WHAT EVERY CHILD NEEDS
While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!"
Have you ever met a parent who was not a good parent? Sure. We all have. But have you ever met a parent whose ambition and goal was to be a bad parent and hurt his or her child? I don't think so. I believe every parent wants to do a good job and raise sweet, respectful, well-adjusted, productive, successful, happy children. Tragically, so many of us fail to see the desired results in this crazy little thing called parenting.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
While there are tons of books written on the subject of parenting, let me share with you a simple but profound insight I learned a couple of years ago at Men's Fraternity. If you want to be a good parent, do what God the Father did with His Son, the Lord Jesus. He said three things that are so important for a parent to say… so important for a child to hear.
1. I love you! ("This is My beloved Son…") Let your sons and daughters know that you love them! Let them hear those three words - I LOVE YOU - come out of your mouth often. And follow up those words with actions that prove your love.
2. I am proud of you! ("…with whom I am well-pleased.") Let your kids know you are proud of them. Let them hear those exact words from your lips. I tell my three girls regularly that I love them and am so proud of them. They never tire of hearing that from their daddy. And being proud of your kids has nothing to do with performance. The Father told Jesus He was proud of Him at His baptism … even before Jesus preached His first sermon or performed His first miracle.
3. I think you are good at __________________. ("Listen to Him!") Listen to My Son because He is good and has a message you desperately need to hear. Your kids long to know you think they are good at something. They long to hear you brag on their schoolwork, their artwork, their athletic ability, their drama skills, their singing, their writing, their whatever. Don't go to their games/events and tell them how good so-and-so is. Tell them how good they are! It makes all the difference in the world.
Dr. Dobson said it best: "Parenting isn't for cowards." Parenting is hard, tiring, often thankless, often discouraging work. We can easily wonder if we are doing anything right at all.
I promise you, if you will do the three things the Father did with Jesus, you will make an impact on your child that will last a lifetime. Even if your kids are grown and gone… it is never too late to tell them, "I love you, I am proud of you, and you are so good!"
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.