A few weeks ago, as I sat in an office being interviewed for a radio spot that will be airing soon on Because of Calvary Radio and Baptist Radio Network, Pastor Ryan Brown brought up the subject of child rearing. Now I definitely am not an expert on the subject, and I don’t feel I have a whole lot of wisdom to offer; but I know that it is something many parents have questions about! I have been putting a lot of thought into this since that day. My heart is burdened as I journey through child rearing alone without the support and invaluable help that Jeff gave. I definitely feel inadequate to call out the man in my son, and help guide Kaleb and Kassie through the rough waters of both grieving and dealing with physical issues by myself. I am also keenly aware that God never leaves us helpless and without the tools we need to do any task He sets before us – even raising children in difficult circumstances alone!
It goes without saying that the best source we can find help in, is found in the pages of that wonderful manual for all of life’s questions, the Bible. Many times if I don’t know how to do something, I will jump on youtube and look up videos to see how something is done. With child rearing we can do the same thing by looking for help in that blessed Book, God’s Holy Word!
Another great help is a book that my husband always recommended about child rearing written by our friend Dr. Terry Coomer, Rearing Spiritual Children To Serve the Saviour. You will find a lot of good material in this small but powerful little book. God is not going to call all of our children to serve on a foreign field or preach from a pulpit, but I know that He DOES call us to raise children that will live for Him and serve Him faithfully whether it be here or abroad!
When being asked by young moms about raising kids, these are my feeble attempts at help that I give:
- The most important thing that we can do for our children isn’t a bunch of rules and regulations (although those are very important and most necessary), but to teach them to have their own walk with the Lord, that includes Bible reading, prayer, and opportunities to serve both the Lord and others.
- In raising children to love the Lord, we as parents need to live before our children 6 days a week the same as we do before others on Sunday. Think about it! Our children will spot a phony.
- We as parents are going to fail. Miserably. Often. The key is to own it, ask forgiveness and live humbly before them. They need to see that God loves us and is merciful to His children.
- Help them make wise choices using the Bible as their guide. Teach them to find the answers to all of life’s questions in God’s Word.
- Be consistent!!!!! Be consistent in your rules. Be consistent in your discipline. Be consistent in your life.
- Pray for your children! I remember when I was expecting our children, there were many times I would be resting in the recliner and my husband would kneel beside me and pray for our unborn baby and for their future mate. When I look at my wonderful sons-in-law and my beautiful daughter-in-law, it gives me comfort knowing that we didn’t start praying for them when we met them, but many years ago, when I was carrying their future mate.
- Teach your children to be readers and provide them with good books! My friend Judi just recently introduced Kassie to The Moody Family Series that has made an incredibly noticeable impact on Kassie! She has developed a sweet servant’s heart and been faithful to her Bible reading since starting the series! Judi has seen this transformation in other kids that have read this series!
Our call to duty as parents raising children to love the Lord, is to be the example! Kelsey was recently telling us about a time when she had to run to the church one day in to pick something up, and she found her dad in the auditorium at the altar praying fervently. May we as parents, live righteously before our children and be the example they can follow! If they see us not only living for the Lord, but enjoying the journey, it will help them see that this Christian life is worth living!