A child is a person that is below the legal age of adulthood. I have often wondered about the secret of raising children right, from the time of birth, to the toddler stage, to pre teen’s, to teenagehood to the young adult. Raising children is an encompassing job and no child born comes with a manual for his or her special upbringing in the delivery room!
Therefore every parent must figure out the basic skills of parenting for their children and also be able to streamline some specifics for each child’s needs.
Godly parenting is a non-negotiable and non-transferable responsibility the Lord requires from every parent. This is because He requires that they may raise a godly seed (Malachi 2: 15). God does not just want the earth populated, without the progenitors of offspring, taking responsibility for the nurturing and training in the ways of God the children of a marital union (Proverbs 22:6).
A champion is a winner; the one who is constantly overcoming and obtaining victory in different areas of life. Raising champion children for God is not a once and for all job. It is a training that starts from the first few months of life and continues until the child becomes an adult and is fully responsible for himself or herself.
There are various areas of child-raising that will all come together to produce a balanced and groomed child, who has the fear of God in his or her life. The important thing is for parents to realize that we are only caretakers of these precious ones and so we must train them according to the will of God in His manual for life, which is the Bible.
The following (and are by no means exhaustive) are some ways of raising champion children for the Lord. I call them the A, B, C, D, E and F manual for godly parenting:
- Attention: We must always pay children, teenagers and young adult’s adequate attention. We need to listen to what they are saying and most importantly, what they are not saying like their body language concerning issues. Paying attention to them shows that you love them, and this is a needed factor for a child to thrive and bloom (Titus 2:4).
- Boost: This refers to the strengthening of something or someone; an additional factor that will help in better performance. A parent can provide a major boost to a child by saying or doing things that will improve his/her self- esteem. Speaking words of encouragement from the scripture will work wonders and turn things around positively. A confident person will always perform better at his duties or academics and generally (Isaiah 40:31, Joshua 1:9, Deuteronomy 31:6).
- Communication: We must always keep the communication lines totally open, such that a child should be able to tell us everything and anything. Children, pre-teens, teenagers and young adults alike want to be heard, but when adults appear too busy for them and do not engage them in discussions about what is going on in their lives, they tend to close up. Worst still they could go to the wrong person for counsel (1 Corinthians 15:13, Proverbs 25:11, Colossians 4:6).
- Discipline: This is a non-negotiable aspect of raising children. A child/teenager/young adult must grow up with the knowledge that there are consequences for bad behaviour. The type of discipline meted out should vary for different age groups and the type of offence. Discipline is key to preserve a child and raise him/her as a godly seed for God. Lack of discipline leads to death both physically and spiritually (Proverbs 13:24, Proverbs 19:18).
- Examples: By this, I mean as a parent being a walking, talking living example of the kind of person you want your child to be. Just as Jesus Christ himself was an example of the kind of people we should be, we parents should follow suit. Timothy was admonished by Paul to set an example for other believers in speech, love, faith, purity and life generally. We must be the everyday examples our children see that draw them nearer to the Lord. For instance, we can’t teach our children effectively to say no to slander and gossip when we do the same each day to their hearing. We must be a standard/yardstick they can look up to daily (1 Peter 2:21, 1 Timothy 4:12, 1 Peter 2:9).
- Fear of the Lord: This is the glue that binds every other parenting skill in perfect harmony. Every parent must inculcate early in the children a healthy attitude of reverential fear of the Lord. A child must grow up to know that there is God, and he /she is accountable to Him because He is our creator who knows every detail about our lives, and He is omnipresent. He/she must learn to value the things of God such as His word, prayers and His presence (Psalm 111:10).
In conclusion, raising godly champion children is not a job we can afford to do sloppily, because the consequences are too disastrous to think about. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Let us look up Him to help us in this great assignment given to us. May the Lord help us all to get it right in the art of raising godly children in Jesus name, Amen.
P.S. – Special thanks to Mrs. Genevieve Alisi for coming up with this topic for me to pen my thought on. God bless you.