As I begin to talk about Hospitality as it applies to your children’s lives, and how to protect them from bad influences, here are some general guidelines.
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Example of Hospitality, But To Whom?
A spirit of hospitality is caught more than taught. An open hand, a generous heart, a welcoming smile, a loving heart. But, who will you choose to have in your home?
“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” (Proverbs 13:20) Do you know what characterizes a fool from the Bible’s standpoint? The Bible talks about a number of kinds of fools. Study it as a family, with your children. Know who is wise and who is foolish. Recognize foolish behavior and praise wise behavior in your children and others.
Discernment, living in integrity, words that are carefully chosen all epitomize Christ.
It’s important to guard young plants. The environment they’re in while vulnerable is crucial. Children are young plants.
Surround your family and yourself with wise companions: who you love, admire, read, listen to, emulate, invite, befriend, allow to teach, show kindness to, take into your home.
If people who are foolish, are not like-minded, or are non-Christian are under your roof or surrounding or influencing (or even entertaining) you for any reason, you need to talk with your children about what God in His Word says about the character you see. Be wise. Be discerning. Teach. Train.
You will have people before and around you who do things you have to talk to your children about, but whenever possible teach and train from the perspective of: this is what God says, and do it in a non-confrontational, loving way. Avoid reacting, rather respond to God’s Word, and teach your children. (I say this more from past experience of doing it wrong, and having to learn the hard way what is wise.) People have a tendency to attach to the thing or person that they feel you’re attacking. If you’re vehemently against people or things, and react, it may actually have the opposite effect of what you want, and push your children in that direction. Teach. But pray.
Compare To The Word of God
Evaluate character, and compare it to the Bible. That is your guide. Be a companion of the wise. Live out what the Bible says and what you say. Don’t react, but pray, and respond wisely. Guard your children from spiritual harm first and foremost (as opposed to physical harm), knowing that ultimately it’s God Who guards and protects in every area. Don’t live in fear. Live in faith. Act in faith. Pray, pray, pray. Decide. Do.
Your children will do what you do. Not what you say (unfortunately). This does not mean your words are unimportant. Give them Godliness to follow. Teach them how to get wisdom, to fear the Lord. How to make wise decisions. They need to know where and Who to turn to for every choice and guidance–you will not always be there, but God will. Your children want to please you and make you happy. Tell them that your greatest desire for them–and what will make you happy–is that they fear the Lord and are wise. God says this is “the principal thing.”
Proverbs 4:7 “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
The Most Important Thing
Just as in Homeschooling, the most important thing to teach your children is to know how to learn, (aside from Loving God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength), so in raising children the most important thing is teaching them how to fear the Lord and make wise decisions. Look at everything in life through the lens of the Bible, and what God says.
“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:
except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”