Bold – Bold Parenting

What would have happened to you if you threw a tantrum in front of one of your parents?

 

Bold

 

Would your parent say, ‘it’s alright, she’s just a child” or would you have faced some major painful and unforgettable consequences?

It’s like our parents were reading from the same script isn’t it? Now some of your parents may have graciously explained why what you had done was wrong before administering justice, but I suspect a good number did what came naturally to them which was reach for a shoe, a belt, or some other implement of administering justice to help you understand why what you had just done was unacceptable!

This however is not the case nowadays. Our kids today are growing up in a completely different environment. This is not the same environment we grew up in! We need to wake up to this fact – which is why today we are talking about Bold Parenting. This is the kind of parenting that produces Fearless children who are able to withstand these kinds of pressure. Children who become leaders among their friends, who end up influencing them as opposed to being influenced negatively.

Is this possible, yes it is! Our children are not doomed to go the way of the world. Indeed God’s expectation and promise according to Deut 28:13 is that if we parent according to His ways, then our children will be blessed. They shall be the first and not the last, the head and not the tail and this not only in academics only but also in life as well!

Today we want to look at the story of a godly, upright and highly respected man Eli the priest and the story is recorded for us in the book of Samuel. 1 Samuel 2: 13 – 17

What we are witnessing here is leadership gone bad. Back in those days before Jesus came, people came to seek God’s favor by bringing an animal for the priests to sacrifice on their behalf. During the sacrifice, the meat was to be given to the priests to eat while the fatty parts – which were the best parts – were to be burnt on the altar as a symbolic offering to God. But the priests in our story, Eli’s sons, decided they wanted the best part of the meat for themselves. And in an abuse of spiritual authority, they took it by force from those who had come to sacrifice.

As if this was not enough’ vs 22 continues to say, ‘Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent meeting’ So Eli said to them “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. No my sons; it is not a good report that I hear spreading among the Lord’s people. If a man sins against another man, God may mediate for him; but if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him? His sons, however did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death”.

Now this is not just any parent. If you’ve read the bible story, this was the same Eli who gave an accurate prophetic word to a lady named Hannah that she would have a son. He is the same Eli who mentored the prophet Samuel and taught him how to listen to God. How could such a good man raise such bad kids? And how do we today avoid the same mistake?

Let me say from the start that no parent ever plans for things to end up this way. When we hold our little infants from birth we want nothing but the best for them. Parents sacrifice a lot for their children and the question is – despite their good intentions, why do so many good people still make huge parenting mistakes? Here are a few possible reasons for Eli’s parenting failure. And interesting, they are things that many parents today also struggle with…

Busyness – Eli had a very important role in Israel. Priests were handpicked by God and played the very important role of being the bridge between God and His people. They not only received sacrifices on behalf of God but they were also the conduit through which God imparted His blessings on His people. In other words, if a priest blessed you, it was as if God Himself were blessing you – very powerful! So Eli was an important person with an important job – serving God and his country.

I truly identify with Eli. Indeed I dare say many of us do. We have careers to build, deadlines to meet, bills to pay, food and shelter to provide for our families – in fact we do all these for the sake of the children! We justify busyness because after all, it’s for our family, and we make great sacrifices like working long hours or working in different cities or countries to provide.
We delegate teaching morals to church, schools, media or sometimes even to their children’s friends. By the time we try to take back responsibility, it may be too late and many have found their child addicted to pornography, drugs or is pregnant! The 2nd problem Eli may have faced is…

Societal Pressure – To be fair to Hophni and Phineas, there may have been a reason for their sex syndicate. The nations surrounding Israel were not only more sophisticated and richer than Israel, but they also practiced a religion and lifestyle that was very different from what the Israelites practiced.

Their fertility gods promised them that they could get more fertile and prosperous when they had sex with temple sanctioned prostitutes. In other words, as a man or woman, you were encouraged to have regular sex with temple prostitutes because it guaranteed the economic prosperity of your family! I mean, talk about an attractive proposition! Can you see how that would sell to hot-blooded young men? Not only was it accepted in advanced nations but it was what their bodies naturally wanted to do! So poor Eli. How was he supposed stop his sons when everyone else around them was doing it?

