I’ve been a child myself, so I know what it’s like. I’ve raised three of them, with the help of God and my husband. I’ve had the joy of watching my three grandchildren become wonderful young adults and followers of God. I’ve also had the opportunity to teach two generations of young people. Those qualifications don’t equip me to give parental advice. Most of what I’ve learned about parenting comes from God’s Word. Without it, I would fail miserably as a parent – and as a human being.
Looking back at my own childhood, I can see that the things kids face daily hasn’t changed much. I worried about my outward appearance. I never thought I was pretty enough, smart enough or perfect enough. I was unsure about my future. I was teased for being a chubby kid. I thought that God was a fierce judge who had decided I was going to hell. I would easily get depressed over small things and big things. I spent every Saturday at the movies and perceived that make believe world as a means of escape for me. I “ran away” from home at least five times, but always returned within a half an hour. Our country was involved in wars that required weekly air raid drills at school. Life was uncertain, yet we didn’t hesitate to leave our doors unlocked at night.
Children today are faced with even more difficult issues. They’re exposed to violent behavior in every venue. They struggle to make sense of a deranged mind that thinks nothing of wiping out an entire group of innocent victims. They begin to wonder if God is dead and that the truths they’ve been taught are really true at all. At the same time, they’re being exposed to sex before marriage, infidelity, divorce, more than two parent families and never knowing what a real family is. Men have been denigrated to a weakened position in society. Women are often the bread winners rather than the nurturers which God designed them to be.
Young men and women are expected to dress a certain way, explore all types of sexuality, tolerate every kind of behavior and support those who are clearly going against God’s commandments. Parents have become second class citizens, but they’re still a vital part of a child’s development and moral makeup.
The way we teach our children how to muddle through those years is critical. They need to them know that they are important to us as well as to the God who created them. We need to remind them that God has a purpose for their lives. We need to love them and let them know it. We need to pray for them. Never underestimate the power of prayer.
Our children have been gifted to us in much the same way as our salvation. God presents us with these little ones, to train up in His ways, to admonish when necessary, to love and cherish and to pray for. We only have them for a short time. Make the most of every second to let the know they have value and purpose in life. It doesn’t hurt to pray for yourself as you go through this journey of parenting. We can’t do it alone!