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Come visit us Sunday September 26th for the Grand Opening of Providence Church located at 11202 Steeplecrest Dr.

(Just off Jones road, one block north of West road.). In a world filled with uncertainty, God is offering security and peace. In the midst of the confusion and mess we often experience in life, God is offering joy and contentment. Because of the accomplishment of Jesus' work on the cross, God is offering rich blessings to mankind. Not just so we can make it out of this life, but so we can make it through this life, while enjoying the blessings and love of God in a very real and special way. This message is why we exist and seek to reach out to Houstonians in North West Houston. We invite you to come and see. We seek simplicity over complexity, genuine care over superficial showmanship, and sincere relationships over hollow 'religiosity'. Coffee and refreshment at 9:30, Worship starts at 10am. Childcare provided for those 5 and under.

Come visit us Sunday September 26th for the Grand Opening of Providence Church located at 11202 Steeplecrest Dr. (Just off Jones road, one block north of West road.). In a world filled with uncertainty, God is offering security and peace. In the midst of the confusion and mess we often experience in life, God is offering joy and contentment. Because of the accomplishment of Jesus' work on the cross, God is offering rich blessings to mankind. Not just so we can make it out of this life, but so we can make it through this life, while enjoying the blessings and love of God in a very real and special way. This message is why we exist and seek to reach out to Houstonians in North West Houston. We invite you to come and see. We seek simplicity over complexity, genuine care over superficial showmanship, and sincere relationships over hollow 'religiosity'. Coffee and refreshment at 9:30, Worship starts at 10am. Childcare provided for those 5 and under.

COMMUNITY MISSION RENOVATION

WHAT TO DO WHEN PARENTING BECOMES DIFFICULT COMMUNITY MISSION RENOVATION

Inside cover

feel as He feels, love what He loves and hate what He hates. This will lead you to have wisdom in shepherding your children, not just when they are taught secular humanism in science class, but being able to shepherd your children through the unbiblical ideas of beauty, presented in dance class. Lastly, learn from those around you. If you desire to have teachable children, they should see it modeled in your life. Go find someone who has a biblical and theological reason for doing what they are doing, and which is working in their parenting, and learn from them.

What to do when parenting becomes difficult


Sarah was failing to do her homework. Her teacher called to solicit her parents help. They could offer none. Sarah did not respect their authority. They hoped the school would be able to provide structure, direction, and motivation, which they had not been able to provide. Even as an eleven-year-old, Sarah had already learned she did not have to obey her parents.

This includes inviting criticism. We expect our children to take correction and criticism, knowing that is one of the ways to becoming wise (Prov 12:1). We too, must invite and accept criticism, if we are to grow and change to be wise parents. Questions to help delve into the heart issue of your parenting/shepherding: What are the strengths and weaknesses of your children? What are you doing to strengthen their weaknesses and encourage their strengths?

This scenario is not unusual. By the age of 10-12 many children have already left home, in that they are no longer under their parents authority. All the indicators in our culture point to parents having lost their way in parenting. As a result parents are frustrated and confused and so are their children. This booklet is designed to help you change your family, by understands the biblical goal and mandate for parenting, as well as the practicality of living it daily. Biblical vision for parenting:

Objectively looking at your values, what are your children being shown is truly valuable in life (i.e. TV, sports, education, money, food, or Jesus and the gospel)? For assistance read Matt 6:21 - then track your money and time, which always give an accurate report. What would your children say drives you? What would they say you desire most? How would your children complete the following statement: What my parents want most for me and my life is........ Is the spoken and unspoken culture of your family consistent with living solely for Gods glory? Dependence:

The role of parenting is multifaceted. It involves being an authority, which is kind and gentle, yet firm and direct. It involves shepherding your children to understand themselves in Gods world, by keeping the gospel in clear view, so your children can become independently dependant on Christ. Your goal should never be to parent children for your convenience or enjoyment. Those are great by-products of biblical parenting, but terrible goals. The primary goal is to empower your kids to be self-controlled people, under the authority of God, for His pleasure and glory, and their joy. This starts with you: Values and spiritual vitality are not simply taught, but caught. The parenting role will challenge you, and change you first. Wisdom begins by gaining knowledge. Then over a significant time of diligent application, knowledge becomes wisdom. Remember; its a heart issue:

If this seems overwhelming, be encouraged, God enables us to raise godly children for His glory, which will also be for our joy. While it is our task to faithfully teach our children the ways of God, it is the Holy Spirits task to work through the Word, to change their hearts. Cling to the promises of God. He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5). He has promised to give you all the necessary resources for the task of parenting through His Spirit, His word, and the body of Christ. You can do this. Take it one day at a time (Matt 6). Seek to live wisely, and shepherd the heart. The fruits of this labor can yield joy filled homes, which children run too, rather than flee from. Homes where children are refreshed, and built up, as they seek to refresh and build up others. Homes where parents are held in high esteem, and Jesus and the gospel are cherished. Homes truly on mission for God. Homes where biblical truth and biblical attitudes can blow though the family like a continual refreshing breeze. Let me leave you with one final challenge- memorize Col 1:28-29. These verses summarize a beautiful philosophy of ministry, which we have tried to capture in this booklet.

Read Prov 13:20 - What are the implications of this verse for parents, knowing they will spend more time with their children over the first 18 years of their life, than anyone else? Read Prov 12:15-16 How is a child trained to be a foolish or wise by the influences in the home? Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor 6:11) The central focus of parenting is not behavioral. You must direct their heart attitudes, not simply their behavior. They must understand not only the what, but the why of their behavior. Read Luke 6:45 Where does behavior flow from? Read Prov 4:23 What is the control center for our lives?

