Saturday, February 16, 2013

Five Bible Verses on Parenting

Parenting is probably one of the hardest jobs on the planet. Thankfully there are plenty of passages in the Bible that tell us how we are to raise our children. Remember that the fads of modern times mean nothing to scripture. Don't be swayed by new ways of thinking. It's fine to be kind and gentle in your ways, but also being firm in discipline is quite advisable. The Bible is timeless. It doesn't go out of date. Certain passages don't fade with time. There may be new words for things, and new ways to interpret, but the essential truth will always be 100% relevant.

1. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Don't we learn our proper patterns the best when we're young? The answer is yes, of course we do. If we can instill strong morals, and good patterns of behavior in our children this will save them much misery later in life. Sometimes it's easier to make ourselves feel good to be easy on our children. Maybe it's more trendy to let them get away with murder everyday. But this doesn't turn them into proper Christians. It turns them into future welfare recipients. I know that the patterns that were established in me early in life made it hundreds of times easier to simply continue those healthy patterns of hard work, rather than having to build them in my teens. Train your children daily to be good hard working Christians.

It's also important to train them to have an open mind, and to be thoughtful. Exposure to art and writing is just as important as hard work and chores. It's also important to make sure a child knows all their options. Expose them to a wealth of information. Something that was wonderful about my childhood was traveling. Our family traveled to Atlanta for the 1996 Olympics. I got to see Washington DC, Boston, Orlando, North Dakota, and many places across the mid west. When my parents weren't squabbling over money, it was a wonderful experience. It made me curious about the world around me, and try as it might public education couldn't quite squash that wonder in me. Though I have no doubt they tried.

Public education is a brutal experience, so if you have the money I recommend Christian institutions or homeschooling. Public school creates ill-prepared drones, ripe to be taken advantage of by big companies and banks. If there is no option but public school then I highly recommend spending plenty of time coaching your kids on real life skills.

2. Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

Colossians is telling fathers to not be too hard on their children. In the old times this would have mostly applied to physically beating children. These days this more refers to mental abuse, which I was a constant receiver of during my youth. It was confusing and bizarre to be constantly manipulated by my father, so don't grab on too tight about what exactly your child should do everyday. Try to guide them, but don't walk behind them making all the decisions for them. This only lead to total destruction of my self esteem and an inability to make my own decisions later in life. If we are too hard on our children, they can become discouraged and stop trying all together. It's important to offer a bit of praise for a job well done, but don't go too far with it either.

3. Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

This is something I notice about fatherless homes, that the children end of getting away with everything. The mother is a caregiver, a giver of love and joy to the children . This is the way of things! The father is the larger, imposing force that must be relegated to dealing out authority. Once again, this is the way of things. Don't resist it, embrace it! Why? Because it works! So Proverbs says here that one who does not discipline his child HATES his son. Those are not uncertain terms. And this is the word of God. So listen to it! If you love your children be diligent to discipline them.

If you're a single mother you're being forced to function as both nurturer and enforcer. This is an extremely difficult balance. My only recommendation for a situation like this is don't yell. Yelling from a woman just isn't intimidating enough. From a man it's deeper and comes from a larger more imposing figure. So what you may want to try is more eye contact, and getting within their personal space a bit to make your point.

Being from a divorced family I know that after my parents divorced it was easy to manipulate both of them and I did. I was young and foolish, not to mention confused. The family just doesn't work as well without a mother and father working together. But in today's corrupt society, the family is crumbling. We do the best we can.

4. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

This passage from Deuteronomy demands that we expose our children constantly to the precepts of Christianity. We are instructed to teach them diligently to our children. We are told to talk about them while sitting, while walking about, while lying down, and when we awake. Always expose your children to the works of God. At a young age it may be hard for them to understand, but it reminds them that something bigger is out there. Read to your kids before bed. Buy a daily reflections book and do a reading with them every morning. Instead of letting them watch morning cartoons, try renting or buying from Christian bookstores. Children are deeply effected by what they see on TV! Ever wonder why morning cartoon commercials are buy, buy, buy?

5. Titus 2:7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity.

This passage from Titus is telling us to live by example. The example we show to our children is what they become later in life. This is a fact of life. So if you are constantly in sin, so will your children grow to be sinners. Live with integrity and dignity! And also in the way you teach them, show integrity that you follow your own rules. The idea of justice was deeply instilled in me from a young age, and now I spend all my time and efforts writing about the Bible. I also write about government corruption and corporations who take advantage of people. Teach your children to make a difference! Teach your children a strong sense of morality and justice. Then they will know what things are right and what things are wrong. This will give great assistance in their spiritual journey.

Do not be fooled my friends, the American family has been targeted. This can be seen in all walks of our culture. The work week keeps getting longer. Lax parenting methods are very trendy. The law allows children to report their parents for disciplining them. Morning cartoons are full of consumerist values and backwards moral systems. Think that doesn't impact your child's mind? Think again. It's the media's job to tell us that it's our fault. Well, it's not your fault. But by being a constant good example and teaching your kids the right way to do things, you can give them tools to fight the immorality of modern culture. My parents taught me to value justice, similar to my name Justin and to this day it is one of my most important morals.