5 Essentials for Modern Parenting

 

5 Essential Issues for Today’s Christian Parent!

As summarized from the Brilliantly Brave Parenting Podcast series:

Parenting is hard work and it requires effort and conviction to do well! Sometimes it feels like the odds are stacked against us. We’re here to bring hope and practical advice to the challenges of faith-based parenting. Brilliantly Brave Parenting wants to be a fun and encouraging resource for today’s Christian family!

Here are FIVE essentials of parenting to consider:

#1 Fighting Futureshock: Today’s generation of parents currently active & engaged with the church is struggling with more than a simple ‘generation gap.’ We are struggling with ‘Futureshock.“ Which means, “a displacement of reality in which life is only focused on the present, and constantly being redefined by the moment. This lack of stability and constancy creates a state of constant flux for parents.”

Clearly as parents in a shifting moral landscape we are going to need to anchor ourselves and our kids to something ‘greater’ than ourselves.

The traditions of the faith provide a powerful resource for parents and pastors to utilize. Disciplines of devotion offer a way for us to be reminded of the truth of our biblical heritage. The constant remembrance of how BIG GOD is, and how the values of our world do not match with the values of scripture.

https://soundcloud.com/brilliantlybrave/ep57-bishop-dan-scott – Find out more  Listen to our FREE Podcast Link

 #2. Self-Care is ESSENTIAL:

When was the last time you invested in yourself as a parent or pastor?

Parenting is exhausting, the idea that we can just persevere through it is a bit naive. We need to rest. We need to recharge and refocus. As parents we can’t give what we don’t have. Our modeling and ability to teach our kids will be profoundly impacted by the energy we have to give them.

Self-Care requires healthy habits, resting well at night, making space in our schedules to spend time with our families, and watching our diet and exercise. That also means saying ‘no’ to outside things so that we are sure that we’re involved with our kids. We can’t offer what we don’t have.

Jesus modeled this idea when he would retreat from the crowds and the disciples to go apart and pray. He would withdraw to the mountains as often as he could, knowing the essential nature of rest and refreshment spiritually, physically, and emotionally. We are no different.

Podcast Link: https://soundcloud.com/brilliantlybrave/reality-with-teens-ep44-paige-clingenpeel

#3 Heritage of Faith

God calls parents to do amazing things with their lives! We can’t put Him in a small box, His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts… the path God leads is often overwhelmingly big and seemingly impossible. But God has a long, long, history of calling ordinary men and women to do extraordinary things.

We need to ‘listen’ and be aware of the subtle requests that God nudges us to do. It is NOT our life, we are on loan to God, and we can’t forget that God has plans for us that are bigger than our own. The same is true for our children.

Our kids and our plans can’t be driven by our ambition or pride, because it’s not about us. EGO is Edging God Out, and we can’t do that as Christians.

God will empower us to see beyond our own lives, to see the needs of those around us and to give us the strength and courage to act boldly!

Podcast Link: https://soundcloud.com/brilliantlybrave/brilliantly-brave-episode-1-patti-garibay

#4 The Danger of Self-Reliance:

Being perceived as “strong” and above it all is a huge temptation for parents in the church to try and project. The reality is, we’re not. We can’t handle it all by ourselves. We need help and we need encouragement, and we need support from other believers.

Parenting is more than a project to complete, it’s a sacred assignment to be guarded and stewarded well. Part of stewarding our parenting role is to surround ourselves with wise counsel and experience from those who have gone before us.

Living self-reliant as a parent can result in the spiritual death of your kids! Don’t do it. Jesus never called us to be ‘good’ – but Holy. Good is what we do, Holy is what He does. Christian Karma is when we start ‘comparing’ our good/bad behavior with others and rely on our being ‘better’ than other people.

Values based parenting vs. Rules based – the difference is all about what we parent from… fear or love.

What is our goal as a parent? To deliver a ‘good’ kid at 18 years of age, without having premarital sex, or having tried alcohol or drugs? Or is it to love them unconditionally and help them discover their identity as God created them to be?

Podcast Link: https://soundcloud.com/brilliantlybrave/ep30-dean-diehl

#5 Single Parents and the Church: 

One-third of all households are led by a single parent. Today’s single parents are struggling to engage with the church and with their faith. Being ‘alone’ and unsupported by the Christian culture is something solo parents often ‘feel,’ no matter what a local community of faith might project.

The battle for single parents to raise their children to be responsible and well-balanced citizens, provide for their well-being, and keep up with all of the myriad of demands that life throws at us is impossible. They are overwhelmed by it all in the best of circumstances.

The role of church in coming along side of single parents has largely been in question. Many single parents feel abandoned or judged by the church and lack the confidence to enter the doors of a church to ask for help. The need for single parent spiritual support and practical assistance is only growing. How the church responds now will be a significantly positive or negative impact for the next generation of parents.

Podcast Link: https://soundcloud.com/brilliantlybrave/ep59-nikki-leonti-edgar

Who is REALLY raising our tweens?

Just found a sobering article from Newsweek…. “Sex and the Single Tween” – if your a parent with kids between 8-14,  a MUST read.(it’s long, but worth the time)

Parents of Faith, remember…our secular world is at war with our values, beliefs and morality. It’s not a problem we can “contain’ or manage – it’s an all out assault to steal our kids innocence as quickly as it can. Fueled by the dark and demonic, our mortal foe desires to corrupt and pervert what was once good and pure in us and to steal what remains in our children.

