Raising His Kids:

I think all of us want the best for our children. Over the past week I have thought a lot about my kids. After seeing the constant reports this week on the news of missing kids, abused kids, children that were taken tragically from this world, it made me realize just how important my kids are to me. Again, all of us want the best for our kids; we want them to grow up serving God, living for him, loving him and those around them. But how do we achieve it? What is our part in all of this? I want to take this week’s blog and give some suggestions.

1. We should PRAY for and with our children as often as possible. Let them see the reality of our faith as we turn to the Lord in prayer with our problems, issues or daily decisions. Encourage them by your example to praise God for the blessings of life every day.

2. As we pray for our children, pray for those they will one day give their heart to in marriage. It’s never too early to start praying for those that will come into our children’s lives. From the time our children were born, we have prayed for the right “Christian” marriage partner for each of our children.

3. Read the Bible to them when they are young and as they grow older. Many families will make time right before bed to read God’s Word and to pray together. Don’t put it off because it is too hard. The things that are important to us, we will always make time for – if we try.

4. Turn the TV off and spend time with your children playing a game, going on a picnic, bike ride, walk, maybe playing their favorite sport, or just talking about their favorite subject.

5. Often when traveling in the car or when involved in other activities like sports or shopping, are times when children open up and talk about things troubling them. Value these times! I believe this is a great time to gain an insight into their world. Listen to your children. Don’t always be the one talking and telling them what to do. Their ideas are valuable.

6. Decide that time with your children is more important than extra income, more hours at work, or material possessions. What will it profit us if we become the CEO of the company, but a stranger to our children?

7. Remember, we are parents, one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs on this planet.  SO, we take it seriously, we don’t spoil or give into our children on everything. If we do, we are only making life hard for ourselves and others who come into contact with them later on in life.

8. Children need to know the boundaries and what the consequences are for overstepping those boundaries. Even if you don’t agree with spanking, (which I think there are occasions and ages when it is warranted) there are other options like taking away privileges instead.

9. Be accountable. Be an example they can model their behavior from. Parents aren’t perfect. If we do lash out in anger and do or say things we shouldn’t, we need to admit that we were wrong.

10. Take them to church or children’s church (preferably COTH “LOL”…) and encourage the friendships/relationships they make there. Talk about what they are taught and clarify anything not clear.

Obviously there are no guarantees with these tips that our children will grow up to follow the Lord. Life doesn’t work like that. But we’ll certainly be improving the chances of it happening. And even more than that, we’ll be enjoying our children in the process.