Love you all, praying for you.
Someone recently asked in a group text – “What are the most important things you are trying to teach your kids?” That’s a really good question. There may be as many different answers and opinions as people with kids. I’ve been thinking about that… Here are a few that we’ve tried, and would recommend. After the basics - Salvation and The Filling of the Holy Spirit, that God created them, loves them and has a wonderful plan, purpose, and destiny for them… Here’s what every child should learn from their parents – before they leave home.
#1 – Teach Them To Obey. First time, Completely, with a Happy Heart. This is foundational. If they can’t obey an earthly Daddy or Mommy that they can see. How will they ever learn to obey a Heavenly Father that they cannot see? Children obey your parents in the LORD, for this is right. Obedience is the first moral pre-requisite. If you’re going to raise a morally responsible, and Holy Spirit responsive child – you must teach them to obey – their purpose and destiny depend on it. Obey the First time, completely, with a happy heart. Yes Daddy, Yes Mommy, Yes sir, Yes ma’am. Yes, Officer. If they don’t learn to obey you – they’ll eventually be forced to obey somebody – they might even get twenty-to-life to learn it. But even if they don’t. An obedient child is the most safe, the most happy, the most secure in themselves, and in in life. They’re the most well-adjusted, and prepared for life. It frees up their heart and mind to thrive in all of the development that results in a child maturing to responsible adulthood. Without requiring obedience of them – you will stunt their growth… They will never learn the moral beauty of obedience, and the moral benefit of honor, humility, submission, and respect. So they can give and receive it for the rest of their life. Teach them to obey. God tells you to. They first learn it at home.
#2 - Teach Them To Work - The precious possession of a man is diligence. What is work? Labor for the benefit of others. Every blade cut, Every line straight, Every square clean. Top Left to Bottom Right – excellence. Don’t let one leaf remain, you’ve worked to hard. Final Check everything! Your final glance, is their first impression – you only get one chance at a first impression. You’ve worked too hard to leave something unfinished. It’s not hard to be excellent. So few people are. Always do a little extra. And communicate what you did for them - to help them achieve their goals and desires). It’s not just what you do, it’s what they know you do, that encourages them, makes them feel valued, and helps them know their investment in you pales in comparison to the value they’ve received from you. They should feel that you are the best decision they ever made. Serve others. Teach your children to work for the LORD, not money, or men. The heathen work for money and stuff. God’s children work for Him, they seek first His Kingdom, and all these things are given to them. The precious possession of a man or woman is diligence. Don’t let them leave home without it. The first work you teach them, is to steward what they have – their toys and their room. The Number One Rule of Stewardship – taking care of God’s possessions that He’s entrusted to you. “Put it away – before you do anything else.” If you make this the rule of your house, you will have kids who are excellent, not sluggards, overachievers, industrious, opportunistic in what is good. If they faithfully steward your house, one day they will faithfully steward their own house. And the Company they work for. Whoever is faithful in little will be faithful in much. And if they are not faithful in what belongs to another, who will give them things of their own?
#3 Teach Them to be humble – to prefer others above themselves. To look to the interests of others, over and above their own. To let someone else go first, to give someone else the bigger piece. God loves them, and every time you love others, you are demonstrating the love of God. But also teach them boundaries. Dominion – what God has given them jurisdiction over. Loving others is not being taken advantage of. That doesn’t help them or you. Teach them to be assertive. To ask questions. To redirect conversation. Teach them humility before God – that’s obedience, and humility before others – that’s preference. (Teach them PRISM Topics – the Power of God’s Word on these subjects)
#4 Teach Them to be Kind – It is the kindness of the LORD that leads us to repentance. It starts with words. Never allow your children to say an unkind word about their siblings, or others… not to themselves, not to other people, or to that person. Kindness is rare, it is a fruit of the Spirit, and it yields a harvest of likeability, good relationships, and favor.
#5 Teach Them Discernment. It comes from the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God. Make Proverbs a steady diet of your age appropriate children, you can even translate it for younger ages. Teach them truth politically, economically. Penny Candy, What Ever Happened to Justice, Conservative, Liberal or Confused - The Uncle Eric Series. Teach them US History – not the revised America hating lies of today, but The Godly Heritage of this country – which God will restore according to His Promise. By teaching truth – false becomes obvious. If you plant the Word of God, which is true wisdom, they will grow in discernment – they won’t be gullible and easily deceived. Teach them at the soonest age - The New Information Filter. #1 - Is It True #2 - Where Is The Evidence? #3 - What’s In It For Them? #4 - What Does God Say? Teach them models and paradigms, give them a framework to understand the culture around them, the effects of sin, and the dual standards of morality. God will have the final say. The wicked will perish, the righteous will remain, and His Word will remain forever.
#6 Teach them to love their wife and respect their husband. – They will do what they see you do, not what you say. Fathers, the best thing you can do for your children, is to love their Mommy. You will teach them to do it if they are boys, and expect it if they are girls. Mommy, the best thing you can do for your children is respect their Daddy. If you’re proud of Him, they will be. You will teach her to do it, and him to expect and value it. That in itself will save them from negative relationships in their life – they’ll avoid them because they have learned a higher standard.
#7 Teach them to Add Value – to always give more than they are paid. Your Heavenly Father won’t let you be underpaid forever. If this boss won’t increase your pay for the value you give, another one will. Teach them the best 2nd job is doing a better job at your first job. Teach them to operate at the level they aspire to, not their present position. Teach them that if they are excellent, they will always be underpaid, simply because no matter what level they are promoted to – they will still give more value than they are paid.
#8 Teach them to under- promise and over deliver. It gives you margin to be excellent – to delight those you serve.
#9 Teach them to worship – to love God’s Presence. It’s what changes you!
#10 Teach them the importance of time, thoughts, money and testimony. To let God make their time, thought and money decisions, teach them to exhort one other daily. These will help them grow and mature for the rest of their life! Long after they have left home. It will give them a relationship with God of their own – not yours. It will help them make disciples – obeyers who walk in God’s blessing!
#11 Teach them to be Givers. Givers of thanks, givers of honor, givers of respect, and givers of money as God directs. Give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down and shaken will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Freely you have received, freely give. For God so loved the world, that He gave…
11 Things Before They Leave. Praying that God will give you grace to live these yourself, so your children will live them after you. What you teach your children, you are really teaching your grandchildren, and great grandchildren. What will your legacy be? We pray that you will teach your children these things – before they leave.
Love you all,
Kelly Kamentz - Jesus follower, husband, father, and friend, helping others surrender time, thoughts, money, and testimony, to fulfill their purpose!