Parenting is essentially creating an environment suitable for growth because there is no “silver bullet” guarantee. Jacob and Esau were raised in the same home. These five things that God did with Israel do show us a parent’s duty though.
1 – Fenced It
- Clearly defined guidelines – Ignoring your child to change their behavior is NOT clear communication. Learn how to communicate. Be clear. Is the message ambiguous? Are you sending mixed signals? Good communication means addressing issues with grace and truth.
- Clearly defined area of responsibility – Know your role as a parent. Let your child know their role as a child. If you want them to grow up and be responsible, start giving them some things to be responsible with, i.e, chores.
- Set apart – highlights purpose. Children are happiest when they know they’re being raised for early emancipation.
- Communicate boundaries
- Fencing must be checked and rebuilt sometimes
2 – Gathered Out Stones
- Remove obstacles that will impede growth. This can be the most difficult work.
- Some stones can be gathered out with your hands and others need a bulldozer.
- This can be religious beliefs or family traditions or godless education that go contrary to the words of God. These provide a basis of operation for the devil through a lie. He gains access by a lie, which turns into a belief, which turns into a habit of life. Thus Satan has formed a stronghold and repeats the process to gain more ground. Without a lie, there is no basis of operation. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:8. Cease my son to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
- Stones can also be personal obstacles that one child may be affected by while another isn’t. Some types of technology, or food, or friends, or books, or movies, or video games, etc. may provide a snare for one but not another.
3 – Planted It
- Emphasize what needs to grow – Help them develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through devotions and private prayer. Help them understand service to the Lord and to others. Help them do the one thing God tells children to do: Obey your parents. Help them understand responsibility, hard work, and good character..
- Your good influence
- God’s Childhood Curriculum Proverbs 1:2-6; equipping one with the following 14 tools:
- vs 2 – To know wisdom
- vs 2 – and instruction;
- vs 2 – to perceive the words of understanding;
- vs 3 – To receive the instruction of wisdom,
- vs 3 – justice,
- vs 3 – and judgment,
- vs 3 – and equity;
- vs 4 – To give subtlety to the simple,
- vs 4 – to the young man knowledge
- vs 4 – and discretion.
- vs 6 – To understand a proverb,
- vs 6 – and the interpretation;
- vs 6 – the words of the wise,
- vs 6 – and their dark sayings.
4 – Built a Tower
- Defense- Accountability – Keeping watch to preserve what’s been done already. This can range from scheduling time together all the way to prayer of mom and dad for the kids.
- Protect your marriage
- Schedule time together as a family in devotional time and fun time
- Be faithful – understand how God is using his local church to help you and your family (Ephesians 4:11-12). Are you a member of the body of Christ? God doesn’t work off your guidelines. No you can’t “worship God in your own way”. In spirit and in truth He said is how you worship. You can’t grow on your own terms – growth is twofold: active and passive. Some things you have to do and some things only God can do. Don’t separate from the herd, that’s where animals go to die.
5 – Made a Winepress
- Prepare to enjoy the fruit
- If you only did the first 4, fenced it in, removed the rocks, planted the seed, built a tower and then repeated the process, do you know what you would eventually do? Burnout. Joy is always the expected end of some pursuit. If joy is not the end of something people will quit doing it. That can be as simple as taking up another hobby to ending their own lives. Mark it down though, if joy is not at the conclusion the reality is that it was a vain endeavor.
- Intentionally enjoy things.
- God made the Sabbath for a reason.