Keys to good Christian Parenting

Helen Man

According to a survey, the scariest thing that happens to children is the tension between their parents. Growing up in a broken family may lead these children to low self-esteem, poor marriages, and even giving themselves up to addictions or crimes.

Characteristics of Good Parenting

1. To cherish and to protect your spouse and your family

The best gift for children is to love your spouse. Infidelity hurts relationships with spouses and children. Therefore, it’s safer for a couple to go together as a team when one spouse has to meet with the opposite gender.

2. To forgive

(Romans 5:6, 8) “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly… But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” By the love of God, we who have been saved by grace will be able to forgive and love our enemies, even our spouses. (Colossians 3:13) “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

3. To give your best to your children

The most important thing in life is not perishable things such as money, property, or pleasures but the imperishable— eternal life! John 3:36 says “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” Being the children of God, our children will have God’s Spirit in them so they will have peace in their hearts when facing deaths in the family and will get help in times of need.

4. To teach based on biblical truths

Nowadays our society has distorted moral standards! Money, sex, and personal freedoms are on top priorities. We need to give clear biblical guidelines to our children so that they will become upright, merciful, and helpful as they grow up. Praying for yourself and your children is very important too. Remember that you are “appointed” by God to take good care of your children as a gift from above but not to impose our unfulfilled dreams on them — such as our choices of college majors, careers, or marriage candidates.

5. To set a good example

The good old Chinese proverb says, “When the upper beam is not right, the lower beam becomes crooked.” (Ancient Chinese houses were supported by upper and lower beams.) By the same token, if you want your children to be loving, hardworking, honest, and honoring parents, you will have to do likewise.

6. To teach with age-appropriate methods

Emphasize character development such as fearing God, respecting parents and elderly, honesty, integrity, loving-kindness, mercy, etc. Cultivate a sense of responsibility by letting them make their own decisions as they grow up. Be consistent with yourself and your spouse for raising children. Never be judgmental or exaggerating. Say sorry for your mistakes. Balance your rewards and consequences. No capital punishment.

7. To be fair to all

Favoritism would cause sibling rivalry. Traditional Chinese parents used to look down on girls. When my family moved to Hong Kong then to Canada, we had to live in a relative’s house. This relative kept on telling my father to stop letting me go to school because I’m a girl. Finally, my father firmly and loudly replied that I MUST go to school to be educated! I ended up being the first college graduate in my family!

8. To guide them step by step with kindness

Positive words of encouragement versus harshness can nourish a child. Listening as a friend will create a loving relationship with your children. However, the best relationship has to come to an end when Death knocks on the door. Only our Father God lives forever and His loving-kindness lasts from generation to generation.

Do you personally know this Creator?

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