But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 2Timothy 3:1-5
I shared in the last devotional the danger of loving ourselves and indulging our carnal nature. Being lovers of self is also important as it relates to raising loving and respectful children! The above scripture, tells us that in the last days children will be disobedient to parents. Paul prophesies that they will be unthankful, unholy, and unloving. This is a warning for all of us as parents and grandparents!
Many of us can be guilty of spoiling our children/grandchildren and making excuses for their bad attitude or behavior. Sometimes, we are so focused on their success, good grades, entering top colleges, and developing an impressive career that we forget what God cares about! The Lord cares more about the condition of our children’s hearts than their impressive accomplishments!
If children are disobedient and unthankful in their younger years, someday they will carry those attitudes to their jobs and their marriages when they are adults. Some parents marvel at their children talking back to them and having a sassy rebuttal. They see it as a leadership or negotiation gift. There might be some truth to it, but it’s the parents’ job to channel the children’s gifting and to teach them self-control. The truth is that if the children are comfortable challenging their parents at age 8 0r 9, by the time they get to teenage years, they have the capacity to rebel at a whole another level, and that sassy response won’t be cute anymore! Instead, their rebellion can create much pain for the children as well as their families.
There is also the danger of raising unthankful children! We live in a land of plenty, and many parents are blessed with vast amounts of resources. This allows them to give their children anything they want or desire. It is incumbent upon us to show self-control and not feed their every demand and desire. It’s good for them to hear a “no” from time to time. For example, if the girls are getting regular manicures when they are 15 years old, what will be a special treat for them when they are 25 or 30!? Every time we give-in to their desires, we increase their standard of satisfaction thereby leading them to dissatisfaction! It makes it harder for them to be happy with simple things in life.
Dissatisfaction in life leads to having an unthankful attitude! Unthankfulness is one of the characteristics of being lovers of ourselves that Paul writes about in the above scripture. Children need to learn to be thankful and use the words, “Thank you!” Some people including children seem to have a problem to say, “Thank you!” That could be an issue of pride, and it shows that the person thinks more highly of themselves than they ought. There are many scriptures that instruct us to be thankful and to praise God in all things. Thankfulness is a state of humility and appreciating what God is giving the person. It is also a reminder that we need the Lord and others in our lives and that we are not an island to ourselves. If we want to raise thankful children, we have to put limit on how much we cater to their demands and observe their attitude when they don’ get their way!
I will continue with this subject in the next devotional.