The Healthy Parent
Week Two of New Parent Series: A Healthy Parent
We believe that it is possible to raise healthy children who are rich in character and clear in their calling. But to do so, in this world, at this time in history, will require a new kind of parent.
First Characteristic: A New Kind of Parent Trusts God
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6) Acknowledge the limits of your own intelligence and prowess and surrender your kids, your family and your life to the God of the universe.
Second Characteristic: A New Kind of Parent Is Personally Healthy
When parents lose their souls so do the families they lead... "Losing your soul is like losing a credit card. You think it’s in your wallet so you don’t give it much thought until one day you reach for it and can’t find it.” (Ruth Haley Barton) ...“Children rarely succeed in rising above the maturity level of their parents.” (Edwin Friedman, Failure of Nerve)
Prioritize Your Own Health Over That of Your Kids
I’m not saying to neglect your kids' health! But you must first make sure you are healthy!
Stop Tying Your Personal Well-being to the Condition of Your Children
“The children who work through the natural problems of maturing with the least amount of emotional or physical residue are those whose parents have made them least important to their own salvation.” (Edwin Friedman, Failure of Nerve) ............"Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child." (Proverbs 22:15a)
Commit to Working on Your Health
Healthy Character (what you are inside) and Clear Calling (what you do with your life)
What We Are and What We Do Define Our Health
Healthy Character Practices include (1) Surrender to God, (2) Communion with God, (3) Moral Integrity and (4) Self Denial.............Clear Calling Practices include (1) Generosity, (2) Justice & Mercy, (3) Loving Others and (4) Community.
The Practice of Surrender to God
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)............ I’m not talking about a spiritual touch up or adjustment…you need a total makeover that starts with surrender......... Jesus said you must start your life all over again (see John 3:7).......... "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
The Practice of Communion with God
If you are going to be healthy in a chronically anxious and constantly distracted world you must…"Be still, and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10a) ..................“The spiritual law of gravity ensures that the chaos of the human soul will settle if it sits still long enough.” (Ruth Haley Barton)
The Practice of Moral Integrity
Stop telling lies...Don’t sin by letting anger control you...Don’t use foul or abusive language...Get rid of all bitterness, rage, harsh words, and slander. (from Ephesians 4:25ff) ............ "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry." (Colossians 3:5)
The Practice of Self-Denial
Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? (Luke 9:23-25 NIV)
Never Forget This About Yourself
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)
The Practice of Generosity
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7 NIV)
The Practice of Justice and Mercy
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46 NIV)
The Practice of Loving Others
A healthy parent who loves others is patient, kind, always protects, trusts and hopes. If that does not characterize the most crucial relationship, your relationship with your spouse, then get on it – now. Your children’s lives depend on it.
The Practice of Community
Personal health is never found in isolation. “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12) You need community. And…we’ve got that for you here at Grace. Group Connect.