Preparing your children for the challenges in life

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Benjamin, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    I’ve been thinking about if the effort that was put into organization of home schooling activities was put into preparing our children for the threats from public schools if we couldn’t be more confident in sending our children there. I would like to share experiences and methods of preparation from those of us who don’t home school.

    This isn’t a tread for debate of home schooling or not. I am just interested to hear how some Christians prepare their children for the challenges, the methods they use, and examples of what challenges they’ve faced and how they’ve been successfully dealt with.

    Personally, I started off early with my children using stories in the Bible and adapting them to fit situations they may face using imaginary friends and what God said in His wisdom of how to deal with these situations. This has developed over the years into real situations with real friends which my kids still like to talk about with me and produces a lot of quality time in the scriptures.

    We’ve talked about the blessing of being persecuted for His name and the power in the truth of His words along with the HS working on people’s hearts. Just one example: my daughter has been in an accelerated gifted class where they have political debates in a small class of 15 or so students that have pretty much kept the same students for 3 years. The topic of abortion came up in the 5th grade and my daughter came home upset saying that she was the only one that said it was wrong and had brought up God and was ridiculed and persecuted. I asked her if there was not one other kid in that class that felt like her and she said she knew of one girl, but she would not say anything because of how vicious the other kids were. I reminded her of what it meant to be persecuted and the need to be strong and set an example for that other girl. We talked about the strengths of God’s righteousness and the power of the HS to change their hearts. Then I asked her all about what the other kids by name were saying, I then coached her on everything from putting the fear of Hell in some, to planting seeds of the Gospel, to memorization of a couple verses of being ignorant of God’s righteousness and being a fool. The very next day she gave them a run for their money, the other little girl joined in along with some support from a couple others and even the teacher interceded on her behalf. My daughter came home so confident that she had done right and was sailing in the power of the HS. This has evolved into many subjects over the last three years and a couple of hard cases in her class are now coming to her and asking. We were discussing one of these cases and the differences between agnostics and atheists the other day at Taco Bell that came up after she heard a lady at the other table say, “how do you know there is a God?” After much discussion we noticed things were quiet and looked up to find half the restaurant’s patrons listening intensely, with just a look in each others eyes we knew we both felt good about it.
     
  2. TexasSky

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    What a wonderful testimony!

    My parents believed, as I also believe, that the answer is not to "shield the children from the world," but "teach them to deal with the world in a Christian manner."

    You cannot guarantee that your children CAN be shielded from it, better to prepare them for it.
     
  3. Brother Ian

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    Deuteronomy 6 is an excellent place to start.

    Set standards, enforce them, and hold your children accountable. Be consistent. Talk to them about issues of the day before they happen. Smoking, drinking, drugs, etc. Keep the lines of communication open and remember you are the parent and they are the child.

    I have not mastered this procedure, but I keep trying. I've got good kids by the grace of God, but they are not perfect. They fail and I fail. I learn something new just about everday and my son is almost 16.

    Right now, my son is struggling because he is not receiving answers to his prayers. I try to encourage him, but it's hard.
     
  4. TexasSky

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    Brother Ian,

    Since I don't know what he is praying for, I don't pretend to think my answer will necessarily apply to your son, but something you might consider telling him - if you haven't already spoken to him this way.

    Sometimes when it appears to us that God is "not listening," what is really happening is that God is telling us, "I know how much you want this, but I have something so much better for you that it would be wrong to give you what you want." OR the answer may be, "I love you too much to say yes."

    Compare it to parenthood. A young child might cry, throw a tantrum, have some kind of hissy-fit to try to get Mom and Dad to let him play with the candles and matches, but Mom and Dad know that the child isn't ready to handle it so they say no out of love. The child may cry and beg to ride his bike without Mom and Dad watching him, but Mom and Dad know there is a Pedophile on the corner so they say no.

    In my life, I begged God to heal my mother of cancer. I wanted her with me. I didn't understand why He said no. Then my mother said, "Please stop asking God to make me live longer. I want to go home to heaven. I love you, and I love your sister, but I'm tired. I'm tired of working every day from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., I'm tired of juggling bills, I'm tired of the day to day grind that is part of this world. I want to see MY parents, and my brother. I want to go home. Please stop asking God not to let me."

    It was a real eye opener for me.

    Another example from my own life - A man I admired and worked for retired, his replacement was a coworker I'd never gotten along with, and she made my life a living nightmare. I hated my job, I was constantly walking the edge, afraid of being fired if I made any mistake at all because she was looking for a reason. I was applying all over town, and I kept hearing, "You're over qualified," and "We can't match your salary requirements," even though I was dropping it to lower than I earned. I was frustrated and miserable, and I was starting to ask God some Job-like questions.

