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Dads, as you’re taking down Christmas decorations, try leaving the Christmas lights up in the living room. It might add a little joy during the long winter nights.
If you don’t have any, go buy some right now – they’re 70 percent off at Target and Walmart!
Dads, here’s my once-a-December tip: During Advent, play down presents and encourage other more peaceful, hope-filled and Jesus-centered family activities.
Please go to the Fighter Verse Song Blog for more information!
Dads, teach your children that clapping, when you’re not alone but you’re the only one clapping, is most often obnoxious.
A person standing or walking in a strong wind is pushed in directions he doesn’t necessarily want to go. If it’s a headwind, it’s pushing him in the opposite direction of his goal, and he would do well to put his head down and fight against it. Doing nothing in response to the headwind might not only result in a lack of progress but he may actually be pushed backwards.
If you come home after a bad day at work or church (perhaps you’ve experienced a failure of some kind), or if you have a head-ache or some other chronic pain, or if you have goals that require focus or thought, or if you are simply in a negative state of mind – if any of these things are true as you are entering into interaction with your children, then you should consider yourself as having a headwind pushing you against positive and wise responses to your children and towards anger and impatience with them.
As your ire builds, you may be tempted to blame them (“they’re acting crazy!”), but no, they are not behaving differently. It’s your setting, your situation, your frame of mine – pushing you away from love, towards undeserved wrath against them. Against your children.
The sooner you can recognize this, the better. Then you can fight against it, put your head down and think, “This force isn’t going to push me into a greater distancing from my children.” And then move towards your children in love.
Click here to see the list of posts in this series.
… and would like to see more of what I’ve written, a good place to start is this series of blog posts about Dads and Anger
Main Thesis: Dads should never show anger when dealing with the children.
Please check it out.
Most parents, pastors and theologians would agree that there is no easy way to determine if a child is saved. There’s no simple two question test.
But determining if a child is not saved – I think there are some useful indicators of that.
Five signs that your child is not saved:
(Obviously, there are exceptions to all of these.)
1. She can’t spell out the gospel
An eighteen year old will be more able than a four year old to explain the significant ideas in the gospel, but all saved children will be able to lay out the basics of the gospel in plain words.
2. He can’t explain how the gospel applies to him
Any demon can lay out the classic four points, but what does this child believe their situation was before they were saved? What has God done for them? What is God doing for them? What does their future look like.
3. She has never made a decision for Christ / prayed a prayer of faith
Let me be clear: a sinner’s prayer doesn’t save anyone and there are many unsaved people who’ve come forward at an altar call. But almost all saved children will have prayed a prayer – accepting Christ as their savior – at least once. And they will probably regularly saying something like a sinner’s prayer – admitting they’re sinful, asking forgiveness, asking Jesus to be Lord of their life. Here’s a corollary: If they said a sinner’s prayer yesterday (perhaps repeating after an adult*), but today can’t tell you what it was, then there is a large possibility that they aren’t saved.
4. He doesn’t feel the weight of his own sin.
A child who is continually defensive when confronted, a child who shakes off her sin like it is negligible, a child who doesn’t feel grief when thinking about the disobedient act they’ve done – this child is probably not saved.
5. They show no Fruit of the Spirit.
This is a tricky one because it’s so subjective. But it’s also very Biblical. You should see changes in a saved child. You should see more Love, Joy, Peace. … You should see Christ working in their lives, changing their hearts.
Only God knows our hearts. But Jesus said we would know a tree by its fruit, so it’s not wrong for a parent to do some “fruit inspection” from time to time.
I have eight kids. Three or four of them exhibit these signs of still being lost. As they get older, this causes me more concern. It should cause you concern for your children as well.
So what should a parent do if they see these signs in their child?
2. Teach them the Gospel
3. Live out the Gospel
But you should also do this with your children who are saved. For your entire life.
One final note – there are others that come close to being on the list –
He doesn’t want to pray
She doesn’t want to read the Bible
He has no heart for the lost
She has a sin that doesn’t seem to be going away
– But I think these all a matter of sanctification.
What do you think? Did I miss any? Did I add too many?
* I’m on record as being not in favor of altar calls for children.
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These are what I think are the main ideas in the gospel. Just for the record.
All of these are important when explaining it to your children. All of them are clearly seen in the Bible
Each human is sinful.
God is holy and just.
Sinful beings cannot enter into communion with a holy God.
Christ lived a human life and never sinned.
Christ willingly died – taking our punishment.
Christ rose again – he has defeated death.
Because of this – if we accept the gift – we can be seen by God as holy.
Salvation is an accomplishment of faith, not of good works.
It’s like this:
The person saved by God will then move towards greater obedience towards Him.
A person with greater obedience towards God will then be saved by Him.
Two more thoughts for when you talk about the gospel with your children –
1. Make it personal. Change “Each human is sinful” to “You and I are sinful”
2. Make it big. Our sin isn’t trivial – it’s betrayal. That we can’t be with God is not bad news, it’s the worst possible news. That Jesus has found a way to save us is not good news, it’s the best possible news.
Did I miss anything?