We want to give our kids the safety of boundaries, with an eye to discipline. Discipline is not simply punishment but structure, including instruction, assistance, grace, and consequences. Allow them freedom within boundaries as you walk by their side. The word “training” is often translated “nurture” and involves direction and instruction. It is parental malpractice to allow our children to go their own way.
For my birthday my son gave me a subscription to Storyworth, which I surmise to be a way to get old people to tell their stories while they are still around. Perhaps it’s a subtle way for my son to find out where the treasure is buried.
Each week I receive a writing prompt that’s been generated either by the service or by my son. The latest prompt came from one chosen by my son: “What is your best advice for raising children?”
As background, my son has been married for over five years but just last year became a father. I’m not sure whether his writer’s prompt simply reflects a newfound interest or a genuine desire for guidance. Either way, I took it seriously and spent some time putting it together.
I should mention that my son and his wife are believers who have committed before Christ and His church to raise their little girl in the ways of the Christian faith, looking to Christ for her salvation as they have their own. This lends a degree of sobriety to my counsel, particularly in that it models my advice to him. In a real sense, it does point him to where the Treasurer is buried.
Here is my response to the prompt, “What is your best advice for raising children?”
I think the most important thing in parenting is to be present with your children. That involves not only time but attention. God has given them to you as a blessing and a responsibility. So be present with your children, and not merely present but present with purpose.
In Christ you are to them prophet, priest, and king. As prophet, you bring the word of God to fashion their worldview and direct their steps. As priest, you pray with and for them. As king, you direct, protect, and provide for them.
In these roles you keep Jesus as their foundation and their focus.