    Then this job opened up. It was tailor made for me, it came with a raise from my previous salary, and it came with Christian co-workers.

    If God had told me yes when I asked, I would have missed this. He told me no earlier because He had better.
     
  5. Benjamin

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    I don’t think anyone has mastered the procedure of keeping communication completely open with their kids which I think is one of the main keys to be able to help guide them. As my kids get older and more independent I keep searching for ways to be trusted in their confidence but yet maintain my authority. I have to consider they may not believe what I say, but find they will believe what God says; His words are so much more powerful than mine. I try to point to His words working in parallel with their situation as much as possible. His words comfort them much better than mine. They will often ask me, where in the Bible does it talk about that after I make a suggestion which is an opportunity to look and discuss it.

    As for answering prayers, I believe one can bank on this promise from Jesus and have presented it something like this:

    (Mat 7:7) Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

    (Mat 7:8) For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

    (Mat 7:9) Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

    (Mat 7:10) Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

    (Mat 7:11) If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

    This passage begins with Ask, and ends with ask Him. There is a lot in-between to think about. From the top ASK, and it “shall” be given you, maybe not yet. SEEK, have you? Where’d you look? Found anything? Maybe it’s not opened yet. KNOCK, it “shall” be opened unto you, knocking on the right door? maybe not yet. The next verse confirms again that this is a promise consisting of three things ASK, SEEK, KNOCK. conjoined with “and” not “or”. But now we get told about the OR. He knows us pretty well. What is the OR-FOR (come on Dad!)

    Jesus gives two examples of; if you ask this, will he give you that. He knows what’s best. Did you give Him what He wanted when you asked? Did you ASK but not SEEK and KNOCK?

    If YOU then, being evil- meaning in a sin cursed world, know how to give good gifts; maybe a time to be humble?, do we know the right gifts? OR do we give them without doing what’s good and right for our children? How much more shall your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can imagine, give good things OR the right things to them that ASK Him? Maybe not yet and you should ask Him again and KNOCK and SEEK because He always keeps His promises.
     
  6. TexasSky

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    Ben,

    One more key ingredient you skipped.
    "Have faith."

    If you don't believe He can or He will - when you pray, you are praying without that "grain of mustard seed faith" .
     
  7. bapmom

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    My kids don't go to public school, but we don't homeschool either. They are in the very small Christian school run by our church.
    We too have seen the need to prepare our kids for real life, and we have tried to do it by getting them involved in various church ministries. First of all, our two oldest girls, 11 and 9, have been going out soul winning with me in the summertimes. We have a kid's class on this where they are taught, and then they go out with me to see how it is done. They hear many things, and we discuss good ways to answer some people's questions, and how to handle some of the more difficult situations that may arise. Our oldest has now even led a couple of other kids through the gospel message.
    Now our oldest has been working in a nursing home ministry on Sundays as well. She works in the Saturday bus ministry as well, along with my husband. She's started helping to get to know the kids on the bus, helping them learn Bible verses on the way to church, and singing songs with them.
    Through this she sees alot of different lifestyle situations, and we've seen her grow through all of it. Its started many good discussions in our home, in front of all the kids, so we are all learning.
     
  8. Benjamin

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    I agree, should of added that in. Many of the Bible stories I paralleled when my kids were little were centered on faith and being humble. My daughter seemed to love bedtime stories about being humble and my son really liked the ones of faith, must have had a dozen versions of David walking up to that giant. [​IMG]
     
  9. Benjamin

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    Bapmom,

    Sometimes I do wish my children had more Christian influences around them as the world has many challenges for me to handle. I am rather new to the church environment compared to a lot of people. My daughter did go to a “Dare to Share” gathering and really liked it, they went out door knocking afterward and she really liked that too. Never been out in that capacity myself and probably would need to be there seeing it done before I would be very good at it; although I do drop a lot of seeds in my own way.
     
  10. bapmom

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    Benjamin,

    it does take some getting used to before it is easy to be the one doing the talking. Ive found that I need a structured time when Im going to go out in order to witness. Otherwise, as a housewife, I could very easily just stay in my home and not talk to very many people at all. I wasn't raised doing this, either, so I find its important to me to raise my kids around soul winning so that they can do it more naturally than I do.
    But Ive also found that because of my experiences during my soul winning time, I have more confidence to witness to others at all times of the week.
     
  11. Rachel

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    Great thread, I don't have anything to add at the moment..just wanted to say that. [​IMG]
     
  12. gb93433

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    We have never differentiated between people in the sense of one is to be avoided because they are not a believer. We share as God opens the door. My daughter has seen us talk with people and lead them to Christ. She has seen those who have said negative things both from church folks and those in society. Over the years she has shared her faith in the ways a youngster does. She prays for others. She has the confidence of a person much older ands secure in Christ. We have taught her to respect others opinions and deal with the issues from a factual point of view rather than personally criticizing someone.

