As a pastor and counselor, I get asked all the time, "What can I do for my kids to help them succeed?" The answer? Help them with their relationships! Success in life is summed up by the quality of our relationships as described in Matthew 22:37-39. Children may have slightly different relationships than adults, but the quality of them is equally important.
This is Part 2 in this series on the 11 key relationships that will make or break your child. For Part 1, click 3 Relationships that Lay the Foundation for Your Child's Future. It is these eleven areas that you as a parent must monitor, promote, and enlist.
Today's topic covers those relationships "outside the home" that need your guidance and monitoring.
Mentors and Role Models:
There comes a time when children just don't listen to their parents. That's why every child needs mentors and role models to help guide them when they can't hear the wisdom of their parents. Or, in some cases, wisdom the parents don't have. Through the late elementary and teen years, the wise parents looks for role models and mentors who will reinforce the behavior and character they want to instill in their children. This means that the parents should pick godly coaches, teachers, music instructors, tutors, youth pastors, dance instructors, guidance counselors, and so on, who will guide your children in a hundred details of their life. I can remember hiring great young ladies to lead a Bible study or teach my girls guitar, because I wanted my girls to see how a great young lady behaves as a pattern for when they got older. I knew that my girls may not be willing to listen to my wife and I on a particular topic, but they would listen to these ladies.
Your children will have all kinds of friends as they grow up. You want to make sure they have the kinds of friends who have ideas and make choices that are in line with the things you support. If you allow your child to spend a lot of time with a young man or a young woman who does things that you don't allow, he or she will be tempted to make the same bad choices. I spent a lot of time praying, picking schooling, and arranging sports so that the kind of friends we wanted our children to hang out with would be available to them. What was interesting is that many of my children did not make friends at church, but they made friends at school or at sports practices. It doesn't matter as long as they are the type of friends who will help you instill the right kind of boundaries in your child.
Your children will have romances during their teen years. If you are always against these feelings and experiences, you build walls between you and your children exactly where you need bridges and dialogue. Let them know that they will have these feelings and what to responsibly do with them. Let them know that these feelings will come and go sometimes very quickly. Let your children know that they cannot put their feelings in the driver's seat. They need to keep their head when making decisions. They cannot hand the controls of their life to their heart as so much of our culture is telling kids. Tell them, "Don't follow your heart; follow your head and the Lord Jesus more importantly."
If a young man or a young woman is really wrong for your children, then have a talk with him or her before it goes on too long. Also, be willing to have a conversation with the other young person. Let them know that they are not in charge; you are still protecting and watching. I can remember having a conversation with one of my daughter's boyfriends where I let him know what he could and could not do. I also let him know that when it was over, he needed to man up and let her know. I was very grateful that he followed through on my advice and called her when he no longer had any feelings for her. I was holding my daughter as she was hearing him break up with her on the phone. Being there with your children is better than preventing every little scrape or difficulty. They need to see you care in the midst of real life. Don't let some romance steal your child away.
Next week, we will cover relationships with outside factors that need to be monitored and carefully selected to help your children become the best versions of themselves. Stay tuned!
I look forward to interacting with you during your spiritual journey. Please email me at email@example.com to let me know how God is working in and through your life. Keep learning and growing in wisdom and in truth; I'm confident that your greatest life is just ahead.
In His service,
Pastor Gil Stieglitz
Allow Us to Bless YOU!
A free preview to:
The Keys to Grapeness:
Growing a Spirit-Led Life of Success
by Dr. Gil Stieglitz
Many people have the wrong definition of a successful life, one based upon the world's measurements: piles of money, fame, power, beauty, possessions, and the like. I want to suggest that Jesus gave us a very different definition of success. In Matthew 22:37-39, he said the two greatest commandments are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. In two short sentences Jesus tells us the secret to a successful life-success is filling our lives with loving relationships. Join Gil Stieglitz as he takes you through the practical aspects of the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23, God's keys to "grapeness" in life and relationships.
Click HERE to download!