The best way to raise godly children is to lead by example. Do Mom and Dad portray a strong commitment to their marriage? Life has its peaks and valleys. The valleys are filled with tough times. During those times, do your children see you and your spouse coming together as a team to weather it out? Or, do you let those same times buffet you, leaving you worn and frayed – taking it out on your spouse with anger, disrespect and threats of divorce?
If it’s the latter, you are showing you children that love, marriage and family is fragile and does not last. They lose their foundational grounding for dealing with life. If you don’t want to send those messages (and who does), turn to your spouse and ask them how you can be a better mate. Re-commit to your vows.
Do your children see that you and your spouse love each other, and do you demonstrate it often? You are the first example of godly love that they are exposed to. When an altercation arises (and they will), do you get over it quickly with respect, forgiveness and engage in the search for solutions?
Children do what they see. If you argue and show disrespect, they will do the same. Worse, they will come to think that this behavior is normal, and actively seek it in a future mate. Doomed to failure.
Your partner should be your best friend, as well as your lover:
This is my beloved and this is my friend… Song of Solomon 5:16 NASB
Listen first, to understand. Be loving in speech and have your words reflect your integrity. Do not shut your spouse out (silent treatment) to either manipulate or avenge.
If one is aware, they know that their ‘silent treatment’ has the whole family walking on egg shells. We have been talking extensively about how communication is everything. The silent treatment is the antithesis of that.
Teach your children about money through your own frugal example of godly application wisdom with regards to finances – how you save, spend, investment and give.
Be available and be patient. Let your child speak all of what is on their mind before answering.
You and your spouse must present yourselves as a solidified team with regards to discipline, already having decided on what the consequences will be. For this to be fair to the child, you must have clearly defined the rules for the home and defined boundaries for behavior. Consistency for transgressions is vital; don’t let them off the hook at times. Have the punishment fit the crime. And always deliver it with love.
The focus of all discipline is to build their godly character.
Let them know that your values are God’s values, which is what you expect them to have as well, and teach them. For example, have the sex talk when they are approaching puberty! Show them what God says. Give it to them piecemeal, matching their level of understanding. Listen to their feedback.
In the end, if we want to raise godly (conscious) children, we ourselves must become conscious first. We don’t want to infect them with our old ways of the world. How does that look?
There would be a mom and dad who co-create a home that provides an environment of peace, love, joy and exhortation for all. The home would nurture a thriving family where hostile conflict would be a foreign concept. It would also afford a space where children could immerse themselves in the experience of being a child for as long as possible.
Besides being committed to each other, mom and dad would also be committed to the children: spending time with them as they grow up, rather than shipping them off to preschool, after-school programs, or forcing them to play organized sports that they have no interest in – just to satisfy a parent trying to live vicariously through them to fill some perceived hole in their own childhood.
We don’t want our children to suffer the pain of unconsciousness that we had thrust upon ourselves. That’s we don’t engage in, and discourage in our children as well: criticism, sarcasm, nor disrespect. Instead, we practice selflessness and compassion, hopefully instilling it in our children’s hearts, so that they are filled with a desire to reach out and help others work through their pain.
Children are mini versions of us – but not extensions; we are all unique. Even so, we all want the same things: love, acceptance, and acknowledgment. The kids need to see Mom and Dad give that to each other first.
Breaking bread as a family at the dinner table is essential. It provides structure, routine, bonding, increased communication, lessons in civility, better vocabulary, healthier eating habits, and a deeper understanding of who they all are as a family. It also provides a forum for problem-solving.
It is sacred time – not to be interrupted with any type of media distraction, which only promotes inattentiveness, aloofness, and a loss of connection with the juice of life.
Give your children reasons for wanting to stay home – making it fun, interesting and exciting through your interactions with them. Strive to make their experience of childhood better than your own.
A child cannot get too much love. Praise them for who they are, letting them see the joy that they bring you. You are their world; they are lost without you. That’s why it’s such an abomination when unconscious parents choose to be cruel to them. The child does not blame the parent for the cruelty, they blame themselves.
He or she needs to know that you are a safe space to go to in times of trouble. If they don’t, they will go to someone or something else for what they think is comfort.
Give them your full attention so that they learn to live in the present moment. Channel their interests into beneficial and moral pursuits. Teach them to love learning.
As we teach, we must evaluate the contents by asking ourselves, ‘How is my child likely to interpret what I”m saying? ‘What will it cost my child to do what I want?’ The answer to both should be, ‘In ways that will make them grow.’
Finally, teach them to trust the guidance of their hearts – seeking their true value from God.
We cannot be a perfect parent, but we can give them perfect love…
Goodnight and God bless.