I was pleasantly suprised to hear the title of our pastor's message yesterday...
The whole subject of parenting and how my husband and I are measuring up to a godly standard has been at the forefront of my mind and prayers of late, what with our homeschool year sneaking up on me, my husband home for long hours working on new family goals, and the fact that I am incredulous, no flabbergasted, that God would indeed grant me another little life to watch over, is all overwhelming and can be anxiety-causing, but I'm learning to trust. And that was a really long, maybe run-on and grammatically flawed sentence! And don't start your sentences with "and". Ha ha.
So, of course, when the "Four Essentials of Parenting" left my pastor's lips, I dug around in my purse for any scrap of paper and a pen (always at THE very bottom! note to self: add organize purse to my list).
Although I feel that I have an overflowing cup when it comes to parenting concepts and that I have found some that really do work, I also feel that one can never learn too much about this most important job. I for sure have much more learning and even more applying to do on this subject.
I am going on four kids now and I still don't really know what I'm doing sometimes! All I know for sure is that God is a giver of wisdom to those who call on Him.
Okay, back to the Four Essentials, which, in my opinion, boil down many of the things I've learned into a nice little tasty sauce!
1.)PATTERN ~ Philippians 3:17, 1 Timothy 4:12
Be a pattern in our words, our love, our faith, our purity...
Thomas did not believe until he felt the indent or "pattern" of Jesus' scars. Sometimes our life's hardships and how we handled them will leave the deepest impact on our children. They will learn from our scars.
2.)HONOR ~ Ephesians 3:14-19
As parents we must help our children to become confident... they are fearfully and wonderfully made!
~ Point out thier genius
~ Call forth their potential
~ Enter into their interests
3.)TRAIN ~ Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4, Mark 9:42
We get caught up in the busy times and forget that our children and their character are to be our most important investments.
To train is to help our children be self-controlled and to choose God's way.
~ Be clear ~ speak once and deliver consequences
~ Be appropriate ~ consequence equals the degree of defiance
~ Be calm ~ never lose your cool
~ Be consistent or predictable ~ do what you say you will do
~ Monitor ALL media... If you have access to premium channels, that is the equivalent of having an 1980's porn shop in your home. Be aware.
~ Filter their friends
~ Delay all desires, helping them to think through choices, etc.
And above all... PRAY! I added that one, because it is sometimes the only thing I can remember to do.
I really loved point #2 and hope to focus on doing more honoring... looking for ways to encourage my girls in their talents and helping them become confident in who God has made them to be.
This parenting thing can be a daunting task, can't it!
Thankfully we are never alone.