Ephesians 6: 1-9
I have had the absolute privilege of parenting with Debbie three really special boys Matthew 27 next month, Luke 19 and Joel 16. I know that some of you may not have children but we all are children and need to know how to be around our parents and families as grandparents as well.
I am sharing from this profound piece of scripture and find it most encouraging and helpful. There is always room for growth and learning in parenting and being a child and so I trust that you will find this helpful.
1. Children obey your parents – Proverbs 13:1 This is so critical in our day and age where more and more we are finding that children are experiencing difficulty in doing this because the role models they should have are not there for them. To obey is not an instruction which should come out of fear but rather out of deep care and love. It is the right thing to do but only if parents are giving their children the right to be obedient. It is remarkable to see how much more children grow out of encouragement rather than criticism and it is so easy to be critical as a parent.
2. Father’s do not exasperate your children – infuriate, madden, annoy – it’s interesting that Paul addresses father’s and not mother’s but I think we have all experienced mothers doing this as well. Proverbs 17:21 I think we might have some deep wounds from these very words when it comes to being a child. Whenever I sing that song to the Father – you’re a good father that’s who you are, I am reminded to be a good father myself and where there is a need to make some adjustments then I need to do this. Our own moral and ethical compass is always in need of checking on a weekly basis. Train a child in the way they should go…
3. Effective parenting :-I read from a website called kidshealth.org 9 keys to effective parenting and they are these :
1.Boost self esteem in your child.
2. Catch them doing good rather than always looking out for what they are doing wrong.
3. Set limits and be consistent with your discipline.
4. Make time for your children and say I love you often.
5. Be a good role model
6. Make communication a priority even when it’s difficult.
7. Be flexible and willing to adjust your parenting style.
8. Show others and your family that love is unconditional. Not if then…
9. Know your own needs and limitations.
4. The second part of this scripture is on work ethics and values which we all need to hear in some way or another. Paul talks about slaves and masters because that was his particular context but we could easily talk about those we work for and us as workers. I am always overwhelmed at the fact that I work for the Lord. My story at church in Ridgeway when they were having a go at the church.
5. Obedience out of a sincerity of heart. I think we all know when we are sincere and when we are not and it shows – Holiday club testimony of young people in our church serving in the most awesome way – an outstanding work ethic and they are not even getting paid – in fact they had to pay R300 to be a leader. Our staff who go the extra mile… Sincerity of heart is so critical in our day and age and most companies say that when you focus on your staff and they are happy you don’t have to worry about your customers because they will be happy too.
6. Serve wholeheartedly as if you are serving the Lord– If we are serving the people with this kind of attitude no matter what we are doing it will always be less frustrating. People can be very difficult but it makes it easier when you are serving the Lord rather than them. The other thing that Paul addresses is that often we only really do a great job when others are watching and when they are not there we slack off a bit. Costa Stathakis – when no one else is watching !!!
7. Use the Jesus model if you are put in a place of authority – servant leadership model. A deep love for those who served with him. Leadership not dictatorship. A teacher. A role model. Not afraid of feedback – ask questions. Courageous to the end. A servant of all. He never threatened his followers. He never showed favouritism. There were some he confided in more than others but he was very clear that they were not above the others.
And so as children first of all of the gracious Father, I pray that we will live out our lives in obedience and love for him. As children we would find ways to love our parents and restore relationships where it is possible. As we parent I pray that we would find ways to love more and to be attentive to our children and the areas we need to work on. In our workplace that we would serve as if we were serving the Lord and if we in leadership that we would role model our leadership around a Jesus servant model. We all need to work at all these areas and I pray that our Lord will give us the grace and wisdom to do so.
Ephesians 6: 1-9