How To Raise Your Children According To The Bible (Part 4)
“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.”
Disclaimer: “The words of this devotional are not intended to serve as a to do manual nor a step by step child rearing manual. The information contained below is NOT guaranteed to work on all children. Each parent must consult with one another in unity and understand their child’s unique personality and interweave their principles into a manner that the child understands. Not everyone will agree with these principles but the bible is the final authority and what I follow.”
There are many different things that parents must understand before they attempt to embark into the realm of parentage. I will attempt to show things that are proven successes and things that are failures. Join us as we address How To Raise Your Children According To The Bible.
IV. Express Affection
So in my dealings with my own children and the time I spend with other parents’ children I find that the majority of children feel that their parents don’t care about them. How is this so? It’s almost like the parents are afraid to show anything but sternness and strong emotions to their children. Sometimes they can go the other way and become too loose with the children; which we spoke about in part three of our devotional series. It is very important to display the “kind” side of yourself to your children so that they see you as approachable. I mean, your children shouldn’t be afraid to talk to you for fear that you will bite off their heads each time they give bad news. So how does one express affection and win the hearts of their children?
I. “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities” – Parents should try their best to have a short memory when it comes to trespasses that their children have shown. Having a short memory when it comes to children will help you and benefit them.
II. “who healeth all thy diseases” – Parents should be the ones that seek to comfort and fix the problems of their children with kindness and compassion.
III. “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;” – Parents should have a heart to protect their children from what they see and what they don’t see with love.
IV. “who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies” – Parents should offer truth and words of wisdom in a way that offers the child options to select and not force them to do the right things because they need to do the right thing.
V. “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things” – Parents should provide kindness, substance and sweetness from their mouths to the ears of their children. In return, the children would reciprocate and mimic their behavior.
VI. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.” – Parents should not come across as tyrants or critically upset people but as gentle authority figures that know the way for the child as they share it in love. A parent should not deal with their children when they are angry! They should have the chance to cool-off and deal with the children gracefully and level headed.
VII. “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” Parents should deal graciously with their children and give them the benefit of the doubt unless evidence otherwise disproves their integrity. We shouldn’t think of them as the personification of their sin of choice but as our child that happened to temporarily adopt that sin. For instance, if your child’s first instinct is to lie or to hide the truth when confronted, don’t think of them or call them liars. This can cause more damage to the child, over time, than physical abuse can do in 1,000 lifetimes.
VIII. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” – A parent should pity or have mercy on their children even when they make the worst of decisions and mistakes. Parents should remember that their children AREN’T adults yet. They may look like adults, they still have an adolescent mind and heart that is not fully developed.
What is affection? Webster’s dictionary defines it as fond attachment, devotion, or love. The emotion that influences one to act favorably towards another. All too often, parents are afraid to show affection or they just simply do not know how to show affection. Why?
- They Never Learned – If parents don’t teach their children that affection is important then the children will have an extremely difficult time being affectionate.
- They Are Uncomfortable Showing It – If parents were timid about being affectionate, their children will be the victims of an ever perpetual series of affectionately void people.
- They Don’t Find Affection Important – I find that parents that feel as if affection is not important, they tend to be good parents but their children don’t feel very loved.
Parents that do not take the time to love their children will find it difficult to establish a close bond outside of gifts and money. Parents that have a difficult time showing affection will try to win their children’s affection by money, gifts, trips, vacations and liberties. The children feel a strong sense of provision but they will have relationship issues in the future if they have not learned the importance of being affectionate. However, there are issues with children that have been void of affection and those that have had too much affection.
A. Too Little
They will take one of two paths.
- They will see it as something that only provides emotional issues and shun it altogether. I find that these type of people are the ones that normally have a difficult time keeping a meaningful relationships. The reason why is because they tend to be attracted to hyper flirty types that project attention. When the person, to whom they are attracted, require attention and affection, the one that is unable to consistently provide attention, becomes afraid and does not know what to do. The one that shows attention, has this natural sense of what to do and when to do it which the aforementioned person void of rendering affection cannot understand. They will feel as if they are out of phase or contact with their partner and become insecure and pull away even farther.
- They will go way overboard when they get a taste of affection. I find that these types of people will fall for any person that shows them attention but once they get this attention, they miss critical warning signs. What are these warning signs? They will see this person as “someone that has shown me attention, is only interested in me.” They will continue to provide attention to those whom they are in relationships with even though they know that it will never work. “If only I give them this, they will love me.”
B. Too Much
They will take one of two paths.
- They will see it as an essential element of the relationship and justify their actions because they have NOT received “what they need”. These types of people generally are attracted to people that “require” attention but quickly burn out when they don’t get their batteries recharged by their partner. They are often susceptible of bouncing from relationship to relationship because they seek the type of affection that they got as a child but are unable to communicate. They chase a perfect relationship that may never be able to be found.
- They will become a hermit lover. This type of person has been smothered by their parents and the thought of being smothered makes them run away. However, when this type of person joins a partner in a relationship, they do the same things that they dislike. They see smothering as a means to love, after all they have learned that from their parents.
How can we as parents be in balance so we don’t ruin our children by giving too much attention or not enough?
A. Once The Children Respond, This Is Your Cue To Yield – If your child responds to your affection favorably, then you don’t have to go overboard. My son loves to cuddle and be close to me when I am around but sometimes he doesn’t like to cuddle. If I try to make him do what he has done in the past because I want that, then I am not giving him what he needs. At that time I am becoming a bully and forcing him into doing something that I want.
B. If Your Child Displays Sad Or Depressed Behavior, This Is Your Cue To Lovingly Engage – I remember one day my son had a bad day at school and he seemed very distant. I asked him what was wrong and he said “nothing much” but I could feel like he needed someone to talk to at that very moment. So I held his small hand and said “Son, I love you and if you’re hurting then it hurts me.” I then gave him a hug and he instantly broke down into uncontrollable crying and sought me to comfort him. Obviously I did without question. I let him cry and then when he was done I allowed him to tell me what was wrong. Allow the child’s behavioral cues to give you an indication of what they need.
C. Know That Affection Is Not Just Touch – Sometimes the most affectionate thing that we can do is speak to people in a kind and caring voice without distractions. If you tell your child that you love them and that you are there for them but you aren’t willing to turn off the game and listen, what message are you sending? Oh Me!!! Tender affection is time, touch and tone! If your child feels that your time is wasted when you are with them, it will be hard for them to trust you. If your child feels like you hate touching them they will not turn to you. If your child feels like your tone is rough then they will not talk to you. What grade would you give your personal affection to your children?
The bible tells us that Jesus was the master of tender affection to those that He loved and those that love Him. The bible says in Hebrews 4:14-15 “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” You see Jesus cares about how we feel and even cares about our feelings. He is our example of a loving Father. In your families, I encourage you all to learn how to be affectionate to your loved ones and see how God uses your kindness and compassion to touch their hearts. In our last devotional, of this series, we will cover the most important part of the child rearing process and combine all of the last four days together. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.