When we have children we have the awesome joy and huge responsibility to raising them. Raising them as a believer in Christ with a biblical world view and love for God and His Word is also a challenge. Let me share 7 things we parents must do.
1. Encourage our kids to greatness – Young or older our children need our blessing. They need to know that their greatest fans are their parent (s). Speak life into them. Slow down on the criticizing, cease any berating, and encourage them through teachable moments, during failure, or even rebellion. Be an encourager to them.
2. Be a Spiritual Example- Our Children, teens, young adults, naturally embrace our values. What we model as important they will also align with. If we are faithful to God, and His Word, they most likely will also. If they never see us parents seeking God, reading the Bible, they will also believe that it is not important and will neglect it too. If we miss church for every little thing, don’t get involved, we model to our kids that church and involvement in the Body of Christ is not that important. Can I tell you mom and dad, after being in ministry 25 years. You will regret this. Stay faithful to your church. Get your kids to youth group, your children to the ministries they can go. Engage the Lord, and they will too. Honor God, and He will honor you and your kids.
3. Teach them to work. We parents give too much. Hey, we love our kids and want to bless them. I know I do, but our kids have too much stuff. Dads, teach your boys to work like men. Don’t allow them to expect stuff, or have a spirit of entitlement. Chores, odd jobs, household responsibilities all teach our kids the value of working. I want my boys to know what work is, so they will be good providers and their family won’t live in poverty or keep asking money from me when they are adults!
4. Have boundaries with Social Media – With so many children having instant access to the internet and apps, with phones, tablets, IPod touches, etc, you need to be up on what they are up to. Do you know with one word search your kids can view sexual and pornographic material on their phones, Vine, twitter, etc? If your kids have 1200 people following them do you know who these 1200 people are? Are they posting pics? Do you know or understand Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine? These apps can be fun and engaging, but also spiritually and sexually dangerous. Don’t be in the dark parents. Trust me, many a heart-broken parent finds things out when their kids are struggling deeply and they admit they were oblivious to the potential devastating effects of social media. Have social-media boundaries. Maybe…. Turn off your internet at night? Don’t let your kids go to bed with their electronics in their rooms..including their phone. They should sleep and not be texting anyhow. Grab their devices and take a look. Follow them on their social media. Know who is following them and what they are posting.
5. Model Generosity- Some experts are saying the current children/teen generation could be the most materialistic and ungenerous generation yet. Show them how to be generous. Tell them you tithe, give to missions, help your community. They will too!
6. Watch what you Watch- There is so much swearing, immoral sexual entertainment, and violence on TV, Cable, movies. Do you have standards in your home of what you allow? What is pleasing to God?
7. Pray for and over your children- Do it in their presence, while they sleep, before they go to school, at the end of the day, and alone. They need our prayers. They need our blessing. They need our spiritual covering! They need to know how much we love them, and love them in Christ. They need God and their world is not easy.
Raising our children, protecting them, molding and shaping their lives is a challenge and we need the Lord’s help. Great kids don’t just happen. It takes a great home, love, patience, wisdom, standards, boundaries, and lots of communication to see our young people be who God wants them to be. Let’s honor the Lord with the way we parent.
Any comments or suggestions you have?
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22.6