Generally we have children because it’s a way of sharing our love for each other and through that love, we’re giving love to these new little people who are inhabiting our lives.
What they don’t tell you, when you become a parent, is that your life is no longer your own. You enter marriage in the same way – with a sacrificial heart, putting the other first. Children require the same unselfish servant attitude. This doesn’t mean you go overboard to fill all their physical needs. It does mean that you will be giving up hours of sleep, countless concerns for their welfare, frustration, hopelessness at times and focus on their physical and spiritual growth.
God also commands parents to love their children as the heavenly Father loves them. To teach them in God’s way and give them every opportunity to learn God’s Word. We’re told to discipline, set boundaries (for their own good and safety), but don’t frustrate them. Parenting should include God. When He’s at the center of a family, chances are much better for success.
That isn’t going to guarantee a perfect child however. I think it’s important to do those things, but to include the basics, like a good work ethic – how to reach out and talk to others, be compassionate, sympathetic and helpful – solve problems through working together rather than resorting to violent behavior. Set examples by displaying good manners, modesty, morality and etiquette. Make sure they respect those in authority, starting with you. Be involved in their lives and let them know they’re loved unconditionally. This sounds difficult, doesn’t it?
Parenting isn’t easy. Neither is marriage. but anything of value requires hard work. When you enter these estates, remember it’s no longer about you. It isn’t easy, but if you’re willing to invest a certain amount of time and learn from Jesus how to serve others, the rewards will be amazing.