Parents And Their Children
It should be no secret that our most precious asset is not our money, our house, our job or our investment portfolio. It is our precious children. They may be at your knee or grown with their own children, but what a wonderful blessing our children are and will continue to be.
I am going to do something a smart man would know not to do, but I’m going to give advice about your children. I have made my own mistakes as a parent, as all of us do, but those mistakes and
those I have seen others make give me a platform from which I can form the following suggestions.
As precious as they are, children require our time and energy. They do not always agree with their parents and sometimes stray from our instructions. Our mistakes have the potential to drive them away from us and from the Lord, but our love for them and the Lord can also bring them back from the wrong paths to the path of righteousness.
Tell Them Often You Love Them. Make sure they know of your love, and that your rules, your discipline and your limits come from that love. They will not always understand, but if they know how much you love them, they will learn to trust you to keep them on a path that is safe, both physically and spiritually.
Take Control of Your Home. Sure, children should have a part in the family’s plans, but they also need to know that you – the parents – are ultimately in control. This not only results in improved relationships, but will also provide the sense of personal security they need.
Don’t Shelter Them From The Consequences Of Their Actions. When a mistake is made, let them know what it was, and if there are negative consequences, they need to know what they are and the cost of those mistakes. Parents can do great harm to children when they do not show the connec- tion between mistakes and their consequences.
Make Your Home A Place Where They Want To Be. If your children know they can bring their friends home with them, you will be making progress in several areas. For one, your children will
be comfortable at home and will enjoy being there. If their friends feel just as comfortable, you will have the joy of seeing your children happy, and you will know where they are. That can eliminate stress for you.
Give Children Responsibilities In The Operation Of The Home. Chores, duties that are appropriate to their age and ability provide self-worth and help them be part of the family. It also would not hurt for them to learn how a home works and how much is involved in having a home.
Make Sure They See The Joy Of Being A Christian In You. Those who hear only “thou shalt nots” are most likely to look for ways to leave their home and abandon the Lord. Parents need to discover again how much joy there is in being a child of God – then show it! Gripes and complaints about the church do not need to be their daily bill of fare.
Occasionally, They Need To Hear “We Can’t Afford That...”. They need to learn the relative value of the necessities as well as the options. Knowing that there are limits to the family treasures will be a valuable lesson for today and for their future (1 John 2:15-17).
Let Them Hear You Say, “I Messed Up.” Admit your mistakes – your children are already aware of them! Let them see what it takes to fix things that are broken.
Give Them A Good Example To Follow. The most effective lessons you will ever teach will be those of which you are not aware. Children, very young and even grown, are constantly watching how you respond to people, how you face stress, how you treat each other and how you deal with ethical matters. When children see their parents pray, study their Bible and live in harmony with it, parents are teaching.
The fruit of these actions are not seen overnight and we may not see them for another twenty years, but the lessons learned from parents – whether good or bad – are not easily forgotten. The challenge of being a parent will be your greatest challenge, but your children are your greatest assets. They can be a wonderful blessing all your days.
— Mark White