We had a guest speaker at our church this weekend. His name is Tim Kimmel. He shared some great stories and ideas about how we are to parent our children. His ministry website is: http://www.familymatters.net/
I don't know that much about all he teaches right now, but what he shared this morning was good.
I just want to share a few of the notes I took. He is supposed to be coming again in March, I can't wait to hear all he has to share!
He shared that some of the areas he covers in his "Raising Truly Great Kids" Conferences include: an atmosphere of grace, three needs all kids have, building character in our children's lives, and where our kids are headed.
The focus verses for his talk were: Matthew 20:20-28
* We should consider the role of grace in our parenting--like God gives us grace.
* We should focus on changing/molding our children's character--not just their behavior. We want to reach their hearts for permanent change, not just outward obedience.
*Where should we aim our kids?
*How many things do you spend your time on that will end up in "heaven's dumpster"? (told story related to this)
I. Many parents have a tendency to aim their children at a future focused on success--in line with our culture and not God's Word
(What is your vision/goal for your children long term?)
(How are you prioritizing the time spent teaching your children?)
A. Measures of success in our culture
(Think of receiving the yearly update letters in Christmas cards each year. What do people share about the most? If you look through the filter of these 4 things, you will see they are usually shown to be a priority in people's lives--even Christians. Not that sharing these types of successes is bad, but many people make these the main priority in their lives--THE things to be obtained above all else.)
B. We make a mistake when we make success our goal instead of a by-product of what we are doing -- for God and others.
C. If these are our goals, we set our kids up for tension, stress, selfishness, greed and a desire for things that can never be satisfied!
1. Middle class and up kids were born on third base but they think they got a triple and we are greasing them for home plate. (attributed to Ann Richards)
C. GOD places no value on those four things!He doesn't want us to aim our sights on any of these! (We don't need God to help us with those 4 things -- our unsaved neighbors do well teaching their children these things on their own!)
D. We may deter our children from relationships and God's plan for them (vocations) if we focus most on those four things.
E. To aim for these four signs of success/greatness, is to aim too low!
II. God's Word encourages--a different perspective
A. True Greatness--a passionate love for God/Jesus that shows in an unquenchable love and concern for others.
B. We should be aiming our children upwards and outwards at all times!
C. The higher calling is pouring ourselves out towards others.
D. He mentioned the difference in people affected by what happened on 9/11/01. Our resumes and pedigrees don't matter in the end! It will boil down to are we serving God--are we serving others?
III. The Qualities of True Greatness
A. A Humble Heart--a reverence for God and respect for others (Philippians 2:3-4)
B. A Grateful Heart--appreciation for what they are given and who gave it to them
(I Thessalonians 5:18)
C. A Generous Heart --a great delight in sharing with others what God has given you
D. A Servant's Heart--willingness to take action to help someone--anyone whose need you see and whose need you can meet (Matthew 25:40)
*Look at the Good Samaritan.
E. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr has said, "Anyone can be great because anyone can serve."
IV. How do we teach this to our children?
A. Be an example ourselves first!
B. Make these four qualities the expectation in your home (not the exception). Teach, guide, correct and lead your children toward these qualities.
V. Kids' Questions --that will overwhelm them and they will need answers for
A. What's my mission in life going to be?
B. Whose my mate going to be? (Old saying that you are are either doubled or halved on your wedding day.)
C. Whose my master going to be? Who will I serve?
**Where are we in all this? Have we made this type of greatness a priority in our family, with ourselves, with our kids?
**Some great things to think about it! We already want to instill this type of focus in our kids, part of the reason we homeschool, but I can always use the reminder to refocus and watch our priorities carefully.