Imagine that you come into a newly built home and it’s your job to decorate it for the sale of the home. You have these beautifully painted blank walls. You have a wonderful open floor plan. You have all this great canvas to work on and you get to adorn this home, whatever way you want to. You have an unlimited budget. You can just do whatever you want. Now, some of you would have a lot of fun with that. And you would think of all these creative things you could do.

I bring up that illustration to put you in mind of the creative process… and to point out to you that when your child comes out of the womb, you have a blank slate. You have a blank canvas that you, as the parent are responsible to adorn with godly character and godly ways of thinking and godly perspectives on the world. They don’t know how to think, how to feel, or how to act. It’s your job to paint on that canvas with the things of God… and you do it through good communication.

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How to think, feel, and behave. They’re all yours to teach your child.

 

It may sound strange to you that we say that parents are responsible to teach their kids everything — even how to FEEL. But hear us out. Yes, feelings can simply come without us having much control over that, but what we DO with those feelings is an issue of obedience to God. We can accept what they tell us, whether that be true or false, and then act on them… and we could very well be sinning if we’re following something that is untrue just because we feel it. But if we take the feeling and the thoughts that generate them captive, we can examine them and bring them into submission to us and for the sake of Jesus.

This episode is a crash course in how to think as a parent so that you can know how to help your kids think as they are growing up in your home. Don’t let the things that happen in your child’s day shape them outside of the sphere of your influence. You have a say. You have a responsibility. You can make a difference by teaching your child the right way to think, feel, and act.

But before you can, you need to make sure you’re well on your way to teaching YOURSELF how to handle the errant and misleading emotions that come YOUR way. In this episode, Mindi describes her own struggle with these words…

“We’re not pulling this idea just out of nothing. This is things that we’ve used with our children… but even before that, this is truth that the Holy Spirit taught me. When I realize that I”M having negative feelings about something and I realize that those negative feelings are causing me to think wrongly or to act wrongly, then that’s what the Holy Spirit has led me to recognize. He says, ‘When this comes up, Mindi, you need to respond with joyfulness and thankfulness and contentment.’ I have had to work hard at saying, ‘No, I’m gonna be happy about that. No, I’m not gonna worry and be anxious because this is what’s true.’ And so I’ve had to retrain my feelings through the power of the Holy Spirit. And that’s why we were able to train our children in this way, because God worked on me during my times with the Lord in the mornings. Then I had it fresh on my mind so I could teach my children, because He just taught me a few hours earlier.”

If you’re not walking daily in the presence of the Lord, bowing before Him to learn and grow in maturity, you’re not only handicapping yourself, you’re causing your children’s potential to be limited… because you’re not equipped to train them as you should. Listen to this episode to get your mind around the concept.

 

Christian parenting cannot be a secondary pursuit

 

Your parenting cannot be a secondary pursuit. Next to your relationship with the Lord and your relationship with your spouse, your parenting has to be third place. It has to be that important to you.

Consider the ramifications of this, Moms, who want to work full time and also raise kids. Most times that’s probably not going to turn out very well because the Mom is not going to be mindful of the child when they’re at work all day. Then when they come home, they’re going to be tired mentally and emotionally and physically. They’re probably not going to have a whole lot to to put towards training their child’s thinking, let alone their behavior, because of the hard work that it is.

It’s a hard situation. There is a tension that many women, or Moms feel. We encourage you as the Mom, if this is a situation you find yourself in to be completely honest and humble before the Lord. Ask Him to show you how He wants you to manage your time in light of the vital role you play as a parent? Do you need to find a part-time job that you could work from home? Or, decide to keep your current job but go part-time so you and your husband can share the care and training of the kids.

Try to clear your mind of what culture and society have impressed on you. It’s gone the wrong direction for many years. Ask Lord to renew your mind as to what his will is for you and the raising of your family.

This is a hard word for some, but it’s necessary to hear because parents, these days don’t recognize what a time intensive job it is to train their children. They need to BE there when things happen, to BE there when the attitude goes askew. To BE there when the child feels a crushing disappointment. Why?

