I love my kids!!!!!! My gift for Father's Day is my children. I even loved my daughters enough to have cats! (I am allergic to cats)
You think you can just sleep with your pains and griefs in peace?
Suddenly the gremlin is biting and clawing and people get hurt!
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
So you who have come from God are responsible for taking the salvation He offers to you freely and the relationship He seeks to have with you. The good news is that it is free!
Marriage is the gift of devotion to a mate and security for the child. When parents are married and can model mutual love and respect, they help show the way for their children to do the same. The children of married parents have security inherent in the relationship, expecting that mom and dad will be there for them. Christian parents have the resources to make their marriage sweet and provide a safe nest for their children in which to grow their wings and prepare to fly.
In our society, the attack on marriage will erode every aspect of our civilization. God did not make us man and woman and tell us to become one flesh for the heck of it. This is the model for the family that works. Sometimes divorce or death splits the family and then you find new challenges as a parent. I know, I had to become Mr. Mom and raise my children all on my own for a time. So did my current wife as a widow with two children. I had four to raise on my own. One got married and another joined the military just before I met and married my wife and we Brady Bunched it. I can tell you that, with the exception of the one son who was under military control, all of our children were in the wedding party and my oldest daughter sang and also my second oldest son and I sang a duet at my own wedding!
Live what you say. I am the guy who is who he is. My kids saw that I lived what I claimed to believe. I went to church and gave money and worked in ministry and read my Bible and prayed and endeavored to love people and found ways to tell folks about Jesus. Why do you think they come back home if they are grown, or love to come visit and that those who do not live with me live close by? Because we are close because we love each other AND because they saw me live out a Christian life, never claiming to be perfect but always seeking to do better.
Love your children enough to care about what they do. Too many parents just let kids do what they want as long as they do not "annoy" the parent. Letting the video games and television and hand-held devices and neighbor's houses parent your children is a good way to show them you do not give a rip! Be involved in their grades, help them with school work if you can, get them help if you cannot.
Make your house the place where all their friends are welcomed! Sure, it will cost you money. Pop and frozen pizzas are not free! Be the one who makes them glad to be there. Invite their friends along for a trip to a Dairy Queen, or going on a camping trip. Be the refuge for the kids whose parents are fighting or drunk.
Don't be a money bank! If your kids want money, have them earn it with chores. Teach them to be responsible with all areas of their lives. If they want to drive, make them pay for insurance. If they want to play sports, make them commit to the entire season before they start it. Don't raise quitters. Have them make the decision to do it before they sign up and then let them choose each year whether to continue.
Please do not live vicariously through your children! If you were a sports nut that doesn't mean your kids will be the same. Maybe they love music, or art, or want to work on the yearbook. It is wise to require your teenagers to do an extra-curricular activity but let them choose. Some of my children wanted to play sports, some to sing, some to act, some to do academic teams, some to do art, and from this list you know that some did more than one thing. Encourage them to try out their wings in the areas of their interest.
Do be a launching pad. I do not understand a parent who kicks kids out the door when they turn 18 years old. There are good reasons to leave home - college, military, marriage for instance. But your son(s) or daughter(s) might want to go to a local college and live at home, or go into vocational training, or go to work right away and build up a savings account, or start their own business while at home.
Change with the age. When your children are younger you are the boss and they obey you. Over the years you take them out of the box and try to put the box within them. As they become older they get too old to spank and you have to ground them and take away privileges to give them direction. Eventually the days of giving them allowances for chores end and, if they stay home when older they should begin giving a little to help with expenses as they work and become adults.
In my home now we have three sons who are virtually independent. They have the courtesy to let us know if they are leaving for more than the day and we don't control them. We have an atmosphere of mutual love, respect and trust. Wallets can sit out along with keys and purses and no one messes with the other person's stuff. We keep computers out where someone can walk in and see what you are doing but everyone has a room with a door and a lock and, while as the head of the household I could go through drawers and closets but I don't. Two of my sons went off to college and military, respectively, and have come back to regroup and reload and get back out there. One is working on building up his own business.
Listen more! Parents who do not listen to their children and give them the right to have their own minds will shut them off or shut them down. Your little ones will grow and I hope you encourage them to be curious and to learn and think and explore and come to you with anything and everything. Let them tell you about their day, their frustrations and even let them respectfully challenge your decisions. My kids knew that if they disagreed with one of my rules they could talk to me about it and possibly their reasoning would convince me to either change that rule or make an exception. If you listen to them when they are three and when they are thirteen they will still want to talk to you when they are twenty-three and beyond.
Teach more! I absolutely brainwashed my little ones by reading the Bible with them, getting them Christian music and videos and making up stories and songs with a Biblical basis. I took them to church and usually wound up teaching the basic age group of my kids until they graduated from high school. I found that working with teenagers was fun and, having had a house full of teens for several years eating my food and playing my (Christian) rock music and hanging out, after years of playing basketball and volleyball with them and taking them to the beach and camping I found that it was a ministry to stay with even after my youngest graduated high school.
This blog is just another piece of me. Why do I bother to do this when, if you went by the comments threads, all those who read me deride me and castigate me on a regular basis? It is because I am who I am. I am a teacher and I teach in church and I teach in the blogworld. I also opine on other blogs. This is not my only blog. The journalist in me gets a real workout because the various blogs take some time and I do have to work for a living. I do not get a penny for doing this. God will not give me a gold star for blogging. You may not realize it and you may not like it, but I am loving you by taking time to speak out. I may face you up on the comments page and point out what you say and call it mistaken or folly. But it isn't for me. Christian, if you read this I will tell you that this particular blog is aimed first at the unbelieving Darwinist and second at the uncertain Christian who is not sure whether he can trust the Word of God.
John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.