1. Parents have the God-given responsibility to take charge of the home.
In a society where making kids feel good is a high priority, many parents have lost the mission for their family. Although we all want our children to feel good and enjoy life, they also need training. Parents today need to feel empowered to lead in the home, teach their kids, set limits, and guide their children to be the responsible, healthy adults society needs. Parents set the rules and guidelines and must continually follow through. Children may not like the rules but that's okay because the job of parenting is really an issue of stewardship between the parent and God. At times your kids may not like the way you're disciplining them or your mother or neighbor may give you all kinds of advice. Listening to others may provide insight and wisdom but the ultimate responsibility for deciding how to handle a particular problem is yours. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
2. Children are a gift from the Lord and must be treated with honor.
Each child is a unique treasure, a bundle of God-given ability, talent, and character. Good parenting takes a child's special qualities into account and trains that child according to his or her uniqueness. Even when we must do the difficult work of correction or setting limits that our child doesn't understand, we try to do it in a way that values the child in the process. (Psalm 127:3-5)
3. Sin corrupts family life.
As much as we wish it weren't so, sinful behavior has a way of creeping into relationships. Parents as well as children develop unhelpful patterns or reveal selfishness that must be addressed. Parenting has a sanctifying effect on all family members, even revealing sin in our own lives that we never knew existed. Children need correction, instruction, and training to address the selfish tendencies that will otherwise hinder their success in life, and we, as parents need to continually and humbly seek God for forgiveness as well. (Romans 3:23, James 1:13-15, 4:1)
4. All family members must take personal responsibility for their own actions.
People tend to justify, blame, or rationalize weaknesses. Looking at the mistakes of others often distracts individuals from their own part of the problem. All family members need to develop the humility to acknowledge their own mistakes, take responsibility for them and avoid manipulative techniques. (1 John 1:9)
5. Anger is good for identifying problems but not good for solving them.
Anger is a God-given emotion to reveal that something is wrong. Unfortunately, many people take anger further and use it to solve problems. That's when others get hurt, relationships develop tension, and larger problems of bitterness and resentment grow. The solution is to use anger to point out the problem and then move into different routines to solve it. To do this, parents need more tools and resources to broaden their choices of response. (Ephesians 4:26-27, James 1:19-20)
6. It's not good enough to be right, you also have to be wise.
Many parents are right in life but lack the wisdom needed to make helpful change in their children. In fact, most people can see when something is wrong, but few know how to bring about change in helpful ways. A wise parent will listen to advice, evaluate options, and ask the question, "What strategy might get the best result in this situation?" Wisdom often comes from others. Becoming involved in on-going parent support group can give parents added insight and direction. (Proverbs 15:22, 16:16, 24:3)
7. Children need character training.
God is interested in the heart not just behavior. Unfortunately, many parenting strategies on the market today focus on getting the right actions down. Parents who only use behavior modification techniques inadvertently teach their children to look good on the outside, leaving the heart virtually untouched. Effective parenting strategies require a deeper look. Long lasting solutions come when children develop the character they need to be successful in life. (1 Samuel 16:7, Hebrews 12:11)
8. Good communication is essential.
Communication involves words, actions, voice quality, and a host of other non-verbal cues. Parents need to learn effective ways to communicate in family life and teach children to do the same. Children also need to learn what their cues are saying. Both parents and children must learn to listen and understand as part of the communication process. The whole area of communication in family life often determines the strength of the relationships between members. (Proverbs 25:11, James 1:19-20)
9. God gives wisdom and power to those who ask for it.
True healing in family life starts with salvation. The Holy Spirit changes people from the inside out and God offers wisdom to face life's challenges. Parents need the power and wisdom of God and must learn to rely on him in the midst of parenting struggles. (Galatians 5:22-23, John 3:3, James 1:5)
10. Parenting is a walk of faith.
Parenting is a partnership between us and God. We are not ultimately in control of the decisions our children make. Although we will continue to do our job as parents, we must also learn to let go of the part that isn't ours. God is ultimately in control and responsible for the discipline of our children. Understanding God's role in our lives relieves us from compromising for fear of rejection and allows us to remain obedient to God in our parenting role even in the face of abuse from our children. We have a job to do and with God's grace we will do it. (Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 20:7, John 14:1)
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