As my wife and I are expecting our first child this year, I am beginning to think more and more about our baby girl. I am very excited to meet her, love her, and hold her in my arms for the first time! I want to watch her grow up and witness what God is able to do with her life! Although excitement is what I feel the most, there is also some concern….
It’s not hard to see that this world isn’t getting any better (nor will it). Politics seem more corrupt than ever, immorality is around every corner and people are protesting everything under the sun. Then, you take a look at the kids of the current generation and wonder if its even possible to raise decent children in the times we live in. Look around for a little while and you will see kids disrespecting teachers, parents, and even total strangers. As I sit back and watch all this take place, I often hear adults say something along the lines of, “kids these days…”
Well, I have a different view of the situation. I spend several hours a week working with kids through working the bus route, preaching children’s church, and visiting them on Saturdays. Through these experiences, I find myself saying… “Parents these days!” Everyone looks at the kids of this generation and talks about how bad they are (which I admit, most aren’t exactly angels), but from what I see, they are simply products of their environment!
Do you realize that kids haven’t changed one bit over the last 100 years? Kids are a blank slate that go through life learning from what is around them. Good parents produce good kids… it’s that simple!
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
As a parent, it’s not just your job to keep your kids alive until they are old enough to make it on their own. It is your responsibility to teach them how to behave around others, how to respect their elders, and to show them the importance of a personal relationship with God. They are looking up to you to learn how to act in the future.
Kids will copy whatever they hear and see. I always find it interesting when a parent gets mad at their kid for cussing when the parents cuss all the time. That’s how kids learn… They are watching you!
One thing that bugs me the most about this “new age parenting” is the lack of discipline. Parents no longer tell their kids what to do! It’s all about making sure they have the choice to do what they want. That’s not parenting! God has given you experiences in your life so that you can learn from them and pass them on to the next generation! You are supposed to show your kids how to live their life based on what you have learned in your life.
“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” (Proverbs 13:24)
Too many parents are wanting to be their kid’s best friend instead of their parent! They have enough friends… they need a parent! My parents spanked me growing up all the time and I am very thankful for it! When a child does something wrong, they need to know about it or else they can’t learn from it. There is a big difference between beating and spanking. Beating is never okay… but a quick pop on the backside (backed up with love) to let them know what they did was wrong is never a bad idea.
If you have kids, I want to encourage you to strive to be a good example for them. Just remember, when you see kids listening to bad music, using profanity, and disrespecting others… they learned those things by watching others. If you want your kids to grow up, flee sin, and love the things of God, then you need to make sure they are able to watch you flee sin and love the things of God. Kids are watching you to learn how they should act. They watch how their dad treats their mom and how their parents talk about the Pastor when they get away from the church… and they are learning from it.
Kids haven’t changed… Parents have!