Parents of Stone Church:
I pray for you each week.
I know that parenting can sometimes be frustrating.
You feel this incredible responsibility to raise your child as "unto the Lord."
There is a longing that your child grow up to be a follower of Christ. Free from the struggles and temptations that you as a parent have faced in the past.
Because you don't always know what to do.
What works with one child - doesn't work with the other. What works with one family in Stone Church - might not work with your family.
Even with the wealth of materials out there - each child is so different.
Each child has their own unique bent, their own unique personality and temperament. You can't motivate them all the same. They don't all have the same strengths, weaknesses, talents abilities or interests.
Do you home school them or send them to public school? How many activities do you let your child participate in? What do you do when they are not interacting well with other children? What happens when your child is dealing with anxiety and depression?
So many questions and challenges.
What do you do?
Well, I would suggest that first of all you know your child.
Proverbs 22:6 states, "Train up a child in the way that he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it."
You've got to know your child - because you can't raise them in the way that should go until you do. Know their characteristics, their personality, their temperament.
"Train up" means to a create a thirst; to direct or lead.
Find out their "bent" and then create a desire in them to go that direction.
Some parents think their child is born as a soft hunk of clay.
And they poke it and mold it. Then, they fix it the way they want it to go.
And when they get it shaped the way that they want, they bake it in the oven and bring it out hard.
Then they put the child on a shelf and expect him or her to stay that way the rest of their lives.
No, it is a constant process. Every child is always growing. Always changing.
If they are shy, don't try to make them boisterous.
If they are boisterous, don't try to make them shy.
That can be difficult for the following reasons:
Your child may be nothing like you.
Your child may not be like any of the other children in your home (Think Cain and Abel).
I encourage you today, mom and dad, to not make these mistakes in parenting:
Parents tend to raise their kids the way they were raised. Why? Because it is what we are familiar with. That just perpetuates generational dysfunctionalism.
Parents tend to compare their children with each other.
So what is your responsibility?
Help your child know who he or she is.
Understand that God has a specific plan for that child.
Look for the uniqueness of the child.
Accept your children unconditionally (as God accepts you).
Provide opportunities for gifts and talents to be developed in your child.
Encourage, encourage and encourage.
Show affection. Express affirmation. Give them attention. Discipline them consistently.
Discipline them calmly. Quickly. Sparingly.
Pray for them daily.
I have learned this with people: It is not what you are that holds you back - it is what you think you are not.
Well, I've given you a lot - in "bullet point" form. But know this: You are doing a great job in raising your children! I affirm you in that.
With much love.......