Friday, December 07, 2007

Biblical Parenting 101: Acceptance and Affection

These are my notes for my parenting class for this coming Sunday at the Contact Church of Christ:

*In our last lesson, we talked about developing esteem (or a healthy sense of self-worth) within our children. We discussed the idea that we must love our children for who they are.

*In this lesson, we will focus on acceptance. We will love our children no matter what they do. Then we will concentrate on showing affection to our children.

*The Bible says, "A friend loves at all times" (Proverbs 17:17, NIV). In this sense, parents need to be their children's friends. We need to love them at all times.

*Accepting our children is very different than merely tolerating them. Each child must feel that we love him or her genuinely. They must be celebrated.

*God loves us even when he is not pleased. In the same way, parents need to love their children.

*In The 12 Essentials of Godly Success, Tommy Nelson warns, "When a child senses that his parents' love ebbs and flows based on what he does, he eventually becomes a neurotic child. A son will always be left wondering whether he has done enough this time to earn the attention and affection that he craves. A young daughter who can't find acceptance and unconditional love at home will look for places where she feels loved no matter what she does" (p. 186).

*One of the strongest bonds in life is family. Affection builds strong families. Children need hugs and kisses from parents. Girls need hugs, even when they are older. Boys need to wrestle with their dads. We need to show affection. Children with affectionate parents will grow up with a good sense of their value and an understanding of love.

*Parents need to "love their that the word of God will not be dishonored" (Titus 2:4-5, NASB). When we are parents who show affection to our children, the word of God will be honored. Our children (as well as outsiders) will view God's way with respect.

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