Have you had a cup of coffee today? I enjoy one in the morning to get started, but often like one in the afternoon just to relax. I also like to drink coffee when I’m writing. Somehow, it seems to help me stay focused and “grounded.”We use the word “grounded” in a lot of different ways. Have you ever heard someone say to their child (or perhaps you’ve said it yourself), “You’re grounded!”? My parents didn’t use that expression much when I was growing up, but it is used by many parents.
As moms, I’d like for us to think about the phrase, “You’re grounded”, in a different light. Instead of making this statement to our children as an expression of impending correction, or loss of privileges, I want us to ask ourselves if we can make it as a statement of fact.
The word “grounded” as used in the Bible (and in life) means “to have a basis or foundation”. Our kids need to be “grounded” in some important aspects of life. As Christian parents, we have a responsibility to make sure that our children have a solid foundation.
I think that we can use the ABC’s as a starting point in “grounding” our little ones for God:
A – Authority
One of the most important truths we can instill in our children is that the Word of God is the first and final authority for their lives. From the time they are tiny, we should be teaching them that their authority and accountability is ultimately to the Lord. I should teach my children to obey and honor me because that is what God wants them to do. If we teach our children the fear of God, and His authority in their lives, that principle will guide them even when we are not there.
B – Bible
We also need to instruct our children in the Word of God. The Bible says that Timothy knew the Scriptures “from a child” (II Tim. 3:15). He was taught the Word by his mother and grandmother (II Tim. 1:5). What a wonderful testimony! Our children should learn the Word of God, not only in church, but first of all, at home (Deut. 6:7; 11:19).
C – Character
I Peter says that we are to add to our “faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge…” (II Pet. 1:5). This was my mom’s home school verse. First, we needed to have faith. We needed to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Obviously, this is not something our parents could force on us, but was something about which they diligently instructed us, and for which they prayed much. Second, we needed virtue, or character. This is a prerequisite to knowledge. Knowledge without virtue can produce great harm and evil. We need to teach our children to have godly virtue and character in their lives.
I’m sure you can think of many other vital things in which our children need to be “grounded”, but I believe that if we learn these ABC’s, faithfully practice them in our own lives, and instill them in our children, we will give them a solid foundation.
So the next time we hear the phrase, “You’re grounded!”, I hope that it will be a reminder of the vital job God has given us to do as parents. May we someday be able to look at our children, and say with joy and assurance, “You’re grounded!”
By the way, my children are young, and I am always looking for ways to instill these things in them. If you have any suggestions, practical tips or ideas, I would love to hear them!