So that YOU can bring the wisdom of God through the scriptures to bear on their life situation in that moment. That’s your role. This is your job. It’s what you’re going to do for the good of your kids.

 

Speak the truth about all things to help your children learn how to navigate the realities of life.

 

We often notice parents being hesitant to speak negatively about others, to their children. They try to always be positive and always spin things in the best way. It seems their motive is to not lead their children to be critical or to “judge” others.

One of the things we’ve noticed happens from doing this is that you fail to train your children to think with a renewed mind and to think in a godly way. They are not stupid, they notice the wrong behavior or bad form, or whatever it was that you’re not willing to talk about, and they assume it’s either OK or not a big deal. Parents! They need your guidance in situations like that. Teach them what is true.

But you have to be careful that you’re also communicating their need to remain humble as they make assessments of the situations around them. If you notice your child becoming judgmental or cocky, call it out. As we were raising our children, we’d be honest with them and say something like this…

“You’re being critical. You’re being proud. You’re not any better than that person. They might not know what you know, which is why they are doing the wrong thing. So you have great reason to be humbly thankful, not judgmental. That kid might not be loved by their parents, so they are acting that way. They might not know Jesus, so you need to pray for them.”

We would say things like this over and over again and most importantly, we’d ask our kids, “How does Jesus think about that person? Jesus loves them, so that’s what you need to do.”

So USE the situations around you and in your child’s life to teach them how to think, how to feel, and how to act as God would have them. Don’t be afraid to clearly say that a person was wrong, or should not have done what they did if they did a wrong thing. God says their behavior was wrong. You want your kids to learn to think like God.

So parents, be careful that you are not being influenced by the culture and teaching our kids according to cultural norms rather than biblical norms. There is black, there is white, there is right there is wrong. We need to be able to say that to our children and help them to think in those terms about their lives and the things they see going on around them. But at the same time, teach them appropriate humility, that they are creatures before their Creator. They are just as prone to that sin as anybody else so they need to watch themselves… to take heed when they stand, lest they fall from being too proud.

This is hard work. It requires diligence on the part of you parents. It is not a lighthearted thing. It’s work that has to be done intentionally as you go through life.

Listen to the entire episode so you can begin learning how to guide your children in godly ways to think, feel, and act.

Episode Transcript (click to open)

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013: Good thinking comes from good communication

CAREY:

Good thinking in your children comes with from your good communication with them, as a client. And we don’t just mean, how was your day? Oh, fine. That kind of communication. We mean communication about the events that are happening in their life, the situations they encounter and bringing the scriptures to bear on those situations. Now we’re going to get into some examples and scenarios in a moment.

MINDI:

And I want to just put a little reminder in at this point, how is your thinking as a parent today? How are you going to be equipped to know how to train your child’s thinking if your thinking’s not very good today, if you’re discouraged, if you’re angry, if you’re frustrated, if you’re worrying, have you had time with the Lord today? Are you in a regular habit of having time with the Lord? Is your mind being renewed by God’s word? That is going to be the foundation to tell you how you need to be leading your child. Cause you need to know how to think so you can tell them how to think.

CAREY:

That’s a very good reminder. It’s kind of like you can’t drive your car. If you don’t have gas in the tank. So you can’t lead your children in godliness. If you are not walking the path of godliness yourself. So thank you for that reminder. And I want to give you kind of a word picture to begin with here. Maybe some of you who are into interior design or decorating and things like that will really jive with this example. Others of you may have to work a little bit, but I think you’ve probably done something along this line. So it’ll, it’ll connect for you. Imagine that you come into a brand new, newly built home and you come inside and it’s your job to decorate it for the sale of the home. And you have these beautifully painted blank walls. You have a wonderful open floor plan.

