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To Raise Our Children Again

A Quick Easy Guide Of  12 Powerful Truths In Raising Great Children

By Kim and Bettye Carroll

 

 © Copyright 2017 Kim and Bettye Carroll

All rights reserved. This book may not be copied or reprinted for commercial gain or profit. The use of short quotations or occasional page copying for personal or group study is permitted and encouraged.

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"Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible (AMP),
Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission.www.lockman.org

 

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

 
 

 

 

 

Kim and Bettye Carroll have been pastors in Lexington, KY. for over 38 years and have traveled and ministered extensively in over 25 countries. They have authored several training booklets and have felt their call is to help establish His Kingdom by the building up of the saints through training and discipleship. Kim and Bettye have been married 44 years, have 6 beautiful daughters, 1 amazing niece who they consider a daughter, 4 wonderful son-in-laws and 5 of the cutest  grandchildren in the world.

 

Table of Contents

Section One, First Things First

Chapter 1    The Big Picture

Chapter 2    Good Foundations

Section Two, Twelve Truths

Chapter 3     The Right Stuff

Chapter 4      Look Alikes

Chapter 5      Daddy, Daddy

Chapter 6      Lighten Up

Chapter 7      All Things Big And Small

Chapter 8      In The Moment

Chapter 9      Just For The Fun

Chapter 10    Those Magic Words

Chapter 11     Being Hilarious

Chapter 12     BFF

Chapter 13     It’s The Least I Can Do

Chapter 14     A Glass Half Full

Chapter 15     Making A Difference

We dedicate this book to our wonderful children. What an honor it is to be called your parents.

We can not imagine our lives without you.

 

 

Introduction

 

If We Were to Raise Our Family Again

We are not going to claim to be perfect parents. This book is not about us being the best at parenting. We have made plenty of mistakes. So we don't want anyone to think we are coming from a “we know and you don't” mentality. Instead, looking back on our years of parenting, and if we were to go back and do it again, these are twelve truths we definitely see as imperative in raising great children. We would, without a doubt, spend so much more time than we ever did imparting these to our children.

 

Obviously like a quarterback after the game you can see the different moves you should have done that would have made a difference in the outcome of the game. The same is true in raising children, it's always easier after the fact to see the importance of certain truths in the development of a child to an adult. Even as adults we meet people from time to time with obvious issues that we know came from the way they were raised. We can say we now know, having raised our children, that these were very important areas in their development.
 

We are not looking back in regret, wishing we had been better parents. We know we could have done better. As imperfect beings we know anything we do in life, if we are honest, could be done better. Instead this is simply looking back at the parenting job we did do, and asking what we would change, add, or do differently. What are the things that really mattered the most in forming them into the adults they are today? We are not looking back from a negative perspective but one of "after the fact" of knowing how important certain values are to our family now. 

 

Again, like the quarterback after the game, even though he won the game, he reviews  the tapes. He is looking for areas to improve, places he could have given more of a second effort, or just maybe done it a little differently. So we are writing this to offer some insight with what wisdom we do have, into the awesome experience of raising your children.
 

We have been married 41 years. We have six wonderful daughters. At the time of this writing their ages range from 22-36, four are married and we have four beautiful grandchildren. Since our youngest has now graduated from college, the major portion of our parenting is finished. So we are a little more free to look back and evaluate our job as parents and through those years we gained some experience and wisdom that we feel could help others.  

 

As we present this list we are not saying this is an exclusive list, or that there are no other areas, or that these are the only important ones. You may already be better at these areas than we were, and that's great, or you may have a couple of points you could add. We are just stating these are the ones we have seen as being the most effective for their future as adults and that these will carry them throughout their lives. Our hope is that these will minister to you and help you in your parenting journey.

Who can benefit? 

 Anyone, whether they have children of their own or not, can play an influential role in how a child thinks and acts. You may be an aunt or uncle, youth worker, children's minister, babysitter, again it doesn't matter if you have children or not you have the ability to influence for good.  Every parent needs or could use a little help from time to time. 
 

