What’s your idea of the
perfect family? Do you think back to one of your favorite childhood television
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,
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.
“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
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
“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
- Ignore their voices.
- Don’t try to understand
who they really are.
- Break their core promises.
- Take things too