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05(Deut 06,06-09) Worried, with Children (Airheads and Levelheads)

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Congressman arrested for trading postage stamps for cash. Defense: did not know it was wrong. Prosecutor’s response: common sense should have said it was wrong.

We want our children to grow up and be children of wisdom, common sense.

Proverbs 10:1 a wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother.

(Read Deuteronomy 6:6-9).

1.   Be an example. (6:6).

A.    My kids don’t want to listen to me. They want to listen more than they let on.

1.     Maryland students asked for solutions to help withstand the social pressures they face. One of the top? Suggested their parents have dinner with them more often.

B.    Are we worth listening to?

1.     I know most parents would say they want their kids to go to church. “Do you go?”

2.     Why do you want your kid to go, if church doesn’t mean anything in your life, what makes you think it will do anything for your kid?

C.    Are we available?

1.     Margaret Thompson, school employee shared with me how during the cold/flu season kindergarten/1st graders dropped off at school with temps. When parents called – complained they would have to miss the day at work. Next day, dropped off again.

2.     We have so structured our lifestyles that both parents think they have to work. The children are the ones short-changed. It will not be easy on your finances.

2.   Provide a moral foundation (6:7)

Bill Bennett, in his book “The Book of Virtues” made this statement:

“Nothing more powerfully determines the shape of a child’s life than his values, beliefs and sense of right and wrong … a life characterized by virtue is still the best, the most honorable and the most successful way to live.”

Proverbs 3:13-15 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.

 A.   Choose a solid foundation.

1.     2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

2.     Why do send you child to piano lessons every week? to school everyday? Where are you going to be taught moral principles on a consistent basis?

B.    Teach your children to reverence the Word of God.

1.     Make its discussion a part of your life.

2.     Teach them to bring their bibles to church (following your example!) (Buy one)

3.     SS Teachers, give them an assignment to complete with their parents.

4.     Allow them nursery when little, when old enough to listen, listen! Not art class…

5.     Sit with you in church. Let this be a  family experience.

3.   Control the influence of friends.

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

James Dobson writes how elephants in India are trained to serve their human masters:

“The process begins with 3 days of total isolation from man and beast. Female elephants and their young are remarkably social animals, and they react to loneliness in the same way humans do. They grieve & fret and long for their peers. At that precise moment of vulnerability, they are brought to the nighttime ceremony of fire. Then for many hours in the flickering light, they are screamed at, intimidated, stroked, and ordered back and forth. By morning … their wills have been broken. Man is the master. These wonderfully intelligent animals are transformed to slavery in a single evening.”

Then he draws a parallel between elephants and adolescents.

During a period of intense isolation & loneliness, television and movies hammer away at a teenager’s moral values and principles. Friends and acquaintances ridicule any form of self-discipline or restraint. But the analogy to the conditioning of elephants becomes even more striking. Rock concerts subject masses of needy kids to deafening noises, strange lights, wild emotions, and godless philosophies. Like an elephant during the night of fire, an adolescent begins to lose his grip on reality. The peer group becomes Lord and master, until finally, the wonderful freedom of youth is traded for slavery and domination.

Start early. Invite new friends over. This takes effort. It is worth it.

4.   Let them learn from failure.

Proverbs 26:11 As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly.

A.    You can either keep repeating mistakes, or learn from them. Common sense and wisdom come when we mess up, suffer the consequences and learn a good lesson.

B.    The problem is we never allow a kid to experience the consequences because we love them and don’t want to see them get hurt. We want to jump in and bail them out.

C.    Failure is not always bad. It teaches some of the best lessons in life.

5.   Finally, if you want your kids to be wise, point them to God.

Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.

Why does wisdom come from worshiping God? Because God is wise, and when we have a relationship with him, his Spirit lives inside of us and tells us what we should do.

But that is only half. He also gives us the power to do it.

Common sense becomes a way of life.

Conclusion:

We are responsible for the process, not the product.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

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