Monday, June 05, 2006

4 Foundational Principles of Parenting (Part I)

There is no debate that we live today in what could be called an R-rated world. I could write volumes showing the reality of this. But the question at hand is not in regard to how bad the world is that we are trying to raise our kids in. The real question is, “How do we raise G-rated kids in the R-rated world that we live in?” Psalm 127 and 128 give us a good head start by allowing us to learn four foundational steps for successful parenting. These four principles will give us just the foundation that we need.

The first principle is to READ the instruction manual (127:1-2). In verse one we learn the foundation of any family is making the Lord the very center of our life, home and work. This includes seeing the Bible as our final authority and our instruction manual for living. Human effort alone, apart from God, results in emptiness. Let’s face it, left to ourselves, we as parents will make many mistakes. Verse two goes on to emphasize that hard work apart from the Lord breeds no real success. We need the Lord who gives to us even when we are asleep.

Many years ago, Jay Kessler once wrote a book called Ten Mistakes Parents Make and How to Avoid Them. In it he outlined these 10 parental failures:
  • Failure to be a consistent model
  • Failure to admit when wrong
  • Failure to give honest answers to honest questions
  • Failure to let your child develop their own identity
  • Failure to major on majors and minor on minors
  • Failure to communicate approval and acceptance
  • Failure to give them the right to fail
  • Failure to discuss the uncomfortable
  • Failure to take time
  • Failure to point them to Jesus

So, let’s be honest parents. How many of these mistakes have you made? Yeah, me too! So let’s resolve to return to the instruction manual. Let’s once again make the Bible the key part to our life and to our home. Tomorrow we will see the other 3 principles. Take time today to read all of Psalm 127 and 128.

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