Parental Advisory: Oaks of Righteousness

Parental_Advisory_May

An Oak tree – is a common symbol of strength and endurance, and is used as an emblem on the “Coats of Arms” of many countries, counties, councils, and organizations. The Oak tree is a picture of strength and beauty, deeply rooted, resilient, does not dry up, is not easily attacked by pests, has many uses, is of great value, is a tree of choice, and it often defines and commands whatever space it occupies.

So God promised to bless his people and raise them up so that they would be called “Oaks of Righteousness”. That’s the prayer and desire many parents have for their children

But how do we raise up such strong children whose values

  • will not be swayed by the winds of change?
  • Who will be resilient, because they have deep rooted, God-fearing roots?
  • whose morals will not be eaten away by the pests of hedonism, or secularism?
  • who’ll not cave-in under the attack of this world’s pressure to conform?
  • but who will define and command every space they enter, and every job they serve in?

Question 1 : What does successful parenting look like?  Every parent has an answer to the question we’re asking on raising solid children. It’s an answer forged from memories of

  • what our own parents did, or did not do;
  • what we’ve seen in the movies,
  • heard in the talk shows,
  • seen among our friends or read in the articles.

It’s an answer forged from social norms, traditions and community expectations which have a powerful impact on us.We want our children to be happy, safe, comfortable, socially adjusted, educated, and able to fulfill their potential. And so we provide them with their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. So we’ve created a matrix of measurements based on what society defines to be significant . . . and central to us  is that we should provide a good education for them. And once they are in, we push them hard academically because we believe that the key to success is education.

But when it comes to successful parenting . What does God himself measure? What if his standards are not the same as ours? What if he’s measuring something else and we’ve got it all wrong.

Mal 2:15 says 15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. 

So one of the indicators of successful parenting in God’s eye’s is Godliness in a child, a living faith that will sustain them through life.

Question 2 : Who’s report will you believe?  A second question about successful parenting is “Who’s report will you believe?” There are many theories on parenting.

Prov 22:4    True humility and the fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.

Isn’t that interesting ? It’s not education and a head start , it’s true humility,  and we thought humility was a “weakness”. Humility and the fear of the Lord are the key to riches, honor and long-life . . . the very things we want for our children!

For the last 40 years of parenting books, psychologists have been telling us – do not discipline a child using a rod because it ruins their self-esteem; and anyway “violence (as they call using a rod) breeds anger and violence”, so many popular parenting books advice against using a cane. But the bible says

Prov 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”

Psychologists tell us not to use the rod on our children, but God says if you don’t use the rod when discipline warrants it, it a sign that you don’t really love your child! It even goes further to say

Prov 23:13, 14  Saying Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death.

God warns us and says If we are to be successful – we need to make a paradigm shift away from what the world thinks . If God is our model – does he affirm, does he express love for his children, does he discipline, does he reward? Who’s your model? The African man, your parents or God?

Question 3 : What is your model of parenting?  I have a third foundational  question for you when it comes to parenting

  1. How do you define success in parenting and exactly what are you aiming for?
  2. Whose report will you believe? What society or popular psychology says, or what God says?

We have to raise them up by God’s standards, not the child-rearing psychologists standards.

  1. A healthy self-esteem.
  2. A sense of personal competence.
  3. Relational skills or what is called emotional and relational intelligence
  4. Personal Integrity – in the character of the child
  5. Spiritual godliness. A fear of the Lord.

So how do you develop a healthy self-esteem in children? It’s by –

  1. Building a deep sense within the child that they are valuable and respected.
  2. Convincing them that they really matter.
  3. Helping them see that they are worthy of respect

4 simple, easy things you can do in this line.

  1. Your word : affirm them. Shower them with affirmation, no-one can get too much affirmation, so pour it on. Tell them “I’m proud of you, I think you are the most beautiful girl in the world, or the brightest boy in the world. If I could choose a son all over again, I’d choose you every time. I like the way you do this,”
  2. Your lookLook them in the eye. The second key to communicating a strong sense of self esteem is eye contact. Eye contact  communicates equality & respect. In many societies around the world you don’t look into the eye of someone you are deceiving or someone you don’t respect.
  3. Your touchThe third key to communicate self-esteem and value is touch. Hug them, hug them frequently, hug them hard, play huggy games like wrestling, or for girls with mothers, combing hair and dressing up. Look for an opportunity to touch your child frequently and to hug them.
  4. Your marriage : Give them a safe place to grow in.
  • Show Love between the mother and father

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5 Responses to “Parental Advisory: Oaks of Righteousness”

  1. Wonderful message. Any chance of a sermon on how to get back self esteem if one did not grow-up in such conditions?

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  2. mgesire@gmail.com Says:

    ———- Sent from my Nokia phone

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  3. […] Mavuno Sermon on Parenting Crisis in Kenya. […]

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  4. Wanjiru Says:

    loved the sermon. Pray & intend to put into practice what was taught….I wonder though, how would you have handled the crying child at the supermarket?

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  5. I loved the sermon and wish to have much more of that in future,it was great and I was so blessed that my life is now taking a fresh begining. May God bless Mavuno.

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