The Bible says: "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate" [Ps. 127:4-5].

Children are like arrows to a mighty man. You might say it takes a mighty man or mighty woman to raise kids today. There has not always been Walmart to buy ready-made arrows. The mighty man didn't go out and just pick up sticks either. The mighty man wouldn't be happy with a quiver full of sticks. He had to find the right kind of wood that was tender and easy to bend. He then had to shape, straighten and dry them so that they would maintain their shape. When he put them in his bow and shot towards a target the arrow would continue in the correct and true direction. The mighty man had all his control in the making of the arrows. The mighty man is happy with a quiver full of good, straight, and well-made arrows. He can't have too many of those kind of arrows.

How do you think he would feel if he just had picked up a bunch of sticks without working on making them good, smooth, and straight arrows? The mighty man would not want a quiver full of sticks. They would not make him happy, as the verse says. Every time he shot one in his bow, it would not go the way he intended it to go since he did not spend time in the making of each arrow.

This verse tells both father and mother we should spend time with our children. It is a lot of work to raise children in the way they should go.

Following is some of my philosophy on raising children.

1. Spend time with them from the time they can talk. With our two boys I would take one of them with me on overnight fishing trips. With only one at the time they were not fussing with each other and we could better have quality time.


2. Give them responsibility and trust them with it. Don't fuss at them when they make a mistake. You are trying to teach them.


3. Allow them to do things in front of their peers so that their peers can see you trust them. That trust has to be earned and you must start at an early age. The Bible say "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)" That is what I wanted for our boys. I wanted my words to abide in them then they could ask a lot of things of me and many times would get it.

When they were small and had just learned to ride a bike without training wheels, I would give them more liberty on where they could ride as they obeyed my directions on where they could ride.


4. Tell your children when you make a mistake. I was a first time father, I could not let my emotion determine how I would act or react. If I did that, why should I be surprised if my son reacts the same way.

I snapped at my oldest son once when he was about 12 for something he had done. He actually did nothing wrong, but it was not what I expected. I was wrong, so I told him I was sorry. He reminded me of another instance about 3 days early. He said "like when you told me to go get the skill saw", I had two, one was broken. He brought me the broken one and Dad reacted. (It's not easy being a parent!)

5. Don't let them go off with kids older than they are. That is too much pressure for them to be like the older kids.

6. You teach your children about sex. Don't expect the school system or anyone else to teach them. That is your responsibility . Think back in your life when you began to go the puberty. I think you would agree that there were times it was scary. All you knew was it was happening to others also. Parents should start talking to their children before the changes begin to take place and explain what will begin to happen. James Dobson has a group of tapes called Preparing For Adolescence. It is a good place to help you explain to your child about growing up. These tapes cover several areas of adolescence growth so you don't have to listen to them all in one session. The tapes may embarrass you. So listen to the tapes first, you might say they contain "heavy duty information" that every young person should know. You may say I could never teach my child about sex that way. If you don't, then you are saying I will let the world's gutter teach them. Give them TRUTH, God's word says "If you shall know the truth the truth will make you free" (John 8:32) that goes for sex too. How did you learn?

When each of my sons were 10 & 11, we went on an over-night fishing trip just the two of us. We played the tapes on our drive there and back.

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