LAYTON DUTTON: Asking the Right Question

When you have your first child you are filled with joy and happiness over this little one just born.  But that isn’t the only feeling that overcomes a parent on this special day.  Even if your child is completely healthy both physically and mentally, the sudden realization of what now fits across one arm floods your mind.  You can be overwhelmed by fear and the knowledge that in just 18 short years the one who is now completely dependent upon you will be a legal adult, free to do as he or she pleases.  You have the terrifyingly grand responsibility of rearing this little person into the independent adult he or she needs to become.  Are you prepared for this?  Will you be a good parent?  Will you make the same mistakes your parents made or be as good a parent as they were?  Many questions will cross your mind, but it is important that you ask the right ones.

Most parents start with good questions like, “How can I be a good mom or dad?” and “What should I teach my child?”, but they are quickly overtaken by many other questions:  “How can I make this baby stop crying?”, “When will she be out of diapers?”, “Why does he have to embarrass me?”, “How can I keep her from being made fun of?”, “Why isn’t he more athletic?”, “How can I keep her from having a boyfriend at such a young age?”, “Will he ever make it through school?”, “Why does he have to get into so much trouble?”, and a host of other questions.  There are certainly times some of those questions need to be asked, yet, more often than not, they tend to pile on top of the truly important questions.  We focus so much on the immediate ‘crises’ that we never get back around to asking the questions that should be asked over and over, one or more times per day.

What questions are those?  First of all is, “How can I lift up the Name of God in my life today?”  We focus so much on parenting that we forget to check our own lives.  It’s easy to treat others outside the home well and then put our sinful selves on full display in front of our families.  Take it from me; your children (and even some that are not your children) know what you are truly like.  You can’t hide much from them; so ask yourself, “How can I lift up the Name of God in my life today?”  If you ask that and follow through you will make a huge impact on your children, those around you and your own life.

The next big question is, “How can I teach and encourage my children to lift up the Name of God in their lives?”  Many times we get caught in the world’s ideas of success desiring our children to be popular, athletic, the best, wealthy, happy, etc.  We can easily pursue those things for our children at the cost of teaching the value of Christ in their lives.  It’s important to know what is most important and to teach that and live that each day for our children.  Your children know what you value, maybe even more than you do.  Be sure you teach them to value Christ above anything else the world would call ‘success’.

So think about these questions right now for a few minutes:  1) How can I lift up the Name of God in my life today?   2) How can I teach and encourage my child(ren) to lift up the Name of God in his or her life?

“…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”   1 Corinthians 10:31

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