What does it mean to be a parent? And how can you be a good parent? Becoming a parent is something that happens the instant you have a child, but how and when do you learn parenting skills? Although good parenting plays a vital role in society, it is a skill that is seldom emphasized or required as part of the schooling of our young people. It is sadly also not emphasized in many homes, as both parents often need to work, and thus spend little time with their children. How then are young people who look forward to raising children going to learn how to be parents? How will they know how to best guide their little ones?
Despite so many of life’s traditional standards and guidelines being removed in today’s fast-paced society, the most important keys to parenting today are the same as they have been for millenniums:
- your own good example
- discipline and training (a clear standard of right and wrong)
- acceptance of each child for who he or she is
- faith in each child for what he or she can become
- a lot of help from God
- more love
From beginning to end, the most important key is LOVE. Learning to be a good parent is a process that takes time and involves a lot of understanding, experience, fun, tears, prayer, patience, and a great deal of love. Children need to know that you love them, that you will always love them and be there for them. And they need to know that God loves them and is always ready to forgive their mistakes and sins. With this foundation of love–confidence in God’s love and your love–your kids can be strong enough to handle the many things that come across their paths.
“Being a parent isn’t easy!” said someone who had been there. “It takes the strength of Samson; the wisdom of Solomon; the patience of Job; the insight of Daniel; the courage, determination, and leadership of King David; the faith of Abraham-and most of all, the love of God!”
Parenting has never been easy, but today’s fast-paced, complex, and ever-changing world makes it all the more difficult. Yet the secret to successful child-rearing remains the same as it has always been–love! The miracle of God’s love, the love that you have for your children, their love for you, and the love that they will in turn learn to have for others. Love is what will motivate your children to make the right choices and decisions in life. Love will keep them through the ups and downs of growing up. Love is the antidote to the negative influences they will be exposed to throughout their lives. Love will give them purpose and a passion for life.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,” the Bible tells us, and “the fruit of the womb is His reward.” (Psalm 127:3)
One of the greatest gifts God could ever bestow upon anyone is a child–an eternal soul to love and be loved by. If God has given you a child or children, congratulations! You are richly blessed! In return, He expects you to care for, teach, and train your children, and to be an example of His love to them. He wants you to teach your children His Word and His loving ways so they will also be a reflection of His love to others. It’s hard work, but whatever you give your children in the way of time, attention, teaching, good personal example, or love, He will bless.
One of the secrets of happy parenting is to never let a day go by without thanking God for His most special gifts–your children.
Parenting can be one of the most thrilling, rewarding experiences of life, yet present you with some of the greatest challenges you will ever face.
Parents are by nature idealists, hoping for the best for their child. They want to do more for their child and give more than they themselves have had. Each desires to be someone their child needs, loves, admires, respects, and perhaps even wants to be like. Part of the joy of parenting comes from exploring and rediscovering life with your child. A child’s energy, excitement, enthusiasm, need, and dependency helps to move and motivate us.
Too often though, the dreams of parents begin to fade under the harsh light of the cares of this life, personal and financial problems, marriage difficulties, work demands, discouragement, and the like. Especially during such times parents need to use the keys that will open the doors of hope, peace, joy, fresh inspiration, determination, patience, and especially love–a flow of love in such abundance that it transforms their lives and the lives of their children.
But where and how can one find such keys? Is there really some way that we can exceed our abilities and be lifted above our shortcomings and failings? The simple answer is yes, and all you need to be is you. You don’t need to be someone special, gifted, or perfect to experience this in your life. Perfect people, even if they existed, would probably not make very good parents anyway. You see, part of the secret of parenting comes through realizing your weakness. The Bible tells us that it is through our weakness that the power of God is perfected. (2 Corinthians 12:9) As we hope you will discover, some of the most powerful keys to parenting cannot be obtained from books on parenting or childcare. No, the real power you need, the strength, wisdom, inspiration and answers can only come from God Himself.
Practical tips, techniques, and helpful information on how to raise children are needed, but in themselves they cannot turn you into a great parent. That spark comes from a Greater Source, from our own Eternal loving Parent, and it is free for the asking. God has put Himself at our service. He wants to help us, and He wants to help our children. He wants us to raise and enjoy wonderful children, and for us to grow in love and happiness together.
God wants to be in a parenting partnership with you. You may not think you are the best parent in the world, but you are the one God chose for your child, and with God’s help you can be the best parent in the whole world for him or her. With God as your parenting partner, not only will your parenting abilities improve, but He will more than make up for anything you lack.
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