Christian Parenting: The Parents’ Commandments
From the Christian Parenting Corner
The Parents’ Commandments
Pretty much everyone is familiar with the 10 Commandments and many a newcomer to the faith – or one who is headed in this direction – will usually start by learning about these big 10; considering them God’s top 10 of what to do and what to avoid.
Interestingly, one might also consider that parents have a top 10 list, Christian parents in particular, which they will be wise to consider and follow.
1. You shall pray regularly and consistently for the children with which God blessed you, their friends, and the adult caregivers in their lives.
Do you pray daily and consistently for your children? What about their peers? What about their peers’ parents? You may be surprised to know that while your kids are home with you after school, they will spend at least six to eight long hours with their friends – who are heavily influenced by their parents. It is the wise parent who will extend prayer to not only their own children but to their children’s friends and their parents!
2. You shall not face the children spiritually unprepared, dodge their questions, or minimize their problems.
While it may not spell the end of your world that little Lisa would not play with your golden haired angel, for her it very well may seem like it. Accept the seriousness with which your child treats a situation and work from there to bring them to a more spiritual and realistic understanding of the situation. This requires for you to be spiritually prepared – in other words, read your Bible and pray!
3. You shall not label your children, their friends or teachers as “unspiritual”, “hopeless”, or worse.
How tempting is it to sit in judgment of a friend or teacher? How tempting is it to be judge, jury and executioner and find a friend to be worth less than is recommended and thus nix a friendship for the sake of keeping your child “safe”? On the other hand, how simple is it to explain away your child’s flaws and problems by calling a teacher unspiritual or worse? Then again, when they gall you just right, do you ever tell your child that God will not have them if they persist in their ways? Hm.
4. You shall recognize your teaching commitment as a God-given opportunity.
Pretty self explanatory. Deuteronomy 6 explains it best: when you stand or sit, walk or stand, whatever you do, use it as a teaching opportunity for the glory of God.
5. You shall plan your lessons and prepare for them in advance, so that it will go well with your children.
Weekly family devotionals are a must. Prepare for them and do not just plan them on the fly or hope for the best as you preach at your kids. There are plenty of websites available that will spoon-feed you whatever it is that you need to pull off a great devo.
6. Do not undo what you say by what you do.
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Telling your child not to swear and then putting a medieval sailor to shame when you are getting cut off at the light is just one example of a way to undo your teaching in a split second!
7. You shall arrive at church early and greet each child and their parents as s/he enters.
In other words, volunteer in your congregation; serve others and be involved in the fellowship and with your fellow Christians. Model this kind of Christian lifestyle to your child and she or he will understand that Christianity is more than a Sunday morning exercise but actually a full time commitment.
8. Do not to be discouraged because you see no immediate result. Jesus called you to make disciples; He didn’t specify a time limit.
The Bible states to teach a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart. There is no age specified and although most of us Christian parents would like to see our innocent babes graduate from the children’s ministry straight into the teen and campus ministries and from there into the singles groups and then into the married ministries, not everyone will be blessed in this manner. Remember that if you built a faith within your child’s heart in a manner worthy of God, your actions will be proved worthy in time.
9. Remember that the children will judge the Church by your actions — or lack thereof.
Grumble and complain about the church on Sunday morning and the child will learn that she or he is detached from it and that it puts an undue burden on a person; talk about it in terms of “us” and “we” and present a solution rather than contribute to a problem and the child will roll up her or his sleeves and get intimately involved in the fellowship of the believers when the time comes.
10. Have fun!
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