Raising Successful Children!

May 10, 2012

On Sunday most people will celebrate Mother’s Day.  We will spend time thanking our mother for all that she has done for us throughout the course of our life.  In Proverbs 31:30 the Lord tells us that whether it is mother’s day or not a Christian woman will be praised.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

I will be thankful for any acts of appreciation that my family will give to me this weekend, however there is no gift greater than knowing that my children have accepted the Lord as their savior. I try to have praise and worship with my children most days in the morning.  I am thankful that my children love to sing  praises to God because their praise have often encourage me throughout the day.  It is not always easy to have praise and worship, there are some days that I could and should be doing something else during that time.  However, I tell myself “How will your kids know that they need to put God first each day if you do not show them.”  I have found that when I put God first I am able to get more done.  It seems as though the clock has slowed down and I am able to get everything done that I planned on doing.

Some days we get a lot done and some days we don’t but we try to always put God first. Being a good parent is hard, it takes a lot of time and a lot of energy but in the end the reward is great.  My in laws are the greatest example of this that I know, all of their children are doing well.  It doesn’t mean that they have done everything right but they have gotten right the things that matter the most.  All of their children know and love the Lord and they are all out of their house  and standing on their own two feet.

As parents we must set standards for our children or they will not have a goal to reach.  I have learned a few Tips For Family Success through knowing my in-laws.  I have been fortunate enough to have known my husband and his family since I was 12.  I have observed the standards in which his parents have set for their children.  I have often heard my father in law say, ” Never do for someone on a continuum basis what they can and should be doing for themselves.”  He believes whole heartedly that most people are capable of taking care of  themselves.  They may need help from time to time but we should never do it for them for an extended period of time.

We are living in a time where people are getting married much later and therefore living with their parents a lot longer.  Jonathan’s parents made it clear to him and his siblings that they would not be able to live with them forever.  They must be able to support themselves  and the best way to do that is to get a degree from college, college was not an option.  His parents didn’t merely set standards but they also offered a tangible gift for meeting those goals.  His parents would help each child that obtained a degree get any car that they desired as a reward for working hard and finishing college.

Too often parents are allowing their children to have their cake and eat it too.  The child decides what he or she wants to do with their life and the parents suffer or rejoice in the decision the child makes.  If we want to minimize how much help our children will need from us when they become adults, we must be an example of what we expect to see from them and set standards for them to strive toward.  My husband knew that he could not live at home indefinitely, this knowledge inspired him to work hard so that he would be able to take care of himself and his future family.

His parents didn’t merely kick him out of the house they told him his options and allowed him to decide the kind of life he wants for himself.  He can go to college and be able to support himself or he can fin for himself later.  My in laws were basically adhering to an old Chinese proverb which says “If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime.” By not offering housing indefinitely for their children they forced them to do what it takes so that they could  care for themselves later.

As Mother’s Day is approaching I urge you to think about the standards you have set for your children.  Being a parent is much more than having a child or simply taking care of your children needs.  Are you preparing them for life outside of your house or are you enabling them to depend on you forever?  Give your children something to strive toward, set standards and hold them accountable when they deviate from them.  Are your children’s actions headed toward a bright future?  T.D. Jakes a television evangelist once said , I should be able to look at your actions and determine where you are headed.  How we choose to raise our children affects us and everyone our children come in contact with.  I once heard a preacher say,” One day someone will thank us or hate us for the way that we raised our children.

Challenge:  Are you raising your child to be someone’s future dream or someone’s future nightmare? Do you have standards for your children and are they aware of them? Where are your children headed?

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