In all my years working with children, I have never met a parent who at some point does not admit, “I am just too exhausted to deal with this!” Whether the statement is meant just temporarily at that moment or is an ongoing issue, this reality presents a challenge for the future of our kids. Children are sponges soaking up information all day long and they will believe whoever is willing to talk to them. We must talk to them at the moment when they need to talk and are open to listen. If the parents don’t listen and talk then the television, internet and peer groups will. Then, very quickly wrong thinking seems right.
Recently, I was told there was a conversation among three young people who have made commitments to God. Two of the three were clear that living together if you were engaged was just fine. One said, that is not what the Bible says. The parent overhearing this conversation was appalled! She assumed that they all three understood clearly what the Bible has to say on this matter. The reality was that though they have been taught the truth, in their immature age they have also been deeply influenced by what they hear and see in the world every day. Children want to justify the situations many of their friends and families are experiencing. They have a need to feel everything and everyone they know is accepted. We must teach them that unconditional love means: we love a person no matter what, but it doesn’t mean that we agree everything people do is acceptable in the sight of God.
God loves all of us with agape love. He explains exactly what that means in detail in
1 Corinthians 13. This is a good place to begin sharing what the Bible says about love with our children. His love is not based on what we are doing which is why we can love people no matter who they are or what they do.
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8.
We need to make sure our children know they have sinned and been forgiven. That is the foundation for them to stand on as they learn to love. Lead your children in praying for their family and friends to know God. One family I know has a small bulletin board in the kitchen where they attach names of people they are praying for. It builds faith in them to know others are praying too.
Personally, I do not believe there is a formula that makes rearing children easier or more affective. These are matters of the heart. These are matters of the Spirit of God getting ahold of our minds and scripture becoming real. The secret to raising kids lies in having our Spirits in tune with the Holy Spirit concerning the raising of each of our children individually. It doesn’t matter if you are married, a single parent, an adoptive parent, or a grandparent raising a grandchild -you can seek God daily and hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and receive wisdom one day at a time. I can’t promise you won’t feel exhausted at times, but I can promise you will sleep in peace every night knowing your kids are safe in the hands of God.