CAREY:

You have all this great canvas to work on and you get to adorn this home, whatever way you want to. You have an unlimited budget. You can just do whatever you want. Now, some of you would have a lot of fun with that. And you would think of all these creative things you could do. And I want to have you thinking about that because I want you to realize that when your child comes out of the womb, you have a blank slate. You have a blank canvas that you, as the parent are responsible to adorn with godly character and godly ways of thinking and godly perspectives on the world. But I want you to just have that picture in your mind because it, it is very helpful to think it’s my job to adorn my child with godliness and with godly ways of thinking.

MINDI:

And doesn’t it make sense that Proverbs 22 6 says, train your child in the way he should go. So God is, is saying you you’re starting with a blank slate. So train them, praying them in every way.

CAREY:

Yeah. Now when Mindi says in every way, she has often said how to think, how to feel, how to behave. And for some people that sounds kind of way out there because what do you mean train them? How to feel feelings just happen? Well, no feelings don’t have to just happen. They often come from what we think they come from what we’re believing, how we’re interpreting a situation. And so let me put this additional perspective into your mind to give you some vision for where we’re headed in this episode, consider a scenario where you just had a brand new child and what would happen in that child’s life. If you were able from birth to guide them and raise them. According to the instructions of Romans 12, two, where it says do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. So imagine if every interaction you have with your child, every effort and instruction, you are effectively helping them renew their mind toward godliness. What would that child’s life be like? What would their character become? That’s a vision I want you to have in mind, because that really is where we can head with the holy Spirit’s help

MINDI:

And notice what the second part of the verse says that by testing the child may discern what is the will of God? What is good and acceptable and perfect. I’m using child because we’re talking about training our children, teaching them, renewing their mind isn’t that every parent’s desire and dream is that when their child leaves and goes into adulthood, they are able to discern God’s will in their life. I mean, that’s what gives us so much joy when our children are making godly, right decisions.

CAREY:

Yeah. Not only are they able to discern God’s will, but they want to test and to prove the best things for their life. Every parent wants that. I love that you brought that in. Now, this kind of begs a question we’re talking about kids, you know, and people tend to think of little ones as innocent and all of that, which is true in certain ways. But you know, the question that it brings up is do children really need to have their minds renewed? I mean their children for goodness sake, they haven’t had any experience yet. What is there to renew? How would you respond to that mind?

MINDI:

Well, I would say because they are bent towards sin, they’re going to be bent towards throwing a fit. They’re going to be bent towards selfishness or pride. And parents see that early on from their one year old. It starts then many times. So

CAREY:

Yeah, in Psalm 51 5 says, this is David speaking. He says, behold, I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin, did my mother conceive me? So he’s talking about the very conception sin is there and sin is affecting the human psyche and the human soul from the outset of our beginning. And so we all come into the world with that bent. So now that we have it kind of established what we’re aiming toward with this renewed mind and this goal of seeing our children be able to develop that for themselves. Let’s talk about the role communication plays in that. And the way that I would think of this is it’s the parents’ communication toward the child through instruction and through guidance that enables them to develop a renewed mind. Is that along the line you would think of Mindi.

MINDI:

Yes. That’s very good.

CAREY:

Okay. And so let’s kind of flesh that out a bit. The reason we say it that way is because our kids don’t automatically know how to deal with, for example, angry feelings or hurts or fears that they have. They don’t know what to do with those things. And it’s our job as parents to guide them in how to think, how to feel, how to handle those things. Other examples, they don’t know how to deal with things like failure or disappointment or discouragement when something happens to them or in their life. It’s the parents’ role to communicate through instruction. How to think about those things, how to deal with those things. There’s just many situations in a child’s life that could unsettle them, could distort their beliefs, can provoke them towards sinful attitudes and behaviors and parents. It’s your job to instruct them, to guide them in all of those scenarios and thousands more

MINDI:

