Raising Your Amazing Kid!
Austin Gutwein is one amazing kid! Every parent dreams of their child making a difference in this world. Today Austin Gutwein joins Dr. Randy to share his story of how God touched his heart as a young boy—and he started right then impacting the lives of others children. Oh, and did we mention that he has written TWO books? And he’s raised thousands of dollars to help those in need. Hear his story with Dr. Randy on today’s Intentional Living Program.
Help from The Intentional Living Center
Raising Amazing Children
By Dr. Randy Carlson (excerpt from Raising Responsible Adults)
To raise a responsible adult you must know and obey God’s precepts, or laws, yourself. In other words, to raise responsible children you must be a responsible parent! Then you must teach your child to be the same.
Proverbs 22:6 says, Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. According to this, the primary duty of a parent is to train a child in God’s precepts. The conditional promise attached to this verse is that when he or she is older, they will continue to follow in the Lord’s ways.
There is a secret to parenting. The vital task for you as a parent is to teach your child about God, who will instruct your child Himself and fill in any gaps you leave in the process. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 provides a plan. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
From reading this, you can see that parents have the responsibility for teaching children about the goodness of God. Our talk should revolve around God, our minds should be constantly fixed on Him and our actions should reflect that devotion. We are to fill our hearts, our homes and our hours with Him in such a way that our children cannot help but notice – and perhaps emulate.
Although our churches are great support in this endeavor, it is the parent who has been given the responsibility for what a child knows and understands about God.
The Apostle Paul gave a good description of the labor-intensive enterprise of teaching others about Christ in Galatians 5:19, My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you… Paul compared training others to be a disciple of Jesus to the physical task of childbirth.
Let’s draw some analogies. If physical childbirth begins in the womb, then spiritual birth begins in the heart. Likewise if physical childbirth takes some time, we can’t expect spiritual training to be a quick enterprise. We know that children often have growth spurts. If you think about it, the first year is an astonishing time of growth. We could naturally assume that someone might be especially prone to a spiritual growth spurt the first year they receive salvation.
Considering the longevity of the spiritual growth process, do you feel you have devoted adequate time to teaching your child about God?
I believe these are the key precepts we should be teaching our children. Aside from honoring one’s parents, consider the following verses to determine some of the virtues that God wants you to impress on your children as they mature.
Hebrews 5:14: To learn the difference between good and evil.
Hebrews 8:10: To put God’s laws in their minds and hearts.
Proverbs 13:20: To choose good friends.
Ephesians 5:3: To keep themselves sexually pure.
Obviously, the commands of God extend far beyond this. But if you can impress these values on your children, you will be preparing them well for adulthood. Write here some of the other biblical commands or values that you want to pass on to your child.
Let’s go back to Proverbs 22:6. Most of us know families whose children caused their parents lots of heartbreak through rebellion. You might have even heard those parents lament: “We taught him better than this.” So does Proverbs 22:6 promise what it says or not?
Like other proverbs, this one is best considered a rule of thumb. Parents who are intentional about training their children usually end up with responsible adults–although sometimes that responsibility was hard learned through dealing with the repercussions of a period of rebellion. That’s where the “old” often comes in.
But like Adam and Eve, some of us will find ourselves with children who go their own disobedient way. While training our children is not an iron-clad guarantee that they’ll turn out well, it’s perfectly true that, given enough time, our aging children often will come to the realization that God’s ways are always best.
Austin Gutwein has a message to share with his fellow teens: God made each of you unique so that He can use you for a special purpose. In his book “Live to Give: Letting God Turn Your Talents into Miracles,” Gutwein challenges that regardless of age and talent, God can use you to make a difference. Though He could do it all Himself, God created humankind with a mission: to take care of His creation.
Raising Responsible Adults will help you turn your good intentions for your child into reality by aligning them with God’s intentions for their life. Within these pages you will find biblical insight from God’s Word, information that will help you understand your child and practical actions mixed with prayer that can go a long way in raising a responsible adult.