Here is a summary in a nut shell. The most important thing to a child are the parents.
A child follows after you, in your footsteps they walk, they are a chip off the old block, a mirror image of you, a spitting image of you, a reflection of who you are, they replicate the dad and the mom.
So if you want to raise a child of great promise and future, how the parents live, how the parents speak and how the parents carry themselves is the key. If you want your child to follow after God then the parents must first follow after God and set the example.
Children follow you parent, wherever you go, whatever you do, they follow you. So if you are a compassionate, considerate, peaceful, contented, wise solid Christian parent, then Christian parent you will influence your children to be the same.
Here’s the rub, all your faults, weaknesses, sins and shortcomings will be reflected downward onto that child of yours. THIS BOTHERED ME WHEN MY CHILDREN WERE YOUNG BECAUSE I COULD SEE ME IN THEM. THE SOLUTION: strive to be better, a better person, a better spouse, a better Christian. Your child’s whole life is depending on it. If you do that then I believe your children will honor you.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
Did you realize that is one of the ten commandments, honor your parents? It’s that important to God.
Here’s a side bar. Everybody is a child of somebody, everybody has a parent/parents. What does God say? “Honor your Mother and Father”, and I get the feeling that God meant just that even though some parents are not very honorable.
Some parents are not very honorable, they’re fallen people, sinners by nature, selfish for sure, just like me, and you. We must strive to be honorable before God and our children.
The 2 great commands to children are:
Honor your Father and your Mother Exodus 20:12
Children obey your parents Ephesians 6:1
Here’s my main point this morning, I feel like Forrest Gump when he says
“And that’s all I got to say about that’
They’re watching you, they will follow you,
I know what some of you are thinking because I am thinking it too. I MESSED UP ALREADY.
Let me tell you something
1. There is no perfect parent.
2. It’s never too late to start again, to reboot your commitment as a parent, despite how old your children are, 8, 16, 25, 40, you are still the parent and you need to show them how to live before God by your example. You may think it’s too late, NO, NO, NO. God can make up all the years the locust have eaten, that which you cannot do, God can.
There are a couple other things I would like to mention about parenting:
Now discipline can been done in many ways and root word for discipline means ‘straightens’, you are straightening a child’s path and character when you discipline.
You must discipline or a child will grow up to be foolish (that’s the folly in Proverbs), selfish, hurtful and godless.
Can I mention 2 other things. One of these that has caused more problems with children, especially teenagers. Let’s read a verse from the Bible on this area:
You can exasperate your children with so many rules they can’t move or hardly breath, my recommendation to you is have few rules and stick to them. You’ll exasperate your children if they can’t do anything right, if there is always another rule.
And the 2nd thing about parenting and children –talk to your children about God a lot. You are the primary source of God to them, not the Church, or Kid’s Club.
Children follow you parent, wherever you go, whatever you do, they follow you
So be the best example parent you can. Pray for your children.