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How To Raise A Child Who Loves God
One of the scariest things that I do is be a parent. Its scary on a few different levels. First, I realize that they are free moral agents (a fancy theological word that means they will make their own decision as to whether or not they will accept Christ, and I can’t do it for them). Its scary because, I understand the reality that my influence on them as a parent will largely determine how they turn out in the end. Its scary because I know that the Bible teaches me that I will be held accountable for how I raised them.
After saying all of that, I think it necessary to say that one of the greatest things I do is be a parent. I love and enjoy my children. It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to be a dad. My kids bring great joy to my heart and I wouldn’t take anything for the opportunity that I have had to have them in my life.
I want to spend some time writing about parenting. This will be an ongoing work for sure. Because I am still a parent. I know it’s risky writing about this while I am still in the heat of the battle, but the truth is that I need to write these things down while they are on my mind. Yes, it is possible that I could still fail at parenthood at this point, but I want to share the things that I have learned thus far.
Kids need parents
Regardless to what they may think and even express in their childhood years kids need parents. I know this to be true because of experience but also because God in His wisdom established it this way. As I am writing this, my family works at a dog breeding kennel, they breed some of the most beautiful Golden Retrievers in the world. It is very interesting how being a dog momma and daddy is so different from being a parent to a child in God’s image. The dad is there only for a few days. He breeds the mom and then he goes back home. His work is done! The mom carries the pups for about two months, births them, and then nurses them for eight weeks. Then she goes home. And believe me, after the eight weeks she is ready to go. I wonder sometimes if she even misses them once she is home. The pups by then are eating on their own, and in just a few days will be at their new home with their owners.
Being a parent is a whole different ball game. Children and a whole lot more complex and to raise them properly takes a whole lot longer on the part of the parent. The child that God gives you desperately needs you! Every little boy and little girl needs its mommy and daddy. To take a little side street for a moment, I want to remind every parent how important it is to have a great marriage. The truth is, the most important earthly relationship that any of us has is our marriage relationship. We must learn from the Scriptures the importance of placing a lot of emphasis upon our connection to our spouse. The Bible has much to say about this subject: (Ephesians 5, Colossians 3). Stephanie and I both realize that our relationship to each other is to be the most important in our lives under our relationship with God. This is essential. Your kids will receive a since of security when they know that their parents are bound in a loving relationship. When this is missing children pick up on it quickly and it affects them drastically.
When the marriage relationship is right, then the two of you can function properly as parents. You can make decisions together concerning your children. You can operate on the same rules and principles because the two of you are in agreement over what you are trying to do. Children need their parents and they need to see a unified front. Your marriage relationship will play a very important role in ensuring this takes place.
But back to children. They need their parents. Unlike the puppies at the kennel they will not be all right without someone who they can call mommy and daddy. God has designed the family so that the children are entirely dependent upon you for the first years of their lives. What the parent will observe is that as time passes this dependency should grow less and less. God made it that way. But right now, they need you. And because they need you so much it is important that you know why they need you.
More to come....