What kind of parent are you?
Are you a Nurturer parent? Who stands behind their child - They offer support and care, I’m here for you! that’s good but it isn’t good enough…
Are you a Cheerleader parent? Who stands beside their child - they offer support and encouragement ,You can do it! that’s good but it isn’t good enough…
Are you a Teacher parent? Who stands in front of their child- They offer training and guidance ,Here’s what you should do! that’s good but it isn’t good enough…
What you child needs is a Discipler parent. One who walks in front of their child with child close at hand, showing, modeling and inviting them to imitate their steps, Follow Me as I follow Jesus
A New Kind of Parent is a Discipler of their children.
It is possible to raise healthy children who are rich in character and clear in their calling. But to do so, in this world, at this time in history, will require a new kind of parent.
A new kind of parent trusts God.
A new kind of parent is personally healthy.
A New Kind of Parent is a Discipler of their children.
Last week we noted why this kind of parent is so necessary…
Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. Charles R. Swindoll, The Strong Family
Our kids are watching which is exactly what a Discipler Parent is hoping for.
As our kids watch, Discipler Parents demonstrate how to develop healthy character - For instance:
1. A parent will disciple their child in healthy character when they show them how to surrender to God.
- A discipler parent models Prov 3:5-6 kind of life: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
- A discipler Parent demonstrates a John 3:7 “born again” life:
KEY – not just tell but SHOW!!
2. A parent will disciple their child in healthy character when they show them how to commune with God
Discipler Parents model solitude, engagement with God in prayer and the Bible.
Your time with God is more important than your time with your child. They need to know that and see that.
3. A parent will disciple their child in healthy character when they show them how to practice moral integrity.
Discipler Parents model honor in speech and action. They demonstrate an upright life and create an honorable, lie free, atmosphere that their kids think is normal living.
4. A parent will disciple their child in healthy character when they show them how to practice self-denial
If you want your child to be self-disciplined and you want your child to think self-sacrifice is how everybody should live…then model it for them.
Reminder: these practices and those we’ll examine today can be found on: anewkindofparent.org – include web shot)
Now let’s look at the other side of the coin. Healthy children are not just defined by wholesome character (what they are inside). Healthy kids also have a sense of clear calling that defines their steps. Parents play a huge roll in what their kids choose to do with their life.
For we are God's masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 …allow me to paraphrase that and put it into our context…
Your child is God's masterpiece, created to follow Jesus and to do good things, which God prepared in advance for them to do. Paraphrase of Ephesians 2:10
That is not how parents normally think…sorry but it isn’t…most parents think: My child is the product of my hard work and investment. They were created to fulfill my hopes and dreams for them. They should grow up and do the things that will make them normal, happy adults in our society.
The average parent has a prescription for their child.
Discipler Parents, on the other hand, believe their child has a destiny.
Discipler Parents want their child’s life to have meaning.
So, how do we do that…how do we disciple our kids to discover their Ephesians 2:10 destiny?
1. A parent will disciple a child in their calling when they show them how to live for something significant.
Some ideas how to point you child toward significance and calling:
Ø Model a balanced, 3 dimensional, life so your child does not think that life is only 2 dimensional – grueling work and couch crashing at home
o explore many things and let your child do the same – sports/art/cooking/nature/craft
o be a let’s try this…family.
Ø Take the mystery out of your work - help your child understand the significance you find in your work so they don’t see work as just a pay check.
o take them to work with you - show them what you do and why.
Ø Get to know your own personality, passion and giftedness and lead you child to discover theirs.
Ø Intentionally have people in your lives/home that exemplify calling – someone passionate about what they do and who they are – people who are changing the world
Ø When you do have something you’re passionate about allow your child to work alongside of you in the things that give you life,
Article: A Missing Step in Today’s Parenting Path (Dr. Tim Elmore , Pres. Growing Leaders via Marcia Zgirta)
- Missing ingredient in parenting process. Expecting.
I believe we have under-challenged kids with meaningful work to accomplish .We have overwhelmed them with tests, recitals and practices—and kids report being “stressed out” by these activities. But they are virtual. Adults often don’t give work to students that is relevant to life and could actually improve the world if they rose to the challenge. We just don’t expect much of our kids today. Evidently, we assume they’re incapable. So they fill their day with video games, texts and Facebook. And potential goes untapped. One hundred years ago—seventeen year olds were leading armies, working farms, learning a trade as apprentices. Today—this is rare.
