What Your Kids Need to Know Before They Leave Home
Are You Raising Pigs?
Joey and Carla Link
February 27, 2019
I was serving as a youth and family pastor soon after Carla and I were married. We hosted a day campout with several young families. It was a fun time of hiking, swimming and eating. At dinner time, everyone was to bring their own meat to cook over the open fire. We sat down to eat by a couple with boys ages 6-9 years. The Dad of these boys had cooked juicy steaks for his family while I (and most all other families) had made hamburgers for Carla and I. One of their boys, eyeing our hamburgers said, “That’s not fair, they get to have hamburgers,” to which Carla and I were thinking, we will gladly trade and enjoy their mouthwatering steaks.
Dad tried hard to explain how much better the steaks were to his boys but he couldn’t sell it to them. They continued to look at us eating our simple hamburgers with envy as we looked at their steaks getting cold on their plates.
In a similar way, all parents think they are trying to help their kids understand something so they will accept it, but if they are not open-minded and teachable, they won’t hear a thing that is said. They will pick out one or two words or minor points to try and question what you are trying to tell them which usually begins an argument. Their goal is always to show you are wrong and they are right so they don’t have to do what you want and say.
This is why Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces.”
Parents often throw their Godly wisdom at their kids which they trample on by arguing with you, like a dog gnaws on a bone. You are allowing them to trample on your wisdom by allowing the arguments to go on. How do you throw your pearls of wisdom before pigs? When you are trying to teach your kids when they are not listening to you or are not teachable.
We live in Iowa and two things it is known for is pigs and corn. We have been near hog confinements before and they stink, have insects everywhere and are generally gross. Your kids end up trampling on the wisdom you are trying to share like a pig in the muck making them wise in their own eyes. The result is the verbal and mental stink of a hog confinement.
How teachable are your kids?
- Do they listen to you when you try to share God’s wisdom with them?
- Are they asking clarifying and comprehension questions to learn how to apply what you are trying to teach them?
- Do they show you in their actions how they are trying to incorporate what you are teaching them?
- Are they looking for ways to discredit what you say to them?
- Do they throw a personal illustration back at you when you tried to help them understand, using it against you?
- Do they have a look of disinterest or “I don’t care” on their face when you are trying to give them understanding?
- Do they give you some sign of agreement then go and do what they want?
Having a teachable mind or spirit to you, as their parents, as well as other mentors, is a key character quality. Without a teachable mind, kids will flounder, working off what seems best to them at the time.
While our kids were growing up they attended the conferences we taught at, and they helped out in various ways while there. I remember one time a man came up to us wanting to offer our son a job just because he could see how teachable he was. The man said “I can make anyone a great deal of money if they are teachable and they let me train them.” He went on and said, “Teens today think they know it all and don’t need someone to teach them. If they would only learn to listen and be teachable, the world would open up to them.”
How teachable are your kids? Is your home full of pigs that won’t listen to what you say? How do you get teachable kids? Stop reminding them, lecturing them, challenging them, and letting them get away with bad behavior and bad attitudes. It always starts with you, the parent.