A few weeks back, my daughter took our twin granddaughters to the dentist. Each went to their seperate appointments on consecutive days. During the trip to the dentist for the second girl there was a conversation between my daughter and the dentist that went something like this:
Dentist – “You should write a book.”
Daughter – “What about?”
Dentist – “Raising children. Your daughters are the two best-behaved kids I’ve ever had in here.”
What he said is an excellent complement for any parent. The doctor’s comment is also a moment of joy for me as the grandparent, hearing that my daughter and her husband has done well.
All you moms and dads out there, just take a minute, sit back and look at your kids and understand what you have there.
You have someone unique. There is no one just like them. Even with twins, they may look identical, but down in the soul, there are differences. God knew your children while the child was still in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5); we should do everything we can to know them as well.
Your baby is also a gift from God, and God’s gifts are of the highest quality (Genesis 33:5; Psalm 127:3; James 1:17).
It is normal in the human experience to want to keep the things we love and cherish near us. Therefore, it is disturbing to hear parents talk about the “wonderful day ahead” when the kids leave home. If you don’t get my point from the preceding two sentences, please read them over again till the light comes on.
In hearing what the dentist had to say I couldn’t help but wonder, what the twins would be like in twenty years when they have children of their own. That thought made me realize we don’t raise children; we raise adults.
Being the age I am, I’ve seen a lot of children grow into adulthood. I find it interesting on how many five-year-olds that were polite, good natured kids are now thirty-five-year-old, kind, good natured adults. The opposite is also true; I’ve known a lot of five-year-olds that would argue with their parents, throw a fit when they did not get what they want and were just plain unruly. These same kids are now thirty-five-year-old adults that are always arguing with their spouse and children, has the best adult toys in the driveway but no milk in the fridge, and throw a fit whenever something doesn’t go their way.
As a parent is our desire for the child not to throw a fit because we don’t want to be embarrassed or is our desire that twenty years later our adult child’s life is not one of contention and strife?
Years ago I remember a billboard that had a photo of a baby with the words, “If they only came with instructions.” Well, they do. The instruction manual is the Bible.
We need to teach our children the Word of God in every possible situation of life (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
We need to train them up in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). Training is the same idea as an apprentice. Someone skilled showing someone the trade, creating in the student a skilled craftsman. As parents being skilled at life and living a godly life, we train them in the ways of Christ. Yes, they will still have some things to learn as they move into adulthood, but far better for them to leave the home competent in Biblical living than leaving unprepared. By the way, there are 936 weeks from birth to the eighteenth birthday. The days may go by slow, but the weeks will go by fast.
The parents should provide for the kids (2 Corinthians 12:14). Providing for the children should also teach them a good work ethic and the value of a dollar.
If asked, “What do you want for your kids when they grow up?” What would you say? Is salvation, a Christ-like spirit, a loving heart, and for them to raise your grandchildren in a godly way on the list?
When you take a minute and look at your child, remember you are not raising a kid, you are raising an adult.
Preacher Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Ind. Visit his website, [email protected]