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3 Parenting Non-Negotiables


non-negotiables, parenting, grandparents, parents, next generation, truth, respect, obedience,obey,precept ministries, kay arthur, david arthur, bible studies, inductive bible studies, children's bible studies


When it comes to parenting what are the basic things you cannot compromise on? What are your non-negotiables? Take a trip to the soccer field, a restaurant and even to church and you will soon find out the things you think are important are not necessarily important to everyone else. Why? Maybe it is because experience makes things clearer. Things parents can’t see are often clearer from a grandparent’s perspective.

Do you want children and grandchildren who your friends enjoy having in their home, that you don’t mind taking places or even that you enjoy being around? Those kinds of kids are made not born! Our responsibility is to teach them some basics that will bring honor to you as parents but more importantly to God.

So with that goal in mind, and a little experience to guide the way, we want to give you what we believe are “3 Parenting Non-Negotiables.”
1.    Respect

“The eye that mocks a father and scorns a mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.” – Proverbs 30:17

Wow! You might get a visit from Child Protective Services today if you were overheard telling your child this. This verse graphically points out that it won’t go well children who are disrespectful towards their parents.

 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.” – Ephesians 6:1-3

Parents who love their children ought to expect, even demand, respectful behavior.

In the culture that we live in it is especially important to teach our children respect and not allow even the most subtle look or act of disrespect to be tolerated.

Two areas to focus on and which should not be allowed are:

•    An Unacceptable Demeanor

An eye roll, cutting of eyes or that “if looks could kill” look
A child who “obeys” but shows disrespect through their mannerisms. Such as the “I’m sitting down on the outside but standing up on the inside”, attitude
A crossing of the arms, stomping of the foot or sticking their tongue out at you

•    Words

The right words but with the wrong attitude – “Yes M’aam!”
Back talk – rude answers, insults, arguing with you, explanations for behavior, etc.

Although it may be cute when they are young, if the behavior is allowed to go unchecked it will not be cute when they are older. We’ve already seen God will make sure it won’t go well for disrespectful children so it is very important to teach them respect.

2.    Truthfulness

“Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices”
 – Colossians 3:9

Truth reflects God’s character; lies reflect Satan’s character. When we speak the truth we identify with God. As His children we must seek diligently to honor his good name, and to walk in a manner of worthy of the name “Christian”.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” – John 14:6

“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. - John 8:44

Dishonesty is the “intent” to make others believe what is not true, hiding truth or communicating half-truths. Ways to promote dishonesty with our words:

•    Outright lies
•    Lack of words
       Not speaking up when silence allows another to continue to believe a lie
•    Exaggeration to prove a point

Teach your children to “Say what you mean and mean what you say!” Often our words are designed to hide what we really mean instead of honestly and openly communicating truth. Remember God will hold us accountable for every careless word, because our words reflect our hearts and expose good or bad fruit. (Matthew 12:33-37)

3.    Obedience

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” – Ephesians 6:1

•    Partial obedience - is disobedience
•    Delayed obedience – Doing what they want to do when they want to do it. 

When children do this they are in control. This is especially important when they are very young, in fact it may save their lives. For example, if a child is running toward the street and a car is coming, he better respond immediately when you say “Stop” or they may be hit by the oncoming car!

Wrapping it up

If you will take the time to put these three foundational non-negotiables into place when they are young by being strict and working hard you will establish habits and patterns that will allow you and others to enjoy your children and they will have learned lesson which will serve them well in the future.

Help your children see the forest, not just the trees. Sometimes as a parent of young children we see all the little details of parenting and become so overwhelmed we miss seeing the big picture. As a result we can be so legalistic we look and sound more like dictators than nurturers. Help your children simplify parenting by learning to apply principles to situations they face.

As a grandparent you are reading this and thinking, "I've already raised my children, this doesn't pertain to me." At this time in your life you have the unique opportunity to come alongside your adult children as they begin their parenting journey and coach them through. The platform God has place you on at this time of your life may be even bigger than you could have imagined! You also have the chance to pour into the lives of young parents who may not have a godly example to follow, whose parents aren't believers or who live a great distance from their parents.

You have a great opportunity to invest in the next generation of parents, don't miss it!

What are your non-negotiables for parenting?


