In this fast paced world, time alone with our kids at home is limited and before you know it the day arrives for them to move out of the house. Are they ready for what faces them? Quality time loving and getting to know our kids is paramount, but it is also critical to prepare them for living a life on their own.
There’s an old saying, “Marriage is forever, children are just passing through.” Nothing could be more true. As parents our job is to prepare our children to grow up and leave the nest.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24 (KJV)
Eighteen years seems like a long time, but it’s really not. Birthdays, Christmas holidays, little league, school plays, piano lessons, vacations, school proms, it moves by so fast. That is why we must make use of the time we have.
In Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Moses gave specific instructions to help parents know how to pass on their faith and their values to their children. The key family times we have are morning time, meal time, drive time, and bed time. This is when we can instruct them about common sense everyday living.
My wife and I will always be Mom and Dad to our kids, and we’ll always have a relationship, but we are preparing our children for something beyond their time with us. As their parents, the most important thing we need to do is to make sure our children are ready to go out into the world and do whatever God has called them to do.
All too often, most young people don’t leave home with what they need to rise above life’s challenges and to reach their full potential. They don’t leave home with what it takes to make it in life.
Every time I’ve read a true success story I’ve noticed something: successful people have certain traits in common. Whether they’ve made their mark in athletics or politics, literature or science, the church or the corporate world, they all posses some of the same characteristics. Some left home with them, some left home without them but they learned to develop these traits in adulthood. They got what they needed from the school of hard knocks. Either way all of them made an enormous impacts on the world.
As I took my oldest daughter and her fiancé through several weeks of pre-marriage counseling I realized I had tried to cover too much. By our last session I simply said, “Every thing I have told you I have reduced to eight things on this 3 x 5 card I am giving each of you. If you will make an effort to apply these eight simple Biblical principles on a daily basis you life will free of many of the hardships that face most couples.”
I believe these eight traits enable young people to leave home with an advantage in life. No matter your vocation, ethnicity, religious background, or upbringing, these eight traits will get you somewhere. They will also give you a better standard of living – a godly standard that will bring you His blessings.
THE EIGHT TRAITS
1. A Sense Of Self Worth
Matthew 22:39 (NKJ) You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Ephesians 5:28 (NKJ) Husbands ought to love their own wives an their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
If you don’t love yourself, your neighbor and your wife are in trouble. You can’t give away what you have not received, and God is the only source of love. Every child deserves the right to leave home born again and a student of the Word. They know that their worth has been settled in heaven.
Humans treat others based on how they feel about themselves. Many leave home with holes in their souls because they don’t know who they are in Christ. They don’t know that they are both loved and accepted in Christ, so they spend their life trying to prove that they deserve love from others. People who don’t like themselves talk about themselves all the time because they need constant affirmation from others. People who do love themselves do so because they know God loves just the way they are. They don’t need affirmation from others, They can walk into a room and be the miracle, not need the miracle.
Low self-worth creates chameleons.
Low self-worth makes you wishy-washy.
Low self-worth invites rejection.
Low self-worth squanders potential.
Low self-worth makes moral pushovers.
Plant self-worth in your kids by teaching them who they are in Christ!
2. A Big Vision
Proverbs 29:18 (NKJ) Where there is no vision, the people perish.
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJ) No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him – but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
God has big plans for everyone. We have to raise our kids to think, “I’m here for something really important. My name may not be in the encyclopedia, but God created me to do something great. Maybe not today, but eventually I’m going to make a mark here on this planet.”
Kids don’t just automatically think this way about themselves. As a parent, we have to put that into them. And, if you didn’t get that as a kid, you have to put that into yourself too. How do you do that? You do that by looking into the mirror of God’s Word..
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NKJ) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hop.
Psalm 139:16 (NLT) You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT) Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Oh that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live.
God sent an angel to Gideon not to call him what he was but to call him what he was going to become. We need to speak God’s word over our kids and call them what they are going to become not what they are.
God’s plan for our life is not based on us, it is based on him. It is not based on our GPA, our IQ, or on anything we have done. God looked down through time and saw every sin we would ever commit and still sent his son for us.
Plant a big vision in your child by telling them what God thinks about them.
3. A Love Of Math
Proverbs 24:3-4 (TLB) Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense; and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.
God is an accountant. Everything he owns is numbered and inventoried, from the days of our lives to the hairs on our head. In heaven we will give an account of every idle word, deed, and thought during our lives.
God is a God of stewardship.
