Friday, October 30, 2009

Mommas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Leaders? Part II

This is an article that I wrote for World Shapers Ministry. You can check out their website here. I have reprinted this article in agreement with their requirements. You can find where I reprinted Part I here.

Mommas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Leaders? Part II
In Part I of this article we discussed steps to avoid having your children develop as leaders. In Part II we will consider the biblical mandate to encourage leadership characteristics in your children.

The world would have you keep your child in a mindset of childhood long after it is suitable. I Corinthians 13:11 (AMP) tells us that “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.”

Unless you plan on heaping adult thoughts and responsibilities on your child on their 18th birthday you might consider easing them into this way of life even today.

Consider the following suggestions:

Decision-Making - Let them be a witness to Godly decision-making and priority ranking. Children will not simply know how to honor God with their time and treasure. They must learn it from being submerged in it as their lifestyle.

Gifts & Abilities - Romans 12:6 says that “We all have gifts and they differ…” Your child is not just another brick in the wall. They are a unique and distinct part of God’s plan with unique and distinct gifts given by their Father to fulfill His wishes. Train the child according to their bent, according to their skills and giftings, and you will encourage them to seek God’s will over their own. He knows best what is desired from your son or daughter. Teach them how to focus on His best for them by learning the talents that He deposited in them.

Responsibility - Giving them opportunities to build trust and gain responsibility will teach them to be faithful with little. Servant attitude in their daily chores/responsibilities show them how we are daily to serve others with a spirit of excellence. Love in all activities will teach honorable actions when they are to choose on their own how to behave toward their spouse and children. If they never have anything to do at home, not only will they not feel a valuable part of the family, but they will have nothing to offer as far as servanthood outside of the home.

Commitments - Don’t be a thief. Be prompt. If you believe that God has led you to make a commitment to something then you are gathering in His name. You wouldn’t show up late if you really thought Jesus was there waiting, would you?

Authority - Respect, honor and obey your authorities. If you want your children to rebel against you then you should model rebellion in the way you speak about your boss, your pastor, your parents or your children’s teachers. Hold everything up to the Bible but don’t be disrespectful in your attitude. If you leave your child in someone’s care then you have chosen that person to carry authority. Honor it.

Priorities -The 12 tribes of Israel lived in locations assigned around the tabernacle. Their lives revolved around God. He is our center. If we make Him second or third so that our children can look more like a well-rounded child of this world then we are robbing them of the opportunity to live a God-centered life. When they hear you model decision-making that puts God at a lower priority than anything else you are insuring that they follow in those steps as they make their own decisions.

Prayer - Your children need to hear you pray so that they can rejoice with you and stretch their faith with yours. If you come together in agreement with your children it shows them that they are integral and effective in moving the heart of God.

The Bible - God’s word never returns void. It will always achieve its purpose. When you immerse your children in a living, breathing Word-saturated atmosphere they will thrive and the enemy will have no defense.

Civic Responsibility - God’s people are to be active in this world just as God is. Though we are strangers in this world we are also called to be salt to a dying world. We are to “cure” the rottenness of the world by involving ourselves and our God in everyday affairs.

Roles - Seek God’s will for your family dynamics. This holds true for families with one parent or two. A woman can only be a great mother. She can never even be a mediocre father. The same concept holds true for men. When mothers are great mothers and fathers are godly fathers then the Lord is glorified and the home is at peace. The value of our different roles should be cherished and stressed as glorifying our Lord with everything that we choose to do and NOT to do.

Friends - Direct their paths toward righteous choices by asking questions. The Holy Spirit will spark their hearts toward the right answers for friends and friendly activities. If you see your child with an influence that boldly or subtly changes who your child is in Jesus then strengthen their walk by discussing their changing attitudes and remind them that the Rock on which we stand never wavers.

Service - Allow them to serve in and out of the church with you. One of my young friends told me her definition of a leader. She says that, “Leaders are servants who help others even when they don’t feel like it.” Let your kids live in this Christian life that you profess. Don’t just let them hear you talk it. Let them walk it with you.

Beth Klongpayabal

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mommas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Leaders? Part I

This is an article that I wrote for World Shapers Ministry. You can check out their website here. I have reprinted this article in agreement with their requirements. I will be reprinting Part II in the days to come.

Mommas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Leaders? Part I

Being a leader is about influencing people. In Mark 16:15 Christians are called to go into all the world and share the good news with everyone. This would definitely influence people. This should, at the very least, leave a distinguishing effect on our schools, communities, and places of employment. Christians are called to be leaders. Even though this is understood, there is no scripture that defines the exact age at which we are called to be a leader to those in our sphere of influence.

If you believe that leadership is too much pressure to place on your child then I suggest you follow these easy steps to avoid having your children develop as leaders:

Decision-Making - Don’t burden children with decision making. It will just make them grow up too fast. They’ll have to learn soon enough when they start to earn a living and have to make their own choices of how to spend their time.

Gifts & Abilities - Don’t hurt their self-esteem with skill or gifting assessment. We’re all winners. Tell them they are gifted at everything they try even when it’s not really true at all. This way they will not really know what they’re good at and they won’t have the added pressure developing in one direction.

Responsibility – Teach you children to take responsibility by having them clean their room. Make sure that you remind them every day to do this and do it for them if you have to. This way they will learn that someone has to take responsibility.

Commitments - Make judgments based on how you feel moment by moment. Allow them to break commitments and be late when something comes up.

Authority - Question everything. Make sure your child understands that they do not have to obey their teachers or coaches if they think that you might allow the child to do something differently. It’s best to always believe your child over anyone else without question.

Priorities - Keep the kids well-rounded. Carve out prime chunks of time for friends, school, work, sports and arts. Enroll them in every conceivable class because they’ll make loads of friends. An overly full schedule means you are involved and much more important.

Prayer - Pray in private. Bedtime and mealtime prayers will suffice for now. Children just don’t have the patience for long adult prayers they don’t understand.

The Bible - Keep them in their child storybook as long as possible. They just won’t understand the real Bible.

Civic Responsibility - Separation of church and state isn’t just for politics. Don’t mix God with current events.

Roles -Men and women do whatever works best for your family as far as gender roles and responsibilities. The roles established in the Bible were for a different time and place.

Friends - Don’t interfere with their friendships. They need to learn to choose their own friends and deal with their own problems.

Service - Make sure to tell the children when you serve the Lord so that they will know that you are doing good.

If you have been challenged by these comments I encourage you to read the second part of this article. We will look at a path which will ask much of the parent and produce much in the child.

Beth Klongpayabal