Raising Christian Children

 Raising Christian Children - Ronald D Mitchell

I read a transcript of a sermon by the Rev. Billy Graham from a message given about 20 years ago. In that message he outlined six steps that is followed would help keep children from getting into trouble. In this series of articles I will cover each of those six steps. I do hope that you will follow each article and I further hope that these articles will bless you and your family as you strive to raise christian children.
Step #1: Take Time With Your Children. Many parents today are so busy with their fast-paced lives, finding time to do what they need to do is often a big challenge. I believe that most parents have a desire to be "good" parents and are concerned that they are providing their children with a good home environment.
The importance of the family cannot be overemphasized. Traditional families (those families that consist of children living with both of the biological parents) are more the exception than the rule in today's society. Other families have suffered the loss of one of the parents and as a result are living as a single-parent family. I lost my father to brain cancer when I was 16 years old and my mother never remarried. But our "family" continued on and because of my father's teaching and discipline we maintained our family tradition of doing things together. We spent wonderful times together and had respect for each other. My father's influence lived on through us. I was blessed with great parents.
There are very few human challenges greater than the challenge of being good parents. Most parents want to be proud of the children, but even with the best of intentions a parent is faced with feelings of despair, hurt, and even failure when their child makes wrong choices and doesn't turn out the way their parent had hoped. When such a time occurs it is of utmost importance for parents to pray for their child and to express love to their child and never, never give up hope for that child who made poor choices. Take time to pray for your children. Prayer is powerful. Remember that the result of your efforts as a parent will have eternal consequences. Not only for your children but for you as a parent as well.
Take time with your children as their mentors. Too many parents depend upon the church to teach and train their children, but the church cannot be a replacement for the parents. The home is the source of a child's personal life and is ultimately responsible for their everlasting life. Parents need to take the time to show love and caring and to teach christian morals to their children. Parents should not shift the responsibility to the church.
The responsibility of parenthood is great. Would you permit me to share with you a few thoughts to aid in the strengthening of your family in love, unity, and success that taking time with your children will bring?
1. START NOW! The success of parenting starts at the moment of conception. Stay with me here. It should be understood that a child is the result of parents love. The attitude that the parents carry through the period between conception and birth will help determine the attitudes of their parental skills. The anticipation of the birth of a child should be joyful anticipation.
2. LISTEN! If parents would spend more time listening to their child instead of always telling their child, mutual respect will grow. To grow a relationship requires effective communication between parents and children. A child should always feel confident that they can ask their parents any question on any subject at any time. When this is accomplished wonderful relationships between parents and children will result.
3. SPEND TIME TOGETHER! Even if it is just mowing the lawn, do it together. Working together gives the parent involved a great opportunity to teach quality work ethic to their child. Plan vacations together. Instead of telling your children where you are going, get them involved in the planning of the vacation and see how much more the vacation will be enjoyed. Go to church together. What better opportunity to grow together in the nurture and admonition of the Lord! Look around you. How many people do you know that go to church together as a family. The numbers are not near where they were in the generation past. Look at the crime rate. Not near as low as in the generation past. Parents, this is no coincidence! Spend time together as a family. You will be blessed for it.
4. DISCIPLINE, BUT WITH LOVE!! Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Please do not confuse "discipline" with "punishment" as they are very different. Punishment suggests pain and hurting as in paying someone back for hurting you. Discipline is action taken to direct a person towards a goal of self-improvement. Punishment is given in anger; discipline with love. As a child my father had the "opportunity" to discipline me many, many times. In all those times, not once, after being disciplined, did my father fail to tell me he loved me. Yes, he even used the line, "this is going to hurt me more than it is you." I never really understood that until I had to discipline my children. Parents, discipline, but discipline with love.
5. TEACH RESPONSIBILITY! All children will eventually reach adulthood. Wise parents will teach their children to learn to make their own decisions and will guide them in making appropriate decisions. Children, as they mature, need to be given the freedom to make choices; even to make poor choices. Children need to know the difference between good choice and bad choices; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon. A child's understanding of responsibility reflects the lessons learned from observing his or her parents.
6. MAKE YOUR HOUSE A HOME! One of my favorite songs is sung my Luther Vandross: "A House Is Not A Home". In the lyrics you will find a great example of a home. "A chair is still a chair even when there's no one sitting there. But a chair is not a house and a house is not a home when there's no one there to hold you tight. And no one there you can kiss goodnight." Make your house a home. A house is not a home without love. One really good reason for that: God is love!!
Teaching has been a passion of mine for over 30 years. It is my concern that parents today are not taking the "jobs" as parents serious enough. Go to my website http://bibleversesaboutchildren.com to find material that I hope will be useful to those parents wanting to do the job better. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ronald_D_Mitchell  Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7140898