I imagine that if you asked a 20th century mother, she would admit that raising kids was not easy. Looking back now, we may think mothers back then had it all under control. I think discipline, back then, was not a matter of choice or a question of love; it was just the very necessary tool to bringing up responsible kids that will be able to face the real world even after the parents are not there. Take a survey now, you’ll find more than 50% of parents in the 21st century claiming that we don’t want to make the same “mistakes” our parents did while raising us. Or we don’t want to be too strict so that we can give room for creativity and confidence. Just as there is no manual for parenting, every parent learns along the way and become better, if time still permits. Otherwise, parenting mistakes are termed to be too costly to forgive.
There’s no doubt that living in the 21st century is peculiar to what our parents must have faced back then but in truth, there’s nothing new under the face of the earth – well, except the evolution of science and technology. These have become the most threatening elements in our society, exposing and pressing both parents and children in opposite directions. As Christian parents, we are mandated by scripture to train our children in the way that they should go. But which way is that exactly?
When we let technology draw the family apart and leave knowledge to the internet and social media, communication and quality family time is lost. Everyone just wants to be on their phones and tabs and parents have neglected their duties and responsibilities to other sources. Yet we question why the child you think you’ve raised under your roof for 14 years would wake up “suddenly” and turn on you. Which way have you trained the child up to go? That sudden “turn” is the result of confusion, rage and bitterness towards you for neglecting your primary responsibility towards your children. Which is why you will see even parents who raise their children in church often find that once those children leave home, they no longer uphold their parents’ beliefs and stray from the church.
A famous Nigeria actress said, “The best gift you can give your child is the Word of God”. God did indeed give you these children for this time. You need to help them discover the secret in the Word of God that will take them to wonderful places, even beyond this world. Daily instruction in God’s Word is key in raising children in this age. The Word is very clear on men and women, marriage, sexual perversion, and right and wrong. There are so many teachings and personal opinions on the internet which can, quite frankly, get your mind twisted if you’re not even grounded in a Truth. If for the only reason that the Bible is a book of morals and ideals, then there is no harm in obeying to the letter, without additions or subtractions. It’s very clear on the hardening of hearts to the truth, and on fools being led astray. Read it with and to your children daily. Memorize passages. Explain how they relate to our practical times.
Yet, for our children be exposed to the 21st century culture, they must be double-exposed to your faith and belief. They must be totally armed and prepared for the world and it’s not in pampering and smothering. It’s not in letting things go just because you don’t want to be seen as too hard. The world is hard and only tough children will break through in the middle of the perversion in the world. They must be able to see every cultural and political happening in the light of the Word of God. Play devil’s advocate, if you must, and ask them to defend the scriptures. It’s the only way you can be sure that come what may, when they grow up, they will not be too far from the training you have instilled in them.
As parents, too, we need to make a schedule to include spending time with the children. Otherwise, they won’t teach themselves. If you don’t, something or someone else is and you’ll be the one left with the outcome. So, decide what you want to see in them tomorrow today!