There is an old saying (which I tried to Google unsuccessfully) aimed at parents which sort of goes like this: Raise your children in the way they should go or someone who loves them less will do the job for you.
There is a similar one from Proverbs. From the Thirty Sayings of the Wise in Proverbs 22-24 comes Saying 13:
“Do not withhold discipline from children; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death” –Proverbs 23:13-14 (TNIV).
Raising children is plain hard work and none of us gets it perfectly correct, but the parent who focuses on the right methods will get more of the important things right. One of the most important things is consistent, loving discipline and to be active and available in the child’s life.
I find one of the things I’m learning with my own children is others (who might love them less than I do) are often placed in situations to teach them things that perhaps could have or should have come from me. These times are quite humbling in that I feel (as any normal parent would) inadequate for my child; that I hadn’t loved them appropriately.
At times it takes much courage and faith bringing children up. This is particularly so in moulding their characters when we implicitly know they’re running off track; like perhaps when they’re developing an unteachable spirit.
All we can know is that if we don’t intervene, someone who loves them a lot less than us will do it for us, and life scars can easily form as a result. Then our children are at the mercy of the world that does not know God.
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.