This three-part series describes three keys to great parenting:
- To hover over beginnings,
- To teach the process of self-denial,
- and this one: to dangle the carrot of inspiration.
Third: Dangle the carrot of inspiration
You know where you are headed with your child. The child does not. He is clueless. All he feels is the immediate cantankerous day in front of him and all the spots where he is required to do something his flesh isn't interested in. Therefore, you must dangle stories of outcomes in front of him. Use missionary and historical biographies to do it.
Through thick and thin, overlay this input with the Bible. How you go about this part is critical. If you drone on with the King James Version and long adult devotions with your four-year-old, you'll kill his interest, sure as shootin’. Instead, create emotional bonding with the Bible by carefully making it his favorite book. How? Begin reading easy versions of the Bible (with gorgeous large real-life old paintings, not modern impressionistic pictures). By reading him the Bible you'll whet his appetite for something besides a life that is only interested in "what's for dinner."
Progressively and incrementally, work up to more difficult versions—but keep your Bible versions as picture versions for about the first ten years. For the first several years, read the Bible to him, over and over, cover to cover, to show him a life larger than his own.
Get the horizon bigger—the landscape bigger—the awareness bigger. Go big in exposures to excellent personages, excellent accomplishments, and heroic endeavors. You are raising royal seed. Get the reading material big enough, and turn off the media until fourth grade. NO TV; NO movies. NONE. (To exposure your children to alternate fantasy realities in preference for time spent with the real-deal will damage your child forever. It is no gift. )
Start and end with the Bible. There is a reason it is the highest selling book of all time and will still be standing when heaven and earth roll up like a scroll. We'll wake up to the Bible and its author. Careful. Tiptoe through the tulips. Using progressively more challenging versions, start by reading at first in your own happy voice, with lots of whistling, whew’s and wows over a split second deliverance or a miracle or two, while tucked closely under your wing will do it.
Vigilantly do this. We live in a post-Christian era. What you take for granted in your life of faith, is no more. The entire culture was raised into the late 1800s on the Bible and the solid values of the McGuffey readers—but no more. The vast majority of people on the streets today are unfamiliar with even basic key Bible figures and stories. Clueless. If we're not careful here, we'll rob our children of their God-given hub—their ultimate core. They'll have nothing with which to tackle all the vicissitudes of life. We will have taught them the how of life but forgotten the why. Might as well stay in bed. No, you get up and tend to this matter.
Blessings on the use then of these three tools in all your parenting. In review, they are:
1…Hover over beginnings,
2…train your progeny in self-denial, and
3…ever inspire them—stay out in front of them with an ever-bigger picture of what life is really all about and what they are growing towards.
Resources note/ ideal beginning versions of the Bible:
Proceed in the following order and you'll create lovers of the Bible:
- My Bible Friends Book (10 volumes),
- Egermeier's Bible Story Book, or The Child's Story Bible by Catherine F. Vos
- The Bible Story (10 volumes by Arthur Maxwell, and his 5-volume Bedtime Stories series)
- The Picture Bible (Chariot Books)
- The full Bible (preferably, in large print) (recommended versions English Standard Version and the New American Standard)