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Raising Children who can make Choices - Issue 234
January 20, 2012
Hi there! ....

This week we’ve been with my family. We’ve celebrated Dad’s 70th with a long lunch in a beautiful setting. The kids have enjoyed time with cousins and our three biggest went off to a youth camp. I had a homeschool mum’s meet at a local McDonalds – the kids enjoyed the playground and the mums had time to chat about things closest to our heart – training our children.

Naomi also had a birthday! 15 years old. Nomi is a delight in our family, always entertaining but more importantly, this last year has been a delight to us as her heart choices as a young lady are towards God and her family.

Live life with your kids!

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Raising Children who can make Choices

I believe that we are all created with the ability to make choices, except we are also born with a sinful nature which means we will make poor choices. We will make choices that suit us right now; making good choices though looks further than our instant gratification.

To make good choices we need to consider:

  • The immediate effects
  • The long term effects
  • How it affects me
  • How it affects others
  • Does it line up with the word of God (and I’ve put this one last, in that kids can make choices before they understand what God has to say, and there are choices to be made that aren’t covered by the Bible though ultimately as a person choosing to follow God this would then become number one!)

Regardless of our age God’s standard applies – love God and love your neighbour (as outlined in Christ’s command to us in Matthew 22:36-40.) This is the foundation for all our decision making (choices) – does it show my love towards God, or does it show my love towards other people. Of course we don’t automatically, from the womb, understand these things, or value them- though we do understand and value what is good for me! We need to be introduced to God, and taught his standard. This is the role of the parent.

Now this sounds good until we start asking questions like why should I study math, and why should I not play on the computer all day? How does either of these things affect God or other people?

God says clearly that He has a plan for our lives
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

We are created for good works
Ephesian 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

We can be ready, or by inference not ready, depending on how we spend our time
2 Tim 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonourable, he will be a vessel for honourable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

There may not be a spiritual reason not to do something – it may not be a sin, but it would also be advisable to take this wisdom into consideration:
1 Cor 10:23 "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is constructive.

We need to give our children the understanding that they are here for a bigger purpose than just to have fun and do what they want to do. The choices that they make will have lasting effect on their life. Childhood is a season of life for learning and training. We need to teach them, and help them make wise and godly choices. Initially we may make all the choices for them, and then gradually as they understand the impact of their choices, and the moral foundation for their choices, we begin to guide them to making good choices by themselves.

It is easy to be in one of two camps:

  • Children are wise and know themselves well, and can therefore make choices about their life
  • Or
  • Children have been given parents who are older and wiser and therefore children don’t make choices, the parents do

I think we need to sit somewhere in the middle. I don’t believe children automatically know what is good for them (because of the sin nature), and yet I don’t believe parents should always be making the decisions for our children. Our role is to teach and train our children towards godliness where they will make decisions that reflect their love of God and their love of other people.

Extra note: As I wrote this newsletter, and reflected on the scriptures that came to mind I was challenged myself, for my own life. What are the decisions/choices I’m making? Are they reflecting my love of God and love towards other people? Are they helping me in the good works that God has given me to do? Am I aware of the purpose God has for me and are my choices hindering me from being fruitful? I must admit some of my choices, according to this standard are poor choices and I need to take stock and realign myself.

This line of thought certainly applies to this time of year when we are fresh and setting new goals and habits for ourselves. The verses that I have shared: that God has a plan for our lives, that we are created for good works, that we can be ready or not ready and that not all things are beneficial or constructive sure is a good motivator not only to set good goals but to keep on track.

Join me this year, with a desire to make good choices – based on loving God and loving others.

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
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