The first part of this passage is dealing with kids and parents. Paul offers a tip or two to both children and dads that will help build great relationships. I offer here several other tips, just for parents, that I have learned over the years that have helped in raising godly kids. I certainly don’t pretend to have all the answers but I have learned a few things that may be helpful.
Love your wife/husband – Kids need to see parents who obviously love each other. This gives them security and models for them a relationship that they hope to have in the future. Don’t be afraid to let your kids see you being affectionate to each other or to hear you say “I love you” to each other. The best way for you to love your kids is to love your spouse.
Pray for your kids – specifically character qualities – It doesn’t take too long to discover what qualities we need to ask God to build into our kid’s lives. Perhaps it is gentleness. Perhaps it is courage. Perhaps it is compassion. Be specific as you pray for your kids, asking God to transform them to reflect His character.
Be intentional with your words – The one scene that sticks out in my mind from the movie The Help is where Viola Davis’ character says to her young charge, “You is kind, you is smart, you is important.” She was using words intentionally to build up not to tear down. Our kids need to hear words of blessing coming out of our mouths not words that curse, demean, and discourage.
Eat supper together – This sounds so simple… because it is. And yet it is amazing how many families do not sit down and have supper together. They eat in shifts or on their own or in front of the TV. Supper should be a sacred time for families to enjoy catching up, laughing, thinking, and enjoying being with one another together.
Invest time with your kids – Admittedly, parenting is hard and it is exhausting. But the time invested with your kids will produce big dividends. The act of “being there” can never be underestimated. Being there for your kid’s ballgames or recitals. Being there to cry with them when they hurt and rejoice with them when they are happy. Being there for those significant conversations that our kids need.
I’ll share a few more tips next week. In the mean time… think on these things!