Raising children today is no small task. Especially when you realize they’re not yours!
Our Children Belong To God
Parenting takes on a whole new meaning when we internalized our children belong to God.
There are many couples who are unable to have children and will pay thousands of dollars to have them. Regardless of how God has blessed you with your children; we all have the same responsibility to raise them.
And who better to ask about expectations for raising God’s kids, other than God himself!
Raising Children In The Way
We are told in Proverbs 22 to raise Children in the way they should go. Implying that their is a right way and a wrong way to raise them.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
~ Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)
Raising them in “The Way” means; not our ways, our dreams or our interpretation on life situations. Rather, raising them God’s way.
As parents, we get caught up in “the way I was raised” or “back in my days.” We too can relate because we’ve said those exact words.
However, since God designed parents for their role in training children, it would be wise for parents to learn His ways so that we can teach His children.
Living The Way With Our Children
We learned this important lesson during our times of hardship. The stress of not having enough caused us to respond short towards each other, and brought on behaviors that reflected anxiousness and worry instead of peace.
We began to see some of our behaviors reflected in our children. That revelation was our coming to Jesus moment that we had to change the way we were responding to life. So that our children had a positive example of what it means to walk out the Bible during real-life situations.
Instead of lecturing them on their behavior, we decided to change ours!
That decision required us to to spend time in the Word learning His ways, and applying it to our life. It was our desire to never say; “Do as I say, not as I do.” How will they learn from that?
As we began to spend more time with God, and made an effort to get our priorities straight, not only did it change our behavior, we began to see changes in our children.
Leading The Way In Your Home
Since sharing is caring, we wanted to share a few suggestions from our experiences on how you can lead The Way in your home while raising God’s children.
Spend Time With God
If you have decided to make God’s Word the final authority in your home, then spend designated time with God through prayer and reading the Bible. Don’t get caught up on how much time. The important thing is that you spend quality time with Him. You can’t teach your kids “The Way” if you don’t know “The Way” yourself.
Keep Your Priorities Straight
Keep your priorities straight that line up with God’s Word (God, Spouse, Family, Ministry, and Work). When we keep our priorities in order, it will be reflected in our behaviors, and our behaviors will be duplicated by our children. (NOTE: If you’re not sure how to live within the priorities of God in your everyday life, considering taking our FREE Priority Living eCourse.)
Purpose To Be Unified
Parents, whether singled, married or divorced, should be unified in the standard of which you are raising your children and how you will discipline. when you are not on the same page, the children take notice and use that to their advantage.
Establish rules for discipline and what behaviors will demand it. If God’s Word is the standard and both parents are unified, discipline can be an act of love.
Proverbs 22:6 in the Amplified version says to raise children in “The Way” they should go, while keeping up with their individual bent.
“Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.” ~ Proverbs 22:6 (AMPC)
This means we discipline within our children’s individual personalities. Every child learns differently, so it’s okay that your discipline may vary by child. As long as there is unified discipline for the same behaviors.
In The End
As much as we love our children, the truth is God loves them even more. That’s because they belong to Him. Once we recognize that, it will become easier to raise them to according to His ways.
Even when children test their parents or are disrespectful, when you’ve decided to raise His kids according to His ways, you can find the boldness to say; “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord!”
“But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”~ Joshua 24:15 (NLT)
~ André and Timberley Gray