If you read ESTABLISHED often you know we like to recommend resources we believe are helpful. In this case we think the best possible resource we could share with you is our Discover 4 Yourself series. As parents and grand parents this would be a great tool to use to train the next generation to study truth for themselves. 




Thank you for the insightful comments. I would appreciate you posting some helpful 'CONSEQUENCES' that parents could use. As you are aware, we are a 'parental generation' who ENABLE our kids. To be honest, we want to discipline our kids, however, don't always know HOW! That means, HOW do we lay down consequences! For example, my wife and I often say, "You need to .....blah, blah" however, we don't often give them a CONSEQUENCE for fear of thwarting their fun in life.....sound familiar?  
So, how bout some 'practical consequences' that parents might utilize to bring correction.  
I have a 17 year old son who becomes very angry when his plans don't pan out, even though he forgot to ask us before he planned., when he gets angry and has an outburst, do we take away his XBOX, Car Keys, Give Him Chores, Make him clean the Toilets? This is HOW you can assist today's 'BLACKHAWK HELICOPTER' parents. Give them specific tools on how to offer consequences to improper actions. Duration of consequences......all that! 17 year old son is 6'5", 240lbs of muscle and a football player. And, I'm getting old (58). Help me with that one! ha! 
Posted @ Monday, June 25, 2012 10:41 AM by Alan Miller
This post is such a support to parents out there who are striving to do it right. My husband and I train with the truth of God's word and discipline with verses from the Bible. Our son is only three, but will recite the appropriate verse that corresponds with his incorrect behavior, as well as a verse of blessing for corrected behaviors. I was so blessed to have a mentor who instilled the importance of knowing the word of God in me. Now I get to impart it to my son. Thank you Precept for all that you do to equip people with a greater understanding of "studying to show ourselves approved."
Posted @ Monday, June 25, 2012 11:26 AM by Vanessa
Amen Al! Too many of us are not sure how to respond, especially with our very strong willed ones. Practical help needed! :)
Posted @ Monday, June 25, 2012 4:57 PM by Momofthree
Always follow thru with what you tell a child you will do. For instance if you tell them your going to grond them if the break their word, then do it. 
Posted @ Tuesday, June 26, 2012 9:43 PM by lee ann williams
you all need to add a twitter tab next to the facebook like tab! then we can tweet it and have it go to FB too! Blessings!
Posted @ Wednesday, June 27, 2012 11:39 AM by Brian
Respect for the Lord and spiritual things. We were never allowed to joke about anything regarding the Lord and so we learned respect for Him and his holiness. We also learned not to use words like gosh or golly. I'm thankful for that. I'm always amazed at the number of Christians who used God's name in vain.
Posted @ Sunday, June 30, 2013 2:31 PM by Tara
I highly recommend the book Boundaries with Kids if you would like to know how to reinforce these points. The book is written by Cloud and Townsend. Excellent help with raising kids on bibical principles. THis article is right on it. I have been parenting for 24 years. Totally agree!
Posted @ Sunday, June 30, 2013 6:06 PM by becky johnson
Good article! Good for you to know, coming soon! 
Thanks for going to lunch with us today!  
Love you! Mom
Posted @ Sunday, June 30, 2013 8:25 PM by Jon
Dear Kay, 
This is the 15th year for sending the Heart to Heart Newsletter to women in the states and around the world. It's a Christian home and family e-mail publication, and the link I gave is the corresponding blog.  
I am wondering if you would give me permission to include your articles in the newsletter from time to time, as long as I include your name and link. 
Incidentally, today I am visiting with one of your faithful followers, Rosanne Ayers Parker, here in Roanoke, Virginia. She's been a sweet friend of mine for many years. 
I look forward to hearing from you in regards to your permission. Thanks! 
In His love, 
Lois Breneman
Posted @ Monday, July 01, 2013 10:00 AM by Lois Breneman
For the ones asking for pratical help; natural concequences ie: didn't save money to put gas in the car = walking. Didn't ask parents permission to go out = stay home. pitch a fit 'cause you don't like the situation = get treated like the infant you behaving like (no car, phone, computer etc) 
We had two on and off years of rough times with our now seventeen year old daughter. We remained consistent, listened to her, said "no" when we needed to, learned to communicate with her in her style and expected amazing things from her. Now she is delivering those amazing things and is alot of fun.  
I really think the bottom line in parenting is respect your kids as humans, listen, be honest, keep 'em busy and be CONSISTENT.
Posted @ Monday, July 01, 2013 2:57 PM by Andrea
