Thursday, September 20, 2012

"Honey Boo Boo" and Parenthood

I do not have a daughter, but can I just be frank with you? If the Lord ever blesses me and my husband with a sweet little girl, I can assure you that she will not resemble the "Honey Boo Boo" child that has recently infiltrated network television.  Not familiar with Honey Boo Boo? You're not missing much. In my opinion, you are just wasting half an hour watching a family that is horrifyingly crude. Don't misunderstand me. I am not "hating on them," only holding them up as an example of everything I do not want my children (and my family) to be. Now I am aware that the children on this show most likely don't know any better. They have obviously been taught that living together while unmarried is acceptable, that bodily functions are hysterical, and that using disrespectful and foul language is the norm. It's heartbreaking. It's disgusting. It makes me want to run to them and say, "Oh, what you are missing!!"
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If you are a parent, then you have an enormous responsibility. Some believe that our job as Christian mothers is only to make sure our children attend Church, come to know and love the Lord, and be a good, moral person. But, friends, that is only scratching the surface! In a generation where God's people look no different from the world, it is necessary vital for us to rise up and begin teaching our children, not simply to be children of the King, but how to behave as children of the King. Which leads me to ask....HOW can I do that?! Apart from the obvious (getting in the Word of God, praying and seeking the Lord's wisdom, praying for our children), there are many practical ways we can begin to instruct our children on how to represent our Lord and be set-apart from the world.

Here is a small list I have compiled:

  1. Teach them to show honor and respect. I am repeatedly appalled at the lack of respect children and teenagers have for authority these days. I have seen a preacher and a teacher confront a young person about a wrong, only to be shown blatant irreverence. The Bible says to show honor to those in authority. -- Common courtesy would be to show respect to all! -- No, I don't agree with certain things my elders or my governmental officials say and do, but that gives me no cause to go against God's Word and disrespect those who have been put over us. It is important to teach our children how to speak and act towards those in authority. Yes ma'am, no ma'am, yes sir, no sir. Please. Thank you. You're welcome. Teach it.
  2. Teach them nobility. A word we don't often think of when talking of children is nobility. These days, it is common for boys AND girls to burp, scratch, and do all manner of crude things. I remember being challenged years ago to act and speak like a lady. As a redeemed daughter of the Lord, I am royalty. I am part of a priesthood. You do not see a princess or a prince behave vulgarly or crass, so how much more should the children of God practice nobility?! (here's a hint: WAY MORE!) ---On a side note, I am thankful I have a husband who is not the run-of-the-mill "burp/spit/scratch" type. He practices nobility. We should teach our children to do the same.
  3. Teach them basic table manners. A few weeks ago, I watched TLC's United Bates of America and observed this godly family training their children how to behave when out and about. Their training began at home. To follow in the footsteps of nobility, it is important to train our children to sit at the table, to thank the Lord for His provision, to eat calmly, to chew with their mouths closed, and not to throw food, smack, or burp when finished. Basic table manners. It's not hard. (And I really don't want to see your chewed up food rolling around in your mouth, I'm so sorry...)
  4. Teach them to help others. As a woman (and a mom who lugs around a toddler, a diaper bag, a purse, and growing baby belly), I appreciate men who will open the door for me. That's called chivalry, and though it was once the norm, it is now very rare to see. So many boys and young men will blaze right through the door and let it close in my face. Now yes, I am perfectly capable of opening my own door, but let me just say - I am blessed and honored when a man (young or old) pauses and holds the door open for me; who lets me walk in before him. I am touched when a little girl offers to help me carry my son's bag out of the nursery at Church. I always say "thank you" and let them see my appreciation. It is important to teach our children to be willing helpers. We ought to teach our sons to be courteous and chivalrous and train our daughters to be gracious, kind, and giving. Teach them to observe a need, and then meet it. The little things matter.
  5. Teach them Godly character. It is one thing to be a good, moral Christian young person. It is another to be Godly and have Godly character. Anyone can be good and kind and go to Church and be involved. But it takes strength, integrity, and spiritual grit to make hard decisions, to say "no" to what others deem perfectly natural, and to stand alone in going by the Scriptures. It is so important to train our children to always go to the Bible for answers, guidance, and truth, and then teach them to implement the Word and stand on it. Teaching them to obey a list of rules "because I said so" isn't enough. Training them to search the Scriptures and to love the Word of God and instilling in them a hunger to live by it is what builds character and strong, godly men and women for the future. 
Do you have practical tips on how to raise godly daughters and sons in a vulgar "Honey Boo Boo" generation? I would love to have your input! Feel free to comment below.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

How Can I Do All This?!?

My life is full. I used to think a stay-at-home wife and mother had a simple enough job. I was so wrong. It is the most important, exhausting, never-ending, rewarding, and demanding job I could ever imagine.

I am currently a wife to my best friend, a mother of a very active and rowdy 17 month old little boy, and 18 weeks pregnant with baby #2. I spend my days trying to keep the laundry going, the dishes clean, the floors swept and vacuumed, the house tidy, the yard picked up, the grocery bill down, the errands run, and food on the table - all while training, teaching, disciplining, playing with, and loving on a little boy. Oh yes, and coping with pregnancy fatigue, headaches, and a growing belly.

I also have studying and personal prayer time that should be a priority every day. To be 100% honest with you, it isn't a priority every day. Far too often, I wake and plunge right in to making breakfast, refilling sippy-cups, and squeezing in a shower.

There are hobbies I enjoy (blogging, emailing, reading). I have ministry work to do. There are plenty of aspirations and things I would like to learn (sewing, gardening).

Sometimes I ask myself, "How am I supposed to do all this?" What about family time? My social life? My down time?

When I see our never-ending list of places to be - the dentist at 10 a.m., pediatrician at 11:30 a.m., grocery store run, OB appointment at 2 p.m.,Church meeting at 6:30 p.m.  - and the enormous list of things to do - scrub the kool-aid stains out of the floor, bathe the kiddo, put a load of diapers in the wash, iron my husband's work shirts - sometimes, I want to throw my hands up in the air and say, "I can't do this!" Strangely enough though, I am learning that I'm right. I truly cannot do it all. I can't keep up and I can't keep going without the strength and the power of Christ pushing me onward. Philippians 4:13 tells us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Apart from Him, we have no strength at all. Without His power, we are weak.

This morning, I was reading 2 Corinthians 12:9 which says, "...My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

I am encouraged by that. I am weak, but in my weakness, I am made strong through the grace and power of Jesus Christ. It is important for us, especially us mothers, to acknowledge the fact that we are not superwoman. We can't be 100% awesome all the time. However, when we fall to our knees and claim the power of God, and confess that He alone has the ability to give us all that we stand in need of, then we are made strong. So, fellow wives, mothers, homemakers, and women, in light of your responsibilities and obligations, TRUST and KNOW that He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. (Ephesians 3:20)  That's encouraging, isn't it??

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