Saturday, November 6, 2010

Parenting with Humility From A to Z - Part One

Last night, after presenting a devotional at a baby shower, I was asked by many of the young moms there if they could have a copy of it. So I've decided to post it here on the blog over the next few days.

This is an acrostic writing, meaning that each new thought begins with (or is based on) a letter of the alphabet and follows the sequential order of it. In other words, the first thought starts with the letter A, the second thought starts with the letter B and so on all the way through the alphabet.

This devotion will be posted over the next four days since it really is too long for just one post. Today's post covers letters A through F.

Alpha…Make Christ your Alpha – your beginning for true humility. (Philippians 2:3-8)

Brokenness…Learn how to be broken before God. If the grace of God does not bring you to tears often, if you cannot say like the penitent tax collector, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner” and weep because He has done that very thing for you, then you are taking God’s grace for granted. Put yourself before His throne of grace and ask Him to give you a heart that is beautiful in His sight. If your heart is cold and unmoved, your parenting will reflect that and God will oppose you. If your heart is broken, humble and contrite, God promises to pour out His grace for your need. (James 4:6)

Correct...your children. It is a proud parent who will not discipline their child as God has commanded, for they think they know better than He does how to train their children. (1 Sam 2:29-30; Ephesians 6:1; Hebrews 12:6)

Deprive...your child of what he asks for if getting it will fuel his self-centeredness, except when it can provide a tangible lesson about the condition of his heart. (Proverbs 29:17)

Equal training...with diverse treatment for each child means that you are committed to training all your children equally in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. But to do that it is necessary to recognize each child for the unique individual that he is and apply godly instruction and discipline in ways specific and appropriate for that child. This task requires humble dependency and wisdom from God. (Ephesians. 6:4)

Forgive...Freely forgive as you have been forgiven in Christ. I remember, as a child, when the news broke about five missionary men in Ecuador being slaughtered by a group of tribesmen in the remote Amazon jungle. The American men had been pursuing contact with the Waodoni tribe in an effort to bring the message of Jesus to the inhabitants of that village.

Nate Saint, one of the men who was slain, had a young son, Steve. Now, in 2010, fifty-four years later, despite his young age at the time, he still vividly remembers his mom, Marge Saint, telling him that his dad was never coming home again. At five years of age, he was faced with the searing pain of great loss - a type of loss that many people have never experienced even as adults.

In a recent interview (by Nancy Leigh DeMoss recounted in her book Choosing Forgiveness: Your Journey to Freedom), Steve was asked if he had ever struggled with bitterness toward his father’s murderers. He replied: "I took my cues from my mom and the four other widows. I never, ever, heard any of them even suggest that God may have made a mistake..." These newly widowed women modeled a depth of godly trust that was evident even to their young children.

The power of those young widows’ faith, manifested before their children in forgiveness toward their husband’s killers, was used of God to shield them, young as they were, "from carrying armfuls of man-made baggage into the next generation". (Matthew 6:12-15; Colossians 3:13)

Copyright Sharon Kaufman 2007/2010

The next Parenting with Humility post will cover letters G through L. Please come back to learn your alphabet for parenting with humility.

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  1. Thank you, Sharon! Even from miles away you continue to encourage me. I look forward to reading more!

  2. Great thoughts! My kids and I were reading about Nate Saint recently and if I remember right some of the women and kids went and ministered to those that killed the men and some of them became christians. One of the men that killed the men ended up baptizing one of Nate's sons. It is just amazing how God works!