Last week we focused on how to keep love in your marriage by blessing your spouse. Today we want to enlarge that circle of blessing to include our children. At every wedding a new family is created, and that family becomes complete with the addition of children. The family unit is so important because God created the family and appointed it as the place where love can be received and given. Children are gifts for parents to love. As they are loved, the parent’s lives become enriched and blessed.
Please note: love does not mean indulgence. Sometimes love means saying “no.” Love is best defined as acting in the highest interest of the person being loved. It may be by giving and sharing. It may be by disciplining, guiding and withholding. The Bible is clear: “Train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6). Robert Schuller once preached a message at the Crystal Cathedral outlining the principles below for blessing your children.
Principles for Positive Parenting
Be alert to your children’s needs. Keep your antenna up; listen to what your children are really saying—verbally and non-verbally. When you come home at night, put your family first. Be very alert, because your child may be asking for help. Often a father’s or mother’s mind is wandering, worrying about their own work or the bills. But when a child is trying to say, “Hey! I have got problems, too. I need help.” your challenge is to be a good listener. If you are not alert, you can miss the danger signals. Then your teen will go elsewhere for emotional support. Be alert! Look for signs that say “caution.” Are their personalities changing? Are they exceptionally quiet these days? Are they unusually difficult? If so, then adjust your schedule. Program time to spend with your son or daughter.
Appreciate your children; treat them as friends. Children are great entertainers; we find stimulation, entertainment, and humor as we enjoy them. They are also encouragers. When the world lets you down, your family will always be there. Appreciate their unique talents and abilities and encourage their growth in these areas.
Affirm your children—their future, their potential and their possibilities. This is especially important in a world where so many people thrive on putting others down.
Society often puts you down. Schools or churches may put you down. Even nature can work against your positive sense of self-esteem. A child may be born with physical limitations. Give your children a boost. Tell them how important they are to you and to God. Affirm godly characteristics in your child. Tell them that they can BE SOMEBODY. Program your child to succeed!
Be available—always! Of all the gifts that you give your children, time is the most important one. It is not the things you give your child that matter; what is important is that you give yourself. Your phones are always at hand. Your child’s call should be a priority for you. Always be available.
At NLAG we believe in love—family style--and we are committed to it.