Friday, March 9, 2012
Wouldn't it be great if every child came with an instruction manual unique to that child? Wouldn't it be nice if there was a step-by-step process with the guaranteed result of perfectly behaved, kind, loving children? If we followed that formula, then all of our worries for our children's futures would be over?
Ahhh, my friends, there is NO such thing.
I've read my share of child-rearing advice from a variety of sources. Some writers make wonderful claims that if you follow their advice, your kids will turn out great! Well, there are always general principles we can incorporate in our homes. But I'm sorry to say, there are no guaranteed results. Our children are individuals. We can steer them in the right direction, but it's up to them to choose the right path.
You see, if there was an A+B=C sure-fire method of rearing the perfect child, we wouldn't need Jesus in our homes. We wouldn't have to trust Him to guide us. We would slack off in our prayers for our kids. After all, the formula would always work, right?
I've heard many Christian parents bemoan the fact that they've done everything right, so why did their children stray from God? Because they're human! As adults, how many times do we stray from our Heavenly Father despite His love and goodness? How can we expect our children to follow our guidelines when we don't always follow His?
So, do we give up? Do we forgo any kind of discipline or instruction when it may or may not produce the desired results? Of course not. We have the God-given duty as parents to set a good example for our children. We've been tasked with the responsibility of teaching them right from wrong. We pray, we love, we teach. We pour our very hearts and souls into our children.
But what if it's not enough?
Here's where faith comes in. And it's so hard to put our children in God's hands. He can change their hearts when our words can't. He can direct them back to the right path when we can't see the way.
So there is hope in raising our children. God has a special plan for each of them. That's the guarantee we have as parents.