Parenting at the Crossroads — for Christmas

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For Parents  —  Winning Hearts & Minds  —  For Children

World’s Values vs. God’s Values, Dec. 16 & 17
on Valley Radio or Online HERE Anytime
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“Children are a heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward.  As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth, and happy is the man whose quiver is full of them.”  (Ps. 127:3-4)

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  (Prov. 22:6)

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”  (III John: v. 4)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, to die on Calvary’s tree, from sin to set us free.

Someday He’s coming back, what Glory that will be!  Wonderful His love to me.”
(A Children’s Song — Author Unknown)

*   *   *   *

Part I on Parenting:  The Age of Opportunity

This is the Grand Finale of a series on parenting that we aired last year.  In Part I, we reviewed recommendations from a book entitled Age of Opportunity:  A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens by Paul David Tripp.

In it, Tripp challenges parents to prepare their children for the battles they will face from a secular culture that is hostile to their faith.  Parents will work to secure their children’s hearts against the false gods and false goals of Power, Popularity, Possessions, and Pleasures.

It’s perhaps the most important job any parent will ever have.

Part II:  Secular Culture vs. Biblical Truth

In Part II, we invited Bill Leach, pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg, to join us for a review of the predominant messages that culture transmits to our children, many of which are in direct conflict with Biblical principles.  These include:

—  Me-Ism:  It’s all about Me, My feelings, My happiness, My pleasures, and My need for immediate self-gratification.  It’s about how to live My life – whether it honors God or not.

—  Evolution:  There is no God, no Creator, and therefore no transcendent authority. It’s all about Me and the material Cosmos.  It’s not about being made in the image of God for His Glory.

—  Biblical Authority:  The Bible is an outdated book of fairy tales and archaic rules that do not apply to Me and to My life.  In any event, I know better and can make My own rules.

Part III:  Christmas Opportunities

For this week’s final program, we invited Lisa Updike, Director of Children’s Ministries at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg, to help identify some Christmas activities that will help shape the hearts of our children for the Glory of God.  For example:

—  A Thankful Heart:  To counter the sense of “entitlement” that the culture feeds our children, parents can help develop an attitude of gratitude instead.  Encourage them to avoid comparing the gifts they got with what their friends received, and be thankful for what they’ve been given.

—  A Giving Heart:  Similarly, help them think of others before themselves.  Take them along to ring bells for the Salvation Army, sing Christmas carols for shut-ins in retirement homes, fix shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, and find gifts for Angel Tree Ministries.

—  A Joyful Heart:  Even as we re-read together the account of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2, we must not leave Him in the Manger.  We need to remind ourselves every day, not just at Christmas, that true JOY comes only by putting JESUS first, OTHERS second, and YOURSELF last.

—  A Happy Home:  Finally, we must always remind ourselves that every child needs a loving father and mother who are committed to God, to each other, and to them.  A happy marriage and a happy home are the best gifts we can give to our children, not only at Christmas but every day of our lives.

Crossroads at Christmas:  Where Faith and Action Meet

For more on all of this, please join Rita Dunaway and me with Lisa Updike this weekend in a repeat of a program that we aired on Valley radio last year.  It will air on WBTX (1470) at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) and again on Sunday at 7:30 a.m., followed by WSVA (550) and WSVA/FM (92.1) at 8:30, and WNLR (1150) at 11:30.  You can also listen online to this and to the earlier programs from the menu on the home page at www.valleyfamilyforum.org.

Crossroads is entirely listener supported, and we are so grateful for your prayers, your encouragement, and your financial support.  If you would like to help, please send your check to Crossroads at PO Box 881, Harrisonburg, 22803.  All donations are tax-deductible.

With Our Best Wishes for Happy, God-Centered Homes at Christmas and Throughout the Year!

Dean