Friday, May 14, 2010

A higher standard than a cliche'

Cliche'-"A phrase or opinion that has been overused and betrays a lack of original thought."

Many parents justify their children's behavior using the cliche' "kids will be kids." But as Christians, shouldn't we hold to a higher standard?

There have been many occasions where we have either rebuked or disciplined one of our children because of foolish behavior--behavior that most parents would justify with,

"kids will be kids."

How many children empty out the toothpaste, pour out the flour bin all over the floor or put toys in the toilet and instead of using these moments to train/instruct our children against foolishness, parents just say, "kids will be kids?" The Lord wants us to raise the standard when our children are yet young,

"When I was my father's son, tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me, get wisdom, get understanding!" Proverbs 4

By examining this verse we see that the father began imparting wisdom/understanding to his son while he was still very young, "tender."

As parents, we have chosen to look at what God's words speaks about a particular behavior and in turn hold our children accountable.

For example.

Mischief of many kinds. Pulling up the flowers. Breaking toys.

"it is the sport of a fool to do mischief."
Proverbs 10:23

Tantrums. Many parents justify such behavior as a "normal" part of childhood. Look what God's word says,

"a fool rages." Proverbs 14:16

A tantrum is no more than an angry rage of a child who does not get his/her way. And it's foolish.

What kind of instructions are we giving our children? How are we training them? Are we making fools?

How about an overly sensitive or emotional child? We have one of those. And although emotions are not wrong in and of themselves, they can lead to foolishness,

"a fool vents all his feelings." Proverbs 29:11

Instead, we can teach our children the wisdom of being controlled by Jesus and His truth.

I love using the book of Proverbs as a standard for our children. It was spoken as instructions to obtain wisdom. And although we show grace and mercy to our children, we do hold them to God's standard in order to keep them from the path of the fool and lead them along the path of wisdom,

"I have taught you in the way of wisdom, I have led you in the right paths...Do not enter the path of the wicked {or foolish}." Proverbs 4


We Are Family said...

VERY VERY VERY good post!

BETHANY said...

This is so good! I was just talking to a friend over the weekend about how it drives me crazy when parents think childish, yet inappropriate, behavior is cute, funny, and/or excusable. It's not!

Shonni said...

Wonderful scriptures and yes, the Bible is the standard that I want to live up to and teach them that it is the only truth and light for them to live by. We really must start early and not become distracted. Thank you for the encouragement friend.

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Great post!

Even more than the phrase "kids will be kids", I detest the phrase "boys will be boys", which assumes that boys are allowed to have worse behavior than girls. Oh. My. No.

I love the Proverbs. In addition to other devotions we are currently doing, reading one Proverb per day all month lets you complete the Book of Proverbs every single month. On the 15th of May, just read Proverb 15. So much "good stuff" for the instruction and training up of our children.


Janet said...

Couldn't agree more.I have a friend who has a beautiful little 2 year old who gets into ALL sorts of mischief. She just shrugs and says, "Well, that's kids for ya!" I think it would be SOOO exhausting to put up with that day after day, without addressing it. You're right...we should EXPECT more because the Bible tells us to!

L said...

This sounds so much like what has been going on in my heart, a grievance for so many settling for the world's standards without even realizing it. The world loves sin and doesn't want it pointed out, so they makes many excuses for it. And the more it runs rampant, the more "syndromes" they have for it. But God does call us to a different standard, His word. He promises to equip us for every good work and in His word is everything we need for life and godliness. There is not a single child, that the Lord can't equip us for. Nothing goes unnoticed, there are no glitches in His creation. I myself have a child that is extremely strong willed and energetic and could easily be labeled accordingly, but I know that the Lord has made her with these tendencies and thus cannot be used as excuses for her sin. It just mean it will take more diligence and patience in me to drive out her foolishness, so her strength can be used to glorify God and not used in self indulgence/ sin. The heart of the issue, is the heart. We are without excuse. "kids will be kids" is really kids are born chief sinners like all of us and without instruction, correction and direction will be lead by their own foolishness, because they lack wisdom, which is our job to impart.

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

Amen to that! Kids do silly things that are funny- kids will be kids. However, things that are foolish, destructive, stir up anger & not love- those are clearly not fun or silly, but need to be stopped & corrected. :)

Jen said...

Oh, it is so good to know there are others out there who believe God's Word is sufficient and useful! We absolutely agree and are so saddened at the lack of thought so many parents put into teaching and training their children.

Have you seen the book "For Instruction in Righteousness" published by Doorposts? It is basically a compilation of scriptures that pertain to specific attitudes and behaviors (good and bad) - giving stories, instructions, corrections, etc. . . It is immensely helpful for those moments when I can't remember what God's Word says or where it says it about a specific sinful attitude or behavior my children (or I) am having!

ajnrileysmommy said...

sorry. i said i could seriously comment on every single post.
so...preach it!!