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Parenting A

On a flight to Florida, I was preparing my notes for one of the parent-education
seminars I conduct as an educational psychologist.

The elderly woman sitting next to me explained that she was returning to Miami after having spent two weeks visiting her six children, 18 grandchildren and

ten great-grandchildren in Boston.

Then she inquired what I did for a living.

I told her, fully expecting her to question me for free professional advice. 

Instead she sat back, picked up a magazine and said,

“If there’s anything you want to know, just ask me.”
Parenting.   I fully remember turning around to listen to a very young mom ask Dr. Ray Gurendi a question during a Q&A session at Walker Elementary.  She had that look of panic that we all know so well.  Dr. Ray had been speaking about principles of parenting that we all know get thrown under the bed when frustration sets in while in the middle of those terrible two’s.  All us parents, who’ve been through that, understand where her question comes from.  With a puzzled and fearful look in her eyes, she asked, “So how long will we have to use these principles before our kids finally get it and start to listen?”  A small chuckle came from most in the room as it really sounded like she was being sarcastic.    ……….she wasn’t.  She was a frazzled mom asking sincerely.  The only answer he could truthfully give her was, “Around the age of 25.”  At that, all of us turned to him with whitewashed faces.  He said, “It’s the truth.”
I found both comedy and insanity in his reply.  But I also knew, from his logic, wisdom and experience of raising 10 children of his own…he was speaking truth.  Parenting is tough.  It has it’s joys but it also has it’s…well, we’ll just call them “moments.” 
So, where are we as parents suppose to begin?  Where is our starting point?  From where do we look at a long term plan?  I think we should look to the Bible.  God’s wisdom is in there for us to use, and often times we just use it for Sunday School class.
Follow the logic here as Paul eventually writes to parents:
1.      Ephesians 5:1 says for us to be “imitators” of God as dearly loved children.
2.      Ephesians 5:21 says for us to “submit” to each other out reverence for Jesus.
3.      Ephesians 6:1-4 then focuses on children and parents.

So if we follow where Paul is heading here, he’s setting up our general behavior as people of the Kingdom.  In 5:22 he talks starts with the relationship between husbands and wives, then he moves to the household family relationships, and finally to slaves/masters or boss/worker.  All of these things are around the concept of “home” and I think Paul is simply saying there’s a good and right way to live with each other.

We are to first imitate God’s behavior, then respect each other out of our love for Jesus.  So, as parents we are to imitate God’s behavior as a parent, respect our children as though they are His children (they really are), and then we are to “not exasperate our kids, but train them in the instructions of God”…..so that they can imitate Him and respect other people and teach other people how to imitate….  You see how this works.
Malachi 2:15 talks about why God wants healthy marriages.  He wants them so that the next generation, our children, can be Godly themselves.  It’s not just about raising respectful kids, or hard working kids, or smart kids, or simply good kids.  It’s ALL about raising Godly kids.  He knows that if we don’t focus on the important things while raising kids, then they won’t see His importance as they grown and form families of their own.  Generations of creation could be lost from Heaven.  Ok…no pressure now.  Parenting is an important subject to God and I think we know why now.

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