-Set the Example
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children…” Ephesians 5:1
The bible has a lot to say about setting the example and it’s been proven over and over that children will mimic their parents. So, if you are expecting more from your children do your best to set the example, so that they can never claim hypocrisy.
-Create a Family Pact and Set Boundaries
“When He assigned to the sea its LIMIT, so that the waters might NOT TRANSGRESS His command…” Proverbs 8:29
Even the mighty seas were given limits and boundaries. Having a Formal family agreement where boundaries and rules are clear are very important. This way there is no ambiguity of what is expected of each child.
-If you mess up? Say You’re Sorry.
“Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” Matthew 5:23-24
Nobody is perfect and that includes parents. If you know you’ve messed up, you should not pretend that you didn’t in front of your children. They’ll respect you more if you admit it, and apologize than not acknowledging it at all. They are no different than you when it comes to the need for an apology if they know you were wrong; it’s simple common sense.
-Have Family Devotionals that include Bible reading and Prayer
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4; “Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Family devotionals are one of the best ways to instruct your children in the Lord and is a wonderful time of discovery that will allow you to pray about the needs and desires of each child.
-Know who your children are hanging out with, their friends are their biggest influencers
“Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 13:33
A child’s peers/friends are their biggest influences. The strong human desire to be accepted and loved will never leave a person; Therefore, it is critical that each child be selective as to who they share their love and friendship with as it will have lasting consequences.
-Get them involved with Christian Youth Activities that you know are credible
“Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25; For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20
Since we’re talking about the company they keep, it important to get them involved in credible Christian youth activities where you are sure they will be around others who wish to seek GOD and enjoy His presence in Godly fellowship among peers.
-Control their media influences
“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” Psalm 101:3
In todays society, media is everywhere along with their influences and the internet is a jungle of bad influences and evil plots to spoil the minds of our young people. Make every effort you can to control what is set before your children especially in the early stages of their lives.
-Find out their passions and cultivate their strengths and gifts
“Each of you should use whatever GIFT you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10; “Now there are varieties of GIFTS, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; “All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the Lord has commanded.” Exodus 35:10; “To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.” Matthew 25:15
Don’t live your life through your children or try to create a “mini-me”. Your child is unique with their own special gifts and qualities. Try to discover them while they are young and help them to cultivate those God given gifts and passions.
-Seek God for Wisdom
“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:6-7
Seek God for wisdom specific to your child. Understand that your child is not you. They are individuals made in the image of God with special needs that are specific to them. It’s important to seek God for understanding so that you may deal with your children WISELY.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine…” Proverbs 17:22 “So I recommend the enjoyment of life, for there is nothing better on earth for a person to do except to eat, drink, and enjoy life. So, joy will accompany him in his toil during the days of his life which God gives him on earth.” Ecclesiastes 8:15
What do most children like to do? HAVE FUN! So, take the time to do fun activities with your children, find out what is fun for them and GO DO IT! It creates wonderful memories that will last a lifetime and bonding that will never end.