Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Who's Really Raising Your Kids?

Outside of our second story condo are lots of trees and some birdfeeders. We get all sorts of birds to watch, some colorful, some annoying and all of them quite hungry most of the time. However, recently we've had some cowbirds poke around or at least try to get into  feeders that they really don't even fit in but they work at it anyway.

Interestingly my wife recently discovered something unusual about how cowbirds care for their young.  They typically deposit their eggs in the nests of other birds and leave them there for these rogue parents to take care of. How sad. A momma is going to have these cute little babies but in essence doesn't really care that much if she is involved with them.

Now I'm sure no human parents would ever think of dropping their kids off at someone else's house to raise (though we had moments) but I wonder if some parents are more like cowbirds than they want to admit.

For example, do we let the church do most of the spiritual training of our children?  We expect the church to teach them Bible stories, life concepts and what it means to truly follow Jesus. We expect the church or other Christian organization to provide all their special faith-building activities, missions trips and social gatherings.  And so we drop them off in the nests of other leaders and hope for the best.

But Deuteronomy 6 reminds us that this training is to come from the everyday lives and actions of us, the real parents. Don't give it all  away to someone else.

Or, do we let other adults really do most of the parenting, disciplining and rule - setting?  Sure we have our guidelines but we don't push them too hard. We want our kids to like us, think we're just as cool as them and are the parents that all the kids think are the best!  So we look the other way, let things slide and then wonder why our kids don't really listen to us anymore.

Or if we're a single parent we may believe that we're just warring against the different standards of our ex so why try?  God still asks us to be the parent, train up our children well and teach them that life isn't all about them.

Third, do we let culture ultimately parent our kids. We allow TV, movies, and other social mores determine their morality. We rarely talk with them about what it means to be pure, holy and godly even when others around them are not. We also may find ourselves letting most of our own rules and habits slide explaining that it's really no big deal.

But it is a big deal. Kids do absorb what they hear and are taught everyday.  We as parents can and must be the central purveyor of truth and righteous living in our homes. There will always be an onslaught of ideas that our kids will face but we can help them learn to still stand for the truth, especially after they leave our homes.

So don't put your kids in some other nest or nests to raise.  God gave us this wonderful opportunity to shape the hearts and minds of our kids for good and to help them be all God made them to be.  And frankly, no other bird, no matter the species, can do that better than us!

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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