For every parent the most joyful and at the same time most difficult task is to raise children. It is a major emotional and financial investment. In my personal observation of people, I generally have watched the transformation of individuals once they become parents. For the most part, people usually change their paradigm of life once they start parenting. It is a natural process, giving the fact of the joy and responsibility that it takes to raise children. It is still more challenging to raise children today because of the major shifts in values going on in our society. Parents usually deal with a continuous posture of defense in order to protect their children from the impact and influence of a world gone crazy. It does take a village to raise a child, but it all begins with God fearing parents. If the parents neglect their responsibilities, the whole village suffers!
It takes both husband and wife to agree on fundamental strategies to raise their children. The couple must agree on key issues of faith, discipline, family values and expectations for each child. The Bible is the best blueprint manual to help in this noble endeavor. You may also read many books which offer some help; however, you must realize that from the moment of conception each child is exceptionally different. Such individuality is what makes educating each child a special challenge. My wife and I raised three children, a son and a set of twin girls. Each one has some familiar traits, but their personalities and temperament are distinctly different. To promote a desired behavior on each, we had to invent and reinvent ways to deal with each individual character.
The best thing that you can do to raise a child is to teach him or her to fear God. The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge. Our lives depend on the manner in which we make decisions. Warning, children do learn and imitate the ways we solve problems. They learn a lot more by example than by discourse. This is why is so critical that what you say is backed by your actions. As parents, you are the primary example of love, patience and righteousness. God grants you the blessing to raise a child and to positively influence his or her behavior. It is imperative that what is required of the child, it is modeled by the parent’s own behavior.
No matter how hard you try to raise a child to be good, there will be disappointments. Hence, your faith and patience will be stretched to the max. Sometimes you will find yourself asking what kind of child am I raising? Sometimes we falsely believe that is our fault when a child goes the wrong direction. The guilt trip is very devastating for parents. The response to every challenge with our children is a prayer. Remember that your child is also loved by God, even more than you can love him or her. We just have to present them to God on a daily basis. If there something I personally learned about raising children, it is to be in touch with heaven for their wellbeing on a daily basis. The oldest book of the Bible teaches us that Job offered a sacrifice every single day for each of his children.
Parenting by agreement gives a child a sense of security and harmony. Make it clear to the child that mom and dad are in agreement regarding expectations and discipline. From the crib, kids quickly learn to manipulate parents and cause pandemonium. In fact, part of marriage conflict and tension come from parenting issues. To avoid manipulation, the couple must have a plan to contribute as a team. If one parent makes a “normal” discipline mistake, the other helps by correcting, suggesting and adjusting in private. The worst thing you can do as a parent happens when you unauthorized your partner in front of your child. This will send a signal to the child that is ok to engage in unwanted behavior with a particular parent. Strengthen your agreement on parenting and you will reap lasting results.
“For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, And the corrections of discipline are the way of life.”
– Proverbs 6:23