Family - Children

Trusting God with Our Children

Making Your Home a Peaceful Place

Terrie Chappell

I have always loved the story of Moses and his family. I love how God used this family to protect their son and save a nation! I am greatly encouraged by the fact that we serve the same God today—a God who still possesses the power and provides the wisdom we need to raise godly children in the ministry. We do not have to lose our children while we attempt to save the world!

Our Christian school hosts a fine arts competition each year. When our oldest daughter, Danielle, was in the eleventh grade, she entered the Bible teaching portion of the competition. Being that she was in other areas of competition that were scheduled around the same time, she was quite frazzled and in a big hurry when she got up to teach. She was teaching on Jochebed in the first person. She started, “Hello, boys and girls, my name is Ichabod.”

Danielle realized by the way my daughter Kristine and I were laughing that she must have said something wrong. So, a little flustered, she started over, “Hello, boys and girls, my name is Ichabod!” More laughter.

She started over three times before Kristine and I could control our laughter enough to whisper to her that she was saying “Ichabod” instead of “Jochebed.” Suffice it to say, the glory had departed!

We (including Danielle) have laughed over that episode many times. But in all seriousness, I don’t want “Ichabod” written over the door of my home!

If Jochebed kept a journal or a diary, I wonder if it would read something like this: Journal: My heart is overwhelmed. Today Pharaoh ruled that all male Hebrew babies will be placed in the Nile. I wonder if this baby will be a boy. The Lord knows what is ahead, and I will have to trust in Him.

Jochebed trusted God, and though Proverbs 3:5 was not yet written, she obeyed its command: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” When it comes to parenting, we must trust God and not ourselves.

The events surrounding Moses’ birth were not an easy pill to swallow for this family. When Moses was born, Jochebed did not throw her arms in the air and say, “Oh well, I trusted God and look what happened.” She simply chose to respond differently!

If we can’t change the circumstances, then we should change the way we respond to them, just as Jochebed did. Too often, we trust God to only change the circumstance instead of trusting Him to change us in the circumstance. If you are currently in a situation over which you have no control, trust God! Thank Him for the opportunity to prove Him and grow closer to Him.

Don’t ever forget that, first and foremost, our children belong to the Lord. When we recognize this truth of ownership, it is much easier to trust God with our offspring.

We often think that it is so hard to leave our children in God’s hands, yet I am thankful that I’ve never had to leave my baby in a basket in a crocodile-infested river! We can learn a lot about trust from the example God gives us in Jochebed.

As your children grow, learn to trust the God-given authority in their lives. God knows who your children’s teachers, youth pastors, and principals will be. Even when an authority figure disappoints you or makes a decision differently than you would have preferred, God is still allknowing. He can work all things together for good, including things related to your children! Support those who have authority over your children, and work with them in bringing up your children for God.

There will come a time as your children continue to grow when you must “cut the apron strings” and begin to let them go. I can imagine how very difficult it must have been for Jochebed to take her hands off of that basket and to leave Miriam there to watch Moses.

I pray my life’s verse back to God nearly every day— Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Frequently, I find myself asking God to show me something great and mighty that I don’t know in regards to parenting. I need His wisdom.

Clearly, each child is unique. I have four children, and they are all completely different. Most of the time, I feel like I need four different parenting strategies! So, I regularly ask the Lord to give me the discernment to know how to deal with each one individually. I need wisdom to know when to be quiet, when to keep talking, when to discipline, and when to show grace!

Jochebed did everything she could do, but ultimately she put Moses in the river and trusted God for the outcome. We know how the story turned out, but Jochebed had to trust God by faith.

We have to learn to “let go and let God.” I love the illustration of the little boy whose hand was stuck in a very valuable vase. His parents tried everything they could to get his hand out, and nothing worked. After several hours of working to get his hand free, the vase had to be broken. As the vase broke into pieces, freeing his tiny hand, his parents saw for the first time that his fist was tightly clenched. As his little hand opened, everyone saw that he was clinging to a piece of candy! If only he would have let go of the candy, he could have easily taken his hand out of the vase. Perhaps you need to release your grip on the little things in life before God breaks your vase!

How did it turn out for Jochebed? God gave Moses back to her and paid her to nurse and nurture him. God is so awesome! This type of outcome is the product of parental trust. Jochebed had to realize that God was in control, and she had to learn to trust Him, not knowing what the future would hold.

5 Ways to Help Your Children Walk in the Truth

Pastor Paul Chappell

• If I can just make it through today…
(particularly in the preschool years)
• My child’s greatest problem is to
change behavior.
• If he can just make a higher grade…
• If she could just have more friends…
While it is good to make it through another
day and while behavior, grades, and friends
do matter, 3 John 4 gives one of the greatest
goals any Christian parent can hold: “I have
no greater joy than to hear that my children
walk in truth.”

This is a long-term goal—that your
children would set a lifelong direction of
walking in the truth.

By the grace of God, Terrie and I can
personally attest to the joy of having
children who not only walk with the Lord,
but are actively pursuing and serving Him.
We thank the Lord that all four of our adult
children are loving and serving the Lord
with their spouses.

What helps set the direction for your
children on the path of walking in the truth?
Here are a few things we’ve learned over the
years through our family life and through
counseling hundreds of other families.

I believe you should have fun with
your children. You should play games, have
family days, and talk about what’s going on
at school.

