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Oct 27, 2019

A Gift to Children

A Gift to Children

Speaker: Jarrod Albergaria

Series: Family Matters

Category: Sunday Morning

When we give kids the gift of doing hard things, it is trusting in the promises of God for your kids.

Family Matters Series  /  A Gift to Children

Gifts can be impactful in a kids’ life, but this one gift is being withheld more and more in our world today. This gift impacts our kids' character - who they are and how they relate to others. It also impacts their ability to influence God's kingdom - seeing the world through God's vision. It will help youth to own their faith.

This is the gift of doing hard things - the gift of adversity. Our instincts tell us as parents to protect our kids from hardships, to make it easier for them than we had, to help them to the easiest path to success. This is producing what is today called “lawnmower parenting.” It's parents that tend to mow down or knock down any obstacles or roadblocks to make things easier for their children. When we do this, we are robbing our kids of some important opportunities. wrote an article on five ways that "lawnmower parenting" hurts kids: 

  • They aren’t teaching kids how to deal with discomfort.
  • They are preventing kids from learning problem-solving skills.
  • They aren’t instilling confidence. The underlying meaning of “I love you” is really saying “you can’t do it on your own.”
  • They are fostering poor mental health. Not letting kids take full responsibility for their emotions does little to help them learn how to handle them.
  • They aren't helping kids build mental strength. 

A. Scripture tells us that hard things will be what God uses to develop our kids' faith. James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

This testing is a process of purification. Gold is an example of getting purified when heat is applied. The impurities then rise to the top and can be skimmed off and removed. God uses trials that we face in our lives to refine our faith and strengthen us. When we remove trials, we remove opportunities to be refined. We remove the opportunity for the Mastercraftsman to do work in our kids. When we remove obstacles, we remove the opportunity for our kids to rely on God instead of on us.

Consider the hardships of Job, Joseph, Moses, and Gideon: 

1. Job lost everything - his family, his wealth, and his health. His friends told him to basically go and die.
2. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers.
3. Moses was a fugitive on the run after murdering a man.
4. Gideon as the weakest man in Israel was so scared that he hid in a wine press.

All of these men faced many trials - their faith was tested. All of their lives were tended to by the Mastercraftsman and they were refined and then used to further God’s kingdom.

B. As parents, we can help our kids walk through the battles and help them look to God. Letting children do the hard things is the road to our children experiencing real growth. Luke 2:52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

We want our kids to grow like Jesus in:
   1. Wisdom (knowledge) - requires education.
   2. Stature (physical health) - requires healthy living or eating right and exercise.
   3. Favor with God (spiritual growth) - requires prayer, reading the Word, being in communion with other believers (church).
   4. Favor with man (social growth) - requires healthy relationships, vulnerability with others, being above reproach and having a good reputation.
Our kids can grow in all the ways that Jesus grew with discipline.

C. This gift is given through conversation and demonstration.  Deuteronomy 6:7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. Two things: 1) Walk it out! How are we walking out our own hard times that our kids will see? Walk with them as they go through hard times. 2) Talk! Talk to our kids, conversate, share with them what we are going through.

A life of example: Aubrey Snow. Her mom passed away about 4 months ago. Aubrey embraced the sorrow and the questions and came to a stronger faith in God's purposes. Aubrey's revelation is this, "Death is defeated. Life is a mess. This world is a mess. But God has already won that war for us. He has come and done it all. We will have doubt but we can't lose hope." This revelation came at one of the worst times of her life. God showed Himself as she turned to Him. 

When we give kids the gift of doing hard things, it is trusting in the promises of God for your kids. God can use the hard things to strengthen us and draw us closer to Him. Allow it in your children. Trust God with the plans that God has for your children.

Isaiah 28:28 Grain for bread is crushed. Indeed, He does not continue to thresh it forever. Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually damage itHe does not thresh it longer.

Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.' 

What does it mean to be a lawnmower parent? 

How does letting our children suffer help them?

What are some practical ways to address trials and testing with your children instead of ignoring them completely?

Give examples of ways you have worked through trials in your own children or your own life.