Amen. And just an encouragement to you. Parents, your parenting cannot be a secondary pursuit besides your relationship with the Lord and your relationship with your spouse, your parenting has to be third place. It has to be that important to you. And I’m thinking of moms who want to work full time and also raise kids. Most times that’s probably not going to turn out very well because the mom is not going to be mindful of the child when they’re at work all day. And then when they come home, they’re going to be tired mentally and emotionally and physically. And they’re probably not going to have a whole lot to want to put towards training their child’s thinking, let alone their behavior. It’s just, it’s a hard situation. And I know that that’s a tension that many women moms feel. So I would just encourage you as the mom. If this isn’t a situation you find yourself in to be completely honest and humble before the Lord and ask him to show you, how does he want you to manage your time? Do you need to find a part-time job that you could work in the home maybe, or just a part-time job where you and your husband could share the care of the kids, try to clear your mind of what you know of our culture and society that has gone on. And I believe has gone the wrong direction for many years and ask Lord to renew your mind as to what his will is for you and the raising of your family.

CAREY:

Yeah, that’s a very well spoken word. And I think it’s necessary to hear that because parents, these days don’t recognize what a time intense job it is to train your children. You need to be there when things happen, you need to be there. When the attitude goes a skew, you need to be there. When the child feels a crushing disappointment so that you can then bring the wisdom of God through the scriptures, into their life and instruct them in that moment. That means you’ve got to stand firmly on the authority you’ve been given as a parent. That’s your role? This is your job. It’s what you’re going to do for the good of your kids. You’ve got to draw on your experience and living the Christian life that as Mindi said, you’re growing in the Lord. And so you’re wanting to pass that on to your children.

MINDI:

We talked about teaching your child how to feel. It’s true. That feelings just come up and we aren’t in control of when they’re going to come up. But it’s so helpful for you to be able to have those kinds of conversations with your child to try to find out what are they feeling? What made them feel that way and then to help them to see? Well, actually when that happens, this is how you should think. Like, for example, if there’s something that your child gets mad at, when you give them an instruction, maybe to help you set the table and you can tell that they kind of are huffing and rolling their eyes because they don’t like it. They don’t feel good about that instruction. Well, you can talk about that with them. You can pick it apart and help them to see that. Do you realize that you’re not loving mommy with your attitude, with your feelings? You’re not respecting me. You’re not obeying me. And when you do a little Huff or when you roll your eyes, even though you set the table, you’re still not obeying me with your feelings. And so how about if tomorrow, when I ask you to set the table, you put a smile on your face, even though it feels fake and you say in your mind, I’m going to be happy. I can obey my mom. That’s how you can practically train your child to start having right feelings. When things like that come up,

CAREY:

Just imagining someone with an eight year old is, is hearing that and thinking, oh, that sounds so idealistic and so naive. And that’s why you want to start this when your kids are tiny. If you’re doing this all the way along, you get to eight years old and it’s much better and much easier to have that conversation. So if you’re in that place and you have the eight year old, you’ve got your work cut out for you. It’s not impossible, but you’ve got to kind of retrain. You’ve got to unlearn certain behaviors and retrain new behaviors, which again makes the point of how time intensive this is,

MINDI:

Right? And we’re not pulling this idea just out of nothing. This is things that we’ve used with our children. But even before that, this is thing truth that the holy spirit had taught me. When I realize I’m having negative feelings about something. And, and I realize that those negative feelings are causing me to think wrongly or to act strongly. Then that’s what the holy spirit has led me to do is to know when, when this comes up, Mindi, you need to respond with joyfulness and thankfulness and contentment. You know, what are the situation I might be? And so I have had to work hard at saying, no, I’m going to be happy about that. No, I’m not going to worry and be anxious because this is what’s true. And so I’ve had to retrain my feelings through the power of the holy spirit. And that’s why, because God worked on me during my times with the Lord in the mornings. And then I had it fresh on my mind. I could teach my children because he just taught me a few hours earlier. <laugh>,

CAREY:

It’s amazing how many times that happens, that God guides us into something. And then voila, that day we have an opportunity to teach it to our children. And as we do all this, you know, you may think, okay, well I’m with you. I want to train my children. I realize it’s going to take some time. How do I go about it? Well, the first thing is we have to lean on scripture for the instruction. We don’t want to lean on our own understanding. We don’t want to lean on our culture’s wisdom. We don’t want to lean on anything, but God’s word because God’s the one who cracked your child with a personality and the temperament and all the unique things about them that are so wonderful. And he has given us his word to instruct us so that we can then use it in instructing our kids. And let me make a little observation here.

