A child is a precious gift from God. My wife and I adore our children (even when they are cranky). But I am the first to admit that being a parent is challenging. Very challenging. But it is the most important job that I have. Here are some suggestions that I have found helpful as I strive to be the best dad I can be.
1. LOVE YOUR SPOUSE:
The greatest gift and example a parent can give their children is to love their spouse. When love has filled the house then the house is a home.
2. GET INTO THE WORD WITH THEM:
Just like Bible reading is important for couples, it is equally important to have a family time of studying the Word of God. The Bible teaches how to live victoriously. Isn’t that what we want for our children. Dont be intimidated if you have never read the Bible. Get an easy to read contemporary version and just go for it.
3. DISCIPLINE POSITIVELY:
The Ancient Writer said, “Don’t fail to correct your children. They won’t die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death.” This is not popular today. The Ancient Writer is not talking about abuse. He is talking about discipline that teaches. Some parents will avoid all discipline because they want to be a “buddy” with their child. That is one of the greatest disservice’s you can give your children. You can be their friend but you are also their parents. You are responsible for them. Discipline them! For one child this might mean a time out, for another it might mean a swat on the behind, and for another it might just take a talking to change their ways. Your children are unique. Discipline them positively by taking into account that uniqueness.
5. TEACH THEM YOUR VALUES:
If you dont teach them your values then someone else will teach them theirs.
6. DO NOT CAUSE YOUR CHILDREN TO HAVE WRATH:
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger,” said the Ancient Writer. He then went on to say, “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” Well, what does this mean? Let me illustrate this through a story. Ed Cole in his book Maximized Manhood shares an experience he had with his son. The story goes something like this. Ed’s work was very busy. One day, he came home from one of his many trips. His son, Paul, walked up to him and said, “Can I have the car?” Paul had a new driver’s license and wanted to use it.
“Why?” asked his father.
“I want to drive to youth camp at Mt. Lassen.”
“That’s a new car, ” said Ed.
“You have only had your license a few weeks.”
“That camp is 400 hundred miles away.”
Paul answered, “I know.”
Ed was now getting firm, “You are not driving a new car 400 miles away.”
“Oh, I forgot,” Paul continued, “I need the credit card too.”
“You can’t have the car.”
“But I’ve been driving with a learner’s permit for a year.” Paul was correct there.
“You can’t have the car. Now don’t ask me again. The case is closed.”
Paul kicked at the floor as he headed for his room. He was angry, frustrated, and confused. As he got to his room, he reached for the doorknob to shove open the door. In frustration, he didn’t turn the knob far enough and the door stood firm as a wall. In a burst of frustrated fury, Paul kicked the door. A gaping hole was exploded into the door.
Hearing the crash, Ed got very angry with his son. He stomped toward his son’s room. He was going to TEACH HIM!! As Ed neared the door, a Bible verse came to his mind. “Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath.”
In the blinking of an eye, Eds attitude changed. What had he done to his son? Ed felt so ashamed. He went out to the garage for awhile. Forty minutes later, he walked into his son’s room. Paul was sitting on the bed, his head in his hands with tears still in his eyes. Ed sat down beside his son. He said, “Paul, I have sinned before you. I had no right to provoke you to wrath. I love you. Will you forgive me?” Ed then handed Paul the credit card and the car keys.
Our children need our guidance and discipline but how we present it makes all the difference in the world. Yes, from time to time our children will get angry with us. However, there is a big difference between anger and wrath. Make sure the package of your guidance and discipline is inviting and chewable.