4 Parenting Goals to Savor in 2017

What would you pay for a bowl of soup?

A hundred dollars? A thousand?

If not money, how about your home, your marriage, maybe even your children?

Of course not, you think. Who would do something crazy like that? Who would trade everything for a bowl a soup?  That’s ridiculous!

In the Book of Genesis, Esau did, and so often, we do too.

Once when Jacob was cooking some stew (soup), Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!”  31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” 33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew (soup). He ate and drank, and then got up and left.  So Esau despised his birthright.”‘ –Genesis 25: 29-34

He should have calculated the cost.

But, he didn’t. Many times, we don’t either.

Over and over in his mind was one thought—I want that soup!

An estate for a bowl, a moment of weakness left a desperate man wrestling with his soul.

And in that impulsive decision, Esau lost sight of his goals.  Instead of thinking of his future, he lived for the moment; he never once considered the consequences of his selfishness until he was full with regret.

Life didn’t seem fair to Esau, but he made the choice;

“Soup!  It was just soup!”

If he could go back, he would pass on the soup. He would walk away, fight the hunger pains one more day.  It would be easy for him the second time around, but he didn’t get another chance.  For him, it was a defining moment, a time in history that would forever change his life.

How could he do such a thing?  A bowl of soup for a large estate…..  how could he not wait?

Obviously, he didn’t recognize the soup for what it was… just that—soup!

Don’t we do the same?

Even today, Christian parents are trading their families for a “bowl of soup!”

Today’s soup isn’t the kind that you find warming on the stove, but a modern version of it. Soup is anything that we take in exchange for what matters most in our lives.  It is giving away God’s incredible plan for our families for temporary happiness.  According to Ecclesiastes, it usually comes in 5 varieties:  materialism, selfish ambition, pleasure, beauty, and secularism.

When our day becomes a constant struggle for more stuff, titles, fun, vanity or worldly wisdom, we are craving “soup.” When we find ourselves too busy to spend time with the Lord, we are wanting “soup.”  When we look at the blessings that God has given us and still need more, we are hungering for “soup.”  It is always something that never lasts, and like Esau, we can find ourselves regretting that we ever gave it a second thought.

Are you finding yourself today exhausted, famished and returning to a chef who keeps asking, “Would you like more soup?”

If so, now is the time to skip on the appetizer and claim the entrée that only Christ can give.  4 Ways Christian Parents Can Skip the Soup & Enjoy the Entrée-

    • Identify your purpose as a Christian parent. For a season, you have been entrusted with your children to teach, lead, & encourage their faith. It is imperative that you seek Biblical Wisdom for successful decision making.
    • Expect temptations to come. The enemy will seek to destroy you and your family. He recognizes that your eternity is secure as a Christian, but he will still work to distract you from your most significant and meaningful ministry, raising children who know and love Jesus. It isn’t a matter of if, but how he will seek to tempt you.  He strategizes in the area of your greatest weakness.
    • Be Accountable to others. Prayerfully select others who will encourage you as a Christian parent. Spend time with those who are actively leading their families in Christ. Do not be tolerant of friendships where boundaries are pushed against your moral compass.
    • Record your “why” for Christian Parenting. As you plan for a new year, invest time to reevaluate your reason for standing strong as a Christian parent. Ask the Lord to help you model His love in your home. Write your “why” on a paper and place where you can see it daily. This will help you to remember your goal to raise godly children when the enemy wants you to forget it. Why is it important to you to raise your children in a Christian home? What difference does it make? Imagine your children at the age of eighteen. What are goals that you want to reach with them? Maybe read the Bible together. Perhaps, go on a mission trip together. Plan now for the memories that you want to have.

Let’s not settle for what the world has to offer, but instead, let’s patiently pass on “the soup” and celebrate the feast of Christian parenting the next generation.  What are your parenting goals for 2017?

Noah Webster

Image result for Webster Dictionary

“Education is useless without the Bible” –Noah Webster

“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, “just men who will rule in the fear of God.” The preservation of [our] government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty; if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded. If [our] government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Laws.” -History of United States by Noah Webster.

“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed…No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.” -Wrote in the preface to The American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828

Assignment:

  1. What was Noah Webster?  Background – birth / death, family, education
  2. What was his American Dream?  (What was he bothered by with Great Britain in regards to children and learning?)
  3. How long did he write his dictionary?
  4. How many words were in his original dictionary?
  5. What impact did his life make on the shaping of America and Christian values?
  6. Why was it important to have a dictionary in early America?  What was happening with the English language?
  7. How old is America?  How long has his book been shaping its culture?
  8. Summarize the above passages and quote.

***Submit, please, for grading.  🙂

What is the Purpose of the 10 Commandments?

The reason God gave us the Ten Commandments is to help us think, feel and act in the same way the Author of those commandments thinks, feels and acts. This is part of having the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). After bringing the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, God tells them that He gave them the Ten Commandments because He loves them & (us). The Lord’s desire is to protect, help, prosper, and lead us toward a life of real success and happiness:

“From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. Because he loved your  forefathers and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today. Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There  is no other” (Deut.4:36-39 NIV).

God created the law for our benefit. It was designed to bring us happiness, joy, and prosperity during our lifetime. The Israelites were not willing to accept these laws as  an expression of His love; instead, they rebelled in their hearts:

“Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever! (Deut.5:29 NIV).

Even when we choose to disobey God, He is faithful in His eternal love for us.  He waits with open arms and a forgiving heart that loves us the same, no matter our sin.  He wants us to live His best life, and He has given us guidelines to follow that will help us to succeed.

God loves you exactly where you are today; nothing can separate you from His love.  “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Exodus 20 – The Ten Commandments

New International Version

And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

  1. You shall have no other gods before me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
  3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Question:  Who received these commandments?  Why?

Question:  Who gave the commandments?  Why?

Research:  Describe at least 1 US legal situation involving the removal of the Ten Commandments in public schools and courtrooms.