CAREY:

As we talk about this, many parents have unknowingly begun to teach their kids worldly things about things, about racism and tolerance and feministic things and fairness and individual rights. I mean, not that any of those things in themselves is necessarily a bad thing, but our world exaggerates and embellishes things for its own purposes. And the enemy is right there in the middle of all that. And we many times will just wholesale adopt things because they feel good to us or they feel fair to us or they feel right to us. And we haven’t examined them with the word of God in hand, we haven’t looked at them from God’s viewpoint and that’s what we need to do as parents.

MINDI:

I think an example of this is think about the verses in scripture that talk about serving one. Another sacrificing love is sacrifice submitting one to another. Considering others is more important encouraging one another than Lord. So there’s you get this feel of how we need to be loving and sacrificing and serving one another Christ came to serve and not to be served when he came to the earth. So if you are getting so to speak a godly view of how to live the Christian life, as you are studying scripture, then you’re going to pick up on your son and daughter who start when they get to the age like, oh, I don’t want to be around my brother. He has cooties. Or my sister has cooties, gross girls! You know, that kind of thing. That was something that we didn’t allow our boys and girls, sons and daughters to have that kind of an attitude because I mean, in some ways it could be harmless, but what kind of a mindset is that going to create in them?

MINDI:

For example, a boy saying girls has cooties. Well, he’s not learning to love her as his sister. And he’s not learning to love her possibly as a future wife, when he meets his wife. I mean, we’re just wanting to teach them, you’re here to serve your siblings. You’re here to consider them. So don’t call ’em names. Don’t say have cooties. You know, don’t say I don’t want to be around my brother because he’s, he’s a boy, you know? I mean, whatever little kids might come up with, it’s that kind of a thing that you want to try to nip it when they’re younger.

CAREY:

And I think another element of that is in that scenario of the boys saying the sister has COOs, they’re not being taught to appreciate the other part of God’s image in man. I mean male and female, he created them. There’s value in men and women. And we live in a culture where there’s this competition. That’s always between men and women and that’s not a godly mindset. That’s not a, a God fearing mindset. We want our children to appreciate the other sex. We want them to see the wonder in what God has done in that person. And what better place to start teaching that than with siblings?

MINDI:

Yeah. Think of the beauty of that. If you have a little boy, I remember feeling excited about this, that we could teach our sons to cherish women by helping them to know how to cherish and love their sisters. Because we knew that in the future, they were going to need to get married and love their wife as Christ. Love the church.

CAREY:

Amen.

MINDI:

Yeah. So we wouldn’t let them just play around with, oh, you have cooties. No, I don’t want to play with my sister. She’s a girl. You know, things like that.

CAREY:

I remember one time we were in the toy store, walking down the island, there’s the pink row. Yeah. You know where all the Barbies and things like that are, and the boys would go, I don’t want to go down there that’s girl stuff. Yeah. I would intentionally take them down that aisle and tell them, isn’t it neat that your sister likes all this stuff? Isn’t it neat that they have things that they can really enjoy, you know, just trying to instill in them this value for their sister and her femininity.

