Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

It's hard enough to be a Christian parent in this world. How do we combat the forces of evil while at the same time raise our children to desire to walk in God's light? By seeking His face, His Word and inspiration from each other as we stumble through this parenting process together. You will find all the instruction, encouragement and resources you need right here at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take to help you be the most effective witness to your child that God would have you be. Look around and come back often. Let's learn together.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Children, The 5th Commandment, And A Little White Dog

I saw the most amazing thing the other day. As I was leaving to run some errands I noticed a little puff of a white dog coming down the sidewalk on our street. I recognized him as the pet of one of our neighbors, but I had never seen him out alone. He was always being walked on a leash - on the sidewalk, come to think of it.

He wasn’t wandering into the street or stopping to sniff someone’s yard. He stayed completely on the sidewalk, seemingly walking with a set destination in mind. He then came to the intersection, stopped, turned to his right, looked both ways for traffic (I swear he did), and safely crossed the street - to the next sidewalk.

He walked past the house on the corner, came to the front walk leading to his owner’s home, turned right and proceeded up the front walk to the porch steps. No short cuts through the lawn, just staying on the sidewalk the whole time.

I stood there thinking, “How did they do that?! They trained their dog to walk himself!” I turned and looked at our black lab mix who has a habit of standing on his hind legs to look out the window in our front door as I leave for anywhere. There he was, smearing his nose all over the window, the same dumb Odie look he always has on his face.

“What’s the matter with you? Why can’t you do that?” I asked. He seemed to grin at me, his tongue hanging out, more slop running down the window. Hopeless.

You know where I’m going with this. Now, I’m not saying that children are like dogs who need to receive the proper handling and training to do well in life (although the Bible does say for us to train up a child in the way he should go). Consistent and purposeful instruction, however, led that little white dog to look after his own needs. If someone could get a dog with a brain the size of a walnut to do that, surely we can work with our children to a greater good.

It’s a sad commentary when I hear a parent give the usual response when they hear we homeschool our children. “I could never do that. My children don’t listen to me now as it is.” One of these days I’m going to say what I’m thinking: “And why is that?”

Educational choice aside, if our children are not listening to us and giving us the respect that biblically belongs to us, that’s nobody’s fault but our own. We will never be able to teach our children about Jesus if we don’t first teach them to honor us.

Teach your child the fifth commandment, which Paul says was the first commandment with a promise - “Honor your father and your mother… so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land your God is giving you” (Dt 5:16). The reason your child will live long and well? Because in honoring you he listens to what you teach him about God, thus living a life fruitful and pleasing to the Lord. Consistent and purposeful instruction.

Awesome. I’m going to go walk the dog and think on that.

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