For the ones who don’t have kids yet, it’s the thing they anticipate with eager hearts.
For the ones who have children, parenting might be a cause of constant panic attacks and more now with this pandemic. It has been so hard, Sometimes I can barely breath, and much less with a mask on when we are on the streets. Last friday I had a panic attack in the middle of the supermarket but thankfully I was wearing my N95 mask, I was able to breath without taking the mask off so i felt safe even tho I was having the attack.
The truth is, this is not the easiest time to be a parent, with loads of influences on our children from all kinds of media around us. While there seem to be endless books and videos that offer “help” for parents to become better and obtain super powers to master the art of parenting, I personally believe there is no place like the word of God (The Bible) to aid us becoming the parents God has actually called us to be.
Psalm 127:3 tells us how “Children are a gift from God”. If children are a gift from God, then I guess the Bible is also the best place to learn how to become better parents.
Ephesians 6:4 tells us just that:
“Fathers (and mothers), do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord”
Here are three simple things from the verse above, we can all do to make parenting a little less puzzling and a lot more fulfilling.
1. Do Not Provoke
The Bible tells us not to irritate, give out unreasonable blame, thrust annoying commands to our children. Sometimes we say things to our children simply because they are our children; we feel privileged to say what we feel like, simply because we are the parents and they need to put up with us. May we learn not to provoke our children with our words and actions.
2. Bring them up in Discipline of the Lord
For many of us, the word discipline immediately means to correct or reprimand ones ways. The greek word used here actually means to nurture, to mould and to shape the character of the children with character that represented their community. The Bible teaches that we as parents needs to nurture, mould and shape the character of our children in the ways of the Lord.
Nurturing, moulding and shaping are things that take time, effort and deep involvement of the parents in the lives of their children. Don’t leave this task for others to do, it’s for parents do to so.
3. Bring them up in the Instruction of the Lord
Again this word is not in the literal sense of just barking out what our kids needs to do a drill sergeant would. For many of us, we give our instruction to our kids when something goes wrong or we are frustrated at their behaviour. Rather this word comes from the Old Testament of the Bible
“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.”
Here is the principle
We need to teach our children the word of God by doing life with them. That means, we need to spend time with them, be interested in their lives, get involved in their lives (sometimes at their level), get them involved in your life, be patient. Don’t be impulsive or discouraging. Don’t go weary as well.
Here is the bottom line
Parenting might seem like a daunting task at times. But always remember that children are a blessing from the Lord. So to succeed as parents, it’s safe to rely on how God teaches us to. When we do, we can be rest assured, our kids would grow in the ways of the Lord.