Parenting is far from easy. From first steps to first dates, parenthood is filled with unique challenges. Yet there is no greater joy that nurturing one of God’s most precious gifts. – Dr. David Jeremiah
Parenting is hard. Parents don’t do it all right. It is only by the mercies of God that children come out right. One thing for sure is that we have a very important role to play as parents because our actions can affect a child tremendously. I know there are people who continue to blame their parents. The problem is, we cannot continually blame a parent for not doing what they were supposed to do or doing what they should not have done. The other day, I was listening to Dr. Cindy Trimm and she said that she got to a place in life and decided that in order to succeed, she could not longer blame her father who left them when she was young.
One of the very important roles we are supposed to play as parents is the role of protectors. Our children should feel protected in the home they live. When my daughter was two years old, she would run away from me whenever I got angry. One day, I was proudly telling another parent that my child fears me. That parent told me that I am not bringing up my child in a healthy way. My child should feel my love and should not live in fear. He made so much sense and I decided to take his advice. Now, my eight year old and I talk a lot. Scripture states that God has not given us a spirit of fear therefore if we instill fear on our children, then we are doing opposite of what God wants us to do. I am not talking about respect but fear. Our children are supposed to feel loved and protected.
The greatest love we can lavish upon our children is to train them in the fear of God, equip them for life, and then release them. – Floyd McClung
One Saturday night, as I watched a show, tears were rolling down my face. After crying, all I could do was pray for these young ladies who were in prison. Margaret (not her real name), an eleven year old, had gone to prison after killed her 10 year old brother. Margaret’s parents were having a hard time keeping their marriage relationship together. They were too busy fighting to realize something was going on with their 11 year old daughter. She had gotten into a sexual relationship with a 20 year old man. The man worked on their farm. Her 10 year old brother realized what was happening and he told his sister that he was going to tell their parents. When the girl shared this piece of news with the man, he told her that the only way they would keep their sexual relationship going was for her to kill her brother. She took a knife, went into the room with the man and killed her brother. They then buried the boy. Fortunately and unfortunately, her other younger brother was not asleep. He saw everything. He was a witness to this horrible crime and he had to testify in court. Both the girl and the man are in prison.
The healthiest families I know are the ones in which the mother and father have a strong, loving relationship between themselves. This seems to flow over to the children even beyond the home. The strong primary relationship seems to breed security in the children, and, in turn, fosters the ability to take risks, to reach out to others, to search for their own answers, become independent, and develop a good self-image. – Dolores Curran
Helen (not her real name) killed when she was only 10 years old. A neighbor needed someone to watch over her children and clean the house before she got a nanny. She went to the Helen’s parents who gladly sent her to become a nanny at the tender age of 10. This woman had a daughter who would sometimes treat Helen poorly. Helen, at some point, begged the mother to this child to let her go back home because her daughter was treating her poorly. The woman refused and said the only way she was going to send her back home is if she got another nanny. One day, the girl injured Helen, who then took a rope and put it around the girl’s neck. The girl, who was around two years younger than Helen, fell down never to get up. She had been strangled to death. Helen ended up in prison.
The Psalms call children “reward.” Not a curse, not a tragedy, not an accident-they are the expression of God’s favor. It is a thrilling sight to see your children through the lens of scripture as His trophies. – Howard Hendricks
The common denominator in these two events are the parents. In Margaret’s story, her parents were so involved in their own issues that they could not pay attention to their children. How is it the 10 year old found out about the sexual relationship while the parents had no clue what was going on. A young man took advantage of the situation. This girl probably did not feel loved by her parents because they were busy fighting. If you don’t let your children know that you love them, someone else will and the scary part is, you don’t know who that person will be. We may have problems in our marriages but we should avoid being too consumed with what is going on in the relationship and work together to solve whatever the issues may be for the sake of the family. When we get consumed by the issues of the marriage relationship, it is easy to lose our children. This family lost a son. They also lost a daughter. They also have a son who witnessed the killing of his brother by his sister; an image that will never leave his mind. In Helen’s story, the parents failed to protect their daughter. A 10 year old should not be anyone’s nanny. She is still a child. If there is a financial need, we should look for other ways to make money. God is a giver of ideas. He is unlimited and if we trust in him, he will direct our paths. When a child at that age is taken to someone else’s home to work or left in someone else’s hands, the message she gets is that her parent does not care. Her parent does not love her.
These parents failed their children. Whether out of ignorance or selfishness, they charted a path of destruction for their children. No child should have to go to jail at such a tender age. We who have been brought up and did not end up in prison or dead should thank God and honor our parents because this can happen to anyone. Regardless of what is going on, we should always ask God to give us the strength to bring up our children in His ways; in ways that put them on a path of success and not on a path of destruction. We should do our part and let the Lord take care of the rest.
By cultivating what God has placed into our children’s lives, we bring out those capabilities and we “kiss” them into reality. Affectionately, hovering over our brood, we hatch these eggs, and each child grows up trusting in God, yes, but also believing in himself…which causes him to think, I am valuable. – Chuck Swindoll