There’s a lot of pressure to conform and no clear guidelines out there to help clarify matters. The 3rd problem Eli may have faced is…

Parenting From A Position Of Pain – this is the person who says, ‘I will never parent the same way I was parented’ – and I have had many say this at one point of their lives. I have no idea what Eli’s background was, but his style of parenting was clearly permissive and indulgent. He was the type of parent who sees their child throwing a tantrum and says ‘ah mummy/daddy, what is wrong, are you feeling sad?

This type of parenting is normally present with people who came from families with violence, abuse, neglect or abandonment. If you grew up in such a situation, the natural reaction is to have a problem being firm and applying discipline to your children because you fear becoming a tyrant, like your own parent was. The problem is that the parent who was abused as a child ends up being the indulgent parent who raises clingy, very needy and misbehaved children. A 4th problem Eli may have faced is…

Parenting From A Position Of Guilt – Many parents suffer from this one; someone told me that they were such a difficult child and now that they have their own children, they do not feel they have the moral authority to ask their children to do what they did not do. Another told me that their engagement with alcohol and pre-marital sex made them unable to confront their own children with these issues. Unresolved sin in your own makes you unable to deal with the misdeeds of your own children.

Eli’s parenting failed because of seemingly legitimate reasons. But as legitimate as they were, they led to disaster! Sadly if you continue reading 1 Sam chap 2 and 3, Eli’s family ended up being totally destroyed because of tolerating evil.

There’s a passage that Eli knew very well and may even have preached several sermons on… Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise’.

You need to be real with God. All of us have major hidden issues in our lives. Parenting simply broadcasts those hidden issues to the world! So even before you have kids, dealing with your hidden issues will help you become a better parent. Remember, when it comes to parenting, if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail!

I want to share with you three steps that we have found helpful when instructing our own children.

Determine The End Game: As parent’s, it is our responsibility to shape the kind of qualities that will help them succeed in life. God gives us our children as blank slates for us to write on. They are being written on all the time but sad to say, not by their parents. T.V, video games, our maids, friends and social media, are the new parent – teaching our children materialism and entitlement, and we as parents support this by happily providing what they ask for. We need to take back control and determine what we want our children to become in order to succeed

Discuss it with your spouse if you have one. As Stephen Covey says, we must ‘begin with the end in mind’. When it comes to parenting, if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail. Step #2 is…

Determine The Values You Need To Teach: We realized as a family that once we determined the end game, we then needed to determine the values that would get us there. Let me share 3 that we decided on… the 1st is…

Godliness and Service – we want to develop in our children a love for God, for His Church and His work because we are totally convinced without a shadow of doubt that the gift of eternal life is the best gift we can give our children, above any other inheritance. We also believe that serving in church helps keep them accountable towards godliness plus helps them develop confidence and leadership skills, which will be helpful later on in life. So we bring our children early to church on Sundays and encourage them to volunteer so that they can grow in these attributes.

Obedience And Respect For Their Parents – This is an actual command in the bible. Eph 6: 1 – 3 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”[a]

God is uncompromising with the fact that He expects us to teach our children to obey and respect us. Not for the sake of us parents but for the sake of the child! And this comes with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on earth. As parents we want our children to enjoy a long and prosperous life and so we trained our children from an early age to obey us quickly. So at an early age, you first teach children the foundation of obeying their parents quickly and without question. . A third value is…

Responsibility And Hard Work – we want to bring up hard working children! This means in our house, it is not the house girl’s responsibility to pick after our children as this would be training them to be sloppy and to always need someone to clean after them! It is also not the maid’s responsibility to play with the children and keep them entertained! This produces children who get easily bored and who need higher and higher forms of entertainment to keep them engaged. We have instead taught our children to engage with household chores – from an early age, they learnt to clear the table and wash their plate. When they joined school, they learnt to wash their socks after school.

