Last Tuesday I posted some thoughts on what to say to your children. A lot of
people read that particular blog indicating to me that readers want more about parenting. So . . . here we go again.
Paul writes in Eph 6:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” This passage contains two charges from God: 1) A Negative Charge – Do not provoke them to anger and 2) A Positive Charge – Bring them up in discipline and instruction of the Lord. Sadly the world seems to have a different approach that swings to two extremes: Child Abuse – when discipline is without love and Permissiveness – when love is without discipline. Neither produces emotionally or spiritually healthy children because neither of these extremes fit God’s plan of training them because you love them and love them enough to train them.
Here is a three point training guide to raising emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy children.
- Love Unconditionally. Do not withhold love or use your love as a bargaining chip. You may not like what they do (or did) but still love them. That is why you correct their missteps.
- Discipline. Train them for their benefit. Someone who plays an instrument receives discipline from an instructor or has enough self-discipline to learn on their own. They receive both instruction and correction if they are to improve their performance. The same principle applies to raising children. Discipline is more than punishment it is the entire aspect of training.
- Involve Them in Activities. Have them work alongside of you. Teach them your trade or hobbies. Help them learn to clean, cook, and construct. You may be capable of doing the task yourself and even completing it faster without their “help.” But you cannot replace the time spent with them as you work side by side.