Q & A about The Beacon

Friday, 6 March 2015

It may be winter but we're not freezing in the dark...

A few weeks ago, during a quiet Tuesday evening, three youths, all from foster care, were at the Beacon and three of us adults were with them. We were playing pool and chess and having fun, but gradually I became negative in my thinking, wondering how we might get more teens to attend, and what a waste it was to have this place open with just three boys there.  My 'bigger is better' side was in high gear when suddenly the youngest boy stopped in the middle of a shot and said; "Isn't this great. Just three of us and we have you guys and this whole place to ourselves..." 
That was a little message from above I really needed to hear. 

This is the article I wrote for Northumberland News last week. (They even used this colour photo on the web page !)
 If anyone has a print copy please save it for me.

Northumberland News  / Northumberland Today  
Articles of Faith 

GOOD PARENTING by Rene Schmidt
We think of the Bible as a book of wisdom, but as an unflinching history of God’s people, there are some examples of remarkably bad parenting found in the pages of The Good Book.
Any loving parent should cringe at the story of Joseph and his Coat of Many Colours. Who would ever favour one son in front of 10 others and expect any good to come of it? Though the brothers were wrong to sell their proud little sibling into slavery, it doesn’t take an abacus to figure out there will be a nasty outcome for Joseph. Luckily God had other plans and Joseph saved them all later on. Eli the high priest was another poor example of a parent. He allowed his sons, as priests of the holy temple, to make a mockery of the gifts brought to offer God. So corrupt were they that God eventually removed them. Samuel, though he witnessed all this firsthand, learned little from Eli’s bad example and spoiled his own sons as badly. King David, Israel’s most dominant king, also had much to learn about parenting. He seldom corrected his royal sons. They became abusive and destructive. Handsome Absalom was so bold as to have horses and charioteers announce his coming and going, while attempting to steal the kingdom away from his own father, David. Absalom, too, came to a humiliating end when God corrected the situation.
Yes, the Bible faithfully reports parental failures in vivid detail, but doesn’t condone them. Quite the opposite; the Bible teaches parents to love God and instruct and correct their children regularly. The Old Testament ‘shema’ instructed; “You shall teach (the laws) diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” The book of Proverbs has entire chapters dedicated to raising and correcting children.
Jesus set an even higher standard. He welcomed children to come to him, (almost unheard of in his day) and used their simple faith as an example for adults to follow. Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son tells the incredible patience the father has in waiting for the return of his wayward son, illustrating God’s own patience with us. Verses in Ephesians and Colossians instruct fathers not to exasperate or embitter their children with harsh treatment, but to raise them in the training and instruction of the Lord.
The truth is, in Bible times or now, good parenting is more time-consuming and difficult than bad parenting. Sometimes our children are born with a stronger temperament than our own. We have to correct our children as we were (or wish we were) corrected.
It is always easier to give in than to hold the line. Children will test the rules and see what they can get away with, just as we adults do sometimes. But children grow up more secure when parents keep consistent rules and standards. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” This is not anything we should put off until our children are a bit older. As loving parents we guide, encourage, lead and correct our children. To avoid correcting them produces sons and daughters unsuited to this world.
More than career, schooling or status, a parent’s most important commitment is raising their child properly; it takes effort and is sometimes difficult – but the results last a lifetime.
Rene Schmidt is director of The Beacon Youth centre and Brighton ministries for Quinte Youth For Christ.


More Learning 
On Saturday February 21st Chuck and Joan Acker and I travelled to Oakville for the Today's Teens Conference.  It was a great day of learning about the stuff teens get into now. Some of it is predictable and some of it is pretty scary.  We split up and attended various sessions. Jim Snyder wanted to come too but the day would be just too long for him.  Unfortunately none of our teen leader types could come along. 
Next time maybe.  

Talk about freezing in the dark, our furnace is acting up and we have had many visits from our landlord to fix it.  Pray for our heat!

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