Families determine the future, making parenting one of the most critical tasks on earth. Yet unfortunately today, as we have seen, Satan has done a great job of dismantling the family. He has been after the family since the beginning of time: He never bothered Adam until after Adam got married. Satan wasn’t just after a man; he was after the future. That’s why Satan wants your child, or your children, because he wants to control tomorrow.
But God has instructed us in His Word concerning three pillars of parenting which—if followed—can stabilize and protect your home, as well as future generations, from the attacks of the enemy. According to Ephesians 6:4, the three pillars to raising kingdom kids are encouraging, disciplining and instructing your children.
Ephesians 6:4 reads “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Keep in mind the onus of raising kingdom kids is on the parents. It is on you and me. It is not on the government or even on our schools.
It is the responsibility of the parents to raise their children well, and one of the first ways of doing this is by not exasperating them. Basically what that means is that parents are not to provoke, or create irritation, anger and frustration in the life of their child. We can easily turn this verse around another way and say that rather than discouraging, parents are to encourage their children.
Scripture tells us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” (Proverbs 18:21). Parents who discourage their children speak failure and curses into their future. As parents, we are called to give encouragement.
Now, let me quickly distinguish between encouragement and praise. Parents praise their children a lot, but encouragement is different. Praise is tied to what a person did, or accomplished. It means that this child did something you want to acknowledge.
Don’t get me wrong, praise is good. But children also, and even more so, need encouragement. Encouragement is not tied to what they did; it is tied to who they are. It is tied to their identity in Christ and their inheritance as an image-bearer of God Himself; it is tied to their position as children of the King.
Parents, let your words reach deep into your child’s heart with encouraging truths that build their confidence in the fact that you know their personality, dreams, hopes, struggles and that it will all turn out okay because of who they are and to Whom they belong. Give them the hope that they need to face each day.
Discipline comes in a variety of different formats, and — depending on the personalities of your children (if you have more than one) — what works for one may not work for the other. For some children, their greatest discipline might include being sent to their room alone. For another child, though, that could be a reward. This is why it is so critical to understand and know your children in such a way that you raise them according to their personality and needs.
Discipline is not yelling at your child, that’s venting. It must be coupled with love or your child will not see it for the good you hope to gain through it. Rather you will wind up provoking them to anger with your own. Discipline flows out of a heart of compassion for their well-being and future. Just like we read in Hebrews concerning God, “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,” (Hebrews 12:6).
Our third pillar of parenting is a joint venture. Instructing children involves both you and God. Simply instructing your child without including the truths and principles of God’s Word may give them information, but it won’t give them wisdom to make right choices in their lives.
By being with your children on a regular basis during normal, everyday life activities, you can capitalize on the teachable moments that present opportunities for you to mentor your child in the faith.
Something as simple as looking at the night sky together can easily lead to a discussion about the creation and how God knows every star and every hair on our heads. Playing games together can open up topics on the importance of integrity, communication and focus. Watching a television show or movie together provides a natural conversation starter for an analysis of the character’s motives, choices and actions.
Raising kingdom kids is not a task for the weary or lazy. It is a full-time responsibility. But it also brings with it an eternity of rewards. It is an investment with great returns.
Dr. Tony Evans is one of the country’s most respected leaders in evangelical circles. As a pastor, teacher, author and speaker, he serves the body of Christ through his unique ability to communicate complex theological truths through simple, yet profound, illustrations. While addressing the practical issues of today, Dr. Evans is known as a relevant expositor. New and veteran pastors alike regard him as a pastor of pastors and a father in the faith. For more information, visit TonyEvans.org and RaisingKingdomKids.org.
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“Raising Kingdom Kids” is a book for every dad or mom who wants to fulfill the parenting role God has given them—not just in raising healthy kids intellectually, physically, and socially, but in contributing to their child’s relationship with God and alignment under His plan. Discover more about the new book Raising Kingdom Kids at RaisingKingdomKids.org. Enter to win your copy below!!!