I joked recently that part of being a father of seven is realizing you don’t know a thing about raising children. There’s some truth to that, but as I’ve shared in my last two blog essays, the scriptures can teach us a lot about what it means to be a parent. Here are five things that scripture and experience have taught me over the years:
Number one: Be cautious about what you say to your children. Don’t use your words lightly. If you make a promise, keep that promise—for example, don’t threaten to discipline a child and then fail to follow through. Children have to be able to learn trust from their parents if they’re ever going to trust the word of God, or the faithfulness of God.
We’re not perfect ‘as our father in heaven is perfect,’ (Matthew 5:48) but scripture uses that analogy for a reason. When we make a mistake, we must ask the father’s forgiveness.
I remember watching our son Michael early one morning when he was five years old. The school bus was coming, and he raced out of the house because he could see the bus. I was standing on our front porch, and I realized that, in his eagerness to get to the school bus, Michael was going to run directly into the path of an oncoming car. I screamed: “Michael, stop!” Continue reading »