Only One Commitment?
If you could make only one parenting commitment, what would be most effective for the life of your child?
This would transform how your child sees God, others and self. Consider the following targets of respect...
1. Respect for Grandparents, and all other “elderly”
“You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:32
When grandma and grandpa enter the room, does your child understand that they are to be honored? Will your child give up his seat, or look them in the eyes and kindly reply to their questions? Consider all the ways your child can honor the elderly, showing agreement with God that they are valued.
2. Respect for Authorities
a. Respect for Parents:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Ephesians 6:1
We must be careful that our children are not in charge of our home, and that we do not apologize for our God given authority. Being a strong, loving authority is the most effective reflection of God’s loving authority over us, and obeying parents is highly esteemed by God and rewarded.
b. Respect for Teachers, Pastors, Childcare providers,
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 1 Thes 5:12-13
Does your child greet their teachers with love and respect? Do they obey them, making their work a blessing? Does she offer to help her teacher clean up a mess, or greet her kindly when she enters the classroom? When you pick your child up from children’s ministry or school, do you ask the teacher if your child showed them respect and love? And does your child apologize if there was disrespectful behavior? Respectful acts create godly habits for your child that is pleasing to the heart of God.
c. Respect for Civil Authorities:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Romans 13:1
How would your child react to their civil authorities? Would they trust them, understanding they are established in their positions by God to protect your child? If they were ever in an emergency situation, would they value the help from an officer, firefighter, or paramedic, doctor? When your child shows respect to her authority, she is confirming the sovereignty of God.
3. Respect for Peers:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Phil 2:3-4
Does your child share his toys well with others? Does he allow others to go before him? Does he think about how his actions may bless or hurt his peers? There is no better way for your child to experience Christ than to behave as Christ behaved.
4. Respect for Property:
In the Old Testament, God was very specific about how people were to respect each other’s property. His laws demonstrate that He deems a person’s property worthy of respect (Ex. 22: 9-15; Lev. 6:3, 4; Lev. 25:10), not because of the material value, but because of the value we place on the owner. Jesus taught that if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own (Luke 16:12)? Looks like there won't be anymore jumping on furniture or throwing toys :)!
With Christ and the Gospel at the center, there are three overarching truths in all these scriptures. 1. God sets the standard, 2. God wants less thought of self, and 3. God wants more respect for others. All in all, these are earmarks of Christian love.
Imagine your children growing stronger every day in the truth and practice of respect for others. Imagine the joy of witnessing them walking in Christian love.
Why not purpose to teach respect as your parenting commitment? We at Training Hearts can help you to achieve this goal. Only One parenting commitment that will bring great glory to God!