Published on September 19th, 2019 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
GODLY WISDOM IN FAMILY MATTERS
by Taffi Dollar
When we consider all the jobs the world considers important, many moms and dads put parenting at the top of the list. Being a parent can be one of the most difficult—and rewarding—responsibilities we could ever have. It’s sobering to consider how much influence we have on our children, and how quickly time passes when we’re instilling values we want them to have for the rest of their lives. Thankfully, we don’t have to do this on our own; God is available to help any time we ask.
The world has plenty of child-rearing advice, but not all of it will give us the results we want. Wading through all the “dos” and “don’ts” can be confusing if we try to follow guidelines that seem to change every few years. However, raising children according to God’s Word gives them what they need to find the right path in life. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
One of the things we must learn is that sometimes it’s okay to say “no.” This word can be unpopular in some parenting circles, but we’ve all seen the unfortunate results of children who were raised by overly-permissive parents. When we have godly wisdom in this area, we can avoid being like the mother of Zebedee’s children, who took it upon herself to command Jesus to let her sons sit at God’s right hand and His left hand (Matthew 20:20-28). There’s a fine line between helping and hindering our children.
Letting them learn to make their own decisions is another way to incorporate godly wisdom in family matters. Being a helicopter parent may be our way of trying to control all aspects of our child’s environment to ensure their safety, but fear is the motivator behind this trait. As our kids grow, loving them enough to teach them decision-making skills requires a refusal to allow our fears to cause us to jump in and make their decisions for them. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Having a sound mind includes self-control on our part.
Making life too easy for our kids is something else we must guard against; this can take away their will to do things for themselves. There’s a difference between a child who is unable to do something yet, and one who’s unwilling to even try. It’s okay if they make a mistake; that’s part of learning something new. When they flounder at first, we should never worry about what others think of our parenting skills. “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25).
We can’t be successful parents without God’s guidance. The good news is that He loves our children even more than we do; we can certainly trust Him for their well-being and development. We’re all weak in one area or another, but God gives us the grace to get the job done. “…My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness…” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT). None of us are perfect, but when we rely on Him to come alongside us as we raise our kids, we’ll succeed.