"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6
I've read many child rearing books. Monday I posted my author interview with my latest read, by Rebecca Ingram Powell. She offers a lot of great advice on the middle school years in her book Season of Change. I enjoyed her book and learned a lot.
The bible says "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." The problem is what if you don't know which way that is? Oh, yes, I know on the big things, the bible things. I know we should be talking about God all the time. I know they should love the Lord with all their heart and soul and mind, and love their neighbor as themselves. I know they should repent for their sins, and forgive others who sin against them.
But which preschool do you pick? How do you choose whether to home school, private or public educate? How much TV should they watch (this certainly isn't addressed in the bible!). Are video games okay? Should they be allowed to go on sleepovers?
Every decision seems painful. I visualize my child as an adult in therapy..."my mother was the only one who wouldn't let me have a Nintendo DS." How do you train a child in the way they should go...when you don't know which way to go?
I think the answer is indeed found in the bible. If it's not addressed in the bible, perhaps it really isn't as important as I think. TV and video games? Perhaps that falls in the all things in moderation category. Of course I need to make sure the content is appropriate. How about the school issue? Well, I think as long as you prayerfully make your decision any choice is okay. The real issue is are you teaching your child about Jesus.
I think as moms we need to give ourselves permission to fail. That's right, fail. We aren't perfect. We are sinners. We are going to screw up, lose our cool, make mistakes, and get it wrong. Like our kids, we need to be able to repent and forgive...ourselves! What a great learning experience for our kids, to learn by our mistakes. We can learn from our mistakes too.
Finally, remember 1 Peter 4:8. "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." Love your kids when they mess up. Just like our heavenly Father loves us when we do.
**Postscript: I just visited Rebecca's Place this morning, and her blog today completely and unintentionally has a great segway from my article. ("How will they know which way to go?") Must be a God thing. So to get some great insights from someone who is quickly becoming my "Mentor Mom" visit her blog.
Ephesians 6:1-4 ESV -- Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 ESV -- You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
1 John 2:1 -- "My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."