All parents have an inherent desire for their offspring to turn out better than they did; they only differ in the methods used to achieve that end. Many spiritual traditions provide a framework of values or principles to follow. The bible is filled with numerous scripture about Godly parenting. But from personal experience, I know that when you tell a child outright what they ‘ought’ to do, either they don’t ‘hear’ you or they do the complete opposite.
The best you can do is to just equip your children with the appropriate guidelines, avail the appropriate tools at the appropriate checkpoints along the way; and pray that they take the path you’ve helped to lay out before them. As the bible says “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. So here are the most important lessons every parent should teach their children;
Love God and put Him first, above all other earthly desires. (Matthew 6:33)
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7). At some point, your child will be mature enough that he/she is no longer resting on your faith. Your baby will have a personal relationship with God. This is when God becomes their God and not just the God of their parents. You want your child to become less reliant on you and more reliant on God. Teach this by planting God’s word in their heart. Show it by sharing the victories and the challenges He has brought you through. Tell it by talking about God’s goodness in good and bad times. Then, open the dialogue and allow them to see God’s movements in their lives.
God works in his ways, not ours
If God answered all of our prayers they the way that we saw fit, our world would be one scary place to live in. Just like any loving parent in this world, God seeks what is best for his children and will constantly contradict our expectations for our own benefit. He knows what’s best and his ways will always be grander than our own. God’s plans are perfect because God himself is a perfect Lord. He himself is the almighty assurance of life, guiding us towards the greater good of life; His will. Although God is faithful in his answering of prayer, we cannot expect him to answer every prayer to our exact measurements. Faith is trusting God even when things don’t make sense, and that includes a prayer that we feel may be unanswered or at the wrong time.
God always provides
It’s not your job to figure out how God’s going to provide. It’s your job to ask. The Bible says in James 4:2, “You do not have because you do not ask God” (NIV). Here’s the second key to stress management: Worry less, and ask more. Instead of worrying, pray about everything. If God solved your biggest problem, everything else is small by comparison. There’s no area of your life that God is not interested in. He already knows what you need, but he still wants you to ask him for it. Instead of worrying, pray about everything.
Heed God’s Counsel
“My son, do not despise the Lord‘s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:11-12). When the children can understand the essence and value of us disciplining them, then they will definitely respond better to God’s correction. Share experiences of life with them! Real life lessons that we have learned will give our children something they will remember, understand, and hold on to for the rest of their lives. Sharing victories, defeats, and what we learned when we were their age will make the values more real to our children. As parents, we must give sufficient amount of time to our children. Presence and availability will shape our children’s personality for the full scope of life’s responsibilities.
Morals and Modesty
Teach every Godly virtue, with God’s standards of sexual morality being a top priority. Our children need to be prepared to say no to many things, including smoking, alcohol, drugs, crime, dirty language and sex. Explain how alcohol or drugs contribute to lower inhibitions and reckless decisions. Boys and girls both need strong moral boundaries as they have to cope with sexually aggressive boys and girls. Girls should be especially careful to avoid risky situations—not being alone in unsafe places, not riding with strangers, not being immodestly dressed, etc. Instill in them a desire to please God more than any human being. Doing wrong to gain “popularity” often doesn’t work at all, and when it does, it is short-lived. The Bible emphasizes choosing your friends wisely, because we are strongly influenced by our companions, plus our reputation depends largely on our associations (1 Corinthians 15:33; Psalms 1:1; Proverbs 2:16; 5:3; 7:5; 9:13; 13:20; 14:7; 28:7).
How to handle money
Children need to be taught that you cannot spend unless you earn. This will help our children develop, train, evaluate, and improve to earn a living. We need to teach our children to make giving to the Lord the number one priority on the budget sheet. “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9-10). Teach them the discipline of providing for not only today but for tomorrow’s needs as well through saving. It teaches them to deny themselves today, which allows our children to be better followers of Christ. “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.” (Ephesians 4:28)
The Value of Hard Work
Our children must grasp the concept of hard work pays off. As parents, we must not make the mistake of only giving to our children without allowing them to experience the value and reward of hard work. Assign chores for them to do around the house, teach them ways to earn money, and let them share in some of their own expenses. Remember “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.” (Proverbs 10:4-5)