Sunday, November 09, 2014

And you, Parents,...

Christian Parenting

Ephesians 6:4: “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”  

In the bible passage before us, the father is being addressed as the head of the family. He is therefore given the collective role of the parents. The father, according to Deuteronomy 6, is responsible for teaching God’s laws to the children. 

The father’s second area of responsibility is that of leadership. He is not only the head of the family, but should also give leadership. 

The third area of responsibility is discipline. He should be an authoritative figure. This does not mean he should be a boss or a tyrant. He is a father who has the hope of making his children what God wants them to be.

Any of these duties can be performed by the mother as a deputy for the father – delegation but not dereliction of duty. But in the main, the duty of the mother is communicating obedience by herself being obedient to the leadership of the father.

Where the parents play their roles successfully, the children will grow in six areas: 

1. Independence 

They will have the ability to take decisions and act correctly. They will be responsible, resourceful and courageous. 

2. Security 

Feeling secure in the family circles will help them to be secure in their relationship with God. As your children grow, they will realize that physical strength by itself is not enough to keep them safe. As they sees your dependence on God for all things; they too will learn to depend on God and feel secure.

3. Self discipline 

A self disciplined child will be able to meet challenges, solve problems and constantly improve his/her own knowledge and abilities. Self-discipline is learnt through two schools – correction and teaching.

Read Also: Raising Godly Teenagers

4. Spiritual Growth

This is principally the duty of the father. He can help the children by doing five things:

i. Live up to your position as an authority figure

ii. Be an example of a praying, Bible reading, people-loving Christian. Admit your failures honestly.

iii. Teach your child the truths and principles of God’s word.

iv. Pray for your children constantly – pray for their salvation and that they will grow up to live a Christian life.

v. Share experiences, and talk with them. Discuss spiritual truths as soon as they can talk.

5. Sex Education

The home should help the child to have sexual understanding. Few tit-bits here will make it easy for you to teach your children:

i. Establish an atmosphere of freedom in your home to talk about any matter, related  to sex. Be frank, honest and open.

ii. Show by example your prior commitment to your wife. Let your child know that the mother is the most important person to you. If a child disobeys her or treats her disrespectfully, let him know quickly that you will not tolerate it.

iii. Respect your child’s physical accomplishments: thank God for your own body, and encourage them to thank God for theirs. Let them remember that their bodies are God’s creation and temple.

iv. Give them the facts of life as they is able to understand them. When they begin to ask questions about human body or about babies, answer in simple, accurate language.

6. Adulthood 

The only time to assess the work of the parents is when the children leave home to live on their own. As you look forward to that day, several concerns should occupy your mind:

i. Can he/she get along with other people? Exposure-fairness and honesty.

ii. Will his/her school education help him/her with his/her future career? Take an active interest in what he/she is learning, and help him/her explore all future career possibilities. Get involved with his/her school to be sure he/she is getting the most profitable education possible.

iii. Will he/she be a good spouse and parent? Your example is obviously the major factor in determining the answer, because in many ways he/she will be just like you. Give him/her parental responsibilities such as baby sitting, and budgeting, as he/she is able to handle them. When he/she begins to date, talk to him/her about husband-wife relationships from your own experience.

iv. Will he/she be a leader in the Church and community? Help your child into the real world of leadership and responsibility. Encourage him/her to show concern for those in need and to take leadership when the opportunity presents itself.

In conclusion, let us briefly look at two passages: 

Proverbs 1:8-9 : “My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother; For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck.” 

Ephesians 6:1-3: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honour your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” 

The central theme in both passages is obedience and respect. There is no doubt that if the parents play their roles, the children will naturally fit into their own roles. A disobedient child often results from a home where either the father or mother has neglected his or her role.

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