I sense Christian parents know a lot, but let me review what I, a parent of three normal teenagers, see and believe. Let me state the obvious on raising kids.
I believe that God gives parents the children that they need. He is in charge and knows what to do.
What I am trying to say is there is nothing wrong with our children. There is, if anything, something wrong with us.
Children are of Immeasurable Worth
Each child has immeasurable worth. In their own way each child is a genius. Each child can change the world for good. Each child can change us for good. Every child wants to grow and achieve. All children want to please their parents. Each is also a sinner deeply loved by God.
God Made Them Well For His Good Purpose
God has a better plan for their lives than I do. Each of our children is created by God and belongs to Him. We are stewards assisting God in this great work.
All children are special needs children. It is not easy to grow up. They need tons of love and understanding along with believing they can climb tall mountains.
Our job is to deeply discover who each child is and adjust ourselves to help them in their quest to be all they can be.
God Designed the Family So Well
God gives children two parents for a reason. Both are valuable (I understand that some spouses are ax murderers, and we need to run from them, but let’s talk basic design.)
Men generally chase women who are quite different than themselves. This makes it hard for us to love them correctly. The best gift we can give to our children is to love our spouse and seek to know them better day by day all our lives.
Why are men generally attracted to opposites? Men sense they are missing something and that leads them to the opposites I think. I certainly did that. Kids can thrive when two very different people both give input to a child’s life in unity of purpose.
Raising Kids – What is Working For Us
I am a stable, habitual, Dad and my wife is a deeply emotional, master of the moment, Mom. Together, we make a great place for our children because it gives them a better vision of God and life to have the breadth of our two very different personalities.
I find it is super hard to stay closely connected to this opposite person, my wife, but of infinite value to kids.
I wonder each day at how my dear wife provides what I naturally lack while I provide critical input to the kids that she lacks. When that works well, a magic thing happens and children thrive.
Counseling Helps Us So Much
When children are sick or hurt, we sometimes take them to the hospital. When they are sick or hurt in heart we ought to think of taking them to counseling. Special case is if children are sick in heart that the parents need to go to counseling. Our family tried a lot of different counseling. We found Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) helped our kids a ton. That my wife learned to do it with our kids is life giving to them. EFT Marriage Counseling that my wife and I went to also helped our kids. A good marriage helps kids so much.
If parents are being all they can be, then children get better. A 10% improvement in a Dad leads to 50% improvement in a child. Dad’s must believe they can change and seek to get better all their lives to include Counseling.
Children are Uniquely Created
What works with one child may not work with the next at all. We need to keep trying new ways to find what works for each unique child.
What worked for our first child totally failed for our second child. God made them total opposites. We had to massively adjust to understand our second child. Both are precious in very different ways. Both are also excellent at school.
My love of school and habit to read with them every night all their childhood helped make my kids excellent students. However, this worked only with the critical input of my wife who could see when they were emotionally down and apply care and understanding to them at that moment.
Add Explicit Faith in Raising Kids
I prayed with the kids every night before they went to bed. It was a consistent habit until they became teenagers and then we started to have more family meetings and Bible study together. My wife connected every day events to prayer and faith in a loving Heavenly Father. My wife gives life to my structure. Each has faith.
Summary on Raising Kids
Raising kids is one of the most challenging tasks of life. It takes all of what two parents have to offer and more. God is exactly what we need for that more. Even more so, the thinking and heart we have come wholly as a gift from God.
I do not want to say we are super parents. I do want to say that all I have said here works for us. Surely, it is not the end all. I will likely write more on family in the future.