Part One looked at three words that every parent must use in their vocabulary: teach, train, and release. The role of every parent is to teach their children about the Lord. Then, we are to train them how to put their knowledge into action. Finally, we release them into the world to go make a difference.
--Teach --> instruct them on what to do
--Train --> show them how to do it and allow them to work at it themselves
--Release --> allow them to follow the Lord and pursue His will for their life
Part 1 can be read here.
Now, let's look at three additional words that summarize how to teach, train, and release.
As parents, we must be patient with our children. It takes time to raise children and we must remember that parenting is a marathon, never a sprint. While it is easy to at times become exasperated because of how long it sometimes takes them to learn something, remember that it takes us a long time too. The Lord is patient with us and we are grateful He is. In the same way, parents must be patient with their children. Being patient does not mean that we tolerate disobedience nor that we take rebellion lightly. It does mean that we do not give up just because they do not perfectly grasp or obey what we teach them immediately. As Paul instructed Timothy in terms of preaching the gospel, "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching" (2 Timothy 4:2). And so, in the home, we follow the same example. We teach and correct with great patience.
We must be prayerful as we seek to teach, train, and release our children. We need to pray for them to be wise, to desire to obey Christ, to put more emphasis on character than popularity, and to glorify the Lord. Many times as parents we find ourselves worrying more than praying. When anxiety strikes because your child is going to school for the first time, or moving on to middle school, or moving out for the first time, let the nervousness you feel prompt you to pray. We must pray for them and pray for ourselves. We have to pray and ask the Lord to give us a heart that longs to teach, train, and release our children. Let us remember Philippians 4:6 which says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
Godly parenting takes practice. You are going to do some things the wrong way. There will be times you will look back at situations with your children and think you were too stern when you should have been gentle. Other times you will regret that you were too lenient when they needed a stronger hand of correction. Give yourself grace, mom and dad. We are learning too. It takes practice to learn how to best teach your child. Not every child learns the same way. It also takes practice to learn how to best train them. And rest assured it certainly takes practice learning to release them. Paul tells Timothy to set an example to others and to be faithful to teach the Word of God. In 1 Timothy 4:15 he says, "Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress." When it comes to living the Christian life, we have to practice what we preach. Yet, understand that we must practice these things because we do not always do them perfectly. Give yourself grace and do the same for your children.
In order to be able to do those three things, we must be patient...prayerful...practice.
Note: For a fuller treatment on the family, you can view the sermon from Father's Day entitled, "How a Home is Built" by clicking here.
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