If were not careful, we can get sidetracked into seeing everything as a behavioral issue, since behavior is often what irritates us. Our childrens needs are far deeper than aberrant behavior. To truly help our children, we must delve into the issues of the heart driving the behavior. A great way to think of it is; A change in behavior that does not proceed from a change of heart, is not commendable but condemnable (Tedd Tripp, Shepherding a Childs Heart, 1995). This is the same hypocrisy Jesus denounced so firmly in Matt 23. Merely training behavior is nothing more than moralizum, which moves them away from understanding themselves as desperately in need of Jesus forgiveness and power.

This does not mean we do not require proper behavior, we must! We must use their aberrant behavior, as an opportunity to show them how that type of behavior, is a refusal to trust and obey God. For example, two children are playing when a fight breaks out over a certain toy. Often parents respond by saying, who had it first, which misses the heart. Both kids are being selfish. Both are saying, I dont care about you or your happiness, I want this toy and my happiness depends on it. The issue is a heart issue, which reflects sin in both of their lives. Wrong goals, wrong values: Many parents set wrong goals. For example take Johnny; his parents goal for him is a good education. They are driven to help him succeed academically. They coach and prod and reward him, all with the goal of helping him achieve academic success. They are convinced, through academic awards and scholarly recognition he will achieve success in life. Yet they fail to realize there are many highly educated people who dont understand life, and therefore lead broken, disillusioned lives, apart from Christ and His mission. Remember, the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Not only do we have wrong goals, we have wrong values. Our children are experts in picking up on what really matters to us. Consider what values are being conveyed when a child gets in more trouble for breaking a prized plate, then for disobeying a clear directive from their parent. Children know your value system, and they will hold to the same values. When we pander to our childrens desires, when we teach them to find their souls delight in going places, or doing things, or when we attempt to satisfy their lust for excitement, we end up filling up their lives with distractions from God. Then we hope, somehow they are going to pick up a different value system down the road, and delight in knowing and serving God, rather than in valuing possessions. Another common failure in promoting the wrong values, are families who set asisde ample time for team sports, but are unable to organize their family around regular times of Bible study and prayer.

A helpful rule in obedience is All the way, right away, with a happy heart. If their obedience does not reflect all three elements, then discipline is in order. This requires consistency. The fruit of this challenging work is parents who dont spend their whole life worn out from fighting the authority issue. Another helpful rule for parenting is just add 10. Think of how the behavior will look in ten years. If they talk back to you, and refuse to listen to you at 5, just think of how it will look at 15. Regardless of the age of your children, now is the time to begin shepherding and training. To require obedience the scriptures give us two tools for correcting aberrant behavior. Read Proverbs 29:15 What two corrective measures are to be used in parenting? Read Proverbs 22:15 What does the rod do?

Remember, the rod should never be used in anger, which is abuse. The rod is to be used by a parent who is calm and under the control of the Spirit. Only then can a parent use the rod for correction, and not mere punishment. The rod used rightly reminds the child of the immediate consequences of sin. This is also a prime opportunity to remind them of your love for them and of Gods sacrifice for their sins. Another issue to remember in training and discipline is, your children are being influenced every day, either towards Christ and the cross or towards self-reliance. For example, the little league coach who trains his players to hit a home run, is not likely training them to give thanks to God for the timing and coordination to perform such a complex feat. You are the trainer. You are to teach them to depend on God in everything. A test for whether you are shepherding the heart in effective ways, is by the impact it is having on their speech and behavior. Are they becoming a blessing to others? If their attitudes, actions, or speech are not a blessing to others, then there are probably many un-addressed heart issues.

What values are taught when the corporate gathering of believers takes a back seat to football, baseball or swimming? Often parents mistakenly think; well they committed to this, so they need to stick with it. The problem is, they reflect their highest commitment is to someone or something other than God. This value system will lead them away from Christ, not towards Christ. Or think of the value system being communicated by the parent who says I will give you a dollar for every A, or If you work hard at school you will be able to get a good job, so when you grow up you can earn lots of money. Is this communicating biblical values? Not a chance. Proverbs 23:4 says just the opposite; Do not wear yourself out to get rich.

It is our task to faithfully teach our children the ways of God. We must teach them to trust God not only for their salvation, but also for daily living, because the end is knowing and loving God. Prov 22:15 What is bound up in a childs heart and what does God say to do about it? Read Proverbs 4:23 Why is the heart such a key issue? Read Proverbs 19:18 Is there urgency to this task?

Your kids were born worshipers, the only question is what will they worship. They will learn this from watching your life, and observing what is really worthy of worship. Is it the living God? Can He really fill the soul and provide happiness, or is it something this world is offering that is to be pursued to find happiness and satisfaction in life? Whos leading who: Discipline and training are two sides of the same coin. Together they reflect biblical parenting. Training is the positive side. It is informing, teaching, and modeling Christ likeness. Discipline is the negative side, it deals with correction which is restorative not punative. Parents are not to punish out of frustration, embarrassment, or retribution for being wronged or inconvenienced. Rather, parents correct out of a desire to see their children prepare for first time obedience to God.

The influence of parents quickly diminishes and the influence of friends and others soon increases. Therefore we must start training them when they are very young. Read Proverbs 20:11 - When does a persons identity begin to be set? We all understand this principle. There are children you meet and you think, this kid is awful, I dont want them in my home. From an early age their identity is already being set. They are rude, unruly, self-centered, having no self-control, nor thankfulness, joy and submission. From an early age, they are setting an identity and it will simply gain momentum over time. Rethinking your parenting: One of the first steps to change is to repent of unbiblical goals, objectives, and values, you have held and unknowingly promoted to your family. Secondly, recommit yourself to living and raising your children for Gods glory. Thirdly, commit yourself to listening to God and allowing Him, as a good Father, to teach you and lead you daily, through prayer and His word. This way, you will begin to see as He sees,