There is nothing sadder than an insecure and fearful child. As parents we have the responsibility of developing our children into well-balanced, socially acceptable, stable minded, God loving members of society that we so desperately need. As Christian parents we must go further and relate our faith to our children in the most simple terms in order to give them the best possible understanding so that they may choose to follow Christ or not. How are we to accomplish these things? Our children need us to be:
A Loving Parent
Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Why is it that children are viewed as a burden and not a blessing? The Lord has given Heather and I three beautiful children: Jonathan is nine, Savannah is seven, and Scarlett is four. Though they can be difficult and sometimes frustrating we both love them so very much! Our children need to be told they are loved! Our children need to have many hugs and lots of kisses. I remember as a child one of the things my father would often say to me is, “Joshua, I am so grateful that you are my son. I can’t believe that God let you come into our home.” What an expression of love this is. For Christians, we are drawn to God when we begin to understand His love for us. To draw our children to us they must, above all, see and know our love for them.
A Present Parent
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
It is your responsibility to train your child and you cannot do this without being present and available. We must spend time with our children! Don’t allow your hobbies, career or other relationships keep you from being present in the life of your child. The above verse is often highly debated. Many question if this verse is a principle or a promise. I believe the key to the verse is found in the word “depart.” I have been told that the word means escape. This means that the road you set your child on will be the road he will travel and he won’t be able to escape his upbringing. To put them on the right road you must be present.
A Disciplined Parent
Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
In the Christian community much emphasis has been given upon the proper disciplining of a child and rightfully so. However, it is difficult to properly discipline your child if you are not living a disciplined life. You ought strive to be disciplined and then in turn teach your child to be disciplined. To do this you will have to put boundaries up and consequences to crossing those boundaries. Though all children need and deeply desire these boundaries they will naturally buck against them and cry about them. Don’t let this discourage you. Stay strong, live disciplined and continue to discipline while there is still hope of them turning out correctly.
A Fun Parent
Do your children consider you fun? They should! Are you the person that they often annoy and know that if they “bother” you that they will get pushed out of the room or told to leave them alone? When your children see you they ought to not see a friend but they ought to see someone they love being around because you are fun. You do things with them that are fun. Some parents have a persecution complex and believe that they must be the tough parent because the other parent is playing the role of the fun parent. My question is… Why can’t you be both? You can be both the strict parent as well as the fun parent. Take time to have fun with your kids. Play video games, watch their favorite TV shows, take them to an amusement park or summer movie. Remember, there will be a day when you are old and alone and you will wish that those little kids would call you and spend time with you. They will be more likely to do so if they think of you as a fun person to be around.
Do you have any thoughts on parenting that might be helpful to my readers? Please comment below: