Parenting….just typing this word puts doubt in my heart (and fear). Parenting is a frightening, beautiful role we play on this earth if we are blessed with the gift of a child. Is there a right or wrong way to parent or train your child? The definition of the word train is, “teach (a person or animal) a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time.” Did you pay attention to the last part? It said, “through practice and instruction over a period of time.” Raising your child to become a loving, caring person with values takes time. It doesn’t happen in a week, a month, or even a year; training a child takes many years. I believe that’s why the Lord allowed us to grow from infancy to adulthood at a slow pace. We need a lot of practice to develop the behaviors that allow us to be decent, conscientious adults that love God. Raising seems more appropriate than training your child, the word raise means to elevate or lift up and that’s what we do when raising a child. We teach them, train them, and lift them up.
Parenting Your Child
After spending the last 28 years raising daughters there are many things that my husband and I have learned. Primarily that there is no “one size fits all” parenting style that works with every child. The Lord created every person on earth to be an individual, a one-of-a-kind creation. That being said it’s no wonder that there is no one method that works consistently for every child. Why are we always looking for that one magic bullet?
We have to view each child as an individual with their own personal strengths and weaknesses. Our jobs as parents are to raise our child up to his(her) full potential. The child’s strengths are their God-given gifts that should be encouraged and nurtured. His(her) strengths are important to this world. The Lord blessed your child with those gifts for a purpose even when you may not be able to see the reason. Strengths come in so many forms it would be difficult to list them all. Your child may be artistically gifted or may be scholarly or physically athletic. Or they may have the gift of mercy or encouragement. These are two very important strengths though society doesn’t recognize them as such. Your child’s strengths may be outwardly obvious or inward gifts that come from the heart. Whatever your child’s strength is it should be encouraged to grow to the fullest.Along with strengths every person also has their weaknesses. You have weaknesses and I have them too. I believe the Lord has a sense of humor because he seems to bless us with children that have our same weaknesses. Although it is a way to give us an opportunity to view it from the outside AND gives us a second chance to improve them. 🙂 Seeing our weaknesses reflected in our children can be very tough to handle at times. I know from personal experience it has made me angrier with that child than I would have been otherwise. None of us like to see our weaknesses in the flesh. That’s why it is so important to be aware of this as early as possible. When our children are very young and we begin to see these things emerge it is crucial that we are honest with ourselves. We acknowledge it as our own weakness and seek out ways to improve it. Begin teaching the child skills to improve that weakness making it less of a burden to them. Don’t wait until they’re teenagers then bash them for making the same mistakes you did!
All babies are born with a purpose, the Lord created them for His glory. We have to remember that His ways are not our ways. We see value and worth through our eyes which isn’t the same view as our Creator. He gives each child to the parents He chooses whether good or bad. We all learn so much more in the valleys than we do on the mountain tops. Faith is crucial when parenting children. We must show our children (and others) how we depend upon our Lord for guidance and strength. He is the ultimate Teacher who provides instruction for us which we in turn share with our children. We need to cultivate our relationship with the Lord so when trials come we are prepared. A quote by Charles E. Hummel that I have written in a book sort of sums this point up for me. “Our greatest danger in life is permitting the urgent things to crowd out the important things.” Our relationship with the Lord should take priority so we are equipped for our other relationships. Children learn by watching and imitating those they love, as adults we should do the same. Watching and imitating our Lord Jesus, the one we love.
Faith and Family
Faith is so vitally important to the family unit. God created us to fellowship and be a part of a family. When He saw Adam needing a helper He created Eve. God designed the family dynamic and He wants all of us to be a part of His family. He gave us His word to use for guidance and instruction. He gave us His Son so we may pray directly to Him all of our requests. Faith will carry you through the difficult moments and I urge you to fortify your relationship with the Lord. If you have not asked Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior I urge you to begin reading God’s word. His word is available in many translations making it easier to read. As you read ask the Lord to make His word alive for you. My prayer is that all parents will be faithful to the Lord and His word. As I close this today I pray that all of us will move forward in His light.
Till Next Time,