I have six children: five sons and a daughter. I have seven grandchildren with more on the way. I’ve been raising children for 37 years. I can help you do that if you need help. It all starts with a father. Mine just died at 97. His life, ministry, and legacy is legendary. Many of you did not have a “Bro. Roy.”
I’m going to teach you what I learned from him and a few things I learned on my own about raising kids.
1. "Children need validation."
- Jesus himself received validation. When He was baptized in water, the Father showed up. He gave Him His “identity”: “You are MY Son, in whom I am WELL PLEASED.”
- Many times orphans go on an endless search trying desperately to find the man who had the idea of them in the first place. Kids from divorced parents desperately seek the affirmation of their Dad who they no longer have contact with.
- They look for their Dad in the stands of the Little League game. They long for time when he focuses totally on them. They look for him to be present on their “big days” or their “bad days.” Spend 15 minutes of quality time with each child every day.
2. "Children need boundaries."
- Boundaries are structure. They are sidelines. They are choices with consequences. They build a secure child because life becomes “predictable.”
- I encourage you to read the great book “Boundaries for Kids” by Dr. Cloud and Townsend. They use God’s boundary around the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” to show how every good Father gives boundaries and consequences.
- Be clear about rules, roles, and assignments. Attach clear consequences for wrong choices. Never lose your temper to discipline. Simply enforce the promise of what will happen with every choice they make.
3. "Children need mentoring"
- Mentor them in routines. Teach by example how to pray and read the Bible early in the morning. Demonstrate how to do daily chores. Teach how to save money, tithe, spend money and take care of possessions.
- Mentor them in honor. Never tolerate dishonor. Show them how you honor your wife and parents. Remind them you will not tolerate dishonor for their mother or siblings. Look for opportunities to honor your neighbors, other nationalities, and the poor…especially while they are watching.
- Mentor them in succeeding. Tell them constantly that they are winners and leaders. Practice with them what they are interested in. Seize on every success as proof that they can conquer challenges. Make them feel excited about their future and the difference they will make in the world.
4. "Children need spirituality."
- Take them, don’t “send” them, to your house of worship.
- Take time to say a blessing before every meal.
- End the day with a Bible story.
- Open your home for small groups.
- Take them on a missions trip.
It works. That’s all I did. All six of mine are now married and serving the Lord. Follow the path of “validation, boundaries, mentoring, and spirituality.”
Your new legacy has begun.