What message are you sending your family and kids? You are establishing the pattern in your child's life by what you say and do whether you realize it or not. Can you relate to any of these questions?
- Does it seem that you are always correcting your child? (They never do anything your way)
- Do you tell you kids to "go get me this or that"? (Are they willful servants or slaves?)
- Do you tell your child, "No, you can't do that because you will get hurt? (Thus establishing fear)
- Do you tell your child, "No, you can't have that because we can't afford it." (Establishing a feeling of being poor)
- Does your voice level change whenever you discipline your child? (Showing lack of control)
- Do you speak to your child or spouse accusingly? (Judging not listening)
- Do you make promises to go somewhere or do something and come up with an excuse to put off the trip or activity? (Establishing that to lie is okay and promises mean nothing)
- Do you do everything for your child? (Not allowing them to make decisions or be responsible for their own things or actions creates self-doubt or dependence on others for success)
God never gave us the choice of raising children our own way, because it leaves room for us to disagree. He gave us one way to train children, and that is His way, through His Word.
We much too often forget that children are a blessing, heritage and reward to God (Ps. 127:3). They are not ours, but are ours to "nurture and maintain" as long as they are on this earth.
If we could keep this in the forefront of all we do while raising them, we would never go through feelings of failure and inadequacy in their growing.
A Firm Foundation Is Vital
When our children become adults they will make choices on their own. If they make the wrong ones, it won't be your fault. Why? Because you did what God told you to do in His Word. Yes, we will feel disappointed if they chose to walk out of their covenant with God, but you know the foundation is there and hope they will return to it.
If you never give them a good foundation to "fall" back on, they have nothing to come back to if they do slip into sin. If a child can be known by their evil acts, they can also be known for the good things they do (Prov. 20:11, 20).
Justifying that you are working longer hours now so in the future you can spend more time with your kids is a waste of time. Now is the time you need to spend with your kids.
The Word always states that now is the appointed time...later will be too late, because you have already set a pattern that work comes first, then others, then family and somewhere in there, God (Job 7).
Working nights or weekends is fine as long as you actually spend your time off with your family and children. You cannot build a relationship with your spouse or child if that involves other people.
If your child only sees you on the weekends, and you spend that time with company, they see how important others really are to you. This will be a pattern in their own lives.
Excerpt permission granted by
Shield of Faith Family & Youth Ministries