So You Want Your Children to Live For God!!
Bryan Ballestero with Huntley
When my children were born my main concern for their life was for them to serve the Lord. I learned to pray much about each one as they grew. When they were babies and started clapping their hands and they would raise their hands and pray for us it was thrilling. We had each one dedicated and made a ceremony of it. There was comfort in that for sure. We had prayer over us that God would help us raise our children in the fear of the Lord.
I found as they grew that from a baby on that babies copy what they see, and what they hear. We were blessed to have wonderful leaders and parents that honored and loved God. The Church was a wonderful place to be. It was a blessing and they not only helped teach us, but if you were someone that needed some guidance and wanted guidance it was there for you too. Some folks refuse to ask for any help or even ideas on how to do a better job. Sad because usually those that refuse help or advice need it the worse. Many times they were raised without tenderness, or they are full of bitterness and anger, and yet they are good people that part of them needs help.
Me with our first son Anthony!
First of all I found out to have good communication with your children is the best way to keep trouble at a minimum. I did not like it when children lied and Every Child has lied and tried to cover up when they were wrong. When I was a child I spoke as a child , but when I got older I put away childish things. Well hopefully you put away childish things, but some of the most severe, harsh parents make it hard on their children to grow up right because they are as much of a child emotionally as their kids are.
If you have to unmercifully whip your child what did it accomplish? My mom taught me to never be cruel because your child can never ward of your blows. If you wound your child mentally by harsh words that are making scars you are damaging their self worth, what good effect will that have?
Marty with oldest son Jeron
If their memories of home are grim, tension and harshness most of the time then they will be glad to get away.
Every home has heartaches come, disappointments, trials are going to come. The way we parents handle the hardships of life makes a huge difference in the faith of our children. Church and family life was such a stablelizing factor in my life. We did not have the gadgets, and big expensive toys as children. We had enough of what there was to have I never felt deprived, but I enjoyed the fellowship of good family, my friends past mom and dad’s approval and those times of having fun with friends meant so much. If something was planned in the youth group and I was old enough I was a part of it. I learned how to act and not act by being a part and I never was kept from church functions. Back then if I did make a mistake I was talked to and treated more like I was growing up and learning that all is part of learning and beginning of the feeling of being trusted.
The church was the center of our lives. We never went home with unbelievers for the night because we may learn to like what we got to do there better than church. My parents might allow me to do school Spanish club or band or be on the national honor society, or study at our home with a friend from school or play outside, but to take a trip for days or stay away from home with unbelievers was not allowed. They taught me that it was too risky and I had many good relatives and friends that knew the Lord and would support me doing what would be pleasing to God and my parents.
Anthony and Carlton his oldest son.
I remember having many nice school friends that came to church or my house, and sometimes I might go to theirs if mom knew them for a while. But I had such a good time with church family, and the few nice school friends and my own family that I felt more comfortable following the family style I had of church, school, socializing with young people that my parents approved of and they all did not have a church background, but we were taught to live so there would be a chance to win our good friends that did not know Jesus.
School is very important and I am thrilled when I see kids that do well with their education. On the other hand there are some perfectly wonderful, smart kids that do well in some subjects and have trouble with others. That was me
I sometimes didn’t want to miss school, but when tough subjects and projects were to be done I have been full of anxiety. I thought I might like to find a way out of school. My mom was my buffer, I felt like I could tell her and she would help me or something she would say would just give me the courage to calm inside and get it done and have peace enough in my mind not to hate school. It might be average or slightly above failing but hey at least I passed it. When I got in 8th grade I got better grades and felt more at ease. Then ninth grade I got better and got on the honor roll and my confidence grew. Even worked a little harder in tenth grade on subjects I disliked. And I stayed on the honor roll most the the time through graduation.
Daddy and Bryan
Some parents continually are driving and harsh over school. Somehow that plays into other areas of our lives and even in our ability to make it a drudgery to go to church. I am not pleased in kids that feel free to be disruptive in church services or functions of school and church. I know that sometimes children do act up in church, school restaurants, etc. We don’t like it, but he without sin cast the first stone. It seems best to just deal with it and don’t go over board .
I grew up in the church and I learned how to act and did not suffer horribly learning. My parents never took away church functions as punishment. They never grounded me or kept me away from church functions. I have seen this happen and watched the kids that were corrected in that way begin to quietly turn cold towards church and church friends and they became hardened towards the things of God.
We were corrected when it was needed and admonished, but never left with the feeling like we were hopeless or that we had done too much to be a part or to be loved. We need to train and correct and leave a feeling of hope for better actions that make things work better for not just us parents but the loved ones we want to do well. I cringe when I hear name-calling from parents and severe treatment that only seems to be a venting of anger instead of a consistent training of good living.
Marisa our daughter with first son Garrison
If you worship and are tender and respectful towards God and man more than likely your offspring will have the same desires to please God. There are always exceptions, but more than not I see Parents that love the things of God and enjoy the church family the children do.
My husband preaches about how when a parent is first feeding the baby with a spoon of food. They make sounds like yum, and lick their lips and play with the baby as they try to teach it to like eating the food. Different textures in foods for a baby start out with a little bit of struggle for the baby, but you keep trying another tiny bite and then the baby will get used to it and it will be easy for the baby to enjoy it. It is not enjoyable for the baby or those that might be watching the process if the feeder rams the spoon in the babies mouth and always gets exasperated and angry and it might even stunt the good digesting of food and happy feeling of being fed. Even though a baby eats messy and spits it out from tasting and eating baby style pretty soon the baby is reaching for the spoon itself and eating and maybe making a mess , but soon it gets easier for him to feed himself and the mess gets less and less.
Daddy and Andy our youngest son
Serving Jesus has to be a good, wonderful and enjoyable for us to help our young grow up with the joy of serving Jesus embedded in their hearts. And even if they go astray they know that they still love the Preacher, Pastor, Mom and Dad and family of God. They know that they aren’t right, but when they live for God they want it like their mom and dad and how they were brought up.
I was brought up to be careful how you speak of the Holy Ghost and Good Godly people. In fact I was cautioned to be careful what I said about those that were not doing right. I realize that has kept me from feeling free to just say whatever I decided to say even about those that were not right in the church. It also leaves the door to my heart open so if I am needed to show love and concern God can use me to help show Godly love and care to someone that has been wrong.
I Thank God that I never feel free to just assassinate anyone’s character. Those I have seen that feel free to destroy what is left of someone’s desire to come to church by treating them unkind and telling them off are in trouble in their own character. God is much nicer than we ever thought of being. God Loves when we don’t love. He knows how to clean someone up from the world and make them so right that you cannot recognize how they used to be. And I have seen him do that myself. Love works wonders in the hardest situations, We are limited and we limit ourselves.
So, you want your child and family to live for God. It really works the best if you have the Fruits of the Spirit working in your life. They all point to life with Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness Faith, Meekness, and Temperance. And , If these are working in YOUR LIFE you will have much more success in convincing just by your life that Serving Jesus is the Best Thing that can ever happen.
Our Family Dec. 2009