We had such a great discussion last night! One of the things Dr. Kevin Leaman touched on was, “don’t praise your kids… praise God, encourage your kids” – The group had great conversation about it. Many of us, (myself included!), have always thought praising our kids was a GOOD thing! Let me share with you a little of the conversation that we had, while trying to wrestle with this concept.
One good point someone made was, “praising is saying ‘great job’ for something someone did. Encouragement is saying ‘you can do it’ before it’s done.”
But, isn’t congratulating ok?? I think so – we all need some “atta boy/girl” – can you imagine never receiving congratulations for job well done? Come to think of it, even Christ will say to us, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” – so, after further discussion, I don’t think that what was the point either.
|Dr. Kevin Leaman – teaching “Have a New Kid by Friday”|
Tammy, one of our small group members, brought up a great point, she said, when talking about some of her child’s special gifting
“We need to praise God for giving you a mind that is so good at math, etc.”
That is a wonderful thing to do for two reasons, For one, it let’s your child know that you think they are wonderful at math! But, it gives all the praise to God, which in turn instills in them a humility, putting in their hearts that they are not the author of their gifts, but God is. So good!
Then, I was reading this morning in I Samuel – it was the story about Eli the priest and Hophni and Phineas – Eli’s two sons (who were horrible, good-for-nothing priests…bad, bad, bad!). A prophet came to Eli and said, Why are YOU doing these horrible things?? (so, either Eli himself was participating, or he had ultimate responsibility before God for the things his sons were doing.) Then, the prophet said something that just totally jumped off the page, after last night’s discussion – Why are you preferring your sons more than me? (I Samuel 2:11-34, The Message). Eli didn’t do the hard things when the children were smaller and train his children, instead it seems like he indulged them (and himself). Then, when it was too late and they were already set in their ways – Eli tries to correct them, but they have no place for God in their hearts.
I think that is the point Dr. Leaman was trying to make – we need to praise God first, put Him first in our homes, our lives and our hearts. Children should be loved, encouraged, congratulated, etc…but, they cannot be first in our hearts because that becomes sin to us (idolatry) and ultimately, we allow our children to sin against God.
So, the question becomes –
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