Tentless

The Spirit in a child’s life

“For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, viagra canada doctor we have a building from God” (2 Cor. 5:1)

The evidence of the Spirit in your child’s life is life.   This life is really quite something because it comes from God.   It was ushered in by the Holy Spirit the minute your child received Christ as Lord and Savior.  (Romans 5:5-6).     In order to understand this incredible new life that was given, viagra canada sovaldi maintained, buy viagra and developed by the Holy Spirit (John 14:26), let’s look at a comparison written by Paul to his fellow believers in Galatia.   According to Paul, the indwelling of the Spirit brings both eternal life and daily hope (Ephesians 3:16), but its absence produces varying degrees of personal collapse and brokenness (Romans 8:5-6).   This is much like the difference Paul (professional tent maker) saw between the permanence of a beautiful and immaculate home and the impermanence of a bland and unsightly tent (2 Cor.5:1, 4).

Without the Spirit, all of us (parent and child alike) are controlled by world circumstances, our own sin natures, and the decisions we make (Galatians 4:8-9).   A Spiritless existence often leads to un-needed jealousies, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, and strife.   These negative behaviors begin in the early stages of childhood because they are ushered in at birth.   Accordingly, this sin nature has a natural predisposition to disobey God, hurt others (active or passive), and ultimately refuse to let go of self- lordship (Psalm 51:3, 5).  Without the control of God’s Spirit, susceptibility to the sin nature persists unless it is dealt with.   It is especially lived out during the independent adolescent and teenage years.    As Paul warns, without control of the Spirit  sin only expands and expresses itself through growing disobedience and a varying assortment of ungodly characteristics that may include envy, immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry (hero worship), sorcery (drugs), enmities (cliques), drunkenness, and carousings (Galatians 5 :19-21).   Each child/teenager chooses his/her own tent full of sins within which to live.   Without the Spirit’s control they can either be very active in drug participation on the one extreme, or passive with silent hatreds or jealousies on the other.

Only the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, along with a daily response to allow God’s Spirit to manage the desires and decisions can lead to life.   Such existence under the control of the Spirit generates a life filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5: 22-23).

These wonderful fruits of the Spirit, which Paul outlines in Galatians, are of course what we want our children to experience throughout their lives.   The same joy that accompanied their faith in Christ is the continuing joy we want them to experience throughout their lives.

There are two key guidelines to help your children live in a house under the Spirit’s control.  The first is to set an example for your children of how to live under the Spirit’s control.    The model of your own repentance and the desire to let the Lord reign in the different areas of your life has an immeasurable impact on them.  No matter the age, they will grasp and apply your example more than any influence they will encounter.   For children, what you do speaks louder than what you say.   Secondly, in order for your children to stay under the Spirit’s influence, encourage them to re-use the same path of forgiveness and release of lordship that led them to salvation.   Do not confuse them though, with the possibility of losing their salvation every time they sin; this is not only contrary to God’s Word it is very damaging to their ability to carry out God’s will.   Such a guilt-ridden perspective would drive them to focus only on their own salvation, which is an immature response which the Scripture discourages. (Hebrews 6:1).   The Scripture is very clear; salvation cannot be snatched from you or your children for it is in the hands of God forever (John 6:28-29).   With this caution in hand, it is okay to teach your children to repent often of daily sins, and it would be appropriate to encourage them to habitually repeat the phrase,   “I want the Lord to be Lord of my life everyday and in everyway.”

Teachable Moment

In this teachable moment (season permitting), ask your children to help put up the family tent in the backyard or a near-by campground.  While fixing the poles and pounding in the stakes, ask your children to store up some thoughts about living in a tent versus living in your home.   What reservations might they have if they had to actually move into a tent for a year?     Hopefully, they will describe for you the differences and disadvantages between living in a tent or in your home.   The tent for example, would never be a permanent place to live; it does not have the facilities necessary to house anyone.   Bedrooms, bathrooms, showers, and a kitchen are just a few of the necessities that make a house what it is.  The tent would also be too cold or hot; it is not a structure of beauty, and it can be ripped apart with a passing storm.  It is noisy because the walls are thin, and it can be easily broken into.   Your home, on the other hand is what your family was intended to live in; it is a place of comfort and safety.  As you conclude your discussion with your children draw two analogies for them.   The first comparison looks at the decision they made when accepting Christ.   Walking away from their sins (repentance) is like walking out of a tent, which would never serve them as a safe or secure shelter.

(2 Cor. 5:1-2)  Walking into your home is like letting God be the Lord of their life.  The second analogy deals with the still sinful areas of their lives that continue to exist even after they became Christians.   Before you explain this analogy, make sure they understand that they do not lose their salvation every time they sin.   When they accepted Christ, they procured a home in God’s great subdivision (John 14:2).   With this in view, tell them that the same principles of repenting and letting Jesus be the Lord can be used in every area of their lives.   There is no use living in a tent on their redeemed property, when the door to the house is wide open.

When they leave the tent for the house, it is like saying to God in this area of their lives, “I will abandon old sinful practices (lying, cheating, “me” first, disobeying His Word, etc.) and will now live my life under Your reign.  I’ll live in a home where each room is filled with the fruits of Your Spirit (love, joy, peace).”   This is life!  (Galatians 5:25)

God’s Word

Romans 5:5-6  5…. the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  6    For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

John 14: 26   “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

Romans 8:5-6  5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of  the flesh, 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death.

2 Cor. 5:1, 4   1 For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.

Galatians 4:8-9 8 However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?

Psalm 51: 3, 5   3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.

Galatians 5:19-21  19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality,  impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing.

Galatians 5:22-23   22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,  goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.

Hebrews 6:1   Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.”

2 Cor. 5:1-5   1 For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Galatians 5: 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.