Parenting: Modeling God’s love
As a parent I did not always follow this wonderful plan of God in raising my children. I was always a hard disciplinarian. I dished out discipline in anger and impatience way to often, thus breaking their hearts and their spirit’s. And I paid the price later with my children. After becoming a christian I began the process of retraining myself in godly parenting skills, but this was not an instant thing to learn. I backslid so many times. As I grew and learned to discipline with more compassion and godly nurturing I became more aware of the damage I had done to my children. I was caught up in my own thing, and not wanting to be bothered or have to take the time to really listen to my children’s heart from my own heart. But we had better learn that God wants our children to be our main thing in this life. Put down the remote control, the cell phone, the games, and everything else that you have put before your life’s mission…. which is to love and nurture these children and listen to them with love, patients, and compassion. What they are saying is just as important to them as the things you have put before them. As a parent, make those sweet children “THE PRIORITY IN YOUR LIFE AND THEIRS”. You will reap a future with them one way or the other.
My children are now in their 40’s with children of their own. I am in awe of how much better they are in their parenting skills than I was. I could have saved myself and my children so much grief had I become a christian before starting my family. The scripture in Psalms 127:3 tells us that our children are an heritage from the Lord, a reward from Him. Ephesians 6:4 tells that as parents we are not to provoke them to anger or wrath, frustrating them…but we are to love them and nurture them in the admonition and counselling of the Lord. Love them unconditionally.
Children can be drilled like military men into submitting to their parents, thus making them obey you and your rules out of fear of you and your wrath. But if you take time to listen to them. If you will allow yourself to hear them from your heart, like our Heavenly Father listens to and hears us from his heart, then when they are older, they will be more willing to hear you and listen to you and obey you from their heart and out of love and respect for you, their mom & dad. We represent God in their lives. Children may perceive God in how they perceive you.
As a parent, grandparent, and great-grandparent, I wish that I had known all of the godly parenting skills, before I ever gave birth. I love my two children more than life and have apologized to them for my early lack of godly parenting. I love you Tommy & Kim!
Ephesians 6:4 (KJV) And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 (amp) Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.
Article below on Parenting from the UMC website.
The most important thing parents can teach their children is that they are beloved children of God. They do this by simply loving their child, unconditionally, no strings attached. Children who do not experience unconditional love in early childhood may have a difficult time believing in a loving God when they are adolescents and may never develop a close relationship with God. Growing up without the secure knowledge that they are loved may also cause children to have difficulty forming relationships with others throughout their lives.
Parents model God’s love by accepting their children as they are. Each child is a unique creation of God. Children have different gifts, temperaments, and abilities. Our responsibility as parents is to help children discover these gifts and learn to use them to glorify God and to serve others.
Parents model God’s love by through Christ-like behavior. Children who feel loved show compassion for others. Children who see their parents read the Bible and pray grow up with a respect for the Bible and its teachings and learn to seek God’s guidance in their lives. Children whose parents are involved in church or mission activities are much more likely to be involved in those activities throughout their lives.
Parents model God’s love by teaching their children responsibility. Sometimes loving children unconditionally is confused with permissiveness. But true parental love mimics God’s love. God calls us to a standard of behavior that shows love for God, self, and others. Parents must also guide their children to love God, to love themselves, and to respect the earth and all its inhabitants.