Parents = People who aren’t perfect, but are responsible for raising and taking care of another person. There is nothing that qualifies any of us for this God-sized endeavor called parenting. At the very same time we seek to help someone else grow up, we ourselves are still under development. Our children are highly impacted by our development or lack of development as people and as parents. So, how do I know when I’m failing my children? I’ve thought long and hard about this one and concluded the following…..
#1: We fail our children when we ….STOP GROWING UP….
You can’t take your kids somewhere you’re not headed yourself. Today, we have children raising children. And, I’m not just talking about teen parents. I know plenty of grown adults that still act like adolescents. No greater way will any parent fail their kids than when they fail to lead by example and grow up.Nothing will have greater impact on your parenting than the life you live before them. When we choose to act like grown children we will always have a hard time leading and guiding our children. We have to grow up, own up to our mistakes, and set an example for our children to follow.
#2: We fail our children when we…..WON’T ACCEPT OUR GOD- GIVEN RESPONSIBILITY….
Many have said, “Any man can be a Father, but not every father chooses to be a dad”. Being a good dad or mom hinges much on whether we embrace or reject our God given responsibility. God has blessed us with the opportunity to be called parents and entrusted us with the responsibility of raising another human being. We must do our best to grow up, get up, and lovingly lead our children to understand what life is all about. We must take responsibility of ourselves and take seriously the responsibility of training our children for this life and the life to come. Own up to your mistakes, embrace your God given assignment, and start parenting. It’s not easy, it’s not always fun, but it’s always worth it.
#3: We fail our children when we…..QUIT PARENTING
Many parents start out strong, but when things get tough they bail. Kids needs a parent that stays by their side, keeps keeping on, and sees them through the finish line! Parenting is a 24/7 job that can wear anyone out, but will always be worth every ounce of our energy. A parent must never stop loving, leading, or caring about the well-being of their child. This doesn’t mean you can fix all their problems, but it means you never stop parenting. Unfortunately, I have watched many parents quit parenting when their child needed them most. They claim it’s because they are too big to be told what to do. Listen, we all have to change our approach as time goes on, but your child will never reach a point where your influence doesn’t matter. A parent who has not quit on their child will go to any extent to show their unconditional love and exhaust every effort to guide their child’s steps in the right direction.
#4: We fail our children when we…….DON’T MAKE TIME FOR THEM
We live in a busy world. More and more children are being raised by the television, internet,Day Care, and an empty house. I know you have to work, but you also have to make time for your children. Just like you make time for other stuff you have to make time to invest and spend quality time with your kids. We know they grow up fast and today’s opportunities will not be around later. We all have to put aside the excuses, maintain balance and priorities, and make sure that we are weekly “making time” to be with and invest in the lives of our children.
#5: We fail our children when we…..THINK WE CAN DO THIS ALONE
I still remember that dad who said to me while I was a youth pastor, “What does Jesus have to do with all of this.” He was implying that faith and a relationship with Jesus Christ had nothing to do with what was going on with his son. My friends, your child’s faith or lack of faith has much to do with how they will handle adversity and deal with you. The same is true when it comes to your faith or lack of faith development. Until any of us have come under God’s authority we will always struggle with others authority. I can clearly remember wanting to listen to my parents because I knew and believed it was the right thing to do. Not only was it their request, but it was God’s orders.
Without God’s help your child cannot develop or become anything that will last. Without God’s help you can’t ever be the parent that God has called you to be to your son or daughter. There are a lot of things I don’t know, but this I’m sure of…… “I can’t even walk without God holding my hand.” God’s grace must cover my shortcomings. God’s strength must keep me going and growing. God’s spirit must invade my child’s heart and mine. And, God must bring the growth. “Some plant, some water, but God brings the growth.”