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9/4 Special Column: Set parenting bar high & be a positive influence on your kids

12:28 PM EDT, September 4, 2013

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Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived specifically spoke to young people in verses of the book of Ecclesiastes:

Ecclesiastes 11:9 (NLT) Young people, it's wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do.

Our children don't have to do things that they will be sorry for the rest of their life. It is our responsibility as parents to agree with God and "hold the bar high," to provide instruction, protection, and to say "no."

Solomon established a very healthy boundary for our young people when he exhorts accountability to God for our behavior.

God's standards are not outdated or old fashioned. In contrast to Solomon's words of wisdom to do it "God's Way," society on the other hand, has so lowered the bar for our young people that an "anything goes" mentality provides freedom for them to easily do things that they will regret.

This involves use of their time, talents, tongue and abilities. It includes manners, etiquette, dress, and language. It encompasses the decisions our children make today that they will hand back to themselves tomorrow.

Appropriate behavior has almost become as extinct as the dinosaur. Because society has so lowered the standard, parents are under pressure to do the same thing. I often hear from parents, "if I had done that as a child my parents would have" or "I would have never considered." God has a standard of behavior and morality that He sets forth in His Word that has not changed.

In a culture and world where anything goes, parents are constantly challenged by what they should or should not tolerate or expect. Just a few generations ago teenage sex, drinking and drug use were so far "below the bar" that many never came in contact with it.

Today, however, it is so accepted and expected, that our children are confronted with the fact that "not" doing it is unacceptable or far out there.

With the bar so lowered, our children are at a much greater threat of doing things that are life threatening or life altering.

I encourage you to find your validation for your parenting boundaries and expectations from God and His Word, and not from your children or our culture.

Solomon goes on to say "So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy" – Ecclesiastes 11:10a (NLT).

God said it. That settles it!