Wednesday, July 27, 2016
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Our son's first word was the name he called me, "Da!" I know it's supposed to be "da da," but it was good enough for me. He'd greet me at the door each night with a loud and impassioned "DA!" Now, our grandson's first word was "mama," which he liked so much that he just kept it rolling, "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma." Sort of the opposite of "da!" The first words children learn reflect what's going on around them. If they see Mama all the time, you can expect them to say her name early on. Sometimes, those first words aren't happy words. Our friends were dedicated missionaries in a war-torn part of the Middle East for years. Not long after their daughter was born, their area became a place where frequent bombardments and violence erupted all around them. Some of her first words told the story: "bomb", "gun."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Lessons That Shape Your Child's Life."
Children learn what they live, for better or worse. For all our words as parents, it's ultimately what our children live that makes them into the people they become. And God doesn't give a human being any greater trust, any greater responsibility than the shaping of a little person that He made in His image. Our children are, as one author described them, "wet cement." What they experience with us day after day is writing things in that cement that will mark their lives long after we're gone.
God, who asks us to call Him our Heavenly Father, has left us parents and grandparents some great help in the book He wrote. The Bible passes along some valuable instructions given to a generation of parents who were trying to raise their children in a culture that had no use for the values they were teaching their children. And in a setting where their children were being given what their parents had to work for. Sounds kind of familiar, doesn't it?
His instructions to parents are recorded in Deuteronomy 11, beginning with verse 13, and it's our word for today from the Word of God. He begins by saying, "Love the Lord your God and...serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul." Parents need to give their children more than a religion. They need to show them a personal love relationship with the God who made them and a life that makes God the sun in your universe and everything else the planets that revolve around that sun.
Then God says: "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds...teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses...so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land." In short, live your life in such a way your kids keep bumping into God wherever they turn; a real God that they see in real life situations.
It isn't enough for your child to hear the truth. He or she needs to see what the truth looks like in your life. You teach them faith by how you handle the storms and the stresses that hit your family. You teach them loving their neighbor by seeing your compassion for hurting people in action. They learn about forgiveness by you forgiving them and asking them to forgive you. They learn that lying is wrong from a parent who always tells the truth. They learn about managing anger when they see you always make things right before your day ends. They learn to love God's Word when they see you meeting with God with His book in your lap.
The truth is, children grow up thinking God is like whatever their parents are like, and that's scary. Especially if you know you have a dark side that all too often is what your kids see; a dark side that continually causes you to hurt most the people you love most. Honestly, your child is your mirror. And if you don't like what you see in that mirror, it's time for you to know the Savior of mommies and daddies. That's Jesus, who died for our sins so they could be forgiven, who rose from His grave with the power to help us change what we could never change about ourselves. Our children show us a truth we may have been able to run from before. We need a Savior. We need Jesus.
If you'd like to release His power in your life and change the mom or dad you are, just go to our website, ANewStory.com. Let me show you there the road that will get you so easily and so quickly today into a love relationship with Jesus himself.
You can't begin to imagine how different your home could be-how different you could be-if Jesus lived there in you.