Raising Home Run Kids

Introduction:

As parents, we pray for the the wisdom and strength necessary to point our children to Jesus. We band together with the power of the Holy Spirit to raise up future generations to center their lives on Jesus and embark on the adventure of living home run lives. The Home Run Life is a very effective paradigm for understanding and tracking the spiritual development of us and our children. Last week we talked about home plate where everything begins and ends in baseball. In Home Run Life, the home plate is where you connect with God. It is where faith begins. It is where God becomes real and personal. If you are going to raise Home Run Kids, you must show them how to connect with God at home plate and learn to love Him. Today, we look at first base.

Bottom Line: Self-control is the key to character.

Something To Talk About:

First Base is the character base. It is where your connection with God begins to shape your attitudes, thoughts and behavior. First base is where your love for God translates into loving yourself. To raise Home Run Kids you will need to teach your kid(s) how to develop a proper love of self. This week we ask the questions:  What rules your life? What rules your kids? Scripture for this week: Galatians 5:13-26

  1. Ruled by Discipline without Emotion (Inhuman): Strict disciplinary parenting, without emotion, tends to raise angry children who stop trying to please their parents because there is no point in trying. Parenting by discipline, without emotion, means we use the word “no” more often than we would like. Parenting is not something we can run away from. And we don’t want kids who have no emotional attachment. Kids that don’t smile, who scowl, and are ruled by a ruler. No one wants to be the type of parent who is not engaged emotionally, who lacks passion, and who is content to raise robot kids. This doesn’t work and is inhumane.
  1. Ruled by Emotion without Discipline (Immature): The parents who rule by discipline, without emotion, want to control their kids. The parents that rule by emotion, without discipline, give their children free rein and try to be their kid’s friend, rather than their parent. If you are an emotion, without discipline parent, you’ll find yourself frequently saying things like, “if it feels good, do it.”  That means making your decisions based on feelings. Many people think that feelings make the decisions more authentic, more real, but do they? I think it is the opposite. We live in a culture that makes decisions on feelings. When you let your feelings make your life decisions you will go from happy to hurt. Making decisions this way is short sighted and will not work because it is immature.
  1. Ruled by Self-Control (Emotionally Mature): Well-meaning parents all over the world have tried throughout the centuries to try to figure out the right formula or wisdom to use in raising up a godly, responsible, emotionally and spiritually healthy children. It is right to desire to find a way to love, educate, train and discipline a child – to help him become mature, because emotional maturity is necessary for Home Run Kids. Often that means they must have self control which means they rise above being selfish and immature. That means they are honest and thankful and they pay to play; in other words, they do the hard thing first before they play. Immaturity means they play first and then if they get to the hard thing, then they get to it. Self control produces character. 

Questions:

  1. What does raising Home Run Kids mean to you? Does it matter what season of life the child is in?
  2. What does it mean to you for your kids to love themselves?
  3. Would you say that you are influencing your child or that your child is influencing you? 
  4. How can you find the balance between the two parenting options of ruling by discipline without emotion, and ruling by emotion without discipline?   
  5. How has your parenting approach focused on character building so far? Are there other areas that are taking time away from opportunities to build character? If so, what are they?
  6. What can we do this week to help our children be emotionally mature (self-control)?

Take One Thing Home with You:

I am excited about the Raising Home Run Kids series. My hope and prayer is that families will gain a lot from this series and we are confident that no matter what the size or type of family you have, you will find ways to apply these teachings to your life. Because one day, our little ones will face a professor, employer, or friend that requires them to stand up for Christ. Even if that day never comes, they ought to be prepared, nonetheless. And that comes from the character that we instill in them while they are young.

Jesus’ life is the example, as it always is. There was a lost world because His children rebelled against Him. But His love and compassion was so much a part of His character and being, He was compelled to come to save us. He fellowshipped with His disciples, loved them, listened to them, confronted them, corrected them, fed them, taught them, and laid down His life for them. Because of their relationship with Him, they were willing to lay down their life for Him and His kingdom.

His love compelled them–it was a long-term process, this one of securing their obedience and hearts. Their hearts wanted to please Him and obey Him because of what He had meant to them. Such is parenting, seeking to instill a love for God and a godly character in our kids so they will get to first base, and then move forward to second base.