Some lessons in life have an eternal impact. I’ve made a list of things you need to remember when parenting your child’s heart. Because each life lesson has a purpose, and each situation can be a learning and growing opportunity if we just think of it at the moment. We don’t want to miss these opportunities to guide their hearts.
What is the hardest thing about being a parent? I admit it – I am starting (or continuing) to have some memory issues or senior moments! I know the problem. It really has NOTHING to do with old age, and EVERYTHING to do with how many children I have. With each child I’ve had, I have lost a little bit more of my memory. Since I have EIGHT kids, it would make sense that my memory isn’t functioning, right?!
You’ve heard it before, “I used to have functioning brain cells, but I traded them in for children.”
I could tell some pretty good stories about my moments of forgetfulness, but instead, I’ll get to the point of this.
When we start our parenting journey, and/or homeschooling, we have a vision and are usually excited and passionate about it.
This includes parenting your child’s heart.
But often over time, we get overwhelmed with all the curriculum choices and the schedule decisions that all parents struggle with. It’s common to get overwhelmed, discouraged, or totally off track from where we started. The key to dealing with discouragement, and feeling overwhelmed is recognizing what we have forgotten. I’m going to share three things that are easy to forget at times over the years of parenting and homeschooling.
Three Things To Remember When Parenting Your Child’s Heart
Purpose is defined as an aim or a goal; an intention. What are your parenting goals? If you homeschool, what was your purpose? Here are some of the most common purposes or goals we probably all share:
- We realize we are ultimately responsible and accountable for child training and instruction. (Deuteronomy 6)
- We are seeking to train not just the mind, but also the heart and soul. True education integrates faith in Jesus Christ with the content of learning.
- We desire to bond with our children and keep their hearts.
- We want to teach kids our values, and help keep them pure.
I’m sure you have many other goals and purposes, but the key thing is as Christian parents, we MUST have an active purpose and philosophy of teaching and training our children.
“The emphasis throughout the Word of God is to train our children from their infancy to serve the Lord; to train them on purpose to be righteous; to train them specifically to be godly; to particularly train them to be disciplined; to train them to do the things they ought to do; to train them to walk in the spirit. The goal of every Christian parent ought to be that his children grow up to be godly, not just good.” (From the book by Dave Sorenson: TRAINING OUR CHILDREN TO TURN OUT RIGHT.)
Many times, as parents, we forget what our position is. Our children have been entrusted to us by God. They belong to Him, but He gave them into our care. Some things that are important to keep in mind regarding this stewardship responsibility:
What are the 3 most important things a parent can teach a child?
1. By God’s design and plan, we as their parents are the authority.
Often we want to be our child’s friend or we want them to like us and be happy with us. Because of this, we fail to exercise the authority that God has given us. We should strive to keep their hearts and have a good relationship with them, however, it’s important to keep the right balance and maintain their respect for us and the authority God has given us. This is an important thing to remember when parenting your child’s heart:
“Your educational background is not important (you can learn along with them) nor is your lack of experience (you have taught them for years!), but your ability to cause your children to obey is essential. Every child has a human nature which is self-centered and must be restrained by his parents. This nature will interfere with effective homeschooling through laziness, rebellion, or willfulness. Parents will need to identify these negative character traits and then to control them by the proper use of their authority. The teaching facet of child training is really the easiest part. A child who is under control can be taught anything, from any curriculum, with any method.” – Richard Fugate
2. We must bring our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)
“A major key to education is self-discipline. Discipline is important in the matter of proper behavior so that attention is held. More importantly, the imposing of discipline, and ultimately self-discipline, upon the mind is a secret to ongoing education. Our job is to help our children develop discipline and self-control.”
3. We must remain constant and persevere in our parenting for the sake of our children.
Perseverance by definition is to persist in or remain constant to a purpose, an idea, or a task in the face of obstacles or discouragement.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverence and supplication.” Eph. 6:18
Discouragement will come in your parenting and homeschooling. It just goes with the territory. Sometimes we are just tired. At those times, it’s very important to go back to your goals and purpose.
When your perseverance is waning, claim I Peter 5:7,8 “Casting all your care upon Him for He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.”
Remember, Satan NEVER quits seeking to devour us or our children. He is always on the lookout to destroy us and if we quit persevering, we are giving him an open door to do that.
As a parent, you want the best for your child. It is our job to provide unconditional love for our children. We don’t always get it right, but that doesn’t mean we stop trying. You want them to have good values and make good choices, but it can be hard to know how to teach them those things.
I hope you are able to take these three lessons I learned to heart and apply them to your own parenting, and I pray that the payoff is evident in your child as they grow to know the Lord.