I was asked a hard question today: "Would you please describe your keys to successful parenting in three words?"
Please chime in with additional encouragement, if you like.
"That is a tall order! 😱____________________________________________ No matter where you are from, or any other demographic – after prayer and consideration I think that these would be my three words:
• Christ. Pleasant. Firm. •
The first is Christ, because he is the cornerstone, the foundation. "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Colossians 1:17 Daily Bible reading, dutifully done and accompanied by prayer for wisdom, understanding, and the prompting to apply, is essential.
• The second is "Pleasant." Pleasantness comes with practice, so ask Christ to help you do everything as you would have your children do them: quickly, cheerfully and as completely as you are able. Sometimes this even means looking at the mirror and arranging your face in a pleasant countenance, so that you know what that "feels" like! ☺️ It is a good habit, and habits make character. The wife sets the tone for the spirit of the household, generally, and, while that is a great responsibility, it can be a great joy if you know that you are being helped by the Holy Spirit of God.
As you (the question asker) are the father - Well, pleasantness still applies to you, as well. Your wife and your children need to see your smile, need to feel your courtesy and honor towards them in little ways. Think about your habits, and what nice habits and good little polished extra manners you would like to add to your repertoire. Pick one at a time and work on it until it becomes a habit.
Try: deliberately smiling at everyone with a twinkle in your eye, individually, every day. Two – doing hard and thankless work cheerfully, with a whistle or a song. Three – celebrating moments. 4- leading your family and worship, prayer, thankfulness to God for little and big gifts. Correcting with a look of love and forgiveness in your eyes, even though you may be sharing hard facts, or meting out a punishment or bad news of some sort. ✅ "You like what you know," so make sure they know joy in your household. And, be careful what you "know", because you, and they, will end up liking it.
• "Firm" is the third word. Be firm in your resolve to follow Christ, to read his word and obey it, to be pleasant, to do your duty, to encourage others, to make good use of every moment – even if that means resting or reading! "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Give preference to one another in honor. Not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the Saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:10 and following.
💝 May the dear Lord add his blessing to you as you seek to raise your family well."