One of our annual traditions is taking a family picture to send out with our Christmas cards. For our picture this year (above), we went up to the Tehachapi mountains. I couldn’t help but remember that it was in a room located in these very mountains where twenty-five years ago I wrote a family mission statement which we all signed and prayed that God would be glorified through our family.
At the time, we had four young children. Today, we have four grown children and their four spouses and ten grandchildren. Truly, God has been gracious to our family. Terrie and I are so grateful for the close relationship we share with our adult children and grandchildren and thank the Lord for how our children all love the Lord and are serving Him faithfully.
This picture and its location has me a little sentimental about those years when our children were still at home. We weren’t anything close to perfect parents, but we did give our best effort to mentoring our children and modeling Christian living in the home.
If you’re a parent with children still at home, I’d encourage you to give specific attention to these three areas:
1. Be Christ-centered.
Make your home a truly Christian home. This is not just a home where the parents happen to be saved, but a home that centers around Christ. In our home, we worked at consistent family devotions and served the Lord together as a family. After our children were saved, we actively sought to teach them to love the Lord and encouraged them to grow in their walk with Him.A Christian home is not just a home where the parents happen to be saved, but a home that centers around Christ. Click To Tweet
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…—Deuteronomy 6:5–7
2. Be consistent.
Children do not expect perfection, but they do thrive on consistency. There is nothing that brings a greater disconnect in the heart of a child—especially a teenager—than a mom or dad who appears to be a great Christian at church but is strangely inconsistent at home. Inconsistency builds anger and resentment in a young person’s heart like almost no other factor. You will never be a perfect parent, but you can be an authentic parent.You will never be a perfect parent, but you can be an authentic parent. Click To Tweet
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.—Ephesians 6:4
3. Be considerate.
Insisting on obedience and teaching your children to be respectful is important (Ephesians 6:1–2). But remember that your children deserve your respect as well. Don’t demean them, humiliate them, or be contemptuous toward them. Paul spoke of the kind of gentleness that should characterize every home.
But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:—1 Thessalonians 2:7
You also model respect to your children when you treat your spouse with respect as Ephesians 5:21 teaches. When children see Dad and Mom showing mutual respect and consideration for one another, it instills important values in their hearts.
We could add to this list. It’s important to communicate with your children, to be transparent, to help them develop life skills, and to pray for them. Truly, parenting is important and involved! (I wrote more extensively about it in the book Making Home Work.)
And yet, it is important to remember that the most impactful mentoring and modeling a child can receive is from godly, Christian parents who purposefully and consistently invest in their child’s life. I encourage you—be that parent.The most impactful mentoring and modeling a child can receive is from godly parents who purposefully and consistently invest in their child’s life. Be that parent. Click To Tweet