The pioneers halted their westward wagon train to hold up against winter. Then they began thinking of staying right where they stopped. They began to think of building a community.
I am going through the book 12 Essential Skills for Great Preaching by Wayne McDill (also known as my Dad) with a group from our church. Like many of you, most of them are not planning on becoming preachers. Although this book is written for those who desire to preach and teach God's Word, these skills are great for anyone who would like to understand and communicate the Bible more effectively. One of our students is a mom who takes her responsibility to disciple her children seriously.
The first skill is to complete a Structural Diagram of the passage you are studying. This part of the study helps you understand how the various words and idea in the text relate to one another. Here is an example of what it might look like.
I recorded a video of me explaining to my older children (who are going through the book with us) how to do a Structural Diagram of Phil 2:5-11.
Parents have been given the responsibility and authority to discipline and disciple their children (Eph 6:4). But it is critical that we move from discipline to discipleship. Leading our children to surrender their hearts to Christ is the goal (discipleship) not behavior modification (discipline). This charts demonstrates the movement.
Discipline is the use of external motivation to teach and control behavior (Prov 13:24). This starts very high at the beginning of life and decreases until our children are self-motivated adults. Discipleship is when we lead by example and teach our children to submit their own hearts to Christ (Prov 23:26). There are four ways we often do not follow this flow:
- We do not discipline our children.
- We discipline for too long.
- We try to reason with our children too early.
- We do not disciple our children.
Our ultimate goal in parenting is to raise mature, Christ loving believers. That cannot be accomplished through discipline. It is not a matter of behavior; it is a matter of love and faith. We can only influence our children to submit their hearts to Christ through a relationship of trust and love.
A really challenging part of parenting is the crossroad on this chart. From my experience this crossroads occurs somewhere around 11yr to 14 yrs of age. How can we successfully make this transition? RELATIONSHIP. Invest in your children. Spend time with them. Invite them into a discipleship relationship in which you can explain and exemplify what it looks like to follow Jesus.
- God has given parents the responsibility and authority to discipline and disciple their children (Eph 6:4).
- Parenting should move from discipline to discipleship, from external motivation to internal motivation (Prov 13:24; Prov 23:26).
- The ultimate goal for parents is to raise mature, Christ loving believers (Deut 6:4-9).
How to Help Your Children Become Self-Motivated
- Pray for your children to surrender their hearts to Christ (Eph 3:14-21).
- Teach your children truth from God’s Word (Psalm 19:7-11).
- Teach your children God’s purpose for life and how everything we do fits into it (Deut 6:4-9).
- Encourage and affirm your children (1 Thess 2:11-12).
- Offer new responsibility and freedom in response to obedience and respect (Matt 25:14-30).
- Correction can take the form of discipleship, instead of discipline, when there is respect and teachability (Psalm 25:8-15; 32:8-9).
- Give freedom to make their own choices so they can develop conviction (Heb 5:14).
- Help your children discover their gifts, talents, and interests and free and equip your children to purse them (Eph 4:7, 11-12).
It is not too late.
It is not too late to devote your life to a great thing. Find what God built into you to do. Pick something that brings glory to God and changes peoples lives. I may not be something that earns you lots of money or fame. That doesn’t matter. Do it for God. Do it for love.
Aside from how personally challenging this is, I am also asking myself some questions as a parent.
- Am I giving my children a vision for greatness and excellence?
- Am I helping my children identify the gifts and talents God has given them?
- Am I empowering them to develop these insatiably for God’s glory?
- Am I expecting more from them than the average expectation of our culture?
- Am I teaching them the fundamental truths of discipline and freedom?
- Am I encouraging my children to invest their freedom instead of making softer decisions?
Freedom is not the absence of discipline;
Freedom is the fruit of discipline
This recording is the first in a series from Genesis 2, Our God Given Design. This teaching focuses on Genesis 2:4-6 and the name of God, Yahweh Elohim.
He is the Eternal Covenant Maker and Almighty Creator!
We also get a chance to answer the question of why the order of creation in Genesis 2 does not seem to be the same as the order in Genesis 1.
If you have any questions or want to add in, please leave a comment below.
I recently rediscovered the website goodreads.com and its phone app.
Want to keep an accurate digital log of the books you own? goodreads.
Want to keep a list of books you want to read? goodreads.
Want to record books you have read and rate them? goodreads.
Want to connect with your friends so you can share your books and find out what they are reading and recommend? goodreads.
Want to read lots of book reviews and ratings? goodreads.
Want to do it all on your phone? goodreads app
Want to be able to scan a book and then add it to your lists? goodreads app.