It's All About Family
A number of years ago James Dobson wrote a book called “Parenting Isn’t For Cowards.” I absolutely agree. Nothing compares -- no job, no career, can possibly compare to the awesome responsibility of raising a human being. It’s not by accident that the beginning of parenting is called labor. Many would agree it is tough being a parent. The trouble with parenting is just about the time you get experienced you’re unemployed. They leave and you’re left on your own. I found out that to have a healthy family it takes more than just love. The Bible says it takes wisdom. Prov. 24:3 says it takes wisdom to have a good family and it takes understanding to make it strong. I believe there are four things God says you need to do in order to have a healthy family. I am not talking about a perfect family because it’s made up of imperfect individuals. Healthy families are not an accident. They are the result of wisdom and wise decisions by wise parents. So how do you have a healthy family? How do you grow one? First, you have to prepare your kids for life. Second, protect your kids in a storm. Third, play with your kids for fun. Fourth, point your kids to God. The Bible says that one of the goals of parenting is to prepare your kids for life. God intends for the family to be the learning center for life.
You learn things in your family that you don’t learn anywhere else. You learn the basic skills of how to walk, talk, eat, use the bathroom, use the remote --- all the basic skills you learn in the family. God says we are to prepare our kids for life. The Bible says Jesus grew in wisdom and statue and in favor with God and man. That ought to be the goal in every family, to help the children have a balanced growth -- mental, physical, spiritual and social. The Bible is very clear. the primary responsibility of every parent is to prepare their child for life. It’s your responsibility the moment you took part in the conception. You got the job description. Remember, children watch your every move. You’re modeling, exampling, showing how to live. You are constantly teaching. The only question is, “What are YOU teaching?” As parents, these are three areas we need to be especially concerned with in raising kids to help prepare them for life: relationships, character development, and values.
Your happiness in life is determined by your relationships. If you know how to relate to people, if you know how to get along with people, you’re probably going to be happy a good percentage of your life. If you don’t know how to get along, if you don’t know how to relate to people, you’re going to be miserable most of your life. One of the most important skills the family teaches is how to relate. So as parents, we have to teach and we have to model basic things about relationships. Good relationships don’t just happen. You don’t just have a good marriage. You don’t just have a good friendship. It takes time. It takes work. We also have to teach our children how to resolve conflict within a relationship. They need to see not only when you as a parent have a conflict with your spouse, but how you resolve it. We need to TEACH relationship.
Character is formed in the home. Character is the sum total of your choices and habits. As you help your kids develop good habits, they develop good character. If they don’t develop good habits they are not going to have good character…no matter what you say.
Values are what is really important in life. Whether you realize it or not your kids are always picking up values from you, whether you teach them formally or not. They are picking them up by just watching you. They pick up your values about work, about life, about money, about time, about sex, about other people, about the future, about what’s really important, and about God. Those values are being picked up from you one way or the other. I know you’ve heard people say, “I am not going to impose my spiritual values on my kids. I’m going to let them decide for themselves.” That’s ludicrous! What that basically says is, “God is an option.” You know He is not an option. We are hurting our kids if we say God is an option.
Bottom line is healthy families are not an accident. They are intentionally built by wise parents who do wise things. It starts with commitment. If you want a healthy family, you too need to make a commitment. First you must commit your own life to Jesus Christ and say, Jesus, I need your help in all my life, not just parenting. You are my Savior. We need Christ to help us remember that we are not just influencing our own kids but we’re influencing future generations. Remember to make Christ the center of your life and He will lead you in the right path for you and your family.