How is your parenting going? Here I want to think about some issues bearing thereupon:-
As parents we are called to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4b). This means we are to actively engage with our children through teaching, correction, discipline, encouragement and the like in order that they grow in a good way. This is essential for healthy parenting. The book of Proverbs is in many ways Ephesians 6:4b put into practice. It is a father teaching his son “best practice” for life.
However, notwithstanding the fact that teaching our children is essential, we can undermine our teaching by not backing it up with ourselves modelling what it is to live out our teaching. Not only do we need to teach, we need to live out the teaching. Timothy was blessed to have great examples around him. Paul could say to Timothy continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it (2. Tim. 3:14). The teaching he had received had been bolstered by the conduct of his teachers, namely his mother, grandmother and Paul, his father in the faith. If we do not live the truth that we teach our children, then we will exasperate them and in doing so contravene the Lord’s exhortation in Ephesians 6:4b.
However, there is more here to be considered. We must remember that we provide the example of Christian discipleship which our children are most exposed to. Do we recommend the gospel of Christ by our zeal, passions, faithfulness and excitement about God and His ways? Or do we convey the impression that it is all drudgery to be involved with spiritual matters? What do our children observe to be a priority in our lives? Are bible reading, prayer, family worship and church attendance optional extras which sometimes appear in our lives? Or are they essential to our whole existence? Do we incline ourselves to speak honorably of the Lord or are His Name and His ways rarely upon our lips? Are our homes filled with delight about sharing fellowship with God’s people and seeking to introduce others to the gospel? Or are they centres of self-centred indulgence?
When our passions, conduct and teaching are in harmony then all will be well with our parenting. And it will be especially well when our children hear us, from time-to-time, pleading with our Father regarding their souls and their eternal welfare.