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Summary: Originally from a "Survivor" Series. Cake baking and child rearing are both best achieved by following the recipe.

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“A Recipe for Successful Parenting”

I made a startling discovery soon after our child was born, they do not come with an instruction manual. The way that we dealt with this emergency was to call our moms, with questions that went something like this, “Mom she doing so and so, is she suppose to do that?

Most parents feel a little like the story I heard about a young student of child behavior who frequently delivered a lecture called “Ten Commandments for Parents.” He married and became a father. The title of the lecture was altered to “Ten Hints for Parents.” Another child arrived. The lecture became ‘Some Suggestions for Parents.” A third child was born. The lecturer – so the story goes – stopped lecturing. [Paul Lee Tan. Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations. (Rockville: Maryland: Assurance Pub., 1979. # 635] The truth is that we never have more opinions about child rearing than when we do not have any ourselves. We say things like, “MY, children will never do that!” Those words can sure come back to haunt you.

Mark Twain, the humorist, had these words of advise on raising children. He said, “When they become teenagers put them in a barrel and fed them through the knot hole. When they turn sixteen stop up the knot hole!”

Two children were heard discussing their parents. The first said, “I’m really worried. Dad slaves away at his job so that I have everything I need, so I’ll be able to go to college some day. Mom works hard washing and ironing, cleaning up after me, taking care of me when I am sick, driving me everywhere I want to go. They spend every day of their lives working for me. But I’m worried.” His friend asked, “What have you got to worry about?’ The first little guy replied, “I’m afraid they’re going to try to escape some day.”

James Dobson in his book “The Strong Willed Child” said, “ Child rearing is like baking a cake. You don’t realize you have a disaster until its too late.” But success in both child rearing and cake baking is best achieved by following the recipe, so this morning I would like to offer you “A Recipe for Success for Parenting.

The first Ingredient in our Recipe for Successful Parenting is the Recognition that Your Child is a Gift from God. If we are going to survive the challenges of parenting, we must remember that your child is a gift from God. Psalm 127:3-5 “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. (4) Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. (5) Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; ...”. (NKJV)

If you want to survive parenthood remember that your child or children are worth the struggle and are a gift from God even if they sometimes act like the devil.

The Second Ingredient of our Recipe for Successful Parenting is Unconditional love. Deal with your child as God, your heavenly father, deals with you, that is with patience, grace and unconditional love. Never allow your child to think that your love is conditional to his behavior.

The Third Ingredient of our Recipe for Successful Parenting is Recognize and Work with our Childs Natural Bents.

If you want to survive parenting we absolutely must realize we have a duty to “train up our children.” There is nothing anymore challenging or rewarding than the privilege and responsibility given by God to parents to raise their children. Scripture says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (NKJV) Training children in the way they should go has always been a huge and vital task in every generation because of all this is involved in the process, however, there has never been a time when the challenges were greater than now.

Sometime this verse is taken as a guarantee that if we are good parents we will always produce good children. That is not what this verse says. So what does it say? Well I am glad you asked! A paraphrase might read something like this, “Adapt the training of your child so that it is in keeping with his God-given characteristics and tendencies; when he comes to maturity, he will not depart from the training he has received.”

Every child has natural bents both good and bad, these are the basic tendencies unique to this child. You might be surprise to learn that the root word of “train up” in the Hebrew is a word used to describe the palate or the roof of the mouth. It was used to describe the actions of a Hebrew mid-wife who after helping to deliver a baby would dip her finger in a paste made of dates and rub it on the gums of the new baby to create thirst and start the baby’s feeding instinct. (Charles Swindoll. You and Your Child. ( Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1977)

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