Parenting is one of the easiest jobs in the world!! I don’t know what anyone is talking about when they say differently…
Obviously, that is absurd. Parenting is a very difficult job, if not the most difficult. God has given us the privilege of being the stewards of His gifts called children. He expects us to train them in His ways and to train them as individuals, all the while dealing with the myriad of outside influences that are attempting to drive them away from God as well as from each other. There are many questions that could be asked concerning this issue of the married life. Here’s a sampling:
- When do we start having children? My wife and I had decided on a 5 year plan. God had other ideas as my wife had a miscarriage and was pregnant with our oldest before the first 6 months were completed. This fact truly created some hardships for us, but we believed that God had other plans for us rather than waiting for 5 years to have children.
- How many children do you want to have? We talked about having 3, maybe four. We both grew up in a family with 3 children and we thought that was great. We had 2 children along with 2 miscarriages. Not quite the 4 we thought we would have, but this is what God planned for our lives. God knows exactly what we need, when we need it, and how we need it. This includes how many children we should have and when we should have them.
- How do you discipline the children? Do you spank? Do you just do time-outs? Who is the primary disciplinarian? What do you do? Lisa and I learned to do whatever worked for the situation with the child in need of discipline. No two children are alike!! I can assure you that I did a whole lot more wrong than right when it came to disciplining my kids. Thankfully, God has blessed us with wonderful adult children who are now married with children of their own.
- How do you educate your children? Do you put them in private schools? Do you home-school your children? Do you allow them to go into the public school system? Over the years, my wife and I talked about these things. Our children actually went to a private school for a while until we believed that God was calling my wife to be a public school teacher. We also talked about home-schooling our children, but we realized that the personalities involved would clash too much and it would not be beneficial to our family. Both of our children graduated from public schools. This is not a plug for any type of education. Just that we all need to address these issues in order to rear our children the way God wants us to.
There are many more questions that you could ask concerning your children.
I believe the most important issues when dealing with children are:
- Do we agree that children are a gift from God? It is so important for couples to agree on this fact. The Bible says that God only gives good gifts, which means that children are just that — good gifts from God.
- Are we motivated by love for our children? Your children do not need more friends; they need parents who will love them unconditionally and discipline them consistently. These two factors will help you be the parents that God desires for you to be. The unconditional love will allow your children to know acceptance the way God accepts them. God’s acceptance is not based on our behavior or our deeds, but own our being. We as parents need to accept our children the same way. The consistent discipline will create the proper boundaries for our children to grow and learn in a way that is safe for them. In such an environment, children will flourish as God intends for them to.
Am I a perfect parent? No way. I made a lot of mistakes along the way. Just ask my kids. But one of the things that I believe I did right — I love them unconditionally. I always have and I always will.
Bradley D. Watson, BCBT Directed Path Ministries
After spending more than 25 years on church staffs, God has allowed me to take the experiences and knowledge that I gained to develop a Biblical Counseling ministry. The basis of this ministry is to allow God’s Word to shine on the main issues in peoples’ lives in order to bring His resolutions to problems.