Aspire to Inspire: Grand-Parenting Tips

Gr N and PatrickGrandchildren are the crown of the aged and the glory of children is their fathers. Prov. 17:6 (ESV). Life is Beautiful is one of my favorite movies. The setting is WWII Europe, this story is based upon a true account of a father’s protection of his son while incarcerated in one of Hitler’s death camps. It demonstrates a parent’s creative wisdom used to protect his child from harm. I admire the fortitude and inspiration of this father.

Parenting is one of the most important tasks in life, asking for God’s guidance and wisdom daily is crucial. Additionally, for extended family members — aunts, uncles, grandparents, and siblings, there is much for us to consider as we interact within a family structure. In the next message–Stay in Your Lane (part 2) I’ll explain why.

We do well to understand the “of age” stages children go through. As I see it now,family-1784371__480 parenting contains three stages generally: Control, Motivation, and Inspiration. If the goal throughout each stage is to glorify God by obeying His teachings, we will succeed even with our failures along the way. Parenting is used by God to gain humility in our lives and a bountiful path for our children’s feet.  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalms 119:105 (ESV)

In the beginning…

father-1808749__480CONTROL is the beginning stage. When we look at NASA sending John Glenn to the moon, we realize that without a Control Center, success would not have been achieved. They needed calculated thinking from the brightest math, technology, and engineering minds to reach their goal; parenting involves Control Center principles as well. So let’s view it in this sense for the purpose of this writing. During these early years, parents are the critical thinkers, responsible for godly algorithms that produce success rather than sending their child into a trajectory of poor choices, confusion, and the resulting consequences. Children need controlled guidance in gaining contentment and security in their family. A loving family where the parents give vision, provide stability and take responsibility for decisions is a good foundation to build upon.

Next…

learn-3069053__480The MOTIVATION stage involves encouragement in the right direction, choices and decision making, requiring good management skills by the parents. This still involves some pulling upward toward a goal and some pushing into the correct lane. Rewarding good behavior is involved, as well as consequences for disobedience. Positive motivation is best. When we assume this position we focus upon the good things we see that can be further developed, rather than what is lacking.

The final stage is the most rewarding; both for us as parents and for God as our Heavenly Father. At this next stage, God is able to pour His creative passion into us as His children.

INSPIRATION is when you take your hands off, knowing you’ve done your job and the rest lay with your child’s individual choices. Our job is to pray, live an inspiring life ourselves, and entrust them to our good Heavenly Father. The level of investment parents give in the formative years, will influence the level of inspiration our children will be able to receive from us and live out for themselves.

Thankfully, it’s not all on us. Our Heavenly Father who created them, designed their personality, and gave them to us for a season – He has them! Like a tender plant, we were given guardianship for a season of watering and even if you have not always watered well, He can still cause growth and life. Why? Because His purpose and desire for each of our children are beyond our capacity to understand. He will work with them, and in the end, they alone will decide to pursue Him, or not. Ultimately, the decisions they make will determine their outcome. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live... Deuteronomy 30:19 (ESV)

MOTIVATION differs from INSPIRATION.
Enjoy your life with God and BE an inspiration to others. The INSPIRATION stage comes when your children have come of age and you can now rejoice in the fact that you’ve done your part; let God their Father have full CONTROL.

In the movie, Life is Beautiful, the son lost his father in the death-camp but he gained a legacy. He would always remember a father who inspired him to dream that they were building a tank and that they could win the prize.

Think about how you can inspire those around you toward godly living. We are not doomed to a death-camp, yet there is danger to navigate. Our world of addictive social media alone requires major guidance and skill. Use godly inspiration to teach the next generation how to live, love and reach the goal of serving others. Teach them how to be content with thankfulness, yet creative with what they’ve recieved. Your example of this will go a long way.

Also, we need to self-examine and recognize any manipulating behavior in our lives, and repent of anything thing God reveals so that we can be effective in using teaching moments to build godly character. Aspire to inspire!

Coming next: Stay in Your Own Lane... a note to family members.

Photo Credit: Demary File, Pixabay

What is Biblical Counseling?

Biblical Counseling is using God’s Word (the Bible) as the foundational manual from which to answer every question and concern in a Christian’s life. It is discipleship and the process of growing in wisdom, understanding and application of the Word of God to our life. Whatever our situation is, God has provided an answer and remedy for us.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (II Peter 1:3-4 ESV)

Our knowledge of God and man comes directly from His Word and when we allow the Holy Spirit to indwell us, He gives us the power to become partakers of God’s nature over our sinful nature. As Christ pleased the Father, we may also as we desire to glorify mind-2197437__480God through our lives. In order to do this, we need to change our thoughts that are contrary to God’s Word. He helps us with this. God’s Word is capable of restructuring our thought patterns as we choose to renew our minds daily, desire to have the mind of Christ and walk in obedience to His teachings.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom 12:2 ESV)

Put off  your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:23 ESV).

This means our thinking will change and become pleasing to God in accordance with His desires for us. He always has our best interests in mind and as we submit ourselves to His instruction a beautiful transformation occurs. This is where a biblical counselor is helpful in this process providing assignments that will help someone think in a healthy God-ordained way. The result we want to achieve is to THINK – DO – FEEL, in that order.

The process of change in us is made possible by Christ’s sacrifice for sin, the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word at work in our hearts. The threefold process is: we discard old patterns of ungodly behavior, reconstruct our thinking based upon God’s Word, and adopt new patterns of godly behavior.[1]

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In summary, biblical counselors work with people to apply God’s Word as the solution to man’s fallen condition (Genesis 3). Our Creator knows us inside and out and offers us hope in any situation.

Credit: Much of the information I am sharing here comes from my studies in the book: [1] Curing the Heart by Howard Eyrich and William Hines 2002.

Resources: Insightful Testimony (11 min.) by Heath Lambert of childhood abuse he suffered and God’s redemptive work in his life; Heath is the Director of ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors). Discussion on “Differences and Overlap of Biblical Counseling and Clinical Therapy” (80 min.) by Heath Lambert.

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Photo Credit: Pixabay