I have some thoughts I want to share about parenting today. I am not an expert by any means on parenting but I am a parent of a 16 year old girl and a 9 year old boy. I have work with teens in the past as a Youth Pastor for over 8 years and more than that I spent over 10 years working in the counseling field with teens – some with mental health issues and some with addiction problems and some with both. So today as I talk about my view of these verses and of parenting I do so with an understanding of teens and know some of the pitfalls.
Now let me share these verses with you that got me thinking about this subject – Colossians 3:20-21 - 20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.
Obedience means there is a higher authority and it implies respect for one in authority. Obedience is yielding one’s self and will to authority. Obedience is a form of guidance and through it children learn to adapt behavior to proper standards. I see and believe that obedience is the foundation for character. Parents – if you are not obedient to rules, laws, morals, and God – do not expect your children to be because you are the one who models this behavior. In other word – Parents need be people of character.
Obedience to parents is God’s design for order in homes and disobedience is rebellion which is a sin and causes disorder in the home. To obey means to do so on the basis of paying attention to the parents, what they are teaching you, and what rules they have for you. This principle applies as long as the child is under the roof of the parents regardless of the age. What children need to understand is their parents are their authority. This authority has the responsibility to train children how to live principles of the Word of God and live life in general.
The verse says that fathers are not to exasperate their children so for the parents I have listed four things that we can do to not exasperate or irritate our children or cause them to lose heart.
- Make sure a balanced discipline is a part of life in the home – too little causes children to lose heart and too much causes children to lose heart. Balance out the discipline.
- Unfair punishment causes loss of heart in children as well as parents who are impulsive when punishing their children. There must be a balance between discipline and love. All discipline should be done in love and not out of personal hurt. Discipline is not the same as punishment. Punishment simply tries to control the behavior while discipline seeks to teach the child to do something a different way.
- Parents must not threaten as a way of discipline – it is useless. Threats just make more threats till you have to do something that is not effective in teaching a better way. Discipline should be a way of teaching the child to do things a different and right way and that does not come through threats.
- After discipline, express forgiveness to the child. Then help the child with their outlook because parents are to encourage their children. Ephesians warns against discouraging our children. It is important to give the child a sense of belonging, worth and confidence in Christ.
- Discipline when it comes to children helps us be better parents and helps our children to live a better life and a better life for Christ.
- These are just a few thoughts I have regarding parenting,kids, and these verses from Colossians 3. So what is at least one piece of advice that you would give when it comes to patenting – I do not care if you are single or married or a parent or grandparent– you were raised by parents so what is something that you learned that an invaluable piece of parenting advice?