no one says “my parents loved me too much”

on wednesday night, we had middle and high school small groups. the high school is focusing on a topic in romans that we will eventually get to, so we will focus on the middle school small group and some gospel-centered parenting tips. make sure to check out the digging deeper section as well.

our leaders are taking the middle school group through the new testament right now. they are currently somewhere between Jesus’ life in the gospels and the book of acts. now, i do not think there is that much more teaching you need to be able to continue your growth with your kids as they read through the new testament. but it does take:

time – have you ever heard a man/woman in the 30s or 40s say “my parents showed me too much love!” ? i have not. i have often heard – especially from college kids and 20-somethings – the opposite. shower, lavish, pour out heaps of love and affection with your kids. take time to spend it with your kids. modern family is a funny show. it is fun to cheer for the redskins. but tv shows and sports are stupid in comparison to eternal salvation.

a right goal – please. please. please. do not have the focus of your kids getting into college. do not make that the goal of your parenting. do no make the goal of your parenting to have good kids become good adults with good jobs. your primary goal as a parent is to prepare for your children – not to function into the world as adults – but to prepare them for eternity. ps. they are looking at you. they are seeing who you are and what you value. they are taking note of the things that you value and the way that you lead them. if life with God is important to you – if they see you reading your bible, inviting families over for small groups, serving in missions – they will value life with God themselves.

showing them faith in Jesus– you are going to screw up. one day, finances will be tight, dinner will be burned, you are tired, one kid is being rude and one kid is in trouble. you are going to say something or do something wrong. you should ask them for forgiveness. lead them in worship. talk about Jesus. talk about your testimony. show grace. show more grace. when God is good, tell the kids. when life is hard, pray on the spot. lead them in prayer. sing a worship song in the shower.

strong knees – prayer is the most important and most often neglected part of parental responsibilities. prayer is the biggest gauge for our relationship with God. if you are a prayer, it means you trust God. it means you know that you are a parent of weakness and need Him to be strong. it means you know you can not save your kids, that you need Jesus to do that.

friends, i encourage you – love your children as you have been loved by the Father. take the time to lead them. make Joshua 24:15 – but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord – your commitment with your wife or husband. pray with and for your children.

because no one says “my parents loved me too much”

[digging deeper]

want to throw them for a loop: ask to read the bible with them. create your own plan (keep it simple stupid – it probably is not smart to read through the entire bible in a year your first time) read a chapter a day. if you read fifteen minutes a day, the average person ends up reading twelve books a year.

sweetfrog may be the greatest place on earth. zinga is also a good spot. stop your kid in the middle of their homework and take them there.

have you ever had a hot fresh krispy kreme donut? when the hot sign lights up? you need to. if you are driving through central park and that light is on or lights up, pull over. hold off wherever you are going and take the time with your kid as they are now. it will pay off in the future and you will probably miss it when they are out of the house

tuck your kid in. yeah. they may be seventeen. who cares. pray with them before the go to bed.

talk with them about their day. get to know their friends. encourage them to have their friends over.

take pictures of them and frame them. hang them up. exchange them frequently.

share with them how you came to be a christian. share with them what you have been learning about.