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Church Message
Christian parents need a balanced approach in raising children.
By Pastor Stuppy

Church sponsors2 24apr14Raising children is not like making pancakes where we can just throw the bad ones out. Nor can we go back and start over if they don't turn out right the first time. In fact, there is no occupation more challenging than being a good parent. Many who have been otherwise successful say that their biggest disappointment in life was how they raised their children. The challenge in raising children is that of keeping a proper balance. If we're too restrictive with our children, they are likely to rebel. If we're too lenient, they'll likely be spoiled.

For example: One devout Christian family was having trouble with their teenagers. Until the children had reached their teens, they had always obeyed their parents. Suddenly they had become rebellious and resentful. Even though their children would soon be leaving home, the parents watched everything they did. "Put your coat on. It's cold outside." "You be sure to call home every hour so we know that you are alright." These parents failed to realize that they needed to let their teens have some freedom and learn responsibility. Soon they would be making decisions on their own and they needed to learn how even though their decisions were not always the best.

Another Christian family was just the opposite. They let their children do anything and everything they wanted. The kids climbed on the furniture, crawled across the dining room table, screamed and fought with each other with no word of rebuke from the parents. They thought they were cute. They failed to see that their children not only needed love and freedom but discipline. The discipline that children need must be done in a loving, firm and consistent way. Parents who neglect this or think it is not needed are not doing their children any favors.

Knowing just when to lay down the law or when to let something slide is not always easy to determine. Letting children and teens grow up is not all that easy of a task. The result is that there is often an ongoing battle between the teen's struggle for freedom and the parents' unwillingness to give it. Giving too much freedom, too fast, can be a big mistake. But so can not giving enough.

It's good that we are not left alone in carrying out this responsibility. Our Lord is always there to help us. We can approach him in prayer for he has promised to help us. We can seek guidance through his Word where we find many examples of what we should and should not do. Parenting is a challenge but it is also a great blessing. Just don't do it alone. Seek the Lord's help and his blessing.


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In brief 17jul14