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Chapter 4

Which way are your kids going?

How do you want your children to grow up? Most parents, I believe, would like their children to grow up without the traumas experienced by John, Jim, Don, Pam and Kate, and to have the peacefulness and purpose experienced in the lives of eddie, Len and carol, whose stories were all told in the first three chapters. Are your children showing any signs that they might turn out the wrong way? It's not always easy to tell is it?

John in particular, seemed to have a good upbringing and yet he really went off the rails and this happened at a time when it had a serious effect on a number of other people. Which way are your kids going? Are there any guarantees that they will turn out all right? You may be asking what can make the difference for your kids. This Chapter will show you the most important aspects of doing the best for your children. Let us take a look at some real life examples.

Len.

The most fortunate children are those born into a Godly family, where both parents are believers in Christ. Sometimes, those parents have come from a similar background themselves. One such example is Len. His parents nurtured and trained him in the ways of God. This meant that they showed their love for him by instructing, correcting and disciplining him in all parts of his life.

The most important aspect of their teaching that taught him the most, was their own example of Godly attitudes. Many of us, particularly as children, learn from what we see, not just from what we hear. For Len, there was no ambiguity in his parents' behaviour, because what they said generally matched what they did.

Len learned to follow the example of his parents, so that he was easily able to listen to them and be grateful for what they were doing for him. For him, to honour and respect them was so normal and natural. The result of this good relationship with them was that his life began to develop well in accordance with the promises that God has given about the parent-child relationship.

Len was indeed fortunate. It doesn't always work out that well, even when the parents do follow God's ways. Our basic human nature is quite a problem to combat ( see Chapter 13 ) and not everyone has the fortitude to win through. Events during the late 1980's, in respect of some of the American T.V. evangelists, aptly demonstrates how even apparently good men may fall.

Janet

The world has a way of drawing good men and women away from doing what is good. Take Janet as an example. She grew up knowing full well what God's ways are, as her parents had faithfully been ministers of the church during the whole of that time. Janet's life had been unduly influenced by the humanistic aspects of university training and her apparent success in the world. Her heritage, which had been in the direction of serving people God's way, finished up being a life of serving her own pride and sense of self achievement. Her life included a number of unsavoury aspects which she certainly did not get from her parents.

However, it is far more likely for a child to continue in the ways of his parents as adulthood approaches. Because the world is such an effective trap to influence the maturing child to stray, effective Godly parenting provides the best chance of equipping the child with the resources he needs to live life in a good and healthy way.

How is your parenting?

However, you may well be thinking that not only was your upbringing not too Godly, but as parents you brought your children up without too much informed instruction,just using what you learned from worldly sources. It may be that your own children are either being quite rebellious and difficult, or you have already lost control of them and they show no respect at all for you, or anything you try to stand for.

In this type of situation, what hope is there for you? Have you failed beyond any hope, or is it still possible for you to help your children learn these right ways? The good news is that with God all things are possible! I know it! I have seen it! In so many cases people have succeeded against all human hope. Even when children have grown into adulthood, parents can still have a tremendous effect on the lives of their children, although it is always better to influence them when still in their formative years. It saves a lot of problems. The remaining part of this chapter will be about families that did not have Godly parents, and also about some wonderful people that have been able to recover from extreme adversity and get their lives in order. Take heart! It is possible!

Stuart.

Stuart was the first son of your typical suburban family and provides a good example of how a person can recover and succeed from not having parents who truly worshipped God. His parents were churchgoers, but may not have really understood what the gospel of Christ was all about. There are many people like that and in most cases it's not their fault. It may just be the case that no one has ever taken the trouble to explain about God's plan for this earth ( see Chapter 16 ) or the provisions that he has made for all men, women and children on the earth.

Stuart's childhood was fairly normal, but inadequate in that his parents did not teach him the ways of God. However, he had an association with a church group that gave him contact with Godly people. ( God will use all manner of ways to draw people into his kingdom.) because of this contact, he became a believer in Jesus Christ and his life changed forever.

