Regardless of where you are in your parenting journey, this message is for you. You don’t have to parent long before you realize you don’t know how to parent.
Parents need training. My wife and I bought a dog before we had kids and learned that we had to be trained as owners, along with the dog. If an owner is not trained, they will destroy any work a trainer has done. Parenting is important and we need to get all the knowledge and wisdom and understanding that we can.
Proverbs 22:6 says to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. But it doesn’t say anything about the messy middle. You each probably had a messy middle but you are here in God’s house or reading this message. It takes YOU to raise the child God has given you. You alone have the authority. You cannot outsource the job. We have responsibility for the children God has given us and we need to write the word of the Lord on their hearts. This is ministry and for it, we need anointing.
How do you get the anointing? You get the anointing by developing a history with God, by spending time with Him, and by applying what He shows you. For you to know Him, He will take you through something. To know Him as healer, He takes you through sickness so He can show you He is your healer. To know Him as Provider, He takes you through lack. Walk with Him and develop a history. You win tests in private when no one is watching. These become your testimony.
You go through things in your life that try to kill you. And when they don’t kill you, God gives you an authority and anointing to impart to others. You need this anointing to make what you are saying to your child effective, to speak words that have power to make their heart pliable and vulnerable. Make spending time with God a priority and do it daily. Take working out as an example. How long each day do you need to work out to yield results and to make a difference? Spend enough time with Jesus to become like Jesus. When your spouse tells you that you love like Jesus, that’s when you are spending enough time with Him. Go to the well of living water every morning. Skip social media and practice the presence of God.
Then, teach your children to do the same. Teach them to pray. Make it fun. Get creative. God’s first language is visions and dreams. Encourage your children to learn to expect to hear from God in visions and dreams. Pray they will see Jesus. This will give them personal experience with Jesus that cannot be shaken. Turn the TV off an hour or half hour before bedtime and put the worship music on. Prophesy over your children and teach them to prophesy over their siblings. They are fearfully and wonderfully made! Speak these things out. Speak their destiny over them. Do you know what it is? Their destiny is to be like Jesus. Do all you can to help them to know Jesus. Bring the kids to Jesus. Time does not heal. Jesus does. Model getting to know Jesus for them. Kids are terrible at doing what they are told but they are amazing at doing what they see.
Model worship and servanthood. Worship is not singing songs. Worship is obeying God, and being willing to do what He tells you to do even if you don’t want to. Worship is sacrifice. If you tell your child to clean their room, you do not want to come home to find them writing a song about cleaning their room with the room still dirty. God doesn’t need anymore songs about things we are not doing. Live it. Do it. This is worship.
In Mark 9, there is a story about a son who keeps trying to kill himself. Suicide is the leading cause of death for teenagers in our nation. But, children who have relationship with their grandparents have almost 0% chance of suicide. Grandparents are unconditional love. Maybe we don’t need more medication for our kids, but a relationship with their grandparents.
How much time and money are you spending on training to be a better parent? Think how much you have spent on your kid’s extracurricular activities. The odds of them taking that extracurricular activity into adulthood is 0.005% but they can know Jesus, fulfill God’s plan for them, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and reach their destiny.
Psalm 127:4 says children are like arrows in the hand of a warrior. When this was written, arrows were handmade. It is work to make arrows. Find out what God’s plan is for your child. Don’t operate by feeling. Operate by vision. We need God to show us, lead us, guide us and direct us so we can parent by sight.
Practice honor at home. Create the expectation for honor and teach them to live this way. Teach them to apologize. Be a voice of life and grace. Teach them how to use their cell phone. Stats say that kids are on the cell phone 7-9 hours a day and that children will have their first pornographic by age 11. In most states there are hours of driver training required before a teen is allowed to drive yet, we give them no training on something that they will spend 7-9 hours on per day. Digital information does not go away. Take time to teach them how to handle the different situations on the phone. Raising Parents has a cell phone permit program in addition to more information on the topic of training to be a parent. You can find our resources at raisingparentsbook.com.
Don’t let life figure things out for you. Get training. Make investment in your family and set your kids on path for their destiny.