Genesis 18:18-19; Deuteronomy 4:3-6; 6:6-9; Proverbs 19:18; 22:6,15.
You may educate your children in the best of Ivy League Colleges. You may build them the best of mansions. if the foundation of their lives is poorly constructed, as many parents are currently doing worldwide, you may have laboured in vain. This explains why parents should take some of the following steps in answering the question:
What must I do to get Child Parenting right?
1. Recognize your Source. ( Exodus 3:14; Genesis 17:1; Revelation 1:17-18; Daniel 4:32-37.
The Scriptures say that only fools profess that there’s no God. Yet, the unbelief of the fool does not contradict the reality of the EXISTENCE of GOD. When parents recognize this reality and accept it, they are already on the journey of success in the parenting of their children.
Recognizing God as your Source of existence and life demands that you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior; determine to obey His word as contained in the Bible; submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in your daily affairs; be part of the established Church for fellowshipping and Christian service; submit to church and pastoral leadership, while discharging other Christian obligations and duties including payments of tithes and offerings for the upkeep of God’s servants among others. Recognizing God also demands that you live in His awareness and fear, thereby, maintaining a lifestyle that depicts your confession of faith in God through Christ Jesus and holding a testimony that tallies with your faith; and in all, pointing your family towards eternity in heaven since all flesh shall appear before God on the day of judgement. (Hebrews 9:27).
Indeed, parents should consciously affirm these truths to their children because human laws are inadequate to make anybody totally reasonable. It’s only the fear of God and the consciousness of a pending judgement with eternal consequences that can hold a man back from disobeying the law when he knows he can get away with it.
King Nebuchadnezzar learnt this basic truth a hard way. In Daniel 4, after boasting of his greatness, God humbled him by casting him to the bush as an animal for seven years. Don’t learn it the way Nebuchadnezzar did.
When parents refuse to acknowledge God as their Source, they are telling Him that they are adequate on themselves; that they don’t need any help or support or sustenance and that they do not care about how they came into existence or how they will end their lives on this side of eternity. Hmmm! Living and parenting under this kind of illusion is dangerous.
Dealing with such a person amounts also to bailing water with a basket. Parental dependence on God is simply asking God to go into partnership with you over your children. After all, it’s God who gave you those children in the first instance. You are humbly asking Him to help you, to be your Ebenezer. He, surely, will answer you as He did to some of us and still does to so many believers today.
2, Build an Altar. Genesis 12:7 ; 22:9 ; 26:25.
The altar represents the presence of God in any place wherein it is. It’s a place of prayers. We don’t mean the physical raised platforms associated with worship places.
An altar is a place of regular encounters with God. A place of worship and praise and prayer and search for God’s guidance in personal life and other matters. It’s a place of supplication, intercession and wrestling with God. Abraham builds an altar.
Isaac built an altar. Jacob who became Israel also built an altar. These men got outstanding results as they obtained great testimonies from God. Even King Saul had the presence of mind to also build an altar.
No wonder he gave Israel a Jonathan who was a great warrior among the host. The likes of Cain, Esau and Lot never built any altar. We all know their results.
Men who built altars of prayer do not faint in prayers; they do not negotiate fastings; they don’t evade vigils. Such men – as parents – are guided by a simple lifestyle of godliness, righteousness and plain sobriety ( Titus 2:11-13. ). Because they are always aware that sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34), they shun greed, covetousness, avarice and foolish jesting, as well as malice, bitterness, unforgiveness, envy and carnal lifestyle to challenge God to honour His words as they pray and intercede for their children. Men with altars in their lives pray all kinds of prayers and do it ceaselessly.
As a parent, please build an altar. Use it to also gather your family to meet God regularly in what is today called – the FAMILY ALTAR. With a family altar, a parent will take that privilege to teach his children the word of God and the wisdom of God. With the altar in the family, counselling the children by parents, picking their minds and thought processes as well as monitoring their progress on mental and spiritual matters are made easier. Parents who only depend on the school work to know how their children are faring, sometimes, get the shocker of their lives.
Don’t be a lazy parent. As a fact, child parenting doesn’t require the half measure to get it right: but full measure with rigorous spiritual discipline, prayers, fastings and vigils with the childrren. Giving children food when they should be fasting and excusing them from vigils and churching prepare them for a life of ease, deliquency and disdain for things holy. And as the Bible says in Galatians 6:7, a man reaps what he sows.
3, Initiate your children into God’s Covenants.( 2 Corinthians 5:17).
When God called Abraham in Genesis 12, he initiated a covenant with him. Part of that covenant is that Abraham would multiply exceedingly. And become very great. Isaac inherited this covenant. He laboured less, but was handsomely rewarded because he was a covenant inheritor.
When God appointed David as king over His people Israel, he entered into a covenant relationship with him. That covenant bestowed God’s loving-kindness upon David and his generations.
Solomon inherited that covenant. He did little, fought no wars and won no battles. Yet, he because the wisest man and the greatest king ever. He inherited a covenant of grace, favour and mercy from his father David.
These men of covenants got prosperity, protection and divine providence by reason of their parents standing in the gap for them. Today, Jesus is our sure and ultimate covenant. The covenant we have with Jesus provides us with salvation and eternal life bought by His precious blood. He who has Him has abundant Life. (John 10:10. ) When parents initiate their children into these Covenants, life will cease to be a struggle for their children – not out of laziness – but arising from grace, mercy and favour before God and men. Samuel and Jesus enjoyed these privileges because both grew and were in favour of God and man, according to the Scriptures. Covenant children break the barriers of poverty , sickness and disease as well as mental laziness , spiritual ignorance and foolish inclination to sinful lifestyle. Such children know from day one that they are pilgrims on this side of eternity. Consider Joseph in Portipha’s house. ( Genesis 39).
4, Demonstrate Passion in what affects your Children.
It’s strange to see parents who treat their children’s concerns with levity. Sometimes with careless indifference. This kind of disposition amounts to saying that your kids’ affairs matter less to you. Indeed, everything about your children must concern you as their parent and must be given due preference. It’s a passion that would drive you to ensure that their school fees are paid promptly so that they are not embarrassed or humiliated and their self-image bruised. It’s passion that would make you to attend their school’s parents’ meetings. It’s passion that would push you to ensure that they do their own side of the engagement: assignments, projects and lessons promptly. Passion also attracts the response of the children When children know that their parents are passionate about their matter, they will reciprocate by working hard to match the trust or zeal being demonstrated by their parents.
Jesus demonstrated passion when He said in John 9:4 that He must go about His Father’s business during the day because night comes when no man can work. The deeper reality is that we don’t have all eternity to train our children. Therefore a parent must be aware that dealing with children has time urgency. And dealing with all the issues that surround our children very often requires passion to pull through. Therefore, the challenge before parents is to demonstrate passion in those matters that affect their children. These children are watching, and will respond appropriately. (To be concluded next week).
God bless. Kindly share.
*Pastor Okoro can be reached on this no::