“A Parents Tool Box”
By Pastor Donald Parker
Growing up, my dad grew and bailed a lot of hay, and mounted on the tractor was a toolbox. Dad made sure that four items in particular were always in the toolbox: a hammer, a screwdriver, a crescent wrench and a roll of bailing wire. No matter what, these four items had to be in the toolbox.
The thing about farming is you always want your equipment operating at its best when it’s time for planting and harvesting. If something broke down you can always fix it with these items in your toolbox.
Farmers can’t control the weather, but they can control whether or not their equipment is operating at its best. So, farmers like my dad, make sure their toolbox is close by, with the necessary tools they need.
When it comes to parenting, certain tools are needed to keep your family relationships functioning at its best; to produce the kind of family God desires for us to have. Let me share with you four tools you need to keep your family in tip-top working condition.
The first tool you need in your parents’ toolbox is: your love! 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 says, “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”
To paraphrase these verses with regards to parenting would sound a little like this: “If I offered the best parental advice, but don’t have love; I’m nothing but a child beating on a dishpan. If I read every book I could find on parenting, and don’t have love, I’m nothing. If I spent all my money on the kids, but without love, I wouldn’t gain a thing.”
Now, most parents would say they love their children, but love is more than a feeling; love is an action! Love isn’t what you feel, but what you do. Instead of being critical to our children, we need to point out the positives and praise them for their strengths instead of harping on their weaknesses.
The second tool a parent needs in their toolbox is: your time. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “Be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” We live in dangerous times for our children. Times where our children can be lured away by the things of the world that can take them down a very dangerous road. So, more than ever, we as parents must spend time with our kids, and be involved in their lives.
The third tool a parent needs in their parenting toolbox is: your discipline. I’m not telling you how to discipline your child, but we can all agree that children need discipline. The Bible talks a lot about discipline, and discipline must always be motivated and exercised in love. Proverbs 3:11-12 says, “My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.”
Then in Hebrews 12:11, “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” Parents can give their children all sorts of nice things, but what they need most is your love, your time and your discipline.
However, the most important tool is the fourth tool in a parents’ toolbox: a relationship with Jesus Christ. When your child looks at you, do they see Jesus living within you? Deuteronomy 6:5-7 says, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”
As parents, we need to teach our children about Jesus Christ, but before we can adequately teach our children about Jesus, He must first be in our hearts. To know more about Jesus’ love and saving grace He offers each of us, join us Sunday mornings at 11am; First Baptist Church – A Place to Belong.