Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.
When God gives us children, it is for a blessing. As believers, the fruit of our womb is blessed. God works generationally, and like David, some of the dreams we have may be fulfilled through our children, and not directly through us.
In order to be successful as parents we have to aim our kids at the purpose of God for their lives, like you aim an arrow at a target. Don’t just let them find their pattern to follow from latest fashions and trends. Teach them who they are. Tell them “We don’t participate in that kind of behavior because God has called us and we love Him”
Don’t try and control them with lots of rules and regulations; rules without relationship bring rebellion and that is the last thing we want! No, fill them with vision for who they are and what they can become.
Every child should be validated as an individual by their parents before they leave home. If a child does not have a strong sense of identity before going out into the world, he or she will look to the world to define him and to tell him who he is.
In order for us to be able to do that for our kids, we have to engage with them. Many fathers have no idea what is going on in their children’s lives. They are relationally absent even though they are physically present. Their children suffer from a sense of fatherlessness, even though, strictly speaking, they had a father in the house, but not in their lives.
A home where a child can thrive is like a playground with a fence around it. It is an environment where each child can be real and be accepted, without having to perform to be loved. It is place of reliable boundaries and consistent training, as well as a place of warmth and fun.
This doesn’t mean we have to gear all family activities around the children’s tastes. Families today often create an artificial, child-centered world for their kids, where everything is about their preferences and their world. Your child needs to know how to behave in an adult environment too.
Provide training before correcting. Every time your child messes up, ask yourself, “Did I make it clear what my expectations were and how to fulfill those expectations before this happened?” If the answer is no, this is not an instance for correction, it indicates a need for training on your part.
Finally don’t be manipulated by your teen’s emotive accusations, “You just don’t trust me!” etc. Tell him, “You’re right. My job is not to trust you right now. You are 15 and you have to earn my trust. The more I see you making wise decisions, the more I will trust you.”
Above all, know as a parent that you are uniquely equipped to raise the child God has given you. He will give you discernment to know what is going on with your children and wisdom to handle them right.
Don’t be anxious for them. Decide to trust God and declare, “It is well with my kids. By the grace of God they will be OK!”