Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Teaching Your Children to Glorify God

I have finally read the book "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp. It was very good and has had me thinking a lot about the "heart" of my parenting.

One of the questions was from the "Shorter Catechism".

Q.-What is the chief end of man?
A.-Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

"Is there any other goal that is worthy? Are you willing to start here with your children? You must equip your children to function in a culture that has abandoned the knowledge of God. If you teach them to use their abilities, aptitudes, talents and intelligence to make their lives better, without reference to God, you turn them away from God. If your objectives are anything other than 'Man's chief end is to glory God and enjoy Him forever,' you teach your children to function in the culture on its terms.

How do we do this? We pander to their desires and wishes. We teach them to find their soul's delight in going places and doing things. We attempt to satisfy their lust for excitement. We fill their young lives with distractions from God. We give them material things and take delight in their delight in possessions. Then we hope that somewhere down the line they will see that a life worth living is found only in knowing and serving God.

No wonder we lose our kids. We lose them because we fail to think clearly about man's chief end. The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever; therefore, your objective in every context must be to set a biblical world-view before your children. From their earliest days, they must be taught that they are creatures made in the image of God-made for God. They must learn that they will only "find themselves" as they find Him. Your child must grow to see that real living is experienced when he stands before God and says, "Whom have I in heaven but? And being with you I desire nothing on earth" (Psalm 73:25). If this is what your want for your children, then you must ensure that the content of everyday life fits this objective.

So many times we give them mixed signals when we attempt to help them adapt to a culture that does not know God. Unknowingly, we can train them to think unbiblically. For example, if you teach your child to obey and to perform for the approval from you and from others, you present an unbiblical objective. God says we should do all for His glory, because His eyes is upon us and He is the rewarder of the just. People will respond well to a child who obeys, but you cannot make that secondary benefit of obedience the primary reason for obeying."-Excerpt taken from the book "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp.

This made me question myself. Am I teaching my children that their greatest purpose on this earth is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever? I pray that every day, I would be living this out. That my "religion" would not be drudgery, but be an exciting ride with Jesus. I never know where He is going to take me next! I don't know the next lesson. But I do know one thing. He is constantly refining me, teaching me and pruning me when it comes to my weaknesses and strengths. All it takes is an open heart, a teachable spirit and a willingness to change.

Is it painful? Yes. As I walk this road I am transparent in my failings and my struggles. My children know my weaknesses. I encourage them to pray for me and to forgive me when I mess up.

When I write, I am astonished at the things that I share with you, yet I know it keeps me accountable. I need to practice what I preach. I need to do what the Word says to do, then God is glorified through my weaknesses.

Jesus' grace is sufficient for me! He is my all-consuming fire. The love of my life. I want that for my children. I want them to fill up with Him, and not the things of this world.

Lord, let my children bring You glory. Let them enjoy You. Let them delight in You, for You are good and worthy to be praised.


Catherine said...

Now that I teach others' children in a home-school setting, I think I want more of this focus too, Stacie. Thank you for putting forth the direction God has given you so that we can learn from it and take it to the next level in our own lives. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book! It's so important that the view of God be in every aspect of our lives. This goes for children as well as adults.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Good stuff, Stace! I'm learning as you learn!

Camille said...

What a wonderful, encouraging, challenging post my friend! The LORD is glorified through your words. Don't you just *love* that book?? The one written by his brother is equally as good...for the teen years ~ "Age of Opportunity" by Paul David Tripp.

Thank you for candidly sharing your heart with us Stacie...the LORD bless you!

In HIS Love,

Beth said...

I have recently been following your blog and find your words very encouraging. The topic of teaching our children about Jesus and who He is has really been on my heart these past few weeks. It is the most important thing we can do as parents. thanks for your wonderful blog! Grace & Peace, Beth

Homestead Living said...

I love this book. It is one that I take off of my shelves often.

Transparency is a good thing! As the Lord refines us into the new creature and the old is stripped away, He receives much glory.

Our children need to see that we aren't perfect either. That God is still teaching us. Then they get to practice forgiveness.

Learning along with you,

Jenn said...

I just received this book as a gift and I am getting ready to read it. I know I will learn SO much.

And just to let you know, I appreciate your openness on your blog. It always speaks to my heart! ♥

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