I’m coming up to a very busy weekend and would like to bless you with as many posts as possible, to occupy you when I’m busy. I am aware that a lot of our readers are parents and many are looking for the fruit of the womb! Even those of you that are still single, will end up parents one day. AMEN!
With the modernisation of almost everything, these days things are changing! Christianity is becoming difficult. We see it everywhere! Declining numbers in Church attendance, an increase in the divorce rate and an alarming number of children turning to crime and becoming miscreants! I know that one of the most painful things is raising a child only to watch that child become useless. God forbid!
There are many important issues to take into consideration but above all things, raise your child with love, care, diligence and in accordance with the word.
The responsibility of raising a Godly child lies within the parent and just like many other things in life, to see a good outcome, you as the parents must set an example for the Child; you have to be a great role model. As a psychologist, I will tell you that most children mirror the behaviour of one/both parents;whether good or bad.
Malachi 2:15- Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.
Pray with/for your children everyday! Never underestimate the power of prayer! Children like routine, just with their sleep, food and school, make sure there is a routine for prayer. As soon as they can speak, also get them involved in prayer. Let them know it’s something to be done always. When they are ill, pray for them and tell them why! When about to eat, pray together. When you are ill, even get them to pray for you. They’ll love it!
Teach them to be careful with their words! You also be careful! The tongue is powerful! Declare great things on them, regardless of the situation or performance! Even if your child comes last in class, tell him/her that you are surprised he didn’t come first because he/she is very intelligent. But, they need to work harder to come first next time. These are things you start from day 1; not when they are 10 or 19. Never insult your child; the words always stick; especially coming from a parent! I still remember the first time I was called an idiot, because it stung! I was only about 7 at the time but I remember very clearly!
When I was growing up,it seemed as if the Bible was an ornament of decoration. I didn’t know a single child who read theirs. Get them involved in Bible reading as soon as they can read, but start reading to them before that. Read the nice Bible stories and parables to them but even teach them memory verses and important principles in the Bible!
Find a good Church that has a good Sunday School! There are many lovely ones whilst others don’t do much teaching. Sit in and observe until you are happy, comfortable and find the right one! When taking your child, get them excited. Talk about God in such a glorious manner! Tell them they are going to God’s house and how He is the biggest King in the world, they should be excited! Let them be excited about Sunday School and always ask what they learned and get them to narrate the stories back to you and ask for the moral of the story.
A lot of our behaviour and thinking is as a result of the media we were exposed to whilst young. While your child should have a normal life, ensure they have a lot of Christian books, movies, tv shows and games! Many girls grow up as dependent women with low self-esteem because of the fairytales they watched as children, whilst a lot of men grow up to be violent and negligent because of what they watched on TV.
Teach your children to praise God! Be clear that everything they have is from God, from their pocket money to food to your house. Teach them to thank God for everything! Help them not to focus on material things but on more important things! Provide for them, work hard for them and teach them to be satisfied with what they have because that is what God gave them, they should never delve into self-comparison, envy or peer pressure! You need to teach them about this and pray with them on it.
Teach them the 10 commandments and basic morals and get more detailed with them as they grow older! Teach them about forgiveness and the importance of never keeping malice.
No matter your profession or commitment in ministry, charity begins at home! Many Church leaders and career men/women get so involved in their ministry or work that they neglect raising their children! Don’t compromise the time you spend with them, nurture them, advise them, teach them, do their homework with them and play with them. Let them feel comfortable speaking to you. As they grow older, educate them on issues such as abstinence from sex, drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. Teach them about the Lord’s temple; their body! Let them know how precious and valuable it is; so never to get into any illicit forms of sex or substance abuse and teach them about physical and sexual abuse. You would be surprised to know how many children are abused even under the roof of their parents. You need to teach them this and explain that they must always be honest with you if such a thing happens.
Teach them the importance of parents, Pastors and Police. The importance of a family unit and why they must serve God and decide to do it even after they have left your care!
You may be Catholic, Pentecostal or Orthodox but never bash other Christian denominations to them because many parents lose their children from Church and the day your child returns, you will pray for them to go to Church, any Church! So, let them have an open mind.
Teach your children about respect and obedience to their parents, elders and community at large! Raise them to be respectful, God fearing children. When you give them money or when they get money as gifts, from as little as toddlers, teach them about offerings and tithes! Don’t teach them as a sacrifice but as an act of worship and they should be happy and excited to do this. As they grow older, teach them the percentage calculation for calculating/paying their tithes and they will continue. AMEN.
As soon as you have children, please write a will if you haven’t already! No matter how young you are. Unfortunately, sad things happen all the time and you need to make sure that your children are taken care of.
Many of us hire nannies, house helps and so on. Many a time, these people treat our children with neglect, many of them have been known to abuse children. Be careful of who you hire, ensure you screen them and even get an overview of their background. Ask God for direction when entrusting your child with such people, if possible only hire genuinely born again staff members and always pray for them. As much as possible, spend a lot of time with your children, even if you have staff assisting, try to be present for the most part.
While your child grows up, difficult things may occur; such as sickness, loss of a pet, death of a family member. Deal with these things and be open and confident about it! Teach them about God and life after death in Heaven. So, they grow up knowing that these things occur but God is always looking after us! If you teach a chid about God right from birth and always ensure God is the genuine centre and head of your family, you can’t go wrong! Your child won’t be able to live without God! Also make them aware of the less privileged people, the poor, orphans, widows and disabled people. Show them they are blessed because they aren’t in that position and teach them to share their belongings with the needy right from a young age and it won’t depart from them.
Children are human beings after all and they may make some mistakes and get up to mischief! Always correct your child firmly! They will learn that way. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:24- “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes”. In other words, give your child a good discipline when they have done wrong. You don’t need to go overboard but be firm and consistent always. They must learn to pay the price for their mischief.
Many parents however get it wrong by teaching their child about God but acting very contrary! Don’t swear, curse or insult in front of your child or ever! Many parents even get their children to lie for them “tell the neighbours i’m not home”, whilst many women take money without their husband’s permission and laugh it off with their child. NEVER EVER commit sin in front of your child; you will be teaching them to do that! Be a great example to your child and watch God bless you. Your Christianity will surely be contagious!
Remember, love, care, pray and embrace your child always.
Proverbs 22:6- Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.