Summary: Regardless of your family situation you have hope. You can experience God’s blessing in your family.
Parenting - Opportunities to Bless Your Family
After raising four children and now have fourteen grandchildren I can give you three words for successful parenting, “It is Tough.”
For single people two words, “Get Ready.” No one with children says parenting is easy.
James Dobson came out with a book several years ago called, “Parenting is not for cowards.” I know this that as parents we need all of God’s help we can get in raising and blessing our family. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” (Psalm 127:1)
When I give a message on parenting I’m reminded of the titles of messages given by Charlie Shed—
Before he was married – he gave an expert lecture entitled: “How to successfully raise your children.”
When he became involved with families who had children he changed his lecture to “Some suggestions to parents.”
After he got married and their first child came along, he changed the lecture again and titled it, – “Feeble Hints to Fellow Strugglers.”
When the rest of his children were born, he stopped giving the lecture all together.
I want to encourage everyone today that regardless of your family background you can experience God’s blessing in your family. My life is a testimony that God’s grace can work in a dysfunctional family. I’m sure many of you can say the same thing.
Regardless of your family situation you have hope. And parents most of all, you have the opportunity to bless your family.
I. Parenting is a Partnership
Colossians 3:18-21 speaks of a partnership in marriage and family.
18 – “Wives submit to your husbands, as it is fitting in the Lord.”
19 -- “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”
20 - “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”
21 - “Fathers do not embitter (aggravate) your children, or they will be discouraged and (quit trying).
If you are a single parent you might ask, “Who is going to partner with me in my family?” You can ask God for wisdom and encourage others in the Church Family to partner with you in raising your children. If you are single without children you can partner with other single parents and married couples with children to give them your encouragement and support.
In applying Colossians 3:18-21 to the family we find twelve helpful applications of those verses:
1. Don’t argue about parenting or discipline decisions in front of the children.
2. Support the decisions your spouse makes. Back up your wife or husband and don’t give in to your children’s demands and whining.
3. Don’t allow your kids to play you against each other.
4. Communicate Daily (Carollyn and I ever so often have to get out “Day timer’s out and make sure we know each others schedule)
5. Define what your relationship is going to look like (I had to learn to see things from Carollyn’s perspective and she from mine)
6. Be patient with each other (When first married I had to begin thinking and making changes from “me” to “us” and “we.”
7. Develop the habit of “treasuring” your spouse. (Work at using encouraging words and building each other us)
8. Find the appropriate balance (It’s okay to give each other personal space from time to time)
9. Have a date at least once a week (Find creative ways to have a weekly date)
10. Pray for each other and with each other (Share your personal concerns and personal needs and ask your family to pray for you)
11. Take time to resolve personal issues (The Bible in effect says don’t go to bed with unresolved issues in your family. Work on solutions and take your issues to the Lord in prayer.”
12. Commit to each other for the long haul. The commitment in marriage is “For better or for worse.”
When Carollyn and I got married my mother-in-law gave us a plaque that read: “The best thing a father can give their children is to love their mother.” We could also say, “Wives the best thing you can give your children is to love their father.”
Parenting is a partnership.
II. Parenting Involves Tough Love
Parenting also involves tough love.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he/she should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” A paraphrase might be: “Train up a child according to his/her own bent or passion.” As a parent we recognize that God has created everyone with unique personalities and abilities. Our job is to recognize those unique abilities and guide our children to develop in their God-given way.
You bless your children when you help them see their potential and follow their God-given passions.