What are some important lessons for parents to learn about their children?
- Little kids need the strength of your youth; older kids need your wisdom (so have children while you’re young!).
- Pack in truth while your children are little and trust the Lord to unpack it in his time.
- Study your children. Know their “love language.”
- Consistent, loving, faithful discipline brings peace to the home. Inconsistency brings chaos.
- Do not let your child see their value in light of the world's standards. The world rewards strength, riches, beauty, and intelligence. God delights in the heart that is tuned toward his Word (Deuteronomy 30:8-10).
- God hands out “talents” to our children. The child with two talents who exercises both may in fact be more pleasing in the eyes of God than the one with five talents who exercises three (Matthew 25:14-30). Faithful stewardship is the goal!
- On some days, it’s fine to accomplish nothing more than keeping your kids fed and safe.
- Older children need to learn how to care for the weaker among them; doing so smells like Jesus, who received little children and blessed them (Matthew 19:13-15).
- Do not presume you will be able to speak into the lives of your older children if you do not live in their world when they are younger. Play with your children. There is a reap/sow principle at work here (2 Corinthians 9:6).
- There’s nothing wrong with boredom for your children. It causes them to be creative.
- Send your kids to bed (and school!) well (Ephesians 4:26).
- Make sure your kids keep short accounts with each other. Create a culture of care and forgiveness in your home (1 Corinthians 13:5).
- Teach your kids to be shock absorbers, not wave makers (Matthew 5:9).
- Kids can memorize scripture very quickly.
- Teach your children to notice needs. Teach them to ask, “What can I do to help?” (Philippians 2:3).
- Teach your children to look adults in the eyes. It shows respect and recognizes authority.
- Fight materialism by teaching your children to have a thankful heart (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
- Teach your children to receive reproof, correction, and instruction (Proverbs 12:15).
- Let kids be kids. Let them dabble in various areas of extra-curricular activities (sports, art, drama, and so on) rather than build a resume.
(This material has been adapted from Matt and Elizabeth Schmucker’s article, “39 Lessons, 20 Tips and 10 Don’ts for Parenting”)
For more great resources from Mark Dever and 9Marks Ministries, visit www.9marks.org