Every parent holds that tiny little baby and suddenly is overwhelmed with the profound emotions of joy and love. But also very quickly there follows the sobering realization of just how big parenting is going to be. Most parents feel inadequate. You probably sensed this more than just a few times in life.
There are no quick formulas. There are no short-cuts. There are no effortless software programs we can download or reprogram when our children do not behave. However, God’s Word is clear. Be assured, children do come with directions! The Word of God speaks powerfully and practically in the area of raising children. Your children will never be perfect, nor will you as the parents. But there are several things that wise and godly parents consistently do. Over the next few weeks, we will think of the top five. For today, consider just the first.
Wise parents consistently shape their child’s point of view.
Start as early as possible in shaping your child’s world view through the Bible. Children at a very early age can begin to learn God’s Word. Before I had children, I thought the two and three years old class was little more than just babysitting services. Was I ever wrong! Start early. Teach your child, by your own example to have the right view of the Lord.
Think of the acrostic AWOL.
A stands for awe. Teach your child early that our God is a great big wonderful God. Psalm 86:10 reminds us that God is great and He does wonderful things. Intentionally help your child to be watching to see God’s greatness all around us.
W stands for worship. As early as possible begin to have age appropriate times of personal and family worship. It is amazing to see how quickly your child will look forward to these special times with mommy and daddy as well as the rest of the family. What a wonderful invitation awaits the family in Psalm 95:6, “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.”
O stands for obedience. Your precious child will have the uncanny ability of picking the worst times in the world to test your resolve. You are exhausted and are tempted to pretend you didn’t see him directly disobey. You are in public and this is not a good time to take her out of the room. There are a dozen other situations you wish it were possible to let slide. But you cannot! You are the parent and good parents are consistent parents! Obedience proves our love for the Lord (John 14:15) and consistently bringing our child into obedience proves our love as a parent.
L stands for loving. The Lord Jesus answered a trick question from a lawyer as to what is the greatest of the commandments. He said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). The more your child learns of the Lord, the more your child will grow to love Him.