Parents and Children

Read: Colossians 3:1-17

At some point in life children need to be allowed to make decisions without their parents hovering overhead. But in some cases, especially for those younger children in high school and below, parents need to be in tune with what is going on in their young child or teenagers life. This is a time of learning and growing and our children need us to help them navigate those dangerous waters.

The teenage years are very challenging, there is peer pressure, unfortunate bullying, the temptations of the internet and many other things. Our children need their parents to talk with them about these things and walk with them through the difficult choices that are made. All children will make bad decisions from time to time but how do parents handle them and will they use them as a time of learning and growing or just blow it off and say, “oh well, all the other kids are doing it.”

Colossians 3 gives us encouragement to get rid of things the bring death and defeat to our lives and instead put on things that bring life and the peace of Christ to us. Parents need to help their young children decipher those things and explain why the Bible gives us moral guidelines to live by. We also need to be aware of things that might be sneaking into our children’s lives. Smartphones and the internet are one of the ways that is happening.

In a recent blog post James Emery White wrote, “By definition, parenting is the mature leading and caring for the immature. The role of a parent is not to instantly affirm immature behavior, no matter how widespread it may be manifest in culture, but to “parent” the child in relation to those behaviors.” If you would like to read his entire blog (which has some other revealing statistics) you can read it here.

James Emery White Blog

As parents do we know what is going on in our children’s lives online? The ultimate goal is not to try to block everything (although I do think some blocks are healthy and needed) but to discuss with our kids why some things are not good, healthy, or Godly to be participating in. All parents will be faced with that time or those times when their child makes a bad decision, lets use it as an opportunity to teach them what Colossians 3 is saying to all of us.

In verse 10 it says, “Put on a new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” A good parent is one who is in touch with their child and talking with them about good and bad decisions. Yes, there is also a time to let go and trust that the Godly lessons you have taught them will guide them and lead them on their way.

Make it personal: The best thing you can do for your children is to pray for them. Every Day! The next thing you can do for them is provide them some healthy boundaries to help protect them from the many temptations that are everywhere in our world. If you have smartphones and the internet I would suggest looking into a parental control app or online software to help with that. With Iphones, Android, and other tablet platforms it is hard to find one that works on all of them. One that I have found that does cover all the different platforms is called Qustodio. You can find their app on your smartphone or visit their website at www.qustodio.com to learn more. But remember, the most important thing is to pray for your children and talk with them!

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church