A new decade has arrived. What will the next ten years bring for your life? These questions are prominent in our thoughts as the new year begins. If you are a parent, these considerations have, no doubt, crossed your mind in the last few days. What kind of a parent will you be in this decade? What are the new issues that your children will face in the next ten years? As the decade begins, 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 do you think about?
The Holy Spirit gives particular directions for our thoughts. He says to think about whatever is excellent and praiseworthy ( Philippians 4:8-9). This positive directive follows a negative admonition in the fourth chapter of Philippians 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. Parents, the Holy Spirit wants you to be controlled by thoughts that are excellent. In the next several posts we will look at three topics that call for excellent thoughts. These topics are basic, and yet they are profound. Here they are:
How to love your children biblically.
How to listen to your children biblically.
How to talk to your children biblically.
These tasks require thoughts that are both excellent and praiseworthy. If you give yourself to pursuing these three tasks, both your parenting and your relationship with Christ will experience the wonderful God of peace in new and fruitful ways. Please pray that these next posts will be a blessing to you and others as we begin 2010.