Those first time parents, the ones just starting out.  Wow you are the champions right now. You are the ones in the thick of it. You are trying your best to navigate raising your children with all the pressures of this age and it’s philosophy being thrown in your faces everyday. Hopefully this will help you see the big picture and help in keeping you on track. If needed, Use this as a guide to pull out from time to time and check yourself.  

Those who are about to be parents or thinking it's time to start your family. Go over these areas and make sure they are a part of your own lives first. Make sure you and your spouse are in agreement of what's important. Make sure you both are on the same page as to how you will raise your children. If it is in you, you will naturally impart it to your children. 

Those who are parents for a few years now, maybe you even have young teenagers. We believe in the redemptive nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, therefore it is never too late. Through Jesus you can start to put the right principles into your children that may help them the rest of their lives. 

Those who are grandparents. If you haven't discovered this yet you are in one of the most influential positions. You are not only able to enjoy your grandchildren but you can speak to the values you now know are instrumental in their development. As grandparents, you can play such a valuable role in a child's development. Don't think your job is done. While you are not the parent, your place with those grandchildren can be used as a powerful impartation.  

 

How Can You Benefit?

Use these twelve truths as a guide. Maybe you have a couple you could add to these. Take time, at least two to three times a year,  as parents where you sit down and evaluate where you are at with your children. Life will catch you fast enough and before you realize it you may find yourself so busy with your job, and all those other activities, they begin to wear you down. You realize there is just not enough time. Now more than ever sit down and evaluate. You may be right on track, but do you have some sort of guide you are measuring by? Pull this guide out and discuss with each other what you see being effective and if any changes need to be made. We now know looking back and if we were to do it again; a simple guide would have been great.

Chapter 1

The Big Picture

We have told our children that family is important. Think about it, if you can erode the family as a unit, by whatever means, then you can eventually destroy a nation. God started with a family and is ending with a family and all throughout the bible He used family. He built a nation out of a family. He then sent His Son (son-family) to adopt us as His sons and daughters making us family. You cannot go near God the Father (father-family) and not know how important the raising of family is to Him.

 

To illustrate this point there was a book written in the early 1900’s (A. E. Winship) that took two families, Jonathan Edwards, a great American preacher from the early 1700’s, and a man by the name Max Jukes from the same time period. The author did research on both families. I believe Max Jukes was not his real name. The author followed the two family trees for several generations.  Jonathan Edwards a famous preacher coming from a Godly family and Jukes a notorious crook of some sort.  Edwards was raised by Godly influence Jukes was not. Jukes had roughly 1200 descendants, and Edwards 1700. The following results speak for themselves.
Jukes:
310 of the 1,200 were professional paupers—more than one in four.
300 of the 1,200—one in four—died in infancy from lack of good care and good conditions. 50 women who lived lives of notorious debauchery. 400 men and women were physically wrecked early by their own wickedness.
7 were murderers. 60 were habitual thieves who spent on the average twelve years each in lawlessness. 130 criminals who were convicted more or less often of crime.

Edwards:
1 U.S. Vice-President (Aaron Burr), 3 U.S. Senators,3 governors, 3 mayors,13 college presidents, 30 judges, 65 professors, 80 public office holders, 100 lawyers, 100 missionaries, pastors and theologians.
While this is just a short summary of their ancestry. We can definitely see how we raise our family has a profound influence for the future. One family has Godly roots and as a result produced many generations of successful men and women who helped in building society. While the other family with ungodly roots resulted in many generations of criminality and wickedness which tore down and took from society rather than adding to it.

Prov 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. AMP
 

So here are a few things to think about on the subject of raising your children.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? (Legacy; something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past)
What kind of adults do you want them to be later in life?

What kind of influence do you want your children to have on others?
How do you want your children to raise their children?

A list of several other thoughts could be presented here but we hope you get the idea. How we raise our children is very important; It really does matter. We believe that some of the greatest areas of judgement will be in this area because it affects many future generations. This just possibly may be the greatest responsibility God gives us. As serious as this is, we also believe it is the greatest joy and most rewarding responsibility we could ever have.

