I hope all is well with you and your family. As a husband and father, I know how precious our families are and make no mistake, as parents, our role is vital. Our children’s lives are in our hands.
You have likely witnessed some little kid at a store screaming over a chocolate bar or freaking out over a toy. So many times I have seen the parents succumb and support this unreasonable behavior. Kids will be kids but out of love, bad behavior needs to be corrected not supported. There’s a much bigger picture here! Chances are that over time by encouraging bad behavior, a pattern is created and an unreasonable child turns into an unreasonable teen and so on because parents didn’t take action to correct them. It’s not the kids fault !!
Growing up, my generation was far from perfect but compared to today’s youth I think we did ok. However, we didn’t have easy access to pornography and we couldn’t click a button to learn how to make a bomb. Social media is a paradox, bullying is worse than ever, drugs, sexting, terrorism, global warming, corruption, global debt etc…. Researchers have also found our kids are getting less sleep than ever before. It’s nuts out there !!
I’m not trying to make excuses for them. In fact detriments have always been available but they are increasing in ease of accessibility, volatility and in number. In one generation, our society has accepted and even embraced much that was once unfathomable.
Teens seem to harbour so much disrespect and distain not only towards each other, but for parents, teachers and authority in general. Anyone who may not agree with them or isn’t able to provide them with anything of immediate value may be deserving of their wrath. Before the ’90’s there were preventative measures available to parents (so to speak) that would effect change in attitude, which no longer legally exist today. In fact kids may call the police if parents get even the least bit physical with them.
Once while driving, I’ve actually had teens rush out from the sidewalk onto the road right in front of me just to walk slowly, take their time to get out of the way to show how tough they thought they were. There’s obviously a fine line between what they believe to be tough and what I believe to be “alive”.
As parents, we have to see the bigger picture, the long term and by working with our kids, pursue the best outcome for them. We also need to be consistent and a united front. Just like us when we were kids, our children lack the experience, foresight and concern for their own future but they have much more to deal with. Life isn’t as simple as it used to be. For the most part they are relegated to the “right now” in their lives so it is our job, our duty to carry the burden of their future until such time that they are able to do so themselves. But like me you may sometimes parent to your own peril. By that I mean you care enough to offer advice or tell them right from wrong and they don’t want to hear it. Fallout ensues and maybe your relationship with them suffers. Not from a lack of love for them on your part, but from their lack of understanding. Unfortunately it happens.
I’m no “Dear Abby” but my advice is be honest about your intentions and ask yourself ..… Am I parenting out of love? Am I acting on their best interest or mine? Am I overreacting? Underreacting? ( if that’s a word) etc….
They watch us like hawks. They see how you are with your spouse and with others. No matter what, I encourage you to treat them and everyone else with love and respect and you’ll have “their” respect. I promise you that will go a long way in their development. Whether you or they like it or not, we are all they’ve got. Please don’t ever give up on them. The rest of their lives depend on it.
More than ever before our kids need their parents. It’s not about us, it’s about them and their future. We are their filter and have to be everything for them that they lack. I encourage you to be unselfish and think long term where your kids are concerned. One day, they’ll thank you for it.
“Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”
Proverbs 13:24 NLT
This scripture doesn’t suggest we physically or verbally abuse our children but it does insist how important it is to be firm, loving, caring, involved, supportive and prepared in our capacity as parents. Our role first and foremost is to give our kids love and direction.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it”
In this difficult and complex world, the best thing we can ever do for our kids is to introduce them to Jesus. They’ll have hope, His love, His word and a rock solid foundation on which to stand and move forward no matter the circumstance. By getting plugged into a good bible believing church, there is also a community of likeminded people who will support and love them no matter where they may end up. No greater gift can be given.
“God loves families.”
My family is blended and that produces challenges and I appreciate and understand why it can be hard for everyone in addition to everything else going on today. We pray for our kids constantly and always ask God that He protect, favour and bless them. We also pray to be better parents, for unity in our family and for their salvation.
Have faith my friends. Trust in the power, glory and love of our Saviour to give our families peace, strength, unity, hope and full happy lives.
Paul Niessen is great servant of God, friend and brother in Christ. He continually demonstrates his love for others and has contributed much to this ministry.
Below he shares how God has blessed both he and his wife Michelle through their adopted son Jason.
Ephesians 1:5&6, ‘He predestined us to adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.’
I use this verse as a banner in my life to describe how adoption in the natural coincides with adoption in the spiritual. In the year 2000 Michele and I adopted a gift from God – our one year old Jason through The Children’s Aid Society. I am and always will be a full supporter of adoption for many reasons and especially since it is a living example of what happens when we give our hearts to Jesus and we are adopted into his spiritual family that encompasses all nations. Jason is an answer to our prayers in every way and God knew exactly how to meet every nuance of our need. Michele and I have relished the journey of parenting Jason and giving him back to the Lord to see him fully realize all that God has for him. As the verse says above, it is God’s great pleasure and will to see us adopted into His spiritual family and also to see every adoption achieved for all the needy children no matter their weaknesses. It is in those weaknesses that we have worked on our weaknesses to bring us all, as a family, into a position of strength through the faith walk that we are journeying on. Jason is a complete delight who has shown us who we need to be as parents to guide him into independence one day. That independence is hard work to achieve for all of us but the reward is well worth it. Jason’s life and our life as parents will never be the same when our lives intersected almost 15 years ago with God’s love at the helm. I know that Jason has led me to look at my personality traits that are not pleasing to God and make a decision to correct that behaviour and see God’s diamond take shape. I encourage any to seek adoption to catapult your life into a more meaningful existence that exemplifies the love of Jesus.
With much love and sincerity,