Remember, when it comes to parenting, if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail! The third step for training your children is…

Determine A Training Day/Time: Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us ‘talk to your children about these things when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise’. In other words, training children best occurs in natural settings. For us, we chose our daily devotion time and school holidays as the best training times. We prefer to take an inexpensive vacation in a cottage or apartment as opposed to a hotel, as it provides us with the privacy and space we need to both bond with and train our children.

Now inevitably, a child would forget and either not come immediately or come walking slowly. We would remind them very politely of the lesson we taught them and promise a consequence if they forgot again. When they inevitably forgot again, we reinforced the lesson by giving a ‘reminder’. Proverbs 22: 15 says, ‘Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away’. You see, it’s not about beating or punishing your child but training and disciplining – which the bible says result in life for them. There are times we have used other methods, the idea is for the memory to be etched in the child’s mind that doing the wrong thing results in pain and sadness.
By the way governments do this all the time. I bet you the pain and sadness of paying a 10,000 Kshs fine for talking on the phone while driving is what keeps some of us in line!

Training and discipline take time, energy and sacrifice but they save the life of your child! They’re best trained when they are still young, because it will set the direction for them when they become a teenager. As the bible says, ‘Train up a child in the way they should go and in the end, they will not depart from it’. Your discipline should never be in anger but in love. And they will know it! Ultimately, it’s their love and respect for you that will them withstand peer pressure in the teen years. Remember, when it comes to parenting, if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail!

 

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5 Responses to “Bold – Bold Parenting”

  1. WALTER MOMANYI Says:

    am blessed everytime i receive this message.i could to fellowship wit u, where can i find ur church.i stay in Nairobi.

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    • Hello Walter,

      We are glad you want to be a part of the Mavuno family, we welcome you to join us.

      Here are the directions and service times to our Nairobi campuses.

      Mavuno Hill City – Sunday 9am & 12 pm at Hill City, off Mombasa Road at Stage 39, Nairobi

      Mavuno Mashariki – Sunday 9 am and 11 am at Donholm, Natu Court – Mumias Road; Nairobi

      Mavuno Downtown – Sunday 10:30 am at Ufungamano House; Nairobi

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  2. Thank you for sharing this wisdom. It helped me understand the gaps to our parenting approach. The lesson of setting a training time was very new to us(even despite taking parenting classes :-). We have been training our child in those heated moments after they have already disobeyed and we have disciplined them. Obviously now I see that this was not the best approach for the child to understand the value being taught. I have now implemented a training time and borrowed the values shared as well.

    God bless you!

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  3. michelle k Says:

    hi all,
    i really enjoyed last Sunday’s sermon but one thing really bugged me and i realized it was not the first time i had this thought…
    part of Sunday’s sermon was how to raise children to be responsible, and not relay on house helps or helps in general…i totally agree but…isn’t it a pretense that the pastors preaching this sermon to us are not really following what they say?!
    let me elaborate- when pastors in mavuno enter the dome, they have an entourage that is behind them that carries their belongings. i noticed this with all the senior pastors.
    I’m sorry but to me, this is preaching water and drinking wine…how can you tell us to raise our children to be responsible while you can barely carry your own bibles?
    why cant we raise our children the way we are seeing our pastors behaving?
    aren’t we meant to follow in our pastors footsteps?

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    • “Hello Michelle,

      We are glad that you find the sermons engaging since these these sermons are intended to help us in our walk with God. The preaching pastors have one person walking with them on a given Sunday-who is there personal assistant.

      On any given Sunday the senior pastors gets numerous requests for appointments and prayers, hence the need for personal assistants to walk with them, pray alongside them, handle upcoming concerns and to ensure they keep on schedule and focus mainly on delivering the sermon.

      The people you see around the pastors on Sunday are congregants, mavunites seeking appointments or prayers, their own siblings and families or personal friends catching up with them.”

      We hope that this explains the observation you have made.

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