Parental Guidance

Text: Romans 12:9-18 (NLT)
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! 17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

At times you hear me talk about our culture – how bad things are – and young parents fear for their kids and worry if they are up to the task.
Take a deep breath. You are up to the task.
• You have a tough job but so has every parent.
• Single moms and dads – hardest job in the world. I don’t know how you do it.
• Grandparents. What a blast! But what a responsibility. You know, our biggest challenge isn’t the grandkids; it’s making sure the parents don’t mess up the good thing we’ve got going!

My goal is to talk to all of us no matter where we are: grandparents, parents of grown children, young adults, teenagers, small kids, or infants or expecting.

Let me share some really needed principles from God’s Word.
1. Lose the guilt.
• Quit beating up on yourself.
• We all make mistakes. We all parented poorly at times. Give it up. Let it go. Forgive yourself.

2. Do the next right thing.
• Ask God for guidance.
• Lead by Biblical principles.
  The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6:
  KJV: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
  NLT: Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.

• Be an example.
• Pray over them daily if they are at home and for them if they’re not.

3. When things go wrong – never give up.
A. The text – not usually used for parenting, but meditate on it this week. The principles are exactly what we need to be effective parents and grandparents.
B. And when you’ve done all you can and they reject the Lord and your values, what then?
• The Prodigal Father
   He let him go.
   He looked for him.
   He loved him anyway.
   He let him back home.
• Keep on loving and keep on longing and keep on looking for your prodigal.
• Remove the barriers – get rid of the bitterness – let go of the shame and frustration. “Let your love be without pretense – really love them,” the Scriptures say.