[This is an excerpt from a sermon preached on June 9th, 2013.]
Do you enjoy your kids? Do you delight in them? In the book of Proverbs, in Chapter 3, it says, “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Now talking about parenting, it could be easy to focus on the idea of discipline, but what about the latter half of that verse, “The Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” There's no doubt that if you are a parent you have to discipline, but do you also delight?
Relationship > Lecture
Most of us want to be able to teach our kids well. We want to teach our kids the Scriptures, we want to teach them to value the right things, we want to teach them to do what is right, we want to teach them about Christ. And the list could go on. And if you ever want to be effective in the role of teacher, you have to also play the role of friend. It's easy to ignore this and say, "Well, friendship, that’s not that significant. That’s nowhere near the role of teacher.” But if you want to play the role of teacher, you have to play the role of friend. Because teaching without a relationship is just a lecture. It doesn’t matter how life-changing the content of the things you have to say to your kids is, if the context of that is not in a loving relationship with their parents.
Your kids do not care how much you know. They don’t care the influence you have in your organizations. They don’t care about all the wisdom that you’ve learned. They don’t even care if the very experience that they are going through is the exact same thing you went through when you were their age. They don’t care. But you better believe your kids know how much you care. That they know when you’re there for them. They know when you’re listening to them. They know when you’re present physically but not present emotionally. Your kids know how much you care.