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  • Jeff Kent

Loving Your Children

Proverbs 13:24

Being a parent is no easy task. In today’s culture, one might well argue that rearing children is even more difficult than in years past. Being a Christian parent adds still another layer of concern and difficulty. Numerous joys and sorrows, thrills and disappointments dot the landscape of the lives of parents.

You will learn many things as you rear your children. But this one thing you will learn for certain: What kind of person you are! As a father or mother, God has given you the full responsibility of training up the children which He has given you (Psalm 127:3) in His ways (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4), and you will quickly find out if you are equal to the task. You, in fact, will have to grow and change more quickly than your children, or you will fail.

One thing which parents must learn early on and take to heart is that their child is bent on self-destruction. “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child...” (Proverbs 22:15). A child does not know right from wrong nor what is best for him/her. The sooner a parent learns this the better. But this is just as important: accepting that truth! Some parents have that weak spot which continually makes excuses for their child. It is never their child’s fault; it was just a mistake; my child would never do that. The excuses are endless, and because of the parent’s lack of love for their child, the child suffers.

What happens is this: the parents do not discipline the child as they should. The child “gets his own way” (“is left to himself”; Proverbs 29:15), and he or she brings shame to them. Solomon goes so far as to say that a parent who refuses to discipline their child actually “hates” him (Proverbs 13:24)! To be a godly parent, a person must have the heart for discipline, just like our heavenly Father (Hebrews 12:5-11). This is really the heart of love.

So, parents, are you teaching and training your child in the ways of God? Or are you letting them “figure it out for themselves”! Believe me, the devil would love to teach your children his ways.

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