From Kevin Funk…
Right now my wife and I are attending the Grace Based Parenting class at Crosspoint. It started about 3 weeks ago and already I feel like I’ve learned a lot. Since parenting is up close and personal on a weekly basis, I felt like I should pass on some info I recently came upon. Now this wasn’t learned in our class but after a few lessons I have done some research on some parenting ideas.
When I married my wife in the spring of 05′ my daughter Madison at the time was 4 years old. Looking back, there are things I could have done better but there are some things I know have paid off as of late. For example, everywhere we drove with Madison in the car, we always had 91.5 WCIC playing across the radio. To this day she knows most of the words and sings along with the melodies. This helps her discern what kind of secular songs she likes today and which ones she knows are not God honoring songs. Using the acronym T.R.E.E., I’d like to share with you how building a tree house is like building a relationship with your child.
Building anything that lasts a lifetime takes time. It takes time to invest into your child’s life. If you have ever tried to build a tree house, you probably figured out it’s not as easy as it seems. You’ve got to have a plan. You need to gather the right tools and supplies for the job. It also takes time and planning to build a relationship of trust in your home. I spent countless hours after work every day with Maddie in her room playing with art stuff. Some days I didn’t feel like it but I tried to keep my eyes open as much as possible.
Requires a firm foundation
A tree house needs to rest on a firm foundation. Your relationship with your child requires a firm foundation a well. Matthew 7:24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock”. If the foundation we build within our house is built upon the teachings of Jesus Christ, then we know that when we pass down those same teachings to our children we are leaving a legacy of faith to the next generation. This foundation is built on truth and grace. Our kids need to know that you’ll always speak the truth to them and show them the grace that we have been shown through the cross.
When building a tree house outside, we know that it will face many storms throughout its lifespan. So to prepare for storms we reinforce the walls and roof with heavy duty material. We know that part of parenting our kids has its periods of storms. Expecting storms means that you are prepared to protect your children, to fight for your children, and to lead them when they begin to follow voices of this world. As parents we need to stay connected to The Vine every day so we can continue to overflow into our children. Being prepared means to know what the enemy is trying to do to our kids. Whether through social media, magazines, or secular activities; we have to be on guard at all times.
Sometimes after a harsh storm, parts of the tree house will need to be repaired. It’s important to constantly check for dangerous changes within the tree house. Similarly, you should constantly be on the lookout for cracks or weaknesses in your relationships with your kids. Though the hurts might seem small at the time, they can lead to bigger problems down the road if not dealt with quickly.
God has given us a ton of resources to deal with our kids from within the Bible. If Jesus is our compass then we know where true north lies. And when we know who and where to follow, life can seem much easier than if we try to do it our own way and feel like we are spinning out of control.