Church should help raise children
    December 1 2010 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor

    What’s your idea of the perfect family? Do you think back to one of your favorite childhood television shows?

    When Merrie Johnson, senior consultant in evangelization at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, was leading a break out session Nov. 9, several answers were offered, including “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Brady Bunch.”

    But that’s not reality, Johnson said.

    Teaching from Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof, Johnson hopes parents and grandparents who are raising children will realize that they should not “feel like we’re less than” because they haven’t reached their ideal family.

    A child’s relationship with Christ should matter the most, she said.

    BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle

    Merrie Johnson, senior consultant in evangelization at the Baptist State Convention, urges parents to connect with their children.

    “They’re searching so hard for security,” Johnson said.

    What better place than in the arms of the Father?

    “I do want you to know that you are loved,” Johnson said parents should tell their children. “They think everything is conditional (and) worry will there be a time (the parents) will not fight for them.”

    Johnson said parents should rely on Christ, the other spouse and the church to help with their children. As a single mother with two sons, Johnson knows she can’t do it alone. Through the years, she continues to stress to her children that she will be around for them.

    Johnson found a mentor in her church for her boys. He agreed to meet them 15-20 minutes before church every week. She spends summers leading youth camps at Caswell, North Carolina’s Baptist assembly on Oak Island. The No. 1 thing youth say they hear from parents: “I told you you’d never measure up.”

    Johnson said, “They are trying everywhere they can to get approval.”

    Parents should make their relationship with God a high priority, not getting their children to follow the rules.

    “I can’t give what I don’t have,” said Johnson.

    Spending time with God will show in how you treat your children, she explained.

    More churches need to invest time in parents, teaching them how to disciple and teaching them the basics of faith. Johnson said adults were more scared than the teenagers to tackle the topic of apologetics this summer at camp.

    “Somewhere along the way parents have not gotten the foundation,” she said. “The church should be a safe place. The church is full of broken people.”

    Johnson encouraged parents to interact with their children, not just be content to be in the same room.

    She shared some ways parents break their child’s trust:
    • Discipline in anger.
    • Use words that communicate rejection.
    • Ignore their voices.
    • Don’t try to understand who they really are.
    • Break their core promises.
    • Take things too personally.
    12/1/2010 4:47:00 AM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor | with 0 comments

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