However, realize that your children don’t
just need you to be their friend. They need
you to be their parent. They need you to
be a spiritually nurturing authority in
their lives.

It should not be abnormal for you to talk
to your children about spiritual things—to
ask them what they learned in church, how
their walk with God is, how they’re doing in
resisting temptation. Ask your teen, “What
has God been teaching you lately?”
When I was in high school, my mom was
so good at this. She would come to my room in the evening while I was doing my homework and just
ask me about my day, tell me she was praying for me,
and sometimes share a Scripture verse with me. Those
moments—not so much individually, but accumulated—
made a profound impact on my life.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be
in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy
children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine
house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou
liest down, and when thou risest up.—Deuteronomy 6:6–7

Influence is a powerful force. Your children’s
friends can be a tremendous force—either for positive
or for negative. So make it your business to know who is
influencing them and what they are like.

When our children were still at home, I was a little bit
like an FBI agent when it came to who their friends were.
I wanted to know who was influencing my children and
how. So it mattered to me what their friends listened to,
talked about, thought was funny or cool, and (if I allowed
our children to go to their houses) what their homes
were like.

No children are perfect—not yours and not your
children’s friends. So the point isn’t that they can only
have perfect friends. The bottom line is simply that you do
not want your children around people or in environments
that are going to undermine the values that you’re
teaching them at home.

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a
companion of fools shall be destroyed.—Proverbs 13:20

Social media is often a window into a young
person’s heart and can be a place where they reveal very
private thoughts and even information that could hurt
them in the future.

If you allow your child to have social media accounts, you
need to be involved. You need to understand how it works,
what their privacy settings are, who they are connecting
with through it, and what they are saying.

The internet is one of the most dangerous places in the
world to allow your child to simply find their own way with
no parental oversight. (This is why there are two entire
chapters in Making Home Work on navigating through the
challenges of media.)

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the
Lord: walk as children of light…And have no fellowship with
the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.—
Ephesians 5:8, 11

Know your children’s teachers, Sunday school
teachers, youth pastor and workers, coaches, and anyone
who is an authority in their lives. And help your child get
to know them as well.

Invite them over for dinner, make effort to see them
at church, ask them specifically how your child is doing.
Children need a united front between their authorities.
Don’t allow your children to pit you against another
authority. If you ever have a concern regarding how one of
your child’s authorities is handling a situation, go directly
to that person and work out the difficulty between the
two of you. Also, be sure your children’s authorities always
know you are available for any concerns they have and that
you will listen to and believe what they tell you, even if it
is that your child is struggling in a way you did not see.

He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul:
but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.
—Proverbs 15:32

The greatest gift you can give your children is a
good example. If what you tell them does not match what
you show them, they are likely to reject what you tell them.

No parent is perfect (and no child expects his parent to be
perfect). But every parent is an example. If you want your
child to love God, engage in the body life of the church,
develop character, respect authorities, and invest their lives
in eternal values, don’t leave it to the youth group to teach
them. Model these in your own life.

Children do what children see—and especially what they
see in their parents.

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
—1 Corinthians 11:1

Parenting children can be difficult and is definitely
challenging. But in the difficult moments, look further than
the immediate problem in front of you to the long-range
goal of seeing your children walk in truth.
Ultimately, each person will make their own choice
regarding the direction they take for their life. As a parent,
make sure that what you are doing today contributes toward
directing your children to walk in truth…for a lifetime.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in
truth.—3 John 4

Educating for Eternity

Jim Lee

In Christian school education,
faculty, staff, and administration have the
awesome responsibility and privilege to make a
difference in the lives of students in light
of eternity. The student’s walk with God is
of utmost importance as we go about our
day in the halls of the Christian school.
Don’t get me wrong, the academics are
extremely important. We are to prepare
students academically for the ministry,
the job, the college, the life for which God
has called them. The extra-curricular, the
fine arts, the athletics, and the social—all
of these help to shape the individual
student. But, the spiritual—the eternal—
is what matters most.

Our theme for the 2016–17 school year is “Walk with God.”
Our Scripture for the theme is Jeremiah 29:13;
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search
for me with all your heart.” Throughout
our day as Christian school educators, we
are helping to lead students to be more
like Christ, to grow closer to Him, to be
conformed to His image, and to continue
their personal “walk with God.”

It is wonderful to have students in the Christian school
who have grown up in a Christian home and the church, but
it is also an area that needs to be watched carefully. For many
students, the “Christian life” is all that they have known. It is
necessary that students understand that salvation is personal.
It is the students’ personal relationship with Christ, not their
parents. They must have their own personally owned faith.

Bruce Wilkinson, in his book, First Hand Faith, asks parents
these questions which can be applied to Christian school
educators: Did we help our children understand the Lord? Did
we tell them the stories of God? Did we set a godly example
before them, so that they know what a mature Christian is?
Students need to experience “first hand faith” by getting
involved in ministry opportunities such as the bus ministry,
assisting in Sunday school and nursery, choir, orchestra,
etc. They need to serve in outreach like soulwinning and
community projects such as mowing lawns, washing cars, or
painting houses. Traveling on a missions trip could be a very
significant spiritual tool that God could use to make their
walk with God, their walk with God.

Academics, athletics, fine arts, social skills…all are
important aspects of the educational process. But, the
spiritual—the eternal—the students’ eternity—is what
matters most. 3 John 1:4 is a great verse for parents and
Christian school educators: “I have no greater joy than to hear
that my children walk in truth.”