P. Protect your child
From the time our children are born, I would say it comes pretty natural for us to want to protect our children physically. There are the "scum bags" out there who abuse their children or neglect them for whatever reason, but surely we naturally want to protect our own. Most of us would do about anything in order to protect our children. So we are not surprised to see that the Bible says in 1 Timothy 5:8,
"But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."
Although we may not always do as good as we would like to, we are obligated and compelled to care for our children. And even when they are teens, learning to be a bit "independent," and wanting to "live their own life," we have got to make sure we are involved in order to protect them physically. For starters, we must ask ourselves honestly to consider the following:
-Is there any way my teen is being physically harmed by others?
-Is there any way my teen is physically harming himself/herself?
-Is there any way I am physically harming my teen?
Before we conclude that our teen is fine, we should realize that many parents don't realize that their teens are being bullied, abused, depressed, or even suicidal until it is too late. then the parent says, "I never knew." Let's not let that happen to us!
And before we conclude that we are guiltless, we need to think really hard. We could possibly be harming our teen more than we think. Here are a few thoughts that pop into my head...
Ways we could be contributing to physical harm:
-Poor eating habits
-Over medicating (I am terrified at the amount of drugs our young people are on today. If it is absolutely necessary to drug your child, please study out the side effects of those drugs and watch your child very closely)
-Being negligent (failing to responsibly supervise where our child is and what he/she is doing)
I believe it is even trickier to know if our child is being harmed mentally or emotionally. I have linked these two together because I think they overlap many times.
The bottom line is, "as he thinketh in his heart, so is he... (Proverbs 23:7)." If your child continues to think evil thoughts, it will eventually come out in his/her actions. If he/she thinks they are stupid, they will continue to act stupidly. If he/she thinks they are worthless, they will continue to act as though they are worthless... But if your child can think positively and rationalize their feeling and emotions, they can be mentally and emotionally sound.
Therefore, we need to be sure our child is thinking good thoughts. Probably more than you think, what your child watches on television, what video games they play, and what music they listen to will determine how they act as individuals. Keep them in environments that enable them to think on good things. The Bible commands us all in Philippians 4:8
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Above all, we must protect our children spiritually. This means, of course, that we ourselves are going to have to be Spirit-filled and we are going to have to live a good, spiritual example before our children in order to protect their faith. It must be real. It must be honest. More importantly, it must be right. If we mislead our children spiritually by teaching them things that are false, we can be causing more damage than if we ignored spirituality all together. Consider Jesus' words in Mark 9:42,
"And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he
were cast into the sea."
The word "offend" here means "to cause one to fall away (or sin)." I have met young people who claim to be atheist simply because their mom and dad or
someone they look up to claims to be atheist. Often, young people leave the faith when they grow up because of hypocrisy they see at home. They stop attending church because "Mom and Dad didn't go to church" or "Mom and Dad always said you don't need to go to church to worship God."
What are you doing to protect or harm your child spiritually? First of all, let me plead with you, parent. If you do not know where you stand spiritually, you MUST get that settled today! Get counsel from a pastor or a godly man. Have them show you from the Bible where you stand spiritually. Be honest with yourself and with God. Call on God to help you! (Go to our "Salvation" page)
>go to L.