'And now a word to you fathers. Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.' (Ephesians 6:4, NLT)
Too often we believe that the duty of a 'parent' is simply to provide food and shelter for our children. For those who believe this and spend their lives doing just that I'm about to burst your bubble.
Food and shelter are basic needs and anyone can provide such needs. As parents, we are the main carer for our children. That means they look to us to provide for their every need. We ought to be their main educator. If we don't teach them the things they ought to learn then someone else will soon assume that position and very often they listen to false teachers, which later find them subjected to the spirit of confusion.
Training a Child
We are charged with the responsibility of teaching our children. The bible says to 'bring them up with the instruction approved by the Lord' Eph 6:4(NLT). We need to stop and think about our responsibilities and act on them, for the sake of our children's future, which directly affects our future. Proverbs 10:1 states: "a wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother". But, if as parents we do not train up our children in the right way then how are they to gain knowledge? From where does the development of wisdom come? And if they take on-board the folly of false teachers, will they not forever cause you grief?
Now this is where the problem lies: when we fail to teach our children according to God's instructions, they take on the ideals of this world, whether through the people they encounter on a daily basis; through the media or by our actions. And when we see them acting contrary to what we would like them towe rebuke them. We may punish them, by taking away or reducing their privileges but that only confuses them for, in effect, this is what we have taught them.
We allow the media to tell our children how to live because we are too busy providing for their basic needs. We have over-extended ourselves in areas not involving our family and so we are not tuned in to the cries of our children. But wherever we fail, there is always someone or something waiting to pick up the pieces. Why is this happening? Because we have provoked our children to wrath and in a state of confusion, they can no longer separate wrong from right. They are introduced to 'substances' that will damage them. But because it puts them on a 'high', making them feel good, for a little while, the people providing these substances are now their role models, for they have tapped into that part of our children that we, as parents, have failed to tap into.
With these new role-models, they have no need for their parents, so they no longer listen to what we have to say. Then we label them as rebellious.
I urge you to look at the root of the problem instead of the end result, that's the only way forward. Are you doing all that you can to help your child succeed in life?
Janice S Ramkissoon 2008
Janice, a freelance writer, lives in the UK and enjoys spending time with her husband, Vince and their son, Javin. She uses her gift to encourage others towards a deeper relationship with God, through her inspirational pieces while her travel articles provide general advice for the holiday-maker.
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