Make good choices.

Be smart.

WWJD–What would Jesus do? 

Remember who you are. 

If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you too?

Remember to whom you belong. 

All questions or statements parents make to encourage their kids to think before they act. I’ve said most of them.

And…to be honest–they weren’t all that effective.

Parents speak these words. Kids hear “Blah, blah. blah.” and respond with, “Yah, I KNOW…”

The trouble with all these go-to words of advice is that they are non-specific and  difficult to apply in the middle of a decision crisis. They also come out of the parent’s mouth rather than the child’s head.

What if we instead trained our kiddos how to strain their decision making through the Philippians 4 filter? 

Rather than being the Controller and telling our young people what to do or being the Chum and letting them do whatever they wanted to do, what if we were more like the Coach and Consultant and got them thinking about the Whatevers?

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praise-worthy– think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4: 8-9

Questions move us to thinking. When whatever questions are asked, we and our kids discover God’s best for our lives. 
When wrestling with a decision or choice, we ask, “Should I or shouldn’t I do ___________ .” or “Should I or shouldn’t I say ____________?”

Let’s take the process a step further by asking a few more questions. 

Is it true?
Is it noble?
Is it right?
Is it pure?
Is it lovely?
Is it admirable?
Is it excellent?
Is it praise-worthy?
Does this line up with what I have learned or received or heard or seen in God’s word? 
The answers to the whatevers are the should or should not plumb line for our wonderings. 
Faithful moms and dads want to be in God’s will. We hope our children will desire the same thing. If we ask ourselves and train our kids to ask and respond to the Philippians 4 Whatevers God promises his peace.
Affirmative answers to all the whatever questions will clear the confusion and bring peace and confidence in the big and small choices made. The decision to be  made is clear and simple. (But that doesn’t mean when it is played out it will be easy.) 
We can’t always be with our kids. We want to be proactive rather than reactive. Let’s train our kids to speak, think, reason, act, and discern with wisdom. 
Philippians 4:8-9… the best decision-making device.

Please share how have you trained your kids to make wise choices.

With faith, hope, and love,
Lori Wildenberg
Contact Lori   to schedule her for your next event.
If you like this post and if you have a tween-young adult head over to Amazon and get Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love. 

© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.

2 Free Chapters!

Subscribe to Lori's  Eternal Moments blog and receive 2 free chapters from her most recent book, The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections. Thanks for the honor of joining you on your parenting journey.  ~Lori 

Thank you for subscribing!