Newsweek - Source

Newsweek – Source

 Wait, don’t forget… I’m not a quick tempered radical right winger….spitting reform at you… I’m a meet me in the middle kind of guy…. with a bit of panic in my voice!

After reading this Feb ’14 article (that i just now in September discovered) it’s clear that even secular media recognizes our tweens are seriously suffering.

When doctors and psychologists are sounding the alarm for moral issues… it’s time for the Church to wake up.

In the article, Abigail Jones of NEWSWEEK notes that tweens are not only vulnerable due to an unprecedented level of stress and anxiety in their lives, but lack healthy role models and family support to help them process it all!

Tweens are already struggling with  the always critical pre-adolescent stage of life, experiencing physical sexual development earlier and faster than any generation before them, while their emotional and mental development lags behind.  (Identity and personal values/beliefs are formed by age 13)

In the end, it’s a matter of becoming “aware” as parents of tweens – acting with the influence we have to offset the lies and suggestions of our pop culture.

Tweens are being taught to explore and experiment their way through adolescence without restraint… as retail and media interests convert ‘sex’ appeal into cold cash!   Our Tweens girls are being ‘educated’ by corporate marketing strategies that train our kids to place their value and self-worth on external appearance and sexual conquest.

 

Let’s push back as parents and really begin to interject ourselves into the culture and conversations of our tweens!

Because it matters!

Pastor B.

 

Ways you can respond to help your Tween

Tween Gospel Alliance

Focus on the Family

iShine Live 

Secret Keeper Girls

PreTeenMinistry.net 

 

Tweens and Tragedy, A tale of technology at work for good

How does a tween process tragedy ? How should they ? Do they even notice the world around them beyond their Wii or Facebook or iPod’s ? As adults, we are horrified and in awe of the magnitude of it all… as we watch helplessly as  the cable news world broadcasts 24/7 revealing image after image of near cataclysmic destruction.  

As a parent I’m very concerned about the people of Japan… a tragic  world event that has rocked us all by the power and ferocity of its impact as we see the effects sheer devastation from friday’s earthquake and resulting epic tsunami as it hurtled over the countryside. Shocking, mind-numbing videos of walls of water and towns simply wiped off the map.

It’s impossible to process with our adult minds, yet alone a growing preteen’s who is functioning only from a very sheltered and limited concept of the tragedy and brevity of life.

So in the midst of this terrible event… is there really a way technology can help them reach through the self-absorbed haze of adolescence and see the real world beyond the virtual ?

Yes, I believe there might be…

Surprisingly, the answer may be found to some degree in the technology we are so cautious to let them access. Facebook, Twitter and social media are always working to expand our kids minds and awareness beyond their bedrooms and pre-teen drama. It’s just usually in a “bad” way.

When I talked with my own kids about this tragedy, my son was very sober. He has a very close school friend who recently had to move to Tokyo, and the recent tragedy combined with my sons growing awareness of the reality of such tragedies (2010 Nashville floods) had begun to move him from the passive typical pre-teen to an alert and appropriately concerned young man. He is really connected to and anxious for his friends well – being. Not just his friend, but he’s aware that this tragic event really happened. That those people were really displaced or killed and it is not just a movie or a tv reality show that’s playing right now on the television…its life beyond U-Tube.

The power of connectivity through technologyallows all of us to be “personally” invested in the welfare of others. Regardless of how we connect, Facebook, Twitter or email…they all allow us to stay connected to our friends and family in ways we could have never anticipated and ( I believe) in doing so, technology has shown us Parents a potential “silver” lining to the online revolution of this generation.

My son is actually engaged, he is active in seeking out news on this tragedy. His friend is in the center of this catastrophic loss and he is very aware of how dangerous and serious this event is for the people and nation of Japan and beyond. His world view has been expanded and his compassion and awareness of the needs of others is at an all time high. That is a good thing. His world is expanding beyond his own cares and concerns and I am grateful for that.

So much so, that he commented to me last night… “Dad, some of the kids at school are complete idiots…they have no idea whats going on in Japan, and whats worse… they couldn’t care less because it doesn’t affect them in any way.” I have no doubt that’s true for some, but not all. I believe we have a golden opportunity in this disaster to gently re-direct our kids attention from themselves to others and to begin to consider what “they” might be able to do to help.

So, parents…before we completely remove all social media and technology from our pre-teens lives… let’s be careful to consider and “LOOK FOR” the potential positive benefits of its presence in our homes. As with all things… in moderation and with consideration for the content and priorities of real life in mind.

I’m not a huge advocate of technology as I’ve seen it negatively impact families and homes in very dangerous ways when out of balance, but I am cautiously optimistic on this particular facet of its existence. It could be a huge catalyst for growing our pre-teens awareness of the world beyond our borders and the need for increased compassion and sensitivity to those less fortunate.

Here’s to keeping on the road and in between the lines… and when you read this, please consider taking a moment to stop what your about and pray for the welfare and safety of those families and lives affected by the recent earthquake in Japan. If you’re a parent… go ahead and ask your kids to join with you when you do. It will show them your faith in action when facing tragedy and loss, a priceless lesson of hope and trust when life gets beyond anyone’s control.

Peace out,

b