We need to understand children are a blessing from the Lord. 

Ps 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. 5 Happy, blessed, and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them! AMP

God has blessed you with the greatest of all gifts. It is important that you know there is no one on planet earth more qualified than you to raise your children, not your parents, grandparents, and not the state or federal government. Why, because God gave them to you. We can learn from other parents, grandparents and such but God gave them to you because He saw you as the most qualified to act on His behalf in raising them. He blessed you with them. They are the greatest blessing you will ever receive  from God Almighty. They are your extension into the earth. A legacy whether you realize it or not that will go on and on hopefully for many generations. They are a part of you, and there is nobody on planet earth that will or should know them better than you. 

 We believe the greatest blessing we will ever receive when we are gone from this earth, will be when we are sitting in heaven and watching as one by one, not just our children make it in, but their children and their children’s children and every generation after. This can all be possible when we allow God to use us to influence them and teach them His ways. 

You need to see your children everyday as an amazing blessing from God.  God loves family, and is 100% behind you in raising the children He gave you. Now raise them with the right mindset and the right picture. (As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.) So shoot them out into this life on earth to make a difference for the Lord Jesus Christ.

   
 

Chapter 2

Good Foundations

 

Before going any further we believe you need the right foundations to build upon.

Luke 6:47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete." NIV

1 Cor 3:11-12
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. NIV
 

We personally believe raising our children in Christ centered values is the highest form of living. When Jesus is Lord of our lives we can present to our children the greatest of examples. So we are writing this already assuming that you, as a parent, are walking with Jesus. So with that, here are some important and even foundational points to correctly build God’s truths within your children.

God’s Word.

 If we are not going to have His Word as our standard then you will raise them with some other standard. There is no neutral standard. God’s word is the only standard of right and wrong that has stood the test of time. His Word is perfect, flawless and a must in raising your children. Many times our children would look at us and say, “well everyone else is doing it” and our response would be, “if you can find it in the word then we will let you do it”. The world wants you and your children to water down the standard in order to weaken or lower it to where there is no longer a standard. 

Jesus always did what His Father asked in obeying His Words, then His Words must be our greatest foundation. The Word has to be the standard by which we live our lives in front of our children. 

 

Ps 12:6 And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. NIV

Ps 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless.
He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. NIV

Prov 30:5 "Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. 6 Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. NIV

Our Children Are Our First Disciples

Our children were not accidents they were gifts, blessings from God Almighty Himself. He has a plan and a destiny for them, but He is giving us the responsibility of raising them for Him.There is no auto-pilot for raising your children. Children, by God’s intention and His design, are to be discipled by their parents. 

We, as parents, must be involved in the process of raising them. That means as parents, when possible, we should be their example by demonstrating to them what is right and wrong and how life in God is to be lived. The scripture which is known as the great commision, or as I like to say, the job Jesus gave us, His followers, to do upon leaving this earth, He told us to go and make disciples of the nations.

 Each generation has a chance at running the nation they live in. Each generation will one day be led by the generation coming after them. How do you want them leading you? If you can say the generation leading your nation now is messed up and doing a poor job, then you need only to look at how they were raised as children. We as parents, in discipling our children, are discipling a nation. What a sobering thought. 

 

Matt 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." NIV

The Parents Must Be In Agreement. 

If the parents are not in agreement then they need to sit down and talk through the area until they have an agreement. Now we are not saying you will agree on every little thing. But for the most part, especially the bigger more influential points in life, both parents should have an agreement on how it will be presented to their children. Otherwise the child will have to decide what is important in certain areas for themselves. How they decide this could stem from many bad influences around them, from what they hear and see on TV or Movies, peers, well you get the idea. They will have to navigate these areas without a clear picture. As parents we want to give them the clearest picture possible. We do not want them guessing as to what the picture should look like. Instead as their parents we want to present the picture of life in all clarity. 

