Parenting is a joy and a delight, almost all the time. Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it’s challenging, difficult, and confusing. Sometimes it’s painful, gut-wrenching, and sad.
All decent parents know they are responsible for their children:
It’s our job to feed them, provide for them, and protect them. It falls to us to keep them spiritually and morally healthy too.
Speaking for myself, I found it to be fairly easy. With our first born, there were few challenges, if any. It was smooth sailing all the way every day. Then he turned two.
To complete this series on equipping children, here are a few final suggestions. They may be of little value, but here goes:
- Equipping children requires leadership. We lead them to their first steps, their first words, and their first raising of a cup or spoon. We must also lead them to pray. We must share our faith stories and model our faith in front of them. As they age, our leading becomes harder, for we lead them to exercise their faith muscles and that means risking rejection, disappointment, and opposition.
- Equipping children requires courage. It’s interesting how often faith and courage go together, (Joshua 1:3-7). Courage is needed when your child is bent on taking the wrong path when you know the right one. Courage allows them to make mistakes knowing that some lessons are only learned through our mistakes. Courage is needed in leading them to make the right decisions, knowing it will be unpopular, and could result in their being singled out in a derisive manner.
- Equipping children requires commitment. Parents are challenged with compromise. The team, club, or school wants your child to conform to something that is opposed to your values. Their friends are doing it, their friends parents, your peers, are supporting it, but you know it isn’t right, and standing up means going against the grain. Your courage and commitment to be spiritually uncompromising will be unpopular, perhaps no more so than with your child. Do you have the leadership and courage to trust in God’s providential care for your family?
Raising children is tough. The stakes are so high. And the competition for their souls is fierce.
Good parenting is an unending, relentless effort to shape a child to become a spiritually mature, emotionally intelligent, morally centered person of faith.
God be with you as you raise your children, filling their minds and hearts with his divine light. For your children must one day take their places in a dark and broken world.
It isn’t all doom and gloom. Remember to smile and find the joy and happiness. Never forget that you are the best thing that will ever happen to your kids.