Matthew 25:29 (NLT) Jesus said, “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”
According to the U S census, 97% of all families have no working budget. People don’t know how much they earn, owe, or own. That maybe why we are the number one debtor nation in the world.
We profit wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts. We get more of what we take care of. If God does it, we who are made in his image should do it!
Teach your kids a love of math so that they can live an abundant, profitable life when they leave home.
4. Organizational and Time Management Skills
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT) For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
Proverbs 90:12 (NKJ) So teach us to number our days That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
1 Corinthians 14:33 (NLT) For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
1 Corinthians 13:40 (NLT) But be sure that everything is done properly and in order.
Most kids do not do poorly in school not because they are dumb, but because they are disorganized. “Do we need a pencil in this class?” “Is the test today?” Organizational and time management skills should be taught to kids when they are young. We live in a disordered world. Many adults struggle with getting places on time, paying bills on time, remembering important dates, etc. The human brain can only retain so much information.
Children should be taught early to use a calendar, and a watch. They need to be taught to organize their backpacks, their room, their closet, their drawers, etc.. They don’t learn in one day, one week, or one year. Some take longer than others but wee need to be consistent in training them. Don’t yell, call them names, or describe some horrible future but calmly instruct and train every day.
Plant the ability to self-organize and manage their time. They will thank you when they grow up!
5. Teachable Spirit
Psalm 37:11 (NKJ) The meek shall inherit the earth. And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Matthew 23:12 (NLT) But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
1 Timothy 3:2 (ISV) Therefore an elder must be…teachable.
Proverbs 29:23 (NKJ) A man’s pride will bring him low. But the humble in spirit will retain honor.
Everything I both own and posses is a direct result of doing everything I know. If I hope to ever do more or have more I must learn something I currently don’t know. Teachable people will inherit the earth. We must teach our kids a love of learning. They are not going to be good at everything, only a few things. But, that doesn’t stop them from learning. There is an old saying, ” The more I learn, the more I learn I don’t know.”
You only get paid for two things on this planet, for what you know or what you can do. If you don’t know more than someone else, or you can’t do more than some else, you don’t get paid more than someone else.”
Create in your children a love for learning.
6. Communication Skills
Proverbs 15:2 (NLT) The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.
Proverbs 15:28 (NLT) The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.
Ephesians 4:29 (NLT) Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Proverbs 18:21 (NLT) The tongue can bring death or life, those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
Success in life is based largely on our ability to communicate. We might be sitting next to the smartest person in the world but they might not be volunteering any information. And, all wars, divorces, and affairs begin with words. The book of Proverbs is an entire course on communication, what to say or not say, when to say it or not say it. Have your child read a Proverb every day and it will change the way they talk.
Matthew 12:34-35 (NLT) For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from treasury of an evil heart.
Children learn mainly how to communicate by listening to us. Just something to think about!
Proverb 22:6 (NKJ) Train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it.
Ephesians 6:4 (NLT) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.
Character is revealed by what you do when no one is looking. The problem is that someone is always looking. God is looking, the devil is looking, angels and demons are looking. Teach your children to do right because it is right to do right.
Nobody gets away with anything. In 1 Timothy 5:24 (ISV) we read, “The sins of some people are obvious, going ahead of them to judgment. The sins of others follow them there.” And, in Numbers 32:23 (NLT) we read, “your sin will find you out.”
Teach you children that there is profitability in godliness but the wages of sin is death. Do, say, and act right because it is right!
8. Sense of Humor
Proverbs 15:13 (NKJ) A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance. But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Proverbs 17:22 (NKJ) A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.
Nehemiah 8:10 (NLT) Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Teach you kids how to laugh and no take life so serious. Nobody wants a pickle face for a friend. Nobody wants to be married to a pickle face. People love people who make them laugh. We need to bring our laughter with us. “Today is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118:24.
It is said that the most common trait among the most successful businessmen in a strong sense of humor.
All of life has its challenges but we should be enjoying the process most of the time. Jesus said he came to bring a rich and satisfying life! John 10:10 (NLT)
Jesus prayed, “Father, let my joy be manifested in them!” Jesus wants us to have homes of laughter and homes of Joy! People remember what they laugh at.
Lets teach our kids the joy of living!
There they are, eight principles that will enhance your family’s life. Lets live it to the fullest!
GET THE TOOLS YOU NEED
Now you know the eight traits and principles for success in your life and preparing your child for their life! Learn how to start instilling these in your child with the help of Joe’s laugh-and-learn book, “Eight Things No Kid Should Leave Home Without.”