The Gross-Out Factor for Kids

March 22, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Posted in Mark | 1 Comment
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Two of the difficult truths that parents must begin to teach children at a young age are:
1. They are not good kids.
2. Death is real.

A third is:

3. We have to love people who do disgusting things.

Jesus loved the people who didn’t love Him and who did the things He didn’t like. We have to do that, too.

And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Mark 2:16-17

Given a limited choice we would rather our children be grossed out by sin than attracted to it. However, we do not want them to be grossed out by sinNERS to such an extent that they are unwilling to love them. Jesus went to where the sinners were. He was not friends “with them” in the sense that He disguised what He thought of their sins, but He was a friend “to them” in the sense that He got very hands-on in their environment and lives.

Christian parents want their children to be surrounded by good influences, and that’s great, but a truly “good” influence is someone who encourages them to love people who are deeply mired in sin – even people who hate their Jesus, and who hate His Word. You can’t simultaneously show kindness and love to someone while giving them the impression that you are disgusted by who they are as a person. Lifeguards don’t swim out to a drowning person flailing in the sea, and immediately start telling him what an idiot he is for going swimming after eating a bucket of fried chicken and drinking a two-liter Pepsi.

Raising a Four Year Old

January 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Posted in Biblical Parenting | 2 Comments
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Four years ago today, with some trepidation and with my wife doing all the technical stuff, I posted my first entry on The Deep End. I thank the Lord for granting me the consistency to keep posting, and for the ways He has blessed it and used it.

Four years old is about the time when children start to accumulate lasting memories, so if I think of The Deep End as a four-year-old kid, then I pray that this will be a year of memorable impact. As a parent of actual children, I am a steward or a manager over them, and they really “belong” to God. I feel the same way about this blog. It belongs to God and He allows me to manage it.

As a parent, I have certainly had my share of ups and downs, and, frankly, it is one of my weakest spiritual areas. This initially made me reluctant to teach or post about parenting. I once heard a preacher say that, while we might prefer to teach about our strengths, it is not valid to withhold Biblical instruction in areas where we have experienced failure. After all, he said, I’m going to have to preach about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, although I’ve certainly never been crucified myself!

So, in honor of this anniversary, here are the links to previous posts under the category called “Biblical Parenting:”

1. Spending Your Retirement on Your Children
2. Naming Neighbors
3. Like Father, Like Child
4. What to Be for Your Kids
5. What to Do for Your Kids
6. What to Buy for Your Kids
7. Chuck E. Church *
8. This Big Light of Mine
9. The Know-It-Alls that Don’t Know Much
10. Don’t Let Distraction Lead to Division
11. The Raptor and the Captor
12. Hijacked Hearts
13. The Unbiblical Concept of “Teenagers”
14. A Snapshot of the Lord’s Adolescence
15. Pavlov’s Kids
16. Boys Will Be Boys, but Boys Should Want to Be Men
17. The Dangers of Fatherhood
18. The Early Bird Gets to Wait
19. Show and Tell
20. Fathers and Daughters
21. The Stones of Curiosity
22. The New Girl Arrives
23. How Many Sermons about Purity Do Boys Need to Hear?
24. Christ’s Childhood Preparation
25. When Is It Good to be Proud? (Spoiler Alert: Never)
26. Don’t be an Abusive, Angry, Absent, or Addicted Parent 
27. The Problem with Popular Parenting (Genesis 21:1-11; Ephesians 6:1)
28. The Problem with Pecuniary Parenting 
29. The Problem with Petulant Parenting 
30. The Propriety of Paragonal Parenting
31. A Child’s View of God’s Supremacy
32. Children’s Bible Catechism
33. Kingdom Teaching for Children
34. Our Kids Are Not Good Kids
35. Children Need to Know that Death Is Real
36. The Gross-Out Factor for Kids (Mark 2:16-17)
37. Even the Children (Psalm 148)
38. The Most Important Children’s Ministry Tool (II Timothy 3:15)
39. Don’t Teach Fables (Matthew 12:38-41)
40. Don’t Teach Feelings (Proverbs 28:26)
41. Don’t Teach Finesse
42. The Blessings and Hazards of Companionship (Proverbs 13:20)

* most-read post in category

Show and Tell

February 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Posted in Biblical Parenting, Common Expressions | 4 Comments
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Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

Deuteronomy 32:7 (emphasis added)

You probably remember from your kindergarten or elementary school years the day when your teacher would have you bring your baseball glove or your bottle cap collection or your talking dolly to class with you, so you could stand up in front of the other students and give a little oral report about this special item. We called it “Show (KJV: Shew) and Tell Day.”

In Deuteronomy 32 we have the song of Moses, and it’s like he’s telling God’s people that there are some things that your parents will show you, but there are other things that your grandparents will have to tell you about.

Moses admonished the people after they had been lead from captivity, and he warned them not to turn away from God. Likewise, we need to remind ourselves of both the great things God has done for us in the recent past, and the things He has done in for us in the “old days.” We have a responsibility to teach our children and our grandchildren about the Lord and His ways. I’m not necessarily opposed to children’s lessons in church, nor am I against finding a good Christian book on child-rearing. But, no matter how hard I try, I’m really going to have to depend on the same Person I’ve depended on throughout my whole career as a parent so far – the Holy Spirit. If I am willing to take my Bible and diligently attempt to instruct my children from it, He has promised to help me.

LIke Father, Like Child

June 8, 2009 at 9:10 am | Posted in Biblical Parenting, Biblical Walking | 10 Comments
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Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

Ephesians 5:1

Have you ever seen a little boy with a toy lawnmower, following closely behind as his father uses the real thing a few steps ahead?

https://swimthedeepend.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/dc787-sany0213.jpg

Or a little girl using a pretend steering wheel in the passenger seat of a car, as her mother drives down the road?

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQtAdqGSXwMmNRWlyyTvTRlxTXGhVZ7TZS81u8AlHDjng33dvglfA

It’s just a simple fact of life that children like to imitate their parents.

If you have been brought to repentance and redemption by the sovereign grace of God, then you have a “spiritual Father” that should be even more important to you than an earthly parent is to his or her child. In like manner, you should desire to walk after, and to imitate, your Heavenly Father.

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Ephesians 5:2

God is love (I John 4:8). For a Christian, born into the family of God, and therefore being a partaker of God’s divine nature (II Peter 1:4), to not be loving is to fail to be an imitator or a follower of our Father. It has been well said that, in the New Covenant, love is not something – love is the thing.


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