Tuesday, March 27, 2007

“Raising Godly Children” by Hope Felts, Dr. Brown’s daughter


She started off by telling a great story about how we are going to fall but we should just try to fall forward. She was one of the most gifted speakers I have ever heard - she is definitely at Beth Moore’s level. She has received her father’s gift of proclaiming clearly and passionately the Word of God. She also quoted from a book called Snickers from the Pew, which was quite hilarious. However, she did report that sadly, one recent survey stated that 80% of preacher’s kids (PKs) struggle with depression. This survey did find that many preachers’ kids hear their parents say things like, “When you mess up you ruin daddy’s ministry and then we will not have a job or food.” Lord, please help us never to even hint at that to our children! Also, many preachers’ kids hear their father say things one week in the pulpit and then they do not live that way at home. Ouch! Is God really transforming our pastors today? Or are we just putting on a show and living a hypocritical life? Why would they want to follow a God who has not transformed his own father’s life?

She then quoted from a book called Know Your Child. She concluded that babies are born with a certain temperament, which I agree with. She asked us to consider Cain and Abel, the first children. They certainly had different temperaments. Three basic types of babies exist:

1. Easy Child, predictable

2. Slow to warm up Child (shy)

3. Difficult child, strong willed child

People used to think that people were born with a blank slate and that our environment was everything, but now there is strong evidence and studies against this theory. Paul names three “spiritual children” throughout the Bible (he calls them by name his sons):

1. Timothy, the easy child

2. Onesimus, the slow to warm up son

3. Titus, the bulldog, the problem solver but the difficult child Titus did not have to be encouraged like Timothy. Titus was a problem solver.

I had never really thought about these three men in this light, but I can see where she is coming from. Now, after having Jackson and seeing many babies his age, I really do believe that some babies are just born fighting and we like to label them “difficult.” I think God can use all men and women with different temperaments. I do believe it is important to know our children and how to encourage them. They might be shy and we can encourage them to step out in faith for the glory of God. Or they might be easy and need a lot of encouragement. Maybe they are difficult and we need to speak the truth in love to them daily. Paul certainly knew the differences between his spiritual children. I do not know if these categories are as cut and dry as these. Generally, Jackson is the easy child; however, boy does he have a temper! Right now for the last time we put him down at night it is war. The other night he really hyper-ventilated at 9:15 pm More on that latter…

She urged us to:

1. “Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him
.” Psalm 34:8

Taste the Lord, love God in front of them! Don’t be secretive with them about your relationship with God.

2. Love God’s house, have a positive attitude about it, do not look at it as work. Long to be in his house with all the imperfect people. Psalm 27:4:

“One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple
.”

3. Pray with them every day before they go off to school. I am starting this now every morning with Jackson and it is such a blessing

4. Know your child!

"If I Had My Child to Raise Over Again"

If I had my child to raise all over again,

I'd finger-paint more, and point the fingers less.

I would do less correcting and more connecting.

I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.

.

I would care to know less and know to care more.

I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.

I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.

I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.

.

I'd do more hugging and less tugging.

I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.

I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.

I'd teach less about the love of power, And more about the power of love.

.

By Diane Loomans

I am certain that concept of building up one's self-esteem is anti-Biblical, but besides that, I think this is a good poem for current moms to see. If we keep on telling our children how great they are at everything, why will they need a Savior to rescue them from their sins?

Ps-The picture is of Jackson in his high chair that we finally got up. Thank you so much Aunt Sandi for the high chair!

2 comments:

Caitlin P said...

Oh I love this post! Excellent! Emily, one of my favorite things about you is that you rightly divide God's word. I love reading how you see things as not biblical and yet you still find the biblical truths and focus on those.

Emily Wallace said...

Thank you so much Caitlin! You always encourage me in so many ways. I really hope to blog on at least 1 more break out sessions this weekend. The conference was so wonderful and really gave us so much motivation in all areas of life.