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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

You Shall Not Covet

photo by Milica Sekulic

I’ve been running a series about how to teach the Ten Commandments to your children. This is the tenth commandment.

“Mom and Dad always loved you best.”

I remember having that conversation with my sister many years ago when we were both young adults and before either of us were married. My sister was everything I wasn’t. Athletic, popular, easy to talk to. I was geeky, quiet and ached to be noticed by someone, anyone, as having worth.

One day, while having one of those transparent sister moments, she revealed the truth. She thought our mom and dad loved me best. After all, I was smart, confident and always seemed to get everything right. All she ever did was mess up.

It wasn’t until I became a parent that I understood how a house full of children, brought into the world and raised by the same set of parents, could be so utterly different in nature. And how each one could be loved in totally unique ways.

Because we all have to deal with our own sin nature (thank you Adam and Eve), teaching our children to not be jealous falls in line with forcing a square peg into a round hole. It is so difficult to avoid looking at what someone else has, whatever it may be, and not wonder what it would be like to have it.

The focus of my husband and I has been to teach this commandment in a positive way. We’ve taught that when a family member achieves something, we’re to be glad for that person. We’re to celebrate with genuine pats on the back and sincere smiles of congratulations. The only thing we’re to take away from that person, if we want to have what they have, is the inspiration to do better ourselves.

If we teach our children to practice this within the family setting, it will automatically extend to our neighbors, coworkers and friends. In fact, it may extend to outside sources faster than it does to within the family.

A couple of Bible verses you can use when teaching this commandment:

Philippians 4:11 - “…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” Paul goes on to say that he knows what it’s like to have a lot and have nothing. You can explain to your child everything Paul went through - floggings, beatings, stonings, shipwrecks, constant moving, harassment, false accusations, arrests (2 Cor. 11:24-29).

Through all that he discovered the secret to being content no matter the situation: being able to do anything through the Lord who gave him strength. Relate the bad things that could happen to your child (or that he perceives he’s going through right now) and help him see the positives he could get out of it.

1 Corinthians 12 - This chapter covers a discussion on spiritual gifts and how we, as the body of Christ, have many necessary parts to it. Relate it to your family. Each person has different talents, abilities, interests, but together you could not function as a family if one of those parts was missing.

Proactively teach the tenth commandment of “You shall not covet” to your child. Hopefully, then, he’ll never have to share the same discussion my sister and I had.

If you’re one of the many pastors who regularly reads TGMT and your church has a website, would you consider posting a link to TGMT on your resource page? I would love to be a blessing to the people of your church. Thanks ahead of time.

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1 comment:

Tanya said...

GREAT post, Deb! We do this with our kids too. This is a lesson for children and adults, because you know we still struggle with comparisons and envy. Thanks for the encouragement.