Raising Courageous Kids Requires Being Courageous Parents
One of the most sanctifying aspects of parenthood is the fact that our children often mimic us. Just as we were made in God’s image, so were our children in likeness to us. There is an incredibly beautiful, yet humbling truth to this reality, don’t you agree?
I’ve been working on a very important project. And as I consider all the important messages God’s word has for parents, one, in particular, is hard to swallow yet necessary for us to acknowledge.
The areas of God’s Word that we do not practice ourselves, we cannot expect our children to obey.
The truth plainly spoken is that passive parents will raise passive children (in most cases).
Now, God’s grace is bigger than our deficiencies-- and thank the Lord for that, Amen?
But I have been going through Scripture and asking myself, “Do I do this? Do I model obedience to this instruction, guidance, wisdom, or command in God’s Word?” Honestly, I have been convicted. If I want to see my children living in obedience to it, then I certainly better.
So let me ask you a question.
Do your children tell you about what is going on with their friends?
Do they tell you about their conversations and interactions with others?
If they are not opening up, I don’t like scaring you, but there is already a problem. Don't worry! It can be easily fixed.
You need to cultivate a relationship with your kids where they feel safe to tell you the real deal.
The Bible says that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child (Prov. 22:15), so if your child is friends with other children and you are raising them to know and understand God’s word regarding sin, then they likely have noticed sin--specifically foolishness and disobedience in their friends. If they are not sharing these concerns with you and asking you for guidance, understanding, and teaching on these issues they see and hear, then they either do not know what the Bible says at all, or they don’t know how to talk to you about hard issues.
Either way, there is some courageous parenting that needs to be done.
One particular issue I believe many believers avoid like the plague is the instruction to admonish one another.
To admonish means to warn or reprimand someone firmly.
Biblical admonition is not expecting people to conform to your moral standards, but rather warning a brother or sister out of deep concern for their relationship with God and others, where their life is not lining up with the biblical absolutes in God’s Word and pointing them in the right path.
"Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, be patient toward all men." 1 Thess. 5:14
"And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another." Romans 15:14
"Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." 2 Thess. 3:15
This last passage of Scripture leads us to make the connection that if we truly love someone as a brother we will admonish them because to leave them in their sin is counting him as an enemy.
Now, the reality is that because we are humans living in a sin-stained world, were the world (Romans 12), which we were warned not to conform to, is creeping in and infiltrating the Church, the admonition is needed. It has always been needed.
But it takes courage.
Unfortunately, many people disqualify themselves from obeying the call to admonish for three main reasons.
Firstly, they are aware of their unrepented sin in the same area and therefore do not want to condemn themselves (Matthew 7:3; Luke 6:41).
Secondly, many people today are living at a safe arm’s length distance so that others won’t hold them accountable. Thus, they also talk themselves out of admonitioning a member of the body of Christ thinking, someone else must have already done it, or should do it because they aren’t “close enough.”
Lastly, many excuse themselves from confronting sin by abusing the meaning of grace. I speak of this as abuse because it is as if we are spitting on Jesus if we think God’s grace means leaving people to continue their unrepented sin. Jesus died for us to live in freedom from the sin of this world and our flesh.
God is calling us all to more. It starts with us, being courageous and living vulnerably in community with others where they will see our own sin. Because the truth is that if you are going to hold others to a Scriptural standard of living, then you should expect others to as well; and the truth is we all have blind spots.
He is calling us to spiritual maturity that can set our sins apart from who we are in God, but see the importance of not allowing it any power in our lives, especially not a foothold for the enemy.
How many times do you hear about bullying in schools, neighborhoods, in youth groups, and even in the workplace? And who is rising up to hold these offenders accountable?
Who is willing to love them?
We have got to stop believing the lie the enemy has deceived the world with, that it's none of our business. It is our business if we truly love our neighbor.
Yes, I said love. We have all heard the famous exhortation to “speak the truth in love” along with the warning to first remove the plank in your own eye, yet how many are willing to actually walk that mile with a brother or sister?
If we want our children to stand for justice, speak and defend the weak, then we had better do it as well. They need to see an example of how to do this biblically.
Courageous Mom Challenge:
1. If your child comes to you and shares with you how another child’s sin has hurt them or another child, pray about it with your child, praise and thank your child for telling you and affirm them that they can tell you anything.
2. Consider yourself. Is there a plank in your own eye that you or your child needs to repent of?
3. Prayerfully, gently, confront the issue. Don’t sweep it under the carpet and allow the weed of sin to grow. Instead, confront the parent sharing a deep concern for the heart condition of the child and encourage them if they ask for help in how to approach their child.
4. Continue to pray for the child, their parent, and lead your child’s heart towards forgiveness and reconciliation if it is needed.
Raising courageous kids who are willing to obey God’s word concerning admonition and confronting sin begins with what we model for them as we walk them through the Biblical process.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16, KJV
Your Sister in Christ, Angie Tolpin
from Courageous Mom
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