On Tuesday, May 15, 2012 my wife and I had the privilege of welcoming our 5th grandchild into the world. Zoe is a beautiful little girl! Mom (Jessica), Dad (Justin), Jadyn (the “big sister”), Makayla (the other “big sister”) and baby Zoe are all doing well. We’re blessed and we’re grateful!
When I think about Zoe’s birth, I’m reminded of the value God places on children, and the responsibilities that come along with them. Here are a few Bible passages that describe God’s perspective of kids and our duty to them:
Children are a gift from the Lord … — Psalm 127:3 (NLT)
… Jesus … said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.” — Mark 10:14 (NLT)
Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. — Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)
Fathers … take them [your children] by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. — Ephesians 6:4 (Msg)
Parenting is a big, important job. The focus and effort we put into raising our children says alot about the depth or shallowness of our character and maturity. To raise great kids, parents need to know and practice God’s principles of “childcare.”
To help you remember some of the basic biblical principles of “childcare,” focus on the word NICE.
How to be NICE to your children:
N = Nurture them. Give your children lots of love and personal affirmation. Discover what fills their “love tanks” and replenish them regularly. Nurture them spiritually through prayer, the study of God’s Word and active participation in the life of the church. What you value is what they will eventually value. Nurture the right values and priorities in their lives.
I = Instruct them. As a parent, you’re the teacher and your children are the students. Know what they need to know to please God, get along with others and become responsibible, contributing Kingdom citizens. Intentionally teach these things to them. Remember, your example is your most powerful teaching tool. You’re the leader. Be honorable, respectable and responsible. Lead your children by showing and instructing them in the way they should go.
C = Correct them. Kids need correction. Children need loving discipline. They need to know that their decisions, actions and attitudes have consequences. Correction needs to be consistent if its going to be effffective. Don’t ignore issues in their lives that need to be addressed. If you do, you’re hurting them, not helping them. When you properly discipline and correct your children you prove that you really do love them.
E = Stay engaged in their lives. To “engage” is “to give attention to something.” Parents can’t nurture, instruct and correct their kids unless they’re engaged with them. If you don’t know what’s going on in your children’s lives spiritually, emotionally, educationally and socially you’ll have no idea what they really need from you. Kids can’t raise themselves. They need you, and you need to know what’t happening in them and around them if your going to be able to help them. Stay sensitive to God as a parent. Ask Him for insight into your children’s lives. He’ll lead you, speak to you and guide you with supernatural wisdom.
Are you a parent? Learn God’s principles of “childcare.” Be NICE to your children!