Monday, September 5, 2011

LOVE OTHERS - Children, obey your parents.

Major Concept:            LOVE OTHERS.
This Week's Concept:  Children, obey your parents.

Background:  As parents of young children, one needs to consider the concept of mistaken behavior vs. misbehavior.  Your child is often trying to find the balance between what he/she does due to lack of experience and teaching and what he/she is supposed to do according to your expectations.  This is tough work and must include loving guidance. And, as parents, we have to be reminded that obedience is just easier for some children.  But know that all young children love their parents! NOTE:  Loving your child unconditionally and respecting him/her as God's Child first will encourage him/her to respect you and choose to obey you.  And, as Ephesians 6:4 says, "Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with instruction approved by the Lord."

Activity:  Recall with your child last week's conversations about loving God which includes getting to know Him and what He instructs us to do and then doing it.  Remind him/her that love is action! Let your child make many choices this week.  This can include choosing what to wear, what drink with his/her meal, what book to read at bedtime, etc.  Teaching your child to make choices and then giving him/her the opportunity to make those choices in the little things will assist him/her in making good choices later in the big things and when choice is not an option.  Of course, you have to honor those choices.  Yes, his/her attire may not match your desires, but... the lesson here is so much bigger than today's outfit!  Trusting your child to be a decision maker even as a young child builds a respectful relationship with him/her that surely contributes to him/her choosing obedience out of love!

Bible Verse:
           Ephesians 6:1 - "Children, obey your parents."

Lunch Notes:  Lunch notes this week can include times you noticed your child making a good choice or displaying obedience.  Be careful - be specific so your comments are meaningful.
                  1.  "Thank you for picking up your toys.  That helps keep us safe when we walk through your room."
                  2.  "Thank you for going to bed when you were asked.  That helps you get the rest you need so you can get up and be ready for a new day."
(If you say, " I like when.... you are passing your own judgement and preference - the goal is long term in helping your child make good choices and obeying you because it is simply the right thing to do.)

Prayer:  Thank God for your child openly and frequently.  Ask Him for wisdom to guide your child in His ways and thank Him for the successes and challenges.  Help your child thank God for his/her parents and to know how to show love for them through obedience.

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