No 6 Raising Children
Children may draw parents together or drive them apart. They can unify you or separate you. With some couples the only arguments they have are about children. The wife has her ideas of rearing and discipline, the husband has his. This is a friction point and so a common philosophy is the best idea. Discuss your points of agreement and stick to them.
The Bible says, ‘Children are a blessing, a gift from the Lord.’ Gen. 33:5, Ps. 127:3-5. Molesting them, battering them or abusing them offends them and will be looked on severely by God. Matt.18: 6 Children are to be loved and know that they are wanted.
A Good Pattern
‘ And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man.’ Lk. 2:52
‘in wisdom’, – You are to help your child develop mentally.
‘in stature’, – You are to feed them right and help them develop physically.
‘in favour with God’,- You are to teach them the ways of God.
‘ In favour with man’, -You are to teach them how to live in society, give them guidelines, norms and standards, respect for law and order, and respect for others and their property.
A child is known by his doings. Prov. 20:11
This early instruction gives a good base for later life. If you want them to respect your values later, teach now. If a child successfully defies his parents and laughs in their faces, stubbornly flouting their authority, it will develop contempt for them and think them as being stupid. Don’t give in to temper tantrums; don’t give them their own way. A stiff-necked child will clench his fists and dare to challenge his parents. Parents should take up and challenge and win it.
WHY SOME CHILDREN DO NOT OBEY
Punishment is infrequent and half the time he gets away with it. The child may be more strong willed than the parent and try to outlast the parent. If he defies again, punish him again. If your child has not received proper discipline before, it may take him a while to respond to it. Discipline may be too gentle. If it doesn’t hurt, it is not worthwhile doing. Do it right.
DO NOT PROVOKE THEM
Don’t over- protect them. Give them room to develop.
Don’t provoke them by putting them under too much academic pressure.
Don’t put sports pressure on them, or have them compete in a wrong way with other children.
Don’t provoke them by pretending you are perfect or that they are perfect.
Don’t provoke them by putting them down or discouraging them.
Don’t provoke them by showing favouritism or comparing one-child’s abilities with the others.
Don’t provoke them by making them too responsible before they are able to handle it.
Don’t provoke them by neglecting them.
POINTS OF FRICTION
Couples disagree in whether they should or should not have children or not have children.
Couples disagree when they should have children.
Couples disagree on how may children they should have.
Couples disagree on how to raise children. I.e. How much freedom, how much discipline, and what time do they go to bed?
The Child’s family is the most important influence in its life. The home moulds charachter and personality. Sometimes friends, school and church influence them, but not as much as parents do. They are at the core. Moral values and character are not just taught but caught in the home. If parents lie and cheat, the child will do likewise.
A) The early months. – Security and self-confidence is learned.
B) “ “ “ – A sense of curiosity develops.
C) “ “ “ – Discipline needs to be taught.
D) 3- 4 years old. – Self control and restraint needs to be taught.
E) 3-5 years old – Sexual direction and gender becomes real to them.
F) From early years the child goes forth with is sin nature and will lie and do wrong. Ps. 58:3, 51:5.
Rejection by a father or having a domineering mother can produce homosexual tendencies. Anger in a parent can produce the same anger in a child. The home is to be a parent centred place, not child – centred. The child is in the home approximately 20 years, the parent for about 50 years. The child must know that he or she takes second place to mummy or daddy.
GOD’S WAY OF TRAINING CHILDREN
You are their model and counsellor; they will watch you and listen to you.
“Train up a child in the way he should go’ Prov. 22:6. You give direction to them.
‘Fathers do not provoke your children to anger.’ Eph.6: 4
CAN YOUR CHILD APPROACH YOU?
You must make it easy for them to come to you with their problems, difficulties and concerns. Learn to be a good listener. Be available also give them your undivided attention. Avoid being a mind – reader, interpreter or critic. Show a genuine interest, and don’t pretend.
THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD. EPH.6: 4
Children do not naturally do what is right or good. Discipline must be enforced and have structure. Do not incite them to resentment. God’s discipline for children is found in the book of Proverbs and Hebrews 12, which gives us a good balance.
1 Clear boundaries or limits must be set. Prov.29: 15, Ex.20: 1-17.
2 Avoid the danger of unannounced rules.
3 Make sure the children understand the guidelines, if necessary write them out and ask them what they think they mean.
4 Don’t give them too many rules.
5 Avoid making hard and fast rules bout trivial matters.
6 Do not make rules the child cannot keep, or you cannot enforce.
7 Do not constantly change the rues or the child will get confused.
8 Explain your reasons for the rules. They are for the child’s own welfare.
9 Try and stick to Biblical principles.
10 Do not just tell them what you expect, show them.
11 Impart the idea that you expect immediate obedience.
12 When the rules are broken administer chastisement.
Do this while the children are young; correct them before it is too late. (Prov. 13:24 , 22:15 ,23:13-14).
Discipline can be ministered with instruction. Prov.29: 15
Other forms of chastisement can be administered.
If the correction is quick the lesson learned swiftly. Hugs and kisses can come immediately afterwards. Reconciliation and restoration to normal relationship is restored quickly.
Mothers are just as much involved in rearing the child and disciplining them. Prov.1: 8, 6:30,1Tim. 5:10
A. They are with the mother more.
B. She is usually more available to teach them and answer their questions.
C. She is usually present when they bleed, need instruction or rebuke.
D. She has more opportunities to be direct influence upon them.
Do not harass them, discourage them or make them feel unwanted or inferior. Col.3: 21. You are to encourage your children, direct them, and delegate jobs to them. As a team you and your wife must work together for the purpose of raising your children properly. You are to promote harmony, love and stability in them so that they may be stable when they grow up.
Eli did not discover the misconduct of his children until it was too late, ‘Why do you behave this way?’ He should have stopped them when they were younger. Was he not around? Was he disinterested? Did he give them a free reign?
‘BRING THEM UP’. EPH. 6:4
This is hard work for parents and it requires patience and wisdom. The first years may bring illness and worries. Then there are the mischievous years, experimenting with paint, the dishes etc. There are the accidents, the falls from bikes and trees. There are times they are running away from home [a few hours in the local park is long enough for them]. There are the times they lie and blame things on their little sister or the dog. They may bite the children next door. Don’t faint when your children do these things.
‘Bringing them up in the Lord’, requires your prayer and dependence on the Lord for wisdom, love, knowledge and insight for the wonderful task of developing these little lives. Children do not automatically grow up to be what God wants them to be. ‘Foolishness is in the heart of a child.’ Prov.22: 15. ‘Left to himself, he will bring shame to his mother.’ Prov. 29:15. You do not give them complete freedom to make all their own choices, or to do their own thing. There are no alternatives for a parent raising up children. Once you decide you are willing to be responsible to have them, you must not try to escape that responsibility. Do not smother or over protect your child. Permit them to make mistakes, to fail and to get knocks.
‘Bring them up ‘ does not mean hold them down. Don’t expect more of them than what they are capable of. Never call them dumb or stupid, a slob or an idiot. If you do, then you should apologise. Do give them good times, lots of love, hugs and kisses. Happy times will cultivate a good attitude, especially when it comes time for you to correct them. They then understand that you discipline them out of love for them and that you are not being nasty or mean.
RULES AND GUIDELINES
Let them know clearly what you expect of them.
Limits must be clearly defined.
Rules give security, protection and structure. Their absence brings insecurity, frustration, hostility and resentment.
You must be consistent if your discipline it is to bring growth, understanding and maturity.
Use just enough force for the child to remember it but do not overdo it.
Do it out of a heart of love. Prov. 13:24 , 1 Cor.16: 14, Rev. 3:19.