Along with this and equally important is discipline. The parents need to be in agreement on discipline. While many people disagree on the method of discipline, there still needs to be a clear standard of agreement with the parents as to the order of discipline in the house. Your children need to know that disobedience and the consequences are the same with mom as with dad. If not then the children rule. Know for certain God gives the parent this responsibility and they are the ones in charge, not the children.

As Parents Your “Yes” Must Mean Yes and Your “No” Must Mean No.                                                                                                             You cannot give your children mixed signals nor can you let them know that Dad will say one thing and Mom will say another. Otherwise they will eventually choose what they want according to the parent they know will agree. This leads to the children knowing how to manipulate Mom and Dad and using them to their advantage which is really them raising themselves. They will be making the choices based on what they want. Your children should know that it is the same answer with either parent.  

Give Yourself Some Grace. 

You are from time to time going to make some mistakes. If the child is old enough they sometimes try to capitalize on this. This does not make you a bad parent so please don't punish yourself too hard, just correct it and move on. It takes grace to raise children. God’s grace. As pastors we were always telling our young parents lighten up on yourself, lighten up on your children as well. As Parents you need grace and lots of it. The world is throwing at you and your children every negative scenario possible. These scenarios are saying, “You don't know what you are doing,” trying to get you to focus way too much on a mistake, basically trying to beat you up.  Don't listen to these lies you must realize you're learning too. Remember wisdom comes from experience and experience comes from doing it and sometimes we do it wrong, which gives us greater experience and of course greater wisdom. Do not let this get you down, just chock it up to “I’m learning” and move on with greater wisdom and with the grace God gives you to be a parent. 

 

Chapter 3

The Right Stuff

 

Out of all the truths we are presenting this one has to be the most important. We love you, we love you, we love you could not be expressed enough. We could not spend enough time building into our children how much they are loved as well as telling them how much we love them unconditionally. We’re proud of them but no matter what, we love them. There is no question about it, we would go super overboard in telling our children, not just that we love them, but “how much” we love them. We don't know if there is anything more powerful for their image and their self esteem than knowing they are loved and knowing they come from a loving environment. You can find research on this subject that children who come from such environments have better brain development and they tend to be physically healthier.

 A loving environment allows for everyone to be themselves in the home with no pretenses or walls. This helps in creating stronger bonds between parent and child. Our affection, without any conditions placed upon it, shown to our children helps to maintain this loving environment.  Our love should never have conditions on it. Our affections should never be seen as rewards but should be given freely and unconditionally to our children. This kind of environment is what makes a house into a home.

Some parents believe discipline and punishment have no place in love. We would disagree, instead, we believe discipline is part of responsible love. When we disciplined our children we followed up with letting them know we loved them, even though they did something worthy of punishment, it did not change our love for them. We disciplined our children because we love them. We told them this all the time.  Our children knew that even when we had to discipline them that it didn't change our love for them. This allows them to come to you when they have made mistakes because they know you love them regardless. Unconditional love is just that, it stays the same no matter what has transpired.    

 As adults, we know problems will arise in this life therefore raising our children in a strong, loving environment, when they are grown, helps them navigate through those times. But more importantly, it sets up a solid foundation and a framework for knowing how to receive God’s love for themselves and how to show the love of God to others. We have all heard stories where parents never told their children they were loved and as a result it created problems for them throughout their lives. Later in life some were not able to receive love from others including their spouse.  There were also those, who not being able to understand God’s love for them, were hindered in their ability to love others. Either way they definitely had struggles and it stems from this lack of love in the home that was reflected later in their lives.

 While we may be preaching to the choir, as they say, we don't know of any single, greater area with God and with man than a heart that knows how to love, be loved and extend that love to others. In order for our children to learn how to love, it begins with parents creating that loving environment, leading and guiding them through life in a loving way.  A responsible love is an unconditional love that cares what a person does because they know how it will affect them in the future. So if we were to go back and raise our children again we would place more emphasis on this than we originally did. We would continually express we love you, we love you, we love you and go overboard in letting them know how much we love them.