NOTE: This study is being presented at a friend’s congregation tonight, 10/30/15. It is posted here for the class to access.

Parenting As Friend {Age 19 And Above}

Up To Speed: Difficult to jump in at age 19 and above without recounting a few things by reflection. In my world, age 19 and up is the time to find out if the first 18 years impacted them. They are now adults and for the most part make their own decisions… which can be hard to watch. With that said, here are a few thoughts I’d like to suggest. (Books: {Toddlers} “Ten Rules For Parenting,” {School Age} “Ten Suggestions For Parents,” {Teenagers} “Things That Might Be Of Some Help”).

Mindset 1: God is sovereign, providential, & in control at all times… of everything! This means that WHATEVER happens in your life AND that of your children is in the absolute control of the loving all powerful God. TAKE GOD AT HIS WORD! It is essential that you believe God, period.

Is 46:9 Remember the former things of old; for I am God, & there is no other; I am God, & there is none like Me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning & from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, & I will accomplish all My purpose…’

Dan 4:34 At the end of the days I… lifted my eyes to heaven, & my reason returned to me, & I blessed the Most High, & praised & honored Him who lives forever, for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, & His kingdom endures from generation to generation; 35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, & He does according to His will among the host of heaven & among the inhabitants of the earth; & none can stay His hand or say to Him, “What have you done?”

Ro 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son… 31 If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?

Ro 9:14 Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, & I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 19 For who can resist His will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?

Eph 1:11 In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will…

Mindset 2: Parent’s goal is to shift their children’s dependence from them to God (Pr 3:5).

Mindset 3: Godly parenting is mostly done on your knees… through prayer. When you pray for your children, pray kingdom prayers… until God calls you home. (Model it)

Eph 3:14 I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven & on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened w/ power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted & grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend w/ all the saints what is the breadth & length & height & depth, 19 & to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled w/ all the fullness of God.

Col 1:9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled w/ the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom & understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work & increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened w/ all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance & patience w/ joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

Ro 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy & acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good & acceptable & perfect.

Illustration: O’Neil bridge over TN River, Car tag… “KPPRAYN.”

Mindset 4: Teach your children God lessons as life gives opportunity. We don’t have family Bible studies. Instead my wife & I, 30+ years ago, chose to teach God as life happens. What? Sunset… Sunshine after a storm… watching TV… Significant news events… family events… etc. Dt 6:4-9

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God w/ all your heart & w/ all your soul & w/ all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, & shall talk of them when you sit in your house, & when you walk by the way, & when you lie down, & when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, & they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house & on your gates.

Mindset 5: Take the long view: Parenting is a lifetime process, not just event correction. You’re preparing a 5 or 15 year old for when they are 25 or 55 raising their children! You will be parenting your children for decades… the shift will be from/to (Teaching/Instructing versus them asking).

When And How To Assess Your Success As A Parent: “You will not know your success as a parent until your kids have raised their kids” (Dave Simmons’ “Third Generation Rule”). “Parents take too much credit, and too much blame, for how their children turn out” (David Jeremiah).

Mindset 6: Your children WILL fail… WILL make mistakes… WILL do stupid things (As you did). It is not the end of the world if you believe God (Eph 1:11; Is 46:9-10, Pr 3:5). Encourage them through difficult times. “Just because you don’t see how something can be good doesn’t mean it isn’t good” (Tim Keller). Illustration: “Dad, I’m a weed!” (Taught daughter about prayer, trust, work. Now has Masters)

Mindset 7: Impress on your children’s heart they are loved by God and you regardless of their actions, words, or success. Parent: “We love you because you are our son/daughter and nothing can or will ever change that.” {Over time you can ask}: “Why does God love you?” and the child will answer, “Because Jesus died for me.” And… “Why do we (I) love you?” and the child will answer, “Because I’m your son/daughter.” This must be reaffirmed in word and deed from their earliest years. They will need this assurance because the world is mean.

Doctrine: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Pr 22:6). Explain…

Teaching Children How To Make Godly Decisions: Encourage your children: “God put your mom and I in your life to guide, protect, and encourage you. Learn from my/our mistakes and make different ones to learn what God does in your life.”

Model this procedure… show it to your children… always defer to God (Ja 4:13-16). Process for making Godly decisions: (Copied, modified)

Gather all the available information,

Talk to people more wise and godly than yourself (Pr 11:14, 15:22, 24:6),

Seek God through prayer and Scripture,

Make a decision,

Trust God with the outcome without regret (Ro 8:28; Eph 1:11).

Decision-making questions your pastor asked his children (Page 4 in your notes):

Why do you want to do this? What are your options? What are the consequences of your actions? How will your decision affect others? Is this decision in the best interest God has designed for me? Can you tell me without reservation this is God’s will for your life?

** Help Your Children Learn To Process Life In A Godly Manner ** (#1 For Tonight)

Life will be hard. They need to process it so as to grow in their faith rather than abandon it (God). Below is a truth as a suggested goal to embrace so that life is understood in terms of who God is rather than viewing God in terms of life events.

Every hurt, joy, disappointment, blessing, & pain in life is placed there by a loving God who wills only the absolute best for his own, now & forever (Ps 84:11; Is 46:9-10; Ro 8:18, 31b-32, 37-39). God’s goal is not so much ease & comfort in this life as it is His glory (Is 48:11) and the strength of his children’s faith (Lk 22:31-32). God never allows anything into His children’s life that is anything but good in His all wise knowledge (Ro 8:28). God is so determined to make His children like His Son he does not leave it to chance, but wills it without any possibility of failure (Ro 8:29). Therefore, everything the Christian experiences is ultimately good, increases joy, lays up treasure in heaven, & is to be understood in these contexts (Ro 8:31-32).

Discuss Scripture with your children during pre-teen years to affirm when they’re adults…Ps 84:11; Ro 8:28-29, 32 (Among many others). Talk with your children about the application AS EVENTS HAPPEN IN YOUR FAMILY to model “Understanding life in terms of God…”

Examples: From Oxford to Muscle Shoals… Amy’s husband. Transferring to SBTS in Louisville… Trey’s wife. Mission trip to Costa Rica… Britton’s wife. Me from USM to Samford… my wife! Family difficulty/hardship preceded events, without which the blessings would NOT have taken place! At the time we didn’t know what would result… but later we talked about God’s providence & sovereignty at work in life. One day they’ll remind YOU of God’s providence (Me whining, Amy, DITD)… then they’ve gotten it!

CONCLUSION: When it comes to parenting, keep the following in mind…

Model Godly behavior…

Live a life of faith daily for your children…

Teach them often of God’s love, grace, mercy, protection, and providence…

Take God at His Word about your children…

God put you in their life to give Godly direction… take advantage of it…

Trust God with your children!