    The church is growing the fastest where the most persecution occurs. We are not raining in a vacuum. We should not teach our children to avoid others. Rather they should be taught respect and kindness. They should be taught reasons for their faith and to work hard as students. Deut. 6 should be happening when we are with our children. If we are open and honest they will ask the tough questions. But if we are judgmental they will not want to be around us.
     
  13. Benjamin

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    As for a challenge: How would you answer a kid if you’re restricting their freedom and they tell you that you act like you don’t trust them? You may trust them wholeheartedly and tell them so, but feel there may be too many bad influences that could evolve in a certain environment. They have given you no reason to mistrust them and they tell you they are capable and reliable.

    This is a tough situation for me and I don’t feel I have a lot of recourse other than to remind them that I am the parent and need to use my judgment and that it is my job to guide them and all that. Now, I’m not for over shielding from the world but I’m not going to throw my kids to the lions either. I think there could be a better way of ending the conversation than saying, “end of conversation”. I guess what I’m saying is it would be nice to leave a smile on their face instead of disappointment and a feeling of mistrust. The teenage years are just beginning and I know they’re going to want more freedoms and this situation is going to arise a lot. At 13 my father was not around anymore and my mother had no control nor guidance for me so I have nothing to fall back on except my own experiences of learning things the hard way, but my kids already have values instilled in them that I didn’t have so I haven’t anything for a comparison.
     
  14. gb93433

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    The church is growing the fastest where there is persecution. The Christians are the strongest where there is persecution. The Christian kids are the strongest where there is opposition. Kids are strengthened by parents who are strong.

    So what does scripture say about being a believer. Out of the mouth of babes. . . . So often it is the parents who lack faith and courage.

    When was the last time our kids heard us share our faith with a non-believer? That is how kids are made strong. Whimpy parents often make kids who are afraid. My Bible says that the righteous are bold as a lion.

    Sometime listen to children pray in faith and then listen to their parents. Most of the time it is the parents who are weak and lack faith.
     
  15. bapmom

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    Benjamin,

    I might say something like I trust them, but not their sin nature. None of us are strong enough to stand against certain temptations. God tells us to flee certain things, not stand up and try to face them. And as the parent, its your job to teach your child which things those are, and your restrictions are a part of that training.
     
  16. Benjamin

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    gp,

    My daughter has mentioned the opposition not challenging her the way I was challenged as a child. She has pointed to that it was the opposition that has made me strong now, or come to strength, and this could be taken as, “Don’t make me into a wimp by over protecting me.” Sometimes I wonder, what have I done, you teach your children to be bold and the boldness comes back on you.

    Meditating out loud on the scriptures you’ve given:

    There is so much meaning gathered from these words. It was the children crying in faith and saying Hosanna, knowing the Son of David, perfecting praise in their belief and faith; of course the enemy was displeased.

    Shows me that ordained strength came of and by persecution of Christ, applying not only on myself, but even more so in my children who through and in Christ have been made strong and for the cause that thou mightest still the enemy and avenger.

    Should I flee? NO, but do I try to make my children flee? SHAMEFULLY YES, running from fear, feeling hypocritical in my actions, but knowing the dangers and a father’s duty to protect his children and trying to weigh the challenges for someone else against the righteousness of walking boldly like a lion. It is all a direct reflection back to the parent’s preparations, walk and courage.

    There is a lot of undeniable truth behind those words. How our kids are made strong? by example, which a parent needs to study hard and perfect to the best of their ability. Come to think about it Daniel had faith when it came to being thrown to the lions, and more courage than I can imagine.
     
  17. Benjamin

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    bapmom says,

    This is a good approach. You know we do talk about the sin nature in the flesh a lot; I compare it in the animal side of us and spiritual side, and with being able to stand against the deceiver when he uses temptations of the flesh to rob us of our blessings. Replying it is only their sin nature I do not trust in certain situations is met by being told they are capable though in this situation.

    This is one of my responses to being told, “I’m capable”, as we are weak in the flesh, although a bit contradictory to me saying we can overcome anything the devil can throw at us by the Spirit within us? I’m losing strength on this one. :rolleyes:

    Any supporting scripture would be helpful here.

    I certainly agree with the responsibility that a parent’s job is to train your children in the way they should go, and to point out to them the restrictions are a part of that training is a good thought because not only that but they should obey with a smile; I’m sure I’ve read scripture to support this, will have to look for it. Unfortunately, I can only think of scripture like, “and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” which is quickly followed by, “but rather reprove them” when it comes up. I need to get these (child obey wisely and cheerfully) scriptures in order.
     

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