggle down. One asked me whether I had ever lived in Atlanta. “Why do you want to know that?” I asked. “Did you ever meet Martin Luther King Jr.?” he replied. No but I know about him.

A conversation ensued that revealed a great deal of knowledge these two five year olds had accumulated re Dr King and his work. It was an opportunity to talk about a Christian’s role in the world regarding justice. How God can use us to set societal wrongs right. What a great time. 

How are you envisioning your role as a grandparent? Do you see yourself as the giver of neat gifts? The “easy mark” for treats? The source of special trips and events? Are you seriously taking to heart your role as one who interprets God’s work in the family? One who transfers to your grandchildren an absolute commitment to God and His word? Do you seek to help your grandchildren fully commit their lives to Christ and live their lives with God and His thoughts, plans, and ambitions at the center of how they live their lives?
We grandparents have such a weighty charge laid at our feet. Will we help point our grand, great-grand, and great-great grandchildren to Christ? How can you alter your interactions with them to capture the multitude of “teachable moments” that will arise in your dealings with them?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Here's what one family does to focus their kids on missions

I love reading about what families are doing to put God's Kingdom agenda at the center of their lives. I like this blog from a family about what they do. Preparing your Kids for Global Missions

Monday, October 10, 2011

Is Your Parenting Hitting or Missing the Mark?

It really depends upon what you are aiming for. Like most parents you long for your children to "succeed" in life. But what does that mean? Is it merely getting into the right schools, having the right grades, the right friends and the right skills so that they can get the right job?

Ask yourself this question, "Am I helping my kids develop the ‘right stuff' from a Biblical perspective?" Are you, like an archer, carefully aiming your parenting to produce Godly children who will not only have a vital relationship with Jesus Christ, but embody God's Kingdom values in the way they live their lives?

What can you do to help your kids develop spiritually? Merely sending them to church activities isn't enough. Studies show that 90% of youth who have heavily participated in church drop out after 2 years in college. For many youth, the checking out begins as early as the age of 16. They find packaged religion to be irrelevant to the real world. What can you do to counter this trend?

1. Embrace God's Kingdom agenda.

Whether you know it or not, you are now teaching them values that either conform to or conflict with God's Kingdom. When you decide to participate in an activity that regularly interferes with spiritual responsibilities (church attendance, Bible study, spiritual service) you have taught them that personal fulfillment is more important than obedience to and fellowship with God. You are on display to them 24/7. They watch your every move, how you spend your time, how you spend your money. They listen to what you talk about. Do they see in you generosity, compassion, and a love of God and His Word? Do they see you ordering your life around God's priorities? You are the first Bible they have read and they started reading right after birth. What have they learned?

2. Create the environment.

How does the environment of your home aesthetically and socially reflect God's Kingdom agenda? Children swim in the environment of the home. Things dear to God's heart can be reflected even in the way you decorate your home. Have you as carefully thought about the "value environment" in your home as you have how you have selected its decor? Think of how you celebrate holidays... what can you do to turn them into "teaching moments" that zero in on what God values?

3. Teach by using experience.

Jesus taught people by taking them places and exposing them to real life. The world and all its activity became a textbook of illustrations Jesus used to drive home Biblical truth. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to begin to serve Christ as a family. Go on family mission trips together. Serve in your local area together. God has placed gifts and abilities in your family and He expects you to use them.

The book, Mission As Life: Making the Kingdom of God Your Family's Passion provides valuable insights and resources designed to help you raise kids to have the "right stuff" from God's perspective. Your family is a microcosm of God's church. God has gifted you and your children for serving Him. Doesn't it make sense that you do that together as a family? Visit Mission As Life for family mission trip ideas and also get a copy of the book Mission As Life.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"To solve the sin problems that occur in the family we must avoid syncretism with pagan theories and depend solely upon God's Word. God will not patch his grace onto some humanistic psychological nonsense even if that nonsense is couched and buried in Christian terminology. [3] There is no neutrality. The problems of the family are ethical and spiritual; therefore, we must focus our attention on the Bible and pray for wisdom and the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to sanctify our families before God."
 Brian Schwertley has an interesting article from a reformed theology perspective on the Christian family.
Good News: Jesus Is Not Nice
Britain is beginning to see the need for something beyond what the church normally does to reach youth. Church Failing Youth With 'Cool' Ministers, Entertainment
Christian youth encouraged to use social media for sharing the gospel.