A kid’s worst best friend is his or her mom and or dad. They may shock some folks, but I feel that moms and dads are not being responsible enough in this day and age. If a parent is hanging out with their teenaged child drinking coffee and gossiping about so and so, the child views said parent as a buddy and not a person with authority. A buddy won’t tell you when to come home or what you cannot wear. It is a disgrace to the institution of parenting when a mother buys her daughter clothing that makes her prepubescent body appear like a Vegas showgirl waiting to give the next lap dance. It is equally disgraceful when a father pushes his son to be a man by promoting sexually explicit thoughts and situations.
God being the model parent has stated a few truths about parenting. Here’s the first of two that will be looked at today.
Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
The debate rages on concerning nature vs. nurture. Children will act so I’ve been told by my spouse according to how they see us act. That is true by the way. Children are sponges at an early age. They soak up so much that they see and hear. With that being the case, we as parents should expose our children at an early age to Sunday school, the importance of knowing and reading The Bible, and most importantly, the knowledge of Christ’s saving Grace.
When do kids stray from the path of righteousness? They stray at birth. One of the words any child learns is “mine,” and “no.” The Bible in case you did not know says, “All have fallen short of the glory of God.” All includes those wrinkly, bald headed blessings we call babies. So God has made you a parent. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first, second, third or fourth time, God has blessed you with the responsibility of caring and teaching of a child. God’s Word has not changed. Neither have His expectations.
My father accepted the Lord at age sixty-five. He, along with many others, is the exceptions. Generally speaking, if a child grows into adulthood never hearing the Gospel, said child now adult will never come to the Lord. Yes, all things work for God in His time, but a hard headed boy today is tomorrow’s stubborn man. The child must learn of God and His sacrifice. You will never see a person, who as a child learned the Truth and made a real commitment to Christ, turns from it. Today more than ever, church attendance drops off when a teen goes to college. The allure of sin and the absence of parents overcome many and most college freshmen. They tend to let their Bible slip away and they hide the picture of Jesus so to speak. If they return from when they strayed, like the prodigal, the parent will rejoice and take them back. God does that with us after a heart has truly repented.
Many stray and don’t return to their Christian roots. I openly and fiercely question the commitment made to Christ if it can be wiped away that quickly and easily at the sign of so called independence.
“Hey, junior, yeah, you in toga, if you are so independent and responsible why are two guys helping you into your dorm room?”
See what I mean? A person cannot say, Praise Jesus. I love you!” Then say, “Wahoo! Pass the bottle! Yeah man she is fine! Where’s my drink?” Followed up by these words spoken into the toilet, “Oh Jesus help me. I’ll never drink again. Till next weekend.”
When a child is trained at an early age in the ways of the Lord, they will always know the path to take regardless of how many negative influences are hitting them. Believe it? I wish I could. It is true in some cases, but even the most devout Christian will mess up. But see, God’s Grace covers that through repentance. I guarantee if a Christian teen makes a wrong decision the moment said wrong decision is made, the Holy Spirit will convict said student and they will know repentance is needed.
Proverbs 13:24 He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
By no means should abuse ever be construed as discipline. Children are God’s gift to be raised for a season. Mommy, Daddy, it is your job to raise the child. Christians know that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge. That fear is not the, “I’m afraid you are going to beat me,” fear, but rather a respected reverence to the Lord. If we are to fear the Lord, we must adhere to all teachings. This includes spanking your child when they misbehave. Most first words spoken by children are either “No” or “Mine.” I’m sure time out works, but the toddlers of today are becoming the losers of tomorrow due to the lack of discipline from the best friend dad and the easy going mom.