What will 2014 bring for your life? If you are a parent, this question, no doubt, has crossed your mind. What kind of a parent will you be this year? What are the new issues that your children will face, both in their own growth and with the unsettling changes in the culture. it is not uncommon for your thoughts to vacillate between hope and worry. There are new opportunities, but also new dangers to face. At the end of the day, when you are left alone with your thoughts, what will you think about?
The Holy Spirit gives particular directions for your thoughts. He says to think about whatever is excellent and praiseworthy ( Philippians 4:8-9). This positive directive follows a negative admonition to avoid worry. Parents, these words are especially important for you. In the face of all the challenges of rearing children, God directs you to focus your thoughts on those things that are excellent. This command goes far beyond simply having a positive attitude. This command is designed to lead you into a deepening relationship with your Savior as you follow him in parenting.
Hear Paul’s directive to you as you consider what you will think about. This is significant. We have control over what we choose to think about. Circumstances and difficult relationships do not have to control your thoughts.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Phil. 4:8
Following this directive leads to the peace of God in your mind. But the path of peace is not for the faint-hearted. Following God will lead to peace. But seeking peace first will drive you from God. Parents, the Holy Spirit wants you to be controlled by thoughts that are excellent. This leads to peace. Here are three areas of thought that call for excellence. These topics are basic, and yet they are profound. They require courage to implement. Here they are:
How to love your children biblically.
How to listen to your children biblically.
How to talk to your children biblically.
But be warned, a half-hearted pursuit of these goals will end in frustration and disillusionment. However, if you give yourself to passionately pursuing these three objectives, both your parenting and your relationship with Christ will grow in new and fruitful ways. Parents, there is no better way to focus your thinking as 2014 begins.