MINDI:

Right. And I love that because the whole reason why the whole Feministic movement has come about for years it’s been around and it’s grown to be a very ugly thing is because women have been reacting to the mistreatment that they have received from men. I’m just saying generally, I’m sure there’s other details that some women might say is different, but generally speaking, women have not been treated well by men. And so they’re fighting back saying we are just as important. We can do what you can do. We’re just as strong. We’re just as smart, you know, all these kinds of things. And now it’s morphed into some really ugly things that are going on in our day, where women and men are confused about their gender. And I think it starts with, we need to be training our children, how to think on just the very simplest level. And that’s the fun of it. That’s the beauty of it is that you can start with your little sweet little baby girl. You can teach her to think rightly so that she’s not going to grow up to be this feminist. Who’s fighting for her rights as a woman, because that is not fitting for a Christ follower. Who’s supposed to be serving. Who’s supposed to have a humble, a submissive attitude towards one another.

CAREY:

Okay. And to wrap up this section, we’re trying to help you think through what do you do to do this kind of instruction? How do you go about it? The first point, which is what we’ve just been talking about is lean on God’s word for instruction. Now the next thing is you have to be on the alert for real life scenarios that happen in the lives of your kids that you can use as mind renewal opportunities, where in the moment in this situation, real life, you’re helping them learn how to think and how to feel. So what I want to do is give you two or three scenarios here that happen commonly in the lives of kids. And then Mindi’s going to comment on what we would’ve done in a situation like that. Now the first one, this happened when I was a kid probably happened when Mindi was a kid happened. When our son was a kid, had a friend over who was of the opposite sex, they go into the closet to get toys and suddenly the door is shut. And one of the children is pulling down their pants to show the other kid, their private parts. Okay. And we find out about it later from our son, you know, and the girl did this Mindi, how would we have handled a circumstance like that?

MINDI:

Well, first of all, we wouldn’t panic. <laugh> <laugh> I mean, this is natural for young children to have that curiosity. And it’s a great opportunity to teach them healthy mindset. If they’re a boy or a girl of their private parts and it’s all normal and it’s how God made them and to help them think rightly and to be comfortable with that part of themselves so that they will be protected from thinking wrongly, especially in this day and age where there’s all that confusion. And you know, you, they have a choice when they get to a certain age and you know, whatever, all that hog wash. But anyways, we would, we would talk to him. What happened? What did you think about it? What did you feel? Did it make you feel uncomfortable? We just try to get as much out of our child as possible so that we could address.

MINDI:

We don’t want it to be a quick little fix because they need to communicate about it. And we, as a parent are suspecting things probably of what they might be thinking or feeling. So we need to bring that up. Did you feel this? Were you uncomfortable? Did you like it? Did you not like it? Things like that so that we can address it. We should never be afraid to say things to our children thinking, oh, I’m not going to bring it up because I don’t even want them to think that because I don’t even want, if they didn’t bring it up, I’m not going to bring it up. I don’t think that that is wise. We need to prepare them ahead of time. Maybe they didn’t think about it, but you can bring it up and say maybe someday you might think or feel this way. But if, and when you do, this is how you need to think this is what God says about it.

CAREY:

That’s right. This is all about training them for all of life. Not just the circumstance that they’re in. You’re just using the circumstance as the example. Okay. Here’s our next scenario say that you’re sitting in the living room and you have the nightly news on and your child walks through the room just as they hear Russia has invaded Ukraine and there’s this war going on and people are suffering. And all of that, I know some parents would kind of panic and shuffle the kid out of the room real quickly, because they don’t want them to hear about violence and death and things like that. Mindi, what would we have done in a circumstance like that?

MINDI:

We’d probably bring them to us and have them sit by us and point to what’s going on the screen. And maybe then we would mute it and just talk to them about the sadness of what’s going on. We would bring up what we think God is feeling about it, which in that case, that would be give clarity of what is right and wrong about it. As, as much as we know at the time. And then we would probably sit and pray for those who are suffering, pray that God would conquer the bad, the evil and strengthen those who are being mistreated.

CAREY:

And what if the child is fearful? What if they’re wondering was is war going to come here? You know, how would we deal with that?

