What are the basics for those who desire to be the kind of parents God wants? Let me suggest four:
Shower them with love
Children are always changing. But an atmosphere of love makes the change easier. Paul wrote, “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Colossians 3:21). The more hugs, kisses, and tenderness they receive the better. This is not just the rule for mothers, but for dads, too.
Remember you are their teacher
God commanded Israel to “teach . . . diligently” God’s will to children (Deuteronomy 6:7). It is much easier to punish children when they do wrong than to teach them, but your role as a parent is to teach. Do not expect others to teach your children what God expects you to teach.
Don’t be afraid to discipline
Discipline is hard work. It’s tough to punish your precious little boy or girl. But God said, “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:24). “Promptly” means that the parent does not procrastinate, but takes the necessary action. Some things should be observed during discipline:
- do not injure the child,
- do it in love, not anger, and
- apply it promptly, fairly, and consistently.
The word discipline comes from a Latin root that means “instruction.” Solomon said, “Chasten your son while there is hope” (Proverbs 19:18). This means don’t wait too long to start. Your children’s future depends on your being a good, fair, loving disciplinarian.
Show them the way
Children learn from what they see. Make your life what you want your son’s or daughter’s to be like. Children imitate parents. Do you want them imitating your lifestyle, service to the Lord, and work habits? They will. Set the proper example for them.
If God gave you custody of your children on condition that you would bring them up in the Lord and bring them to church and Bible school, would you be able to retain custody of your own children?