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The 7000day Balancing Act of Intentional Parenting

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As we wrap up the Tightrope series at Highpoint, I want to remind you that parenting is a balancing act. You can be successful as a parent, but you are going to have to be intentional and consistent. Luckily, Scripture doesn't leave us wondering what truths and values we are to intentionally train into our children. I've summarized the five themes of intentional parenting below. Please take the time to read them. If you want to know more, you can watch the series in its entirety here. Happy Parenting!

Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Parenting is a matter of "Training" ("train a child...") and "Trajectory" ("...in the way he should go") 

The 7000day parenting focus recognizes that THEN creates serious demands on NOW. Parents don't control outcomes, they control inputs.  "Carving a groove" - Repetition is part of training. When Proverbs tells us to train a child in the way he should go, we are being instructed to carve a groove.  "You can't solve a 7000day problem in one day!"  Carving a groove is intentional; parents must intentionally and consistently train their children in these five themes...

1. Respect (Ephesians 6:1-4)
  • When you establish healthy authority over your children and expect them to obey you - it is right.
  • Parenting is a role of authority that exists under God’s authority.
  • When you have a passive or absent faith, your kids suffer because you lack the submission to God that balances and guides your parenting.
  • Parenting is ruthlessly practical but never more than it is Spiritual.
  • If you are not unified in your marriage, your kids will grow more selfish and disrespectful.
  • We must adopt a view of discipline that is both proactive AND reactive.

2. Honesty (Matthew 5:33-33)

Honesty is the all-important baseline of all healthy relationships.
Every relationship we have swings on the hinges of honesty.
When children get away with dishonesty, they become reckless in relationships.

  • Model honesty. Parents must lead by example.
  • Expect honesty and provide mercy (Proverbs 28:13) 
  • Probe for the whole truth. Ask, "Have you told me everything?"
  • Don’t take dishonesty personally.
  • Give them vision for honesty (Proverbs 22:1 "A good name")
  • Trust as long as you can.
  • Don’t make empty promises. 
  • Deliver Necessary Consequences. (The "BOX" illustration...with trust the "box" of privileges, freedoms and responsibilities can grow. With distrust the "box" will shrink. Your child is in control of their own freedom.)
  • Re-communicate your unconditional love. A broken trust should never cost the removal of our love.
  • Intentionally rebuild trust.
3. Contentment (Philippians 4:11-13)

Here’s a working definition of contentment: Choosing to be happy even when you don't get what you want.

  • If our kids fail to understand proper contentment, they will go on the fruitless search for fulfillment with absolutely no way to achieve it.
  • Contentment breaks the power of temptation.
  • We must impose the experiences that train our kids “to be content in all circumstances” BEFORE they face these circumstances alone.
  • Therefore, we must walk the tightrope of “yes” and “no,” “have” and “have not,” “now” and “later.”
  • Contentment is the realization that Jesus is enough.

The Balancing Act of Contentment:

  1. Balance privilege and responsibility.
  2. Balance giving and receiving.
  3. Balance work and rest.
  4. Balance purity and pleasure.

4. Forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-35)

Three principles of life:

  1. Life is NOT fair.
  2. Injustice hurts.
  3. Forgiveness is hard. 

Jesus wants us to know that God expects immediate, complete and continual forgiveness toward those who offend us.

There are 3 hurdles we must jump as we learn, model and train our kids to forgive…    

  1. Feelings
    Forgiveness is a decision I make despite my feelings.    
  2. Fairness
    Forgiveness is not about fixing the past but freeing the future.
    Forgiveness DOES NOT require payment or apology.     
  3. Forgetting
    Forgetting the offense is not required.
    Forgiveness is continually providing a new memory of the act of forgiveness to lay over the old memories of the offense.
    You can always recognize true forgiveness because the offense is dropped.
    Our forgiveness is based on our experience with God's forgiveness.

 5. Friendship (Proverbs 13:20 & Psalm 1)

  • Your friends are the people who make or break you.
  • You cannot out-swim the current of your closest friends. 
  • The “red flags” of friendship
    A growing interest in sinful options
    A growing involvement in sinful actions
    A growing identity with sinful associations.
  • Sometimes we have to unfriend people.
  • Friendship boils down to knowing the difference in engaging yourself with people and entrusting yourself with people.

How parents help kids find good friends…

  1. Take your kids’ friendships seriously.
  2. Look for the currents of righteousness.
    A growing interest in God’s truth.
    A growing involvement in Godly behavior.
    A growing identity In God’s people.
  3. Know your child’s friendship personality. (leader or follower)
  4. Be around and involved.
  5. Pray like crazy.

 

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Posted by Andy Savage at 7:45 PM
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