For the ones asking for pratical help; natural concequences ie: didn't save money to put gas in the car = walking. Didn't ask parents permission to go out = stay home. pitch a fit 'cause you don't like the situation = get treated like the infant you behaving like (no car, phone, computer etc) 
We had two on and off years of rough times with our now seventeen year old daughter. We remained consistent, listened to her, said "no" when we needed to, learned to communicate with her in her style and expected amazing things from her. Now she is delivering those amazing things and is alot of fun.  
I really think the bottom line in parenting is respect your kids as humans, listen, be honest, keep 'em busy and be CONSISTENT.
Posted @ Monday, July 01, 2013 2:58 PM by Andrea
My husband and I have raised 5 children in a home that serves The Lord ! Two were my step children who's mother chose not to teach her children respect,truthfulness &obedience-hence they caused disruption and lead lives today in much the same way. On the other hand my husband and I had 3 of our own raised in the same home yet with respect for us as well as others , truthfulness and obedience !! Not always perfect however we had full authority to teach and discipline them in love without the outside influence of a non believer trying to entice evil wicked ways and their mother succeeded, is accountable to God for what she did when they were young- YETnow 29&30 practicing all things evil taught by their mother THEYnow are accountable before God on their own because we taught them theWord ,shared Christ and modeled His love in front of them as well as took them to Calvary Chapel and yet still they CHOOSE TOfollow satan not Jesus.  
Our son never rebelled!! He was our first and now on his own about to marry, finishing premarital counseling and we love his bride to be and family very much :) but he was always my child who hated being on campus accept for testing ,who hung out with mom and learned from long talks we'd have with his best friend on speaker phone listening to a mothers wisdom! Then he grew up and always remained very respectful through those years for him which were about the end of 17 and all of 18!! and he and our youngest have this thing where they cannot lie !! They refuse or simply won't lie to mom especially :) or dad or anyone! God convicts their hearts and they don't lie. Now our middle child, just now graduated hs - totally opposite!! She was spanked more than any of the three, said hateful words to me still and was the only child who rebelled and still is learning! LET ME TELL YOU HOW I GOT HER TO BREAK AND FINALLY begin tearing walls down. One day she asked if she could go to the movies and dad said NO YOU HAVEN'T BEEN HELPING AROUND THE HOUSE AND YOUR ATTITUDE IS ONE OF ENTITLEMENT (I deserve to..) and there is a young man in the picture. She said ok. All day long she did nothing and then said she had a headache and was going to her room. I said ok 10 min later I needed something but it was in her room. I knocked and tv was on but no answer so I was concerned she took something to sleep and had my husband open her locked door. Well, she was gone! Apparently she schemed all day long and had friends with the boy she likes to pick her up so she climbed out her window locked her door and blasted her tv! She was busted! She refused to come home or say where she was or whom she was with but I knew and her dad said if she didn't come home then she can find a place to live- this had not been her first time she threatened to move out and she was already 18 so we waited she finally comes home @11pm and she told this mom we were fighting and didn't care where or who she was with!! A lie!! Soooo dad and I were finally on the same page as far as punishment and she snickered at it so the next morning I snuck in her room and took (this is what got her!) all make up jewelry hair stuff perfumes flat irons and a box with personal notes and all purses etc and left her a bible pen notebook on her bed. I also made sure her younger sister knew and when she woke up at noon and found all of her things gone plus her drivers test canceled again she lashed out at me and said she was moving out. I said ok. She went in her room and screamed and finally she broke!! She apologized that evening and that was the nicest few weeks !! That's what it took!! Plus she confessed my dads wife was calling her and telling my daughter we were awful and how dare we not let her do what she wants when she wants so I asked my dad who knew nothing about it and said she and her daughter are just that way and I said well dad we are all fine so your wife who's on vacation with her ex husband and you're ok with that doesn't need to ever give our kids advice and I love you dad but I have no respect for her for she's done this several times now so please tell her no thank you!! Anyway my daughter is now driving helping with chores daily and looking for a job and then she'll enroll in college but she really wants to be a wife and stay home mom like I am:). One more teenager to go !!!!! I'm blessed they all know Jesus and I love them dearly! 
Posted @ Tuesday, September 10, 2013 12:19 PM by Joanna Etter
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