MINDI:

Yeah, that’s a good question. That makes me think that many times we would be aware that that’s probably what they’re going to be feeling fear. So we’ll bring it up. Does that make you afraid? If they don’t ask the question, here’s another opportunity where you as the parent need to bring it up because you are maybe suspecting that they are feeling afraid and they don’t know how to ask or maybe they will down the road. So bring it up. Whether they ask it or, or whether you think about it. And then we would talk to them many times, we’ll bring verses, we’ll read the Bible verses that talk about not being fearful and trusting the Lord, trusting the Lord with all your heart, those kinds of things. And then we would pray about that. Pray for our child.

CAREY:

Yeah. And something that comes to mind is I hear you talk about that is the world we live in where so many people from teenagers all the way up, well, even younger than teenagers, all the way up to adults are dealing with anxiety and panic attacks and all of those kinds of things. And if we were diligent to be training our children from the time they’re 2, 4, 6, 10, 15, how to think rightly and not fearfully based on faith in God, how much of those kinds of things would they never have to deal with in their life? Because they’ve learned to live a confident trusting life. I just wonder what the answer to that question would be.

MINDI:

Yeah. That makes me think of actually a real life example. Our oldest daughter, she was just telling me, she’s told me actually, actually several times how, as a young adult with a new baby, she does not worry about finances. It just is not a concern. It does not bring anxiety to her. Like many times it could at that age, she’s in her late twenties and Carey. And I remember feeling anxiety at that stage of life. I mean we, we, oh yeah, we were pretty tight. And we were having, you know, two and three kids around that time. But Melinda, our daughter has said, I saw you and dad go through it so many times and you would talk to me about what you were learning. You would talk to me about how you’re fighting to trust the Lord and we’d pray together as a family about it. And now here she is at 28 that not being an issue, she’s not a warrior about finances. And so that’s an example. That’s a good example of how we brought her with us through our struggle. And as God was teaching us to not worry about finances, we could pass that on to her. And now that’s not a main issue for her.

CAREY:

That’s a great example. Let’s move on to a third scenario. Let’s imagine a scenario where your child comes home, maybe from school or from a friend’s house or wherever. And they feel very discouraged. Maybe something was said about them, about their physical appearance or their way they talk or something that just really cut home and they feel very discouraged or maybe they failed at something. They tried and they just feel very down. How would we have handled a situation like that?

MINDI:

First of all, we would find out what happened as much as we can. We’d ask them, how are they feeling about that? What happened? What did it make them feel? And then we would communicate to them the truth about themselves. Like if they’re feeling rejection, we would tell them what is true about them. What we think about them, what God thinks about them. And we’d be clear about it. We’d also be clear about what the Lord thinks about them. And we would bring up what this child said or what this friend said at school or what maybe the teacher said at school or something like that. And we’d say, that’s not true. Actually. That’s not what God would say. This is what’s true. And so we would make it as clear as possible. We wouldn’t be generic about no, you’re wonderful. We love you. Don’t worry about it.

MINDI:

We want them to work through these kinds of life situations, because there’s a lot of hurt that comes with relationships outside of the home. We want them to know how to process that, that themselves. So we want to clearly call wrong, wrong. If the teacher was wrong, we’re going to say it. We’re not going to be all generic in light of trying to respect the teacher. We’re going to say no, that was not right. But let’s pray for the teacher that they will learn. What is right. The teacher probably doesn’t know Jesus. So let’s pray for them, but you still need to respect them and obey them when you’re in the classroom. Things like that.

CAREY:

Yeah. Which brings me to a little caveat of a question I had in my mind. I see often parents being very hesitant to speak negatively about others, to their children. They’re wanting to always be positive and always spin it the best way. So the kids don’t learn to be critical, et cetera, et cetera. One of the things we’ve noticed in doing this as you teach your children and train your children, to think with a renewed mind and to think in a godly way, is that they can develop somewhat of a Phariseeism. They can become real critical and real judgmental toward people and condemning toward people. What would we do when we saw that happening? What, what was our common approach? When we saw that in our kids,

MINDI:

We would call it out. We’d say you’re being critical. You’re being proud.

CAREY:

Hmm.

