Every young person's future is filled with possibilities.
As parents... we have the awesome privilege
of cultivating, shaping, and directing our children's hearts
Are we teaching our children the way of wisdom and life,
or are we instilling in them the way of folly and death?
Family life is changing, and so, too, is the role mothers and fathers play.
The normal childhood experience of over 61 percent of today's youth
is to live with only one parent and/or spend part of their lives
in a single parent family.
Single-parent families can be defined as families where
a dependent child or children lives with one parent.
There was a rapid and drastic increase in the number of single-parent families in
the latter half of the twentieth century. This change has been used by some to argue
that we are witnessing the breakdown of the family. This breakdown, according to
some, has negative effects for children, families, and our society.
Others suggest that single-parent families are not necessarily
abnormal or problematic,
but rather an alternative form of family.
Regardless of how family diversity is viewed, the increase in and constancy of
families led by one parent has a major influence on the social, economic, and
political condition of family life.
Mothers and fathers often bring different strengths and styles
to their parenting roles. These roles should complement each other
for healthy child rearing.
Fathers influence their children in large part through the quality of their
relationship with the mother of their children.
Mothers and fathers, keeping their children's best interest at heart,
can bring unique strengths to their relationships with their children.
Children with both a mother and a father can benefit from
We will never be perfect parents, but when God is in the forefront of all of our
affairs... there is nothing we can do, on our own, that will have a higher return.
God provides the skills needed for managing the home and our families.
helps families to flourish and the dividends are more than generational!
May we keep God at the forefront
of all of our circumstances.
We can succeed...
as long as God leads.
Young people observe how Mom and Dad depend on God in their struggles,
Our Father's love is constant and unchanging,
regardless of what we do.
When children experience the unalterable nature of God's love
through a parent's example,
they will be drawn to God.
In the privacy of our home, we also want our family to see Jesus in us.
Children learn from their parents arguments.
If mom and dad exchange angry words,
but later resolve their issues peaceably,
children learn that calm often follows storms.
If we show forgiveness, patience, and acceptance
then our children will expect to find those traits in God.
In a similar way, negative behaviors or examples,
consistent harshness, busyness, or emotional neglect
also shape a child's view of God.
Children learn what they live.
Both parents should teach their children
to be honest, responsible, trustworthy and respectful,
whether they are male or female.
Differences in parental play styles do exist.
Young men can learn from a single mother many great things about life.
Mothers are usually the ones who help children to know about God,
mind their manners, respect elders...
and the list could go on and on.
Women, by far, can raise a good man,
but, as quiet as some would like to keep it,
there are certain masculine traits,
like, teaching a boy how to be a real man,
that women are unable to provide.
There is a very interesting and obvious phenomenon occurring
as it relates to our children's perception of authority figures.
At home, the mother is usually the dominant authority figure.
The teachers, and the church congregations consists of mostly women.
Women have been forced into areas that some men have totally abandoned...
leaving voids and identity crisis for all involved.
Raising a child up without obvious male role models
at home, school, and other key locations
can leave our children empty and vulnerable.
In their efforts to fill this unknown void... they become curious...
sometimes to a gang culture and street machismo
that might threaten to lead them into criminality.
A father's involvement, support, and connection
with his children have been associated with safer
more positive environments and outcomes.
A child's first image of God is their earthly father.
Fathers are far more than just another adult in the home.
Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children
that no other person is as likely to bring.
It is beneficial to everyone when the father is
more involved with their children.
We all have a deep-seated need
to feel we are part of something larger than ourselves.
This need, encompasses people, places, and possessions.
Our instinct for belonging, for being wanted, accepted, enjoyed,
and loved by close ones is extremely powerful!
Nothing keeps us on our knees or on our toes
to want to fence them in with high standards and rules.
Not only do our children want it --
God wants us to teach our children His commands and standards!
Deuteronomy 32:46, "And He said unto them,
Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day,
which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law."
"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
and shall talk of them when thou sit in thine house,
and when thou walk by the way, and when thou lie down,
and when thou rise up."
Regardless of the label we wear parent, teacher, neighbor, or aunt...
we have the opportunity every day to be the best version of ourselves
and share that with the children in our world.
May we let the children in our world witness us modeling appropriate behavior.
May we commit to pray daily with and for our children.
May we provide a safe haven, where our children's questions are answered
and their doubts can change to faith and certainty.
to experience the love of God.
May we send them out to reflect God
in their daily lives.
"What a sweet reward it is for parents to hear adult children say,
"We are grateful for the way you all raised us
and all of the life lessons that we were taught.."
God designed parents to be the primary nurturers of their children.
Granted, none of us are perfect parents,
but we can be praying parents!
Prayer is our highest privilege as parents,
and prayers can cover our shortcomings.
We believe godly guidance and inspiration can leave an imprint
to benefit our children, grand children, and future generations.
As we hand the baton over to the next runner...
we will know that our lives mattered...
because we are, intentionally, leaving the world a better place...
for future generations.