Relationship Goals: Parenting Foundational Thoughts

We have been exploring the different relationship dynamics, and one of the biggest ones many of us stand in, is the relationship between parent and child. 

In this generation, a lot of people have a lot of different opinions. Now when you are a parent, the world of opinions gets larger and larger as everyone who has children is trying to navigate how to raise a child in this day and age. There was a survey done on how parents felt they wanted to raise their children. 85% percent were uncertain of how they should effectively raise their child in today's world. 

Hearing this, it is essential that we do our part in breaking that number and making, not only current parents, but parents of the future aware of the foundations needed for parenthood. 

You may have your parenting system down to a tee. You may feel like you are giving your child what they need to be successful in this world. However, there are a few essential things we owe our children as parents: 

1. Unconditional love 

If you take a look at the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, you will see that when the son returned home after squandering all he had of his fathers inheritance on temporary satisfactions, his father did not disown him. He did not shame him. In fact, he welcomed his son home with love and acceptance. The same unconditional love Jesus has for us was displayed in the father’s love towards his son, not for anything he did or did not do, or what he did or did not have, but simply because his son belonged to him. 

Sometimes parents have a tendency to want to teach a lesson or make a point, but we need to learn the value of just giving unconditional love. When we do that, it opens up for there to be security, intimacy, and a nurturing environment. 

2. Constructive Discipline

Proverbs 13:24 says, Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.” Love is the basis of discipline. 

There was something put out by the police department that said, “12 Rules for Raising Delinquent Children.” You might find some to be humorous, but just hear us:

  1. Give your child everything, they will grow thinking the world owes them something. 
  2. When they pick up bad words -  laugh at them, making them feel encouraged to pick up other bad words.
  3. Never give them any spiritual training and let them decide on their own when they’re older.
  4. Avoid using words that potentially giving them a guilt complex. This will condition them to believe that when they’re doing wrong, society is against them and they’re being persecuted.
  5. Pick up everything they leave on the floor, so all they know is someone else taking responsibility for them.
  6. Let them look at whatever they want online and on social media. Sterilize all the silverware, but let your children's mind feast on garbage. 
  7. Argue and fight regularly in front of your children so that they won’t be shocked when the marriage ends.
  8. Give your child all the spending money they want and never let them actually learn because you don’t want them to have it as bad as you did.
  9. Satisfy every food and drink craving or feeling of comfort. Gratify every desire because denial may lead to harmful frustration.
  10. Always take your child’s side because everyone is just prejudice and jealous against your child.
  11. Make excuses for them.
  12. Prepare for a life of grief, as you probably will have it.

We hope you took something from that list! It is never fun being corrected. In fact, sometimes, it can be painful. However, if we learn to obey by being corrected, we will do right. Discipline is never just discipline. It is the hope to see fruit out of the way we correct our children. Having correct discipline will do three things:

  • It will cause children to respect their parents
  • It will cause children to do right
  • It will cause children to live at peace

3. Time Together 

One of the most difficult and sacrificial tasks of parenthood is giving our children time - time to listen, time to understand, time for helping, and time for guiding. They sound like simple things, but they require giving something else up. Statistics show that 72% of the time we spend with our kids in our lifetime will be by age 12. Another study shows that 100 years ago, parents spent 54% of the waking hours with their children. Today it’s 18%. 

We owe our children real time together. If we are not giving children our time, as they get older, we will look back and completely miss those moments of them growing up - no more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti, no more playpens to arrange around a room, no more tooth fairy. The list goes on and on. 

4. A Christian Model

Children need an example to follow. We have to give them a model to follow because children do what they see us do. Proverbs 22:6 reminds us to “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” This verse emphasizes the importance of leading by example and instilling values, wisdom, and guidance into our children to prepare them for a successful future filled with purpose and meaning. One study determined that if both father and mother attend church regularly: 72% of their children remain faithful to God; 55% if only dad attends regularly, 15% if only mom attends. 6% if neither attend regularly. 

It is the parent's responsibility to get children in church. It’s instilling those values and showing children what’s important. 

5. Mutual Respect

We need to give our children mutual respect. Sometimes it is easy as adults to forget the pressures that children go through, especially with the world they are growing up in now. We also need to learn to respect their personality. Our children are not going to be 100% like us in every way. We have to try harder sometimes to see things in their eyes to understand them better, ultimately giving them mutual respect.

6. A Foundation For The Future

The best inheritance we can leave behind for our children is a good name. As parents, it is our responsibility to lay down a strong foundation for our children.  

Ecclesiastes 7:1 says, “A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.” This verse highlights the value of a good reputation and character over any sort of material possessions or worldly achievements. Sometimes we think leaving valuable possessions behind will help and advance our children, but what is that really leaving them? 

God emphasizes the lasting impact of one’s name and legacy, suggesting that a person’s integrity, honor, and moral standing are more valuable and enduring than temporary pleasures or earthly riches. Living with honor and integrity contributes to a legacy that transcends time and brings honor to you and your children for generations to come.

Give your children something that will not die when you are gone. Maybe today, the legacy starts with you.