Stuart is having a successful life by any standards. He does well in business and has a happy marriage and family life. His children are following in his ways because he taught them about the things of God. When Stuart found out about God, he sought him and found him. He and his family can now tell about God's miracle working power in so many ways.

Stuart's life proves that it is possible for people without Godly parenting to find God. If you did not have Godly parents, it is still possible for you to find God. Moreover, if the circumstances of your life have not allowed you to gain a knowledge of God, then it is always possible to still learn what you need to know in order to live a Godly life and then pass the principles on to your children. Many people have proved this over the years, so you can have no doubt that it can apply to you too.

So you know nothing about God!

What if you are a parent now and don't know anything about God, but you want the best for your children? What can you now do to help them most? Well, there is something that comes before anything else. It is not possible to provide the sort of help that is being talked about here, unless you are a Christian yourself. If you are not, then it is impossible to have the knowledge of God that we are talking about, because this knowledge can only come from having the presence of the spirit of God within you.

It is the express purpose of this book to provide you with information you need, so you can make an informed decision about the sort of life you desire. Such a decision, properly considered, is possible at any time.

It will prove to be the biggest decision you ever make in your life! Bigger than getting married or buying a house! A positive decision puts Jesus in your life now and gives you eternal life, so that when your earthly life ends, you go to heaven to be with Jesus forever. Once you have made this decision, you are in a position to start learning about God yourself, so you can then begin to teach your children.

The way ahead.

The detail of how you help your children cannot be the subject of this book. You would have to begin to live out the Christian life and begin to study the bible, which has much to say about bringing up children. However, the sorts of things you would find yourself doing, would revolve around the example you set and your prayers to father God, who is best able to influence your children. In effect, what you are doing is joining into a partnership with God, where you help your children into maturity.

Life can become an exciting adventure, where God will bless any efforts you make. In my own life and that of my friends, we have seen God multiply many times the meagre efforts that we have made. If you have been parents who didn't follow God, then receive the hope that is in Christ Jesus and trust him.

It is not always an easy path to tread. Even Christians who have been believers for many years, find it takes years of perseverance and patience before their children see the right way to go. But it is worth while. Just imagine the peace of mind that this would bring, to know that your children are going to be looked after by no less than the creator of the universe himself.

Families without Godly contact.

Families without any Godly contact can have the most difficulty in getting their lives back on track. This is in cases where the family, throughout past generations, has not had any significant Godly influence in their lives. The bible actually says that sometimes the family line is cursed because of the lack of recognition of God in their lives. It's just like they are on a treadmill and can't get off. Nothing goes right for them. Have you seen families like that?

Because of the lack of a Godly emphasis over many generations, some families have experienced major traumas in their lives, such as continued illnesses, early death, divorce, few children, fornication, children born out of wedlock, singleness and limited worldly success. People who put God first do not experience such a devastating continuance of life traumas of this order.

Such families may never have the peace and fullness that God can bring, although some individuals within it might. Commonly, such families have some of their members die, without even knowing about the grace of God. It is so tragic to see this happen. If you happen to be from a family such as this, you are fortunate in one respect, because you are right now hearing about what God can do for your life, no matter what your background.

As you read this book, you will find it will give you hope. There is another way! At any time, you can turn to those chapters at the end of the book which tell you how to make that change in your life which will bring you into the first stages of having the power of God working in your life.

If you are a person who wants the best for your children, you will find that love will play a most important part in the changes to come in your life. God' s love for you and your ability to love others, becomes the beginning of all change. The next Chapter picks up this theme.

What this chapter has said.

  1. Most parents have a positive hope for their children, but this hope can only be met in Christ.
  2. Children of Godly parents have a better chance of living a fruitful life in God.
  3. Anyone, no matter what their background, can recover from the lack of Godly parenting in their past.
  4. The best gift any parent can give their child, is the gift of Godly parenting which springs from their own Godly example.
  5. It is possible at any time to accept Jesus Christ into your life.