Posted on Sunday, Jun 12, 2022 by Air1 Pastors
Before I became a parent, I heard from several people that it’s the most challenging/best job I’ll ever have. However, I couldn’t appreciate how true this was until my children were born.
Now that my kids have kids, I find myself looking back on my time as a parent; the mistakes I made, the things I wish I had done, and the lessons I learned. Of course, I did a lot with my kids that I hope they do with their kids. But, likewise, there are many mistakes I made that I hope I can help my kids avoid with theirs.
I’m not a perfect parent or grandparent, but I have learned a lot. Here are eight of the biggest lessons that have helped me in my parenting journey:
1. Always keep God first in your life and in your child’s. I sought to have devotional time with my kids daily, which we prioritized. Still, I realize that I fell short in the opportunities to pray with them, especially at bedtime. To pray in a way that would pass on to them the most essential part of a relationship with Christ, namely, prayer! Children model what they see, not just what they hear.
2. Always encourage your child to try new things. I should have promoted and participated more with my kids in their childhood interests. I regret not spending the time practicing with you and showing up when they needed me to be their greatest cheerleader in life. One of the worst things in life is to look back and say, “I would have; I could have; I should have.” Make time not just to do things for your kids but to spend regular time with them.
3. Never let fear drive you when it comes to living your life most fully. When my kids lacked confidence, I made the mistake of backing away from them instead of encouraging them to pursue their hopes and dreams no matter what. I was a football, basketball, and baseball guy. I pushed too hard to promote those activities with them. Don’t try to make your child into a “mini-me.” Celebrate them for who they are and encourage them to become all God wants them to be.
4. Don’t wait until later to spend time together as a family. I made lists of all I wanted to do with my kids, places to see, and exciting new adventures. Unfortunately, many of those days and plans were canceled because of my work. Don’t say, “We’ll do it tomorrow, next month, or next year.” That is the surest way to fail to do something great for your child. There is no “right time” to begin a new adventure. The time is now; work can wait.
5. Read books to and with your kids. They are an excellent source of delight, wisdom, and inspiration. Unfortunately, we probably saw too many movies at the theater. I missed the mark of not spending more time reading with them and passing on my love for Christian books and good literature.
6. Find joy in your work. Sure, there were some hard things about my job and the long hours required, but it was still a joy for me. Beware of taking a job just for money alone. Remember your gifts and calling from God will make room for you in life. Don’t cripple your heart with burdensome work.
7. Sometimes I let the problems at work make problems at home. Don’t yell at your children; it never works out for practical purposes. It hurt all of us. Every time I took it out on my kids, I fell short as a dad. Be gentle, don’t stress out, and speak softly but firmly when your children need to listen.
8. Keep your promises. I have learned life’s lessons that it is never right to tell your children, “We’ll see,” when you really mean “No.” In raising your children, know that children expect the truth; give it to them always with love and kindness.
Here are 5 traits of a great father. They have FAITH!
Faithful. Fathers are faithful to love God, their wives, and their children.
Accessible. Fathers sacrifice enough to be available and accessible to those who need him.
Initiative. Fathers demonstrate initiative as they provide, serve, love, lead, and do things for Jesus and others.
Teachable. Though he knows the word of God, he is still humble enough to learn from others.
Heart for God. What ignites all of these qualities is great fathers have a heart for God and love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
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