January 14, 2010
Last week, I proposed that our children need to know how to make Bible-based choices and Christ-honoring decisions and stick with them. If they are to grow in the spiritual disciplines that will lead to spiritual maturity, and aim at a life that is pleasing to God, then learning to set goals and priorities and carrying them out to completion is a must.
I also suggested that this ability must be taught by Christ-honoring parents who are themselves being deliberate about their own goals and decision-making. I offered the principles of putting goals into written, visible form, setting reasonable deadlines and timetables, owning the goals as their own with parental encouragement, and modeling goal-setting with our own plans and decisions. You may review those goal-setting suggestions by getting the transcript or listening again to the broadcast from our website: heartlandbemidji.org.
Kids that start ahead, stay ahead. And teaching children goal setting is by far the best way to help them start ahead and secure their future.
As Christian parents, our job is to prepare our children for adulthood and the future that their Creator has in store for them. Educators and counselors agree that there are specific aspects of a child’s life that lend themselves to practicing decision-making and goal setting, including:
- How to be successful in school, especially in challenging classes. This becomes critical in high school when students are offered more choices. Education and training will likely be necessary for most of their adult life. Good decision-making will help your children get the most out of it.
- How to manage personal finances. Ministries and mission opportunities require money-handling skills, if only to save for the financing required to do a short-term mission or support a worthy work of God. It is never too soon to start teaching a child how to be effective with money management.
- How to be and stay fit and healthy. Children can be involved in the process of choosing healthy behaviors, including what to eat and how to stay physically fit.
- How to be well-organized, so that when opportunities come, they are equipped and ready. Chaos does not usually lead to blessing.
- How to find and nurture positive relationships. Nothing will impact your children more than the relationships they choose: first, with Jesus Christ, and then with those who will be friends and mentors.
- How to find a biblically-centered, moral basis for their choices. A choice built on moral and ethical foundation of sand will get tragically undermined when the storms of spiritual challenge inevitably arrive.
In each of these six areas, specific choices will bring consequences, both good and bad. Sometimes the choice between two desired options means losing one or the other. These are valuable life lessons. Being able to make those difficult choices early provides roots for future decision-making and provides your older child with the confidence to hang up the telephone when she has to study for a test, the gumption to say "no" to abuse of his body with destructive habits urged by friends, and the assurance that God-honoring decisions bring blessings with which the world cannot compete.
Our broadcast today is sponsored by Northern Safety and Security, protecting the Northland for more than ten years