MINDI:

You’re not any better than this next person. They might not know what you know, they might not be loved by their parents. So they are acting that way. I mean, whatever the situation, they might not know. Jesus. So you need to pray for them. We would say over and over again, how does Jesus think about that person? Hmm. Jesus loves them. So that’s what you need to do. But you can clearly say that person was wrong. That person should not have done it. They did a wrong thing. That’s fine to say that. God says that. I mean, God says their behavior was wrong. He even says I hate their behavior sometimes. So it’s fine to, to help your children think that way you’re wanting them to think like God.

CAREY:

Yeah,

MINDI:

Because he also loves that person who he just said did an evil thing. Yeah. So that will help them to not have a fair say attitude that will help them to have a humble, godly attitude.

CAREY:

And this is another example of how we as parents need to be careful. We’re not being influenced by the culture and teaching our kids according to cultural norms rather than biblical norms, because God does call out wrong. There is black, there is white, there is right there is wrong. We need to be able to say that to our children and help them to think in those terms. While at the same time, teaching them an appropriate humility that they are creatures before their creator. They are just as prone to that sin as anybody else, they need to watch themselves take heat unless they fall, you know, those sorts of things. It’s hard work and it’s diligent work that has to be done by parents. Again, getting back to the point that this training is not a lighthearted thing. This is not a thing to think. Oh yeah, my, my kids are good. I’m good. We’re going to be good. You know? No, this is very diligent work that has to be done intentionally as you go through life.

MINDI:

Yes. And it helps them to learn to live in the reality of their life.

CAREY:

Yeah. And I think that’s a very good thing for us to think of as we wrap up here, because we’ve talked about scenarios that primarily are in a childhood realm. We haven’t even moved into the realities that we’re equipping them to face when they become adults. I mean, we haven’t talked about things like how they should think about sex trafficking, how they should think about politics, how they should think about the whole LGBTQ stuff. I mean, those are huge issues in our day and in our world that they need to be equipped to think biblically about by the time they become adults. And if we are not starting on the child level, helping them learn how to think fundamentally in a biblical truth based way, they’re not going to have a chance of fighting off the culture that they’re in when they get to be adults. And so parents, this fundamental thing of good thinking coming from good communication from the parents is just vital to the way your kids will be when they become adults.

MINDI:

A good way to think about it, a little formula in your mind. I’m just remembering what was in my mind training. Our younger children is you’re always bringing it to what God thinks and you’re ending it with that. And you’re helping your child to conclude their situations in that way.

CAREY:

Well, that’s a good place for us to wrap up. Thanks so much for joining us today. Just a few little housekeeping kind of items for you to know about. We have a button on the website at God, fearing kids.com, where you can click and ask your own question in your own voice. And don’t worry if you’re uncomfortable with your own voice, being on a podcast, we’ll edit you and make you sound all wonderful and smart. Like you really are <laugh>. And we also have posts on the website accompanying all of these episodes. So if we mention, uh, a resource or something like that, you can find those on the website as well.

MINDI:

Thank you so much for listening. God bless you. And let me pray for us. Dear Lord. Thank you so much for your encouragement to us and for the work of your holy spirit and us as parents. And I ask that you will guide these parents who have been listening to hear your heart and hear your will, and to be able to discern what your will is as they seek you regularly so that they can guide their children. I ask that you will give them clarity of mind and discernment about when and how they should speak with their children. When things come up in Jesus name,

CAREY:

Amen he’s episodes. So if we mention, uh, a resource or something like that, you can find those on the website as well.

MINDI:

Thank you so much for listening. God bless you. And let me pray for us. Dear Lord. Thank you so much for your encouragement to us and for the work of your holy spirit and us as parents. And I ask that you will guide these parents who have been listening to hear your heart and hear your will, and to be able to discern what your will is as they seek you regularly so that they can guide their children. I ask that you will give them clarity of mind and discernment about when and how they should speak with their children. When things come up in Jesus name, amen.

 

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