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Are You Laying a Solid Foundation in Your Kids' Lives?

In one of his parables, Jesus describes the difference between a foolish person and a wise person by asking his audience to imagine two houses, one built on sand and the other built on a foundation of rock; he states that the wise person builds on a solid foundation, not sand. The image of a house represents the person's life, and the rock, which leads to the house being able to withstand the storms of life, is simply hearing and obeying the words of Jesus.

The sand, which leads to the collapse of a life built upon it, is nothing more complicated than the failure to hear--to listen, pay attention to--and obey those same words.

As parents, we desire more than anything for our children to have good, solid lives; we want them to have the knowledge, wisdom, and strength to prepare for the storms of life, be able to make wise decisions, and remain standing, no matter what.

Do we believe Jesus when he says the way to be able to stand strong no matter what life throws at us is to listen to and follow the ways of God? If you believe it, what is your plan for teaching your kids how to do it?

Assuming we believe that what Jesus says is true--that if our kids learn to listen to and obey God, they will have this kind of strength and stability-- we must surely understand that there is nothing more important than teaching them how to do it! In reality, however, while we do believe this on some level, it still kind of seems abstract; we don't really understand how to connect what we do in terms of parenting to our children's ability to follow God.

Do we believe Jesus when he says the way to be able to stand strong no matter what life throws at us is to listen to and follow the ways of God? If you believe it, what is your plan for teaching your kids how to do it?

We know it's not really enough to provide the basics of food, clothing, shelter, or even love, encouragement, and a good family; that's why we carefully choose where we live, what schools our kids attend, and do our best to influence who they hang our with, and what they do in their free time. We try to make sure they turn out to be good people by taking them to church and teaching them good manners. But the only things on this list that are actually foundational are the love and encouragement of a good family; the other things are like the parts of the house that come later, after the foundation has been laid--the floors and walls and all the rest.

How do we lay that foundation of listening to and following God's ways?

We begin by teaching them the most fundamental lesson of all--to listen to and obey us, their parents! If we teach our kids to pay attention to us--to 1) shift their attention away from whatever else is going on around them, 2) turn toward us, then 3) listen to what we say, and 4) do it--if we can teach that, then help them to practice it consistently, they will be able to listen and learn in any situation. Their knowledge will grow, they will gain wisdom and learn from mistakes, and the possibility of living in concert with the ways of God can become a reality for them.

This is the single most important thing you will ever teach your child--to turn their attention away from everything else, and towards you, to actually listen to what you are saying and consciously act on it, one way or another.

If they have a habit of turning to look at you when you speak to them, listening carefully to what you say and then consciously acting on it, your kids will be in a position to cut through the distractions of life, learn all they can, and make considered, wise decisions. This is the foundation of a solid life.

Do your children turn to look at you when you speak, or do they keep doing whatever they're doing and ignore you until you've gotten in their faces and yelled? If so, stop. Stop the nagging, begging, and yelling and start considering a better way.

I'm here to help! Sign up to my website to receive weekly encouragement in your inbox and get a class discount, set-up a call to see if personal coaching is right for you, or grab some friends and contact me for classes based on your personal needs.

Start today, getting the help you need to build a solid foundation for your kids!

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