Are you imposing a nice future on your child or are you expecting they’ll find significance and a calling that will give them meaning?
2. A parent will disciple a child in their calling when they show them how to practice justice and mercy
Our world is awash in injustice and we are surrounded by human beings that are drowning in it. Does your child know that? Do they see that? Do they understand the role they could play in bringing mercy and justice?
If not, it’s time to show them:
Ø Let your children observe you speaking kindly to a homeless person, helping an elderly person with groceries, bringing a meal to someone who is ill
Ø As a family sponsor a child through World Vision/Compassion/Nehemiah Vision Ministries and write letters/send pictures back and forth
Ø Take visits to a nursing home together
Ø serve at a food pantry, Circle City Relief , Shepherd, Kids Against Hunger
Ø Christmas Catalog
Ø Take the Hunger Challenge next month.
Ø Family Mission Trip
I think one of the reasons my son launched WND might have been because of what he and I did when he turned 13. Ecuador trip.
Same with Lucy – Ukraine Trip … and now big sis, leads the food drive at her company, doing two child sponsorships.
3. A parent will disciple a child in their calling when they show them how to practice generosity.
Ø Refer to all of your stuff as God’s stuff. God’s car, God’s house, God’s money
o pray for wisdom before spending – esp. big things
o “Does God want us to spend 45K a year on this private school or 17K at this state school?”
Ø Model gratitude. Say thank you all the time. Send thank you notes!
o Story of out of town kids who stayed with us.
o Grabby kids have not been modeled gratitude
A new study at California State University suggests that helping teens learn to count their blessings can actually play an important role in positive mental health. As gratitude increases, so do life satisfaction, happiness, positive attitudes, hope and even academic performance.
"Gratefulness allows us to understand what matters most to us and translate that to a broader goal"
Ø Practice the art of living more simply
Ø Eliminate debt and help them understand why.
Ø Model budgeting and giving show them how to do it. (10/10/05)
Ø Give all kinds of stuff away – food, clothing, don’t hoard!
Ø Give each child a sum of money and tell them to pray about what God wants them to do with it. Do it and share stories.
Ø Re-think birthdays occasionally - ask the friends not to give gifts, but to contribute canned goods that we put in bags for Shepherd.
4. A parent will disciple a child in their calling when they show them how to practice community.
Show your child the importance of Macro Community, Micro Community and Nano community.
Ø Macro – make church going a habit…not an option.
o until Junior year – then take off expectations.
Ø Micro – let them see you in a small group and expect their participation in a small group until Junior year.
If you’d rather crash at home in front of the TV instead of going to your small group meeting then don’t be surprised when your kid just vegs in front of some screen too.
Ø Nano – let them know you have friends and mentors…older friends you trust and follow and encourage the same.
5. A parent will disciple a child in their calling when they show them how to love others well.
Ø The most potent modeling you’ll ever do for your child is the love you express toward your spouse. If I asked your child to describe marriage to me – you know they will describe yours – right?
Make it hard for them to find a mate because of the high bar you and your spouse have set.
Ø Another way to model love is to love your child accurately. (the right kind of love and the right timw)
o if what they need is tender mercy and embrace – then give it lavishly
o if what they need is rebuke – give it clearly . It is not love if you do not call out foolishness and confront evil.
Ø Be there, with them in tow, when someone needs you.
Ø Create a way to pray for others (prayer book, a list, pictures)
They will love just as you love! A Discipler Parent takes that challenge and runs with it….
follow me…into a life of significance
follow me…into a life of justice and mercy
follow me…into a life of generosity
follow me…into a life of community
follow me…into a life of love.
This is a new kind of Parent.
Just a reminder in all this…
- A New Kind of Parent doesn’t teach they show.
- A New Kind of Parent is not accidental but intentional.
- A New Kind of Parent is praying that their child is watching their every move.
- A New Kind of Parent is a Discipler of their children.
You love your kids with a passion that sometimes takes your breath away.
You desperately want to see your child grow into a young man or woman of integrity and significance.
Yet you know and feel this world conspiring against your hopes for your child.
So, are you willing to do what it takes to develop children with healthy character and clear calling?
Are you committed enough to it to change who you are? Alter your identity?
Are you ready to become a New Kind of Parent?